As a new-to-RP player, what should you do first? Let’s presume you’ve already set up your profile and gone to a ring table.
Before you even sit down at a table, you might want to observe a few live hands. Click a table to open it and watch the action. Some players treat the game as a boxing match to the death. For others, it’s like a chess game in the park on a sunny Saturday afternoon. Find a game that seems to match your hopes and expectations. Join the waiting list or click an empty seat to play immediately.
You’ll have to decide how much to invest. As a general chip management rule, you’ll want to play at a stake level that puts no more than 5% (one 20th) of your total bankroll (all your currently existing chips) at risk in a single game–not per single hand, unless you expect to be broke quickly. Many experienced players will risk far less than 5% at a single game, though it depends largely on your comfort level with risk. Players just beginning may want to start a little higher, like 10%, but that does increase your risk of being busted. My advice would be to treat the chips as if they were real cash (they aren’t, of course, they have NO value in any currency on Earth). If you treat them as worthless, you disrespect the game, the other players, and yourself.
As play progresses, watch what the other players’ habits are. If Player J raises every bet, he’s likely overly aggressive. Dodge him by folding when your cards are weak, reraise him only when your cards are extremely good. Every player is different. They’ll do things for their own reasons that may appear to make no sense.
Expect strange things to happen at the table, especially if you’re used to playing a family home game. In a home game, you might see 20 to 30 hands per hour. Here, with the computer doing the dealing, you may see three or even four times that many deals in an hour. So it will look like there are a lot more “big” hands. That’s an illusion caused by the speed of the table action.
The most important thing of all, though, is to have fun. That’s why we’re all here. Good luck at the games!
What other advice should we offer new players?