7 Tips to Boost Your Poker Game
Poker can be a notoriously tricky game to master. If your table results are average at best, don’t worry – you aren’t alone. Even the best players took years of dedication to get to where they are now.
Often, making just a few small strategic changes to your game can take it from mediocre to magnificent. Read on as we break down our 7 top tips for taking your game to a whole new level.
#1: Ditch Hands and Think About Ranges
There are only a few differences between novice Poker players and professional ones. One of the biggest differences is in the way these players think about their opponent’s hands. Advanced players think about ranges, and not individual hands. A range is the full spectrum of hands that someone can hold in a given situation.
Say a player can have a top pair, flush, middle pair, draw, bottom pair, ace high, or a complete bluff. A good player will know that that player will lay down that entire range of hands in varying frequencies. Now that you know this, you simply need to figure out those frequencies and make solid plays accordingly. The goal here is to be realistic!
#2: Abandon Your Favourite Hand
Many amateur players have a favourite hand that they love to play. Sure, this makes sense in certain situations, but your preferred hand might not always be enough to help you win when the going gets tough. Play that hand, by all means, but don’t give it preference in situations where it will make for a bad play. Winning in Poker comes down to mathematics and logic – not superstitions and favourite cards.
#3: Use Strategy Consistently
One of the biggest keys to becoming a great player is applying a consistent winning strategy once you have found one that works for you. It’s almost always a bad idea to switch up your gameplay purely because you are tilted or getting bored with the current layout of the table.
All of your studies and experience has given you the best knowledge of how to play Poker successfully, so make use of it constantly for best results. Remember, every hand and every session counts.
#4: Make Informed Choices
Professional Poker players will sometimes break away from their standard strategies, but they always have good reasons for it. Do not break protocol simply because you’re trying to prompt a new outcome or want to make something happen. There should always be a clear and logical reason for your actions in Poker, especially when deviating from your classic strategy. Be sure that your argument makes sense in your head before making your move.
#5: Know When to Fold
Another difference between amateurs and pros is the ability to know when to fold a pair of Aces. Certain telltale patterns make themselves obvious in lower stakes games, especially when playing online. This makes it clear that it’s the perfect time to fold your overpair. If you need practice with this protocol, online games are the way to go. Try not to get attached to pretty or promising-looking hands – aces can lose too!
#6: Avoid the Tilt
Tilt can destroy your game, your bankroll, and any dreams of a career in Poker very quickly. Sometimes, things will go badly, and there is little you can do about it. Losing control and playing from an emotional standpoint will only hurt your game further, so relax and avoid throwing away your money when the going gets rough.
#7: Steer Clear of Bad Games
A common way that average players sabotage their Poker games is by gravitating towards games that are full of skilled regulars. If winning is a priority for you, you will need to find games in which you are one of the better players. You will win big against others who make significant errors and give away their money. Choose the right games and you simply can’t go wrong.