Do you dream of making it big in the world of poker? Does the idea of competing in the WSOP (World Series of Poker) make your heart beat a little faster? If so, you’ll be pleased to know the life of a poker pro is completely obtainable – if you’ve got the skills that is! Every master has to start out somewhere, and with this in mind today we offer some tips on how to get your start in the world of poker.

Learn the rules

You’re not going to get anywhere without first reading and understanding the rules of the game. Poker masters never stop learning and reading about how to be the best. Before you can get started, you need to do your homework, and learn how the game is played. Remember that this learning process doesn’t just stop the minute you know the rules – you can further your knowledge as you go by studying the strategies of poker’s best players.

Choose a game

There are A LOT of poker disciplines for you to choose from, and if you’re going to commit serious time to getting good, you best choose a game that holds your interest. Texas Hold’em or Omaha Stud? Multi-table tournaments? Cash games? Regular, knockout or rebuy? Sound confusing? The only way to work out where your strengths lie is to have a go at everything all until you find one you want to stick at.

Play online

There are hundreds of online poker rooms for you to dive into when you’re ready to start taking on opponents. Choose one that’s safe, reliable, and that offers the games that you want to perfect. Once you’ve chosen a room that appeals, you’ll need to create a free account – which should take you less than five minutes.

Practice, practice, practice

If you want to be one of the greats, you’re going to have to put some serious hours in. As author Malcolm Gladwell says in his book Outliers, “ten thousand hours is the magic number of greatness.” Play for free while you get to grips with the game. Investing this time at the beginning to really understand the game will play dividends when it comes to live competitions. Try not to be in a rush to compete for money – your time will come, and you’re more likely to be successful when you know all there is to know. We reckon, with real commitment, it takes between six months and a year to become a decent player – commit that time and enjoy every minute of the learning curve.

Play live
It’s one thing playing for money behind the safety of the computer screen – where you can scream and shout and hoot and holler about how good or bad your hand is, but when the time comes to take on opponents around the same table – there are new tactics you’ll have to master, like how to bluff. It’s best to start off playing with some buddies, and work your way up to competing in the big competitions.

Poker is a game of skill, and mastering a skill takes time. If you follow these steps, and commit to becoming the best poker player you can be – there’s no reason why you can’t aim to compete alongside the best at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas in the years to come. Good luck!