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7 Poker Tips You Need to Know

Don’t just hit the felt. Hit it with knowledge. Coming to the tables armed with a few tips can help you not only play smarter, but look like a pro as you make winning decisions. If you’re new to poker, these tips are a great starting point.

1. Pay attention to everything and everyone

This is one of the most crucial poker tips because it’s all about gaining insight. Pay attention to how people are reacting when they read their cards. Pay attention to tells or signals others might make when they bluff. Pay attention to everyone’s chips so you don’t actually get knocked out of a raise.

2. Don’t be fooled by an Ace

Pocket Aces are amazing. But if you’re sitting on just one Ace, it doesn’t automatically mean you should be in the hand. Only Aces that are paired with a 10 or higher, or a card of the same suit, are solid.

3. Know the strength of your starting hand

Pairs, two face cards, or cards that could make either a straight or a flush are considered good starting hands. Anything outside of that? Seriously consider folding, unless you’ve paid the big blind and no one has raised on top.

4. Wait your turn

One of the most important poker tips for live play — you should never jump the gun. There’s nothing worse than a player who raises when or folds when it’s not their turn. Not only are you giving away information before it’s too late, but you could gather important info from other players that could alter your decision.

5. Don’t just call

If you constantly call instead of betting or raising, you just look like you’re chasing or following other players’ leads. Poker is extremely psychological, so it’s not always about how strong your hand is, but rather how well you outsmart and outplay your opponents.

6. Call their bluff

Poker is one of the only games where you can win while holding a losing hand. That’s the magic of bluffing and one of the top poker tips you should keep at top of mind is that bluffs need to be called. Even if you were wrong in your assessment, you’ll learn a lot about how someone plays when they’re forced to reveal their cards. Or you could scare them off and take down a pot — even while holding a hand that’s worse than theirs.

7. Don’t act too quickly

Even if you’re sitting with the nuts, don’t necessarily call that raise or go all in immediately. Think before you act and you’ll not only end up making a smarter decision, but you could also give the illusion that you’re holding a mediocre hand and force your opponent into acting.