While it is true that there is often money on the line, if you aren't enjoying the game you'll end up playing for all the wrong reasons and eventually make mistakes.
The following are some tips that apply to most poker games in general.
- Play within your means. Don't play in games that you can't afford to lose the money. Go into the game knowing that if you lose the money it won't be the end of the world. This doesn't mean you want to lose the money but you need to be realistic that it's possible.
- Don't play for too many hours. The more alert you, are the better decisions you wake. The opposite is true if you are tired. A big mistake players make is continuing to play to try and catch up with earlier losses. All this usually leads to is even more losses.
- Be aggressive. The best poker players are the ones betting and raising. You won't see many winning players that are routinely calling bets. Sure they might win a session now and then but over the long run the winners are the aggressive players.
- Use position. Any time you have more information available to you about your opponent's hand or how they are playing, you are at an advantage. This information comes to you with position. You should play more hands in position and fewer hands out of position. This one simple adage can save and make you a significant amount of money.
- Have fun. Many people take poker too seriously. While it is true that there is often money on the line, if you aren't enjoying the game you'll end up playing for all the wrong reasons and eventually make mistakes. If you find yourself getting burnt out or not enjoying the game, take a break until you are able to have fun again.
- Read as much as you can about the game. Some poker players avow that they have never read a book on poker. While certain players can be successful doing this, the more you know about poker and the more different views and ways to play that you understand, the more comfortable you will be when facing various opponent types and situations in a game.
The best way to learn is by playing. Make no mistake about it, the best way to learn how to play poker is through the trials and tribulations you experience at the table. Learn what works for you and what doesn't. Remember the things that are costing you money and learn from them.
The Main Holdem Strategy Index: The Great Game of Holdem