Everything you do on the poker table matters. An elite poker player is characterised by some basic characteristics which are the player's raw skills. Firstly, a fundamental understanding of the game and secondly, discipline. The game is an intellectual endeavour that is based on knowing how to play in the long run. At times players may confuse themselves that they are losing because of bad luck, when it's their skill set that are selling them out. To keep winning in this game, you need to keep getting better by increasing your skill set or enhancing the set of skills you already have. Poker players are, however, not made overnight so you need to put in work if you want to reach the top of your poker game and stay there.

 

Choosing the Right Casino

Like in most games, you don't get better at playing poker if you are constantly playing at the same level. As much as it may be tempting for some players to stick to their local casinos for easier wins against fair amateurs, it’s still a lazy approach and hinders any chance to increase your skill sets. When things get a little too easy at one level, it is advisable to level up if you are looking to increase your poker skills sets. It may be tough to find a casino that matches your skill level, but it's easier when you have access to the best rated online casinos for bigger tables and higher bet limits. This exposes an individual to skilled gamblers who seek to find casinos that could help them further improve their odds on winning. Choosing a more suitable casino to learn from the experts raises the bar and with this, you introduce yourself to an opportunity to increase your poker skill set.

Lots of Practise

If you're serious about enhancing your skills or increasing your skill set, you need lots of practise with a series of poker games. Every poker game you play presents a chance to improve and increase your skills set. Every game, win or lose, has a lesson in it and the end of a game and the beginning of another, is an opportunity to advance. Pay close attention to the moves you make right as well as the moves you make wrong and use them to learn how to improve in future games. Don't be lazy, play a lot of poker, and expose yourself to the abilities you possess but are yet to discover.

Break Out of Your Shell

To learn more poker skills for your skills set, you need to break out of your shell and practise other forms of poker. Try poker tournaments challenge yourself with new levels. At armature levels, you may find yourself confined to playing at lower skill levels. Trying poker at full tables raises the difficulty level and tough as it may be, it is an opportunity to master more short-handed gameplay skills. Moreover, try other games apart from Texas hold'em poker and abandon "default" thinking. Most poker pros learn by exposure so try it and increase your skillset.

 

Hire a Coach

If you want to add to your poker skill set, more so if you're playing pro poker, you could hire a coach for some extra training. A one-on-one coaching session with a skilled poker coach is an intense way of equipping yourself with more poker skills as well as beefing up the skills you already have. Alternatively, you could log on to a poker training or coaching site for a convenient training session at the comfort of your couch.

 

Discussing Poker Hands with Peers

Sometimes you don't really need to learn from a pro poker player or a certified trainer. Your friends may know a trick or two and they might be ready to exchange them with the skills you lay on the table. Your peers may have different ideas on how to play poker hands and by chatting about it during your leisure time, you may get to learn a few things. Remember that each one of them counts in the broadening to your poker skillset.

In the modern poker environment, much emphasis is placed on understanding the impact of game theory on our decisions at the table. This however, does not change the fact that having a strong awareness regarding our opponents’ tendencies is still the number one way to generate a high winrate.

With that in mind, here is a brief overview of the different types of players we are likely to run in to at the poker tables.

The Player Profiles

Tight Aggressive – Often referred to using the acronym TAG. These players enter the pot with a tight range and proceed to play aggressively postflop. These opponents are the most likely to be winning out of all the opponents we meet.

Loose Aggressive – Often referred to using the acronym LAG. LAGs enter the pot with a wide range and proceed to play aggressively postflop. Similar to TAGs, LAGs have a decent chance at being tough winning players.

Maniac – Maniacs play an extremely wide range of holdings preflop (perhaps 40% or more) and play hyper-aggressively postflop. They often make use of unorthodox bet-sizings such as overbets. The best counter involves using their own aggression against them, perhaps by setting traps when we are strong. Most maniacs are big losing players, although there have been one or two notable exceptions throughout history.

Nit – Nits play a very tight style and only get involved when they have the nuts (or very close to it). The best response is simply to steal a lot of pots and not pay out when the nit starts playing aggressively.

Loose Passive – Loose passives play a similar number of hands to a LAG, but mostly enter the pot by limping or calling. Loose passives are nearly always bad poker players. Aggression is important in poker, and loose passives are unlikely to win since they lack the required aggression. Loose passives are sometimes colloquially referred to as “wet noodles”.

Weak-Tight – At first glance weak-tights might look like TAGs, but with one key difference. Weak-tights fold far too much both preflop and postflop earning them the description “weak”. They also don’t bluff postflop as much as TAGs/LAGs and pick poor spots in general. Most players at the table that look like TAGs are actually weak-tights.

Tight Passive – Tight passives play a similar number of hands to a TAG but mostly enter the pot by limping or calling. Like loose-passives, tight-passives are usually not aggressive enough to be winning players.

Calling Station – Calling stations are players who struggle to fold hands, regardless of how weak. They simply have to know whether their opponent has it or is bluffing. Bluffing against a calling station is hence a bad idea. For more details on playing against calling stations check out this article on calling stations.

Fish – An umbrella term for a weak player at the table. Can encompass loose passives, tight passives, weak-tights, nits etc etc.

Donk – Although sometimes used interchangeably with the word “fish”, most professionals use the term “donk” to denote a player who is significantly worse than a fish. The term “donk” would hence be more likely to cover villain profiles such as “loose passive” “calling station”, “maniac” and “completely clueless” (a self explanatory player profile). A weak regular could hence be described as a “fish” while the term “donk” refers to a player with serious strategy issues.


When sitting down at the tables, it makes sense to spend a few orbits attempting to classify our opponents into their respective profiles. As the adage alludes to, poker is not a game of cards played with people, but rather – a game of people, played with cards.

Almost all fans of that famous card game we all know and love that is poker, loves to read almost anything about the game and out of the hundreds and thousands of poker books available right now on the the market, a very big percentage of them are pretty much about things like poker strategies and the mechanics of poker. While everyone would definitely like to know the best way to play your pocket jacks from an early position, it does not exactly make for great read, and if you are just a casual fan of the game (or simply just out to get a present for a friend or family member who plays poker). Below you’ll find some of better books about poker that gives you a broader, and more better approach to the game and includes lots of fascinating history of poker that makes the game of such interest.



The book “Big Deal” by Anthony Holden is a great read, it show cases Holden’s attempt to make it on the professional poker circuit in the years from 1988-1989. While the book only deals much about the game it also appeals to anyone who has themselves chasing a dream of that big win tha ultimately takes them farther and farther away from the people they care the most a burden that a lot of striving poker players face each in this endeavor. The book deals more on the psychological and the emotional toll that almost all poker players endure, players chasing a big win that often falters to just a tinsy bit out of reach.

Noteworthy, Jim McManus has also authored great poker books such as “Cowboys Full: the Story of Poker” and “Posititively Fifth Street” . “Cowboys Full” is about the evolution of poker from its beginnings inside salons and private clubs to the massive internet boom thanks to the growth of online poker rooms this one over the years, it grew into a multi-billion dollar industry. “Positively Fifth Street” includes more of a personal take on the actions from McManus’ during the 2000 WSOP Main Event, with the backdrop of the murder trial of Ted Binion (which is the story he was originally sent to Vegas to cover).

Al Alvarez's “The Biggest Game in Town” is also noteworthy as the author deals about about the game before the early year 2000s that started the online boom. The book deals with the popular poker players of the older generation such as Nick the Greek, Johnny Mosse, Stu Ungar, and Doyle Brunson, so you’re not going to find any from the players that were not even born in 1983 the likes of Viktor Blom and Tom Dwan . Alvarez came up together with a variety of amazing stories, and interviews with well known poker players in the early 1980's while they made their way to Las Vegas to partake on the biggest poker games they can join. You can check out more resources online, compare and choose honest casinos.

Playing on slots is pretty accessible for new beginners, it’s a simple case of dropping a coin and pulling a lever either in real life or online. But if you don’t know what the different parts of the game are called it can be hard to fully grasp what you’re doing. That’s why we’ve got this short animation courtesy of casino.paddypower.com that breaks down the key terms you need to understand how the game works and what the different parts are called. There are other terms you might run into, but we’re keeping things simple with this one as an introduction for the beginners. The most important term probably is pay-line. This is the axis that the symbols need to align to for the machine to pay out any money. This is usually the flat horizontal one like you’d expect but some machines offer multiple pay-lines which all have different rates of pay out and access to them might depend on how much money you put in. Of course, the maximum amount you can win is a fairly common term by now, one you’ve more than likely come across. It’s called the Jackpot! And if you hit the jackpot, you know that you’ve won it big. For a more complete break down of how play works, check out the infographic below.

Poker players owe it to themselves to take great care before they start placing this game. Just like it is the cause with everything else that involves Internet, the players need to take a number of precautionary measures so that they don’t get duped. There is always a possibility that you will find yourself in sites where the sole intention of the owner is to dupe poker players. This calls on you to make sure you carry out adequate research on the trustworthiness of the site first before asking or inviting other poker players to join you in a game or two. You can obtain a lot of information on this issue from the Internet. great advice at Marvel Roulette review for the best gaming tips and winning more.


If you are on a site where the poker players you come across are new to the game, then you will need to display a lot of patience and maturity. There is a belief among poker players that it is much better to play with veterans with a lot of experience in this game as opposed to new players. When new players realize that they are no longer being dealt winning or good hands, they start to display some measure of hesitancy and are not warmed up to the idea of losing. This is what separates them from veterans who by virtue of their experience will continue playing instead of taking off just when you are starting to enjoy the game.

Small cards and big kickers don’t go well together. This is something that poker players need to work on and eliminate from their game. Premium hands are very common poker hand. However, it is a trap that most poker players struggle with plenty of times. Many a poker player has tried avoiding this hand without any success. Learn how to make good decisions as a poker player and you will be safe from the many traps others find themselves falling into while playing this game.