Rules for Your First Live Poker Tournament

May 1, 2013

Anyone visiting a large casino for the first time, is expected to be nervous, not because of the game, but because of the stressful poker room environment. There will be hundreds or sometimes over thousand players in the room. All of them secretly wish to send you back early. The first tournament experience can be really daunting.

Some players will be very serious, and may not even smile for the duration of entire tournament. The tense atmosphere in the room could be sufficient for some players to crack. Keep your chips safe if you want to survive. A stack of healthy size can make you feel confident. There’s a difference between wining and playing to make money. Know your goal, since the goal you choose determines how you play.

Keep your chips safe

You need to protect your chips in the best possible manner. When you conserve, you have a better chance in the pots with legitimate possibilities of winning. A lesson most poker players know, but easily forget, is that your thought about the game makes the difference. If you think you will be beaten, you will. Additionally, you need to pay attention if someone at the table is stealing blinds. If it is the button that is stealing blinds then you should protect your blinds.

In fact protecting your blinds is really important, just like other chips you have in the stack. If you think the player only steals, the right strategy for you to follow is re-steal. This way you can protect your blinds. You can also at the same time collect bets. They will be compelled to re-think, before the thought of stealing from your next orbit comes to their mind. There may be some limpers, after which you find the button raising. In such a case, don’t try to re-steal unless there is a legitimate monster. In such a scenario, the chances are that you get called or you get pushed on. The first priority for you should be to save your chips. Only then should you think of re-stealing or stealing.

Concentrate on your stack size

You must focus on your stack size to survive in the game. Don’t get blinded to nothing or almost nothing. You will otherwise find yourself in a very poor position. In order to keep your stack size healthy, it is recommended to take risks. It will help you avoid a situation where you get so low that you have to take a risk anyway. The reason is quite logical, if you are little behind the chip average, a coin flip may give you a win with a little above the average. However, if you are grounded down far behind average, a coin flip may make you win with same odds but you still end up with under average chips. So your stack moves up, yet is low and way behind average.

One coin flip gives you 50 percent probability to win, but two coin flips brings down the average chance of winning to 25 percent. So, when you allow yourself to get grounded low, your risk level goes up twice in comparison. You need to play tight, save chips, and turn aggressive when you see chips getting low in comparison to blinds. What is being said here does not apply in case of other raises. It is good to raise with a decent hand, so as to steal and yet have a fair chance of winning, if a call comes. In the later stages of the game, calling pre-flop may not be good. You may raise or fold. If you are very low, you may push or fold.

Concentrate on the rules of the game and keep your goal clear

It is important that first-time players know all the rules. Most amateurs fail to understand or forget the rule on oversized chip. According to this rule, if you throw an oversized chip that is worth $100, while the bet is only $25, it is construed as a call if you have not said the word “raise” first. First-time players invariably make this mistake. As a thumb rule, if you do not want to commit any mistake, it is recommended that you verbalize the action you intend to make. The tournament has a blind structure, which you should know. In case the structure of the game turns out to be aggressive, you may be compelled to take strong moves.

This information may be supplied to you, if you request for it. It could also be printed in some places. You will also do well to understand that most players are in the same boat as you. They might be amateur, casual, or first-time players. You don’t need to worry, if you know how you should play the game. So, the best strategy is to play as well as you can, and enjoy. If you enjoy the game irrespective of the results, you will enjoy the win as an added bonus.