What would you answer be?
You’d probably say, “Oh, 30 minutes tops.”
Indeed, learning Texas Holdem is not hard. The basics are quite simple as all poker basics are. However, mastering the game? That’s completely another story. For some, mastering the game could take a couple of months.
These people are extremely lucky. They probably have a natural knack for the game because for most people, mastering the game would take their whole lifetime.
A Tip for the Beginner
For novices, the wisest advice that anyone can give is to be patient. Contrary to what you might think, you don’t have to play every hand to win a Holdem. Sit tight and study your opponents, watch their moves, take note of everything – from facial twitches, hand tremors and other body movements. A useful tool for the newbie is a poker calculator.
When a player is playing loose, that gives you a clue that it would be difficult to bet a loose player out of a hand. You should be wary, however, when your opponent is a tight player, chances are he would only play if he is holding tough hands to beat.
Reading Your Opponents Right
Again, it would be a great idea to watch your opponent carefully. Take note of how they play the game. You would know if a player is a tight or loose player depending on how he would react when you raise his bet. If you think that a player is a loose player, here are some things that you have to know to have the upper hand against a loose player:
A loose player would bluff his way throughout the whole game. Take note of how a particular loose player reacts on calls, bet raises, flops in each round. Predictably, a loose player does not have great control of his game and would react in the same manner that you have previously observed. This would give you an automatic edge over a loose player.
A tight player, on the other hand, would be a little bit harder to beat. They are always on-guard and are very good at mental games. They would be very careful about revealing too much. Their game is usually getting the large-term prize. It is only at the later rounds that they would employ all means to raise the bet and take it under your nose.