Poker is a game that needs a variety of skills to master, but can you learn these skills or is it more a case of “you’ve either got it or you haven’t”. Read on to find out more.

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Learned skills

Learned skills are a big subject on the internet. Poker players from beginners to tournament winners are all looking for the next big tip that will win them their next game. Study and research all you want if you have the drive to learn. It won’t hinder, and it might help.

There is memorising the rules, obviously, learning to fold when you’re unsure, or to bluff more as part of your strategy and other strategic moves.

Plus, like any other skill, it takes practice. If you’re not a fan of the idea of losing your money, you can practice online. There are loads of apps that will let you play for free or with real money, and, crucially, with real people. GGPoker is a site that offers every form of poker game you can think of and will allow you to watch or participate in tournaments. Watch the pros in the GGTeam as they stream their games and learn what makes them the best of the best.

You can progress as you play, starting with playing for free against the app or site and eventually working your way up to live tables for real money and maybe one day winning the World Series of Poker bracelet itself.

Innate skills

The initial innate skills you’re most likely to think of when you think of poker are the ability to read faces and predict moves. This may do to help James Bond save the world, but even innate skills can be improved upon with practice.

The internet is full of body language analysts looking at police interview tapes trying to determine if a suspect is guilty. That’s two industries described that practice and hone the ability to read faces. Now, body language experts will be the first to tell you there is no hard and fast rule to determine what someone is thinking, but rather a combination of ideas, so it’s not foolproof, but if it was poker would be no fun.

And if you walk into any Waterstones on the high street, you will soon come across an enormous self-help aisle. In that aisle is book after book on how to convey confidence, how to understand social cues better and other guides to understanding the human condition.

A lesser-known talent useful in poker is patience. Guides to strategies in poker will tell you to know when to lose. Stick to low stakes in the beginning, play with players on your level and don’t open too many hands, just focus on the one. Maybe that is harder to control or nurture, but it will do you well to not think about the pot until you’re gathering chips.

Sure, it would greatly help to have a natural talent for all of these, but so would a natural talent for strategy and creating good hands.

And like anything else in life, if you have a passion for it, you will want to seek out information and improve your skills, and it won’t feel like homework. Sure, a certain something that cannot be named or described is in only the best poker players, but if you have the drive to play, you’ll have the drive to improve and will someday sit amongst them.

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