Poker is a game of chance and luck will always play a part. However, it is possible to learn and practice enough to be able to beat the game over time. This article discusses a few simple changes that can often be the difference between being a break-even beginner and becoming a long term winner.
The biggest difference between successful poker players and those that struggle is how they approach the game. The best poker players are able to keep their emotions and superstitions at bay and are able to make quick, sound decisions based on their situation. The best way to develop these quick instincts is to spend a lot of time playing and watching the game. Observe how experienced players react to situations and try to mimic their reactions.
Another important aspect of poker is being able to read your opponents. This is especially important when you are in position. You can read a player by their body language and how they handle the chips. For example, a player who is fumbling around their chips may be trying to conceal the strength of their hand or they could be holding a big pair.
Many beginners over-estimate the importance of studying unconscious tells. While these tells can be important, the more valuable information is the conscious things that a player does at the table. For example, a player who smooth calls early on may be trying to conceal the strength of their holdings and also prevent other players from raising against them.