Tips for aspiring poker pro's
It's been said that poker is a hard way to make an easy living. It requires a level of discipline, self-motivation, creativity and technical skill that a lot of people lack. Luckily, you're just as likely to lack these traits as your opponents. So let's dive into some of the most important things worth knowing if you're ready to become a professional poker player. Just remember to bring a pair of sunglasses! First things first. If you're looking to take your table skills to the next level you're going to need to practice a lot. The best way to do this is to pick up your own poker set. Not only will this make you feel like a pro, but it will also give you the opportunity to invite friends over to learn the dos and don'ts of amateur poker. If your friends aren't exactly the 'poker-face' type, then you can always play poker online to learn the ins and outs by yourself. Image courtesy of redchippoker.com The strategies of Sun Tzu can be applied to war, everyday life and especially poker. Deception is the key. You've got to make the opposing players believe that you have a good hand when you have a poor one. Likewise, when you've got a poor hand, you want them to think you've got a great one. The table winner is usually the one who knows when to fight and when not to fight. Knowing your enemy is also key to an effective poker strategy. Irritate your hot-tempered opponents and force them to make mistakes. Dominate your timid opponents and keep them from playing their decent hands. This will increase your chances of becoming a winner. Image courtesy of 888poker.com You knew it was coming and you're probably a bit underwhelmed to see it here, but maths is key. While luck in poker can play a huge role, learning some simple maths will have a far greater effect on your game. If you're able to accurately estimate what will happen next, you'll have a massive advantage over your opponents. Learning the basic principles of probability (or what poker players refer to as variance) will help you in determining how to play any given hand. By applying variance to your gameplan you'll be able to roughly estimate the number of times a specific hand is most likely to win or how much you should invest in order to win a certain sum of money on any given hand. Image courtesy of bigthink.com Poker is also about psychology. If you're good at reading people, their body language and their expressions, you'll be well on your way to becoming a pro. It's a learned skill that, with practice, anybody can master. You'll be able to tell when a person in front of you is happy with their cards or not. "Tells" are common signs that you'll spot when analysing your opponents. Many beginners' hands shake when they get a good hand, while many pro's will fold their hands to hide this tell from you. Hiding your tells and spotting others will give you an edge in every given poker situation. By combining variance with psychology, you'll be able to guess what your opponents intentions are, and your chances of winning will be higher. In the end, there isn't really any secret to playing poker. Like most things in life, if you want to win you'll have to be dedicated in your practice. By observing players, doing probability calculations, being devious and detecting how people behave in any given situation - you too can become a poker master.