Are you looking for a way to blow your table away and take the pot time after time? When it comes to poker, there is a lot that you can learn to up your game. Professional poker players needed to learn many of these things before they finally earned (and won) their seats in the big tournaments.
While some professional poker players have written books that detail their strategies and are worth reading, they still need to keep something back to keep hold of their competitive edge.
Here are a couple of books to check out:
- Playing The Player – Ed Miller
- Elements of Poker – Tommy Angelo
- Doyle Brunson’s Super System – Doyle Brunson
- Kill Everyone – Lee Nelson
So, what are the secrets that you need to know to kick your poker skills up a couple of notches and get the most from your real-world games or bankroll and poker bonus online?
Every time you sit at the table, you are going to face different opponents, and then the more you play, the more you will be recognised. Once you are getting recognised, people will be able to predict your moves – if you always play the same.
There is also the possibility you will never run into the same players online twice, but if you try to play the same game and be the same player, you may misjudge what others are doing.
Each time you sit down or open the poker app, be prepared to adjust your play style and be different.
Grinding when it comes to games typically means putting in the time and learning (or gathering). Working towards something, and when it comes to poker, the grind is just as important as any tournament game.
Poker is not just that one game you are playing; it is a culmination of the effort and skill that you have worked hard for over the years. A day-to-day routine that fits in reading, playing, or watching is a must. It will improve your understanding of the game by miles, but it also builds poker into your lifestyle.
It also means playing games that you might usually avoid or testing out strategies you haven’t perfected. The grind will make you stand out, and it will instil a discipline that only the pros have.
Let’s say you have pocket kings or pocket aces, and you want to hold on to them. You hold on to them so much, in fact, that it ruins your game, and you ultimately lose. Players who don’t have a lot of experience tend to hold onto these cards because they are sure that they can make something with them – and sure, sometimes, that is true.
But the difference between a novice and a pro is that often, a pro will fold their KK or AA because, statistically, they are often beaten – and aren’t worth ruining the rest of the game for.
The Cards Don’t Always Matter
Since poker is a card game, it is easy to think that it is only the cards that matter – however, the cards are just a small part of it. New players are very likely to get hung up and even want to stop playing if their dealt cards seem rubbish – or they have a few rounds with ‘bad cards’.
Pro players know that even with ‘bad cards’, they can play the people at the table and bluff their way into forcing new players into bad positions.
Good cards are great, but more than half the game will come down to you being able to bluff at the right time – and always keep in mind that most of the time, in a Texas Hold’em game, the cards won’t even get to showdown.
Keep The Bluff
When was the last time you delightedly showed your nothing cards to display how well you bluffed? Do you know how often professional players will show a bluff? Almost never.
The reason a bluff is so powerful when used by professional players is that they will rarely show the bluff. And, in the minds of all the people around the table, doubt will set it. Their opponents will always be wondering if they did get bluffed or if they really had good cards.
The art of the bluff is knowing when to do it and never to show it.
Our emotional state and how physically tired we are will have a huge impact on the game we are about to play. So, if you head into a game exhausted, sad, or angry – you’re going to make a bad decision. This also goes for if you have been drinking. Anything that will impair your ability to make good decisions means you shouldn’t be sitting down at that table – or opening your poker app.
Professional poker players keep themselves in top form with a good brain-feeding diet and excellent sleep and often keep fit because poker tournaments can be long and put a lot of pressure on the body.
Like anything you want to achieve in life, you should look to the professionals and learn lessons from them now, this can apply to any hobbies, so you don’t need to make many of the mistakes that they made while they were on the way up. If you are getting ready for your first big tournament, these tips should get you in the zone.