The World Poker Tour reports there are 100 million poker players across the globe. Pokers’ popularity continues to grow, and here are a few reasons why you and everyone else is hooked:
- It requires skill: Poker takes strategic thinking and focus. Professional poker players spend years practicing and perfecting their game to win tournaments. This is exciting for players who value games that reap a reward based on their efforts.
- It’s sociable: Poker games in-person and online offer many opportunities to socialize. Friends, family, and strangers congregate to enjoy the game. And, of course, win.
- It’s accessible: Poker is now open for everyone to play online. Meaning players no longer to attend the casino to play. And the worry of getting enough poker players to attend a games night is no longer a concern. Online poker allows people to play when and where they want, with millions of people worldwide.
Each player has their reasons to improve. Some have set their sights on earning a World Series of Poker bracelet one day and becoming the next Doyle Brunson (the 10x WSOP bracelet winner).
Others are more concerned with simply beating their sibling.
Whatever your reasons might be, the below tips are here to help you get better and start winning at poker.
Study poker books
Increasing your understanding of the game will work in your favor. From learning the lingo, Poker Hand Rankings, and mastering the mental element. While also gaining a better understanding of the different types of strategies players use to win.
Here is a sample of various poker playing styles you will come across through your studies. Some of which can be combined:
- Tight: This play is for cautious poker players, who take fewer risks and play fewer hands.
- Loose: Confident players who fall in opposition to those with a ‘tight’ playing style. Often playing more hands and risks.
- Aggressive: The aggressive approach is a style many poker players adopt. Particularly if they’re advanced, to put other poker players under pressure. Aggressive play entails large bets and lots of them. Which often intimidates other players to fold.
- Passive: The passive playing style reveals those who bet less and observe their competitors. At the same time, letting them dictate the game. Each bit of poker material you read will improve your performance in poker.
There are plenty of books you can pick up at the library, bookshops, and online stores like Amazon. Here are a few suggestions:
- Power hold’em Strategy – Daniel Negreanu
- Poker for Dummies – Richard D. Harroch
- The Mental Game of Poker – Jared Tendler
- Play Poker Like The Pros – Phil Hellmuth, Jr.
- Doyle Brunson’s Super System
If you’ve played poker a few times already, you may have noticed a typical style you tend to use. Realizing other poker play styles gives you the chance to adopt new approaches that could benefit you in different games.
Practice, practice, practice
Alongside reading up on poker, spend as much time as possible practicing. There’s reason to believe that it takes 10,000 hours to master a subject or skill. But that’s not taking into account that each person’s ability to grasp new concepts varies.
Alongside joining in paid poker tournaments and contests, use free programs that allow you to play against the machine and people worldwide. Becoming accustomed to the game’s ways through ongoing practice will give you more confidence and enhance your skills.
Make poker friends
If your immediate family and friends don’t seem too interested in poker, fear not! There are millions of people online forming poker groups and forums that you can join.
One of the best ways to improve your poker game is by learning and practicing with others. Discussing books, tactics, and so forth will give you the edge in your upcoming poker games.
When you begin betting money in poker games, it’s essential to be mindful of how much money you have to spend.
Setting a budget of “fun money” to play with — and sticking to it — will prevent you from dipping into other income. It’s an essential part of becoming a great poker player online.
It’s impossible to win every game, and sometimes it’s best to accept a loss, learn from it, and move on.
If you go over the budget you’ve set for the game, you will begin to tarnish your poker experience — and may start to resent poker.
Plus, when you win money from a game, you plan to play. You don’t have to play poker again straight away. But you could use a part of your winnings for your next poker game. This will save you from using money from your income.
Keeping your mental health in check
While poker isn’t a strenuous game, it can do a number on the mind. With the need to remain focused throughout and avoid distractions. While also analysing your competitor’s potential hands. There’s a lot to take in, process, and act on.
It’s essential to keep your cool in poker and maintain a clear head to ensure you can think straight. But sometimes, this is easier said than done. And you could find yourself getting a little frustrated during a game. Frustration is one emotion that can hinder your thought process and actions and lead you to lose.
Learning how to free your mind of any distractions and worries is essential during poker. You can practice this through meditation and breathing exercises.
Our minds are influential in the sense that a simple negative through can throw off your game. Self-doubt can settle in and impede your decision making. And the fear of losing may force you to make hasty decisions.
But, maintain a clear head, a relaxed attitude, and divert all your energy into playing the game. And you’re much more likely to succeed.
Poker is an exciting, thought-provoking game that you can spend your whole life learning, practicing, and perfecting.
But, amongst all the poker play, strategy talk, and practice, you must take a step back now and then to recharge. Space away from the game is as beneficial sometimes as practicing and studying. This will also let your mind to process previous games, content you’ve read, and discussions you’ve had with your new poker friends, giving you a better shot at successfully applying it to your future games.