10 Practical Tips to Improve Your Poker Skills (Part 2)
Raise More Often
The other half of that equation is getting in there and making a play. This simply means that instead of checking and calling, you should bet and raise.
If you call or check, more often than not, you’ll be wasting your time.
Checking only provides your opponents with the opportunity to draw cards, perhaps giving them an advantage that costs them nothing. Therefore, unless you plan to fold later in hand, you should almost always bet instead of check.
Calling is ineffective as well. By doing this, you’re making it cheaper for your opponents to play against you. In effect, you increase their ability to neutralize your strength.
However, it’s also essential to bear in mind that some of your profits are derived from the fact that your opponents fold at the first sign of aggression.
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You must have a better hand than your opponent if you are playing tight a lot of the time. Although you have to remember that you will not have a better hand every time. That’s impossible. If you have a better hand but decide to fold because you bet and raised, you are at an advantage. There is no way it will happen when you always check and call.
Limit your playing, but when you do play, play the strongest hands.
Practice by Playing Online
Experience is irreplaceable. Gaining experience quickly can help you grow quickly as a player. Playing online is very efficient in terms of how many hands of cards you can get per hour. At an average poker table, the average number of hands per hour that you’ll see is 30.
The action happens faster on the Internet than it does in person. So, for example, an online poker table enables you to play two to three times as much as possible if you were playing live.
However, it is only one of many methods to accelerate your learning. You can do something in an online poker game that you cannot do in a live poker game:
It is possible to play at more than one table at the same time. You can now play up to 2 tables of blackjack simultaneously, resulting in a range of hands between 160 and 200 hands per hour.
Several online poker professionals play up to four tables at a time. When this rule is in place, you are required to play a more aggressive and tighter game because you’ll have no time to act if you get involved in many pots at many tables.
It gives you a more comprehensive view of the long-term ramifications because you reach the long term much more quickly.
Get a Coach
I never used poker coaches, but I had mentors, coaches, and teachers helping me in other aspects of my life. You can actually learn most of your skills, including poker skills, on your own today.
But a coach can help you get to know more quickly.
Nearly three years ago, I began taking guitar lessons. I’m not religious about my classes, but I’m practicing a lot. I also see many videos and tutorials on YouTube. And I have some books to explain how my guitar skills can be improved.
However, nothing helps me improve more quickly than a guitar lesson.
If someone like a coach can indicate your mistakes as they occur, your ability will increase by 10 times as quickly as you would.
Coaches of poker are not inexpensive. For a respectable poker tutor, you probably are looking for at least $200 per hour.
But in the lifetime of your play, it’s almost certainly worth it if you’re serious about the game. Moreover, in the Internet age, finding coaches, mentors, and tutors is much easier than even a few years ago.
Start a Blog
Earlier, I recommended that active reading be done to help your poker skills. Becoming a more active reader can be done by writing book reviews detailing everything you’ve learned from reading poker books. This is doable on a blog, and you may even generate income from the blog through the sale of advertisements.
Allowing comments on your poker blog is an excellent way to foster discussion. If you discuss your ideas in connection with the ideas in your poker books, you can dramatically and quickly improve your game.
You don’t have to go as far as writing poker books to benefit from a poker blog, but having a blog about poker will definitely help your online career. It is also possible to write about specific hands. Having read this, you will have a clearer understanding of how you think about those hands and how you play them. In addition, the comments will provide feedback—and, since you’ll read what people have to say, your game will improve in the process.
You may recall that I previously mentioned Steven Covey and his Seven Habits. This concept is central to many of his books, where he emphasizes the importance of imparting knowledge to others. He suggests that we read his books this way.
Use your new poker blog to teach others, and everyone, including you, will benefit from it.
Expand Your Network
Various individuals have recommended starting a poker study group, which is a great way to become better at the game. Not only is it possible to use friends to help your poker game, but there are several other options, too.
I used to be good friends with Larry and Todd, two other regular players in the underground card rooms in Dallas. Even after we cashed out of the game and went to Denny’s, I always had someone I could discuss my hand with.
Those late-night talks were an effective way of broadening my skill set.
One example is about mindset as much as it is about specific skills. One night Todd and I played with quite a young player, and I expressed my dismay that we took money from someone who seems practically a child.
Todd pointed out that I didn’t make that kid sit at the table or give him any money to play with. It was inevitable that someone would win his money, so it might as well be me.
That was possibly the most important lesson I learned in poker: don’t feel sorry for your opponents.
If you’re serious about poker, you should work on your skills so you can win more money and advance your progress more quickly than you might expect.
While improving your game can be as simple as getting a better night’s sleep this afternoon, a few simple strategies may help you. Of course, staying active and eating a well-balanced diet can help, too.
Reading books, discussing them with others, and writing about your game are examples of more specific strategies that can further improve your game.