After You FoldArticle By: RuffPoker.com
Just because you fold or you are out in a Hand doesn’t mean that your job is done. Your part in the playing out of the hand is over but now you become an important spectator. You have to watch every one that is still in the hand so that you can learn about everyone and their style of play.
You can learn a whole lot about people just by listening into their conversations with other people. You should always be on the lookout for people who are drinking, you should be on the look out for people who talk a lot of trash, and you should basically be looking for anything that may help give you the advantage over the next player. Sometimes it’s always good to talk to other people, and if you are out to have a good time, then by all means go ahead and shat your head off, but when you watch poker on TV you will notice that the majority of professional poker players are constantly observing their neighbors behavior.
After you fold you should also reflect on the hand that you just got done playing in. Start with the pre-flop action. Did you make the right move according to the position you were in, could you have raised a little higher to knock a few more people out? Should you have folded in the first place? What happened on the flop? Did you show a reaction that gave away the cards you were holding in your hand? Who made the first bet? Did you bet the right amount? All of these questions, among many others are questions that you should definitely be asking yourself after you fold your cards.
Another thing that you can do to hone in your poker skills tremendously while you are not playing in the hand is practice your poker math skills. A lot of players are terrible with the math, and if you are one of them you should be using this time to practice. Every time someone makes a bet, pretend like you have a certain hand – sometimes you can pretend you have great hands and other times you should pretend you have decent hands – and try to calculate all of the different odds there are. Look at your opponents chips and think about your implied odds, look at the pot and think about the pot odds, and calculate your pretend odd percentages. Practicing while pretending to be in each hand is a great way to teach yourself how to play poker and it is another good way to get better when you are not in the hand. You will be amazed at how fast your math skills will skyrocket just by doing these little activities and you will be amazed how much of a better and more honed poker player it will make you to do such things.
Just like in all other aspects of your life, reflection is key to getting better in poker. Studying your mistakes as well as your good plays is key if you want to get better. Sometimes you will find that you played like a complete idiot, and don’t get down on yourself or let yourself be consumed with tilt, but learn from it. Other times you will be happy because you just made the right play that took down the pot. Other times you will be happy you won the pot, but really should be mad because you may have won it even though you played stupidly or you may have missed out on your chances to maximize your profits. Reflection is key to making changes and becoming better.