Poker Betting “Do’s” and “Don’ts”
Wednesday, 4. November 2009

A big part of any poker game is betting money on a game. Playing with money in a poker game adds to the excitement of a game but also adds to the danger. It is possible for a new player to lose a lot of money on a poker game. For this reason, it is very important that you learn how to bet wisely in a poker game before you ever set money down on a poker table. The following simple do’s and don’t should help:

Don’t start betting with money until you understand poker well. Begin with friendly games that involve no real money so that you can learn how to play well. The better you play the better the chances that you will not lose money when real money is involved.

Do only bet what you can afford. Sure, high rollers in Vegas may be able to ste down thousands or even millions of dollars on a game, but that does not apply to most people. Many poker players are tempted to put down a lot of money on the poker table because of the chance of winning big. However, you need to keep in mind that any money you wager is money that you can lose. Betting smart, then, means only betting amounts that you can afford to lose.

Don’t make blind bets or bets on a tilt. You should never bet without a reason. Each time you bet or make a move in poker, it is important that you do so only after having carefully considered your hand and your odds of winning. Do not bet without understanding your hand and your chances and never bet emotionally. It is a sure way to win. Poker is really about strategy, not just luck.

Do play limit games when you are just beginning. Although no-limit games can often mean bigger winnings, it can also mean huge losses, especially for the less skilled players. If you are just learning to play poker, ease into the game with low-stakes limit games that have $1-2 wage limits. You will be happy you did.

Don’t be afraid to fold. If you have no chance of creating a decent hand, it is better to lose a bot of money in the early stages of a game than to get into a betting challenge with a more experienced player and lose a lot of money.

Do bet sober. Alcohol is often a part of casual games, but if you have too much to drink, you are much more likely to make bad bets that cost you a lot of money. If you are drinking, walk away from the table until you sober up or stick to games that are not being played for real money.

Don’t give your hand away through your gestures and your facial expressions. The whole point of poker is not to let other players know what cards you have. If you have weaker cards, you want to convince fellow players that you have a good hand so that they will fold. If you have a good hand, you don’t want your fellow players to fold quickly, leaving you with smaller winnings, so learn to maintain that poker face.

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