Four Steps to Prepare You for a Poker Tournament

Mar 25

For a new player, heading into a poker tournament can be a daunting prospect. Your skills are finally getting put to the test, and the game jitters can begin. Lack of focus is what so often derails a new player in a poker game; so, with this in mind, there are several ways that players can prepare themselves for an upcoming event.

A Little Practice

Playing some hands right before a tournament, be it online or in person, is a great way to get some of the nerves out. It also serves as a mini practice run before the big day. Online games can be very helpful in this way; although it is not quite the same environment as a land-based tournament, it helps to reinforce the importance of patience and of playing slowly and methodically.

Expert Tips

Listening to poker interviews or other forms of poker news and tips also can help. Some of these videos will offer helpful strategies and further hints and tips as to how to play well. There are several excellent podcasts available that offer numerous featured segments. If these are not to your liking, then there are a number of videos to be found online.

Stay Alert

Getting rest is also a big one. Resting helps to improve one’s focus, and that is key in any poker game. During the tournament itself, it’s possible that you may need to stay up very late to complete a round, so get enough sleep when you can.

On the Day

Lastly, it is important to be prepared when at the tournament. By this, we mean to bring food with you to sustain you through the rounds, and also the way you dress. Style can affect the way people think about you but also bear in mind that it is important to be comfortable – after all, you may be sitting there for a long time.

Picking your Poker

Mar 17

When it comes to poker, there are a large number of different variants available. The choice of game will depend on the preferences of the player as each game caters to a different skill. Outlined below are some different variants that can be played.

Texas Hold’em

This is the most popular form and the variant most people associate with the game of poker. It offers relatively simple gameplay that involves each player receiving two cards only they can see, called hole cards. Decisions such as bets or folding are made, and then three community cards are dealt on the table face up.

Over the course of the rest of the game, two more community cards are placed on the table after a round of betting. Players must create a five-card hand using the community cards and the hole cards.


This variant is very similar to Texas Hold’em, but players are dealt four cards instead. Five community cards are also dealt, and players use a combination of the community cards and their own cards to create the best hand. However, they must use two of the cards in their hand. Betting is the same as Texas Hold’em though the best hands do vary between the two games.

Pineapple Poker

A lesser-known variant, Pineapple Poker blends both Omaha and Texas Hold’em into one superb game. Each player is dealt three cards, one of which the player must then choose to discard.

The game is then played in a similar fashion to Texas Hold’em with players aiming to make the best five-card hand out of the cards available to them. However, there are different Pineapple variants, with different requirements on how many hole cards must be used to create the final hand.

There are multiple other variants of poker available such as Razz, Caribbean Stud and HORSE, all of which come with a range of skills and options.

Tips for Becoming a Poker Pro

Mar 06

Poker is a relatively easy game to learn, but it is much harder to master. Many of us have been somewhat blinded by the glamorous games that we see on the television and assume that poker players must be great liars in order to win. This, however, is one of the greatest misconceptions about poker and one of the reasons why many new players fail.

Contrary to popular belief, bluffing is not the pinnacle of poker strategy. In fact, many of the best poker players never have to bluff at all. It should be used as a last resort. A rookie mistake in a game full of pros is to begin bluffing. Most of them will see through this ruse in an instant, and that is where the game will start to unravel for you. Let’s get back to basics.

In order to improve you need to learn all the little ins and outs of the game. Get to grips with the rules, the hands and the way the game flows until you know it like the back of your hand. Paying attention to what is happening both with the cards and with the other players is key and is an integral part of learning the flow of the game.

As a rule, in the early stages of learning, there’s no shame in folding more than playing. Many new players make the mistake of trying to play through a hand when folding would be a better option. In this vein, we come back to the idea of bluffing. Pretending you have a better hand then you do only works in some instances and if you have the savvy and knowhow to back it up. For the most part, leave bluffing alone and focus on your own game improvement. To do otherwise just indicate you as a rookie and you will find yourself losing as a consequence.

These are just a few of the many tips that are available for new poker players. Focus and discipline are key, and with practice, you should see an improvement in your game.