Poker has always been popular in India, but over the past five years or so, that popularity has soared. The professional game is thriving like never before, and players like Muskan Sethi have proved it is also highly inclusive. Of course, it’s one thing watching the stars in action, playing the best in the world for thousands of dollars, but for most of us, poker is a game, and that means something we do for fun, not profit.
Still, the better your game, the more you win, and the more you win, the bigger the fun. If that means some financial reward too, then that’s even better. So with that in mind, here are our tips for upping your game and improving your win rate.
There’s no single strategy that makes you a winning poker player. Talk to three pros and ask them to outline their strategy and, assuming they don’t tell you to get lost, you will hear three different strategies. It doesn’t mean two of them are wrong. What you will find, however, is that any deviation from that strategy will be carefully thought through. Poker is a game where you’ll have good and bad runs. Have a plan in place to ride out the bad times and make hay when things are going your way, and don’t be panicked into changing your approach unless you’ve really thought it through away from the table.
Never stop learning
This follows on from the first point. Consistency doesn’t mean stagnation, only that you should develop your game in a logical, coherent and gradual way. Knowledge and experience will help you do so, and you can acquire plenty of both online. Suck out all you can from every poker betting guide, and watch the pros in action to see not only what they do but how they do it.
Choose your company
There’s a common belief that to progress, you need to challenge yourself by playing people who are better than you. That’s true to an extent, but the downside is that in real money games, that’s going to get expensive. If you see that as a worthwhile investment, keep going, you could well be right. But if you want to win some money along the way, remember the classic lesson from the movie Rounders, which is that if you’ve not spotted the sucker at the table in the first 30 minutes, it’s because you’ve not tried looking in the mirror.
Quantity is as important as quality
There’s simply no substitute for experience, and in the final analysis that’s what makes the most difference to your game, whether you’re taking on Daniel Negreanu or the old lady from the apartment upstairs. Manage your time and create a poker playing schedule to ensure you put the hours in, and if you stick to it, your poker savvy and sharpness will naturally improve. It’s really no different to getting out there with bat and ball every evening to sharpen your cricket skills.