If you want to become a high-stakes poker player, it will take much more than basic knowledge and even a sound strategy. Some of the worst mistakes made around a poker table come from simply being unaware of the easier things you can do to make more money and improve your game.
Fold More Hands
If you’re playing every hand just for the enjoyment of the game, you’re likely to be losing a great deal of your money. The best players have minimum hand requirements, and if they don’t have a minimum hand at the deal they fold and wait for the next round of play. If you’re playing every hand or almost every hand, you either need to up your requirements or set some basics ones.
Drinking and become a high-stakes poker player seem to go hand in hand with the number of free drinks offered in casinos, but the drunk player plays sloppy and might be having a great time, but he’ll be enjoying losing his money. Watch your alcohol intake both in casinos and at home while playing poker.
Bluffing only works well in certain situations, yet many players feel the need to bluff just for bluff’s sake. Stop. It is better to never bluff than to bluff too much.
Get Out if You’re Losing
If you’re holding a losing hand, you don’t need to keep throwing money in the pot on principle. Fold as soon as you realize you’re holding a losing hand – there is no sense in throwing good money after bad.
Don’t Call If You’re Losing Money
Poker is a game of strategy. If you think your opponent is winning, you don’t need to call just to “keep him honest.” Again you’re just wasting your money and unless you’re gaining information about his strategies or tactics, you’d do best to keep your money in your own stack of chips without giving it away knowingly.
If you have a bad day and think that playing a few hands of poker will cheer you up, you’re more likely to play emotionally and lose. Wait until your mood stabilizes to play, and if you lose a big hand and feel your mood shifting, take a break from play for a bit and come back when you’re mood is better. You don’t want to be taken advantage of.
Pay Attention to the Cards
Once you have the basics of the game learned, start paying careful attention to the cards that are on the table. You can make yourself aware of the opportunities other players have by looking to see what is left on the table and what is still in play.
Pay Attention to Other Players
Even when you’re not in a hand, pay careful attention to other players. Look for tells and certain patterns of behavior from other players. Once you know how the other players operate, you can take advantage of that knowledge and come out ahead.
Watch Your Limit and Abilities
If you’ve been having a great night playing at the low tables, that doesn’t mean you should move up to the higher limit tables. Even though the wait might be shorter and the higher limits more impressive, moving up away from the table where you’re winning, you’re leaving your winnings behind and you’re sitting down with more skilled players than you might be used to playing with. Don’t give up the lucrative low table to be wiped out at the higher one.