“A real man makes his own luck” -Billy Zane, Titanic. That quote, while silly, makes all the sense in the world when it comes to Poker. Ask anyone who plays regularly and they’ll tell you something similar as Poker is truly as much skill as luck.
Some will argue that Poker is all luck since the cards are shuffled and dealt at random, however if you only play when you get great cards in your hand, then you’re the sucker at the table. There’s a reason why you see the same names make it to the end-tables of the big tournaments.
Interesting statistic: “Poker is almost unique in its blend of luck and skill. If you were to play a heads-up match against the best player in the world and move all-in every hand, you’d have almost a 40% chance of winning! That’s some luck factor.” – PartyPoker.com
I’m a hands-on kind of guy. Some folks can read a book that can describe the art of poker and just “get it”. My first suggestion to becoming a better Poker player is to PLAY THE GAME A LOT, and with a variety of people. Be a Poker slut! If you’re a monogamous Poker player then you’re not truly learning how different personalities and play-styles affect the game. Now unless you’ve got a lot of money and don’t mind going to the casino or playing in tournaments, you’ll want to do this for free. That’s where online poker comes in, and it’s the perfect training tool.
Online poker has made a boom since the late 90’s. It’s fun, free and you get to play with all sorts of people. Ever watch the World Series of Poker and notice that all the final players have logo’s of Poker sites plastered all over them? It can seem silly, but let’s not complain for free entertainment. I’d recommend PartyPoker.com since they have all the standard game variations, but an additional tool called “Poker Trainer” which lets you play against computer-generated players. It’s the perfect way to start for newbies, or a fun way to get back-to-basics with how the game works.
Another great reason to try online poker is that it gives you an opportunity to take more risks. Like I said earlier, you can’t just play the good hands, you have to learn the art of “bluffing” and more importantly, WHEN to bluff. Don’t start bluffing the tables at the casino or with your friends if you don’t really know what you’re doing, because you’ll get called and go home early. Do that online where you have a safety net and can take the risk.
Play the game, observe what others are doing, and take a risk. Before you know it, you’ll be walking away from the table a winner. Game on!