Poker is a game of small margins – the line between winning big and crashing out of a game can be incredibly thin. That’s all part of the fun. While luck has a certain amount of control over how you perform at the poker table, the very best players have developed certain skills to swing the odds in their favor.
When it comes to winning as much as possible at poker, there are plenty of tips out there for aspiring players looking to make a name for themselves. What we’ll be looking at here are some of the tips you might not have come across yet, and they can make all the difference. Let’s dive in.
Stay Patient and only Play a Range of Hands
Picture this: you’re at the table, raring to go, but you keep getting dealt rough hands. Time after time you’re getting cards that just don’t make sense to play. You start to get bored and frustrated and decide to just play your hands regardless of what you’re given, just to get some action.
That’s a surefire way to waste your chips and play yourself out of a game. The trick is to remain patient and set yourself a range of different hands that you feel comfortable playing. This doesn’t mean just waiting for aces and kings to show up.
Do your research and see what can be done with different pairings. Then make a mental list of the range of hands you know you’ll want to go ahead and play with when you’re dealt them.
Never Give out Free Information
So much of poker is about playing the opponents, not the cards. And it’s all well and good learning to read people’s tells and taking note of when they’re bluffing, but you also need to be aware of the information that your confidence might be unknowingly giving away.
For example, particularly when you’re first starting out, it can be extremely tempting to gloat a little if you bluff someone into folding. Showing them that you only had an offsuit 7/2 pairing might give you a quick ego boost, but it also provides everyone else with key intel.
Now they’ll not only know you’re capable of bluffing well, they’ll have a much better idea of how you act when you are bluffing. This will make it much harder for you to pull off during future hands.
Positioning can be Key
Situational awareness is a vital tool when it comes to winning poker games. Knowing the most profitable positions at the table can help you grow from an average player into a very good one.
The two seats directly to the right of the blinds – known as the ‘button’ and the ‘cutoff’ – are the best places to play your hand. This is because during the flop, turn and river you’ll be the last person to play their hand, meaning you’ve seen how everyone else is playing, giving you full control.
When you’re in these positions, play as many hands as possible. If you play poker online it can be even easier to keep on top of this as you can use a HUD (heads-up display) to flag where the different positions on the table are.
Embrace the struggle
Poker is not the game to turn to if you’re looking to make a quick buck. You’ll get chewed up and spat out in no time. If you’re serious about becoming a top player then you need to be prepared for the long haul, and that means going on some significant losing streaks.
You’re not going to win every game, in fact you might not even win that often. Regular players can go months, sometimes even years, without picking up a win but they stick at it. Try to build your resilience and get used to bouts of bad luck and losing.
Watch videos of the top pros and you’ll see that they don’t even react to losing or taking significant blows – at least, they don’t show it anyway.
Control the Highs
On the flip side of this is winning big or winning consistently. If this happens, don’t let it go to your head. By all means enjoy the feeling and revel in the victory but remember that each new game you play is a blank slate.
Keep your emotions and your ego in check and play the hands you’re dealt. Don’t think you’re untouchable just because you’re on a hot streak.
Those are some little-known tips to help you become a better poker player. There’s no immediate magic trick you can pull to start winning games; it takes time to develop your skills and hone your craft but if you stick at it,you will soon be winning your fair share of chips at the table!