Profitable poker players rely on their mind to make money. While most poker players lose on a consistent basis, you can win consistently if you learn how to think about poker in the right way.
At that point, most of your plays and strategy become automatic. This might take a long time, but as you start to think differently, your results begin to change.
In this article, you’re going to learn how profitable poker players think about the game so that you can adjust the way you think, too. When you combine practice and experience with smart decision-making, you can become a profitable poker player.
1 – Think About a Small Edge
Every decision that you make when you play real money poker has a long-term edge, or expectation, that’s either in your favor or against you. You have to make multiple decisions on every hand, and it’s not always easy to know if you have an edge.
The good news is that you don’t need a large edge overall to make a long-term profit. In fact, with an edge as small as 1% or 2%, you can consistently make a profit.
Overall, you’re going to make some decisions that have a negative edge or expectation, but as long as you make more profitable decisions than unprofitable decisions you’re going to make a profit.
You need to learn how to put yourself in more profitable situations. You can do this many different ways, and the more ways you can learn to do it, the more profit you make. You’re going to learn more about some of these profitable situations in this article.
For example, when you fold weak starting hands, you avoid bad situations. On the other side of this, when you play strong starting hands, you have a better chance to win. When you play against weak poker players, you’re putting yourself in a good situation.
2 –Make the Right Play for the Long-Term
The immediate results when you play poker don’t matter as much as making the right play in every situation. Poker results are dictated by math. And if you do the best thing from a mathematical standpoint over and over, the profits come as a result.
If you get all in before the flop—with pocket kings against a player with ace king—you make the right play. In the long run, you’re going to make a lot of profit from this situation.
But you’re still going to lose sometimes. When your opponent pairs their ace and you don’t improve, you lose the hand. But this doesn’t happen as often as when your opponent doesn’t hit an ace.
This is the kind of situation that you want to be in as many times as you can. Even if you lose when you get in this situation, you still made the right play.
The key is determining what the right play is and making it every time.
For example, if you have the opportunity to put $500 in a pot of $500 with an edge of 52% to 48%, you should do it every chance you have. This assumes that you have a large enough bankroll to stay in the game.
Here’s How the Math Works Out in This Situation:
If you do this 100 times, you have to put $50,000 total in the pot. You win 52 times, and get $52,000 back. This is an overall profit of $2,000 on the 100 hands.
You only win 52 times, and lose 48 times, but you make a long-term profit because you made the right play. On average, you make $20 every time you get in this situation.
3 – How to Win Every Time
I’m going to share a secret that winning poker players know and use that losing poker players don’t. This secret is so simple that you’re probably going to kick yourself for never using it.
Winning poker players put themselves in a position to compete against poker players who aren’t as good as they are. In other words, winning poker players play against worse poker players.
Consider the two following situations. In the first situation, you’re playing against eight other poker players who all make better playing decisions than you. In the second situation, you’re playing against eight poker players who make worse playing decisions than you.
In the first situation, you’re going to consistently lose money. In the second situation, you’re going to consistently win because you’re making more profitable decisions than your opponents.
Do everything in your power to play against weak poker players. It’s easier to win against beginners than against pros. This is the secret to long-term poker success.
4 – Less Is Almost Always More
In most areas, the more you can get, the better. But in poker, there are some areas where doing something less means more profit.
Have you ever heard the saying that goes you have to play to win? Or have you heard that any two cards can win?
While both of these things is technically true, the truth is that neither of these things have anything to do with making a profit. In fact, sayings like these are one of the main reasons why most poker players lose.
When you fold a weak hand, like 10-8, and the flop comes with two 10s, you might think that you made a mistake. But most of the time, you’re going to lose with 10-8. The right play is to fold 10-8 and other weak hands.
All of this is to show you why the hands you start with have a big influence on your profits. Weak hands lose money in the long run. Strong hands win money in the long run.
You’re always better off playing fewer hands than playing more hands. Even if you have to fold 10 straight hands to wait to get a good hand, you’re still going to make more money by waiting.
Here’s the Second Big Poker Secret That I’m Going to Share With You
Until you reach the point where you’re playing against the top poker players, you don’t ever have to bluff. In fact, if you never bluff, you’re probably going to win more than if you do bluff.
The best way to win at most levels is to bet when you have a good hand and fold when you have a weak hand.
You can use semi bluffs, which are when you have a hand that might not be the best hand but have a chance to improve to a better one. But straight bluffs are probably costing you money in the long run.
Try this experiment the next 10 times you play poker. Don’t make a single straight bluff. When you don’t have a good hand, check and fold every time. When you have a good poker hand, bet every time, and see how this changes your results.
6 – The Infinite Poker Bankroll
You have to have money to have the chance to win money when you play poker. The more money you have, the longer you can play and let the long-term math work in your favor when you make the right plays.
You need to be aware of two things when it comes to your poker bankroll. The first thing is that you should only use a small percentage of your total bankroll when you play. I try to never buy in to a game for more than 10% of my total bankroll, and 5% is better.
This helps you stay in the game long enough for the right plays to pay out.
The second thing is that every time you make a profit playing poker, you should add a percentage of your profit to your bankroll. This way, your bankroll keeps growing, which lets you play at higher levels where you can make more profit.
In poker, a small edge exploited over and over leads to big profits. The secret is to find as many ways as possible to get a small edge. This ties in directly with making the right or best play over and over.
You can put yourself in a position to win more often by playing in the right situations. Focus on finding opportunities where you’re the best player at the table.
When you train yourself to play better hands on average and recue the number of times that you bluff, your long-term profits are going to increase.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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