If you look at poker on a general level, you could say that it is not a good behavior to “destroy” new players.
It is in fact an unsportsmanlike behavior, not polite and it could cause you to receive some glances from other players, but at the green table there are no more or less experienced players, only opponents.
In addition, beginners are very unpredictable, and if you can’t put them on the corner, they can be the first to throw us out of a tournament.
So without being too moralistic let’s just see what are the best ways to leverage an opponent’s lack of experience. In the following article, we will take a look at 8 tips for playing with new players in a friendly No-Limit Hold’em environment, as if you were playing at someone’s house.
# 1 Categorize your opponents
Starting from the lowest level of play it is possible to distinguish poker players in two distinct categories: frightened or dismissive.
It is very simple to distinguish them in a short time. A frightened player will call frequently and fold on most raises. He will not try to enlarge the pot and will rarely open by betting.
On the contrary, contemptuous players will make raises that are sometimes crazy and with weak cards.
It will be necessary to employ a very different strategy against each style of play. Against “frightened” players you may want to bet aggressively and consistently by getting them out of the game. It is important to pay attention to their raises, as in most cases they may be holding something.
On the other hand, if you play with “contemptuous” players, it is important to take full advantage of your most important hands. It will be possible to place bets of a certain size when you have good copies.
Did you notice that another good player sat at the table? Well, what you need to do is simple: avoid playing against him or her. Don’t act like idiots.
# 2 Aim … A lot
This is a difficult concept to learn for new poker players who have become accustomed to an endless series of royal flushes against poker during televised events and major movie scenes:
Most of your hands will certainly not be incredible starting hands like Aces or Kings, as they are very rare starting hands.
Most beginners (especially players considered “scared”) will simply drop their hands after the flop in case they haven’t hit a good point, which means you will have the opportunity to bet on practically any flop.
Going one step further it will be possible to raise with any hand. Most players at the table will be confused as to how it is possible that you continue to have good hands.
Here is another fun and winning trick to bet that you can use against players with very limited experience: make a minimum bet on the River.
New poker players normally don’t understand the concept of pot-odds, and failing to fit their plans will simply drop against any bet.
This means that it will be possible to bet 10,000 or 100 with the same result. It is a low risk tactic that offers great results.
# 3 Take advantage of the bad understanding of the Ranking
This will only work with people who play poker for the first or second time. Knowing your hand rankings and texas holdem points is a really big advantage.
In fact, there are some common misconceptions that people tend to make when they are learning poker.
The most common mistakes are:
A Tris beats a Double Pair (new players think that the Double Pair can have a higher value because it uses four cards … Or something similar).
The Color beats the Ladder (the ladder simply seems like a better and more difficult point for new players to get)
Higher cards are critical in one suit (self-explanatory).
How could you take advantage of this? You will have more chances to get paid when you get colors or tris and at times you will be able to deduce what your opponent thinks he is holding. In this case you will have to bet according to the situation.
# 4 Punish players who keep calling
The whole game of online poker can be traced back to three simple choices: bet, call or fold.
New players love to call. This is a fact.
They see this action as a low-risk way of staying in the hand and avoiding sometimes embarrassing difficulties.
The basic idea of this concept is that when the River is dealt they can always play safely and let go of the hand.
If you have a high pair, simply punt on each card. This is because new players have absolutely no idea of the size of the bets and consequently you can also make large bets, probably around 75% or 100% of the pot.
Another trick to use is to use chips with a smaller denomination so that your bet appears as small. Experiment with this trick to see how it works best.
# 5 Be aware of aggression
It is rare for a new player to start the action with poor hands. It is not impossible, but it is rare.
If a relatively new player bets heavily pre-flop it is easy to deduce that he has a good hand – or at least a decent hour (a pair or some cards that appear of quality).
Normally you will simply have to let go of your hand.
# 6 Use the basics of math
There are many ways to use math principles to derive value from your opponents’ game and optimizing your bet size is a concept that most new players simply cannot understand.
They won’t be able to understand that sometimes it’s possible to call a 3X raise with J-T but calling a 10X raise pre-flop with the same hand could be a perfect recipe for disaster.
As a result, you can make big bets with your best hands.
On the other hand, new players will make mini bets frequently and then call, call, call and call again while entering the game trying to win an attractive “family pot.”
A raise in this situation can always be advantageous, you could get incredible percentages even when you call with a weak hand. 7-5 isn’t that bad when you’re risking a small amount to win a big pot.
Also, if you get a good flop, you have a good chance that someone else has stuck something. It will thus be possible to make the most of this situation.
# 7 Pay attention to body language
This is a basic concept, but one must remember that the basic rule of poker psychology is that people tend to be more comfortable when they have good hands.
You will notice quite frequently that novice players will show greater confidence and will be more conversational when they have good hands and will be more relaxed when this situation does not occur.
Obviously when a player of this genre is really calm it could be a bluffing situation.
This does not work 100% of the occasions, but it is a basic technique that can help you in case you are playing with really novice players.
Here are another couple of tips to watch out for when you are confronted with real novice players to track down their poker tells.
Checking the starting cards indicates in most cases that players are checking the suit of their cards again.
If a player looks directly at his stack after the flop this can be a sign of his hand strength.
# 8 Check your opponent’s stack
When people are just learning how to play poker they will get excited about even a small win.
Consequently, if someone entered the table with $ 20, leaving the table with $ 30 can be considered a big win.
How can this help you? Sometimes you will notice that extremely new players start handling chips by fixing them when they are preparing to leave the table. This is called the “loss threshold stack” (dividing part of the stack that you can afford to lose) for lack of a better term.
It is acceptable for them to lose this specific amount of chips, but not a penny more. If you can understand this “strategy” you can simply raise the bet by raising strongly. This is very simple money to earn!