Idle Practice In Poker

Tue, 28 Oct 2008 23:11

Idle Practice in Poker

How to ruin your poker game.

When trying to hone your poker-playing skills, make sure that everytime you go to a game to practice, you have a clear goal in your head. Playing poker several times a week without having a clear goal on what you wish to improve in your game is useless. You may be able to grasp the basics of poker but from there, you probably won't go anywhere. Doing "idle practice" is a waste of time.

How to avoid idle practice in poker

When you go to the casino tables without having an actual battle plan or strategy, the intricacies of the game would only baffle you. When you win, you'd think that you got lucky and when you lose, you'd think that this is not your "moment" or that you've run out of luck. To avoid idle practice or pointless practice games, try to ask yourself these questions:

# What exactly is poker?
# Why are some hands good and some bad?
# How can you take advantage of mistakes made by your opponents?
# How can you use the number of players to your advantage?
# How can you devise different strategies against different types of players?

Aside from asking yourself these questions, another tip is to play in shorthanded tables, heads up, and full games. You don't need to be a master of all these three poker variants. You just have to be an equally good player in all of these variants. In the process of doing so, you'll understand more the concept of poker, and how different strategies can help you succeed. Plus, you'll learn what you need to do when dealing with tough or bad players. If you play in 3-handed or heads up poker tables, you'll get a fresh perspective on how to further improve your game.

You can also read on poker strategy books and guides when not on the poker table. Reading as many resources as you can about poker playing can also help widen your way of thinking on how each game can be played.

Taking calculated risks to avoid idle practice in poker

If you're always playing $2/4 poker games, maybe it's time to step up and try more challenging poker games. Playing the same poker variant for years and years won't really make you a good poker player. In poker, you need to learn how to deal with unexpected situations. By trying out more difficult poker games, you're taking calculated risks that are beneficial in the long run. If you're a newbie, playing low-limit games is a good way of familiarizing yourself with the basics of poker. But if you've been playing poker for years, you need to adapt and expose yourself to the different possible situations that may arise in every game. If your goal is to become an excellent poker player, you need to realize that sticking to just one type of poker game may not help you reach your potentials. Being afraid of taking risks or losing money is not a good mindset when playing poker. Poker, after all, is a game of skill -- you either win or lose.