Poker 101 – How to Actually Win the Game

Online-Poker-OpponentsLove poker but you’re having a hard time winning? I guess I can understand that feeling. I am also a gambling man at heart, but time and again, it seems Lady Luck doesn’t like me that much back in the day. Well, I guess that was just an excuse; the real reason why I couldn’t win at poker is because I didn’t do my research and I didn’t study the game at all.

The problem with poker is that it almost looks like it’s too easy of a game to play. Unfortunately, the moment you sit down at the table while trying to memorize all the steps on playing the game, you instantly forget everything the moment you start betting. Sure, not all first-time poker players are like that, but when you start losing money (or chips, for that matter), you start breaking into cold sweat and panic sets in. If you’re interested in playing poker, then my advice is to start small and to learn more about the game.

I had the luck of running into a friend who happens to be a professional poker player. The first thing he taught me was to listen and learn. Sounds easy, right?

Next, he started giving me the following advice:

Start by playing low-stakes poker – Have you seen the movie “God of Gamblers”? I know, the movie is too awesome to happen in real life. But even the “God of Gamblers” had to start small at first before he moved in into the big leagues. Therefore, you should also start small. In fact, even professional poker players realize that playing low-stakes poker is good for enhancing their poker playing skills.

By the way, it doesn’t matter if its real-life poker or online poker.  If you’re a complete beginner, do yourself a favor and start with low-stakes poker so you don’t end up losing your savings in one game!

When playing in a casino, observe – When you’ve mastered enough tricks and tips in playing low-stakes poker, then it’s time to bring the game up a notch. But before you head towards the poker table to play a game, look around and observe the players first. As the mighty Chinese philosopher Sun Tzu once said, knowing your enemy is the key to winning a hundred battles against him. The same could be said with poker.


Take a look at how each of the poker players and try to learn their playing techniques and strategies. When you’re ready, you can start playing.

Keep your cool, even when you’re losing – A poker player respects another poker player who manages to keep his/her composure during the game. Remember that poker is a battle of wits; if your opponent sees you wiping your sweat constantly, it’s pretty much a clear indicator that you have a bad set of cards. Keep your cool, remain focused and keep your eyes on your cards.

Now I understand that this is a skill that is not easily learned. You can only become a calm and composed player thru years of experience in playing the game.

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