Poker is More than a Game

They assume that Texas hold 'em is only a game, and they don't take it seriously enough in the early stages to build a strong foundation. What separates a good player from a professional is attitude, with the latter thinking about poker and trying to hone his skills both at and the way from the table. While it is not recommended to let poker become your only concern in life, you should do more than playing your best online or in a real live casino. has amassed a comprehensive selection of articles covering all the bases, so emerging poker players would be right to start research there. Only by combining practical experience with academic trading one can succeed in his profession, and those who want to make poker a lucrative career should do the same. While knowledge is vital, the attitude is equally important and for poker players one of the most important things is preserving and increasing his bankroll all the time.

It is easy to let yourself swept away by the wave of confidence generated by large winnings, and use a part of your bankroll to fuel real life expenses. A very thin line separates the budget reserved for poker from the one used to every day outlays and crossing it is a major mistake. What we do defines us and as poker players we need to be able of thinking on the long run, and to have the ability of foreseeing inevitable downswings. Only by considering all aspects related to poker we can hope to make it a source of income rather than an expensive hobby.

Small pots are good for you

If you watch poker on television too much, or draw your conclusions from what you see in Hollywood blockbusters, you probably have the wrong impression about Texas hold 'em. Large pots are the exception rather than the rule and in most cases it is not desirable to have all your money committed into a single hand. Every single player who finds himself in such a position has good reasons to think that he is the top dog and that the opponent is about to lose all his money, unless he shoved his chips with a bluff.

Naturally only one player wins and for the other it is very difficult to rebound after suffering such a massive loss, especially if he was the one allowing the pot to grow out of proportions. Keeping the pots manageable is an invaluable skill, and there are certain ways of making sure that the pot doesn't grow virtually on its own volition. Trying to protect a premium hand is the right thing to do, but if the board is dangerous there is no need to risk everything on what is most likely to turn into a coin flip. Even going all in when you have 60% chances to win isn't a smart move because you expose yourself to variance like Texas Hold’em or Caribbean Stud.

Calling is not the solution despite the appearances, because if you simply call your opponent’s bets or raises you are encouraging him to be even more aggressive. A small bet that is done with the intention of making your opponent think twice, hence act as a deterrent and to discourage him from raising large amounts is known as a block bet. In most cases it works like a charm and it can be used just as effectively out of position, with the only concern being to bet no more than what is necessary to achieve your goal.