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The Best Ways To Improve At Poker


Just about everyone has tried poker at one point, and many have enjoyed it. These days, in particular, it’s very easy to load up a website or poker app and enjoy a few leisurely hands, even if it’s just a way to fill some downtime. Beyond this sort of casual play, though, many people struggle to advance in the game, which brings us to a question: What are the best ways to get better at poker? Read on to find out!

1. Practice On Free Apps

 The more you practice at anything, the better you get. Unsurprisingly, this very much applies to poker as well. Whether the goal is to learn how to play, try out new strategies, or play a fun game, free apps are available to anyone with a smartphone. And while you might approach them casually, the simple fact is that every hand you play teaches you a little something about the decisions you should be making, how to bet strategically (even with “play money”), and how to outwit opponents. Open up a poker app for 20 minutes a day, and you’ll feel more confident playing even in a week.

2. Follow Experts

 Aside from practicing, it is important to learn from the experts as well –– and the good news is, it’s pretty easy to follow them! For instance, poker pros like Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu have decorated champions who have made themselves very accessible to fans. They’ve recorded tutorials and courses to teach their best strategies and convey what makes a winning poker player.

 Another way to follow experts is to watch them in action. Ivey and Negreanu are set to battle against other high-level players in a new 14-week season of High Stakes Poker quite soon, for instance, and there’s always the WSOP to watch each year as well. Events like these make for great chances to see what makes the best so successful.

3. Read Poker Blogs

 Reading through poker blogs is another one of the best ways to get the inside scoop on everything poker-related, including strategies and tips for improvement. is perhaps the most comprehensive option, with posts clarifying rules and strategies for different types of poker, some basic information on odds calculation, and more miscellaneous content about the game. Other options like Upswing (which has a dedicated training section) and Negreanu’s blog are excellent resources for players who want to improve.

4. Learn to Calculate Odds

 Anyone can jump into a poker game and place a bet without having any real strategy; this is what most amateurs do. But the pros know that behind any winning strategy is an analytical approach founded at least somewhat in math. When it comes to playing like a pro, a huge part of winning is learning how to calculate the odds in any situation. While there are different levels of math employed by different players, basic odds calculated using probability and statistics is what poker game theory is based on. Players who learn the numbers will typically have a leg up, even if poker is not a game entirely based on probabilities and math.

5. Study Psychology

 A player’s mindset is their most valuable asset –– particularly as it stands to affect the choices you make at the table. A few years ago, a piece at pointed out that neither anger nor happiness makes for an ideal decision-making state. This is good to keep in mind in general, but it also aligns with popular poker advice. It is unwise to get too excited or upset about in-game outcomes when you still have more hands to play and a strategy to keep in mind. Sound psychology and level emotions are every bit as important as fundamental strategies and odds calculations.

 Poker is a fun recreational game that anyone can enjoy. But as with most competitive hobbies, it’s more fun when you’re winning! Follow these paths to improvement, and you’ll start to find yourself on the right side of more hands and to enjoy poker all the more for it.

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