Tuesday, February 23, 2010

How to beat poker - the basics

I am not talking about basics like pot odds and winning percentages. There are some principles which are even more basic and fundamental to all forms of poker.

Choose your opponents wisely. If you wanna win money make sure you are the best or at least one of the better players at the table. Playing against better opponents might improve your own game if you are willing to learn from them. But you should be aware that you don't get these lessons for free. Others like to match themself with the best players around. That is just stupid..Leave your ego away from the table. It will just cost you a lot of money. You should also try to be on the left of bad players. This gives you the chance to isolate these players preflop and play one on one against them.

Bankroll Management
Even if you are a winning player poker is still a game of chance. You can and will lose versus weaker players sometimes. And sometimes this might stretch over a long period of hands. Even solid winners of swings of 100 big bets every now and than. So make sure that you can handle these times. You should have at least 500 BB for the stakes you are playing. If you play professionally it should be even more. So you don't have to move down in the stakes you are playing. If you have less than 300 BB for your current limit you should move down to avoid going broke.

Don't tilt/Play your A game
This seems simple, right ? But i guess it is what turns themost players into losers. They know how to play. When to fold or raise but they don't do it at times. I am not only talking about the obvious signs of tilting like going full phil hellmuth and scream at everyone and everything. The more dangerous form of tilt is not when you are in full berserker mode. After a couple of suckouts or setups/coolers you start making bad calldowns or become a maniac. DON'T !
Don't let your feelings influence your game. If you notice that your style of play changes stop playing.

Good luck at the tables everyone!