Playing poker is a great way to relax, have fun and meet new friends. People from all over the world enjoy the excitement of being dealt cards, coupling pairs, and forming magical hands. The basics of the game are always the same – whether you’re logging into a favorite app, visiting a local poker hall, or considering traveling to a vaunted casino destination.

It is always fun winning a hand. It doesn’t matter what level you are at, or how serious you are – there is always room for improvement. Here are five things you can do to become a more effective player

1. Study every day

The only way to get better at anything is to study — and poker is no different. All the greatest players spend their time reading, watching, taking notes, and learning something new every day. Professional player Daniel Negreanu suggests playing 80% of the time and studying 20%.

You can study new strategies, learn what experts are doing, how to play aggressively and bluff, and so much more. The more knowledge you have, the better player you will be, and the more winnings you can take home.

2. Poker is business

Even if you just play as a hobby, you must take poker seriously and adopt a business mindset. You should know how much money you are going in with before you play and how much you can afford to risk. Keep detailed records of all your winnings, losses, and expenses. In addition, just as in any business, you should do your risk assessments and probabilities before and during the game, and do self-evaluations after the game to assess how well you played each hand. Knowing these details can help you improve because you will be able to identify places where you could have taken more risks, folded earlier or placed more bets.

3. Surround yourself with poker players

One way to become a great poker player is to discuss poker with other poker players. This simple but highly effective method is considered to be one of the best ways to level up your poker ability. This way, you can find out what other people are doing and how it is working for them. Poker players love to share the newest strategies they’ve learned and how it has helped them. As they share their ideas with you, be sure to take some notes and incorporate their ideas into your game to test if it really works.

4. Self-analysis

As stated above, it is important to study and one of the most important things to study is yourself. All great poker players know that even with the strongest strategies, they could always do better. The best way to know this is to find out where your weaknesses are so you can fix them. Through self-analysis, you can identify specific areas that you need to work on – and this is the first step to improving and becoming a more effective poker player.

5. Rest well

Playing poker requires a lot of mind power in order to outsmart your opponent. This is exactly why you should not play poker for 18 hours straight or more. Your mind needs rest and your body needs sleep to be able to perform all the functions for a healthy mind-body balance and mental-emotional stability. Health experts recommend 7-9 hours of sleep for your mind to operate at optimal performance. If you are well-rested your mind will be sharp and you will be ready to execute intelligent poker plays.

There are signs you can take note of if you are lacking rest, such as the inability to concentrate, irritability, and forgetfulness. If you don’t take a rest, you could risk making easy mistakes, hence losing lots of money.

Poker is an exciting game better enjoyed by winners. It is not just the chips you are after, but the prestige that comes with every win. These five tips can help you achieve your best potential to become the winner you aspire to be.

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