Since I can't play online poker, what is the best way to start playing with minimal money at a kennel club?
Play some play money online. Great way to see a lot of hands and get used to some situations. At the lowest levels, the play will be terrible, even compared to a $1/2 or $1/3 live no limit game, but it's a good way to start. As you move up limits in online, you'll get to a point where the game is close to a low stakes live game, not sure exactly where that is.
@Dap Poker I have to disagree with Dap. On any free poker sites that i have seen, people just go all in pre flop and hope to get lucky. There is not a lot of post-flop play. I think you have to do some reading or watching videos and then play. You can start at very low limit games to see board texture and learn to see, not only what you have but what your opponents might have. You can't learn much about bet sizing and such in limit at low stakes so as soon as you are a bit comfortable play the 1/2 NL and start out playing tight and observing other players. Strike up a conversation with someone who seems to have experience and often you can discuss situations and strategy. It takes a while to get used to putting 15.00 or more in pre flop without kings or aces but you will adjust. Work on a bankroll strategy and good luck.
If there is a free bar league in your area, I would start there. Yes the play is not always the best but its a way to meet people who play poker and the easiest way to work on getting comfortable at a table.
@jami16 - I agree there is a lot of terrible play and all in preflop plays in play money online. But, if you go to a big site like pokerstars, you can look at tables that have a smaller average pot size. Those tables are less likely to have as many "all in and pray" players. It's not ideal, but its also a way to start to learn.
Also, really good advice about playing tight and watching and about developing a bankroll strategy. Those are critical to learning the game.
I'll add another. Keep good records. I personally believe that you should record your wins and losses in a spreadsheet. Mine has columns for
Casino I played in
Game I played (Vegas has both 1/2 and 1/3 games)
Notes about the session
*My results are only for the poker itself. If I get a high hand or other promotional bonus, I account for that separately because I don't want that in my win rate calculations. I think it is important to separate those bonuses because you can not count on repeating them. I want my win rate number to be what I win by playing and what I can repeat consistently.
@Dap Poker That is very sound, Dap. I do record my hours and wins and losses and keep tournaments separate from cash but i have included high hands and bonuses but it would be more accurate to keep a separate total for that as it slightly skews cash totals.
Can you play online freeroll tournaments? At later stages the play start to become respectable. Keep in mind the strategies for tournament is different for cash (because you are playing for a prize, not chip value) but it should get you started on the basics of the game.