10 poker tips to take your game to the next level

Poker.Org Staff
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Posted on 06/22/2021

Whether you play Texas holdem or mixed games, these 10 poker tips will quickly improve your game. The advice we’ll give you in this article is easy to learn. It’s also perfect for players at all levels — even the micro stakes games. If you put these tips on playing poker into action, we’re confident your game will rapidly improve.

1. Seek other expert poker tips

We try our best to provide some valuable poker tips to our readers, but Poker.org shouldn’t be your only source for information. There are numerous resources out there, most notably some great poker coaches. On our list of top sites to learn poker strategy are Upswing Poker (Doug Polk), Chip Leader Coaching (Chance Kornuth), and Solve for Why (Matt Berkey). Who better to learn poker from than some of the best players in the game? The more you study poker, the better you’ll play, and the more money you’ll make.

2. Network with other poker players

You’re going to hit some rough patches in poker. That’s part of the game. Sometimes, the losses will come from poor play. Other times, bad luck will chip in to the defeats. But it’s always nice to have players you can talk to, who can give you an honest opinion of your play. Befriend successful poker players. Bounce ideas off them, and ask them to give you some feedback on how you played a certain hand. You just might learn a better way to play it. Plus, this game can get lonely if you don’t have some friends who play poker.

3. Take some time away from poker

This might be the most controversial of our poker tips, but it can also be the most beneficial. Poker is a difficult, stressful game. When things aren’t going your way, it’s tough to play your best. Sometimes, the best way to start playing better poker is to take a break and come back in a few weeks with a fresh mindset. Take a bit of time doing other things, including studying the game. But also make sure you spend some of your time away enjoying alternate activities, building relationships, and getting some much needed sleep. You’ll feel much better, and your game will benefit as a result.

4. Get more rest

After your short break from poker, once you get back to the grind, that doesn’t mean you should play poker 16 hours a day and sleep three hours. Poker is a mental game, and the quality of your mental health will impact your play. A huge part of being healthy, mentally and physically, is to sleep 7-8 hours per night. If you’re depriving yourself of sleep to play poker for long hours, chances are you’re going to lose money eventually. The more well-rested you are, the sharper your game will be. Although you’ll often need to play poker late at night (this is when the games are the best), go home and get a good night’s sleep afterward.

5. Self-reflection

One problem many poker players have is, they adopt the mindset that bad luck is the only reason they’re losing. That’s a harmful belief, because you’ll never improve your game while you think that way. Over the long-term, the skilled players come out ahead every time. If you lose long-term, it’s because you’re misplaying hands more often than you might think. After each session, win or lose, go home and think back to the biggest hands you played. Could you have done something differently to avoid a bad beat? Did you miss out on some value bet opportunities? Ask yourself these questions instead of focusing on the luck factor.

6. Choose a better game

Proper game selection is one of the most important poker tips you’ll ever get. If you sit down at a table full of nits who don’t give action, or one that’s packed with top pros, you’re wasting time and money. You don’t have to sit in a game you don’t want to be in. Tell the floor manager to put you up for a table change. Or if you’re playing online, get out of the game you’re in and find a new table. The best games financially are full of loose recreational players who are just giving away money. There’s no point in sitting down to play against a table full of Phil Iveys

7. Watch what you eat

As we said earlier, poker is a mental game. How you feel impacts your play. Have you ever noticed that all of the top high rollers in the game today appear to be in good shape? There’s a reason for that — they take care of themselves away from the felt. Eat a nutritious meal (fruits, veggies, grilled chicken, etc.) before you play, so that you aren’t hungry and tempted to chow down on an unhealthy burger or some other greasy food option at your local casino. And you shouldn’t limit your healthy eating habits to before a poker session. Eat healthy regularly.

8. Build relationships away from the felt

You might notice a trend in this list of 10 poker tips — we focus heavily on the mental aspect of the game. That’s because a mentally healthy person is usually a successful poker player. One thing numerous poker pros struggle with is to build meaningful relationships away from the felt. That includes family, friendships, and significant others. Find that special someone for you who is willing to accept your unusual lifestyle. You’ll be happier, and that will lead to a better poker game.

9. Pick on the weak

This might seem a bit weird and cruel, but poker is sometimes a cruel game. You won’t make money by playing against top pros. You’ll make the bulk of your earnings in most sessions against weak players. Target them relentlessly. Find their weaknesses, and then attack those weaknesses. If they’re playing too tight, bluff them constantly. If they’re calling to the river with just about any pair or draw, make them pay with large bets when you have a big hand, and don’t try to bluff them much.

10. Don’t be afraid to get bluffed

Stubbornness is a real problem with many poker players. No one likes to get bluffed. It’s soul-crushing when an opponent shows a bluff after you folded the winning hand. But sometimes folding even when you think there’s a chance he’s bluffing is the right play, especially in tournament poker. Check your ego at the door. Let your opponent get away with a bluff from time to time when your hand is vulnerable. Then wait for a better opportunity (stronger hand) to get all the chips.

Featured image source: Flickr