The internet has plenty of resources for newcomers to poker. In fact, since 2020, the massive amounts of beginner-focused poker material have encouraged a 200% increase in online searches. On the flip side, it’s a bit trickier to find materials for more experienced players. Often, advanced online guides are overly technical or too vague. But poker is more than just luck and probability. In this article, we’ll fill in these intermediate poker playing gaps with actionable tips you can actually put to use. From proper financial management to inter-player relationships, here are some poker pro-approved tips that you can apply today:
Study more body language
Learning about bluffs and tells are some of the most basic poker skills. But understanding body language is actually an art that can be better optimized by more experienced players who can spot more subtle giveaways. Since up to 65% of all communication is said to be non-verbal, knowing how to interpret body language can drastically improve your game too. To make the most out of this, apply advanced body language practices. This includes making more sensitive observations such as noticing pupil size and lip signals which can indicate more subconscious tells. As you advance in your game, you’ll also want to learn more about culturally-rooted body language. This will allow you to better read opponents from other backgrounds who’re more likely to play against you in higher-stakes games.
Observe detailed financial management
The more advanced your game becomes, the higher the stakes get. Consequently, if you haven’t paid attention to your finances, now is the time. As a matter of fact, getting your finances in order is one of the most crucial tips for professional poker players if they want to become successful. If you look at all the greats, from Phil Ivey to Daniel Negreanu, they all know how to manage their money. Even if you’re still playing games with lower stakes, without having more detailed financial management, your expenses can stack up and put you in the red. As a rule of thumb, you should now try to have a minimum of 25 and 30 buy-ins available to you. If you’re ready to step it up and play poker more often, you should increase this to up to 50 buy-ins. Doing this will ensure that you have enough to participate in the matches you choose, without disrupting your personal needs.
Experiment with play styles
As a beginner, you can tend to rely on a single play style that you’re more comfortable with. However, as a more intermediate player, you need to learn to step out of your comfort zone. If you’re repeating the same plays, other advanced players will easily pick up on this and exploit it. This will lead to you losing as soon as your opponents grasp your approach. To prevent this, make an effort to go against your default play style. This will make it harder for others to pin you down, and it will broaden your offensive and defensive skills. If you want to play it safe while doing this, though, you may want to dip back into free games. This way you don’t have to worry about losing money while you’re still practicing.
Analyze other players’ matches
Just like how athletes review their opponents and peers, so should you study other poker players. This means you should analyze your poker peers even when you’re not playing against them. This will allow you to both pick up on their weaknesses and learn from their strengths. For instance, one very memorable match to analyze is Chris Moneymaker’s bluff of the century against Sammy Farha. In this match, Moneymaker is able to seize the pot thanks to his near-flawless bluff that had the more senior Farha folding. For newer players, watching such performances might be too intimidating to pick apart. However, for players ready to level up, watching others play can give insight into tactics that work and that don’t.
The best thing about poker is that there’s always room for improvement. As you elevate your game from beginner to intermediate, it’s important to address the skills and practices that you may not have paid much mind to as a newbie. By observing the above-mentioned tips, you can create a better-rounded approach that will have you dominating more experienced games in no time.
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