Key Poker Skills & Tips

Discipline

To win steadly when playing poker, the crucial skill to master is discipline. All other skills depend on this key. You have to practie discipline in order to wait for a good hand, a good game, the right opportunities, and other factors. Discipline means you don't play in games where you have no edge.

It means you do not play hands that will get you in trouble and it means you must manage your money expertly and learn from your mistakes. It is crucial that you keep emotions controlled always and do not start to tilt. Do not ever play when drunk, tired or troubled emotionally. Always ask yourself if you are playing your best game.

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Observation

Study your opponents and you will learn a great deal. A lot of the time you spend playing will not be involved in a hand and you should use the time to watch the other players. What how they play their hands and use what you learn against them! Learn to listen to what they say. Many players tell you what hands they threw away or why they played a hand a specific way. Figure out what they are holding and try to determine their hands whether you are in the pot or not. Then, when you are playing a hand against the, you can use this information to know their checks, bets, calls, raises and what each means. Play the same amount of attention to your own game and consider your table image continually. Notice that some players do not examine the game at all and you talbe image is pretty much non-existant when playing these opponents. Just as you look for tells in other players, what for tells in your own play. Whe you spot a tell made by an opponent, think about where you are displaying that same sort of tell or not and adjust to avoid giving away information.

Changing gears

Good poker players are really unpredictable and frequently change gears. The way to best do this depends on your opponents and your table image. If you have been known for playing solid poker and have not been caught bluffing, you hold bluff equity when you choose to use it. If you have played loose and bluffed a lot, you may be in a good place to get paid off when you have a great hand. When the other players are playing tight, play looser; when they are playing looser, play a tighter game. Try to be one step ahead of the opposition. The ablity to balance your game by changing gears and strategies at just the right times can make you completely unpredictable. Because of this, you should sometimes advertise plays when you know you will be playing against the same players for a while. Show them hands you do not normally play and mix your play to cash in on those same plays later in the session. This is not as crucial when playing online poker because players do not pay as much attention to the game and players move about frequently. But, when the situation is right, even online this can be a great strategy.

Money management

If you can't manage your bankroll, you will not be a steady winner, regardless of how great a player you may be. This means you should only play in games you can afford nad you should know how much you can expect to win in the long run. The reason many skilled players go broke is because they often play at limits that their bankroll simply can't support. There are times when you are simply unlucky for a longer period even though you are playing well. You need to hold a bankroll large enough to hand these swings in poker games. A good rule of thumb is to have a bankroll 300 times the big bet when playing Limitt Hold'em. If you are a winning player when playing Limit and have 100 times the big bet, you can always cash out and use your winnings for other expenses and simply never let your bankroll grow; the result will be that you will inevitably go broke!

Poker Strategy Guide:

Strategy Article 1. Bankroll Management

Strategy Article 2. Key Tips & Skills

Strategy Article 3. Omaha Poker Rules

Strategy Article 4. Multi-Table Poker Strategy

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