You may have seen players who regularly participate in major cash games and tournaments and every time managed to take home gigantic prizes. What’s the secret of their success which others don’t have any idea about? How do they stay calm and composed at the time of huge losses? How these champions deal with the fear of competing with tough players and act so strong and confident?
Every newbie wants to find out the secrets of successful poker players to implement in the game and maximize his chances of winning. The truth is, there is no shortcut to success in poker. Dedication, discipline, and determination are required to build expertise in the game. Luck is not going to favor you all the time and to survive for long in the ruthless world of poker, you must study thoroughly and practice the game to improve your strategies and techniques.
Here are few valuable tips which you must follow to minimize risk and increase profits in a long run:
Every mistake is an opportunity to improve
Losing on a high stake poker table may seem like the end of the world, but trust me, it is not. There is not even a single poker player in this world who never lost at some point in the game. Even in high stake tournaments, you can see seasoned players making silly mistakes every now and then. Making mistakes is not bad but not learning anything from that is considered as a sin in poker. Players like Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey believe in keeping a record of the hands they played and analyse them to find out the reason which led to bad play. Reviewing your hand will help you improve your game and take better decisions whenever you face similar situations again in the future.
Select your own way to read opponents
It is important to learn how to be deceptive as well as to decipher the actions of opponents. WSOP Main Event 2006 winner Jamie Gold was known for his ability to assess fellow player’s strength with his “table talks”. His method of confusing opponents was to consistently talk about his hand strength (sometimes truth and sometimes lie). These tactics made him completely unpredictable for his opponents and rewarded him with one of the biggest cash prizes in poker history. Find your own methods to evaluate your opponents’ playing style and create a game plan against them.
A good Poker player knows how to develop and modify strategies on the table. It is not advisable to follow the same strategies in each and every hand you play. Your decision of playing a hand must be based on the strength of your cards and your assessment of the table situation. NEVER get mentally attached to the bets. Anyone can fold terrible hands but it is really difficult to fold strong hands like small straight or flush. Fold the cards quickly if the odds are not in your favor, rather than overplaying and lose your precious chips.
Learn to take risks
It is important to hone your skills of dealing with uncertainty and human emotions to ensure taking the best decisions in the game. For example – If you have four cards of the same suit, you have the choice to hold onto it till your hand grow into a monster or fold the cards before they start getting expensive. Your decision must be based on
- your understanding of value
- Skills of your opponents
- Your stake size
- Your opponent’s stake size
- Blind size
Other important factors which you should consider before taking a decision are your bankroll, your’s and your opponent’s table image, and position. Your position on the table determines how much information you can have about your opponents’ game play before your turn of betting. It also gives you the confidence to take risk of playing average hands as you know how your opponent tends to make his next move.
Update yourself with the current trends
Poker game has seen enormous changes over the years. Most of the traditional gaming methods are now outdated and irrelevant due to the technical progress and development of game formats and playing styles. Today, you can get real-time statistical data of hands which you can analyse to choose the best move from the available options. It is crucial to adapt the changes and improve your game consistently if you want to increase your chances of winning when you play against new generation of players. Software tools like poker tracker, odds calculator, hands converter, etc can help you analyse your hand, calculate the odds, as well as find out your weaknesses in the game.