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Everyone loves speed!  In poker, speed is usually not the best way to learn the game and to play.  Here at Juicy Stakes Poker Australia we say that excellence in poker has to be cultivated.  It comes from perseverance, attention to detail, study, and composure.

How Can a Poker Player Improve Her or His Game?

It’s quite amazing but the first tip we want to give new poker players is: Ignore the poker rake! The rake should never affect your poker decisions!  The rake is simply the fee every winner of (almost) every pot pays Juicy Stakes so that we can cover our expenses and can continue to provide a safe and friendly venue for online poker!

The rake at Juicy Stakes is always small, we cap it so that big pots contribute a very small percentage to the rake, and if everyone folds to the big blind, there is no rake on that hand.  Enough said about the rake; let’s learn a few solid tips for new and even many experienced poker players!

If You are in a Rut Get Yourself out of It

Good poker players will fold about 70% of all hands before the flop.  Every poker player has runs where it seems like they are folding 100% of the time.  It can easily become a knee-jerk type of rut: you look at your hole cards and prepare to fold!

Treat Every Hand with Respect

Every new hand requires a fresh analysis.  You need to consider your position, the possibility that a call with a weak but serviceable hand could send your opponents off the track, who won the last hand and in which position, will the previous winner become complacent and call or raise with a very poor hand, and many other questions you have to ask yourself on every hand.

Become an Expert at Observation

In order to answer these questions you need to be totally immersed in observing your opponents’ actions, demeanor, and tendencies.

The great American novelist Ernest Hemingway said about writing novels that a writer had to mark out the basic plot and characters and then put into the story everything he or she knows about people!

Everything you know about people comes from close observation.  We cannot underestimate the importance of developing powerful observation skills!

Start Playing at Low Stakes

One obvious reason is that if you lose money, you will lose the least if you play at low stakes.  This gives you the chance to improve your poker at very low cost.

The next less obvious reason is that the least experienced players are found at low stakes games.  If you are serious about developing powerful skills of observation, the least experienced players make for the best laboratory.  They have not yet developed the chameleon persona that so many good players do develop.

Daniel Negreanu may be a chatterbox but his constant chatter is a subterfuge for a highly attuned mind that is taking in a huge amount of stimulus and input every moment!

If you are committed to becoming a top notch poker player, there will be plenty of time for you to play at higher stakes.  Start out at low stakes!

Expand Your Poker Imagination

This involves poker math, of course.  But it also involves imagining a wide range of possibilities.  Modern poker players use the term “ranges” to describe this expansion of the imagination but most explanations of poker ranges are not good for beginners.

Most explanations about ranges assume that the players watching or reading the explanation already have some facility with poker ranges.

Beginners do not have this facility!

So, we use the concept of expanding your ability to imagine all the possibilities.  If you do so, you will naturally begin to think in terms of ranges.  The difference between learning to think in terms of ranges in the “natural” way rather than the textbook way is that you won’t be aware that you are thinking in ranges at first!

You will simply feel that you are imagining your opponents’’ possible hands!

Balance Consistency with Inconsistency

If you always fold every hand except the seven top hands, you will become the paragon of consistency and you won’t win many sizable pots.  Everyone will know that you have a high pair or suited royals or some other very strong hand.

So, while consistency is good as a way to develop good poker habits, inconsistency is also extremely important as a way to send your opponents off the scent of what you are betting with.

This idea also includes betting out of position before the flop from time to time  When you do so, be sure that you have a hand that could hit the flop such as suited connectors or a low pair.  Even a pair of deuces can force some opponents out of a hand and can ultimately win some hands.

And if the card that you already have a pair of comes out on the flop, you have instantly gone from a low pair to a strong set!  Most of your opponents won’t be able to put you on the set and with good betting after the flop, you should be able to win a nice sized pot!

It’s Always Better to Like Your Cards Rather than to Love Them

Even a pair of aces loses to the aforementioned set of deuces.  There are many times when the best action you could take is to fold that pair of aces.  The same applies to any hand.  We reference the ubiquitous YouTube clips where there are many instances of a pro folding a strong hand in the face if what he or she presumes to be a better hand.

Learn to Control Your Anger

This subject is so important that we will devote an entire upcoming article to rage.  In poker parlance, rage is called tilt.  Tilt is the bane of all poker players and the best players are often separated from the next echelon of players by their ability to overcome the basic human tendency to get very angry at bad luck, misunderstanding a situation, and worst of all, being fooled and made to look like a fool!

Play Poker Online at Juicy Stakes

We offer a wide and wonderful world of online poker.  Our many thousands of players can attest to that simple fact!  We invite you to become one of our cohort of happy online poker players.  JOIN JUICY STAKES POKER NOW!


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