Be Patient, don’t chase cards.

Patience is perhaps the most important tip for playing all types of poker; a trait that most newbies are guilty of is entering a game with weak cards and then chasing cards to make it a good hand. Especially low connectors and any two suited cards.

All too often players significantly overrate the value of having two suited cards in the hole. Having suited cards is a good thing, especially if you have a couple face cards, but low suited cards like 5h and 10h should almost always be folded. If two hearts come up on the flop you’re likely to be chasing for another heart on the turn or the river, and if the heart doesn’t come up you have nothing, 10 high. If a heart does come up, or worse yet 4 hearts come up on the board, you have a flush that can be beaten if any other player has J-A of hearts.

Always know the best possible hand and if you have it.

On every hand of poker its crucial that you know what the best possible hand is at that point in time. If you do have the best possible hand then its important that you take advantage of it by betting and raising with confidence. If you flop the nuts, you could try checking the hand through to let an opponent get the second best hand. If this happens when they bet, it gives you the opportunity to check raise and take some extra chips from them.

If you don’t have the best possible hand, then you need to know what it is, what else beats you, and who has the best hand.

Position is the name of the game.

By position were referring to your spot around the table in comparison to the dealer button. If the dealer button is to your immediate left, then you’re in excellent position. On the other hand if you’re to the immediate left of the big blind, then you aren’t since if you call or raise it still has to go through everyone else at the table. You’re telling everyone you have a good hand and letting them make a decision based on that. If you’re late position you can see the general strength of everyone else at the table and then make your decision based on that.

For example if you hold 9h 10h (a mediocre hand) and you’re late position, then you might consider going in provided that most people before you fold or didn’t raise. In general, from an earlier position you should be more selective on the strength of your hole cards than from a late position, especially the button. Some players have a habit of raising from the button, even if they have decent cards. Since they are the last player to act, their raise puts the onus on all other players decisions, which could be considered an advantage. The last player to act gets to see what everyone involved in the hand does whether it is a check, bet or raise. The last position may have a legitimate hand, or if everyone checks the late position player may bet to steal the pot. As mentioned earlier, deception is one of many great things of poker.