The poker has covered a long distance from luck to skill and now it is more a game of skill than sheer luck. Especially, since the arrival of a highly advanced algorithm-driven online poker system, it is a game of pure analytical skill. As a player, you have to master the right set of skills and use them at the right moment to be a winner in the long run. It is not just the gaming skill that is going to make you the winner, but you have to acquire skills like deep focus, analytical mind, patience, discipline, strategy, emotional intelligence, game psychology and of course the bankroll management to win in an online poker game.
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You simply cannot remove the element of randomness from online poker. That is the fun of the game, but as an attentive player, your job is to find the pattern in that randomness and use it in a relatively better manner. It is not about being one time lucky to get hold of the pot, but a long-term winner. Here are some of the things that can improve your poker online skills:
- Ultimate Focus
Distraction is your enemy on a poker table. You need to remain focused on the game for hours to be a winner in online poker. In tournaments, you may require to sit for more than 10 hours at a stretch and that needs a very high level of focus. Of course, winning helps you relax your mental muscles, but you have to master the art to focus for long term winning.
- Patience & Discipline
You have your skills and you have your cards to play your hand. But, that isn’t enough to make you a winner. Apart from your strengths; you need to exploit the weakness of your opponents to be a winner in poker. You need a very high level of patience to track mistakes of your opponent and play accordingly. You aim to be profitable and to do that you have to be highly disciplined in your approach in your betting strategy and make the right call at the right moment. Your disciplined approach helps you control your emotions and avoid mistakes of the fold and raise.
Your greatness in online poker is determined by your skill to strategize your moves. It is not about that one hand, but the overall game-play and the ultimate profit. The strategy starts from game selection and involves table selection, player analysis, strengths and weaknesses, profitability and ultimately the bankroll. The majority of the strategy remains focused on table centric moves. And it is all about information collection and contextual decision making. Right information used in the right moment can give you an upper hand and the much-needed win.
- Analytical Mind
Your online poker platform is just a medium, which is equal for all. So, don’t waste too much time other than understanding that game matrix and possible pattern. It is better to focus on the analysis of the game and apply all possible information sets in decision making. An analytical mind counts all possible factors and takes decisions accordingly to maximize profit or minimize loss. Your analytical mind makes you a better reader of an opponent’s mind and helps you strategize the next move accordingly.
- Emotional Intelligence
In the raw field of analytics, there is not much value of emotions, but in online poker, it makes a huge difference in terms of information collection and use. You are bound to react knowingly or unknowingly, according to a situation; all you need to do is to be relatively more stable to emotional triggers. Your emotional stability gives you an amazing edge on the poker table. It takes time and effort to master the art.
Human behavior is amazingly complex. If you understand the basics of human behavior, especially the decision-making mechanism and how body language changes, in particular situations this could be a great asset in poker. Your mental frame helps you take better contextual decisions. Once you have enough cue about opponents, you can use that to manipulate the decision of your opponents. This helps you in bet sizing, bluff and call.
- Bankroll Management
You may be a master of online poker and you manage to win hands smartly. But at the end of the day, what matters is the balance of your earnings. Here, bankroll management makes all the difference. You have to be very calculative in managing your cash flow. One single miscalculation and all your earnings could be at risk. Thankfully, almost all big online poker players have a very robust bankroll management system in place with limit alerts. Just calculate your risk-taking capacity and play within that margin.
There is no end of learning, and when it comes to poker you learn through practicals. Build a habit of making notes, and in a few weeks, you will see that you have your vast knowledge bank for reference. Keep on learning and honing poker skills!