Unfortunate as it may be, there’s no silver bullet cure for being terminally terrible at poker. If you frankly suck at the whole thing and struggle to ever get your hands on the pot, there’s no quick or easy way of turning things around.
That’s simply the reality of poker – something every player needs to acknowledge and accept at an early stage.
On the plus side, there’s plenty you can do to at least begin turning things around and tipping the odds in your favour. Just as long as you are willing to put in the necessary time and effort, there’s no reason why you can’t eventually get the job done properly. Or at least, start making the kinds of rookie errors that are leaving you well and truly out of pocket.
As far as the pros are concerned, these are the most important tactics and techniques to get your head around, if you’re serious about taking your poker game to the next level:
Reading the Psychological Behaviour of Opponents in a Game of Poker
This is much easier to accomplish when playing in-person poker the old fashioned way, but is also technically possible when playing online. The idea being that through careful observation, you eventually begin taking cues from the actions and behaviours of the players around you.
For example, there could be someone who gets nervous, aggressive or perhaps even suspiciously quiet when they’re heading for a loss. At the opposite end of the scale, someone could become overly zealous and visibly smug when they’re holding a winning hand.
It’s not the easiest way to win a game of poker – particularly if playing online when you can’t actually see your opponents. On that note, if you’re planning on playing online, be sure to check out a good few online casino reviews in Canada first to ensure you’re choosing a poker room you can trust.
Bluffing is (Sometimes) a Great Way of Increasing the Odds of Winning in Poker
The effectiveness (or otherwise) of bluffing is a subject of heavy debate in the world of poker. On one hand, you could argue that yes – bluffing on occasion can be a great way of throwing your opponents a curveball. Likewise, there are instances where you find yourself in a corner and bluffing may be the only chance you have of getting out of it.
However, getting into the habit of bluffing too regularly is a terrible idea. For one thing, you’re inherently more likely to lose than win when you bluff. Given the fact that you’re lying about what’s clearly a pretty terrible hand, you’ll be headed for disaster if anyone calls you.
Worse still, it won’t take long for one or more of your opponents to pick up on your penchant for bluffing. At which point, they’ll know exactly when to call your bluff (which will be most of the time) and you can kiss your cash goodbye.
Bluffing can be great when the time is right, but is by no means a strategy you should be counting on consistently.
Get to Know the Odds a Little Better
By this, we basically mean getting your head around just how strong or weak your hand is at any given time. The simple fact of the matter being that if you can grasp the statistics on the whole thing, you can work out in an instant whether or not you have a decent chance of winning.
The key to success when playing poker lies in logically and rationally figuring out whether anyone else in the circle is likely to have a better hand than you. Once you’ve been dealt your cards and had the time to see what’s on the table, you should be able to decide whether or not to go for it.
Common sense holds the key to getting it right – not betting on an outside chance, simply for the sake of it.
The Right Strategy Ultimately Increases the Odds of Winning a Poker Game
If you’re really struggling to get your game together, you might want to think about adjusting your strategy entirely. Or for that matter, ensuring you play with at least some level of consistency. Making things up as you go along from one hand to the next isn’t the way to go.
It’s natural for amateurs to get into all manner of bad habits along the way. Breaking bad habits isn’t easy, but is necessary if you intend to take things a step further.
Grab yourself a decent poker book, or head online and bag yourself a tutorial or two. It’s not a case of copying the poker strategies of other players outright, but instead picking up a few tips and tricks from the pros. When to hold, when to fold, when to go all in, when to bluff – again, anything is better than simply making things up as you go along.
Practice Makes Perfect (Sometimes)
Above all else, there’s really nothing that will steer you in the right direction more effectively than plenty of practice. With literally hundreds of online poker rooms available 24/7 at the touch of a button, there’s really no excuse not to play on a regular basis.
Particularly as you can play for pennies, or even for free if you prefer.
The more poker you play, the more comfortable you get with the whole experience. In addition, practical poker experience is one of the best ways of getting your hands around the odds – i.e. the probability of winning or losing, in accordance with the hand you’re carrying.
That said, it’s also a good idea to indulge in as much real-life poker as you can, as the traditional game is an entirely different experience than the online game. The same can also be said for zero-stakes poker, which doesn’t offer a particularly realistic poker playing experience. Things are very different when there’s money on the line – something to bear in mind while practicing online.
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