Poker Tips Don’t play every hand Possibly the number one mistake new poker players make is that they play far too many hands. When you’re just starting out playing poker, you want to play poker, and you think by playing every hand you’ll win more sooner. But playing more doesn’t mean winning more, it usually means losing more. Pay attention to the cards on the table. Knowing what the best hand is on the flop/turn/river is a big advantage. Example: The Flop comes: 5♦ 8♠ 9♥ To know right away that the best hand is: 7 10 (any suit) is a great advantage. Knowing if you have the best hand or have a chance of getting the best hand is a great benefit. Using the same example, if you had 10♦ J♠ as your hold cards, it would be great to know that any 7 or Queen would give you the best hand. This is called an open-ended straight draw. Understanding Hand Ranking is something all new players should learn. Play in a good mood Playing poker when you are upset can and will affect your play. You will do things you don’t normally do and call bets you shouldn’t be calling. So it’s best to play when you have a clear head and in a good mood. Think about your position. Table position is a very important factor in poker, especially in Texas Hold’em. The best positions to be in are when you are last to act on the hand, for example, when you are on the button. This means that you gain knowledge about what kind of hand they may have before the action gets to you. Having good position in a hand can easily turn a losing hand into a winning one. Suited cards aren’t that great. The ultimate beginner mistake is over-valuing suited cards. Flushes are not as common as you think, and if you limp in with your two small suited cards, there is the chance that you will lose all your money to a higher flush if the flush does come. Just because your cards are of the same suit, it only improves that hand by 2% compared to if your hand was not suited. This marginal improvement is too small to warrant calling pre-flop raises, so learn to fold the small suited cards. You will be saving yourself some money in the long run. Know the rules. As obvious as it seems, there is no substitute for knowing the rules of the game. You don’t want to find yourself calling a player all in, thinking that your straight beats his flush and losing all of your chips. There is no way you can be a winning poker player if you don’t know the fundamental rules of the game. Check out our Rules page for more details.