With the economy down, the job market in trouble, and fuel prices rising, more and more people are turning to online casino and poker to try and earn a comfortable living, or to at least fill in the gaps. This is of course great for casinos, who are used to taking money from people that think they make money without playing practice poker first.
On the other hand, if you’re reading this there’s a good chance that you’re hoping to pick up a trick or two so that you don’t end up prey to the casinos, and perhaps, make a bit of money on the side.
The good news about poker is that the casino actually doesn’t have as heavy of an influence on the game as you would think. Since poker isn’t actually a game that’s against the house, the casino makes money on the rake, which is essentially, commission on the pot.
In other words, the more people play, the more the casino makes, which is great for everyone involved.
The first thing to do, if you’re going to practice poker, is decide how much money you have to work with. This is called a bankroll, and most experts recommend that you put no more than 5% of your bankroll on the table at a time, and have enough to make at least 300 big blinds (BB).
This means if you’ve got $5,000 to play with, then you should only take $250 to the casino with you, and play games around the $1 big blind mark. It sounds small, but when you’re playing for a few hours, the money can go quickly.
The next thing to do in practice poker is to learn when to play loose, and when to play tight. If you fold every hand, then you’re going to have a hard time making money, so you’ll need to get comfortable taking risks. This doesn’t mean you should bet or go all-in often, but that you have to be in it to win it.
Lastly, the key to practice poker is not to play free, but to play for money at low stakes. You can’t really learn how to play well until money is on the line, and your palms are sweating a bit. People act much differently in free games than they do in money games.
From here, you should be ready to hit the casino and play around a bit. One word of caution though, don’t take that 5% of bankroll until you’ve been playing for a while and have found a rhythm.