Here are a few points to keep in mind when you wish to become a better poker player. It is also a good idea to study your opponents at the table and see of any of them are failing to adhere to one or more of these tips. If so, it is a potential weakness for you to exploit.
Pay attention to all the cards
This might sound like a no-brainier, but as a novice poker player it is actually very easy to become so focused on the rules and procedures and on how much to bet that one forgets about paying close attention to all the cards. A player who gets a nice draw can develop tunnel vision, and a player who tries to pull off a bluff can be so focused this that he/she stops paying attention to anything else.
Pay close attention to your own cards and to the flop, turn and river. Always see which hands you may have or get, and which hands your opponents might have or get. The fact that the cards on the table may complete someones straight should affect how you play your hand, and so on.
Do not play when you’re angry, sad, drunk, tired, etc
It’s difficult to avoid bringing your emotions to the poker table. Some people know how to turn them off as they sit down to play, but it usually takes time to learn and is not to be recommended for novice players. Therefore, it is best to avoid playing poker when you are emotional, regardless of weather your are very sad or have had a few pints and fell like the king of the world. This does not only apply to the emotions you bring to the table; it is equally true for things that occur while playing. If you feel anger, irritation, boredom or similar building up, take a break and clear your head.
Tips! Pay attention to your fellow players and try to spot if anyone seems to be acting out of anger, boredom, vengeance or similar. It can be very lucrative to exploit other peoples mental instability at the poker table.
Play at a suitable level
There are two main factors to take into account when you pick which level to play poker at:
- Your poker skills
- Your bankroll
Both are equally important, since even a highly skilled player will get in trouble if she doesn’t have a bankroll large enough to sustain her through a streak of bad luck. Likewise, having a lot of money doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to throw them away by taking on opponents that are much more skilled than you. Generally speaking, a higher level means increased opposition. There are of course exceptions, such as millionaires playing $100/$200 for fun and casino players stumbling into the card room with a big roulette win to spend.