How to Play Poker

How to Play Poker

I have been playing poker now for about 3 years. I originally started playing online back in 2004, but I stopped playing poker tournaments a lot of us knew nothing about. So I did some research and started again. But I didn’t want to just stop playing poker, I wanted to improve my game so I did some reading and studying. Here are some of the steps I followed:

1) Read a book or two- I read a few poker books before starting to play, and while I did well, I was still losing heavily. So I recklessly decided that if I was always losing, then money really wasn’t that important and I should just save it for tournaments. Well, that doesn’t work; because tournaments require a different level of play than cash games. And because I was always losing tournaments, I knew I could make more money by playing online poker tournaments. Well, I am so overloaded with work, school, and the beginning of a poker career that I lost all my money in poker. Luckily, I still had some money and I enjoyed playing. I reduced my no limit to $2-$4 and played the next 6 months, I was making over $100, when I stopped, I came to an epiphany. I realized that if I was going to play poker to make money, I had to learn poker. And I did just that.

2) Free yourself-You can’t say that you have learned how to play poker, unless you have experienced the self destroying consequence of playing for too much money. Free yourself up from bills, jobs, commitments. Free yourself up from years of playing for a living. Free yourself up and build your skills so you can play for higher stakes.

3) Player forums- Get yourself a journal of your play. Keep track of your progress, your losses, and your wins. Tell yourself how you are improving, or not. But most of all, be honest with yourself, face the facts, and be honest with yourself.

4) Give yourself 30 minutes to succeed or 30 minutes to failed. Take a 30 minute break after work, on the weekend, or whenever you have the opportunity. But don’t stop. Stick to your schedule. IITapokerbooks.com states on their website that their game credits deduct your rake from your pottextureson top pair, top kicker. It doesn’t matter if the dealer tells you to fold, if you do not have the proper odds to make the call.

5) coming to a decision while on the clock. No matter what the decision is, do not hesitate. There is nogat or trick to deciding while on the clock. decisive decision making is limited to a split second. Take as much time as you need.

6) Dealline your self. Dealing with your own internal conflict, fear, or doubt is a difficult task, and requires a lot of courage. It’s a lot more common in the poker game than in most other personal arenas, and I believe we, as poker players, are often more emotional. But if you could just focus on the task at hand, without all the distraction of other emotions, you would be much, much better.

7) Love what you do. You are going to win more often than you lose at some point. Dealing with losses and wins, learning, and celebrating are aspects of the game that define who you are. If you can’t love what you do, then it’s not really what you do.

8) Say “No.” In every poker room, there is one rule you will recognize immediately. It’s the stronger hand wins. But, every once in awhile you’ll see a player say “no” to a completely unreasonable bet. It happens. You can’t stop the inevitable. And, if you make the wrong play, you will lose. Don’t let yourself get dragged into a feigned frustration, in order to justify an ugly loss. True, you want to protect your hand, but don’t let it be necessary to protect your ego.

9) Average/tops/medals. Something to think about. I’d talk about this one for hours, if only because it’s the most commonly asked question. Almost as frequently as people ask about the correct play of a hand, they ask about the average or top play of a hand. Deciding what to do with a hand, depends on the value of the hand you have. If you feel that you have a very strong hand, and your opponents continually underestimate it, you should bet it aggressively.

 

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