Article About Tips to Take Your Poker Play338 Game From Loser to Winner Are you struggling to turn a decent profit at the poker tables on a consistent basis? Are your results best described as “somewhere around break-even”? First off, don’t worry because you are not alone. This describes the results of the majority of poker players.
Often, however, it is just a few small strategy adjustments that can take your game from loser to winner — from break-even to crushing it. In this article, I am going to provide you with seven subtle but highly effective poker tips to take your game to the next level.
Editor’s Tip: You can try all the Poker Play338 tips on one of these free poker sites. Playing online poker for free is the best way to hone your poker skills and practice with no risk.
➢ 1. Think About Ranges, Not Hands
One of the easiest ways to spot the difference between average poker players and elite ones is by how they think about what their opponent has.
• Average poker players try and put somebody on a specific hand.
• Advanced poker players think in terms of ranges.
A range is essentially the entire spectrum of hands somebody can have in a specific situation. For example, player X can have a flush, top pair, middle pair, bottom pair, a draw, ace-high or a complete air-ball bluff.
Good players understand that player X will show up with this entire range of hands with various frequencies. They try and figure out those frequencies and then make the best play.
Average players try to put an opponent on exactly A♥J♥ (or some other specific hand) because that’s “what their gut tells them.”
➢ 2. Ditch Your Favorite Hand
A lot of people have a favourite hand. I know that every time I get dealt the old 9x 7x-suited my eyes light up and I want to play it so bad! However, in reality, I know that 9x 7x-suited is a mediocre hand.
It makes sense to play it in some spots — late position, for instance, in an unopened pot. But it should almost always be folded in early position. If you currently have a favourite hand, that’s fine — most people do. But don’t give it preferential treatment and make bad plays with it.
Winning poker is about math and cold hard logic, not superstition.
➢ 3. Adopt a Consistent Strategy
Another big key to becoming a great poker player (and perhaps one of the most important poker tips you should know) is consistently applying a winning strategy. It is not okay suddenly to change things up (e.g. to open with 9x 7x-suited from early position) just because you are bored or tilted.
All of your learning, experience and study over the years has given you a body of knowledge telling you how to play this game profitably. But it only actually matters if you apply it at the poker tables all the time. Every hand counts and every session counts.
Elite poker players apply the same winning strategy over and over again, no matter how they feel or what their recent results have been.
➢ 4. Always Have a Reason
Big-time winning poker players will sometimes break from their standard, successful strategies, but always for obvious reasons. An average player might start raising 9x 7x-suited in early position because he is bored or wants to make something happen.
An elite poker player will raise with this hand in this position on occasion because he notices the table is playing passively and there are a couple of recreational players in the blinds. There is a clear reason then to believe that raising 9x 7x-suited in early position (typically a fold under normal circumstances) might be a profitable play in this situation.
If you can produce a well-reasoned argument why deviating from your regular strategy might be more profitable, then it is okay. It is the “because I feel like it” or “I am bored” reasoning that has to go.
➢ 5. Know When to Fold Your Aces
Another clear difference between average poker players and great poker players is the ability to fold an overpair. You know that little sick feeling you get when you have Ax Ax and a tight opponent raises all-in on the turn? You make the so-called “crying call”, and he turns over the set yet again.
You need to start paying attention to that feeling a little bit more often. Certain patterns are easily recognisable at the lower stakes — especially when you play online poker — where it is 100 per cent the correct play to fold your overpair.
Good players can let go of any emotional attachment to their pretty-looking hands. Average players get married to their aces or kings instead, and can’t let them go even when they know they are beat.
➢ 6. Realise Tilt Only Hurts You
Tilt is a destroyer of bankrolls, dreams and poker careers. I can’t tell you how often I receive emails or comments from people who describe to me how they’ve tilted vast amounts of their bankroll away when things went badly at the poker tables.
The reality of poker is that sometimes things will go badly for you, and there is absolutely nothing that you can do about it. This is what you sign up for every time you sit down to play.
There’s always the possibility you might run terribly. You might run lights out as well, though. When you allow yourself to lose control of your emotions and throw your strategy out the window, the only person you are hurting is yourself.
All those hours you’ve spent trying to learn and improve your game were basically wasted because you decided to choose your emotions over reason when it mattered. Respect the work that you have done. You owe it to yourself to maintain more composure and stop throwing away money when the cards go south.
➢ 7. Don’t Play in Bad Games
One more way average players regularly sabotage their poker results is by stubbornly playing in games that are full of decent-to-good regulars. If you can’t find somebody at the table who is playing very poorly, then you have to ask yourself why it is that you are even there.
If you only play poker for the mental challenge or recreation or pleasure, then this is fine. This poker tip doesn’t necessarily apply to you. But if winning is at all a priority for you, then you need to remember you don’t turn a significant profit in poker by pushing tiny edges against good poker players.
You win big by playing against players who are making significant fundamental errors and giving away their money over the long term.
As the classic movie Rounders reminds us, “If you can’t spot the sucker in your first half-hour at the table, then you are the sucker.”Final Thoughts
The divide between break-even players and big-time winners is not as wide as many people think.
It is often just a few simple little adjustments you can learn over time that can carry you over to enable you to start winning at a higher clip. A lot of it has to do with starting to view the game in a much more cold, detached, mathematical and logical way than you presently do.
Emotional and/or superstitious poker players almost always lose or struggle to remain even. Elite poker players, meanwhile, know they are in it for the long haul and don’t get overly wrapped up in each hand or moment. They continue to make the most profitable play again and again, no matter what.