Choosing a Poker Table

Before you even think about how you will play a particular hand you need to first decide which type of table to play on. Learning to read the table and the game being played on it is a critical aspect of poker, and can be a major factor in determining your success. Your first choice will be deciding whether to play Limit or No-Limit Holdem. The right choice will depend a lot on your style of play and is something that will become more apparent to you as you play more poker. But as a beginner it is highly recommended to start out on a Limit table. As the name implies there is a limit to the amount you can bet, which means there is little chance of you losing your whole stack on a single hand.

Another aspect to consider is the stakes of the table. That is, how much are the big and small blinds. You need to find your niche with regards to your budget. Most rooms offer tables with blinds ranging from a few cents all the way up to a few hundred dollars. Generally you will need a budget ten times that of the small blind to be allowed to join a table. Though, this will be considered as being ‘short stacked’ and aggressive players can use this to their advantage.

If you’re a complete beginner, it is recommended that you practice on the play-money tables initially, just to get comfortable with the game. It is important to note that the pace and risks taken on the play money tables don’t transfer exactly to the real money tables. It’s only natural to assume people are more careful when playing with their own money.

Once you do decide to join a real money table, don’t just jump right in. It’s perfectly fine for you to sit-out the first few hands and observe the game. Make a mental note of the average pot sizes. Which players are aggressive and which ones are more passive? It might be a lot to take in for your first game but it’s a good habit to get into. If the average pot sizes are small it might pay to be on the slightly aggressive side, and vice versa.

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