If you want to become a good poker player you are going to have to learn how to play smart. The fact of the matter is that the best poker players in the world are also the smartest. So as you can imagine, if you want to join the professional ranks and compete with the big dogs you are going to have to work on the mental side of your game. Although it is great to have a lot in the way of skills, if you also have a high level of poker smarts you will be giving yourself the best chance of success in the long run.
Many people think that they know what it means to play smart poker, but when it comes down to it they actually have no clue. And if you are new to the game this is nothing to be ashamed of. Poker can be quite difficult to learn, and if you do not know all the finer details of the game you will not be expected to be the smartest player around. The key is to learn more and more each time you play the game of poker. This way over time you will grow your level of smarts, and in turn win many more games.
The best way to play smart poker is to know who you are as a player. In other words, you should know your strategy and then stick with it at all costs. Do not make the mistake of thinking that you can change the way that you play on a regular basis. Sure, you can do this if you want, but all in all you should try to stick with the same strategy each time that you sit down at the poker table. This way you will be able to follow through with playing smart time and time again.
Another aspect of playing smart poker is not getting in over your head. For instance, if you have never played in a poker tournament before you will not want to make your first one a difficult match. Instead, find one with players of the same skill set as you. This way you will not be overmatched, and you can in turn give yourself the best chance of success. Putting yourself into situations that will allow you to win is very important when it comes to the game of poker.
Finally, playing smart is all about knowing your competition. If you ignore the other people at the table you are not going to get very far. You should watch what they are doing, and in turn use it to your advantage. This does not mean that you should lose track of your own cards, but it does mean that smart players know everything that is going on around them.
Overall, the game of poker is all about being a smart player. If you know what it takes to play smart you will give yourself a much better chance of success in the long run. New players will not always be the smartest, but if you are a bit more advanced you should really be working on the mental aspect of your game as well. A smart poker player is a rich poker player!