You might think that you shouldn’t need any skill to beat a beginner at the online poker tables, particularly if you have a number of months or years under your belt. Unfortunately, just as in any game, luck can play an important role, even if you’re the most seasoned player in the world. That guy who just sat down for his very first hand just might have a royal flush. The odds are against it, but odds are always more than zero in this game.
You already know that you’re supposed to be making your choices on the basis of expected value (Or at least gained some expertise from playing free poker). Sometimes you can have bad luck against a beginner who makes his way to a stellar hand, even though he’s not following the “rules” of how to play. This might set you back occasionally, but if you remember the rules in this article, you’ll take the beginners’ money over time, night after night.
Consider the beginner who plays more hands than he should. You’ll see him doing the same in every poker game they play, showing down such easily beaten hands as K-8, Q-5, or any suited cards. They limp into a lot of the pots and call a raise just because they want to see the flop. They will also do things like calling a re-raise out of position while holding something like A-rag or K-Q. Depending on whether they can fold or are serving as a calling station, here’s how to handle them before the flop.
If they are capable of folding and you have position, raise using a wide range of hands, and bet the flop if they call pre-flop and then check to you. If they call, they generally have a draw or a piece, and you can adjust your strategy depending on your hand.
If they are a calling station, think about limping behind pre-flop with hand that you might raise in other situations in order to keep the pot small. You should not be doing much bluffing pre-flop.
Also, open up the range of hands which you normally would put someone on. You can’t assume that a new player is handling a standard hand for the situation.
What about a beginner who gets committed to a hand? Beginners often show up as table sheriffs or calling stations, so expect them to call bets on all streets that have hands that are easy to beat. Calling all the way with a hand like 8-8 on an A-K-T flop or calling large bets while holding a middle pair are typical strategies.
Never, ever, ever bluff a calling station. They pay you well enough when you do have a good hand. If your hand is strong, keep play rolling, and bet whatever you think they are likely to call. However, when they raise, it’s time for caution because this is often a sign of a strong hand in a beginner. If they have sucked out to nail two pair, this can be deadly.
Using these tips helps you retain your edge over beginners at the poker table. While they might luck out now and then, you’ll rake in the profits over time.
Think what you have what it takes to win free cash? Test our your poker skills at Cafrino, the completely free and legal online poker!