In Casino Royale, Daniel Craig impresses in the role of James Bond as a gifted poker player. If you want to play poker like James Bond, you should have a few psychological tricks up your sleeve. Whether playing with friends, in a casino or online poker games with real money in a live casino – poker is not just a game of chance and one or two psychological tricks often make the difference between winning and losing.
Glossary of terms for beginners
Our poker glossary contains not only general terms, but also those that are specific to online poker.
- Hole cards – the first two cards are dealt to each player face up
- Flop – the next three cards are laid out on the table face up
- Turn – the fourth card is placed face up on the table
- River – the fifth card is placed on the table face up
- Pot – the total amount of money that the player with the best hand wins
- Bet – putting money into the pot
- Check – the decision not to bet if no one has bet before you
- Call – betting into the pot that is equal to another player’s bet to stay in the hand
- Raise – increasing the amount that other players have to pay to stay in the hand
- Pot odds – a mathematical calculation of whether it is profitable for you to call
- Bad hand – a hand with no chance of winning
- Bluffing – betting/raising to force other players to fold when you have a quad
- Bad beat – losing the pot on a good hand when you have a really good hand
Basic rules of Texas Hold’em
Now that you have a general idea of how the game works, let’s take a closer look at its basic rules. Here’s how the game process works:
- Two players set the blinds: before the cards are dealt, each of them has to make a small bet so that everyone has something to play with if the rest of the players decide they don’t want to bet after that.
- Deal: Each player at the table is dealt two cards face up. Players must either bet to stay in the game or fold.
- Flop: Three face-up cards are dealt face down in the centre of the poker table. Each player can use one or all of these cards along with their hole cards to make the best five-card hand. Players must then bet again or fold their cards.
- Flip: One more face-up card is dealt and further bets are placed.
- River: The last community card is dealt and further bets are placed.
- The deal: Anyone remaining in the game must show their cards so that a winner can be determined and the pot can be collected.
See through your opponent
In poker, the art of correctly sizing up your opponents is crucial. Professional players put on the famous poker face so that their opponents cannot see through them. In poker, the most important thing is to read and interpret your opponent’s body language. It’s about reading your opponent’s face and looking out for tell-tale signs.
Reading body language is a difficult endeavour and requires practice. An interesting indicator is, for example, how much time someone needs to make a move. If a player needs more time than average, they may be unsure about the right decision. In this way, it may be possible to anticipate the next move and execute a deceptive manoeuvre.
The right position at the table
Poker is played in a clockwise direction. Whoever is last in line has an advantage. This allows you to observe your opponents and better assess your own chances during the round. For an exciting online poker experience, check out online casinos, play plinko real money and elevate your game to new heights.
Start with low stakes
Many players have no interest in making low bets, but you need to see that your goal is to learn poker strategy and not waste money in the process. Therefore, you have a few reasons to start with low stakes:
Firstly, you will feel more comfortable knowing that you are not risking a lot of money, and even if you lose some at the beginning, it won’t hurt you.
Secondly, your skill level increases every time you raise the stakes. If you start with the lowest limits, you can play against the weakest players and learn the game instead of giving money to those who are doing much better.
Finally, you can see the whole picture and get a feel for what the whole game looks like. You will understand positions and poker hands, which poker hands you should play and can put it all into practice.
Play tight and aggressive
Many amateur players make a big mistake when they play too wide and open too many poker Texas Holdem hands. The key when you start out is to play only your strongest hands to avoid making many difficult decisions after the flop. This way, you can play less but more aggressively when you do decide to put your hand into action. This way you can learn poker strategy without losing money and in a much more effective way.
So raise and bet yourself when you play, instead of just calling and putting maximum pressure on your opponents. If you know that you have an advantage in the form of better hands preflop, then in the long run you will only win against a range of cards.
Patience brings money
You can win a game with a bluff, but not a tournament. Patience and skill are also crucial, because poker is still a game of chance. It may be worth waiting for the next round to get a better hand. Nobody should be overly cautious and let good opportunities pass them by, but patience is worth its weight in gold when playing poker.
Setbacks are also part of the game and should not cause emotional control to waver. Professionals often only play every tenth hand. It is only worth staying in the game if you have a good hand. After all, poker is also about cheating.
Inner conviction and mental strength are worth their weight in gold, especially when playing for larger amounts. Mentally stronger players can react better and more confidently to unplanned events in order to master the situation. This includes determination, inner calm and absolute concentration for the entire duration of the game.
It can be helpful to be able to block out emotions. Information is often only scattered to create confusion. After all, poker is all about trickery and deception. Emotional control can help to avoid creating uncertainty on the outside. Because every player at the table tries to read their opponent to their own advantage.
It’s not just a matter of observing your opponents and looking out for tell-tale signs. Ultimately, the following questions are decisive in the game:
- How good is my hand?
- How likely is it that I can win with my hand?
- How much (gambling) money should I therefore bet?
It is advisable to answer these questions based on more than just a gut feeling. The better a player is able to analyse the probability of a win, the higher his chances of winning. In each phase, you should be able to estimate how many cards in the deck could still be helpful. If there is only one possible card out of over 40, then the chance of winning is very low from the outset.
Finding the right balance when bluffing
Bluffs are to poker as the sand is to the sea. But bluffing is also an art, because it has to come across convincingly. When bluffing, the player wants to ensure that the opponents no longer call or assume that they are holding a worse hand. A distinction can be made between a bluff and a semi-bluff. In a semi-bluff, the player is already relatively certain that he has a good hand in his hands. In this case, the aim may be to realise the win immediately or to push it up.
The right amount of bluffing is crucial. Not everyone is good at bluffing, which is why every player has to find the right balance for themselves. If a player bluffs too often, then at a certain point it is no longer taken seriously. If, on the other hand, it happens too rarely, the opponents will immediately smell a rat.