So you’ve read part 1 of our guide to poker success by taking care of non-poker aspects of your life,
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Do you know what the secret to success in poker is? No, of course you don’t and neither do we! Nobody does, which is why poker is such a great game. However, there are a number of small tricks you can use, tiny habits you can build up that will give yourself the best chance of coming out on the winning side at any poker table!
Be consistent when checking your cards
It seems like a minor thing, but you should get into the habit of looking at your cards the exact same way every round. Even something so small can provide information to your opponents – say, for example, if you happen to stare at your cards for longer than usual if you’ve got a great hand – and that is something you do not want at all. That could seriously hamper your chances of winning before the action even gets to you!
Don’t peek at your cards again
Once you’ve taken a look at your cards, don’t look at them again. There are a few reasons why this is the best course of action, the most obvious one being that leaving your cards on the table is the best way to avoid accidentally revealing them to other players. Also, repeatedly looking at your hand is most often a sign of either weakness or nervousness and you don’t want to give anything away to your opponents, do you?
Observe other players
Watch everybody else around the table like a hawk, especially at moments when most people won’t be looking at them. For example, most poker players tend to look at their cards as soon as the second one is dealt. Instead of doing so, however, if you make sure you’re looking at each opponent when they peek at the cards they’ve been dealt, you’ve got a good chance of picking up micro-reactions that they might unwittingly exhibit. (This is also a good way to pick up disinformation as well, but you already knew that, didn’t you?)
One useful trick is to always wait for two or three seconds when the action comes to you before making your move, even if it’s just to fold. Here’s why – some decisions are going to be tougher to make than others and, by always pausing for a certain amount of time, you’re leaving yourself enough space in which to camouflage any tricky situations you might find yourself in.
When you’ve made your decision, however, you shouldn’t mess around. Be decisive in everything you do at a poker table. If you’ve decided to raise a certain amount, don’t waver and then add some more chips or anything of the sort – that sort of behaviour indicates a tentative style of play which, to poker sharks, is like blood in the water.
Come back tomorrow for part 2 of our formula for poker success!