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Thread: How do you become a really good poker player?

  1. #1

    Default How do you become a really good poker player?

    Topic.
    I like playing poker games, but it would be more exciting and interesting if I was good enough to bet money;
    I usually only play with fake money on Internet flash games, and I normally end up losing everything.
    I understand that poker is about giving yourself the best advantages and knowing when to quit, but it seems like I always lose all the fake money I start with.
    I did manage to double my starting money on a flash game once, but that's about it.

    Are there any good poker players here who can share some advice, so I can start playing for real and actually earn money in the long run?
    I know a guy who often visits casinos and wins at least $800 a week on poker alone, and I guess that's the skill level I'm aiming for.
    Last edited by *Laurelindo*; 05-03-2011 at 07:07 PM.

  2. #2
    she'll steal your heart Hollycat's Avatar
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    you need to understand the odds, for $25 I will teach you how to always win blackjack.
    for posker all you need is smarts and an awesome
    This post brought to you by the power of boobs. Dear lord them boobs. Amen

  3. #3
    GO! use leech seed! qwertysaur's Avatar
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    It's 60% math, 20% reading and 20% acting.

    I've won many hands by giving off tells that I had a good hand when I really had nothing. But I don't always do that, usually when I have a bad hand I fold. Knowing how other players will react to each situation is key to guess if they have a good hand or not.

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    This is England DK's Avatar
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    I'd class myself as a decent poker player, not AMAZING but I generally tend to do better than I do badly. For me, it's mostly about awareness, paying attention to how people you're playing with play, and the cards you have and what others may have. Internet poker isn't really a good way to learn how to gauge how people play, because when it's fake money people will do retarded because it doesn't matter.

    But yeah, generally I watch for the kind of plays people make, for example if they bluff big or if they only play legit hands. Someone who bluffs all the time when they have nothing, I'll usually call the bet if I have a good hand. People who don't like to call on anything other than great hands, it's usually safer to bluff them etc. If they're just checking a lot, make a small bet every now and then to see if they have nothing and fold, or if they have something they're hiding and they call. Nothing is a guarantee, obviously, but I like to keep tabs on everyone to weigh up my options better.

    also yeah, just keep an eye on what cards are coming down and try and think ahead to what people might have. You might have a pair of 7's for example, but there may be 4 hearts on the table, and if you have none there's always a chance that someone might have a flush so consider folding. Actually I guess that's another good tip, don't be afraid to fold on a good hand if you think someone has something better. I've folded on pocket Ace's before and it's paid off when someone ends up having a straight/flush/full house or whatever. For me, playing poker it's better to win small and take less risks than it is to try and win big every hand you have. But whatever works for you I guess.

    Like I said, I'm not the greatest player ever, but these are just some of the things that work for me when I play.

  5. #5
    Shlup's Retired Pimp Raistlin's Avatar
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    I play poker a only once or twice during the academic year, yet I still manage to kick ass at my step-dad's poker game when I'm there, so I must be fairly decent. I play mostly Texas Hold'em, so that's what I'll be referring to when discussing plays.

    It is a lot of numbers. In general, you should play the numbers. You should have at least a vague awareness of such things as the likelihood of hitting your flush in 1 or 2 cards, getting a two-outer, the odds that your opponent has a a flush with 4 spades on board, and also know when to fold an inside straight draw (always). I became familiar with the numbers after a couple of years watching poker on TV, but I'm sure you can find them somewhere online. If you have 10 outs (~30% chance of hitting on the river) and you're getting 10:1 on a call (meaning that the pot is 10 times the amount you'd have to put in), then it's an easy call. But don't get stuck chasing bad hands when the odds aren't in your favor -- that is, unless you are very sure your opponent will fold.

    Another thing is knowing your opponents and how they bet. This is easier playing in person, but is still very relevant in online play. Does he bluff a lot? Does he chase a lot? How does he bet when he has a big hand? You're not going to know these things right away when playing against strangers, but it's something you should pay attention to from the start of every game. It won't make much of a difference for the first 30+ minutes, but in the end could be huge.

    Another big point is to not let it be easy for other players to figure you out. This is much, much more than just having a "poker face." It involves varying bet sizes, sometimes betting big with a big hand and other times check-calling to lure them in, sometimes going for a bluff if the read is right. Don't fall into a habit where people can tell what your cards are by how you bet. With a full table, I generally (though not always) only raise a similar amount in the first two turns if I consider it worth raising at all, pre- and post-flop (2-3x the blind).

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    Eggstreme Wheelie Jiro's Avatar
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    You gotta know when to fold 'em.

  7. #7

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    I enjoy poker and would say I'm decent. I've won more then I've lost but I don't usually play high stakes games at all. At most, maybe $20 here or there. Like most everything else, it's about practice, and about just playing game after game. You eventually start to notice trends about your fellow players, and start to get a feel for certain things.

    However, one BIG gripe I have.... is this whole notion of poker players wearing sunglasses. How exactly is that fair, in a game where reading someone's face and eyes is key?


    Take care all.

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    Not a Banana Mo-Nercy's Avatar
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    I'm probably not as good at poker as some of the other posters, but something that's always served me well in the casual poker games I've played with friends is to simply bet in accordance to how good your cards are most of the time.

    Some people think poker is all about bluffing. In my experience, it's not. If you're sitting on something decent, bet something decent. If you're sitting on something awesome, bet something awesome. If you've got nothing, fold. Of course, you need to mix it up to some degree to keep your opponent's guessing, but to be a good poker player, you need to improve yourself (in terms of understanding odds, how you're coming across to your opponents, knowing whether your hand is good or has the potential to be good etc.) before you worry about big bluffs and studying other's facial expressions.

    Getting really good takes a lot of time. I don't have the patience for it, personally. I like the pokies/slot machines and their pretty colours. xD


  9. #9

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    Thanks for all your help, I've tried some poker with friends for fun lately (without betting any real money) and your advice seems to make things easier.

    By the way, just one random question:
    what's the name of that poker game where you get five cards and choose which ones to keep, then get the other cards replaced?
    I know you can play it as a mini-game in Dragon Warrior 4 and I also know it is an extremely common type of poker, but what is it called again?
    Also do you have any advice for those kinds of poker games that you play alone - like that game and Blackjack, for instance?

  10. #10
    Not a Banana Mo-Nercy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by *Laurelindo* View Post
    what's the name of that poker game where you get five cards and choose which ones to keep, then get the other cards replaced?
    Five card draw is what it's called, but I'm not sure how exactly the betting process works with that game (not that you'd find it at a lot of casinos)

    And just to clarify, the poker variant we were talking about was Texas Hold'em, the most popular kind of poker.


  11. #11
    That's me! blackmage_nuke's Avatar
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    Know your own tells and work on controlling them. Once that's done work on fake tells to throw off your oponents but be careful because fake tells can lead to accidentally revealing real tells.
    Kefka's coming, look intimidating!
    Have a nice day!!

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