Poker is a game that involves skill, strategy, and a little bit of luck. It can be challenging at times, but it is one of the most rewarding games in the world.
Whether you play online, in a casino, or at a live table, poker is a great way to have fun and win some money. If you are new to the game, or just want a refresher course, here are some tips to help you win more and lose less:
1. Avoid playing emotional-based poker (called “tilt”)
You’ve probably heard that playing on tilt can kill your bankroll. This is especially true at a low-stakes table where the variance is high and you need to make smart decisions to stay in the game. It’s also important to set a budget, a.k.a. a bankroll, and stick to it.
2. Know your opponent’s style
There are three basic styles of players in a poker game. Tight plays fewer hands, but bets more. Aggressive plays a variety of hands but is usually more aggressive, especially on the flop.
3. Know your hand ranking
Having the best hand is essential to winning in any poker game. A Royal Flush is the highest hand you can form, followed by a Straight, Four of a Kind, Full House, Flash, and so on.
4. Read your opponents
The ability to read other people is a great skill and can be taught. Everyone from law enforcement officers to psychologists have outlined specific ways you can use facial expressions and other tells to determine your opponents’ emotions.
5. Have a deep love for the game
The biggest difference between a bad player and a professional poker player is their love of the game. Those players who have found a deep love for the game are more likely to stick with it through the ups and downs, as Phil Ivey has done.
6. Watch your reactions when you lose
It’s important to watch your reactions when you lose, and not let them crush your confidence. This is a skill that all good poker players have, and it’s something you can learn as well.
7. Understand your opponent’s betting pattern
You should be able to recognize when someone is raising too much or calling too little. This can be tricky, but it’s important to learn how to recognize it so you can make wiser decisions.
8. Bet a lot when you have a premium opening hand
If you’re playing at a 6-max table or 9-max table, it’s crucial to bet aggressively when you’ve got a premium starting hand, like a pair of Kings, Queens, or Aces. It’s a common mistake for inexperienced players to fold too many weak or starting hands, which can lead to losses over time.
9. Always bet a strong range of hands
A tight player will raise a lot of pots pre-flop, but they are often vulnerable to raising on the flop. If you have a strong range of hands, you can bet more aggressively and win more pots. This will make your opponents think twice about betting against you.