To play poker successfully, there are a few things you are going to have to do well. Of course, this goes without saying. After all, there are hundreds of pieces of important strategy advice you’ll hear along the way but, by far, the key to being a successful poker player is to know how to manage your bankroll and to study as much as you can. These are the simple but true things you have to do. They aren’t sexy. They aren’t cool. But they are true. If you want to make it in poker, you’ll not only know how to effectively do these things, but you won’t change them up. That’s right, the best advice is the most boring. Don’t change your bankroll management or study habits when things are going well while playing poker.
Bankroll Management a Must
If you don’t have any money, you can’t play. It’s as simple as that. A bankroll in poker means everything because of this rule. It’s important to know exactly what a bankroll is. Some think it’s the amount of money you can afford to lose, but nothing could be further from the truth. Your bankroll is the amount of money you have to play with. It allows you to enter a game and beat a cold streak. You should have a bankroll from your first day playing poker and be working to build it every day after. You’ll take some losses. You’ll have some cold streaks. But with the right bankroll management system, you’ll be able to keep moving forward, adding to your bankroll and making profits. The only reason to have a bankroll management system is to do just that and the only way you’ll be successful playing poker is if you stick to it.
Poker is a game you can never play enough and one where you can never learn enough. You’ll never master this game. This can only mean one thing: you must keep studying. Read all the books and every article you can find. Find a few poker writers that you like and then dive into their bibliography. Get into as many games as you can no matter how low the stakes. Every experience sitting at a poker table counts. Every moment, from the deal to the flop to the call, is a teachable moment. Read and play. Wash, rinse, repeat. Then, once you find a routine that has morphed into a habit, keep at it. You’ll never learn everything, and you’ll only remember half of what you learn. Keep at it and always study.
You will find when you are gambling that you are going to get on streaks. Some are hot and some are cold, and it really doesn’t matter what you are playing. No matter if you are at a blackjack table, playing the ponies, or betting college basketball, you’re going to run into a streak of some kind, and this makes managing your bankroll very important. When you’re hot, you have to pad your bankroll because you’re going to need it to weather the cold streak that is always just around the corner. Being able to outlast a cold streak is key because when one hits, your instinct is to change thing up—especially the size of your wagers. Going cold causes players to panic. You want to win your money back and quickly. However, you have to stick to your original plan to avoid tilting and losing your bankroll entirely. This is the reason you’ve made a plan, so use it.
If It Ain’t Broke
As you will quickly realize when playing a lot of poker, everything relates to each other. When you are comfortable in your sit and with your stack, the cards come. When you aren’t, they don’t. Being consistent is very important when you’re playing a lot of poker. You want to keep that consistency, too. As anyone will tell you, inconsistency leads to erratic betting, and that can only lead to losses. Keep making the same wagers, keep reading the same advice, and keep playing smart, consistent poker. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.
Playing Poker Isn’t Tough, Winning Is
Being consistent with your bankroll management and your studying will make you a better poker player almost immediately. Playing poker isn’t tough but winning at it is, and the only way to do so is by taking advantage when things are going your way. When things are going your way, you need to keep doing what you are doing, and it needs to be a part of the plan. After all, how did you get into this situation in the first place? By managing your bankroll and learning even more.