Learn the Basics of Poker

When you break poker down to its most basic form, you are dealing cards and betting over a series of rounds with the final winner being the player who has the best five card hand. This may sound daunting to a new player, but the basic rules are actually quite simple. Having a clear understanding of the game and how it works is critical to success.

To begin learning the basics, shuffle and deal four hands of cards to yourself. After each hand assess which is the strongest and why. Continue this routine until you can quickly determine the strongest hand without hesitating for more than a few seconds. After this, start dealing the flop and see how your assessment of the situation changes as more information becomes available. After the turn and river, keep repeating this process until you can determine the best hand without hesitating for more that a few seconds.

A lot of the time, the strength of a hand is concealed, for example if you have pocket fives on the flop then people will be hard pressed to put your hand on a straight. By understanding how to read situations based on probability and game theory, you can make more educated decisions at the tables.

It is also important to study poker efficiently, many players bounce around in their studies and miss out on learning the fundamentals completely. This is why it is recommended to focus on a single concept each week, for example watching a cbet video on Monday, reading an article about 3bet strategy on Tuesday and then listening to a podcast about mental game theory on Wednesday.