Toasty's Beginner's Guide 1 - Getting Started
So, you've decided to play for real money online and make some easy money.
If you have never played for real money before, don’t make the mistakes almost all new players make when they begin playing for real money. They are:
Finish watching the WPT, make a deposit online, and jump straight into a NL ring game. Two things will happen if you do:
One - You will lose money right from the get go. Or, two, which is worse, you will get lucky and
make a lot of money, become over-confident, and then lose it all.
Number Two is a bigger problem than number One, as the new player will be on a good run
moving quickly up though the limits getting luckier and luckier. It’s not unheard of to
hear a player going from a $50 deposit to $3000 in just a few days from over-risking their bankroll.
This gives him the illusion that he is a great player who has some natural skill to the game,
and when they go bust they think they must have gotten unlucky. The reality is, of course,
that their luck ran out. This is where one of two things can happen - they do some research and realize they were very foolish, or re-deposit under the illusion of greatness and lose more money.
Another problem for new players happens to those who have played a few years at B&M (Brick and Mortar) casinos. They have usually never read a poker book, have probably broke even, or had equally good nights and bad nights at the casinos.
They approach online poker feeling superior “heh, I’ve played in live games, these Internet chumps won’t know what hit them”. The reality is that the competition is actually tougher online, with many of the experts agreeing that the 0.5/1 2/4 5/10 limit games play like the live 2/4 5/10 20/40 games. They jump straight in with as little as 100BBs (Big Bets i.e. at 2/4 Limit $400=100BBs) and proceed to go broke.
This is when you hear players complain about fixed sites and strange flops. Online games run a lot faster than their real life counter parts. Being dealt around 80 hands per hour and playing 2 tables at once can equate to playing 4 live hours in a casino. Also they fail to realize that they are usually playing looser than if they were playing in a live game - it’s easier to click call than it is to say “Call” and showdown a hand that would cause embarrassment. Online games for the most part are also very aggressive compared to live games and a different approach is usually needed.
With FlopTurnRiver.com attracting so many new players who are new to online poker I decided to write a start up guide to playing online from the initial deposit to moving up in stakes.
This guide has been designed to be used in conjunction with Tyson Tanaka’s no limit strategies, you could call it a warm up plan. Once you have undertaken the following steps you should have the discipline/knowledge and confidence to sign up at
Once signed up you can then begin to put Tyson’s strategy into practice and you too will be saying “Making Money is Fun”.
New Players & No Limit Texas Hold’em
Before you make your first deposit I would suggest playing the “Play Money” tables. Both
have some excellent play money games. This will also give you the software you need for a later date when you are ready to make a cash deposit.
Now the danger of playing play money tables is discipline - “heh, its not real money I’ll call.” Guess what - you're never playing for real money, it's always going to be plastic chips and graphics with numbers on them.
These might have monetary value but all you are doing is picking up bad habits that will hurt you later in your poker career.
Your goal at the play money tables is discipline - use Tyson’s strategy until you start feeling comfortable playing certain hands in certain positions. You’re main goal is this - “Get used to folding a lot of hands”. If you are playing almost every hand you receive,
you are wasting your time at the “play money” tables to the point of doing more damage than earning valuable experience.
Once you feel you have a grasp of the strategy and have been smashing the play money tables, it's time to make a deposit. But first (there’s always a but at FTR especially if you have ventured into the forums and seen some of the members avatars),
you should start building a nice collection of poker books. The first I would recommend buying is
it’s a great book to start you off on the right foot and covers a lot of concepts for texas holdem. Make sure you have started studying this book before you make your first cash deposit, you will find it to be a huge benefit.
There are two ways you can make a cash deposit:
If you are in a position in life that $250-$500 is not going to break the bank you can make a deposit in
and jump straight into the $25 NL tables.
Before you do this, the following articles will be very helpful to you.
Table Selection Strategy
Post-flop Strategy - Pot Odds
Charts - Starting Hands
Charts - Pairs and Overcards
Charts - Outs and Pot Odds
It's important you don’t deviate from the TT strategy if you get dealt AA or KK and think you should move all the chips in, then that’s what you should do.
Don’t play scared because its real money.
It’s important when you first start playing to post as many hands you are unsure about in the Poker Forum
to get feedback.
The FTR resident experts will happily give you there advice on how you played the hand vs how they would play it. This is a great way to benefit from a more experienced player as they have usually been in similar situations a lot of times.
If you can’t afford to risk this much on your first deposit there is a cheaper way.
and download their software, you can make a deposit for as little as $50 and start playing what we like to call “Penny Poker”. They have real money games as very low stakes including 0.02cent 0.04cent games. Find the lowest NL game you can and begin building real money experience.
Now I know this might not be much fun but playing in a $25 NL game with only $50 is only going to make you broke, you might get lucky but the odds are against you. Most of the players here stick to around a 10-20 buy-in limit for No Limit ($25 * 10=$250) this allows you to have some bad luck and still have enough to win money.
If you lose all of your money when you are running bad, you can’t win lots of money when you are running good.
If you are willing to put money in, it’s worth spending money on decent
I myself own around ten poker books and I don’t regret buying any of them.
Some of the information may overlap, but the different viewpoints given are sometimes an eye opener.
Mainly written with limit poker in mind, almost all of the concepts have meaning to no-limit play also.
This is probably the best book to buy for your second, after HPFAP, although quite complex,
if you read and participate in the FTR forums the book will start to make sense. You will probably
read this book 5-6 times before you grasp all of the content, with each re-read increasing your
poker knowledge. This new knowledge can then be put into practice on the tables.
There is no substitute for good old-fashioned experience.
Although on televised poker tournaments bluffing seems a big part of the game,
it is actually only a very small part of the game. You can bluff, but once caught,
you are more likely to have your next bluff called. This can work to your advantage if
you ensure the following times you have a good hand.
You can also semi bluff, that is to bet on a good draw hoping to win the pot outright.
If you are just beginning your poker career, I would try to avoid bluffing all together
until you have a better grasp of the game. A lot of the time, especially at the very low
stakes, the best hand is seen at showdown.
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