What Do The Pros Do Differently In Poker?

If you play poker for a little while, whether online or in person, you’ll start to notice a pretty big gap between amateur and experienced play. It may seem like amateurs are simply reacting to cards and trying to score good hands; pros on the other hand are playing with much more intent and strategy.

Of course, amateurs rarely ascend to the tables of Las Vegas, or the television screens showing the World Series of Poker. Why? Because they don’t do the things the professionals do, the actions and reactions that set apart a layman fro

So what is it that pro players are doing differently? Let’s take a look at a few possibilities.

Practice makes perfect

It’s usually easy to tell the difference between a player with 200 hours, and a player with 2,000 hours of practice under their belt. While you don’t actually need 10,000 hours to become an expert as the rule says, pro players still end up logging thousands of hours of play in order to get where they want to be.

It’s important to mention that there are a variety of ways to get this practice in. Watching tournaments, playing in them yourself, and studying poker with books, videos, tutorials, and whatever materials you have available to you are all different ways to learn the ins and outs of poker.

Pushing emotion aside

Emotions can run high during poker games, especially when large amounts of money are involved. For some players, hiding their emotions can be somewhat of a challenge, while for others it comes naturally. Professional poker players do indeed have a “poker face” where they keep their initial kneejerk reactions hidden, even when they’re not doing well during a high-stakes game.

Another part of playing any type of competitive game is ego. Unfortunately, our ego can cause us to make decisions that come back to bite us later. Just like any emotion, however, it can be hidden or pushed aside for a while in order for a player to play well.


Being able to self-assess is an incredibly important skill in general, and poker players also benefit from it. Those who play competitively or aspire to play professional poker tend to continually re-examine performance, spot mistakes, and track their wins and losses over an extended period of time. Amateurs tend to just move on to the next game without considering their long-term goals or where they need to improve. If you’re just starting out, consider having a mentor give you some feedback – that way, you know where to start making small improvements that are sure to help you become a stronger player.

Bankroll management

Professional poker players usually manage money incredibly well: from their monthly expenses to long-term investments, they know where all their money is at a given time. They also know how much to stake in certain games, and how much they can afford to lose. Amateur players, on the other hand, tend to throw their savings into the pot and lose much more than they can reasonably afford to do. Bankroll management and everyday financial decisions go a long way towards protecting yourself and your finances.

Odds and Pot Odds

Poker is a game of luck, but it’s also a game of math. If you understand the odds behind your draw and the pot, you’ll be in a much better position to make decisions. Professional plays take the time to learn how pot odds work and the math behind it all. While it’s not necessary to understand exact odds and the probabilities of every single hand, knowing the odds behind the most common situations helps players greatly.

Like most other games, poker exposes gaps between experienced players and newcomers. However, it’s just a matter of practice and study in order for beginners to bridge that gap and make their way toward becoming pro players.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.