Beginner's guide

How to Improve Your Poker Skills

Playing poker can be so much fun. Whether you’re playing with your friends at home, playing online poker, or catching a game of table poker at a public place, the thrill is undeniable. It takes a certain level of skill to successfully play and be good at it.

While poker can certainly be a luck of the draw type of game, there are always tips to improving your game play and maybe even just learning a good poker face so you don’t give yourself away when the cards are not in your favor or you have an incredible hand.

Check out these tips on how to improve your poker skills and see if you might be able to put them to the test!

Bet on a Range of Hands

Your poker face matters. This means that you need to be able to bet on a variety of hands, even if your hand stinks. If you only bet when you are fully invested in the hand, your opponents are going to pick up on that and know when you have a good hand as opposed to a flop hand.

Set up your game and your reputation by betting on a range of different hands so your opponents will never really know if you have something worth betting for or not. On the same note, learn how to keep your face neutral so you don’t give anything away with expressions or reactions.

Understanding your own betting on a range might even help you understand your opponents’ tactics a little bit more. Rest assured, they probably also have some sort of strategy at play here.

Learn the Power of the Cards

You should study poker and really learn the concepts of the cards, as well as understanding a variety of poker games and strategies. This will possibly give you an upper hand in poker and improve your skills over all. To be the master, you need to know when a card or a hand really works in your favor.

Are there certain suits or cards that are worth more points? Do you have a goal for the cards? Is there a card in your hand that gives you an upper hand of power as opposed to other cards?

For example, you might not know that the most powerful king is the king of diamonds. The king of diamonds is a one-eyed king and the only one-eyed king in the deck. While this specific card isn’t necessarily worth more points, there are plenty of seasoned players who believe the receipt of this card is a sign in their favor.

There are plenty of stories and beliefs like this and it could be to your benefit to get to know those things. It might even change your approach to a play.

Hold Your Flop

Even if you know that your hand is quite possibly a flop, you might want to fake it till you make it. You don’t want to be the first player to limp out of the game. If you can hold on until the flop happens, you might still have a stake in the game and you have a chance at a win still.

No one wants to be the first to let down their hand and say “I’m out”. Inevitably, someone has to be the first. However, if you can hold out for a time, just let someone else be that first. The longer you stay in, the more your odds improve.

On the same note, understand there comes a time when you might have to back out but it’s always best if someone else is the first to do so.

Establish Your Reputation

If you’re still fairly new in the world of poker, it’s a really great time for you. This is the time to train and hone your game and set your own reputation. You want to be solid and build a solid background in the game. It’s not always about survival and some of the top poker players out there will tell you that.

Play in a solid manner and just stay steady. Learn to be a little bit aggressive and build your take in the game. This strategy will be incredibly helpful to you particularly if you are playing in a tournament where you might be playing game after game.

Set the stage and play hard. Let them know you won’t just back down from a challenge.

Justify Your Moves

When you are playing, you will quickly learn to develop your own strategy and that’s great! You should develop a strategy that works for you and then stick to it. On the same note, there will be times that you might find it necessary to deviate from your strategy. In those times, you should always think it out before you act.

If you’re noticing a passive style of play at the table, this might be your chance to take an aggressive approach apart from your standard strategy.

Always pay attention to the table. There are times that your strategy is best-suited to adjust to fit what is going on with other players at the table and might just benefit you in the end.

Take the Time to Study and Learn

After a game, you should take the time to study and review your hand. This is the most valuable educational time you are likely to get. As a beginner especially, you should write down your hands and review them. Was there something you could have done better in the game?

When the games are over, you can take your written hands and discuss them with others. Check with your coach or other players and then use the information to educate yourself and improve your game as a whole.


There are a lot of variants when it comes to poker. It’s up to you to take the time and effort to figure out what really works best for you to be a successful player. Use these tips to improve your play and learn how to get better as you go.

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