Tips for Crushing Your Newbie Opponents at the Poker Table

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Here you will find tips for playing new players in a classic cash game of No-Limit Hold’em which is most likely to take place at someone’s house.

Also note that most of these tips will not work against a skilled player.

1) Categorize your opponents

At the most basic level, many poker players can be categorized into two categories: those who are afraid, and those who are not.

The observation is rather easy to make in a few rounds of table. The scared player will often call and often fold when faced with raises. He will hardly animate the pot and it will even be rare to see him open the auction.

In parallel, the not intimidated player will make wild raises even with bad cards in hand.

You should employ a very different strategy for each style of player. Against the scared player you will want to bet aggressively by constantly trying to kick them out of the pot. Be careful in the event of a raise because that will mean that he has something.

Conversely if you play against a player who does not care, you will need to make your strong hands profitable.

2) Bet … a lot

Here’s a tough concept to grasp for new players who have been used to an endless parade of Royal Flushes against Squares on TV or in the movies.

Most of your hands will miss the flop, and premium starting hands like pair of aces and kings are rare.

Many newbies (especially in the “scared” category) will simply throw their hand on the flop if they haven’t managed to connect with it in a nice way. Which means you can bet on pretty much every flop.

By going further you can even raise almost any hand and other players will be amazed at how well you can keep hitting such great cards.

Here’s another betting tip you can use against poker blues: make a minimum bet on the river.

New poker players generally don’t understand the  concept of pot odds , and if they’ve missed their draw, there’s a good chance they’ll fold to any bet.

This means that you can bet 10,000 or 1,000 for the same outcome

3) The advantages of preconceived ideas on the ranking of hands

In fact there are several misconceptions that players learning to play poker may have.

The most common mistakes are:

Three-of-a-kind that beats double pair (beginners think both pairs are stronger because they use 4 cards);

The flush that beats the straight (a straight seems more difficult to do for some new players);

The height of the highest card that counts in a suit (self-explanatory).

How does this help you?

Well there is more chance that you will see your flushes or three of a kind paid, and sometimes you will even be able to deduce what your opponent thinks he or she has.

So bet accordingly.

4) punish non-stop calls

All of poker can be summed up in three distinct choices: bet, call (pay) or fold.

If you have a premium pair, then just bet on each spin. And since newbies have no idea how big the bet size is, you can even bet big, probably between 75% and 100% of the pot.

Another trick is to use smaller denominations of chips, to make the bet appear smaller. Try different techniques to see what works best.

5) Watch out for aggression

It is rare for beginners to pull out the nails with the wrong hands. Not impossible, but rare.

If a relatively new player bets strong pre-flop, it’s pretty safe to say that they probably have a premium hand – or at worst a decent hand (pair or two face).

So in these situations it’s just an easy fold to do.

6) Use basic math to hurt your opponents

There are plenty of ways to use basic math to extract value from your opponents, starting with setting an optimal bet size.

On the other hand, beginners will quite frequently make small bets, then pay, pay, pay, pay for the charm of the “family pot”.

Raising in this situation is always fun, but you can also get incredible odds when you call with a weak hand. 7-5 isn’t that bad when you risk just a small amount to try and win a huge pot.

And then if you flop big, there’s a good chance someone else has something on the flop too. In which case you can take him with you on a trip from which he will not return!

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