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Poker Skills

Poker Skills

Becoming a better online poker player takes a blend of dedication, skill and a little bit of luck. Although it's impossible to influence the flow of luck you'll receive when you ante-up, it is possible to improve your skills.

Of course, becoming an overnight poker sensation like Daniel Negreanu or Phil Ivey is virtually impossible, but if you follow our simple poker strategy tips, you'll quickly be on the road to poker riches.

Although that road might be somewhat long and winding, we can assure you that if you stick with our key skills illustrated here, your long-term bankroll with thank you.

Key Poker Skills in 2016

Tight is Right: It might be a boring way to play but sitting back and waiting for good hands can often be a great way to win a lot of money at the table.

Today's poker climate is one in which players are trying to be as aggressive as possible, so playing a lot of hands can be extremely difficult unless you are either reckless or brave.

Take advantage of people's aggression and stick to ABC poker if you want to make a steady profit.

Stay in Position: The lack of complete information in poker makes it extremely tough to win but you can make your job infinitely easier if you only play hands in position.

Obviously there will be times when you're forced to play out of position, but if you can always choose the former you'll be more successful.

Acting last gives you the advantage of seeing what everyone else has done and, therefore, enables you to make more sensible decisions.

Don't Be Afraid to Fold: Sometimes at the poker table pride can get in your way and you become stubborn. It can often be the case that you become involved in a hand and even if it looks like you're behind you convince yourself not to fold because you hand "was" good pre-flop.

This attitude has caused many people to go broke and is one you should eliminate from your game. Don't be too proud to fold your pocket aces if there's a possible straight or flush on the board. Discretion is often the better part of valor at the poker table.

Up Your Aggression Levels: There's often a temptation to play your hand passively if you're unsure of its strength, but playing this way will cost you money.

Up Your Aggression Levels

There's an old adage in poker which says: "If a hand is not worth raising, then it's not worth playing." Being aggressive means you take control of the pot and have a greater chance of taking it down.

Look to Your Left: Whether you're playing online poker or live poker it's important to consider the player on your left.

Whenever you make a move they will be the person next to act, so you need to know what they're capable of. If they raise a lot then be prepared to play pots with strong hands. If they fold a lot then you can raise more liberally when everyone folds to you

Don't Play Above Your Bankroll: It's a time-old poker expression but playing above your means is a quick route to disaster.

Only play in games you can afford. For cash games make sure you have at least 30-40 buy-ins for a particular level. For poker tournaments make sure you never risk more than 2-5 percent of your bankroll. Learn more in our guide to bankroll management

Solid Foundations

The modern online climate is a tough place to thrive. As players improve and margins get smaller, the road to riches is becoming a lot more treacherous if you're a novice.

However, as much as online poker has changed over the years, a few constants have stayed the same. Many of them related to solid poker strategy and great tips like these here will never change.

These solid skills may not seem interesting or creative, but they are crucial to helping form a winning formula and should give a solid platform from which to build a complex strategy.

Calm Down and Take Stock

Calm Down and Take Stock

Whether you're winning or losing, staying in control of your emotions and riding the up AND downswings is an essential skill to profitable poker. In fact, we might say it's THE most important skill to have.

Winners can go on insane tears and end up broke, while losers will keep on chasing that loss and bemoaning the one bad beat that destroyed their livelihood.

Don't end up in the same situation; it's important to take regular breaks and take stock of your performance over a few sessions. That way, you can assess where you're going wrong - AND right - and go on to improve the next time you play.

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