In our Online Poker Opponent Ranges article, we explained the way poker hands order and an opponent's range can help your game. Both of these are vital skills that are required in order for you to make money playing Texas Hold Em. If you are clueless regarding poker hand order, you won't understand which poker hands to use and you'll most likely end up playing far too many Texas Hold Em hands. If you don't have a clue about how to use ranges, you will experience a lot of confusion when you're in a complicated hand and you must figure out whether to call, raise, or fold.
What are some of the most important poker basics that a new player should learn? I'm going to list a few that some people might not think are related to poker at all. I can't dispute that they have nothing to do with actual Texas Hold Em hands and what to do in specific situations. But they could possibly be the most vital skills of all because a strong poker player will still lose his money if he or she doesn't possess them.
Do you ever wonder why there are certain players that earn huge amounts playing poker but still don't seem to have a bankroll? It's almost always because these people don't believe in bankroll management. Bankroll management is a huge topic that has its own article entirely, but the point to hammer home is simple: do not play higher than your bankroll allows. What this is saying is that you must always play stakes that make sense for the amount of money that you have decided to keep for your poker endeavors.
This next point maybe isn't a skill but merely some discipline. NEVER gamble while under the influence of any drug, no exceptions. It will make you reckless, unobservant, or just bad at decision-making, and you simply cannot play properly if you're not sober. Tying into this, you should also stop yourself from playing if you are tired. When you're sleepy, there's a better chance you'll find yourself in bad situations and make some bad decisions that you'll end up regretting.
The last skill that I'm going to mention is tilt control or emotional management. You can be great at the game but if you find that you can't control your emotions when you take a bad beat or suffer from some bad variance, you will never see huge and growing profits. There are so many people out there that get overly emotional when they experience a bad beat and proceed to spew off their bankrolls while trying to "win it back". Others just play poorly once they suffer from a beat, making poor decisions and chucking off even more money during the process. Mastering emotional control is absolutely necessary.