1. Welcome to VegasMessageBoard
    It appears you are visiting our community as a guest.
    In order to view full-size images, participate in discussions, vote in polls, etc, you will need to Log in or Register.

Advice for my first game

Discussion in 'The Poker Room' started by boxofbirds, Aug 25, 2014.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. boxofbirds

    boxofbirds High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    806
    Location:
    Seattle
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Was thinking about getting into hold'em, but have never played a live game, only experience with any kind of poker is video poker and various poker-based carnival games like UTH, so other than knowing poker hands I'm pretty green. Learning as much as I can through books/websites, etc, but I feel like it's not really going to stick in my head until I jump in and play. I'm especially confused by how the betting/calling/raising/blinds work. I think a couple rounds will clear that up for me, but I don't like to be the annoying newbie at the table and prefer to know what I'm doing before I sit down. I wish I had friends into poker because I would just play with them to learn, unfortunately I don't.

    Do you think people are going to be pissed if I plop down at a limit game and try to learn? What was your first experience like? Other than the usual etiquette rules, any other advice for my first game?
     
    Trip #12
  2. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2009
    Messages:
    5,749
    Location:
    Burnaby, BC
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    14
    Most of the MGM casinos offer free lessons in the mornings in their poker room.

    Excalibur is a good place to try, as is Luxor and Monte Carlo.

    The lessons aren't really on how to play poker, but more how to play in a poker room: how to buy in, how to cash out, how to get more chips, how to post blinds, what you can do, what you can't do, how the button works, what the games are, how they work, etc. They aren't going to teach you things like "if its been raised, reraised and then raised again by the time it gets to your action then your queen/jack off suit doesn't look very good at all" - you are expected to know fundamentals like rank of hands, what are good hands, etc.

    The lessons themselves don't go on for too long and then when they are over the table becomes live, usually with the lowest limits the casino offers in its poker room, and you can then either get up and leave or stay and play with the others who went through the poker lesson with you. Usually these games are something like $1-3 or $1-5 spread limit.

    Thats a good way to learn and get introduced to playing live poker. After playing for a little bit, whatever you feel comfortable with, you might want to look in to any cheap tournaments or sit and goes that they offer - you can find a few out there for as little as $30-35 to buy in. Those will let you sit there, get comfortable, play when you have something worth playing and not put that much money at risk at any one time.

    And of note: just because people are sitting in on poker lessons don't assume they are stupid rubes that know nothing. Some won't know anything, but some will have a good grasp of the game but never played live before while there might even be some who are OK players and have been playing in poker rooms for years but sit in on the lessons games because they find the new guys easy targets.
     
  3. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,916
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    If it's a low limit game, they shouldn't really care. In my experience, a lot of live poker players are pretty friendly. If you want to practice more though, you can play somewhere like PokerStars for play money. At least you would get the basic mechanics of the game down. I had played online for real money for over a year before playing live casino poker.

    Even with the online experience, I was still very nervous that first time. I also had a rough first hand. Flopped trips on the first hand being in the big blind, end up losing to a runner runner flush. D'Oh! The rest of the day wasn't much better. Lost about $140 in 3 hours, but I still had a good time at least. :) A piece of general advice though is not to play too many hands. This is a leak of many players. At a table of 9 or 10 people, hands like King-8 offsuit are usually not going to cut it.

    Also you happened to make the 7000th post in this forum...:evillaugh
     
  4. nickle

    nickle Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    179
    Location:
    Iroquois, ON, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    People will not be upset with having a newbie at the table. Sit down and don't play the first few hands. Watch the action and join when you are ready. If you play at a limit table, the size of the blinds is named by the kind of game...ie 2-4 limit means that the small blind is $2 and the big blind is $4. This article might help: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betting_in_poker Other posters might have a better (simpler) description. Good luck and have some fun. :beer:
     
  5. boxofbirds

    boxofbirds High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    806
    Location:
    Seattle
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Nice! Do I get some sort of commemorative plaque? :confused2:
     
    Trip #12
  6. boxofbirds

    boxofbirds High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    806
    Location:
    Seattle
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Thanks for the feedback so far. Yes, I wanted to find a local free poker lesson in a Seattle area casino, but no luck. Maybe I'll get a chance to do one of the lessons in Vegas, that sounds like a great way to get a hang of things! (If I can wait until my next trip!)

    I've read a lot about the different betting procedures and how the game progresses, but for some reason it just isn't clear to me, but I think once I actually sit down and see it physically going on it will click. The actually strategy makes a lot of sense to me, it's the mechanics that makes me nervous to plop down and go at it.

    Though it sounds like people wouldn't be too annoyed with me, or maybe even would like take advantage of my newbie status! :evillaugh Wasn't sure if a small tournament or just a low limit cash game would be the best for learning. Either way I don't mind risking the money to get a hang of the game and see if I like it!
     
    Trip #12
  7. chess

    chess VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    1,946
    Location:
    Maryland
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    What about local ? I play poker every Thursday with a group of guys....

    Funny thing is when I goto Vegas i play craps...bj...vp...roulette and never sit down and play poker
     
  8. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,916
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15

    Actually in limit, the game is listed by "small bet/big bet", $2/$4 means the blinds are $1 and $2. Bets on the first two rounds (preflop/flop) would be in $2 increments, and the last two rounds (turn/river) would be $4 increments. No-limit games are listed by small blind/big blind though.
     
  9. Aces and Eights

    Aces and Eights VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2014
    Messages:
    1,121
    Location:
    Southern California
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    100
    On table games you can check the rules of all games on wizardofodds.com. Three-Card-Poker is probably one of the easier games. I think it has about a 5 percent house edge if you play both pair-plus and ante bets the same amount. It's still a little better than 0/00 roulette. The extra side-bets that casinos put out make the house edge bigger.

    In blackjack you can use those strategy cards that tell you what to do for the cards you have against the dealer up-card. The strategy is a little different depending on how many decks are used, when you can double-down, whether you can re-split, whether you can double-down after splitting, whether you can surrender, and whether the house hits on soft 17 or not. Never play BJ where the house only pays 6 to 5 on a blackjack. These games are usually on single-deck BJ in casinos on the strip. Most multiple-deck games (either 6-deck or 8-deck) in a shoe are OK to play. Many casinos are putting in the rules that increase the house edge. Wizardofodds.com has the basic strategy for most of the different-ruled BJ games.

    My first game at poker was at the Venetian on $1/$2 no-limit hold 'em. I got beginner's luck and won $600 at the table in two-hours. You have to be willing to put out all your chips if the time comes when you think you have a winner. If you play long enough, you will learn the odds of winning depending on your cards and pot odds depending on how much is in the pot vs. how much you are betting. Regardless, the low blinds are more fun to play if you're not a serious player. Reminder: Don't put money on the table unless you plan to bet it because it can play for all-in bets.

    Most of all just have fun whatever you decide to play.
     
  10. TheMotherOfAllDBs

    TheMotherOfAllDBs Tourist

    Joined:
    Aug 16, 2014
    Messages:
    19
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    The limit HE games in Las Vegas are pretty tough to beat. You should start with limit, though, because you can't be punished severly for your bad plays, like you can in no limit.

    1. Don't tell anyone you're a virgin. Make it a challenge to act the right way at all times.
    2. Don't do anything unless it's your turn. Acting, including talking, when it's not your turn is extremely annoying and will cause bad behavior in return.
    3. For a beginner, the best strategy is "flop it or drop it." So, e.g. if you play with two nines in the hole, and the flop hits QJ3, if there are a few people playing, someone has likely flopped a pair of queens or a pair of jacks, and it's too hard for you to win, so just fold your hand if it seems like other players are trying to win. I.e. that's a "bad" flop for your hand. But if you play a ten and nine in the hole, and you get that same flop, you have a four card straight, that's a "good" flop, and you should continue to play the hand. This is probably the best way to learn to play well, to segregate all flops into "good" and "bad" depending on which two cards you were dealt. Then play the "good" flops and fold the "bad" flops, usually.
    4. You can practice bluffing by just telling a lie about your hand as soon as it's your turn. It's kind of annoying, so don't do it every time, but do it often. Before you fold or bet or whatever, just lie to everyone about your cards. Sometimes you can be funny by saying "I had suited aces," or saying you also had the exact card from the board in your hand.
     
  11. nickle

    nickle Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2004
    Messages:
    179
    Location:
    Iroquois, ON, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    25
    Right you are. Thanks for correcting. I'm glad someone reads my posts:nworthy:
     
  12. HOUtoLAS

    HOUtoLAS Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2010
    Messages:
    439
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    30
    Flamingo 2-4 limit would be a good place to start. You can watch from the rail and usually see a 2-4 game on the right as you walk up. Almost all chips will be blue ($1) there. If lots of red nickels ($5), then that is no limit. You can watch the limit and see exactly what is happening. Those dealers are also nice enough to help a new player.

    If you sit down, and the dealer button is 2 or 3 to your right side, they may ask if you want to be dealt in or wait until the button passes so you can skip the blinds that round. If you sit down and would be the small blind or button, they would skip you automatically. So, depending where the button is in relation to you, you could be asked something immediately. Some people play every flop, so they would just get dealt in. Others that don't, might wait like me.
     
  13. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,916
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15
    As a new player I would definitely wait for the dealer button to pass your seat. Seeing a few hands in person before beginning to play is helpful.
     
  14. tipdrill

    tipdrill Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2014
    Messages:
    167
    Location:
    NY
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    7
    Just try not to stand directly over a single player, but I agree with Tringlomane watching definitely helps.
     
  15. carolineno

    carolineno High-Roller

    Joined:
    Jan 29, 2013
    Messages:
    791
    Location:
    Boston
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    11
    I think most poker players will be thrilled to have a new player come in. If they're annoyed, they're probably a losing player, and a jerk.

    Most dealers are pretty helpful and will tell you, and even tap in front of you over the betting line, and tell you if you are small blind or big blind. Dealer will also look at you, ask you check or bet, etc, if it is your turn. Don't let them rush you if you need a second.

    When I started, I used to make the mistake of folding my hand when I was the big blind. You're already in the hand and if it is not raised, it is a nice chance to play some crap cards.

    Later, I used to "splash the pot" which is when you toss your chips into the existing pot, rather than just placing them over the betting line. The dealers don't like that. Ugh. Sometimes the dealers complained that they had to reach far and I was just trying to get it in the middle. But in nl I can now see how it is really bad to do.

    Now I just get annoyed and confused when there is a straddle bet, but I don't know if they do that in limit.

    Don't forget to tip dealer if you win a pot! If you just win a tiny one don't bother, a big one, maybe a bit more than the normal $1
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2014
  16. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    2,004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    If you want a nice, laid back game run down to the Stratosphere . Very laid back.
     
    Super Bowl 2017!!!!
    Super Bowl 2017!!!
  17. zamboni

    zamboni VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2012
    Messages:
    2,004
    Location:
    Minnesota
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    8
    BTW, one of the toughest things to playing poker that gets newbies flustered is dealing. You got someone doing that for you so that problems eliminated.
     
    Super Bowl 2017!!!!
    Super Bowl 2017!!!
  18. tringlomane

    tringlomane STP Addicted Beer Snob

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2013
    Messages:
    9,916
    Location:
    Missouri
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    15

    This is a very good point that hasn't been mentioned. Poker vs. most table games has a general habit of the pot winner tipping the dealer at least $1 in most pots that at least has $10 or so. And yeah, bigger pots, people sometimes give $2. I tend to do that if the pot gets in the $100 range for what I play. As a whole poker players tip more consistently than any other game I've seen.
     
  19. dutchvelvet

    dutchvelvet VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2014
    Messages:
    1,123
    Location:
    Wisconsin
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    4
    Be aware that most players will assume a new player plays loose and straight. You can use that to your advantage by paying tight, and looking for good opportunities to bluff or semi bluff.

    I recommend the poker books by Dan Harrington for learning tournaments and Texas Hold'em for expert players for limit.
     
  20. boxofbirds

    boxofbirds High-Roller

    Joined:
    May 23, 2014
    Messages:
    806
    Location:
    Seattle
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    10
    Thanks everyone for the advice! Definitely makes me more confident about jumping in and getting my feet wet at the table!
     
    Trip #12
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.