If you fancy taking the plunge and signing up with mFortune’s No Deposit Poker bonus deal this week, then what as a new poker player should you expect? Well, the first thing you need to realise is that playing poker is unlike other forms of gambling because rather than taking on the provider, in this case mFortune, instead you are taking on one or more other human players.
That change may seem small, but it alters the nature of poker considerably. Unlike roulette, craps, slots or even sports betting where other punters in the room are attempting to get the better of the house, in poker, you need to get the better of the people sat at the table with you. The house just provides you with the place and equipment to do this, but it takes a small cut (called the rake, or tournament fee) as its share.
With mFortune only offering cash table games at the moment, we are going to focus our article on mistakes that can be made at these tables by new poker players who come to the tables not knowing a huge amount about the game, but perhaps blessed with an over-abundance of self-confidence about how they are going to take the other players at the table to the cleaners.
Of course, things seldom work out that way as otherwise everybody would be doing it!
So, here’s our quick list of eight simple tips you can follow when you hit the Cash Tables at mFortune to avoid some simple Rookie mistakes which may save you plenty of cash over time.
Get together a sensible sized bankroll
Your free £5 bonus cash isn’t going to last too long even if you play at just the lowest stakes table, so if you are serious about playing cash tables to make a profit, then starting with a sizeable bankroll to help you through these first few weeks and months (which can be a tough learning experience) is key. You don’t want to go busto as you are learning, so make sure you deposit a sizeable but sensible and affordable amount to fund your poker initially.
Got your bankroll? Good, now be prepared to lose at least some of it.
As a new poker player, you are going to be sitting at the cash tables with other players on mFortune who have been playing for considerably longer and who have more experience, more skill and greater funds available than you. As a new player, you will lose and initially, you are likely going to lose more money than you win. That is absolutely fine though, every new poker player starts off this way and it acts as a good incentive to help you improve your game. Which brings us neatly on to our third tip.
Before you play – Research the game
It may sound like a pretty obvious thing but many poker players sit down at the table with hardly any idea of what to expect in these games. The more you can involve yourself in poker by learning about the key elements, the strategies, the types of players you will face and even the terminology used will all help you sit down with more confidence and greater knowledge than another player starting afresh who does not put in any research about the game beforehand.
Still Before you play – Try a Free Version of cash table poker
Many social media sites, such as Facebook, will offer players the chance to play the most popular forms of poker for free using tokens as the basis for the game. Of course, playing for pretend cash is not the same as the real thing, so you won’t experience the thrill of having your own money on the line in a hand, but playing these free games can still prepare you for how hands will be played and how more experienced players will target newer, more naïve players (who they call donkey’s or fish) to try and part them from their cash.
Ready to play? Always begin on the lowest stakes table
So now you are finally ready to play at the tables and make your fortune, but hold on there, Tiger. Rome wasn’t built in a day and in the same way, you aren’t going to go from having a £50 bankroll to £7m fortune by the end of the week. You need to make your bankroll last as you learn the game as you play, so always start at the lowest stakes table and take just a small proportion of your bankroll (some sites suggest no more than 5% to 10% in any one session) as what you are going to sit down with at the table. So if you have £100 in your bankroll, take £5 up to £10 with you to the table for your first session.
If you play at say £0.01/£0.02 stakes, then your £5 or £10 can last you a decent amount of time, if you play prudently of course, which brings us on to our sixth tip.
Adopt a Tight/Aggressive, Play Poker by-the-numbers approach initially
If you’ve been reading up on a strategy for a beginner, then you will have been told that a tight/aggressive approach is best, which is where you fold most of your hands bar the top ranked hands, but when you do hit a top ranked hand you should be aggressive with it. As a general rule of thumb that is acceptable for a new player (though easily exploitable by an experienced player). This cautious approach is better for you as it means you play fewer pots (so games are less expensive) and when you do play, the odds are more in your favour for a win as you are only playing the premium hands.
Don’t Bluff initially
Everyone has read or heard these mythical stories where someone wins a massive pot by bluffing a top-level poker player with a garbage hand and takes home a stack of cash. The reason these stories are so well-known is because they are so rare. That is because the vast majority of a time, when a player bluffs, they get called and end up looking somewhat foolish and also with a vastly reduced amount of cash available to play with. If you are a beginner, my advice is not to bluff at all initially until you are more conversant with how best you can use this difficult but powerful tactic to its best.
If you run out of cash, end your session
If you sit down with your 5% or 10% of your bankroll for a session at the cash tables but lose all your money, then it can be tempting to think, well if I ante-up again, I could win that back… Everyone thinks that way but unfortunately, as a new player the likelihood is that you will just lose more. Take the hit on the chin, go back and review your performance. Do some more research. Look at the decisions you make in your game and review them. Did you do the right thing? When you start to play, evaluating how you play is a key method you can use to improve. This is done best and more cheaply, away from the tables.