Top 5 Poker Skills to be a Winner

poker skills

Poker Skills

Poker is unlike most forms of gambling where you’re at the mercy of the house. No amount of strategy will help you win at Bingo or Slots. You need to develop skills to become a consistent winner at the poker table. This article will look at 5 key poker skills necessary for beginners to develop to start winning regularly.

1) Patience

Patience is such an important poker skill that it can’t be emphasized enough. Whether you’re interested in playing a cash game or tournament, picking your spots and waiting for the profitable moments are key. Tournament poker has been described as “hours and hours of boredom punctuated by moments of sheer terror“. This phrase clues us in to something many players get wrong in tournaments – they lack the patience to win.

Patience is one of the key differences between losing and winning players. A patient player will fold a strong hand even after hours of folding if he/she knows it’s the right thing to do.

A losing player just can’t bring themselves to wait for the right spot. They would rather bust out and and enjoy online casinos in Canada than survive another round of blinds in a tourney.

2) Timed Aggression

Over the years, the game keeps changing but aggression is still a necessary skill to be a winning player. Even the players you call “nits” are betting their hands aggressively. The weak players are losing value on strong hands by playing unnecessarily trappy and slow. Or, they are wasting good value by over-betting and giving bad pot odds to superior players. Timed aggression is essentially picking and choosing the right moments to attack pots. These scenarios usually come up in blind battles or when you’re in later position and opponents have shown weakness.

3) Awareness

This is a poker skill that’s often underappreciated. Winning players know what’s going on at the table, they watch the players intently and know what different players are thinking at different times. Why do they know this? They know because they are aware of what’s happening, they know John had a bad week at the office and history shows he bluffs more when he’s in a bad mood.

Forgive us for sounding like Yoda but to be aware takes concentration and taking the game serious, you need to dedicate your attention to the table and perhaps turn off The Greatest Showman soundtrack while you play.

4) Bankroll Management

One can’t do a list of skills needed without including managing your bankroll. OK, so it’s not a skill at the table but you can’t be a long-term winner if your bankroll management is poor. You need to play within your means and at a suitable level. Winning players are gamblers to the naked eye but in reality, how many winning players have a losing year? They practice sensible bankroll management and know what games and levels they need to stay away from and what times they can move up. They’ll make use of a poker spreadsheet and other tracking tools to stay on top of things.

5) Tilt Control

This again is a big difference between winning and loser players. Even professionals tilt at times, but the ability to not tilt is vital. You’ve played great for hours and lost 3 key hands in a row, natural tendency is to steam and play more aggressive. Not to the best winning players, they know that isn’t what makes them money. This is something that can be trained and embedded in your mind with experience. It takes time and hard work but it’s possible.

There you have it, five poker skills for you to work on. If you’re interested in improving. Fill in our form below.

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Narciso Baldo is the Director and Head Coach of Texas Hold'em Questions. He has been playing poker for over 16 years. After spending many years as a professional, he now runs UK poker training site Texas Hold'em Questions. Narciso regularly writes poker articles sharing tips, strategy, news and experience with gambling enthusiasts. Narciso also writes for reputable gambling portal Casino City Times, (bio here). Contact: