Skills You Need to Be a Good Poker Player


Poker is a card game where players try to form the best hand from the cards they’re dealt. There are a number of skills that a successful poker player needs, including patience, adaptability, and mental toughness.

Mental Toughness

In addition to calculating the odds of winning or losing, a good poker player has a bucket full of confidence that they can stick with their game no matter what happens. They can also adapt to different games, and find the right limits for their bankrolls.

Reading People

One of the first things a good poker player should develop is a good eye for other players at the table. This means being able to read facial expressions, body language, and other tells that other players use to make decisions.

Developing this skill will help you win more often and make better decisions when you’re playing. You’ll know when to fold, call a bet, or raise your bet, and you’ll be able to play smart hands on a consistent basis.


Another important skill for a poker player is the ability to wait for the right time to act. This means waiting for the ideal hand and a good position at the table, rather than jumping into a hand too early or folding when you’re not as confident as you should be.

The ability to wait for the right hand is essential in all poker variants, as you never know when Lady Luck will strike. It’s no surprise that top players like Phil Ivey often have some bad beats, but they don’t let them get them down or crush their confidence.

Patience is especially important in games with a long pause between betting rounds. During these pauses, it’s critical for a player to not get bored or distracted, but instead to develop their strategy and watch other players’ play.

When you’re watching other players, it’s important to pay attention to their movements and how they handle their chips. You can also try to read their moods, how they’re playing, and whether they’re aggressive or passive at the table.


When you are bluffing, you’re trying to convince other players that your hand is a superior one. This is usually done by putting in more than enough chips to make it easy for other players to call your bet. You can also bluff by putting in a smaller amount of chips and calling with an inferior hand to force other players to raise your bet or fold, which will allow you to win more money.

High Card

The highest card in the hand breaks ties, and wins the pot. This can be the highest card in any hand, or it can be the highest card in a specific hand that doesn’t qualify for any of the above types of hands.

Ties can break in many ways, but the most common way is by using the “high card.” Whenever two or more players have the same high card, the highest one wins.