Don’t play for money when you’re drunk.

Countless nights have I sat across a table from someone and watched them get plastered silly and throw away their entire stack of chips. I’ve been that person too – and there are nights where you’re just playing with friends for low stakes and it’s more about the fun than the poker – but if you’re in a casino, watch the alcohol. The truth is, while you may be more relaxed after 2 drinks, it may lead to you playing looser and less sharply, even if you’re not ‘drunk’.

Don’t play every hand. Instead, fold more hands.

Probably the number one mistake beginning poker players make is that they play far too many hands. But playing more doesn’t mean winning more, it usually means losing more. Try sticking to premium hands first.

Don’t play when mad, sad or generally in a bad mood.

When you play poker, you shouldn’t do it to escape from being depressed or having a really bad day. You start out on tilt — playing emotionally, not rationally — and you won’t play your best. Likewise, if during a poker game, you lose a big hand or get sucked out on and feel yourself going on tilt, stand up and take a break until you feel calm later on. Fellow players will sense your mood and take advantage of it.

Pick the right game for your skill level and bankroll.

One of the reasons you shouldn’t jump into a $5/10 game after winning a huge bunch of money at $2/4 is because as the stakes rise, so does the average skill level of the players sitting there. You want to be one of the best at the table, not the fish who sits down with sharks. If you’re making stacks of money at a lower level game, why move? You’re winning stacks of money. The swings up and down at higher limits are much bigger, and one big night’s win won’t last long at a high-stakes game.

Don’t play at too high limits.

There are many reasons people move up to a higher limit game than they usually play. Good reasons, like they’ve been winning consistently at a lower lever and are ready to move up, and bad reasons, like the line is shorter for higher limits or you want to impress someone. Don’t play at stakes that make you think about the actual money in terms of day-to-day life or with money you can’t lose. Even if you had one super-good night at $2/4, resist the urge to play $5/10. The next tip explains more why.

Take regular breaks when playing poker. Avoid playing long sessions

As you play, one of the single best things you can do is observe your opponents, even when you’re not in a hand. If you know that one player always raises in a certain position and another has a poker tell when he bluffs and a 3rd folds to every re-raise, you can use that information to help you decide how to play against them. Once you know that player 3 always folds to a re-raise on a river, that’s when you can bluff and steal a pot.

Pay attention to the cards on the table.

When you first start playing, it’s enough just to remember how to play and pay attention to your own hand. But once you’ve got that down, it’s incredibly important to look at what’s going on at the table. In Texas Hold’em, figure out what the best possible hand would be to fit the flop. Make sure you notice flush and straight possibilities. In 7-card stud, pay attention to what’s showing and what people have folded when you consider calling opponents.

Don’t call at the end of a hand to ‘keep someone honest’.

This one follows the last tip. I see a lot of players look at another player’s final bet, look at the hand, and say ‘I know you’ve got me, but I have to keep you honest,’ as they throw in a final call. It may be worth it to see if a player really has the hand if you’re not sure and you’re gaining information that will help you later on, but if you really feel a player has the hand he’s representing and you’re beat, why give him another pile of your money? Those bets will add up over an evening.

Don’t stay in a hand just because you’re already in it.

Another common mistake beginners make is to think; ‘Well, I’ve already put that much in the pot, I have to stay in now.’ Nope. You can’t win a pot just by throwing money at it. There may be cases when pot odds warrant a call, but if you’re sure you’re beaten, and there’s no way your hand can improve to be the best hand, you should fold right away. The money you’ve already put in the pot isn’t yours anymore, and you can’t get it back just by playing a hand all the way to the end.

Don’t bluff just for the sake of bluffing.

A lot of beginners understand that bluffing is a part of poker, but not exactly how. There’s is NO rule that one must bluff a certain amount or at all during a poker game, but many players don’t feel like they’ve won unless they’ve tried a poker bluff. Bluffs only work in certain situations and against certain people, and if you know a player always calls up to the showdown, it is literally impossible to bluff that player. It’s better never to bluff than to bluff ‘just to bluff’.

Looking to improve your poker game? You’ve come to the right place! To guide you in the right direction, our editors have strived to compile all the best poker tips for you in one clear and handy page. In this section of PokerHarder, you can view the best tips of poker from leading poker players and poker industry professionals. Never again will you be unaware of certain in-game conventions, nor will you have trouble applying ‘common sense’ to your poker game.

Each and every poker player is unique in the poker strategies he uses and the way he plays the game. For one to truly become a great poker player, it is crucial to also have at least a basic understanding of the way other poker players play and perceive the game of poker. Learning about other players’ motives, thoughts and considerations during a round of poker play can even be considered vital to improving your own game and expanding your skill set as a poker player.

While experienced poker players may find they are already aware of most of the basic principles the professionals that gave us these tips try to convey, if you’re a relatively novice poker player you should be sure to check these tips out. Some of the greatest and most talented minds in poker have given us these tips to share with you. If you wish to improve your poker game and enhance your strategy, first and foremost you should get acquainted with these practical poker tips and tricks.

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Applying each poker tip in this section of PokerHarder to your poker strategy can serve as a boost to your (online) poker ‘carreer’!