Poker is often considered a game that is easy to learn but hard to master, the basics of which involve many concepts that must be strategized in order to become a consistently winning player. These strategies can be categorized by tight, aggressive, or random play, and taking advantage of your opponent’s’ mistakes.

If you are a beginner, it’s important to distinguish whether you are playing for simply enjoyment, or to win a certain amount of money. Regardless, both reasonings require time and effort in order to improve your poker skills, ranging in amount accordingly.

Don’t Plan to Win

Expecting to win every game of poker you take part in will only lead to disappointment, as losing is inevitable. You should routinely plan to play to the best of your ability without the expectation of coming out on top. Simply leaving the table with a profit is a win in itself. A common mistake among avid poker players is judging their own abilities based on their success every single game. It is vital to understand that with failure comes learning, which leads to progress.

Know Advanced Concepts

Studying certain aspects like three-betting, four-betting, and different styles of play, as mentioned before, can benefit you greatly from a mathematical standpoint. Though poker is a game of randomness and incomplete information, you can learn to take advantage of the information presented to you in order to accurately predict the next outcome. While this does take a fair amount of experience, obtaining these skills are what separates a good poker player from a great poker player.

Understanding which strategies to apply in a game depending on the knowledge and experience of your opponents is another advanced concept that is important to learn. If you are playing with those at the beginning levels of their poker careers, your best bet would be to play with aggression, as their raw understanding of the game translates to only using basic concepts. If they attempt to respond to your aggressive strategy with a sign of strength themselves, you’ll know that they aren’t bluffing. Conversely, if you’re playing with opponents that range from intermediate to expert, you will typically find the most success in playing with reservation. Play patiently, and wait for a sign of uncertainty in weakness in an opponent’s move.

Play Regularly

Though this may seem obvious, playing poker on a regular basis will only improve your skills, and allow you to obtain the proper knowledge to become a successful strategist. As cliche as the following statement is, practice makes perfect.

For those looking to improve their poker game, develop new strategies, or simply learn the basics, take into consideration the above approaches. Poker is not only a game of luck, but a game of complex strategy and skill. To go into a session blindly would almost guarantee failure. However, with the right amount of time and effort devoted to learning the ins and outs of the game, anyone can acquire the skills necessary to become lucrative in the world of poker.