For those who love complex games that require tactical nous, sharpness of mind and a keen grasp of numbers, poker is a near perfect game. This is why the online version of the game is booming, along with traditional live table games and tournaments held at casinos.
When it comes to the game’s variations, Texas Hold’em poker is one of the easiest to play, but one of the hardest to master. Whether you’re playing online or live at a Vegas casino these tips and resources will help separate you from the poker pack.
Download The Right Software
When playing online it’s vital for players of all levels to give themselves the biggest possible edge against the competition, by knowing the rules and most up to date strategy. One way of doing this is to install a HUD (Heads Up Display). A HUD tracks every hand you ever play at an online poker table, collating not just your stats, but also those of the players you’re up against. The software then displays the data beside each player’s online avatar, allowing you to see whether you’re up against an aggressive player who bluffs a lot, or a more cautious player who waits for good hands before he or she chooses to act. Rest assured that all the regular online players will be using a HUD, so don’t be that guy or gal at the table who doesn’t have one.
Study The Best Poker Training Sites
Poker training courses are big business these days, with many professional poker players offering their expertise and experience for a price. Some of the best include Raise Your Edge, Upswing Poker and Run It Once, all of which give players everything they need to take their games to the very top. Useful tools such as range tables, video tutorials and homework assignments are all part of the package, meaning you can take the game as seriously as you want. Just be sure to check out reviews of the available courses, as some are better suited to beginners than others, and many don’t offer a free trial.
Get Yourself A Poker Coach
Poker coaching comes hand-in-hand with poker training sites, as many of the same professional players who create training programs also offer one-to-one coaching. Once students reach a certain level there’s sometimes the opportunity for them to join the coach’s own stable of players, who he or she stakes in tournaments in return for a share of their winnings. You would expect to have a coach if you played a sport, so why not get one to fine-tune your poker game!
Pick Up On Live Tells
Online poker is where the non-stop action is, but there’s nothing quite like playing in the flesh, where the eyes of the table are on you while you decide how to make your play. Away from the impersonal world of online avatars and screens, there’s no hiding from those trying to guess if you’re running a bluff or holding a monster hand. In such situations, it’s always good to be aware of live tells, or clues, that your opponents may be unconsciously giving away. Pulsing neck veins are one such tell to look out for, as more blood is pumped to a brain distressed at having made an outrageous bluff and that fears being caught. It is for this reason that many players choose to wear scarves at the poker table. Next up is bet sizing, which can often be a sure-fire giveaway of a player being overconfident; for example, watch for players betting much bigger on a hand than they have on any previous hands. Lastly, there’s the eyes, the part of the body that gives away more information than any other. Poker players don’t just wear sunglasses because they have a hangover or think they look cool!