Poker is one of your best shots at consistently making money when you’re gambling. But you have to be skilled enough to not only beat the other players at the table, but also to be able to beat them by enough to cover the rake—the commission that the casino takes for hosting the game. Usually this is 5% of the total pot. Here are 10 tips for how to win at poker:
- Learn to play Texas hold’em
This is the most popular poker game in the world. And if you want to fish, you have to fish where the big fish are.
- Start folding more often
Most players make the mistake of playing too many hands to begin with. Then the chase those hands too far. If you start folding more often, you’ll have taken the first step toward becoming a winner.
- Start raising more often
Aggressive players are those who bet and raise more often. They win pots more often because of their opponents’ folds. They also get more money into the pot when they do have an edge.
- Learn to read other players’ tells
This will give you an edge in live poker that a lot of players don’t have. Read Mike Caro’s book on tells, or look for books by Joe Navarro. Both are experts on using body language to figure out what the other players are up to at the table.
- Stay sober
Drunken players lose money, and fast. So avoid alcohol while you’re playing, and you’ll have a better chance of walking away a winner.
- Learn the math behind the game
It’s impossible to win at poker if you don’t understand anything about pot odds and the odds of winning a pot.
You’ll find a lot of different books about how to win at poker. The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky is a good place to start. Reading is only part of the deal, though—you also have to practice and pay attention to what you’re doing. Keep a journal.
Paying attention to what you’re doing is one way to improve. And one of the easiest ways to do this is by keeping a journal of your winnings.
Author of The Theory of Poker ,David Sklansky.
- Practice online
You can learn a lot about how to play from the free games online, but you should move up to real games as soon as possible.
- Ignore most of what you see on television
Poker on TV is heavily edited for interest. Most hands are much more boring, and the way they play out in real life isn’t usually featured on TV.