The game of Poker has taken the world by storm in recent years. Although it has always been an exciting card game, lately it has gained mounting popularity and has shown us through tournaments such as “The World Series of Poker” that even an average Joe, who has been playing the game for a relatively short amount of time, can walk away a millionaire. The way to win is to devise your own way of playing the game by building from a variety of tried and true Poker strategies available for you to learn.
The most important trick for a beginning Poker player to learn is how to “read” the other players. Unless you have an absolutely stellar hand that you are certain will win, then the strategy of reading your opposing players, to help determine what you should do with your own hand, is essential. You should begin by taking a few hands to observe your fellow players. Try to uncover if there are any habits your opponents have that coincide with a good hand or a bluff. Most great players try to conceal anything that could give away their hand, however, there may be very small, almost unnoticeable, things they are unaware of.
Another good way to try and determine what your opponent may have is by his verbal skills. He may try to distract you from your own hand by carrying on a meaningless conversation or taunting you when he is trying to bluff, be almost silent when he has a great hand, or over-acting like he has a outstanding hand when he actually has nothing. After a few hands, you may be able to decipher any patterns that your opposing players may have.
As you try to read your fellow Poker players keep in mind that they are probably trying to read you as well. Therefore, it is a good idea to try and not develop any noticeable patterns of your own. When playing with close friends, ask if there is anything you may do and are unaware of that could possibly give away your hand. Sometimes even something as little as an eyelid flutter can give devoted and observant opponents the advantage.
If trying to read your opponents doesn’t work out in the beginning, don’t get discouraged! The more you practice reading other players, the easier it will get. With each game of Poker that you play, you will be able to hone all of your skills and strategies until you are a true Poker master and, eventually, you may be ready to enter into the “World Series of Poker” yourself.