If you want to play poker like the pros then you need a bucket of confidence, a keen eye and a mastery of the lingo. We’ve put together a handy glossary to help you understand some of the most important terms used in poker.
Bluffing is a huge part of the game. Top players know how to deceive opponents and can often turn a weak hand into a monster by making them think they have something they don’t. New players often struggle with this because they feel too timid to bet with trash hands but the truth is you can often make money with a bluff even if it doesn’t pay off.
The bluffing strategy you adopt will depend on your position at the table and how much of the action is heads-up. If you have a weaker hand then it’s usually better to call rather than raise but in general it’s a good idea to mix up your style. This will keep your opponents on their toes and allow you to exploit them with strong hands when they’re out of position.
An ante is a small bet that all players are required to contribute before the deal of a hand begins. This adds value to the pot right away and can also help you avoid a bad beat.
Keeping your bluffing in check
When playing poker it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of the game and let your emotions get the better of you. Emotional and superstitious players are the ones who tend to lose at a high rate and struggle to break even. It’s essential that you learn to keep your emotions in check and view the game as a cold, mathematical and logical affair if you’re serious about becoming a high-level player.
Top players fast-play their strong hands, which means they’re willing to bet to build the pot and chase off other players who might have a draw that can beat them. New players struggle with this because they have tunnel vision and only see the strength of their own hand. You should aim to bet strong hands if you can as this will give you the best chance of winning.
Top players have their own unique poker strategy that they developed through detailed self-examination and reviewing their results. They’re also open to discussing their strategy with others for a more objective look at their strengths and weaknesses. Regardless of what your strategy is, it’s important that you constantly tweak it and improve yourself. This is how the best players become the best players in the world.