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3 Ways to Sharpen Your Poker Game
Poker is one of those games whose rules make it simple enough to pick up, yet whose actual gameplay makes the game very difficult to master. Poker is different to many other common forms of gambling, including card games, in that it is not a game of pure luck. Poker does involve some level of luck though, as any reasonably experienced player will have at least one story of a hand that they should have won were it not for the hand of lady fate.
Developing your poker game isn’t easy, especially as nothing will help you develop more than actually playing against other people, but this can be an expensive way to learn. The following tips will help any poker player to sharpen their skills and to make sure that they don’t begin to lose their touch over time.
A big part of becoming a great poker player is going to lie in learning how to read other players and how to become adept at hiding your own tells. Tells are any signals which might give away the strength of your position to your opponents. This isn’t something that you can practice online. However, playing online will allow you to focus on the other aspect of the game – the table itself.
Card counting is more commonly associated with blackjack, but it is a skill with use in poker too. You want it to become second nature for you to look at the table, make a mental note of the cards you can see, and from this, calculate the probability of the next card coming up in your favor. At the same time, you need to be able to judge how likely it is that your opponents have a better hand, based on what is on the table. You can find poker and other free flash games online through a number of different websites.
Play with a Mentor
If you know another poker player with a reasonable amount of experience, it is a good idea to sit down and play with them. The big advantage of practicing against friends is that, even if you do bet with real money, you can always agree to reset your money afterwards. Some players feel that by removing the element of danger that comes with actually putting money on the line, it isn’t possible to play poker in the same way as in a casino.
For most people, however, the experience they will gain from playing someone more experienced is worth pursuing. A very experienced partner can also help to review your game after and give you pointers on improving.
If you don’t have access to an experienced poker player in person, there are many on the internet willing to share their expertise. YouTube is a good place to look for videos offering poker advice. You can also find footage of televised poker tournaments on YouTube. By watching these and seeing how the professionals play, paying particular attention to when they do and do not bet, you can begin to develop your sense of what you need to work on.
As well as the above words of advice, there is a wealth of literature and guides available from bookstores across the nation. Above all, keep playing, and eventually you will master the art of poker.