Learning Basic Poker Skills

Having a good hand in poker is only a small piece of the overall winning strategy. Naturally, skill in putting a great hand together, making appropriate bets, and winning the pot is the ultimate goal, but emotional behavior and clever moves play a huge role in whether the poker player is successful or not.

Control Yourself

When emotions get out of control at the poker table, the game is all but lost. One of the main skills in an experienced and successful player is the ability to exhibit self-control at all times. Becoming overly emotional or letting the quality of your hand show in your gestures and facial expressions will immediately tip other players off as to whether you are bluffing or if you really can win the pot. Patience is key when waiting for a good hand, and even if you have one, remain as calm and emotionally uncommitted as when you had hands worth very little.

Be a Watchdog

Watch other players at the table. In short order you should be able to pick up on their mannerisms to tell whether they have hands worth worrying about or they are just trying to fool others into thinking they are going to steal the pot. Listen to your intelligence rather than your emotions. Adapt to every situation at the table without being noticeable. If you are always quiet, remain that way throughout the game. If you tend to be vocal, that's fine, too. As long as you remain consistent, other players will not be able to tell whether you are bluffing or if you are on a winning streak.

To be successful, control yourself, watch your bank carefully, and observe other players for clues to their hands. Following these rules will bring you success.

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