Poker may be more complex than your average game, but it’s not rocket science. Anyone can learn how to play. It’s what you do once you have a grasp of the fundamentals that’ll determine how good you become. Most people learn the rules and then figure out how to find their way in the game, but the smart approach is to actively work on elevating your skills. 

There are a number of things you can do that will quickly improve your skills and increase your chances of finding success. If you’re just starting out, then follow the six steps outlined below — before long, you’ll find that you’re a confident, capable poker player. 

Learn the Rules 

You’ll need to know the ins and outs of poker before you begin playing. Having a solid understanding of the rules won’t only ensure that you know what to do when you’re playing, but, once you know them inside out, it will also allow you to focus on your strategy. You can learn the rules in an hour or so. There are plenty of blogs, websites, videos, and books that explain the game in simple terms. 

Find Your Variant

People tend to discuss poker as if it’s a single game but, in reality, there are many different variations so it can be worthwhile finding the poker style that’s right for you. The most popular variation is Texas Hold’em, but there’s also Omaha Poker, Stud Poker, and Draw Poker, to name just three of the dozens of varieties you’ll find played across the world. It’s best to find a website that offers many different variants, so you can test them all and see which type naturally feels “right” for your skillset. Whatever game you choose, you’ll be drawing upon the same fundamental skill sets, so you should find it easy enough to transition to another variant once you’ve got the basics, should you wish to.  

Dive into Poker Strategies

There’s more than one way to play poker, and some are more effective than others. The best players understand that they’ll never truly master the game; it’s all about being the best player that they can be. Having a learning mindset is key to finding success in poker. You’ll start out with the basic strategies but, from there, it’ll be about slowly increasing your understanding of the game and adopting more complex strategies. It’s best to have multiple strategies in your locker since different gaming circumstances call for different approaches. By having the ability to draw upon various strategies, you’ll be making yourself a much more skilled player who is difficult to play against. 

Play As Often As You Can

There’s no substitute for playing. It’s like with anything else — the more you play, the better you’ll understand the game and the more skilled you will become. In this day and age, it couldn’t be easier to find and play poker games. If you know other people who are interested in playing, then consider setting up a weekly virtual game where you and your friends can do battle without having to be in the same physical location. You will improve quickly. Even if you do have a group of friends who regularly meet online to play poker, it’s best to dip into the broader online poker world from time to time as it will expose you to different levels of players. The players who progress the fastest are usually the ones who play against opposition who are slightly better than they are. There should be a challenge component to your poker journey; if you’re not feeling challenged, then you’ll risk falling into your comfort zone. 

Focus on Concentration and Psychology

Finally, while understanding various poker strategies will be your best resource for improving, it’s also recommended to focus on the mental side of the game. Improving your concentration levels can be a game-changer for poker performance, as it’ll allow you to play at your highest level for longer. Additionally, it’s also recommended to dive into the psychology of poker. It’ll allow you to read other people’s games — and to bluff your own performance.

By Manali