There’s a lot to learn about poker, even for the most experienced players. But one thing that many players overlook is how important it is to be aware of table position when playing. This is because where you sit at the table will have a huge impact on how you play each hand, especially in later betting streets.
For example, if you are sitting in late position and the flop comes A-2-6, it’s likely that your opponent has a strong enough hand to make a re-raise against you. If you’re in early position and see this, you should fold unless you have a great hand yourself, or are confident that you can steal a pot against an aggressive player.
It’s also a good idea to pay close attention to your opponents’ betting patterns. A lot of poker reads don’t come from subtle physical tells, but from simple patterns that are easy to pick up on if you know what you’re looking for. For example, if an opponent bets on every street, it’s safe to assume that they are holding some pretty crappy cards. On the other hand, if a player only makes small bets and then folds on every street, it’s safe assume that they are playing strong hands.
Finally, it’s a good idea to always try to guess what your opponent has in their hand. This can be difficult, but it’s definitely worth trying to do. For instance, if you see an opponent make a big raise on the flop with A-2-6, you can probably safely assume that they have at least two of the three highest cards (aces, kings, queens, or jacks).
One final thing to keep in mind is that you should always be playing aggressively when you have a strong draw. This way you’ll be able to put more pressure on your opponent and hopefully get them to fold. A lot of beginners are too passive with their draws, which means that they end up losing money to good opponents.
In the end, poker is a game of mistakes and learning from them is how you grow as a player. So don’t be afraid to make some bad calls and lose a few big pots. Just keep on playing and working on your fundamentals, and eventually you’ll start to improve.