5 Tips to Play Poker Like the Pros
Playing like the pros is something you thought about doing yourself. But, how do people get to be professionals? In the case of poker, it takes a fair bit of dedication, trying – and no guarantees that you would actually succeed. You can be a decent player, of course, but breaking into the seven-figure prize pool territory is hard.
After all, there are many decent, talented, and hard-working players you are going to go up against for a chance to win. Today, we are going to give you five pieces of advice that will help you really bring your A-game next time you hit the green felt – whether online or in person at a physical venue. Without further ado, here are five sound and time-tested tips to follow if you want to improve your poker game and play better with each hand you are dealt.
#1 Take It in Stride
Poker is a game where you are going to be losing – a lot. There are some players who take every loss a little too hard as if it were the ultimate proof that they are not much good. Others still have a bit too much ego which interferes with their decision-making process and long-term success.
This is why it’s important to remind yourself that you need to be losing in order to learn something. More importantly, you need to take your losses “in stride,” meaning that instead of ascribing too much significance to them, you need to study the reasons why you lost a hand – or a game.
Basically, you want to take a read of the situation and see what you could have done better. It’s important to not just clock in many hours of playing poker but to actively work towards improving yourself. Before you do, though, you need to break away from the idea
#2 Make a Real Effort to Learn
The next thing that you need to consider when trying to play better is to ask yourself if you are indeed making an honest effort to learn. Many players love to put in long hours and play a lot. They rely on a sort of gut feeling to read their mistakes and try to improve them.
However, most pros – from the most boisterous ones to the humblest players you will ever meet at the green felt – will all agree – you need to try to learn and understand the game of poker. A loss is not just a loss – it’s a symptom of something.
It may be that you misread a situation or you were completely oblivious of the real chances you had of winning. Both are things that you can work on actively improving and make sure that next time you play a similar situation you will be better prepared.
The only way to really strengthen your understanding however is to try to read your mistakes better and amend them as you play.
#3 Pick Good Websites with Plenty of Traffic
In order to improve your poker game, you need to find an environment that is beneficial to just that. This means an online poker site where you can test various strategies, play at various levels and generally have a sound experience from start to finish.
There are many fantastic poker sites out there, which will offer you cash games of different buy-in levels, along with tournament play, satellites and more. It’s important to find a poker site that provides you with a fair degree of variety. This is why a shortlist of the best US poker sites could come in handy.
This way you have a quick reference which you can check and pick the site that makes the most sense to you. Basically, you want to find a lot of people playing, a good track record of the website, and plenty of action to participate in yourself.
#4 Watch, Read, and Analyze Pro Games
So, you want to be a poker pro? This sounds great. The best and quickest way to get there is by actually doing what the professionals are doing. Yet, you can hardly be playing at the same tables they are, so what is your next option?
Well, you can analyze their games, watch streams, and even partake in seminars and webinars when they are hosting them. Most professionals will tell you that poker is a game of skill and this is true. They do not advertise openly what skills you should be learning, but they do give very adequate pointers.
The thing is most poker pros want you to figure out the rest on your own. Of course, there have been quite a few success stories of people being trained by pro poker players – Maria Konnikova is a great example. Even though Konnikova is a researcher she became a menace at poker tables because she was trained by some of the best players in the game.
For the rest of us, however, we would have to focus on watching and learning second-hand as it were. This means watching streams, looking through replays and asking ourselves – why did a player act this way? Were they bluffing? Did they know something we couldn’t figure out? It’s a lot to take in, but it’s the best way to continue with your development as a poker player.
#5 Arm Yourself with Patience for Success Takes Time
The other thing you need to know about poker and being successful at poker is that it may not arrive soon. It may take months, if not years, to get up to a decent level. What this means is that you will find yourself pressed to maintain a consistent game schedule and also remember to enjoy the game while learning.
It’s not easy “being a pro” and having a bit of aptitude for the game paired with a passion for poker helps. As long as you can maintain the behavior described in these five sections here over the long term, chances are you will improve your poker game by a great deal.
Table of Contents