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Take Your Game from Average to Awesome

shuffling cards

As a poker player with some experience behind you, have you found that you’re beginning to plateau at the tables? Maybe you’re struggling to turn a consistent profit, or you find yourself making rookie mistakes despite your beginner days being long gone. Don’t worry; this is the same process that all poker players go through – yes, even the world’s elite.

It can often be a challenge to take your game to the next level; in many ways, it’s more difficult than first learning how to play poker. However, making a few strategic adjustments to how you play can generate surprisingly effective results, whether you’re participating in live cash games or participating in online poker tournaments.

No, we can’t transform you into a player of Phil Ivey’s calibre overnight, but if you follow our suggestions below, you’ll soon see your game transform from average to awesome.

Think in Ranges 

One of the hallmarks of poker is that you have to consider the cards your opponents hold as well as your own. Very often, this can result in players trying to put their opponents on specific poker hands. It’s a simple enough error to make, but it could be what’s holding you back.

Instead, you need to think in terms of ranges, encompassing a spectrum of hands that players can have. It’s less about focusing on single hands and more about understanding the range of cards that might be present around the table and the different frequencies in which they can occur.

It goes without saying that having a thorough understanding of poker hand rankings will enable you to think in ranges rather than get caught up in single hands.

Drop Your Favourite Hand  

Not getting caught up in single hands should also apply to your own game. Sure, every player has a few favourite starting hands or the ‘lucky’ hands that get them through tough situations, but don’t make the mistake of giving one hand preferential treatment.

It’s far better to make good decisions with a hand you’re less comfortable with than to hang on to your favourite and ultimately make bad plays. Remember, poker is a game of logic and strategy; your game isn’t cursed if you decide to fold your preferred hand early.

Branch Out 

Just as you likely have a favourite poker hand that you need to break out of playing, you probably have a favourite poker variant or format that you prefer too. If you really want to improve your performace at the felt, it’s time to branch out and add some variance into the type of poker you’re playing.

Being an all-round poker player is far more beneficial to your bankroll and your progress in the game than, say, only choosing to play short-stack games. Even as a tournament player, you need to get to grips with deep-stack cash games if you want to reach your true potential when it counts.

dealing cards

Soft Skills Aren’t So Soft 

Winning at poker is all about playing aggressively, right? Well, not necessarily. There are, of course, situations where the more aggressively you play, the more likely you are to control the game, but there are times when you’ll need to take a gentler approach. Working on your soft skills, such as your ability to read your opponents, can help you play more effectively.

You should notice the specific details of how your opponents play, especially if you’re at the level where you encounter the same faces repeatedly. Focus on physical cues, such as hand movements or the way they hold their cards and chips. Even tracking the time they take to make key decisions or their eye movements will leave you much better informed, and in poker, information is worth its weight in gold.

Accept That Bad Beats Are All Part of the Game 

The fact is, bad beats happen to everyone, even those who are truly at the top of the discipline. It’s how you handle losing sessions that transform bad beats into learning opportunities.

Resist the urge to play the victim and accept the fact that there will be games when you’ll lose – and lose badly. Take the time to review how you’ve played during your worst games as well as your best, and don’t be afraid to reach out and discuss your bad runs with stronger players.

How Much Cash Back Will I Earn?

Rakeback increases your winnings from online poker as you continually earn money back from every raked hand or tournament you play.

Many players earn a living wage from rakeback alone. Use the calculator below to estimate the size of payments you’ll get over a given period of time. The calculator will compute your expected daily, weekly, and monthly cash back depending on the stakes and tables you input.

Calculate Your Rakeback

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