Deal the cards, let's play!

Following these 10 poker tips will help you rake in the chips. (QMI Agency file)

Following these 10 poker tips will help you rake in the chips. (QMI Agency file)

CHRIS TESSARO, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 10:08 AM ET

To be good at the game of poker, you have to continue to learn new aspects of the game. Fortunately, people are all too willing to give you tips on how to improve your poker game. Some of the advice is good, some bad, and some ... well, simply insane. But here are 10 tips that will help you get your game in order:

10. You can not bluff a bad player: Repeat after me: you cannot bluff a bad player. Bluffing means representing a good hand. Bad players aren't thinking about what YOU have, they are only thinking about what THEY have. So don't act shocked when they call down your bluff with pocket deuces. They're not a genius. You're an idiot.

9. Shut up: The best players in the game are experts at divining information from every possible source. That's why amateurs that insist on revealing what hands they had, showing their bluffs, and in general, shooting their mouths off are doing the pros a favour. Play 12 hours in a tournament without saying a word and tell them to try to read that!

8. Learn what position means: Wanna lose badly at poker? Play hands out of position. Ace/King on the button is a good hand. In early position, it can be a lot of trouble. Position is EVERYTHING.

7. You can't be Tom Dwan: Or Gus Hansen. Or any player that you see on TV playing all kinds of cards in all kinds of ways. They can do that because they're really, really, REALLY good -- you're not. So forget about raising with 10/4 offsuit. You don't have the chops to play those cards.

6. Be a student: Thought your days of reading textbooks were done when you dropped out of college? Guess again. There are dozens of good poker books out there. Read them. Study them. Learn them. There will be a quiz.

5. Be fearless: Don't be reckless, but don't play afraid. A good poker player smells fear at the table, and they will beat you up all night long if they figure out they can push you around.

4. Pay attention: Whether you're in a hand or not, pay attention. Poker is a game of information, and if you're not paying attention, you're missing out on valuable tidbits.

3. Don't chase your money: A lot of rookie players will call bets when they are pretty sure they're beat, simply because they already have money in the pot. While sometimes pot odds will dictate a call in those spots, you're almost always right to save your chips.

2. Play less hands: Great players can play lots of hands in lots of positions. Until you're a great player, try to play less hands. This will help you avoid "trouble" hands that can cost you your chipstack.

1. Play slower: This doesn't mean slowing the game to a glacial place. But it does pay to take a moment or two before making what may or may not be a snap decision. It's better to figure out something about the hand you're in BEFORE your opponent is raking in your chips.


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