New players have all of the chance in the world to be great poker players. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. It’s just a matter of how bad you really want to succeed. A lot of people come into poker from watching it on television. Unfortunately, that’s a good way to develop a lot of unhealthy expectations about the game. Those players make it easy because they’ve literally played millions of hands. Not thousands, not tens of thousands, not even hundreds of thousands. Millions of hands. Do you have that type of patience in order to get really good? Do you really want to make poker your life to that level? If not, it’s okay. There are a lot of people that play passive, casual poker games and have a good time. We’re not mad at all about this. If anything, there’s a place of every poker player at the table, so to speak. You don’t have to worry that your poker isn’t as “serious” as someone else’s. Even though they might dream about being a professional poker player, that doesn’t mean that you have to think that way at all.
So, what’s the first step? Well, that depends on what knowledge you already have. We think that figuring out what the good poker hand combinations would be is a great start. You have to know what cards to play and which cards to automatically fold. Why? It’s easy — if you jump into any flop, you’re going to be losing money long term. There are just sometimes where you feel tempted to “peek” into the pot when the stakes are low, but this isn’t something that we recommend. It’s better to play tight up to a point, and grow aggressive over time. This is even more the case if you’re going to be playing amongst the same group of players. It’s the best way to honestly make sure that you’re looking at your best options possible without going overboard. That’s just the way that it has to be.
Combinatorics is all about looking at how to quickly work out these numbers so that you can look at the probability of certain hands appearing for you.
Here’s a few basics:
Any two (AK, T5, whatever) = 16 combinations
Pairs (AA, JJ, QQ, etc) = 6 combinations
You can write out the combinations yourself if you really want to see them.