The Importance of Discipline in Poker Games

Anyone who wants to achieve long term success in poker must master three skills: mathematical calculations, psychological warfare, and discipline. The first two skills can be honed naturally if you play enough games, but the third needs to be imbibed with conscious efforts if you want to have a long and profitable career when you play free poker or with money.

Discipline, in the context of poker, mainly refers to the patience and judgement a player must exhibit during a play and being fluent with poker rules. Whether you are playing online poker or a live game, you must be able to let go of hands that are likely to be beaten or have slim chances of improving. Holding on to cards that seem good even though there’s a high probability your opponents may have something even better, or bluffing every time you have less than stellar cards are clear indications that your game plan needs some discipline.

Apart from this, some other points that may indicate that your poker game needs to be stricter are:

  • Your image in your head as a poker player exceeds your success in your games
  • You don’t take poker seriously and usually play free poker
  • You are not concentrating on your opponents’ game
  • You are usually intoxicated when you play poker
  • Your winnings are lacklustre when you play poker

Here are a few pointers that will help you improve your poker game:

Trust Your Instincts

Folding when you have good cards is difficult, but sometimes you just have an eerie feeling that your good hand might not be good enough to beat everyone on the table. Suppose you have a strong set when three cards of the same suit are opened on the board. Now, you start to wonder if someone might have a flush. It is difficult to fold in such a position, and if you don’t, you may very well win in a couple of games. But the longer you play, the more you will understand that trusting your gut telling you that someone might have a flush in this scenario will help you increase your profit considerably.

Know and Trust the Basics

Lady luck will often take a shine to you, but in the longer run, mathematical probabilities are going to be your true friend. Do not rely on hope and luck when betting. Rather, know the poker rules and poker odds and fold if the odds are stacked against you.

Stay as Far from Tilt as Possible

No matter how good a player you are, you are bound to face a tilt at some point or the other. A tilt is a loss of a big pot or a bad beat. When you face a tilt, it is imperative that you walk away from the table for half an hour at least. A rookie player will double down to make up for their losses, a disciplined player will always cut their losses and come back to play poker with a fresh mind. This is one of the most important poker rules out there when you are not playing free poker.