5 Essential Poker Skills You Need to Win at Poker


Poker is a game of skill and strategy, but it’s also a fun way to relax. And there are some very real benefits to playing poker, including a lower risk of Alzheimer’s disease and a reduction in stress.

Mental Toughness

One of the most important mental skills that poker players can develop is the ability to handle failure and learn from it. The best poker players, like Phil Ivey, don’t get upset or throw a tantrum when they lose. They fold, learn from it, and move on to the next hand.

Math Skills

Using poker math can be a very useful skill for many different aspects of the game. You’ll often be dealing with percentages, EV estimation, and other odds-based calculations, and these can help you make decisions faster.


Bluffing is a crucial part of playing poker and you should not hesitate to bluff when you have good cards, even if your opponent has bad ones. This strategy will help you steal the pot or get a better position in the hand.

Knowing Your Opponents

The best poker players are able to identify their opponents, as well as their style of play and strengths and weaknesses. You can learn to spot a tight/passive player who will enter too many hands and bet small, or an aggressive player who is prone to over-playing their hand.

A strong poker player always adjusts their playing style to suit the situation, as well as their opponents’. This means changing their bet size and adjusting their raises to match the strength of their hand.

Understanding the Flop

The flop is one of the most important parts of poker and it’s what determines your winning hand. It’s a very subtle but important part of the game, and it’s something that newer players tend to overlook.

You can use the flop to bluff your opponent and win the hand or get a better position in the pot. By analyzing the flop you can see what kind of hands your opponent holds, and it can give you valuable information about their betting habits.

Being able to read your opponents

The best poker players are able to read their opponents’ emotions and react accordingly. This helps them decide when to bet or fold, and what to call or raise with.

It’s also a great way to pick up on the types of hands that your opponent might be holding, and whether they are bluffing or not. This can be a very important part of your poker strategy and can help you avoid losing money to unscrupulous players who will bet aggressively against you.

Be Assertive With Your Betting

A strong poker player will always bet more aggressively than their opponents. This will prevent them from getting too scared and making mistakes, such as putting a bet on a weak pair of kings when you have a pair of aces that are supported by solid betting.

If you’re new to poker, it’s a good idea to practice and try out these strategies for yourself before playing in a live tournament. This will help you develop a poker strategy that works for you, and you’ll be able to improve your game quickly.