Poker is a game that requires many skills, including patience and discipline. It also requires a commitment to smart game selection and a desire to become more knowledgeable. It can teach players a variety of valuable skills that are useful in other areas of their lives, from social interaction to critical thinking and self-analysis.
Taking charge of the situation and making your stand
One of the most important poker skills is taking control of the table. This can mean playing pots in position, calling with marginal hands, and even checking when you don’t have a strong hand. In a lot of situations, this can be the difference between winning and losing.
Take a bad beat like a pro
Every player hits a rough patch from time to time. They may lose several hands in a row, but no matter what happens, they will bounce back and win again soon enough. Professional poker players are masters at taking a bad hand and making it work.
Learning to take a bad beat can be a life skill, and it will help you deal with tough situations in the future. Watch videos of Phil Ivey taking a bad beat and you’ll notice that he doesn’t get upset or show any signs of getting depressed. He doesn’t play the same way after a bad hand as he did before, so you can learn from him.
Take charge of your emotions
It’s easy to get down and angry when you lose a hand in poker. But this doesn’t have to be the case. Instead, you should try to see the positive in any situation, and look for opportunities to improve your game.
Read your opponents’ tells
Poker players learn how to detect involuntary reactions called “tells.” They might touch their face, obsessively peek at the cards or chip stack, twitch their eyebrows or dart their eyes, or change their voice tone. These signals can tell you if your opponent is nervous or excited, and can give you an idea of their hand strength.
Use the information to your advantage
Poker teaches you how to pick your opponents’ hands wisely, so that you can get the best value from them. This is a skill that can be applied to many other parts of your life, from sales to negotiation to team leadership.
Raise to gain information
When you raise, your opponents have to raise, call, or fold. This can give you information about how strong their hands are, and it may even give you a free card on the next betting round.
Developing your own strategy
A good poker player takes the time to analyze their own play and develop a unique strategy. They may read poker books to learn how other players approach the game, or they might discuss their results with other players for a more objective look at their strengths and weaknesses.
Study ONE topic per week
Too many players bounce around in their studies, watching video clips and reading articles about different concepts. This doesn’t give them the time they need to ingest all of the knowledge and understanding they need to excel.