Become a winner - Chapter 1: Introduction
This guide is written by Jelle, a player who went from nothing to a winning player on 100$ no limit by using the techniques and tactics discussed in this article. It will help you to become a winning player on the low limits online.
What follows is intended for players who learned the rules of no-limit texas hold'em but understand very few or none of the strategy in the game, and haven't spent much time playing yet. I will not talk about how you need patience or bankroll management, or what kind of table you should sit down at. I'll be talking about what to do when your cards are dealt. Because no-limit hold'em is such a complex game that features so many possibilities, it's impossible for me to give you advice on how to play each specific hand. Like I said, I'll only be getting you started. If you'd like to start playing but don't know the rules yet, I think you should study the rules first and then play a few play money hands to see if you understand the rules a little bit. Then come back and read the rest of this article.
I'll offer advice only for no-limit hold'em with 9 players. (this is called 9-handed). If you follow all the advice in this guide strictly, you will be a favourite to win money at the lowest stakes tables ($0.01/0.02) on pokerstars. If you stick with it for a long time, you will win. However, the luck factor in poker is much bigger than you may realise. Some players (who I think are stronger than me at poker, I hate to admit it) have had losing streaks as long as 80,000 hands. If you play in a home game with your friends, you will probably play about 150 hands in an evening. At the end of the evening, the guy who won will think he is the best player. Silly, right? Anyway, You will take many unbelievable bad beats. You will take frustrating losses against terrible players, because they get lucky. You will feel as if you are the unluckiest player in the world, and no one can possibly run as bad as you. You will feel an urge to post hands where you got unlucky on this forum, just to seek sympathy. Sadly, no one will care.
The problem with this guide is that I can only give you knowledge. If you get emotionally involved after a big loss and start playing badly, you will be doomed. You may think that staying calm is easy, but if it is, then why can no one do it? I have been off my feet plenty of times, and sadly, you will be too. Make it your goal to prove me wrong! If you can retain your emotional control at all times, you will have the ultimate advantage in poker. You will be stronger than me.
Recently, some excellent books have become available. Since books are most helpful when you are a beginner, I think Ed Miller's excellent book "Getting started in Hold'em" may be the most valuable book on poker available today. If you decide to purchase it, there's no further need to read this guide. I would like to add that the chapter about luck, which is towards the end of the book, should be considered the most important chapter in the book.
Become a winner - Chapter 2: What matters