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How to Play Poker for Beginners in 2022

927 Views on 6/7/22

Online poker is a very different challenge to what we saw a couple of decades ago

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Online poker is a very different challenge to what we saw a couple of decades ago. The landscape has changed beyond what we thought possible and is a much tougher environment than before.

That’s not to say that old articles that teach how to play poker cannot be useful, it’s just that new players really need to be aware of what it really takes to succeed at the game in 2022.

Different Game?

So what has changed? The introduction of GTO solvers is the most groundbreak shift that we have seen in the last decade, changing forever the face of how we should learn to play the game.

Whether or not this change is positive or negative depends depends on the outlook of the player. Opinion is split, for sure.

On one hand, if a student can learn from a coach how the solver recommends to play, then the rest becomes a matter of putting the hours in rather than banging your head against a wall to come up with a sophisticated strategy of your own.

This shift has made poker more a game about working hard over talent. The great thing about this is that most players now have the tools available to play poker at a decent level if they have sufficient motivation.

It’s not all about poring over solver outputs though. A beginner should always have solid fundamentals and an understanding of how to think through a hand.

Learning how to think in terms of hand ranges instead of single hands is still the number one difference between a beginner and intermediate player. It’s not easy at first, for sure, but getting to grips with this concept from the start of your poker journey is a smart move.

It All Starts with Pre-Flop

A solid pre-flop game is also essential for breaking out of the beginner ranks. With this comes an understanding of position and how crucial it is to becoming a profitable player.

All players should strive to memorise default opening ranges and how to respond to each possible action in front of them. This brings a good level of confidence to a new player making sessions feel much more comfortable.

In fact, sorting out the pre-flop game should be enough to stop a complete beginner from haemorrhaging money at the lowest levels, removing any anxiety to play for fear of not knowing what to do.

Solid fundamentals are still a beginner’s first port of call. Pot odds, implied odds and reverse implied odds should all be second nature after the first few months of playing. Couple this with always having an idea of how to play pre-flop and then concentrating on getting maximum value from good hands and not getting married to bad hands will get you off to a great start.


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