The biggest misconception you can have is that poker is a game of luck. Becoming a successful professional poker player requires long hours of dedicated study, practice, and reflection – a path that is not for the faint of heart. You might not need to shoot for the stars, but even becoming a better poker player takes hard work and determination. If done correctly, pushing the tables to mid-stake can realistically net you as much as $ 100 an hour. However, many of us often unknowingly sabotage ourselves. Still, if you’re curious about how to improve your gameplay, read on to find out!
It is practice makes perfect
Even if you don’t have an impressive poker background, you are just as capable of being successful in the end – with enough practice, of course. After all, poker is all about a card game, which has only a limited number of patterns and tricks that you can experiment with. This means that it is possible to fully understand and be inspired by the different types of winning gameplay.
For example, I play texas holdem on a site like this where three exposed cards are shown first to the players. From there, players fold, check or increase their bets, depending on the type of hands they have. Here you can start to notice and understand the patterns of your opponents –– and thus get a feel for the quality of their hands. This allows you to carefully plan your next moves and decide whether you are going to fight or retreat. However, this doesn’t come naturally – it takes time, experience, and failure for poker players to read their opponents accurately. If you are determined to become a better poker player, it is important to learn from your previous mistakes, study professional gameplay, and seek advice from your poker peers. You have to be prepared to live, breathe, and think about poker.
Developing a schedule
No one is immune to procrastination – not even the most dedicated and passionate poker player. However, what you decide to deal with procrastination is what will impact your gameplay. If you don’t force yourself to sit down and do the work, you won’t make significant progress.
Fortunately, there are several techniques and ideas you can adopt to keep your momentum going. First, we recommend developing and sticking to a schedule. This will help you keep your time management under control and your priorities in order –– taking on random tasks will only end up setting you up for failure. Additionally, we are encouraged to exercise restraint to avoid getting too ambitious at first. Plan your day properly and set realistic and achievable goals. Believe me, you will feel more satisfied with the little things and have more time to complete the projects.
However, it is always important to allow time to relax and reunite with loved ones. Sticking to a schedule that is too rigid will suck all your joy and energy. Playing poker matches and study sessions throughout the day will end up killing your passion sooner than you think. If you’re still having trouble crafting a schedule, try creating a technique that builds momentum. Setting miniature goals to achieve every time you study or practice poker is helpful – for example, striving to hit 15 minutes of theory video or playing 100 hands of poker.
Create an enabling environment
If you don’t learn to keep your composure and state of mind in check, you won’t be able to win many games – even if you’re armed with the best preparation program. Poker is a battle of strategy and mental strength; you have to keep the right state of mind, in the right conditions, to truly flourish.
We recommend that you develop your study plan at least a week in advance. It’s about being clear about some goals and preventing feelings of frustration from building up, especially when things don’t go the way you want them to. You should also write a list of indicators to improve and number them according to their level of importance. Creating a task list of items allows you to clearly define a direction and goal that your game should be heading towards.
It’s important to make sure that you get rid of any potential distractions during your prep period and throughout the game itself. Turn off your phone, close the blinds, and gently remind your family or roommates to refrain from disturbing you – there is no room for tolerance in poker.
Now that you’ve created a suitable environment for studying and playing, it’s time to learn to keep your cool and your emotions during the game itself. Because poker is a game of strategy, every successful player can read the facial expressions, gestures and body language of your opponents. Your body lets more through than you intend to show – even the tiniest detail can reveal the types of patterns you currently have on deck.
The best way to have the perfect poker face is to learn to compartmentalize and hide your feelings. The most common method in which players end up giving up their hands is to get angry, otherwise known as “tilt poker”. Just as you assess your opponent, he is with you. Anger is the most difficult emotion to control; a slight browbone, a clenching of the teeth and a nod of the head are enough to betray you. Additionally, anger obscures your decision-making process and prompts you to make rash choices. It can end up making you overly aggressive, desperate, and even emotional.
How not to get angry when I lose, you might ask. The best way to overcome your emotion is to understand that the losses are not final. You can’t expect to win all the time! Acceptance is the first step in embracing stillness. Once you are at peace with defeat, having moments of anger during the game will not phase you at all.
Better bankroll management
No discussion of becoming a better poker player is complete without mentioning the importance of bankroll. Although it is quite simple, it is one of the least followed and understood by poker players. Everyone plays poker in the hope of making a profit and winning a lot of money. However, this is often not the case. The variability of poker can sometimes cause players to lose (and win) huge sums of money; it is in this uncertainty that many players become addicted to adrenaline.
If you’re losing more money than you should, it’s probably a sign that your gameplay needs to change. Rather than rushing into every high stakes game, reassess your finances and choose games that better match your skills and expectations. Don’t force yourself to hit the minimum buy-in amount if you know your odds of winning are low. A good way to build up your finances is to start at lower buy-in tables and refine your game first – even if you lose, it won’t hurt as much. Once you are ready to move up to a bigger bankroll, select longer and bigger games to play.
With these four steps, we hope you have gained a better understanding of how to become a successful poker player. Remember, poker is a marathon, not a sprint. Make sure your efforts are consistent and you will soon be able to reap the rewards.