We’re not trying to scare you, but it is the way it is, and for good reason. Unlike most of the casino games out there, poker isn’t based on luck, but needs players to acquire a special set of skills. Some of the most basic of these skills include being able to read your opponents, maintaining full concentration for longer periods of time, a solid understanding of the mathematical probability, as well as being able to control any emotions.
But above anything else, it takes Practice, Perseverance, and Patience, which represent the 3 ‘Ps of truly mastering poker. If you happen to be a rookie at this quite profitable game, then you may just find the following tips quite useful.
Carefully Choose Your Starting HandsWe see no point in fighting a losing battle, which seems hopeless from the very start, and we are sure you don’t either. Which is why it is of crucial importance to carefully choose which starting hands you want to play, as well as which ones you wish to skip.
If you feel that you’ve been dealt a starting hand which isn’t nearly good enough, then you’d be wiser in such a case to simply fold the hand, rather than forcing it. Doing so will not turn the tables in your favor, we assure you.
Granted, poker newbies would have difficulty in evaluating just how good the starting hand they’ve been dealt with is. The great news for them is that there’re starting-hand charts which the player can use as an ideal reference point, and this goes particularly for online poker tournaments. Please understand, however, that these charts, however useful, do not apply to all situations. Once you’ve gained a bit of experience, you can gradually stop using them.
Observation is KeyAlways remember that gaining as much info as you can from your opponents (while not giving away any of your own), is one of the most important things poker players have to master. They don’t call it the ‘Poker Face’ for nothing, as being stoic is definitely a virtue in this situation.
At the same time, try and keep track of your fellow players’ reactions in given situations. This can give you some vital clues when it comes to their personal playing style. We are referring to any gestures or facial expressions which may give them away. Not to mention the opponent’s eyes, which are truly the mirrors to the soul. It’s always a pleasure to be able to call their bluff, as it gives you the upper hand.
Don’t Be Predictable!Speaking of bluffing, it’s what most poker players turn to when they deem their hand is not good enough. True enough, bluffing represents an indispensable part of this game, but one should never overdo it! The reason is, bluffing way too often can make one become far too predictable, and your opponents might eventually render any bluff of yours ineffective.
Never forget about the actual purpose of bluffing, and that is to trick any opponents into folding. Having said this, if that opponent believes they have the superior hand, then no amount of this trickery will make them yield. In other words, it will just backfire on you. It will make you absolutely exploitable in the eyes of the others, and no poker player wants that! That’s why you should always try and be as diverse as possible – unpredictability is your friend here!
Selecting Games Based on Skill LevelOne of the largest advantages with playing poker (or any other game, such as slots) online is that the payer gets to choose from a wide range of betting limits and variations. For instance, some tables are more suited for high-rollers, while others are perfect for the less-experienced among you (those still in the whole process of mastering it). Until then, we can warmly advise such players to stick to tables offering betting limits which correspond to their particular level of skill, as well as their bankroll size.
One more thing on this matter: you should never make the mistake to just ‘hop over’ to a table offering higher limits, not even if you managed to win a fairly good stack in those lower-limit games. After all, with higher limits you’d also be looking at higher variance, which means suffering ‘swings’ more frequently. Once again, we’d like to remind you that it takes plenty of practice, time, and discipline in order to get there.
Avoid Tilting on Losing HandsLast but most certainly not least (this is one of the most vital tips we can offer you, in fact), it is of the utmost importance for poker players to remain in complete control of any emotions which may arise, at any time.
Believe us, if you fail in this, your opponents are bound to notice it, and, naturally, they would attempt to exploit this by using it against you however they can. If you lose a hand or 2, don’t fret, as this is a part of this game, and is thus unavoidable. What truly matters is how one copes with it. The last thing you’d need is an outburst!
If that were to happen, then, as they say, you’d “go on tilt”. It clouds your better judgement and prevents you from playing at your best. Poor decision-making, understandably, is connected to suffering losses. It counts for many of the other aspects of life, not just poker, once you think about it. Whenever you’d feel your losing control and becoming frustrated, take a break from your game in order to get a better grip on your emotions.