These are seven tips that are ready to take your poker game from average to outstanding. If you’re battling to make a profit that you’re satisfied with and your most common results can be described as around breaking even, then this guide is for you.
First things first, shake it off because you’re far from alone; there are countless players out there with “meh” gameplay that are looking to step it up a notch. Most poker players actually have “close to break-even” results. All it takes are a few slight adjustments to elevate your game from alright to good. These are seven subtle but effective tips to improve your poker playing.
1. Focus on Ranges Instead of Hands
A big difference between average and good gameplay is how players think about what their opponent has. The key is to think in terms of ranges and not specific hands. A range is the spectrum of hands that a player can have within a situation. No one has a specific hand in poker, they only have a range.
2. Forget About Your Favorite Hand
A lot of players have admitted to having a favorite hand that they love playing. This is a bad habit as players should think about the value of their hands logically. Keep in mind not to give your favorite hand preferential treatment.
3. Keep to a Consistent Strategy
Don’t try to change things up, the best players know to have a consistent winning strategy. Every hand and session counts.
4. Have a Reason for Everything
If you do break from the norm, be sure to have clear and logical reasons borne of a mathematical thought process. If you have a well-reasoned argument for deviating, then only can you do so.
5. Know When to Fold Aces
The ability to fold an over pair is the sign of a great poker player. That gut feeling you get when you have two aces is known as the “crying call”. Pay close attention to it as there are recognizable patterns at lower stakes, where the right thing to do is play to fold the pair.
6. Tilt Only Hurts You
The tilt destroys bankrolls, careers, and dreams. Players often suffer huge losses after tilting huge amounts when things go badly at the table. Realistically, poker is a very volatile game and things can go badly. The key is to be aware that it can go either way and to remain calm. Don’t throw your money away if things go south.
7. Don’t Play Bad Games
As the movie Rounders puts it: “If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half-hour at the table, then you are the sucker.”Another way that players typically sabotage their games is by being stubborn and remaining in games that are filled with better players than themselves. This tip doesn’t apply if you are looking to challenge yourself or out to have a good time. However, if you’re looking to improve your play and profits, then stay within your league.
What Sets Winners and Break-Even Players Apart?
The gap between big-time winners and break-even players isn’t as wide as you might think. More often than not all it takes is a little tweaking to take you to the next level. A lot of upgrading your game also comes in the form of how you see the game – this should be in a more detached and mathematical way. Superstitious and emotional players tend to struggle more overall when playing.