If you want to become really good at poker, you’re going to have to put in some serious studying time in at some point; there is simply no way around it. That said, you can still do okay at the tables without too much studying as long as you stick to some simple but effective principles.
While the whole goal of this article is to help you win more without actually studying, I’d nonetheless suggest checking out some simple poker tips. These will take you only a few minutes to read and can make a huge difference. It’s more like light reading than studying.
You’ll need to learn these basics because they’re so important that you really can’t hope to achieve a lot without them. Beyond this, however, you can definitely win some money at the tables without putting in much hard work, as long as you stick to these three tips.
Game select carefully
Knowing how to pick the right games to play in is an important part of winning poker. Even the best of the best will game select and try to avoid the tables where there are many players of comparable skills.
If you want to win without studying, though, the game selection process becomes absolutely crucial. You can’t really expect to win against the regs who spend hours every day analyzing their hands and coming up with new strategies to crush souls. You might get lucky here and there but, in the long run, you will lose money – and a lot of it.
So, try and look for the tables with two or more recreational players. You should be able to spot them quite easily as they’ll tend to play many hands before the flop and will show down weak holdings in big pots.
Once you find a table that fits this description, try and get a seat and focus on playing as many pots as possible with the players you identified as non-pros. Be aware, though, that in today’s online poker climate, such tables are heavily contested, so you might have to wait a while to get your turn. Live tables, by contrast, are a different story.
Pay attention to your opponent’s tendencies
You don’t have to be a math wizard to take advantage of some very obvious tendencies of other players. For example, if you notice someone is moving all-in every two or three hands, it’s very unlikely they’re just getting aces and kings all the time.
If someone calls a preflop 3-bet almost every time, regardless of the size, they probably don’t know what they’re doing and are just trying to get lucky.
These tendencies are fairly easy to take advantage of and you don’t need to do any in-depth calculations to adjust. Pocket tens become an easy call against someone shoving all the time. If someone is calling huge 3-bets no matter what, don’t bluff them. Wait for big hands and then name your price. They’ll still be happy to call.
This approach probably won’t make you a big winner in the long run because you won’t find many online players who make such big mistakes, especially at higher stakes. But you’ll at least be able to put yourself in some good spots and win a few stacks here and there in spots where other, less-observing players might miss the beat. And again, in live poker, it’s a whole different story… you can generally open up your ranges quite a bit more.
Have fun and enjoy yourself
If you’re looking for advice on how to win in poker without studying, it’s likely you aren’t taking the game too seriously – and there is nothing wrong with that! If you just want to enjoy the game for fun and you’re happy not losing big, that’s perfectly fine.
Not everything is about money. Sometimes, you just want to get lucky and win a big pot, realizing that the person sitting in front of their computer probably has a similar expression on their face like your friend did the last time they lost on credit card roulette and had to pay for a huge lunch bill. Perhaps you’re just happy breaking even and enjoy the game as a social pastime. That’s totally fine!
If you’re playing for fun, though, you should know when to stop. If you start feeling tilted or annoyed at any point, simply stop. Games aren’t going anywhere and it’s not like you depend on poker to pay your bills.
Whatever your skill level might be, you’ll be able to make much better decisions with a clear head. So, try to play for as long as you’re enjoying yourself and stop as soon as you feel the tilt settling in. This isn’t always the easiest thing to do, but it’s much better than tilting away half of your bankroll.