10 ways to improve at poker

There has always been a debate about how much the game of poker is based on skill and how much is down to luck. Unfortunately you can never control the latter so should always concentrate on the skill side of the game, regardless of how much that attributes to.

Here are 10 ways you can improve at poker which can be played at with Betfair online casino, if you want to give yourself the best chance of success:-

1. Patience

Arguably the most important attribute you need to have to be successful in poker if patience. Unless you are prepared to wait to get involved with a good enough hand, you will throw away your bankroll quickly as the odds of you winning will be against you each time you go into the flop. You may get lucky on some occasions, but the majority of the time, you will lose.

2. Variety

The easiest poker players to come up against are those who never switch up their play and use the same tactics all the time. They are easy to read when they have a bad hand as they throw them away, while they are even easier to read when they have strength as they bet big from the beginning.

In order to avoid being read in poker, you have to switch things from time to time. Even if that means playing a hand that you wouldn’t normally go in with.

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3. Focus on the table

Unlike other card games, it is important not to switch off in poker even when you are not active at the table. You can learn a lot about your opponents by studying how their hands unfold. This information can then hopefully be used to your advantage in later games.

4. Don’t bluff too much

Bluffing is a tactic which can be used to your advantage in poker and help you win a pot when you had no right to do so with the quality of your hand. However, if you bluff too much, it can have costly consequences as you may end up losing a lot of your bankroll.

The whole idea of bluffing is to catch your opponent by surprise. You want them to believe that you are ahead of them at the table. It is therefore important to choose your right moment to use this deceiving play.

5. Make the most out of strong starting hands

Strong starting hands don’t come around too often. You may go through a whole session playing without the cards falling your way from the deck. However, once you do begin with strength, you have to try and maximise your potential return. This does not always mean betting large before the flop. As always, assess the players that are around you on your table and then decide the best approach.

If you believe that placing a solid bet before the flop will be matched, then certainly do so.  Ultimately it is about making sure the pot is full at the end of the hand which hopefully will head your direction.

6. Be prepared to fold

The hardest thing a lot of people find hard to do in poker is fold when they are committed to a pot. Deep down they probably know that they are second best but because they have invested a lot of their bankroll into the middle, they feel they have to hang around, hoping for a huge slice of luck to come their way.

A lot of the time poker is about cutting your losses. You need to remember that the hand you are playing in is not the last in the game. If you can get out when you genuinely believe you are in second place, it will help you save some of your bankroll which can hopefully be used to be successful in later games.

7. Bear in mind the number of players on your table

The number of players around your table is an important factor when deciding what tactics to use. The more opponents you have, the better your hands need to be. On the flip side to this, when you are playing heads up poker, the winning hand may just be a pair or in some cases a high card.

8. How strong is a pair?

A starting hand which involves two cards which are to the same value may seem like a great start to a game, however, you need to ask yourself how strong is your pair once you reach the flop.

Unless you are very lucky and hit three-of-a-kind, the chances are you are not going to improve your starting hand following the addition of the three extra cards. High value pairs which are eight or above can hold their own, but those towards the lower scale are unlikely to be good enough. This is worth bearing in mind when making your decision about whether to enter the flop or not.

9. Be careful when chasing flushes and runs

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Flushes and runs are fantastic hands which will win the pot for you nine times out of 10. The problem is, unless you hit your flush/run, you are unlikely to have a set hand which is good enough to hold out on its own. This is why you need to be extra cautious with the way you bet when you are chasing one of these hands in the flop.

10. Keep calm and be confident

Mistakes will happen from time to time in poker but the important thing to do after a bad hand is stay calm and move on. Unless you do this, it is very easy to fall into chase mode where you look to win back previous losses. In this mind-set you will not be playing sensible poker and could end up losing a lot more with some made decision making.

Luck normally evens out at the end of the session or year so if you have had a bad break, move on and remember, you will have your day where it swings in your favour.

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