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3 Ways To Instantly Improve Your Poker Game

Article By: Steve Ruddock

Poker offers players a variety of different ways to improve their play, whether through studying the game, discussing the intricacies of poker with other skilled players, or through gaining more hands-on experience at the poker tables. What many players don’t understand is that there are other ways to instantly improve your poker game, simply by thinking or doing something you already know how to do, but that few players actually do!

Assess your play – A lot of players simply don’t stand up from a poker table until they are bleary-eyed or broke. However there are a variety of reasons why you should sometimes just stand-up and call it a day/night and take your leave. One of the most obvious reasons is when you’re not playing your best. However, very few poker players actually do the in-game assessment necessary to realize they are off their game. If you find yourself thinking, “That was a bad play”, “Wow, how did I miss that!” or any other thoughts along these lines, something is definitely wrong and you’re off your game. Which is fine, you can’t expect to be “On” every day.

Assess your play: If you’re making poor decisions, losing focus, or making foolish mistakes –like mucking a live hand from the big blind or misreading your hand—the best decision you can make is to quit the game.

Eliminate the bottom of your range – There is a simple truth in poker, the more marginal the hand, the more difficult it will be to play perfectly. Yes, QT or 34s can be played profitably, but it must be played absolutely perfect to show a profit, and chances are you’re not playing it perfectly. By eliminating the bottom hands from your current playing range you will find the game easier –your decisions will be easier because you will be placed in fewer marginal situations, and your variance will decrease which makes it easier to stay off tilt.

Furthermore, the possible profit you might possibly be losing not playing these hands is extremely small, and as I already said it’s likely these hands aren’t profitable for you in the first place; let Tom Dwan and Daniel Negreanu play those hands.

Eliminate the bottom of your range: If it takes perfect play to show a miniscule profit with certain hands you have to ask yourself 1) Is it even worth the added variance to play these hands 2) Am I capable of playing these hands perfectly?

Stop and think – Poker is an extremely fast-paced game and many players fall into the rhythm of the game, and begin playing on auto-pilot. However, it’s a better strategy to stop and take a few seconds before making your decision. I’m not advocating you “Hollywood” every hand like you’re playing for a $1 million, but take two or three seconds before you decide what to do!

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