Poker has been one of the most popular forms of gambling for many years, and there is no indication that this will change any time soon. On the contrary, the game is garnering more players than ever as more online casinos go live.
According to market estimates, online poker’s value was $116.894 million (around £98.54 million) in 2021. This figure excludes the additional millions spent at tables in brick-and-mortar casinos worldwide. The value of the game is also expected to grow by 11.7% by 2030.
It’s no surprise that with this many people playing, some bank more than others. These players have a knack for winning and can pull in impressive sums of cash during a single sitting.
So, the question is, what allows these players to win more than others?
This article will unpack the answers to this question and examine what the world’s best poker players have in common. These qualities help give them an edge that regular players might be missing and lead them to victory.
Ask any poker player, and discipline is the first thing they will say you need to be successful. This may sound like a strange concept because it is not usually associated with poker. However, it is the most important trait for players to have.
Discipline allows you to recognise different situations and make decisions based on observations without second-guessing yourself or questioning your actions. As such, if a hand is no longer worth playing or you realise that you’re losing too much money, having the discipline to simply walk away can help you be much more successful than sticking it out.
Discipline also helps guide you when emotions may be running high. Instances like this can occur when you’ve lost multiple hands, or you’re stressing about the amount of money you may have lost. Thinking clearly, even when your emotions are at play, will help keep you level-headed and allow you to make smarter decisions when playing.
Another trait that is easily overlooked is that of being studious. Many players begin playing poker because they enjoy the game. If they genuinely want to become a good player, they may study different strategies and see how they can improve their game. Once they’ve reached a certain skill level, they’ll simply keep playing how they’ve learnt.
Contrary to this, the best poker players never stop trying to learn new ways to win. They are known to constantly study and even develop new strategies to help give them an edge over the competition. They then evolve these strategies and even share them with others via places like the blogs of online casinos in the UK.
Because of this constant development, they tend to move on to newer and more effective strategies by the time most players discover the ones they’ve already been using.
Confidence and Perceptiveness
Confidence may sound like a strange trait to have to excel at playing a card game. However, confidence can be the difference in poker between psyching out your competition and making them believe your bluff or being called out and losing it all.
Being confident in your ability to see where the hand may be leading you and in your ability to hide your emotions that may be stirred up by your hand is key to winning. Without this, you may be a soft target that other players can easily read.
Besides being confident in how you portray yourself, you must be perceptive enough to see past other players’ confidence. Perceptiveness allows you to recognise “tells“ of other players and will make it harder for them to pull the proverbial wool over your eyes.
Whether we like to admit it or not, most of us probably aren’t that patient. Especially considering we live in a world where we can often get what we want exactly when we want it. But for the best poker players, having patience is a vital characteristic to develop.
Patience comes into play when a game seems to be dragging on after they’ve folded their hand. It is also employed when they are waiting for the game to shift in a different direction. Without it, many players would give it up as a lousy job and stop playing.
Patient players know that sometimes it is best to sit and observe a game. They can also wait for the game to (hopefully) shift in their favour so they can take advantage and walk away with a giant pot of chips.
Balanced Risk Assessment and Financial Management
While it may sound like a mouthful, having balanced risk-assessment skills and proper financial management can make or break a great poker player. Both these things help the player remain in a safe financial zone while playing.
Being able to assess the risk of a hand properly helps avoid impulsive or foolish bets when playing. Instead, you can analyse each hand to see if the possible reward for winning outweighs the risk of what could be lost if you lose.
Financial management works hand in hand with assessing the risk of increasing your wager or even playing another round. The best players know how much they can spend in a single sitting. And the reason they know what they can spend is that they manage their money in a responsible way and budget for each game accordingly.
Many things make the best poker players legends when it comes to winning this iconic card game. Above are just some typical traits amongst the best players that help them stand out from the mass of players worldwide.
So, if you want to up your game when playing poker, try to develop and hone these skills. Do so effectively, and they just may help you become the next record-breaking winner.
This article was written in cooperation with Impulsq