When it comes to casino card games, poker is certainly one of the favourites. The nature of the game appeals to players in that they get to pit their skills against other players around the table. Whether you play at a casino, with friends or online, everyone wants the satisfaction of winning a few games. However, in most cases, players end up leaving the table empty handed and wondering what they keep doing wrong.
The good news is that you can take specific steps to ensure that you improve your skills and actually start winning a few games. We take a look at why you are not winning and what you can do about it.
• Playing at the Wrong Level
For most players, the biggest mistake they make is playing against far better poker players either online or at a land based casino. It’s quite simple if you think about it. If you just started out playing poker, you should be playing at tables where everyone else is a novice. If you have a few years of casino poker under your belt and you’re playing at a novice table, chances are you will be winning most of the time.
So before taking a seat in a poker room or joining an online game, take the time to suss out the competition before you join in. You should have a good idea of where your skills lie. While playing against high rollers might feel cool, all you are doing is padding their wallets and ruining your enthusiasm for the game.
• Not Putting in the Time
Like all things in life, if you want to be successful, you need to put the time and energy into whatever you are doing. Poker players who win most of the time, put a lot of time, energy and money into becoming a better player. This might take months or even years of practice with regular feedback and dedication to the game. If you really want to improve your winning percentage, you need to make the decision to do what is necessary.
Every good player reaches a point where they either remain a social player or they graduate to being a competitive and winning poker player. No one can become a brilliant poker player without putting in the time and effort. At some point, you need to decide where you want to be on the scale.
• No Set Bankroll
One big reason why players tend to lose money on poker is because they are not playing the correct table limits for their skillset and they don’t set a specific bankroll. Time and time again we see that recreational poker players buy into games with the cash they have in their pocket at the time. This is the same cash they use for slots, drinks, entertainment and food. If players bust out and have a bit of extra money, they simply buy back in. If they bust out and have no more money, they go home. This is the case with 95% of all amateur players.
If you want to be a successful poker player and actually start making some money, the first step is setting a bankroll. It doesn’t matter if you are not winning most of your games, you still need to set a specific bankroll and management strategy. This ensures that you have the cash needed to give you the best chance of improving. It is important to use the bankroll only for poker and nothing else. All losses and subsequent wins must go out and come back into your bankroll. In general, the bankroll recommendations for poker players is around 200 to 300 times the big bet limit for games. For games with no limit or a single pot, the suggested bankroll is 20 to 30 times the buy in.
• Not Specialising
If you have ever watched the Olympics, you will know that each athlete has a specific sport and a specific discipline within that sport which they are competing in. What this boils down to is that the athletes have chosen one discipline and focused all their energy and time to be the best in that area. This is the same with poker. There are many players out there that jump from Texas Hold’em to Omaha stud to three card poker and Casino Hold’em all in one day. It is almost as if the players are thinking that if they switch games, their luck will change.
The truth is these players are just ruining their chances of becoming proficient in one form of the game. If you want to become a better poker player, you need to start specialising. This means picking one game, a set limit and format. Then focus all your time and effort on becoming the best you can be in this game only. Once you have learned all you can and are consistently winning, you can then branch out to other forms of the game. Once you have chosen your speciality, start playing the lower tables and give yourself room for errors and room to grow. Be kind to yourself and learn from your mistakes.
If you follow the advice given here, you should be well on your way to becoming a proficient, successful poker player.