Top 10 Poker Secrets from Professional Poker Players


Top 10 Poker Secrets from Professional Poker Players


A poker dealer in a casino, behind a poker table, dealing out cards.

Top 10 Poker Secrets from Professional Poker Players


An Ace of Clubs, a Queen of Spades, a ten of Hearts, and a King, playing cards stacked on top of each other strategically.

Poker is a game for every type of player. On the one side, there’s the recreational player who is content to play for fun for their entire career. They may never improve their skills, but for them, that’s not the point. On the other side, you have the professionals — players who take the game so seriously that they make a living from the cards. In this article, two top poker professionals share their tips for playing poker. Read them to level up your online poker game and develop the best poker strategy you can.

Five Tips From Kid Poker

People sitting around a poker table, in a casino, indulging in a game of poker.

Daniel ‘Kid Poker’ Negreanu is one of the world’s most recognized poker stars. He has won six World Series of Poker (WSOP) bracelets and two World Poker Tour (WPT) championship titles. Here are five top tips from his personal MasterClass.

1. Train Your Body and Mind

A common misconception about poker pros is that they lead an unhealthy lifestyle. Nothing could be further from the truth. Poker is more of a mind sport than a game, so it makes sense to approach poker like an athlete. Highly competitive poker tournaments can be grueling affairs, with up to 16 hours spent playing a day. 

To achieve a high level of focus and endurance, it’s important to develop a routine that includes physical exercise and meditation. The self-discipline required to achieve this will stand you in good stead at the poker table. Another essential part of developing a winning poker mindset is to study. Negreanu’s poker advice is to use a 20% study time to 80% playtime ratio.

2. Play Cash Games and Tournaments

Many players focus on tournaments because they’re dynamic, exciting, and offer a big payoff. However, cash games can improve your tournament performance. That’s because deep-stack cash games are more complex than tournaments; you have to make more difficult decisions to protect more chips. In tournaments, short stacks mean you often only have to decide preflop and on the flop. With a deep stack at risk in a cash game, you have to weigh your decisions all the way to the river. At the same time, tournaments begin with deep stacks, so deep-stack cash game insights will give you an advantage.

3. Treat Poker as a Profession

The best way to become a pro online poker player is to maximize your poker income. To achieve this, you have to approach your poker career in the same way as a business. Keep detailed records so you can easily see your profit and loss figures, identify patterns, and adjust your strategy accordingly. Ask yourself in which areas your business is losing out to competitors (other players). Analyze your statistics to find out what your leaks are and figure out ways to plug them. In this way, your business will become progressively more competitive.

4. Use Online Resources

There’s a slew of digital poker tools and resources on the market today to help you speed up your learning process. Many skilled players stream their games on Twitch, so watch and learn. Play online to accumulate experience (be sure to play within your bankroll). The ability to play multiple low-stakes tables online is an advantage here. This also allows you to rapidly build up an extensive hand history, which you can analyze with poker tools such as Poker Tracker.

5. Be Objective about Bad Beats

A key difference between amateurs and pros is that pros have the self-awareness to realize whether their bad beats derive from bad luck (otherwise known as variance) or lousy play. Given the emotions a bad beat can stir up, it isn’t always easy to be objective about this, so discussing your bad runs with more experienced players is a good idea. Whatever you do, don’t play the victim. At the very least, a bad beat is an opportunity to analyze your game and potentially improve your win rate.

Five Top Tips from Sheddy

A person seated at a poker table, collecting poker chips with both hands.

Arshad ‘Sheddy’ Siddiqui is a poker pro from South Florida who plays in poker tournaments all across the U.S. Here are some of his guidelines for would-be professional players.

1. Manage Your Bankroll

Your bankroll is your lifeblood as a poker player. You need to protect and hopefully grow it as you rise in the stakes. As a result, it’s important to stick to stakes that you can afford in the long term. It’s fine to take a shot occasionally (you’ll build your bankroll rapidly if it comes off), but always keep an eye on the long game. At the same time, you don’t want to settle for stakes that are too low for you to take seriously. This kind of attitude can prevent you from learning from your mistakes.

2. Understand Your Opponents

The best way to deal with opponents is to find out what they’re capable of, so keep a record of their habits and potential weaknesses. It’s easier to do this in person, but even online players have their tendencies that you can exploit. One of the secrets to online poker is timing. An opponent who consistently acts fast when they’re strong or fast when they’re weak gives you valuable information. But there are many other tendencies to keep track of. How do they react when raised? Are they tight or loose on the river? Are they calling all the time? These aspects can enable you to predict their reactions and refine your play.

3. Learn Poker Techniques From Other Players

One of the great things about online poker is that the data it provides can help you raise your game. If you come up against good players, for example, don’t be disheartened when you get crushed. Instead, compare your data against theirs to find out what tricks in poker they know that you do not. Then incorporate their tactics into your poker strategy.

4. Learn To Bet for Value

The most reliable way to win money at poker is to get paid when you have the best hand. This is called value betting and is one of the most important aspects of professional poker. To master the art of value betting, you have to know when the odds are in your favor and make a play accordingly. Say the game is Texas hold‘em, and you have ace-queen on the river of an ace-high board. In this situation, you should know that the odds favor you to have the best hand, so you can bet high.

5. Have a Tight Baseline

Playing from a tight baseline in the early stages of a game can help when it comes to figuring out your opponents and the table. By adopting a conservative (tight) style and playing solid basic poker tactics, you can also influence how other players perceive you. As a result, you can take greater risks and bluff more later on.

Experience Borgata Online Poker

Keen to get your game on with online poker? Whether you’re a recreational player or a bona fide pro, Borgata Online will meet your needs. Meet like-minded players and enjoy cash games and poker tournaments with a broad range of stakes and buy-ins to suit every bankroll and playing style. Register to play online.