“The difference between winners and losers"
Kenny Rogers sang in his famous lyric, “You got to know when to hold’ em, know when to fold’ em.” That’s what separates winners from losers in poker. But how do you know when to hold’ em and when to fold’ em? Experience. The more you play, the better you will become at getting a feel for the game. Here are some other characteristics that winners possess and losers lack, winners bet, losers call. Poker is all about betting. Betting determines who wins and who loses. The bottom line is that you must know when to bet and when not to bet — in other words, when to hold’ em and when to fold’ em.The difference between winners and losers in poker is that winners bet most of the time and losers call most of the time. To be successful at poker, especially No Limit Hold’ Em, you need to be an aggressive player. Play solid poker, play a little on the tight side sometimes, but when you do play a pot, you must be aggressive. You must take the lead in the pot — be the one who is forcing the action.
The importance of betting can be explained by this simple example. Suppose you’re at the river and it’s your turn to act. If you bet, you have two ways to win the pot:
Now suppose you’re at the river and you call. You only have one way to win the pot: You must have the best hand. Just in terms of simple math, you can see that betting is 2-to-1 times better than calling. Understand this simple concept and your results will greatly improve.Don’t become a calling station: A player who is too timid to do anything except fold or call. A calling station is the experienced players dream, and calling stations get cleaned out.
Winners put their opponents on a hand. The difference between great players and good players is that great players can put their opponents on a hand better than others. That is, they know how to make educated guesses as to the value of their opponents’ cards. You get better at this important skill by practicing it during every single hand, even when you aren’t playing the hand. “What does Mike have this time?” you ask yourself, along with questions such as, “Why did he bet?” “And why did he bet that amount?” “Why is he checking now?” “Why did he call when his opponent bet?” “Why did he check-raise in that spot?”. Pretty soon you’ll be able to figure out if he has a hand or if he’s on a draw trying to make a flush or a straight.
Figure things out as early in the hand as possible. By the time you get to the river you should be able to sort out your opponent’s hand fairly correctly just by paying attention and analyzing his or her actions.
Learn to put your opponent on hand and your game will definitely improve. Remember, if you're in the habit of chasing pots, you should just leave the table...