Three Mental Habits That Support Pro Poker Players

A 3D rendering of a brain with energy flowing through it.

If you’re a competitive poker player who’s serious about winning, you’ll undoubtedly be focused on improving your game, whether that means learning new skills, or learning how to manage tilt, the negative state of mind that can affect all players. Join us as we take you through three habits that poker pros use to improve their poker skills and maintain the right mindset in offline and online poker games.

Understanding the importance of study

While there is a certain amount that you can learn about poker just by playing, your play really won’t improve unless you take the time to study. But what does “study” mean to a poker player? In the past, this would have meant finding books that successful professional players had written to help you understand the game. Today, the meaning of poker study has evolved far beyond this. 

Here are some of the different resources you’ll want to consider when taking the time to study and improve your game:

  • Books: Whether these are new or old, there are many excellent poker titles that will teach you how to improve your understanding of the game.
  • Videos: Today, there is a wealth of online video content on YouTube that can help you increase your level of skill. Not all of this content is created equal, so you will need to filter through it or look for recommended channels with high-quality content.
  • Coaching: Many poker pros have launched their own coaching websites to help you get better at poker. Many of these sites don’t only offer you digital resources but also dedicated poker coaches who can teach you how to play better. Check out reviews and comments on social media about which sites have offered the most value to their customers before you hand over your hard-earned money. There are also AI-driven poker training tools that can help you analyze and improve your play.
  • Reviewing your own play: While it’s better to have a more skilled player to assist you with this (consider looking for groups and communities on social media if you can’t afford dedicated coaching), you may also be able to identify weaknesses in your own play if you can get your hands on a poker solver that you can use to help you review your own games.

No matter what tools or methods you use, all the best players understand that they are always learning, and this includes time dedicated to studying the ins and outs of this incredibly complex game.

Taking the time to practice

A poker player checks their hole cards during a game.

It doesn’t help at all if you just put all your effort into learning without understanding how to apply that knowledge in an actual game. After you’ve dedicated some time to studying, it’s time to put your newfound insight into practice. If you’re interested in mastering a new skill that you’ve been studying, you may want to try to get to grips with it in some free or low-cost poker games before you decide to join in high-stakes games. Once you have practiced a particular skill and have developed a proper understanding and application of it, your mind won’t have to work so hard to execute on it, freeing up mental resources that you can then commit to other aspects of the game.

Developing your mental strength

Tilt, or entering a negative state of mind that can cause you to make poor decisions, is a mindset that can affect every level of player. The most successful poker players have learned to minimize the impact of tilt, or avoid it entirely as much as possible. 

Here are some very quick tips to help you manage tilt:

  • Learn how to recognize tilt in yourself so that you can take steps to avoid or mitigate it.
  • Truly understand that you can play the hand you’ve been dealt perfectly and still lose.
  • Keep in mind that even if you lose, you’ll still have gained invaluable experience that can help you improve in your next game.
  • If you find yourself getting frustrated or angry, use meditative breathing techniques to help calm yourself down.
  • If you find that you are unable to return to a more level-headed state of mind, take a break.

With the ability to keep negative thoughts and emotions in check, you’ll lower your risk of making a bad decision that’s rooted in a negative frame of mind.

Play the best online poker at Borgata Online

Whether you’re learning how to play poker, want to practice the mental habits we’ve shared above, or are just looking for an online poker site to play poker online, you can do it all at Borgata Online. Our site offers players a great place to enjoy casual and competitive poker games. “Pull up a seat” at any of our virtual tables, or sign up to take part in any of the thrilling online poker tournaments that we offer. 

Register at Borgata Online to join in all the poker action!