Learn How To Play Like A Professional Poker Player In Six Simple Ways
You may wonder how to play like those professional players in poker tournaments, and to do so you need to adopt these strategies! Once you do, you will be able to distinguish yourself from amateurs. If you play online, you can get bonuses for playing tournaments!
Stay in profitable games
Firstly, it is important to choose to play profitable games and to stay in it as long as it brings you money. This is probably the most crucial point. It can come with difficulties, but soon you will gain the know-how. Here are some methods you can try to choose profitable games:
- Keep an eye on bad players when you come across them. Bad players include those who play too many hands or chase unprofitable draws. This will be further explained below. That way, you know that you can profit if you play the games that they are in.
- Other than players who are lacking in skills, bad players can also mean players who are intoxicated, since it negatively affects their decision-making.
- Organize your own games so you can decide who the players are, who should be players that are less skilled than you. Keep this social circle.
Usually, most players play only for a few hours. However, they do not get to seize the full profitability of the game. Professional players would usually play the whole day or even up to 24 consecutive hours as long as it is profitable. Thus, to be like a professional player you need to know when a game is professional and exploit it to the fullest by planning to stay as long as you can.
This can be both physically and mentally demanding, so you need to ensure that you keep yourself fit and get enough sleep so you can concentrate. This could include eating healthier, exercising more, and of course, practice. As it goes without saying, it would be unwise for you to stay when you find yourself losing concentration or becoming sleepy. Otherwise, it would be disadvantageous for you even in a profitable game.
Poker is not a side hobby
Most professional players devote themselves to becoming a winning player. In other words, they do not treat poker merely as a hobby. If you are looking to become a professional poker player, you need to put in the necessary hours, and that means treating it as a job.
Playing poker like it is your job also requires you to empty all the things in your mind that are bothering you and concentrate on the game, or more aptly put, the job. That also means that even if you do not feel like playing poker, you still do it anyway because you can earn money.
When poker is your job, you need to study in order to improve yourself, including studying your competitors and their playing style and your hand. This will give you the upper hand in the game. The more study, the more you learn and the better you become.
Other than studying during the games itself, you should also study before games by reading online resources, books, and watching videos.
The last thing about playing poker as a job is to track your progress as well as your competitors’. Keep a journal of wins, losses, playing styles. This is a tip that you can start practicing right away, whether you play as well as professional players or not.
Leave when the draw is unprofitable
Many amateurs do not leave the game even when it gets unprofitable for them. Don’t make this same mistake and play too many hands because professionals know how to play more advantageously when their starting hand is stronger.
Furthermore, amateur players often chase unprofitable draws instead of folding. This is something no professional will do. If you are not getting profitable pot odds every time, then don’t chase it because it is no longer profitable. You would be working against probability here.
Not familiar with pot odds? Don’t worry, because anyone can easily pick them up in a few hours or so, and this is a small cost for an investment that will last you.
The key here is to know how to use pot odds in your favor so you will never lose out. This, amateurs do not know.
Actually, there is no need to get the specific pot odds on all of your hands. This is because the same situation often appears, again and again, so you don’t have to calculate them every time; the first would be enough. So once you play often enough, you don’t need to make exact calculations to know whether a draw can profit you or not.
Set aside a bankroll and play wisely
As with any gambling games, there is a risk of ruin. The concept of risk of ruin states that gambling too much of your bankroll will increase the probability of losing your money.
An important thing to do if you want to become professional is to set aside a bankroll, and only use a small portion of the bankroll in each game. It is less risky to play more games with a smaller buy-in than to play a few games with more percentage of your bankroll.
Amateurs usually do not have a bankroll to set aside to play poker. Instead, they play with the money from their own pocket. Doing this means you cannot control the percentage of the money you play with and increases the risk of ruin.
Setting aside a bankroll would require you to play well and to have a source to get your money from. Here are a few tips you can follow to get your engine running.
First, never play more than 5% of your bankroll in a game or tournament. That means you are risking too much. You should keep it within 2.5% to below 5% of your bankroll to keep it profitable. However, as you improve your poker skills, you can slowly increase the amount to take advantage of the profitability. Such games with high profitability would allow you to reduce that risk. For example, you know your opponents well and that they do not play as well as you. Of course, you should limit yourself to about 20% of your bankroll, since the probability of losing your money is still in the works despite the high profitability of the game. You may end up losing more than you earn.
Secondly, do not be embarrassed to play with smaller buy-ins, remember the 5% magic number.
In it for the long run
Since poker involves a lot of statistics, it is wise to play with the long run in mind. One game is not more important than the other. In the end, the probability will work in your favor if you know how to play profitable games only.
If you’re the favorite, you could lose on draws, but you are still going to win with the probability considering how long you’ve played. So even if you seem like you’re losing a lot, you are benefitting in the long term. Amateurs are impatient and usually give up not knowing the math.
Winning is not the goal
Professionals put their focus on placing their money in the pot when it is profitable, and not on winning. It sounds counter-intuitive, but placing your money in profitable games more than placing them in non-profitable games, winning or losing is insignificant. Tying this with the previous point, doing this for the long run will work in your favor.
Again, the professional players don’t emphasize winning in a few games, but on taking advantage of profitable games and placing their money in the pot. Trust the process!
In the end, you can be sure that you’ll become more like a professional with these poker strategies that they use. Be patient and observant and you definitely won’t regret it.