Staying the Course in Poker

Poker is a game of luck as much as skill, but it takes a lot of patience and discipline to stay the course when your strategy isn’t working. While there’s plenty of advice available on how to deal with bad luck or losing hands that you should have won, staying the course is ultimately up to the player.

To succeed at poker, you’ll need a rudimentary knowledge of how to play the game and some idea of odds, but more importantly you’ll need to develop quick instincts. This means watching experienced players and developing a feel for how they react to each situation.

You’ll also want to learn how to read your opponents and look for tells – not just nervous habits like fiddling with chips or wearing a ring, but how they play their cards too. For example, if an opponent always calls your bets, but then suddenly raises a lot when you’re holding a strong hand, that’s probably a tell that they think your bluff is weak.

You should start your poker career at the lowest limits possible, so you can practice against players who are worse than you and work on your game without donating money to the higher limit tables. As your skills grow, you can gradually move up to the higher stakes. Remember to always play your best and never get frustrated when you lose a few hands to a good player who just had a bit more luck.