Poker is a game that requires a great amount of skill, and anyone serious about getting better at poker should be approaching the game as a learning experience. There is, of course, nothing wrong with going into a game of poker for fun, but everyone likes winning, and winning takes skill.
Practicing is a great way to improve your poker game, and thus increase the chances of winning. But knowing the game itself is just as important as having experience. It turns out, for example, that there are a number of common myths surrounding poker, which are objectively incorrect. Believing such myths will not only impede the playing ability of the player, but may very well make them play worse. Let’s take a look at four common myths about poker, and dispel them.
• Aggressive Poker Play Is Better
The idea that being aggressive makes you a better poker player is not only incorrect, but potentially detrimental. There is no benefit at all to playing poker in an excessively aggressive manner, and will, in fact, very likely make a player worse at the game. Poker is a game that does indeed benefit from aggressive play at certain key moments, but a constant aggression will only result in the player going broke.
This being said, poker is also a game that cannot be played too passively. If a player does not take advantage and strike when the iron is hot, they will also likely go broke, albeit a lot more slowly. Instead, it is best to approach poker with a balance between passive play, when the cards are cold, and aggressive play, when the cards are hot.
• Poker Is All About Luck
Luck does play a role in poker, but a skilled player will understand that it is much more about what is done with cards, than the cards themselves. An experienced poker player will often soar above other players at the table, and still be playing with the exact same deck as everyone else. Luck, on the other hand, will only carry a less experienced player so far, before the player inevitably crumbles and fades. Hence; a skilled player will play well, even if luck is not always on their side.
More importantly, a skilled poker player will also know how to ride out a period when the cards are not in their favour, minimising losses. When the tables turn, and the good hands do start appearing, a skilled player will take full advantage. Poker can be, as it turns out, a game about patience, which again pours water on the myth about aggressive play always being best.
• Bluffing Is the Key To Winning
Bluffing is a very important part of poker, and can indeed be used to great effect, helping a smart player come out on top. But, a player who bluffs too often will quickly give up their tactics, and land up with nothing in their pockets. Instead of seeing bluffing as the key to winning, it’s best to think of bluffing as a tool, which, when used in conjunction with other available tools, helps a rounded player win. Bluffing should be used only when necessary, or in an effort to keep the other players from getting too clued up on an unfolding strategy.
Furthermore, it takes a smart player to bluff effectively. In the online world, where one cannot see the faces of opponents, bluffing should be as easy as pie. But, it is amazing how quickly others can catch on to a poorly performed bluff. A smart bluffer will not oversell the con, and use the technique in a subtle, appropriate moment. Remember; a smart poker player would have to have a pretty amazing hand to go all in. Just how often do such hands come up in a normal poker game?
• Online Poker Isn’t For Amateurs
There is a perception that online poker tables are flooded with highly experienced, merciless players, probably born form the fact that many professional poker players started online. But, online poker is perhaps even more inviting for amateurs than real world poker, since there is much less pressure to perform. As already mentioned, bluffing can be easier online, if done correctly, which is a huge benefit for amateur or beginner players. Plus, there is always the benefit that online poker allows players to simply relax and be themselves, which will drastically help in gaining more experience fast.
But this, of course, isn’t to say that online poker isn’t also for very experienced players. The online world is inviting to both pros and amateurs, and some online poker websites are even divided up, allowing beginners to play against beginners, and pros to play against pros. And, when a player is feeling at the top of their game, they can sign up for one of the many online tournaments. As has already been said; many poker professionals started in the online world, and online poker tournaments are where they got their first big breaks.