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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We’re back with more poker habits that you should avoid like the plague, if you want to master the wonderful art of poker! Without further ado, let’s dive right in with:
Reacting to the flop/turn/river
It varies from player to player, but you’ll often see amateur poker players react in some way to the reveal of a new card/cards. The information that they’re unwittingly providing their opponents every time they do this could be the make-or-break difference.
Let’s go over a few specific situations. If the flop happens to give you a set, for example, don’t look down at your chips! This is a common giveaway that you’ve got a strong hand, and observant opponents will likely fold before they have to pay you.
Similarly, if the flop/turn/river gives you absolutely nothing, don’t keep staring at the cards. If your opponents are paying attention, that sends a pretty clear signal too. So the only safe thing to do here is to glance at the new card/cards briefly and then look away.
You might think that this particular tip is too elementary to even be worth mentioning, but you’d be very surprised. Go watch a bunch of new poker players playing somewhere, and you’ll start to see this happen sooner than not – a player draws into a great hand, and immediately starts passing comments on various subjects or engaging in banter with the table. That’s because successfully completing a hand releases a great deal of subconscious tension, and the natural instinct to that relief is to start talking. So, don’t.
Talking’s one thing, and composing your expression is another, but poker players often tend to forget about things such as posture or general attentiveness; specifically, what those things might be telling their opponents. Picture this – you’ve not seen anything good for a while and you’ve been folding as long as you can remember, but then you look down and see pocket aces. Now, you might have kept quiet and your expression might not have given away anything – but if you just sat up a bit straighter in your seat, that’s going to be picked up more often than not. Watch out for these micro-movements, and eliminate them.
And there you have it – the complete list of what not to do to become better at poker. That’s enough talk, though, time to start playing!