Poker is a game of strategy and skill. The players sit on their chairs almost the whole time. Rarely do you see them leave. They sit for arduous hours, constantly looking at their hand and snipping glances at their opponents every once in a while. The atmosphere is tense but the players are relaxed and composed. Idle they may seem but they are definitely not. Their minds are working and it's doing a tremendous task.
More than just thinking skills, a good poker player should have the correct mindset in order for him to play good hands. This may seem difficult for newbies but for adept poker players this is just a walk in the park.
Special skills are demanded from successful poker players. Above average IQ does not guarantee winning games. To play efficiently-and eventually win-here are some of the important skills that you need to learn:
1. Aggressiveness. Poker requires its players to be aggressive since this will prevent them from being bullied by other players. They can not be easily intimidated by bluffs nor scarred. They will not play many hands but when they do play, their inherent aptitude will tell them what they should play and should not. It's like magic-no one knows what will come out next nor what will be revealed the next time the cards are displayed. Successful players are not only magical, they can also seem psychic. They can be clairvoyant of other's hands and guess what other players are thinking. Their decision making skills are at an advantage and it can be clearly evident in their moves.
2. Math Aptitude. Good poker players should know math particularly probability. Fatal moves can be preceded if one knows odds and the probability of one card showing up on the next. Better odds are winning can be better calculated with probability and statistics.
3. Knowledge in poker statistics. You can save valuable time if you know poker statistics. It can help you further develop your strategies by computing the odds of your every move. This can also de-stress you when you're already under attack in a particular game. It is unlikely that you will remember all the cards that have already been played. But it would always be best if you know the basic poker statistics-it would suffice.
4. Discipline. You can not flourish in the game of poker if you do not have discipline. All seasoned players know that very well. Do not expect luck to play its hand in your every game. You should be able to direct your moves and decision. Discipline kicks in when you are able to avoid unnecessary moves and control distractions. Also, and just as important, do not play more than what your finances would allow.
These are some of the basic skills that a successful poker player should ideally have. Do not expect, of course, that you will learn all these skills after a game or two. Most season poker players have overtime developed their skills and attitude. It took them a lot of failed games before they were able to master their skills. And you can learn it too.