The Internet is full of money-making opportunities for people that love to play poker. There’s a tournament almost daily. And it doesn’t matter how much money you have: Micro Stakes tournaments ensure you can participate in contests with entry fees as low as $1.
Of course, you don’t want to spend your money on poker unless you’re good at it. Luckily for you, this guide is all about improving your poker skills—how to move from losing to becoming the best player at poker tables. Interested? Let’s dive right in.
1. Work on Your Concentration
Poker is a game of patience. If you don’t have this virtue, you can easily lose games you should win. Work on your concentration while at poker tables and remain patient until the game or tournament is over. Concentration helps you keep in tabs with your cards, moves made by other players and the time to make your decisions.
Unfortunately, concentrating keenly at poker tables is easier said than done. Sometimes a lack of concentration comes from outside factors: hunger, thirst, family issues, tiredness, distractions, and sleepiness to name a few.
In light of that information, always get into a poker table when you’re ready to concentrate on the game and to play patiently. Of course, the goal is to have fun, so don’t be uptight throughout a session. Relax, have fun and make decisions without panicking.
2. Take Poker Classes
This might sound ridiculous to some, but learning poker from scratch can do wonders for you. Learn the fundamentals if you’re just getting started. Discover how to bluff like a Pro, how to be aggressive, when you fold and when to go all in.
In case you’re wondering, you don’t have to pay for your poker classes. A dedicated poker community with a school where experts teach upcoming players free of charge can give you all the lessons you need. The International Poker-Community YourPokerDream is a prime example. It’s free. It’s full of active members and has a free poker school.
If you want take study poker full-time, consider taking four-year degree. And if you’re really smart, apply for a course at Oxford University. That’s right. The prestigious British university will offer poker degrees starting this year.
3. Play Fewer Hands Aggressively
One common reason people lose at online poker is playing every hand. You want to get things on a high note and keep the momentum until a game is over. Although it’s a great idea, you can lose money quickly when trying to play every hand.
A better idea is to play fewer hands but to play them aggressively. If you want to increase your bankroll in a Sit ‘n’ Go tournament, play the first few hands aggressively to get a win. After that, take things slowly. Fold when you have terrible cards.
Don’t bluff unless you have a great hand and only increase your pots if you have a strong hand. If you bluff, one or a few others can call your bluff. That increases your chances of losing. The same applies to increasing blinds without the assurance of a strong hand.
4. Forget About Limping Preflop
Limping is a sure way to lose money in poker. To be clear, we are talking about increasing your blinds significantly after you’re dealt with the first two cards in a poker game—the preflop stage. No one can be certain they will get a good hand at the preflop stage. So, limping is taking a massive risk.
Limping also decreases the chances of other playing folding, which is another way of reducing your potential winnings. As a result, the best way to treat the preflop is to call small blinds, and see what cards you get during the flop. Then you can increase your blinds if you have a great chance of forming a strong hand or wait until the turn to increase the stakes.
5. Play Poker Often
They saying experience is the best teacher has always remained relevant, even in poker. If you want to become a better player, learn through mistakes. You can’t make mistakes unless you play the game often. That said, practicing doesn’t have to mean risking your cash.
Download free to play apps or join websites with free poker tournaments. These platforms offer Texas Hold’em and all other poker variants without charging for it. The only caveat is that you don’t win real money when you play. Instead, you use free betting credits with no value in the real world.
6. Create a Budget
Working on your skills is great, but also worry about how you spend your bankroll. Do you bet at tables with the right skills? Do you overspend? A budget can help you manage your money wisely. You’ll know how much to bet table session, per night and month.
Ideally, you want to spend an amount of money you can afford to lose. Then you should budget it so that it fits the number of games you want to play in a week or month. After that, create goals and work on achieving them.
One under appreciated benefit of budgeting is that it can save you from poker losses and increase your profits. Think about it. You don’t have to chase your losses since you have a limit for daily losses. On the flip side, you can take risks comfortable as you work to achieve your objectives.
7. Avoid Emotions
A large percentage of poker players make decisions-based on emotions. This is the wrong way to play poker because emotion drive you toward greed, chasing losses or trying to prove yourself. In doing so, you also expose yourself to risk.
In poker, always make decisions objectively. Increase blinds because you have a good hand and not because you’re holding your favorite cards. Likewise, don’t overspend because you’re in a good mood or bluff because you think you’re in a table full of suckers. Observe the game carefully and make the right moves at the right time.