5 Ways to Improve Your Poker Game (2023)

Poker is a fairly new game, and its origins can be pinned back some 200 years ago at best. The early prototypes of the game were not actually played as competitively or as determinedly as Hollywood would like you to believe.

In fact, most that poker was used for was a parlor game played for fun with the occasional real money wager to raise the stakes and excite interest. It wasn’t until the late 1970s that poker became a game that was more pronouncedly competitive and not least because of the money that was going into the poker ecosystem.

Fast forward to the 21st century, and poker players are millionaires who play tirelessly and are on a never-ending quest of self-improvement and personal growth. Not all succeed, of course, but for those that are looking to improve their poker game, there are some sound pieces of advice to follow.

1 Accept You Aren’t the Best

The first thing to do in order to improve your poker game is to accept one simple truth – you aren’t the best and you aren’t likely to be the best poker player there is. Daniel Negreanu and Phil Ivey’s level of understanding is not only deep – it’s honed over decades of play, and perhaps a few lucky breaks.

Although there are many players out there that are competitive at the same table as either Ivey or Negreanu, or both, the simple truth of the matter remains that you are not likely to get to that level, and besides – practice does not make perfect!

This is perfectly okay, because now that you know how likely you are to grow in poker, you can train adequately, adjust your expectations, and who knows – perhaps even make it to the top of the poker pecking order.

How far you get remains to be seen – and it will depend on how well you can follow the next pieces of advice here. If you do happen to defy expectation, do let us know.

2 Play at the Right Tables

Poker is preferably not a game that you want to play at just about any table. You don’t want to sit down and break the bank just because someone challenged you into a game. In fact, poker is a game where you need to be able to pace yourself well.

You need to understand how the game works, what the betting limits are, and how far will your bankroll allow you to go. This is why picking the right battles, as it were, is crucial to your long-term success and growth in poker. 

For example, using the sites listed here you can play poker with real money will help you find games that are approachable and that can be played at any level – including your own. You will have a variety of choice and even have the chance to test your competitive mettle early on.

3 Create a Training Schedule

If you are truly serious about poker and want to make an honest effort out of improving your overall skill level, it will definitely be worth your while to create a training schedule. Training has a rather unpleasant ring to it.

It’s an obligation – you need to be honest with yourself about this. Training would require you to allocate a certain amount of time and definitely money, as well as consistency, to make it work. This way you can start on a lifelong journey that will only end when you feel like it’s ending.

Some of the biggest names in poker have been playing the game for years now and have only given up once they have not been physically able to continue playing. How far you wish to take your own poker journey will – thankfully – depend on you and you alone, and this is the beauty of it.

4 Read Good Poker Literature

Poker literature is a very broad and loose term. Would a player who is good at poker actually sit down and give away all of their “trade secrets?” The term poker literature should therefore be taken with a grain of salt. This doesn’t mean that there isn’t good poker literature to begin with, however.

In fact, there are many good books, and they usually come from players who were interested into researching poker, but over time they got so good at playing the game that they wanted to play it more competitively.

Some good examples here include Maria Konnikova, a PhD academic who leveraged her passion for psychology and getting inside people’s heads and brought it to the green felt where she found herself to be remarkably successful. Of course, it’s important to be honest with yourself.

Accumulating knowledge about poker will come not only through reading, but also through playing. Therefore, it’s important to leaf through good books such as “The Biggest Bluff,” but it’s equally important to put any insights you may garner there in a broader context that is usually achieved by playing the game yourself.

5 Track Your Historic Progress

Another thing to keep in mind is that you can only improve if you know you are improving. This means that once again, poker will be an activity that requires you to do if not meticulous, then at least conscientious bookkeeping. This is not too difficult at all as you will have the opportunity to learn about what matters to you the most.

In other words, you want to keep track of your progress – money spend versus money lost, hands won versus hands lost. It’s not just a purely numbers game, however, as you also need to see qualitative as well as quantitative improvement over time.

The simplest piece of advice is to just keep a record of your winnings and losses, and not accept them point blank but rather ask yourself – what are they indicative of. What’s the symptom and how can you use this data to improve. The best players in poker will tell you that this is a personal journey that you have to embark on yourself. To start, you need to start keeping track of your games first.

Diljeet Malik

I am a dedicated casino writer with a passion for all things related to the world of gambling and entertainment. With a deep understanding of the casino industry and a love for sharing insights and strategies, I strive to inform and entertain readers with my casino-related content.

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