The most important thing to understand about poker is that it is not a gambling game. Certainly luck plays a part in it, but then so does it in most aspects of our lives. As various people have pointed out, with games like poker the more you practice the luckier you get, so here are a few tips that might help you on your way.
Firstly you will need to pick one form of the game to specialise in. There are many different types of poker game, but the one that is just about everybody’s online favourite is Texas Hold’em. It is just about the easiest poker variant and you will always find someone who is happy to play it with you. Once you become skilled at this you can move up to some of the more demanding forms of the game and in particular Omaha, a particular favourite with modern professional players.
Next you will need to ensure that you know and remember the rules of the game. If you are at all unsure about these work at them until they are second nature. The last thing you should be thinking about when playing the game is how to play it.
One place where just about every poker novice goes wrong is knowing what hole cards to open on. Most people over-estimate the value of their cards and are happy to play cards that have very little chance of amounting to anything at all. It is far better to play cautiously at first. You might get the reputation of being a tight player, but that is better than the opposite; at least you will hang on to your bankroll.
Naturally you will want to strongly play premium hands such as high pairs, King Ace and Queen Ace, raising pre-flop. But with weaker hands it pays to see what the flop brings before getting in too heavily. Hands such as Ace Jack, King Queen, low pairs such as sevens, eights and nines need to be played with some caution.