Game Selection and the Poker Edge

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There are more available poker games than there ever have been lately.  Yes, you can find them in casinos and card rooms.  You can even start home games with friends.  A common way to play these days, though, is on the Internet.

If you’re going to play, especially on the Internet, you should resist certain urges.  Namely, you should resist the poker itch.  If you are itching to play a game, you’re likely to pick the first game you come across.  It may not be the best game to play, though.

You see, every poker player, including you, has their own unique strengths and weaknesses.  In online play, especially, you can capitalize on your own strengths.  That’s because many online poker rooms offer a laundry list of facts and figures both in the game room lobby and at the tables that can help you choose the best place to play.

Identifying Your Own Edge:
You can’t leave yourself an edge in poker unless you know what your specific edge actually is.  You might prefer to play at tables with looser, more aggressive players or you might prefer a tighter table.
Luckily, many online poker rooms show you table statistics, like average pot size.  Those statistics can help you find the best table for you.  That way, you can take advantage of your strengths.

Of course, it’s also good if you can take advantage of the weakness of other people.  That’s only true if you know how, though.  What I mean by that is that you shouldn’t have an over-inflated opinion of your skills.  It’s easy enough to find a table where you have your opponents outclassed, but there are mistakes it can be easy to make, when you feel that you can do no wrong.

One big mistake is that you may not notice or care when the table dynamic changes.  Players come and players go in a poker game.  If you’re in a cash game and you’re doing well, you may not realize until it’s too late when new opponents are more skillful than you.  So, it’s important to be aware of your competition, if you want to keep your edge.

Also, if you are feeling cocky, you may decide to play a higher stakes game.  The trouble with that is that the fish (inexperienced players) that you have been easily beating don’t usually make it in high stakes game.  That means that in a high stakes game you’re likely to encounter a level of skill equal to or better than your own.

The biggest way to help yourself to keep an edge in poker is to keep an open mind.  Take the time to learn your strengths.  Take the time to choose the best tables to play at.  Above all, though, remember that you aren’t perfect.  Nobody is.  So, you also need to recognize and learn from your poker mistakes, if you want to improve your game.

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