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How to Win More Money Playing Live Poker: Four Game-Changing Strategies

by Evan Jarvis |  Published: Apr 08, 2020

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Every poker player at the casino is on the hunt for their next win. The first step is finding the right table. 

To help increase your win rate, try adding one or all of these simple tips, and you might just find the edge you’ve been looking for.

Live Poker Tips: Selection, Selection, Selection

When it comes to live poker, it’s all about selection. You want to match your current mood and needs to what’s available before and during your poker game. 

So, before you try your skill and luck at winning cash off your opponents, assess whether the money is winnable and if your seat position gives you an advantage. If so, then you may have found a good table. 

Once you’ve found your table remember to practice good hand selection and to recognize the signs of fatigue so you can quit without blowing your win rate. If you can think ahead, you’re more likely to boost your win rate.

1. Table Selection – How much $$$ is on the table, who’s it in front of?

• Who’s got the money? A simple question that can benefit you significantly. Take the time to observe your opponents, who has the money in front of them? 
• Get a good read on them: do they look like a shark or do they look like they just got lucky? How about their behavior or mood? Are they drinking too much, not paying attention, or are they a passive player? It’s going to be a lot easier to strip money off of someone who won their chips from a lucky hand rather than off of a rock-solid poker veteran. 
• The key is identifying who has the money, how they came by it (bought, lucky run or shark at the felt) and whether it’s winnable. 
• Exercise good judgement before you join a table because if there appears to be a shark at the table while the rest of the players are short-stacked then it’s not going to be easy winning chips. You’re better off playing at a table with less money but more opportunities to win.

2. Seat Selection – Loose to the right, tight to the left, in position.

• One of the best advantages you can have in poker is having position. So whenever possible you want to be seated in position. The thing about playing in position is it allows you to realize your equity, to extract value from hands, and to make better decisions. 
• In a perfect world, this would mean loose players are on the right of you (so you can react to their actions) while tighter players are on the left. By sitting directly to the left of a weak player you’ll get the first crack at isolating them. 
• If you’re left of a regular, you can watch how they react to weaker players. Another bonus of being in position is it favors a deeper stack, so if you didn’t get the seat position you wanted against the regulars, buy in for a smaller amount and play shallow-stacked against the regulars and even-stacked against the weaker players.
• If you’re fortunate to have position over the regulars you can gain more advantage if you buy in deep stacked. Choosing your buy-in based on your seat position is certainly something to consider when you’re picking your poker table.

3. Hand Selection – Triple threat, preflop checklist, multi-way vs. heads-up.

• This is where all your technical poker skills and your strategies come into effect. The trick is planning your hands in a way that’s suitable to the table and your cards. 
• Some strategies that you can use are the triple threat and the preflop checklist. And further trying to decide if you want to play multi-way or heads-up hands as a way to shake up the dynamic of the table.
• Check out my how to win at poker series for more information on hand selection.

4. Keep an Eye on Your Attention Levels and Energy Levels – Quitting is key.

• This is probably the most common sensical point that’s frequently overlooked. It can also be disastrous to your win rate when ignored. 
• Pay close attention to your energy levels, as soon as your focus begins to wander or your eyes begin to droop it’s time to throw in the towel. Why? You’re no longer on your A-game which means you’ve slipped to your B- or C-game which puts you at an immediate disadvantage.
• If you’re off your game while others aren’t, you’ve lost your edge and if you don’t call it quits you’re more likely to start leaking money. Yeah, it sucks if you’re not ready to leave after the commute and whatnot, but for your win rate’s sake, you want to listen to your body and call it a night. It’s better to call it a day and opt for a good night’s rest than to play in a less than optimal state.

How To Win More Playing Live Poker

You win some, you lose some; that’s poker. But if you’re continuously learning and looking for ways to plug holes in your game then your win rate will climb. Try mixing in some are all of these tips into your live game and give yourself the edge you’ve been looking for. ♠

Evan Jarvis has been teaching poker for more than 10 years at youtube.com/gripsed where he has over 70,000 students. Want to learn more from him? Click Here to get a 30-Day Custom Training Program FREE!