Is poker a prestigious game of skill or does it boil down to luck? This is an age-old question that many players and beginners ask themselves. Some people may think it’s just a gamble like roulette, and surely having luck on your side will boost your chances of success but this winning streak won’t last long in the grand scheme of things. Whether you want to play poker for fun or it’s your bread and butter, it certainly pays off to play it well. Having the right knowledge is definitely a good start on your path to poker success. You’ve probably read about how to play poker in our previous guides so if you’ve got the theoretical knowledge mastered, it’s now time to put it into practice.
Have you ever wondered if you’re a natural born poker player? What qualities do you need to have to beat your opponent? Certainly every poker player needs to have some special qualities that makes them stand out from the rest of the players.
How to win at poker: it’s not all about luck
If you’ve ever seen the movie “Rounders” you’ll easily be able to picture the scene where the friend of the main character says to him, “I would wish you good luck, but I know your game isn’t about luck”. How much truth is there in that? Is knowledge and skills more important in a game of poker than having lady luck on your side? There should be a clear answer to these questions.
Without a doubt, poker’s got something of chess and random roulette where our skills are valuable. But luck also plays its part here. Come to think of it, the weak players who haven’t mastered the game yet would obviously lose very quickly without that helpful pinch of luck. They’d get discouraged and call it quits. However, if luck shines down upon them in the right moment of the game, they’ll feel motivated to keep going and stay in the game for a tad longer (until the professionals get ahead of them and start winning).
And this is where the idea to play free poker online comes into play. If you’re not up for a big bet or giving your well-earned money away in the early phases of your tango with poker, then there’s no point in jetting straight to the casino. Why not stay in the comfort of your own home and fire up the search engine. Start looking for the best poker sites online and you’ll be ready to practice your skills. Who knows, you might be on your way to becoming a poker professional! Or just as good, it can be your newfound hobby. Just don’t settle with being that small fish that will soon be caught by bigger and badder players.
What makes a good poker player?
Playing and winning at poker isn’t all about maintaining a poker face and getting dealt the best cards. There’s a bit more to it than that. Whether you’re planning to head out to the casino, host a poker evening at your place or you’ve decided to play online poker free, you need to make sure you’ve got what it takes to be a good player. So what does this entail? Well, the pros out there would all agree that taking full control over the element of luck is crucial. You might think, how on earth is that possible? How can you control something that’s mere coincidence or the realm of the unknown? It’s simple – you just need to understand the laws of probability.
When you start playing poker properly, you’ll also start understanding what your chances are of winning. Or in other words, you’ll get the gist of what the probability is of claiming the victory. You’ll need to know what the chances are of having a suit after placing down the two last unknown cards. If you predict well, you’ll make the right decisions. And you’ll also make winning decisions. No matter what cards you’re holding at hand.
Poker: questions, questions and more questions
When you start your adventure with the game of poker you’ll probably quickly realize that you’re sounding a bit like a broken record, asking the same question over and over, “should I fold or go in and bid?”. And not without reason will you be asking this. The more accurate answer we give, the better the chances are of winning or at least progressing into the next round. Always try to make an informed decision when making your next move – it’ll pay off and it’ll make you a far better player (and it’ll also make you richer). But it’s not always the case that a good player has a consistent winning streak. It sometimes happens that even the best of the best have a bad hand, or game, or an entire evening. Because their opponent may be experiencing beginner’s luck and despite the laws of probability, he might be raking in the cash and impeding your chances of winning. However, there is a light at the end of the tunnel because in the long run, the weaker player definitely has a lesser chance of maintaining such a good result. That’s why it’s great to focus on making the right decisions, having a good grasp of poker rules and master your knowledge on laws of probability.
And since we’re human beings, psychology plays its part here too. This is especially the case when you’re playing classic, vis-à-vis poker where you can physically see your opponent. It’s bit of a different story with online poker because you’ve got one advantage: you can hide your emotions, your distressed (or gleaming) face and that way, trick your opponents. But it’s a good idea to keep in mind the saying, “you don’t play the cards, you play the man”. This is what sets the sharks apart from the small fish.