When you’re trying to play the best poker that you can play, you will need to make sure that you focus on one thing above everything else: your bankroll!
Now, we know that we’re talking about poker psychology a lot, and this plays right into that theme whether you realize it or not. You have to make sure that you are looking at your bankroll at all times. However, what’s even more important is that you need to make sure that you’re not just looking around at throwing money without really having a reason to throw money around.
There are times where you really do want to highlight your chip stack. This is good when it comes time to bluff the daylights out of other poker players on the table. Yet there really aren’t that many times where you want to be that bold. There is a difference between being confidence and knowing your poker theory and coming off as a stupid newbie that will crash and burn within two months. You don’t want to be that newbie that crashes and burns within two months, we assure you.
So the road from here that you have to take is to really stop and look at the way your bankroll relates to your gameplay.
It’s all about making sure that you can outlast your opponents. Far too often players with get through a tournament and actually make some good progress — only to get too cocky about the fact that they’re in the lead. You can be in the lead during one hand and then be hanging on by a thread in another hand. That’s the nature of No Limit Texas Hold ‘Em — if you want to move high up in the ranks, you have to get aggressive without getting stupid. Making blind bluffs towards the end when a player has already had the opportunity to size you up all game might end up biting you squarely in the delicates, if you catch our drift.
The better approach is to seize control through smart gameplay. Sometimes that’s letting other players have small pots, even when you feel that you have a sure thing. It’s too easy to go in thinking that your three of a kind is going to work miracles, only to get beaten out by a straight. It’s one thing to have a straight, and then ignore the possibility of a flush the other player is holding. It’s that type of thing that really ends up doing you in.
While we’re on the subject of hand rankings, it’s very important that you understand what beats what in detail. Take our mention of the flush. If you have a flush and the other player has a flush, you will need to look at the highest card to determine the best hand. For example, a K-J-9-3-2 of spades beats the K-J-8-4-5 of diamonds because the 9 beats out the 8. If all five cards are equal, then the flushes would be equal and you’ve got yourself a split pot.
The rank of the three of a kind will depend on the three equal cards. So obviously 3 5’s are going to beat 3 2’s. However, you need to make sure that if you get into a tie, you look at the two remaining cards in each hand. You will want to make sure that you look at the higher of the two. If those are equal, then you shift down to the lower odd card.
In poker, it’s really the little things that can do you in. Having a strong idea of what type of progress you need to make will help you build a better poker plan. The more planning that you can do, the better off you will be in the long run — don’t give up!