Many believe that poker is just a game of chance, where the outcome is solely based on your starting hand and sheer luck. In fact, there is a lot more to poker. The mood you are in when you play, the hands you choose to play and the way in which you play them can greatly influence your chances of winning. This is why we have prepared a few basic tips that will help you become a better player, regardless of whether you prefer online or traditional poker.
1. Don’t play when you’re in a bad mood
We all have our bad days. Whether you’re mad about something or you’re just feeling under a lot of stress, it’s probably a good idea not to play poker as a way of cheering yourself up. When we’re emotional we don’t play to the best of our abilities, something which other players will notice and take advantage of. For the same reason you should take a break or even call it a day if at some point during the game you notice that you are having trouble keeping your emotions in check.
2. Watch your alcohol intake
Alcohol leads to making poor decisions, and this will affect your game performance. While a few drinks will make a poker night playing with friends more fun, when you’re playing in a traditional or an online casino you should keep track of how much you’ve had.
3. Choose the hands you play
Some starting hands give you a greater chance of winning than others. Even when playing low-blind tables, playing too “loosely” will cost you money in the long run. Find out which hands are the best to play and stick to those. You will notice the difference.
4. Learn when to bluff
Bluffing is a great strategy, but it doesn’t work in every situation or against any player. There is always a chance that your bluff might be called, so avoid doing if someone is likely to have a strong hand or if it looks like one of the players is difficult to bluff.
5. Do not hesitate to fold if you have no chance of winning
Sometimes players will call even if they know they don’t stand a chance of winning. Don’t do that! No matter how much you’ve put in the pot, you’re not gaining anything. You’re just losing more money.
6. Pay attention to what is going on around you
Take a good look at the community cards. Depending on the variety of poker you are playing, keep an eye out for a potential flush or straight and always compare your hand to the best possible hand someone might have.
It also helps to keep an eye on the other players. People are likely to act according to a pattern, and noticing these patterns will help you win more hands.
Playing poker is fun, but it’s even more fun if you’re winning. We hope that these tips will help you become a more disciplined, better poker player.