7 Things Every Poker Player Should Know


Poker is a game of skill, chance and psychology that can be as fascinating as it is challenging. Whether you’re just starting out or you’re a veteran player looking to improve, there are certain things every player should know.

1. The Basics

The basic rules of poker are simple: players contribute chips to the pot (representing money) by placing them in front of them when it is their turn. This is known as making a bet. Players can also increase the size of their contribution to the pot by raising it – this is called a raise. When a player raises, the other players may choose to call or fold.

2. The Power of Numbers

A big part of becoming a good poker player is learning to understand the numbers behind the game. There are a lot of ways to learn this, from books and blogs to training software. The best way to learn is by repetition though – numbers will become ingrained in your brain over time, and you’ll start to have an intuition for them.

3. Keeping Your Emotions in Check

The most important thing to remember when playing poker is to keep your emotions in check. The more you let your frustrations run wild, the more likely you are to make poor decisions at the table. It’s also important to only play with money that you’re comfortable losing. This will help you to stay in control and avoid bad beats.

4. Know When to Fold

One of the most common mistakes in poker is trying to force a hand when you don’t have a good enough chance of winning. Trying to get the best of a bad hand will only cost you money in the long run.

5. The Benefits of Pot Control

There are many advantages to being the last player to act in a hand, including:

6. Getting More Value out of Strong Hands

Top poker players fast-play their strong hands in order to build the pot and chase off other players who might be waiting for the turn or river to give them a straight or flush. This strategy allows them to make more money than if they played their strong hands timidly.

7. Knowing When to Float

A successful bluff is all about timing. If you flop a pair of aces but then get a weak ace on the turn, it’s often better to fold than try to make it on the river. Similarly, you should float when you have a mediocre hand to discourage opponents from calling your bets. This is called putting pressure on your opponent, and it’s a key component of effective poker strategy.