5 Essential Poker Skills You Need to Become a Top-Level Poker Player

5 Essential Poker Skills You Need to Become a Top-Level Poker Player


Poker is one of the most popular card games in the world. Whether you’re playing on the internet or at your local casino, it’s easy to get addicted to the thrill of winning big money. Unlike many other games, though, poker requires skill and strategy in order to be successful.

Here are the skills you need to become a top-level poker player:

Reading People

No matter your skill level, you need to be able to read others. It’s a universal skill that helps you understand how different people think and act, but it’s especially important in poker. Learning to recognize certain tells can help you predict when an opponent is about to make a move that will give you the edge.

Understanding Ranges

Another essential poker skill is knowing what ranges your opponents might be in. This can help you make more informed decisions and play a more strategic game. You’ll need to be able to determine what hands your opponent could have based on how long he takes to make a decision, how much sizing he uses, and more.

The best way to learn this is to play in tournaments, where players are ranked on a scale. Ranks are based on the percentage of hands each player has that match a specific hand type, such as pocket pairs or suited aces.

Betting More

Another key poker skill is betting more aggressively than your opponents. This can help you win more pots and earn more chips.

You’ll need to be able to decide when to raise and call a bet without being overwhelmed by the amount of chips you have in your stack. You also need to be able to choose when to fold and when to keep your cards in the pot.

Choosing the Right Game

A poker player needs to find and play the best games for them, ideally at a reasonable limit that won’t crush their bankroll or cause them to lose too much money. They should also avoid playing the same games too often, since they can get bored and frustrated.

Developing Discipline and Perseverance

You need to have discipline and perseverance if you’re going to be successful at poker. If you’re not disciplined, you’ll end up getting distracted or irritated, and that can lead to losing games.

This will affect your bankroll and even your confidence as a player, and it can make you lose if you’re not careful. So, it’s important to develop these skills as early as possible in your poker career.

Mental Toughness

In poker, you’ll often play against bad players. You won’t always win every hand you play, but it’s essential to never let a loss get you down. Phil Ivey, for example, doesn’t let a bad beat depress him or his confidence, and it’s something you should strive to do as well.

Having the mental toughness to play poker is an essential poker skill, and it can make or break your poker career. You’ll need to be able not to get angry or upset after a loss, so watch videos of professional players who have taken a bad beat and pay attention to how they react.