# Hi. Where should I start? Texas hold’em.

• ringlejames

Hi. Where should I start? Texas hold’em.

I have been thinking about getting into poker. I can personally read people like a book.

Do I start with pairs and 3 suit after flop. Betting no more than 3x pot unless I am betting and have no less than 4 suited, 3 of a kind, 2 pair, or 1 to draw a straight after flop.

I’ll get into odds later. After I learn odds I am going tolearn more complex bets. Then bluffs. nJust want to start it simple to beat my buddies when we get together. Then I can get into veral mathematics when I am trying to read the other players for bluffs.

I’ll get into outs when I force them to play better or they just dont let me play. Remember them like Basic strategy in blackjack.

I guess I learned blackjack first because it seemed like more of a challenge for me.

Cheers.

• blackjacktilt
Quote: ringlejames said:
I have been thinking about getting into poker. I can personally read people like a book.

Do I start with pairs and 3 suit after flop. Betting no more than 3x pot unless I am betting and have no less than 4 suited, 3 of a kind, 2 pair, or 1 to draw a straight after flop.

I’ll get into odds later. After I learn odds I am going tolearn more complex bets. Then bluffs. nJust want to start it simple to beat my buddies when we get together. Then I can get into veral mathematics when I am trying to read the other players for bluffs.

I’ll get into outs when I force them to play better or they just dont let me play. Remember them like Basic strategy in blackjack.

I guess I learned blackjack first because it seemed like more of a challenge for me.

Cheers.

• Sucker

You’re going about it completely backwards –
The ability to “read people like a book” is a valuable asset to any poker player, of course. However; it’s one of the LAST skills that need to be learned on the road to mastering the game of poker. Starting hands, odds, outs, proper bet sizes; and about a million other things need to be learned first – not LATER.

Do you go into court and give your closing argument during jury selection? (Don’t answer that; I don’t want to know )

• Canceler

Certainly true in my case!

Quote: blackjacktilt said:
It’s a very complex game, and it will take you a long time to become mediocre.

I really like that sentence! I think it ranks right up there with “takes ten minutes to learn, and a lifetime to master” as a description of Hold’em.

• blackjacktilt

The grind

Quote: Canceler said:
I really like that sentence! I think it ranks right up there with “takes ten minutes to learn, and a lifetime to master” as a description of Hold’em.

Alot of people think (especially those new to the game) that poker is easy. Especially Hold em. Limit is ABC, but the “One bet to call factor” kills alot of people. No Limit is alot different because every hand you get involved in risks your stack. People think they can just get lucky and try outrageous moves they see on TV. What people fail to realize is the fair amount of skill involved (yes short term luck is a factor) and they don’t realize how much of a grind poker really is. If you are looking for a good time and don’t wish to play the game for anything but leisure, reading and time aren’t required. Poker is a skill game like blackjack and for you to contend with some of the sharks out there (even at low limit games) you must do your homework, or you’re going to get crushed.

• ringlejames
Quote: Sucker said:
You’re going about it completely backwards –
The ability to “read people like a book” is a valuable asset to any poker player, of course. However; it’s one of the LAST skills that need to be learned on the road to mastering the game of poker. Starting hands, odds, outs, proper bet sizes; and about a million other things need to be learned first – not LATER.

Do you go into court and give your closing argument during jury selection? (Don’t answer that; I don’t want to know )

Yeah I had the bluffs last copy and pasted stiff moved things around and forgot to check read it afterwards. Lol. I played poker when I was like 5-15 just never played hold’em during that time. So the reading people like a book aint bad but I want to go at this like I did blackjack. I thought I knew how to play blackjack but I put all of my THOUGHTS to the side. Doing the same with blackjack.

Thanks for the info guys. Going to pick up Doyles book today thanks.

• ringlejames
Quote: Sucker said:

Do you go into court and give your closing argument during jury selection? (Don’t answer that; I don’t want to know )

Why not if it is the question of lack of evidence or the case is completely circumstantial, I might just pull a DENNY CRANE.

However, I am not a lawyer, studying law is just one of a number of my hobbies. I got a lot of time on my hands. I have successfully gotten numerous traffic tickets and “pot” charges dropped. A couple of the traffic tickets I even successfully argued at the pre-trial arraignment hearing. I mean what judge wants the whole courtroom to find out that state is defrauding you and the government is allowing it just for revenue and then have someone tell them exactly why and do it right. Would you like sanctions with your tea Mr. Prosecutor.

• aslan
Quote: ringlejames said:
Yeah I had the bluffs last copy and pasted stiff moved things around and forgot to check read it afterwards. Lol. I played poker when I was like 5-15 just never played hold’em during that time. So the reading people like a book aint bad but I want to go at this like I did blackjack. I thought I knew how to play blackjack but I put all of my THOUGHTS to the side. Doing the same with blackjack.

Thanks for the info guys. Going to pick up Doyles book today thanks.

Like you, I played poker from an early age. Have you ever heard the term, “Quantum leap.” It applies to the difference between draw/stud poker and hold’em. I was good at the former, not a champion, but good, and no one could beat me easily. Hold’em is a different order of magnitude altogether. I have been studying it off and on for a few years now and still don’t feel comfortable playing for any significant money. Confidence is good– over-confidence is a sure recipe for disaster. Take it slow and easy. The books will explain it better than I can.

• ringlejames
Quote: aslan said:
Like you, I played poker from an early age. Have you ever heard the term, “Quantum leap.” It applies to the difference between draw/stud poker and hold’em. I was good at the former, not a champion, but good, and no one could beat me easily. Hold’em is a different order of magnitude altogether. I have been studying it off and on for a few years now and still don’t feel comfortable playing for any significant money. Confidence is good– over-confidence is a sure recipe for disaster. Take it slow and easy. The books will explain it better than I can.

Thanks. When it comes to casino games or any game objected around gambling, I like to start fresh and have no preconceived notions. That includes bluffs and reading tells.

I totally understand where you are coming from though. You could be playing say five card draw and no one in the town can touch you in the long run. But hold’em. Thats another story. A whole lot more luck is needed as well as mathematical ability and the ability to read tells.

Speaking of tells, a guy named Darren Brown has a few papers on forcing tells out psychologically, which pertains nothing to card games or anything like that. More of magicians tricks. But I cant seem to find them. Would be great to use in a casino environment, however best left to the poker games with faily and friends for fun until they don’t want to sit down at the table.

• blackjacktilt

Luck is not key, but a little factor.

Quote: ringlejames said:
A whole lot more luck is needed as well as mathematical ability and the ability to read tells.

Speaking of tells, a guy named Darren Brown has a few papers on forcing tells out psychologically, which pertains nothing to card games or anything like that.

I don’t like the “whole lot more luck is needed” statement, but you are new to the game and you will learn that although short term luck is factor, luck alone will not and cannot beat this game in the long term. The luck factor applies to tournaments moreso than cash games. As far as reading material on tells, google “poker tells” and you will literally find hundreds of books. Matt Hilger, Phil Hellmuth and Mike Caro have the best books available on poker tells.
If I were you (and I’m not), I would focus on starting hands, recognizing the importance of position and betting before I go for tells. After you get the above, learn the math of the game, then move on to tells. Tells should be the last thing you attempt to learn. When you do play, and when not in the pot, pick someone (or 2 people) and study them. Find their tell, try to guess what they are playing and what they are trying to do. It will all fall into place, but it will take a long time. You will progress, then you will be stuck for a while. You will progress some more, then be stuck for a while. It’s a sick pattern and can be frustrating at times. Poker is about the three “P’s”. People, Position and Patience my friend. Good luck.

• ringlejames
Quote: blackjacktilt said:
I don’t like the “whole lot more luck is needed” statement, but you are new to the game and you will learn that although short term luck is factor, luck alone will not and cannot beat this game in the long term. The luck factor applies to tournaments moreso than cash games. As far as reading material on tells, google “poker tells” and you will literally find hundreds of books. Matt Hilger, Phil Hellmuth and Mike Caro have the best books available on poker tells.
If I were you (and I’m not), I would focus on starting hands, recognizing the importance of position and betting before I go for tells. After you get the above, learn the math of the game, then move on to tells. Tells should be the last thing you attempt to learn. When you do play, and when not in the pot, pick someone (or 2 people) and study them. Find their tell, try to guess what they are playing and what they are trying to do. It will all fall into place, but it will take a long time. You will progress, then you will be stuck for a while. You will progress some more, then be stuck for a while. It’s a sick pattern and can be frustrating at times. Poker is about the three “P’s”. People, Position and Patience my friend. Good luck.

Lol. I agree with most of what you said. except the luck part. When I first hought of blackjack. I knew I need luck. Learning basic strategy was all about finding some of that luck. Then there was the learning counts systems. I have found most of the luck I am going to find in blackjack almost. I’m good. Some days I am great hitting up the high end of the standard deviation getting very lucky. Hold’em will be no different. I have to find the luck in my first two cards. Find the luck in probability and odds. Find the luck in proper betting. Finding the luck that reading tells gives you. And more.

I will however be taking it in stride. Not to get ahead of my self and walk in to the game with no preconceived notions. A Study hard for about a year by my self and another 2 or something penny and nicklin it with the friends and fam. All in due time and at its due time.

Being skilled at a casino game is all about finding the luck or wwhat others think is luck. lol My opinion.

• blackriver

Hold em is easy

Many casino gift shops have a basic strategy card for poker like they do for blackjack. If you can’t find it go to where you should always go, wizard of odds (http://wizardofodds.com/holdem). there is a lot of depth to the game, but if you follow basic strategy, DONT try to use tells and keep from going on tilt then you will be a winner in most games spread in a casino. To improve just pay attention when you are not in a hand, be rested, and learn to foster a fun atmosphere so fish will want to gamble, and discuss hands with other regs AWAY from the table, this is important because you should never talk poker strategy at the table. Its always tempting to tell everyone how great you played or bad they played or get a pros opinion about what you could’ ve done better. But it reminds players that this is money and a battle field. any time someone starts talking about strategy you should immediately try to change the subject to strip clubs and golf/fishing.

This is the best out line of how to get good at poker I’ve ever seen. Good luck

• Gamblor
Quote: aslan said:
Confidence is good– over-confidence is a sure recipe for disaster.

Maybe even over-confidence is good in NL Hold-em

Before playing BJ, used to be a more conservative play the odds type player, and basically ground out to even over hundreds of hours. Now that I play BJ more often, what usually happens is I wind up “fleeing” to the poker tables, almost with the intent of just wiling away my time and throwing around my money, and my results have been good. I try to lose and I win!

Poker is an odd game like that.

Before anyone gets too carried away with what I say, I just did piss away 1000 in less than an hour in 1-2 NL no less Poker has less variance than BJ my a\$\$. OK, at least the way I play.

• Dyepaintball12

Watch “Rounders”.

• ringlejames
Quote: Gamblor said:
Maybe even over-confidence is good in NL Hold-em

Before anyone gets too carried away with what I say, I just did piss away 1000 in less than an hour in 1-2 NL no less Poker has less variance than BJ my a\$\$. OK, at least the way I play.

Does bankroll management not lay a crucial part? I wouldn’t play no-limit without less than \$2500. I would bring all of it out at once. Find a table witht that tired tired player that has been playing for a while. That guy you just know is drunk because you just saw him in the lobby. Huh I just saw that guy playing penny slots. That guy has money but he is losing like crazy. I played a few kinds of poker over the years. Finding the weak links and bottom feeders that are just there for “entertainment” cough cough gamblers cough cough. Those ones getting lucky playing for the first few times blushing after winning what is thought to be a huge pot. I can foresee I will be good. It is always the same looking players that lose no matter what game you are playing. I just want to get to that level first to where they wont know what hit’em. Low ballin it. High ballin it. There are many different ways to take money in every game of chance against another player.

Fun Fun.

• blackjacktilt

Whoa

Quote: ringlejames said:
Does bankroll management not lay a crucial part? I wouldn’t play no-limit without less than \$2500. I would bring all of it out at once. Find a table witht that tired tired player that has been playing for a while. That guy you just know is drunk because you just saw him in the lobby. Huh I just saw that guy playing penny slots. That guy has money but he is losing like crazy. I played a few kinds of poker over the years. Finding the weak links and bottom feeders that are just there for “entertainment” cough cough gamblers cough cough. Those ones getting lucky playing for the first few times blushing after winning what is thought to be a huge pot. I can foresee I will be good. It is always the same looking players that lose no matter what game you are playing. I just want to get to that level first to where they wont know what hit’em. Low ballin it. High ballin it. There are many different ways to take money in every game of chance against another player.

Fun Fun.

Bankroll management is huge, so if you only have \$2500 and sit down with it all, you are just silly. This also implies you think you will playing something like \$5/\$10 NL… If you study for a year and play small ball poker for a year and hit a \$5/\$10 NL table, you will get crushed. \$5/\$10 is one of the most solid games out there. You are also talking like you watch too much poker on TV. You have no understanding of how much a grind poker really is. So my advice to you is, just play. Go out to your local casino, take \$300 to a \$1/2 NL game and see how you do. Keep track of your wins / losses, hours played, profit for each session and move up if you think you can. I’m trying to give you advice that I never received. I, like most, had to learn the hard way and it appears you will learn the hard way also. Most players who start out only progress so far because they think they are better than what they really are. Most rely on luck and blame the “stupid plays” that other people make. What they fail to realize is their own play is so predictable, they are fresh fish.

• ringlejames
Quote: blackjacktilt said:
Bankroll management is huge, so if you only have \$2500 and sit down with it all, you are just silly. This also implies you think you will playing something like \$5/\$10 NL… If you study for a year and play small ball poker for a year and hit a \$5/\$10 NL table, you will get crushed. \$5/\$10 is one of the most solid games out there. You are also talking like you watch too much poker on TV. You have no understanding of how much a grind poker really is. So my advice to you is, just play. Go out to your local casino, take \$300 to a \$1/2 NL game and see how you do. Keep track of your wins / losses, hours played, profit for each session and move up if you think you can. I’m trying to give you advice that I never received. I, like most, had to learn the hard way and it appears you will learn the hard way also. Most players who start out only progress so far because they think they are better than what they really are. Most rely on luck and blame the “stupid plays” that other people make. What they fail to realize is their own play is so predictable, they are fresh fish.

I am talking no limit 1-2 with \$2500. Playing to make say \$300 a sit down. Small ball it pairs and 3 card flush or straight after flop going in no more than 3 times pot. Small ball strategy works great if you choose your prey right. But lets not get ahead of our selves. Learn in strides. I been playing other forms of poker since I was 4. With the adults. I just never got into hold’em. I was just mentioning that there are those weak weak players in all forms of poker. It would be wrong for me not to take advantage of these moments. No hold’em for a year or so though on a casino level. Might get into some other ones but for the time being books, good games, and friday night poker. Advice taken. No problems. I just have this thing where leprechauns seem to dance on my shoulders. Reading people is key. Being an empath helps that. Being able to sense other peoples feelings. Very native background. Alright. Im ramblin now. I think its time to watch a movie or two.

1, 4 slugger

• Gamblor
Quote: ringlejames said:
I am talking no limit 1-2 with \$2500. Playing to make say \$300 a sit down. Small ball it pairs and 3 card flush or straight after flop going in no more than 3 times pot.
1, 4 slugger

I have no idea what your talking about as usual, but if you’re implying that you require a \$2500 bankroll for 1-2 NL for a session, that is way too much. I would say \$600 is more than sufficient the way most people play.

As far as poker variance vs blackjack variance, I was being somewhat facetious when I brought up “losing” \$1000 before (not really, playing style is a consideration). In general I would agree yes poker is less variance than BJ – but its difficult to compare since the betting limits are different, its like comparing apples and oranges.

Just from my own personal experience, from hundreds of hours of play in limit holdem vs BJ play, I would definitely say poker is less variance. In limit hold-em, I don’t recall ever more than lets say 3 session where I lost or won. Its usually lose 1, win 1, lose 3, win 2, lose 1, win 2, win 3, lose 2 in a row, etc. In BJ, its quite common where you lose, lets say 7 of 8 sessions, and then win 7 of 8 sessions.

Can’t say I logged in enough hours in NL to form an opinion.

• ringlejames
Quote: blackjacktilt said:
Bankroll management is huge, so if you only have \$2500 and sit down with it all, you are just silly. This also implies you think you will playing something like \$5/\$10 NL… If you study for a year and play small ball poker for a year and hit a \$5/\$10 NL table, you will get crushed. \$5/\$10 is one of the most solid games out there. You are also talking like you watch too much poker on TV. You have no understanding of how much a grind poker really is. So my advice to you is, just play. Go out to your local casino, take \$300 to a \$1/2 NL game and see how you do. Keep track of your wins / losses, hours played, profit for each session and move up if you think you can. I’m trying to give you advice that I never received. I, like most, had to learn the hard way and it appears you will learn the hard way also. Most players who start out only progress so far because they think they are better than what they really are. Most rely on luck and blame the “stupid plays” that other people make. What they fail to realize is their own play is so predictable, they are fresh fish.

I dont need to play poker. I could most likely play blackjack for the rest of my life and make a great living. Oh man. Love it love it love it. Hit up a blackjack win for 3-4k pays six months rent. Have maybe two of them a year. That is pretty much the only big thing I have spent my winnings on.

Learning blackjack the way I play was a grind. I count yes but do more. Love 1 4 sluggs. I used to sit and play blackjack 4 hours a day minimum 16 hours a day max for almost three years. A grind. 4 straight days of playing marathon sessions starting with just \$500. Lost alot won more. Alot smoother now days. May not win as much as fast but dont lose nearly as much as I used too. Mainly because I now use a bankroll with heft too it. Last long. Out last a lot of those small-medium bouts of negative e.v.

Same idea I have for hold’em. Now granted I should probably have the 2500 in my pocket and use smaller banks of \$300 to play with. Instead of just taking it all out. Try to pick up all the players that only got about \$40 or something else real low. And after practice, alot of practice, that over sized bankroll should play nicely in picking them apart. mmmmhhhhhhhh hungrey. Cant wait but it is going to be a good long while. Man here I go rambling again. The math WILL work itself when I get done with it. And then the entrance strategy going after weak willed people. Building confidence and reading capabilitys. This next year is going to be fun. but the one after is going to be so much better.

• aslan
Quote: ringlejames said:
I dont need to play poker. I could most likely play blackjack for the rest of my life and make a great living. Oh man. Love it love it love it. Hit up a blackjack win for 3-4k pays six months rent. Have maybe two of them a year. That is pretty much the only big thing I have spent my winnings on.

Learning blackjack the way I play was a grind. I count yes but do more. Love 1 4 sluggs. I used to sit and play blackjack 4 hours a day minimum 16 hours a day max for almost three years. A grind. 4 straight days of playing marathon sessions starting with just \$500. Lost alot won more. Alot smoother now days. May not win as much as fast but dont lose nearly as much as I used too. Mainly because I now use a bankroll with heft too it. Last long. Out last a lot of those small-medium bouts of negative e.v.

Same idea I have for hold’em. Now granted I should probably have the 2500 in my pocket and use smaller banks of \$300 to play with. Instead of just taking it all out. Try to pick up all the players that only got about \$40 or something else real low. And after practice, alot of practice, that over sized bankroll should play nicely in picking them apart. mmmmhhhhhhhh hungrey. Cant wait but it is going to be a good long while. Man here I go rambling again. The math WILL work itself when I get done with it. And then the entrance strategy going after weak willed people. Building confidence and reading capabilitys. This next year is going to be fun. but the one after is going to be so much better.

Don’t forget to include those \$3-4K losses in your equation. If you haven’t experienced them as a counter, you most certainly will, if I can use your expected, occasional \$3-4K wins as a gauge of your expected betting level. I don’t want to put a damper on your enthusiasm, just want to temper it a bit with a dose of reality learned both from sims and real life experience.

• ringlejames
Quote: aslan said:
Don’t forget to include those \$3-4K losses in your equation. If you haven’t experienced them as a counter, you most certainly will, if I can use your expected, occasional \$3-4K wins as a gauge of your expected betting level. I don’t want to put a damper on your enthusiasm, just want to temper it a bit with a dose of reality learned both from sims and real life experience.

Ahh yes scale is everything isnt it.

• ringlejames

so far between friends, and 14 games using basics never more than a third the pot unless I have one of the top 2 card hands… +\$12. And that is with 5-10 and people going all in.

Before the commitment to learn I would have lost probably everyone of them. Im can now consistently beat 3 of my 5 poker buddies. I would say thanks for the help, but I just did everything I said I woud do. I did not even worry about trying to catch peoples bluff. If I did I am quite sure I could tackle the friend with the twitch. I told him I would not be holding it against him. And that I was learning the game from scratch. and that I was leaving out all the reading people for the time being but I was going to end up taking down his smugg ass and mr. cant beat me at nothing but blackjacks ass

• ringlejames
Quote: aslan said:
Don’t forget to include those \$3-4K losses in your equation. If you haven’t experienced them as a counter, you most certainly will, if I can use your expected, occasional \$3-4K wins as a gauge of your expected betting level. I don’t want to put a damper on your enthusiasm, just want to temper it a bit with a dose of reality learned both from sims and real life experience.

Im not saying I have not lost big money playing blackjack. I have. My most recent loss was for 10k. I had access to a large bankroll, lost most of it to craps and roulette, went to the blackjack tables, picked my entry times, got back all then some, then lost 10k from the bankroll I started with. I am familiar with negative and positive variance. I had to play high risk to get it all back and I continued to play high risk when I lost the 10k. Luckily, I stopped myself before it got worse, and the old lady stopped me from going back. Even though she wasn’t supposed to know I was playing so much.

• AussiePlayer
Quote: ringlejames said:
Im not saying I have not lost big money playing blackjack. I have. My most recent loss was for 10k. I had access to a large bankroll, lost most of it to craps and roulette, went to the blackjack tables, picked my entry times, got back all then some, then lost 10k from the bankroll I started with. I am familiar with negative and positive variance. I had to play high risk to get it all back and I continued to play high risk when I lost the 10k. Luckily, I stopped myself before it got worse, and the old lady stopped me from going back. Even though she wasn’t supposed to know I was playing so much.

Isn’t this the difference between an AP and a gambler who knows how to count cards, but doesn’t do it properly?

• ringlejames
Quote: AussiePlayer said:
Isn’t this the difference between an AP and a gambler who knows how to count cards, but doesn’t do it properly?

That trip I more than quadrupled my starting bank of 70k playing craps. Not that hard to do. The trick is leaving the craps table when your ahead. haha. And I did. I then went to roulette. Got up a lot more but eventually lost a lot and brought my BR down to around 35k. I then decided to play risky. Still counting just doing it my way. Sacrificing my great 1-4% ror by increasing my spread from 1-4 on double deck to 1-12 AT MY COMPS CASINO. In exchange for my sacrifice I more than doubled my bankroll to more than 70k. I then lost my profit plus 10k for the trip loss 10k.

I was still counting still amateurishly shuffle tracking, just increasing my ror, and heat mind you, to work my way back up to what I thought would be an acceptable loss. Well I surpassed my original BR AT FIRST, but because of my high ROR even the slightest bout of negative variance caused a total trip loss of 10k.

I knew exactly what I was doing. I may get drunk and medicate with Indica every once in a while and post things that sound like rants and jumbled incoherent comments and I admit advice. That in no way takes from the fact that I do know what I am talking about, that I do know how to play the game and by you saying that I was not doing properly is unfounded. And to make things clear when I said make risky plays or whatever I posted exactly should in no way indicate that I was not counting right. I increased my ror by severely increasing my spread. But not only did it increase my ror it also increased my standard deviation and overall possible profit.

Thank you, with Respect
RingleJames

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