There are certain interests that can be quite time-consuming. Business and family man Dave Hebeda knows a thing or two about this because he has worked for years to balance his career, home life, and his numerous hobbies.

Dave Hebeda enjoys playing guitar, fishing, and playing poker. All of which take up serious chunks of time, but it’s the latter that is the focus of this blog. Finding time to play poker hasn’t always been easy for Dave Hebeda, but over the years he has gotten better and better at time management and has developed quite the poke skill set.

He realizes that, like many other things in life, poker is something that comes easier with practice and is mostly enjoyed by those who know what they’re doing. But Dave Hebeda wants as many people as possible to share in his love for this competitive card game, so he’s here to share some basic poker playing tips.

Determine what your goals are: The first thing any new poker player should do is decide before playing what your end goal is—are you playing to profit or do you just want to have fun. Answering this question should help determine how much time you want to invest in the game, not just sitting at the table but studying away from the table also.  Today there are many resources at our finger tips to study the game, books, blogs, video that make studying very convenient. Most serious poker players enjoy analyzing and studying their play almost as much as playing the game itself.

Make Good Decisions: Don’t use results oriented thinking.  Even the best poker players don’t win every time and this is important to keep in mind while playing so that you don’t let your current situation affect your game too much. Your goal should be to maximize the expected value of each hand based on experience and the results of your analysis, not luck. You can’t make your next decision based off of past results. View each hand as its own entity and typically that will lead to better decision making and the results will follow.

Understand the Math: Poker, like most card or casino games, is a game of math. However, unlike typical math, poker games have a heavy element of the unknown—or cards that have yet to be revealed. Each hand begins with having to choose whether or not to play your starting hand. Each starting hand has its own statistical percentages of winning and those percentages change as the hand unfolds. If you enter the pot with a better starting hand than your opponents, you’ll win more often than not, but the more you play and study the more you’ll understand your chances of winning in all situations.

Find a Mentor: If you are serious about learning the game, find a mentor or a coach.  They can help you cut time out of the learning curve, provide you with resources to help learn and study the game.  Maybe most importantly they are  somebody  that you can discuss strategy with, specific hand examples, bank roll management etc.  Plus it’s always nice to have somebody you can talk to when your Aces get cracked by 2 7 off.