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How to estimate your own moves?

How does one practices poker? This is truly one of the most difficult questions that any beginning player asks himself. Unlike other sports or occupations, poker has no definitive strategy and although learning from books will get you far, there are still skills that come only with experience. There are very few, if any, moves that are absolutely correct in any situation or position. Also, many moves that seem to be correct may still result in a bad beat. So how should a player benefit from his own experience and learn to improve his own game?

First thing any player should understand and remember at all times is that poker moves are evaluated only by the decision you made and never by the results of that decision. Although you sometimes can win a nice pot by calling in to a flop with a 73, it will almost always be a wrong move and you are bound to lose money with it on the long run. On the other hand some "right" moves are bound to result in a loss, once in a while. Many novice players go on tilt after they "miss out" on a hand they folded. This should never affect your play as you can not control, nor predict the board. Your moves are right only for the information you hold at the moment. Review and learn from every move not from its results on a specific board, but on every possible board. Understanding pot odds, number of outs and the psychology of your opponents is the only thing that will produce profit on the long run.

Porter Houston, Editorial Staff