Poker for Beginners

Types of Play/Player

When reading about poker, you'll hear a lot said about player types. What's also important is types of play, you need to learn when to be aggressive when to play weak, and when to throw your hand away.

Types of Play


Patience is a valuable asset in any poker game, being able to wait for the good hands and fold the bad is a skill that you have to learn. Good players fold early and often, understand when your hand is beaten and throw it away, this will save you much money in the long run.


Don't be afraid to bet, raising a bet can knock out players limping in with straight/flush draws, and the 2 pair that you hold can then remain the winning hand.
Betting for value is important to narrow down the field, and can sometimes win you the hand right there even if you don't think you have the strongest hand.
In a hand where everyone is checking, never check twice, put a bet in on the turn, this bet for value will give you the information as to what your opponents have, and whether you can win the pot.

Slow Play

There are times when you will get that miracle flop and make your flush or your straight in this situation when you know you have the best hand you may want to slow play, avoid betting out straight away as you may scare other opponents off. Remember you want as much money in the pot as possible, if a high card comes out on the turn and an opponent bets out, then raise, you've just hidden the fact that you have them beat, and they may stay till the river and give you even more of their money!

Types of Player

There are two main types of poker player, the Loose player and the Passive player. Loose players take a lot of chances, and play a lot of hands, while tight players, play only the strongest hands, and don't like to take risks.


A loose aggressive player will play too many hands, is prepared to raise before and after the flop, and is hard to bluff. You will need the very best of starting hands to beat them, so play tightly. They will generally win many small pots, but will lose big against you when you have the strong hands. Be careful though, them playing so many hands strongly means you could lose money to an outside shot that pays off for them!


Loose passive players, will play virtually any hand, and will call (right to the river!) with any two cards, they will often lose money by overplaying half a hand. These types of players are often called 'Calling Stations' and you should be able to take advantage of this type of player and make a lot of money from them.


Tight aggressive players are the type you should want to model yourself on. They will play the best starting hands, and raise to get the most money from their hand. They will generally only play the best hands and will play them strongly when they do, they will fold if the odds are not in their favour, and re-raise to force opponents into making mistakes. If you identify this type of player, you don't want to try to bluff them, and if their are many of them at a table, you will be better off finding another table to play at!


Tight passive players know what a good starting hand is and will play them, and very little else, but often do not know how to play on/after the flop. They will check more often than raise, trying to avoid risk and will tend to let in straight/flush draws by not betting strongly. Against weaker players they may do well, but against strong players they will always be outplayed.

Playing Online

When playing Low Stakes online games, you'll get to see all types of player and it may be hard to categorise them, but you'll generally find most players are very loose.
Until you are playing big money games you will always be up against people who are prepared to play ANY two cards, just on the off chance they get lucky (and they often will!) Being a Tight/Aggressive player should mean you can take advantage of the loose players, but I have found it best not to risk all your money, just in case the addage 'Any two cards can win' comes true and your AA gets beaten by 37 offsuit!