Learning poker is filled with challenges. In the beginning, even simple things like hand values or raises can be full of anxiety. Nail biting decisions to call on a raise and lose can create a lack of confidence in the players’ ability and turn them off of the game. Confidence at the poker table comes through playing – in poker experience is your greatest teacher. No theory works all the time. Some of the things players do can lead to their dissolution with the game. In the beginning of any venture it’s common to make mistakes. Let’s look at some things that will improve your game and give you greater confidence.
Look at Where You Can Win
Poker is a thought game. If you think you can win, then you probably will win. Most players are looking for the big payday and tournaments larger than their budgets. If they bust out, then they’re out of the game and their confidence takes a hit and they lose money too. With that attitude that you can win, you will find more opportunities for great results. Look at tournaments where you think you can win and you probably will. This might mean lower pots but it is a step in the right direction, rather than shooting for the moon against professional players.
Professional poker players are everywhere but will gravitate to the big money games. Their livelihood depends on winning and they know every trick in the book. Making big raises with a mediocre hand, bluffing, going all-in with nothing, these are the opponents who create common anxiety producing situations for the new player.
Changing this is simple. Check out the results and keep playing. Sticking to one game, you will see the same players over and over. As a result, you can predict how they play. This doesn’t always work but seeing players behaviors over and over, can lead you to making better decisions as whether to bet or not. One players joins the tournament late and is in a rush to get his chipstack up and goes all-in frequently. Can they really have such great hands over and over? Probably not, but you have to have a great hand if you want to challenge them.
Poker is game with two components. One is the betting game and the other the cards themselves. And many raisers challenge everyone to wonder if they hand is good. Try it, simply raise a hand and see how many people fold leaving you with the pot. Few players have bonfide good hands. When doing this, it’s important for you to think you have a great hand since if you get called you have to deliver.
Find Your Game
One of the most important things for a player to do is to find their game. For example, if you can’t be in tournament for many hours, you might find a cash game will do. Or if you can sit for hours and hours and still not get fatigued or have other responsibilities, you might find tournaments will do. On a more focused note, you might like one game that starts at a great time for you. A good idea is to stick to that game for a while. You will be gaining experience often playing with the same people and can master your skills through experience. It will go a long way to do this.
Doing this you need to stick to stakes you can afford. Cover yourself with 3X the entry fee and you should be good to go. Busting out isn’t good but can happen to anyone. But you are here to observe and participate when you can. You will find playing the same game over and over will add experience skill and money to your bankroll.
Get Your Comfort Zone
This is one of the most important things. Once you find your game, you can find your comfort zone. You will know what hands may come up, how opponents might play. You can sidestep or raise more confidently. For example, one player might go all-in only when he has a good hand like a pair. Another player might do the same on basically nothing and hope for a bluff. You see these as you play especially playing the same game over and over. Following these steps will increase your confidence as you play and you can expect improved outcomes.