NL Holdem Tips For Beginners Part I. – The First Steps

Part I of my two-part guide will provide orientation for beginner poker players. In the first part I will be sharing with you basic practice methods and my second part will cover issues concerning game techniques. With this guide I hope to provide an insight taste of not only the game, but also good management skills to come out on top. In order to reach long-term success, other serious commitments also need to be made.


Let’s start with the practical information. First of all, it is in good  practice to read as many articles concerning poker as possible to enlighten yourself with different situations and techniques.The best places to start acquiring these new insights would have to be strategy sections within poker forums where players can often find the best way to handle their hands by reading reviews and hand analyses of other players.

If you seek to be in the action from the beginning, it is a recommendation that you startt out at the lower stakes and slowly work your way up. ’Start small, think big’. The blinds $0.1/$0.25 can be a good base to start at, as well as making use of the ’play money’ section, where you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain. Of course, the success reached here does not always reflect your skills, but can improve them for the real high-stake situations. Players who find themselves comfortable at one table and confident that their skills have improved should look towards multi-tabling to increase their decision-making power.

If success comes to our door, we can start thinking about building our bankroll. The basic idea is as follows: If you want to win big, you should never reach for your poker money (not even if you’re broke). The big dollars are usually won at higher stakes, but first it is essential to build a sufficient bankroll before moving on to high stakes. The only investment that justifies taking money out of your bankroll would be the purchase of a high-resolution 28-inch monitor to make comfortable multi-tabling possible.

No Limit Hold’em Poker goes hand in hand with serious fluctuation and volatility. This way, it can seem to be prosperous for a certain time and then you feel like fell in on the deep end, losing all your hands and all your buy-ins. This is a common occurence for every poker player, either being high-stake or low-stake, we have all been through it. You can’t have the good without the bad. It’s important to make it clear in our mind that we are not the victims of cheating, we’re just in the middle of a downswing and in time it will surely pass. Never try to be the Donald Trump of poker and win everything back in one hand. Showing discipline in times like this is the key to success.

Also, another good consideration in times when Lady Luck is not in our favor is to contemplate about a few-hours or even a few-days break to recharge our batteries and mind. In this time-off it makes us reflect on the decisions we have made and if it really just was bad luck to blame or the situation could have been handled better on our behalf. With the help of the Holdem Manager, Poker Tracker 3 or Poker Office softwares we can easily analyze the previous hands played. If there are some hands that we question our decision, we should post these within the forums to get other opinions on our gameplay.

If we find that we have no success after all this, or lose more than 10 buy-ins at one stake, we should seriously consider returning to a lower stake or even taking a holiday with our favorite poker books. Bankroll management rulez!