Gamblers don’t say that poker is not a game of luck, but a game of knowledge and skill because there are so many guidelines and rules in it on how to act in certain situations that even the best poker players in the world have not yet mastered them.
By investing enough time, it is possible to progress in this game every day, and it is up to the players themselves how much time they want to devote to progress, and how much to simple fun while playing. If you play it just for fun, you definitely won’t care about these rules and the mistakes you make, and then you should be playing for smaller stakes. But if you want to perfect your game, the first step is definitely to get as good as possible in this initial phase of dealing and know how to act in relation to your cards, your position, and the behavior of your opponents.
In order to help you, we have listed 6 things you should avoid doing at all costs.
1. Playing automatically
In the days when casino online poker was just becoming popular, some basic actions were common. You never had to worry about adjusting your style or which cards to play and which not to. You could do the same thing countless times and other players were so bad that you could still make a profit from playing.
However, as the players got better and better, being in automatic mode wasn’t nearly as profitable anymore. People were becoming more aware of the conditions and situation at the table and what was going on so it became much more likely that they would change their styles to somehow fool their opponents and add some level of unpredictability to their game. For example, it used to be so easy to bluff when you were in a late position knowing that you would very likely steal your opponents’ early bets. However, today’s players are smart enough to understand this right away, and such strategies will not work for you.
2. Blindly sticking to the rules
As we hinted at earlier, there are certain poker rules for how to play in a certain position at the table. Let’s say it’s a nine-player table, and then you can be in the top three players, in the middle, and in the last three players. Those rules basically say to only raise when you have great cards if you’re in the top three positions if you have solid cards in the middle three, and to try to bluff or bet with almost any cards if you’re in one of the bottom three positions.
This is a strategy that belongs to some of the basic ones for new players, but even that one is very well used today when it comes to slightly better and more experienced players. They know how to recognize when players are investing because of this tactic and can turn it to their advantage. That is why it is very important that you also improve your knowledge of these unwritten rules of the game, but that you also appropriate some others so that you can combine different tactics and thus confuse your opponents. The worst thing that can happen to you is that you blindly follow some rules and become so easily overlooked that almost everyone knows when you have good cards and when you don’t.
3. Letting others know when you’re about to fold
By now you are probably aware of how much your attitude is important in this game, hence bluffing becomes so much more than just a strategy. Any physical reaction you express can give away what you’re going to do next, and you need to be constantly aware of this. What players tend to do very often is look to the right, giving others a signal they’re about to fold. Be mindful of this, and control where and when you look.
4. Not keeping it cool
It’s only natural to experience a rush of energy if you have strong hands. However, it manifests, making it easy to read. Most of us tend to start talking too much when this happens, which is why others read us easier than when we are cool. Although it’s quite hard to refrain from this, with practice it is possible.
Alcohol and gambling go hand in hand in most situations, however, it doesn’t mean that it is a productive way to play. One has to be mindful of how much concentration and behavior influence the outcome of a poker game.
Going for the bottle can only blur your reason, make you incapable to react in a proper way, and lose big time.
A glass of scotch, or some wine, if you assess won’t influence your reason is ok, but keep it controllable.
6. Sticking to one strategy all the time
One good strategy often used by good poker players is the so-called 3-bet. It is a strategy in which the player if he has potentially good cards or wants to bluff, will invest three times the value of the big blind. However, as is the case with all strategies, we can say that you have to be careful with this one as well. Using it too often could mean your opponents will read you and make better decisions when playing against you. It is important to constantly change your approach to the game and thus mask your intentions and the strength of the cards you hold in your hand. After all, poker is all about making oneself difficult to read or predict.
Although many online versions of this game won’t require much skill or strategy, a serious player will invest time to learn and practice to get better when there’s a chance to sit at the table and challenge real players. Knowing everything there is to know about this game is what makes it the greatest of all times, and what makes it exciting.