1. Stick to playing good cards.
As much as you might like to think that being a good poker player is playing any two cards and making money with them, it really isn’t. If you are playing bad cards, you are playing bad cards… there is no two ways about it, no matter how many fancy plays you think you know.
As a potential winning poker player, you need to come to terms with the fact that you have to throw away the majority of the hands you are dealt. The ability to play the good cards and throw away the bad ones is the foundation of every winning poker player. You might see pro players on TV playing useless hands, but these shows do not truly reflect how these pros play normally (if they want to win money), so don’t get sidetracked.
2. Always think about your position.
Your position at the table can have a huge influence of the outcome of a hand. You will really be amazed at how much power you have when you are acting after your opponents rather than before. The longer you play poker, the more you will start to realize how almost every play you make will be influenced by your position at the table.
You see that white dealer button on the table? Make sure you get used to keeping track of it, because playing in position (when you are acting after your opponents) more often than you play out of position will have a dramatic effect on the number of pots that you drag home.
Hands in Texas Hold’em can be won on position alone. Honestly, position is awesome.
3.Don’t get addicted to bluffing.
Yes, bluffing can win you a few extra pots, but it is not the heart of winning poker strategy. First of all you need to work out how to play a hand properly, and then you can start thinking about adding extra elements to your game like the bluff. The chances are that if you are a new player, you are bluffing far too often and losing money because of it.
It is an awesome feeling to pull off a successful bluff, but as you start out learning the game and trying to make money from it, the bluff is something that is best set to the side for the time being. If a prime opportunity to bluff jumps right out at you, then by all means do what you need to take the pot. But in general, the bluff is something that should be used sparingly and only in the right situations when you are confident that it is going to work.
It’s better to save your money and check, rather than lose a lot by attempting to bluff. Read up on the bluffing tips article to help you pick the right spots.
4. Learn a little bit of the maths.
No, please, don’t run. The math in poker isn’t that hard at all. Okay, it might take 5 or 10 minutes to get your head around some of it, but it is incredibly handy and will help you to make the most profitable decisions possible at every opportunity and earn you a lot of money. Now that’s enough to get anyone wanting to learn some math!
5. Think about everything that is taking place at the poker table.
A thinking poker player is a winning poker player. The problem with poker is that if you win, it doesn’t necessarily mean that you made the right play. Similarly, if you lose, it does not mean that you made the wrong play. This can make it tricky to figure out what is wrong and right when it comes to playing a good poker game, but only if you let it.
Whenever you make a decision, think about why you are doing what you are doing and what you expect to accomplish by doing this. Similarly, think about why your opponents are making the moves they make and why they could be making them. This is a great way to develop your mind and help to start seeing poker from all the angles, which is key to developing a winning poker game.