How to crush your friends at your next friendly poker game

playing poker with friends

Home poker games are generally social events, at which the actual act of playing poker isn’t taken too seriously by those involved.

To keep it friendly, hosts usually keep the buy-ins low, so that people don’t get too upset when they come crashing out of the tournament thanks to a cooler or a bad beat. Even though it’s a light-hearted occasion which is mainly about the banter, it is nice to walk home with some winnings at the end. Here are some tips on how to prepare to crush your opponents at the next home poker game you attend.

Home poker games are generally social events, at which the actual act of playing poker isn’t taken too seriously by those involved. To keep it friendly, hosts usually keep the buy-ins low, so that people don’t get too upset when they come crashing out of the tournament thanks to a cooler or a bad beat. Even though it’s a light-hearted occasion which is mainly about the banter, it is nice to walk home with some winnings at the end. Here are some tips on how to prepare to crush your opponents at the next home poker game you attend.

Get tournament experience online

Most of your friends who play poker probably practice and get experience by playing online. To be able to compete, you need to do the same. Online poker provides a great opportunity to play a lot of poker games in succession. By doing this, players can level up their skills much more quickly than they would by only playing in live poker games.

When practicing, it would be best to stick to low stakes games which mirror the investment you will be making in your next home poker game. In these tournaments, players are going to be playing much more loosely than they would if the stakes were high. This means you will have to put the opponents on a wider range. Get used to the types of hands people like to bet big on, and watch out for these draws in your next live game.

Play every hand while the blinds are low

In a home poker tournament, you want to start off with low blinds and agree the times that their value will rise. If you don’t arrange it in this way, the game could go on forever. When the blinds are low, it is best to play every hand you are dealt in order to see a flop. If you play too tight in the early stages, you risk getting short stacked while your opponents develop their wealth.

Later on, when the blinds are higher, you can be more conservative. Wait for the best positions, and then take advantage of being last to act with some big bets no matter what cards you may be holding. Usually, at this stage, everyone will be cautious, and it will be easy to get players to fold pre-flop so you can hoover up the blinds. Of course, if you have a strong hand, try to reel the players in and milk them on the later streets.

Keep the drinking to a minimum

One thing that could be detrimental to your tournament success would be drinking too much alcohol while playing. You may find that after a few drinks your concentration levels start to drop, and you start believing in your gut instincts rather than sticking with the optimum strategy. If you really want to prevail, keep topping up your friends’ glasses while sticking to small sips for yourself.

Playing home poker games can be excellent practice for watching out for tells, and learning to conceal your own emotions. Try not to take them too seriously, but it is always nice to come out on top.

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