Playing poker is a game that requires a lot of patience and skill. The idea of simply sitting at a poker table and not having a true understanding of the game is dangerous and will result in a substantial amount of money being lost. It requires that you make decisions based on the cards you are holding but also on the cards your opponents are holding. Then it further requires you consider the cards that are in play, how many people are in a hand and seated at the table before you act. By failing to do so you will find the results you achieve to be dismal and asking yourself why do I not win more often.
Based on this you need to follow some simple principles:
Before you act think through your decision. Do you raise, call or fold. What are the actions of the players before you and how many players are left to act in the hand? Thinking everything through will help you make better decisions and ultimately improve as a player.
Keep notes! This includes note on the hands you have won and more importantly, the hands you lost. The nice side to playing online is you are able to make notes about the players you face at both ring tables and tournaments. Should you be seated at a table against this player again those notes will be available. You will be able to review your notes and be in a better position to understand how that player plays or mistakes they may make.
Be sure to also review your notes after any one session. Whether it was a winning one or a losing one. It will allow you to review the way you played and see if you made proper decisions or failed to make them correctly. It will show if you acted too quickly and help you to understand ways to improve your game.
If you are new to the game or even a seasoned player it can be wise to play in lower limit tables or tournaments. It allows you to sharpen your skills as generally you will be playing against players who have limited skills and tend to act without much thought. It will allow you to prepare to play players with better skills and develop the fine art of evaluating player actions before you act. The information that you gain is invaluable and will result in improved results.
READ, READ and READ AGAIN! The more you read quality poker articles or books by those who have proven to be successful in the game the better you will become. There are reasons some people are simply programmed to be better players. We all have brains and the ability to understand odds. We have the basics of the game and understand how to play but by learning form the pro’s you will gain an insight into how they play, how they evaluate each hand and player they are up against.
It may even shock you at the process they take to get to the decision they choose before they act. They will offer you some great advice and you are then able to apply what you have learned, review the results and evaluate how they improved your game. If the results and are favorable then take another approach and re-read certain parts you think you are lagging in.