Top 10 Skills Poker Pros Swear By
Looking at the world’s most successful poker players, it might seem that these people are simply predestined for success.
They almost always know whether it’s time to fold or go all in, and they rarely make wrong decisions while playing poker.
However, the belief that these poker experts are simply naturally gifted for the game can’t be further from the truth.
Although a pinch of talent can indeed come in handy, there are specific skills every poker player should cultivate to reach the top.
For many years, poker enthusiasts have been arguing whether math had anything to do with winning at the world’s most popular card game. Furthermore, some players claim they never bother with calculations during the game of poker and still win most of the time. Nevertheless, it turns out that players who are good with numbers win more hands than others. Why is this so?
In short, players who can calculate their odds make smarter moves in poker. If they believe there’s no chance they can win a hand, they fold. On the other hand, if their calculations show high chances of winning, they raise or even go all in. In this way, they reduce their loss percentage to a minimum and keep their overall score positive.
What is more, poker players nowadays have access to various probability charts and sheets that help them stay one step ahead of the competition. In other words, as long as you’re well-informed, you can handle the math.
If you’re good at calculating odds, you’ll know when your chances of winning are close to zero. In these cases, you must accept your destiny and fold your cards on time.
This may sound like a logical thing to do, but players often ignore these signs and keep playing until someone takes all their cash.
This usually comes from either a great desire to prove oneself or feed one’s ego, but you can rest assured it seldom ends well. It’s highly unlikely that two random low cards will bring you a bag full of cash, and you know what’s the right thing to do in this situation. So, let it go and wait for a more prosperous hand because it might be just around the corner.
No matter what you do, staying focused on your craft is a must if you want to swim with the sharks. Poker is a game that requires your undivided attention at all times, as even the smallest mistake can cost you a fortune.
Aside from your cards and those on the table, you should monitor other players’ behavior and act based on the combination of those factors. The good news is that focus isn’t something we are born with. It is a skill that can be practiced, or rather must be practiced by all poker players with high aspirations.
4. Bankroll Management
Bankroll management is a skill you must cultivate to reach the stars in poker.
First, let’s clarify one thing — your poker bankroll is the amount of money you’re willing to spend on the game. In every game, you face the risk of losing it all.
Still, with proper bankroll management, you will be able to decrease your chances of ending up empty-handed.
To make this happen, you should develop a reasonable betting plan and stick to it as much as possible. You should consider the funds available in your poker account and determine a bet size that will ensure your liquidity even if you hit a rough patch.
While you might get tempted to increase your bet, remember that it’s better to move forward in small steps than not move forward at all. Later on, when your starting bankroll increases, you’ll easily increase your bet size.
5. Reading People
Poker is a game in which body language and facial expressions speak louder than words. As a beginner, you might not be aware of how important this skill is.
However, every experienced player knows that the ability to read other poker players is a must in this game .
If you notice someone smiling or frowning, that can speak volumes about the cards they’re holding. However, don’t forget to put on a poker face while observing others, as you can bet they will be watching you as well.
Before you even start playing poker with the big boys and investing real money, it is vital that you practice as much as you can. For a start, you can do it at home through no deposit poker sites.
Naturally, the more you practice, the better you’ll become. You’ll also memorize all those charts and schemes more quickly and be well prepared to react in any situation.
Devotion is an integral part of your practice. What do I mean by this? Simply put, it’s not enough to play poker once in a blue moon and call it training. If you want to see results, you need to practice regularly and establish a consistent flow. In other words, you have to be devoted to your goal and do what it takes to accomplish it.
Even if you’re very busy throughout the week, you have to make time for poker. Leave nothing to chance and schedule a time to train at the art of playing poker into your daily planner each day. The moment poker becomes a part of your daily routine, you’ll start noticing improvements every step of the way.
8. Emotional Stability
During poker tournaments, poker players mostly manage to stay calm and refrain from showing emotions whatsoever. Still, no one can resist celebrating a massive win or be utterly indifferent while going through a grave loss.
Nevertheless, you must not allow any of these emotions to take control of your mind and influence your actions in the upcoming hands. Always remember that poker is unpredictable. You might be on top of the world in one hand and lose all your money in the next.
This is why emotional stability is among the most desired traits a poker player could possess. Being able to embrace certain emotions and remain focused at the same time is essential for players intending to profit from poker in the long run.
Openness to Learning
Although you must play poker yourself to discover how it works, a lot can be learned simply by watching other people play. Nowadays, there are numerous tournaments streamed online or broadcasted on television, giving you an insight into the gameplay of the world’s best poker players.
So, what are you waiting for? Get some snacks and chill the drinks. Premium poker education is only a few clicks away, and best of all — it’s free.
The moment you step into the poker world set a goal for yourself and be brave enough to go for it. Your goal might be to win five hands or to beat Daniel Negreanu if you get a chance to play him. Whatever it is, make sure to be bold and do what it takes to make your dreams come true.
Final words of advice — you won’t be able to do this by playing small. While it’s true you should take small steps until you master all the essential poker skills, you’ll have to pull out the big guns at some point. Otherwise, becoming a part of the poker elite will remain only a dream.
Hopefully, you no longer believe that a person must have an inherent talent for poker. Instead, every skill necessary to excel at this game can be mastered by hard work and perseverance. You can start by implementing one at a time and combining them as you go along. Once you manage to implement all ten skills into your poker gameplay, chances are I’ll be contacting you to ask about tips and tricks you picked up along the way.