With another year behind us, it’s an appropriate time to look ahead. Whether you had a strong 2023 or not, you will want to win in 2023. Online poker is becoming more challenging as each year passes.
Players are taking the game seriously, putting in hours of hard work and study to beat their rivals. That’s why this article is going to highlight eight things you must to do to be a consistent winner at Texas Hold’em.
1. Take a poker course
Even the most basic of poker players are making use of time to study. Simply playing regularly is not enough in today’s tough online environment.
Study can come in many forms but taking a course is a great way to learn or re-enforce key poker concepts. Texas Hold’em Questions is a poker training site that offer courses in bluffing and continuation bet courses, both fundamental parts of tournament and cash games. They are perfect for micro to mid stakes players.
2. Perfect your HUD
This is only for the poker sites permitting HUDs. Most players using HUDs are displaying too many stats or not the most relevant ones. You look at some HUD setups and they’re baffling. Too much data and numbers shown. How can you make a quick and good decision when you have useless stats in front of you?
Take your time perfecting your HUD so you have access to the right information in real time. Having the right stats available will help you make better, more informed decisions. Guess what that means? You’ll earn more money in the long run. If you start with VPIP,3 bet % and cbet %, you can slowly add more useful ones. Don’t fall victim to adding stats for the sake of it. Most experts are not using all the stats available from a HUD so you shouldn’t either.
3. Play on the weekends
Most regs and even professionals think they can win any time of the week. They may be right to some extent but the point of poker is to maximise your earning potential. This means finding the best times to play. There is no doubt about it, playing on weekends is the most profitable time to play. The weekends are when recreational players are logging on. They’ve finished their workweek and are keen to have some fun playing online poker.
If you want to win at poker, you need to be playing these opponents. That means setting time aside on weekends to play with the weaker opponents. This may not be ideal if you like to watch your favourite show on a Saturday but if you want to maximise how much you win, you need to play the weekend players. It’s the best time to play as your win rate will attest when it goes up.
4. Play the cut-off like its your button
It doesn’t matter what stakes you play, the button is getting less and less respect. Players of all levels rightly assess this is the place where players are most active. As such, they will 3 bet, 4 bet and try to fight back against your wide playing range.
However, the cut-off open raises still get some credit, certainly at lower stakes. It doesn’t look as bluffy as the button. That’s why you need to start treating it like your button. You’ll quickly find that you are winning more pots uncontested and facing less resistance.
5. Pick your niche
It seems like everyone is trying to be an expert in too many games these days. Poker sites are keeping games fresh but introducing new variations and tournaments, but with each change, there is a new strategy you need to learn. You can’t play freezeouts the same as rebuys or the same as bounty tournaments.
If you want to win, you are much better served picking one form of poker and becoming the best you can be. By having your focus on one thing instead of several, you will have better concentration as your attention won’t be divided.
6. Join a study group
A study group is a fantastic way to improve your poker knowledge. You’ll be amazed how much you can learn through casual chat with other players. You’re combining millions of hands of experience and tapping into a pool of poker insights.
Take your time choosing the right group, you want to be around people that are willing to share as well as receive. There are lots of benefits of a study group but being able to learn from other players experience is the number one.
7. Take regular breaks
The problem most regulars have is burn out. They play too often and for too long. This is one of the most common pitfalls of small winning poker players and losing players too. Playing for shorter periods and with better focus will ensure you have a better hourly rate. You will also be more focused and have free time to relax.
Poker is a mentally exhausting exercise that requires breaks for you to function properly. Games are not going anywhere so don’t feel obligated to play long sessions. Playing too long will also increase your chances of going on tilt and making poor decisions. You could end up ruining an otherwise profitable session by sticking around too long.
8. Take more notes
Poker is a game of information. The more information you have, the better decisions you should be able to make. Taking notes is an effective way of understanding your opponent’s tendencies. Make sure you are colour coding and taking lots of notes on opponents.
Even if you only bump into them a few times a year, it could be the difference between you winning or losing a buy-in. We are creatures of habit and most players don’t change radically between sessions. You can always overwrite notes if new information comes to light too. Taking notes on opponents is a powerful resource that must be used to help you win.