Beginners Guide to Online Poker

Texas Hold`em is undoubtedly the most popular form of poker. Described as `the Cadillac of poker`, Texas Hold`em is the variant used in the World Series of Poker Main Event – the biggest tournament on the planet, which would set you back $10,000 to enter.

When Chris Moneymaker scooped $2.5 million for winning the Main Event after qualifying for just $39, the `poker boom` was born, with players flocking to the game in a bid to emulate his feat.

As poker exploded in popularity, so too did the online game – and it`s easy to understand why. It allows people to play any time of day, any form they choose and for as much money as they want.

However, before you start dreaming of winning millions, it`s important for beginners to take some time to pick up a few basic tips.

Poker`s an extremely enjoyable game, as long as you play within your financial means. Never play with money you can`t afford to lose, because even the top pros go through long losing periods. It`s often a good idea to think about what you can afford to deposit and then use that amount as a basis for deciding which stakes to play at.

Now, if you love the idea of winning big from a relatively small outlay, then multi-table tournaments are for you. InMTTs you pay your buy in fee for a set number of chips and they get going at a specific time. The blinds and antes – forced bets posted at the start of a hand – increase as the tournament progresses to ensure the field is gradually whittled down.

In terms of strategy for beginners, it`s worth keeping it simple and playing relatively tight at the start – in other words, only playing hands with the highest value. While the blinds are low, there`s little value in playing weak cards or bluffing too much – the adage `you can`t win a tournament at the start, but you can lose it`, certainly rings true!

As the tournament progresses, you`ll need to start loosening up and going through the gears or your chip stack will be eaten up by the increasing blinds. If you`re still waiting to pick up pocket aces or kings at this stage, the chances are you`ll be waiting too long and be left with too few chips to fight back. You need to play your position, hunt down the fish and look to win big pots to negotiate your way to the later stages.

Generally, the top 10% finishers in a tournament will `cash`, but the significant prize money is normally reserved for the final table. If you`ve managed to get this far, then glory is just one small step away!