mind sport like poker rewards players that take the time to study
the nuances of the game. Whether thats the strategy element, people's
past hands or the many psychological aspects involved. However, in the absence
of a casino or like-minded friends, it can be tough to gain any experience with
the game. Here are a just a few ways to hone your skills at the
Play a Computer Poker is a
complex game but its basic rules translate easily to code. ZX Poker (1982) and
Video Poker (1986) were some of the earliest pieces of software to pit players
against a machine. Although games like this have transcended platforms, many of
the most popular were on PC. Telltale Games 2013 game, Poker Night 2, is
a PC title that features celebrity opponents like GLaDOS (Portal 2)
and Claptrap (Borderlands 2).
The advantage of
practising against a computer opponent is that you can play on your own terms
and in your own time. It also doesnt carry any risk of financial
Play Online Playing poker online
presents a very different environment to players used to the real-life game.
Your best poker face doesnt matter, the online community can be
unpredictable and researching your opponent's playing history is a must in the
absence of physical tells. But its nevertheless an inroad to
the more competitive side of the game.
plenty of free casino
games out there, offering the option to play (and learn) without the
burden of using real money. mFortune, a West Midlands-based company, is a good
example. They provide a £5 incentive for players to make a
deposit too in case you do want to play for money.
Watch Poker Its not the best way to learn poker
(you dont get to see some of the hands) but watching the pros at their
day job is a good source of inspiration for novice players.
been a fixture of US TV listings since The World Series of Poker (WSOP) was
first broadcast on CBS Sports in 1973. Its a little harder to find on
telly in the UK, though. Beginning its life in the late night graveyard slots
on Channel 5, ESPN (available from BT) provided full coverage of the
recent WSOP tournament in September. It amounted to 14
episodes over seven weeks.
Read Books A career as an author is almost a given
for retired professional players, with everybody from Chris Moorman to Doyle
Brunson putting pen to paper in the last few decades. Studying is something you
cant escape from if you want to
climb the poker ladder. Youll need to get a handle on
strategy as well as things like tilt, self-confidence, and how to
read other players.
If you cant see the point of
reading when you can just learn by playing, consider that the likes of Moorman
have posted career earnings in the region of £10m. Opportunities to learn
from players of that calibre dont come along very often.
final point, its always worth trying to get a small poker game going in
your local area, whether that means talking to friends, co-workers, or
petitioning the local pub for a regular night.
There you have it, four
(and a half) easy ways to improve your skills at the poker table.