Poker has always been a synonym for gambling. Many people, including myself, enjoy the sight of green poker tables packed with chips and a bunch of guys around it, playing to win and beat other players. Have you always liked watching the best of the best poker players like Phil Ivey or Doug Polk spilling their magic at various poker tournaments, winning huge amounts of money, wondering what their secret is?
Well, if you have, I am going to give you some advice on poker play that will help you win at this classic casino game more often than not.
Invest Time in Improving Your Skills
The first thing you have to realise is that the gentlemen mentioned above didn’t become poker superstars overnight. They had to play thousands of hands and adopt and reject numerous strategies while improving their playing skills constantly to get to the top where they are now.
The difference between the successful players who win most of the time and all the others is because they have exceptional knowledge of the game. They are fully aware that poker is a highly strategic game and that you have to do the maths and calculate the odds and evaluate the risks before making a move at the poker table. Top players also know their opponents — their main advantage is that they can “read “other players’ actions and predict their next move. If you look closely, you will notice that the major players who usually take the pot at the end never goof around at the table. They spend their time studying their rivals so that they can beat them more easily. To get some insight into who you’re playing against, you should focus on the following:
- If other players are playing aggressively
- If they started tilting at some point of the game
- what hands they usually hold at showdowns
Once you know how your rivals play, you will have all the power over them. So use that to adjust your poker strategy, outsmart other players, and win the pot at the end.
Devise Your Game Strategy Carefully
When it comes to devising a strategy, there are three fundamental ways in which you can play your hand:
- When you have a strong hand, play aggressively or loose to win the game
- Play tight or stay passive to try and win with a weak hand
- Be aggressive to try and make other players fold even though they may hold a stronger hand.
Another factor that sets apart the successful poker players from the average ones is that they see poker as a strategy game in which you have to deal with maths to start improving your game. You have to learn how to minimise losses and maximise winnings. This may sound a bit intimidating, I know, but just try to focus on making the right decisions during the game rather than on the result itself, and you will start winning for sure. You just have to realise that you can’t win at poker every time. If you start playing poker for real and improving your playing skills, in the long run, you can hope that the percentage of games won will be higher than the percentage of games lost.
Now let’s see what poker tips for winning the leading players would give you, based on their experience.
Study the Hands You Want to Play Before the Game
Serious poker players who win big always dedicate some time to studying the possible hands they can play in any poker game. When you do this, bear in mind that the position at the table is essential in choosing how to play your hand or how many hands you should play during one round as well.
The closer you are to the “Button,” i.e., the dealer, the better. The dealer plays last, so he has the best position because he sees other players’ actions. If you sit next to the button, you have the second best position at the table, and you should make the most of it by playing many hands, as well as being assertive in your play. However, you should adjust your play to the position you have at the poker table and not be afraid to impose your gameplay on other players.
Make Your Play Hard to Read
As you can see, one of the major advantages the successful players have over their rivals is that they can “read” their actions and predict how they are going to play. It is essential that you learn how to cover your moves so that other players don’t have a clue how strong your hand is.
Inexperienced and lousy players will have a predictable game strategy. They will play tight when they have weak hands and go loose and often raise when they hold a winning combination. This can work out fine for some time, but if a player continues to play in the same way, their pattern will be seen through, and their winning streak will end.
So to ensure some winnings at the game of poker, try applying the following tips:
- Always determine the amount to which you will raise, and raise to the same amount every time.
- Try staying cool and play both weak and strong poker hands in the same way. In other words, try to make your rivals fold by bluffing.
- Show your hand to others only when you have to. Great players never reveal their hand unless they have to. In this way, your hands will remain a mystery to others. You certainly don’t want your rivals to know more than they have to.
- When you learn to play poker this way, it will be harder for other players to work out your gameplay, and it will be easier for you to win the game.
Choose the Game Wisely
If you look closely, you will notice that most of the greatest poker players opted for a single poker variant and became the best in it. So choosing the game carefully is an important step that can lead you to victory.
These are the things you should pay attention to when picking a perfect poker game:
- You should check if there are any players that you know at the table. I have already mentioned that knowing your opponents is a massive advantage.
- Whether the table is packed with excellent, average, or lousy players.
- What the overall style of the current game is — whether it’s a loose or a tight game.
- Finally, you should always find out what the rake for a particular poker game is.
You should always leave your ego aside when trying to decide what poker game to play and who to play it with. You have to be aware of both your skills and experience to become a winning player. If the table is packed with seasoned players, don’t go there just to prove you can play them. You will end up empty-handed and frustrated.
You may be the fan of Texas Hold’em or Omaha, it really doesn’t make a difference, if you follow these tips you will start winning in a long term