The 10 Most Critical Skills
Author : Poker Listings    -   Subject : Internet

    What makes a great poker player?

    Ask ten different people and you'll get ten different answers. Depends on the game. Depends on the situation. It just depends.

    They'll never agree completely, but these ten skills will come up more often than not. Every good poker player should have them to some degree.

    So if you'd like to be one of them, these are the skills to work on:

    You can't win every hand when you play poker. Actually, you can't even win most of them. A great poker player has to be able to wait. Wait as long as it takes to get a hand worth playing. And then have the discipline to throw the hand away if it's not going to win.

    It's an old adage, but it still holds true: If you don't believe in yourself, no one else will either. Lacking confidence at the poker table is like blood in the water. Learn to develop confidence in yourself and every play you make at the table.

    Scared money doesn't win. When you're at the poker table, it has to be a tool of the trade only. However you feel about money away from the table, you have to be prepared to put all of your chips in if you think you have the best of it. If you can't, play at a lower limit or play in freerolls.

    Emotional Control
    This is what's going to happen at the poker table: You will make brilliant plays and lose large amounts of money. People will make terrible plays and beat you. Bad things will happen. If you can't keep yourself in check, you're going to get yourself in trouble.

    Impulse Control
    If you're compulsive, you're going to struggle with poker. A good poker player knows when to quit, even if he's behind.

    Money Management
    Got to have it to get in, and got to learn how to keep it. If you're playing a game too big for your bankroll, all the skill in the world won't save you from a streak of bad luck.

    Math Skills
    Sorry to break it to you, but your fifth grade teacher was right: You do need math for everything. Especially poker. You don't have to be rocket scientist, but a basic understanding of odds and probabilities is fundamental to a good poker player.

    A good memory is invaluable, no matter the game. Remembering folded cards in a stud game or how a player plays a particular hand in Hold'em, whatever the scenario is you're better off with the info than without it.

    Figuring out if you're beat isn't just reading tells. You need to replay hands and reach logical, rational conclusions about your opponent's cards. Then act accordingly.

    Psychological Intelligence/Empathy
    Put yourself in your opponent's head. Ask yourself how you would react if you were him, and answer that question truthfully. If you can do that, you'll have a huge advantage.

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