There are two things that will change the way you play poker forever. These two things are surprisingly simple and intuitive, yet many players ignore them. Of course, if you ignore these two things you will lose money. It’s simple. One plus one always equals two.
Know Your Opponents
Yes. Look at the guys seated to your left and your right and gauge their abilities. Stay calm and stop trying to read their games; read their abilities instead. Who is the master of deception? Who is the professional? Who is the hopeless addict? Learn them and assign them fake names if you have to. Here’s the thing; if there are less than five people at the table, and these people have been playing for over an hour with no new players you stand a great chance of winning if you stay calm and rational. If there are more than five faces at the table, you will not be able to keep track of them all. The game is effectively out of your control. If there are new faces coming on, change tables. The chaos will be too much to make sense of.
How do you handle pressure? If you get all jumpy and panicky then poker is not for you. Poker is about the conquest of brains over emotions. When you notice the pressure is getting to you the best thing to do is to rise up, take a break or even walk away. Also, it’s best to not play poker when you have had a long day. Chances are that you will lose concentration, and money. Again, these are just the basic truths about winning at poker.
There are more guidelines, but it starts with the big two here. Be patient and consistent in the evaluation of your journey. Stay curious and open to learning new things.