Slow & Steady Wins The Race
Any game is not really worth playing if you are not enjoying it, and the same obviously goes for poker. To avoid stress and demotivation, try and start small, take baby steps, don’t feel pressured, by yourself or other players, to play in any other way than what you feel comfortable with.
An easy way to do this is to completely avoid the large stake games at first, and stick to small entry-level games. Take it easy, pace your bets, be attentive, practice the fundamental strategies discussed here, and any other you may learn. Once you have a good solid feel and understanding of the game, and all that’s involved, then venture on to higher stakes.
As you increase in skill and confidence, playing against better and better players will also invariably become an important factor in increasing your knowledge, skill, and advantage in the game. You may be tempted to jump in the deep end and go big, and that’s up to, but it’s not recommended.
Whatever you do, its best that you make sure you understand all the basic rules, the hands and their rank, the bets and their order, and all the fundamentals of the game before place any sort of large bet or jumping in with the big fish. Trying to use advanced strategy that you are not ready for, or don’t properly understand, such as bluffing, can be just as much of disadvantage, if not disastrous, when not used correctly. The last thing you want in poker is for an opponent to be able to read you, anticipate your play, and call your bluffs. So, unless you are a natural at things like bluffing, rather focus on the basics first.
Folding Is Your Friend
Being realistic and knowing when to fold is something that all poker players would do well to develop as a fundamental core strategy. Luck, wishful thinking, gut feelings, etc. should all be put aside in favour of realistic skill and know-how, and if ever there is doubt, the option to fold is always there, and for your benefit. Temptation is an ever-present factor, and enemy, in poker and all gambling. Consciously using your option to fold can therefore be a simple and easy way to practice overcoming it.
Learn To Know Yourself
In poker there is a term called “tilt” which refers to players becoming unbalanced and losing their edge in a game, perhaps breaking their streak, or even spiralling into loss. It’s something that is also common in everyday life, though in poker it plays an important part in winning and strategy.
Learning to know yourself in terms of handling stress, irritation, anger, and also distraction, is an important aspect to becoming a better poker player in the long run.
Learning to manage your money and betting is another core strategy that is incredibly important and practical to becoming a successful poker player. Create a reasonable budget and a strict loss limit for your poker, pace the frequency of your games and bets, and most importantly, practice sticking to it.