Poker is a game that takes time and practice to master, and it doesn’t help that it’s not exactly easy to gauge your own improvement in the game. To help you out, here are a few milestones you need to look for.
1. You’re able to better control your emotions at the table.
It’s easy to get emotionally affected when you’re playing poker, especially when you don’t have good poker hands or you’re on a losing streak. It’s understandable as we are, after all, just human.
However, just because it’s a natural thing, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have control over it. And that is why once you’re starting to notice that you no longer get carried away by what you feel while playing poker, then congratulations! It’s a sign that you’re a better poker player today than yesterday.
2. You’re no longer making as many silly mistakes.
This one’s pretty straightforward. Imagine how many times you’ve looked back at a hand and thought, “Why the hell did I do that?” to your past silly poker mistakes. Mistakes that include betting bigger than you should, not folding when it’s clear that you should have, and many other similar instances.
We’ve all been there, but as you become a better player, you’ll find yourself making these kinds of mistakes less and less often. And if you need some practice to get there, you should try free poker.
3. You’re starting to think more about your opponents’ hands.
A big part of poker is trying to put yourself in your opponents’ shoes and think about what they might have, especially if they might have winning poker hands. It’s not an easy task, but it’s something that separates the good players from the bad ones. Eventually, as you start doing this more often and more naturally, you’re going to get an edge over other players and will be winning more money than you used to.
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4. You’re making more calculated risks.
Risk-taking is a big part of poker, but it’s important to know when and how much you should be risking. When you’re just starting out, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement and make rash decisions.
But as you get better, you’ll find that you’re able to take more calculated risks. This doesn’t mean that you should become risk-averse. It means that you’re able to balance the risk and potential reward of a given situation better than before.
5. You’re starting to bluff less (or more effectively).
Bluffing is another risky part of poker, but it’s a skill that, when used correctly, can be very rewarding. If you find yourself bluffing less, even when you don’t have the best poker hands, it could mean one of two things: either you’re becoming more conservative as a player, or you’re simply getting better at reading other players and knowing when they’re likely to fold.
Either way, it’s a sign that you’re improving.
6. You’re reading other players better.
Poker is, to a large extent, a game of people. So if you’re getting better at reading your opponents, then it’s a good sign that you’re on your way to becoming a better player.
You might be able to read their tells better, or you might have developed a better understanding of their betting patterns. Regardless, it’s an improvement that will give you an advantage over other players.
7. You’re paying more attention to your own play.
When you’re first starting, it’s easy to get caught up in what’s happening at the table and to forget to pay attention to your own play. But as you become a better player, you’ll find that you’re paying more attention to your own decisions and how they affect the course of the hand.
8. You’re starting to think about poker in a more strategic way.
Poker is a game of strategy, and the better you are at thinking strategically the better you’ll be at the game. If you find yourself thinking more about things like position, betting patterns, and poker hands odds, then it’s a good sign that you’re improving as a player.
9. You’re starting to focus more on long-term results.
When you’re first starting, it’s easy to get caught up in the short-term results of the poker card hands. But as you become a better player, you’ll start to think more about the long-term implications of your decisions.
This doesn’t mean that you should start making sub-optimal decisions in the short term in order to try to improve your long-term results. It only means that you’re starting to think more about the bigger picture instead of simply chasing the best hands in poker.
10. You’re becoming more patient.
Patience is a virtue in poker, and the better you are at exercising it, the better you’ll be at the game. If you find yourself getting impatient at the table, it’s a good sign that you’re still a beginner. But if you’re able to sit back and wait for the right situations to arise, then it’s a sign you’re becoming more patient and more strategic in your thinking.
You’re getting better, keep it up!
These are just a few of the many signs that you might be improving as a poker player. If you’re starting to see any of these improvements in your play, then it’s a good sign that you’re heading in the right direction. Keep up the good work, and who knows? Maybe one day you’ll be the one teaching beginners how to play.