How to Become a Poker Pro

Poker is a fun, skill-based game that can be played for pennies or matchsticks in private homes or for thousands of dollars in prestigious casinos. While there is plenty of luck involved, it is also a very highly skilled game that requires a lot of strategy and patience.

Learning the basics is one of the most important steps in becoming a poker pro. Learn the rules, positions and hands ranking, and play a few games to get a feel for how it all works.

Watch your opponents to determine their style of play. If they play a lot of hands and bet small, they’re probably tight/passive, susceptible to intimidation from more aggressive players. If they play a few hands, lead with a large bet, and are very aggressive, they’re likely to be loose/aggressive.

Rank your hands correctly:

A straight flush is made up of five cards of identical suits in numerical order, while a royal flush consists of an ace, king, queen, jack and 10 of the same suit. These are the most common hand ranks in poker, and understanding them will help you make better decisions when playing.

Learn poker etiquette:

Don’t talk about your cards, your opponents’ cards or the community cards (the ones that everyone shares) – this can change the odds and your strategies and cause other players to fold their hands. Likewise, don’t slow roll when you know you have the winning hand: this is seen as the biggest breach of etiquette and is unlikely to get you popular at the table.