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Handy poker skills every player must know

Poker is one of the more complex casino games out there. It’s the one that trips people up more than any others as there are lots of moving parts.

Playing a poker game well requires a certain set of skills, some of which are pretty unique to this game. Some of these skills you might have already picked up in other areas.

We’ll be taking a look through what some of the most important skills to have in poker are so you can see if you’re up to the challenge.


List of poker skills every player needs


Being able to read others

Poker is one of the only games where you have to take other people’s actions into account. You might have everything set up in your head and then another player throws a curveball. 

Once you get a feel for the people you’re playing with, you’ll be able to try and guess their next move. This might not come easily at first, but you’ll soon learn what to look out for. 

Once you have this skill down, you’ll be able to breeze through poker games easily. It can also be a skill you can use elsewhere in your day-to-day life. 

Ability to make quick decisions

Everything happens at speed in poker. There’s no time to sit about and consider what options you have. The player in front of you might do something totally unprecedented and throw you for a loop. 

Therefore, being able to think on your feet is a must. There is no time to panic or even to think, all of you have to do is what you think is best in the moment. 

This might not always go well, especially at first. But with enough games under your belt, you’ll soon be able to get a feel for what the right move is.

Use your cards well

The cards you’re dealt in poker are left entirely to chance. You could be as prepared as possible before a game, but the cards could go either way.

This means that the best you can do in a game of poker is know how to use your cards. You need to be so confident in your game that you could get the worst hand and still have a chance at winning.

This is a skill that comes with practice and patience, but it’s worth working towards.


Hold your cool under pressure

Whether you’re playing in person or online, the poker table can be a high-pressure environment. Everything happens very quickly and there isn’t always a lot of time to consider your next move. 

Oftentimes, your next move depends on the person before you. This means the pressure is always on and you always have to be focussed and calm. Being able to keep your cool under pressure is vital to do well at poker. 

Make smart financial decisions

Casino games of any kind are a whirlwind of fun and it’s easy to get caught up in it. No matter how sensible you are, anyone can make a silly decision when they’re in the middle of a game. 

Being able to make smart financial decisions is highly important when playing poker. It’s not going to be any fun if you end up in financial hot water because of a silly decision in a game. 

Whether it’s making sure you set yourself a spending limit, or taking a breather every few rounds, you need to find a way to make sure you’re not making any mistakes with money. 

Ability to hold focus

Being able to focus on the issue in front of you is a necessity in poker. A lot of the time, you’re going to be playing in a place that has a lot of distractions. Whether you’re at a friend’s house, at a casino, or even playing online - distractions are everywhere. 

One lapse in focus could cost you the game so being able to zone in the game is important. No matter what is going on in the background, the cards should always be the focus. 

It’s not just a great skill to have in poker, but in life as well. If you already hold this skill, then there’s a chance you’d be a great poker player. 

Be able to bluff believably

No one likes having to bluff, but in poker it’s a necessary evil. It’s not so much about being able to lie, the best way to bluff is to keep as close to the truth as possible. 

You’re not always going to have great cards so you’re going to have to bluff your way through at some stage. Don’t let this put you off, it gets easier with time and practice. 

These skills are all useful, if not a necessity for playing poker. Which ones have you ticked off the list?



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