How to Play Poker Like the Pros


Poker is a family of card games in which players wager over which hand is best according to that specific game’s rules. It can be played worldwide and is often a social activity, but is also a serious business.

The best players have several similar traits, including patience, reading other players, adaptability and developing strategies. In addition, they know when to quit a game and try it again another day.

Read Other Players

While it isn’t easy to develop the skills required to be a master at reading people, the ability to spot tells in others, such as facial expressions and body language, is crucial for success in poker. You can learn to spot idiosyncrasies in players’ behavior by studying their hand gestures, eye movements, and betting patterns.


Having a good understanding of ranges is important for any poker player. Ranges can be based on an opponent’s position, the time it takes to make a decision and how much money they’re betting. This can help you to work out a range of hands that your opponent could have and make more educated decisions about when to fold or raise.

Use a Strategy List

A strategy list is like a cheat sheet that has all of the different ways you can win in a game. It ranks the different hands from best to worst, and helps you decide which cards to keep and which to exchange for new ones.

This is a great tool for beginners who are trying to understand what their hand can and cannot do, and it will also give you an advantage over experienced players who are not using this method. A strategy list can be found online for virtually every game of poker and is a great way to begin learning the basics of playing poker.

Playing the Right Games

One of the most crucial aspects of poker is choosing games that are suited to your bankroll and abilities. You want to play at a level where you can get the most out of your bankroll and still have fun. A poker game that isn’t fun or profitable will likely lead to a lot of frustration, so be sure to choose the best games possible.

If you’re just starting out, stick to 9/6 Jacks or Better until you can move up to more advanced games. This will allow you to hone your skill and avoid playing against too many aggressive and bluffing opponents.

Mental Toughness

You need to be able to maintain confidence in your own skills and not let bad beats get the best of you. Phil Ivey is an example of a poker player who has mastered this skill. Watch videos of him taking bad beats on YouTube, and you’ll see that he doesn’t get overly emotional when his hand is dealt.

Set a Budget and Stick to It

When it comes to poker, it’s very important to set a budget for yourself. This will help you to prevent you from gambling on emotions, which is a huge no-no in the game.