In order to win steadly when playing poker, the basic skill to master is discipline. All other skills depend on this key. You have to practice discipline in order to wait for a good game, good hand, the right opportunities, besides, other factors. Discipline means you avoid play in games where you have no edge. It also means you do not play hands that will land you in trouble and it means you must handle your money expertly and learn from your mistakes. It is essential that you keep emotions controlled always and do not start to tilt. Do not ever play when intoxicated, tired or troubled emotionally. Always ask yourself if you are really playing your best game.
Observe your opponents well and you will learn a great deal. When your time is not involved in a hand you should use the time to watch other players. Study how they play their hands and use what you learn against them! Learn to follow what they say. Many players tell you what hands they just threw away or why they played a hand a particular way. Make out what they are holding and try to decide their hands whether you are in the pot or not. Then, while you are playing a hand against them, you can use this information to know their calls, raises checks, bets, and what each means. Play the same amount of attention to your own game and think about your table image continually. Just as you look for tells in other players, what for tells in your own play. Whenever you spot a tell made by an opponent, think about where you are displaying that same sort of tell or not and adjust to steer clear of giving away information.
Good poker players are really unpredictable and often change gears. The best way to do this depends on your opponents and your table image. If you have a reputation for playing solid poker and have not been caught bluffing, you hold bluff equity when you choose to use it. If you have been known to play loose and bluffed a lot, you may be in a good place to get paid off when you have a great hand. When the other players are playing tight, try to play looser; when they are playing looser, use a tighter game. Try to be one step ahead of the opposition. The ablity to stabilize your game by changing gears and strategies at just the right occasions can make you completely unpredictable. Because of this, you should sometimes advertise plays when you know you will be playing against the same players for a while. Show them hands you do not usually play and mix your play to cash in on those same plays later in the session. This is not as important when playing online poker because players do not pay as much attention to the game and players move about frequently. However, when the situation is right, even online tis can be a great strategy.