There’s always a big difference between professional players of a game and amateur players, and poker is no exception. While it may appear that poker is just a matter of luck, there are certain things that separate the pros from those who like to think they’re pros.
An Attention to Detail
First of all, a really good poker player has a strong attention to detail. Amateurs tend to pay attention only to themselves when they play. They worry so much about how much they should bet or how strong their hand is that they don’t pay any attention to what the other players are doing. They watch how the other players bet, how they react to what’s going on at the table, what kinds of hands win, and everything else that might help them develop a winning strategy. They’re always watching, even when they aren’t playing a hand.
A Good Poker Face
Good poker players have what is aptly named a poker face, a kind of blank expression that is impossible to read. They wear their expression at all times, never letting their emotions get the better of them. They don’t show their excitement when they have a great hand, nor do they show their frustration when they lose a big pot.
Good poker players have the ability to change up their play style to fit any given situation. Someone who plays the same way all the time is too predictable, and they end up losing big as soon as the better players at the table figure out their strategy. The pros who consistently win big tournaments take what they’ve learned from watching the other players and develop a strategy that best suits the current game being played, and they’re unpredictable enough that their “usual” betting strategy can be used as a bluff once in a while. Many amateur and professional poker players will tell you that there are technically “right” and “wrong” ways to play the game, but they never use the same playing strategy every time they sit down at a table.
Spending Time Away From The Table
Even though experience is the best teacher, good poker players know that they need to take some time away from the poker table. Marathon poker sessions are exhausting, and nobody learns well or thinks clearly when they’re too exhausted. Good players can still learn a lot when they step away from the table and study the game when they aren’t active participants in it. In other words, everyone needs a break once in a while.