How to Win at Poker

Tips from Jonathan Duhamel, winner of the 2010 World Series of Poker, on how to win at poker.

-01- Know Thyself
Make sure you know your strengths and weaknesses before sitting down at a table. Whether it’s the ability to control your emotions, your math skills, or your discipline, recognizing what you’re good at is key. “That requires an unwavering clear headedness, free of complacency and self delusion,” says Duhamel.

-02- Know The Table
Be aware of who your opponents are and try to pick up on their style of play as the game progresses. Duhamel insists that the players with the greatest advantage are the ones who can “figure out not only what’s in their opponent’s heads, but how aggressively they’re playing, how likely they are to bluff or how confident they are.”

-03- Practice Patience
Despite being a very aggressive player himself, Duhamel recognizes the importance of caution at the table. “You can’t regularly win at poker without a certain amount of restraint, without carefully weighing every decision in light of all the other information you have.”

-04- Don’t Be Afraid to Take Risks
Poker is a game of extreme unpredictability, which means that a certain level of risk is involved in almost every decision you make. But Duhamel stresses not to take risks blindly. “Once you’ve analyzed the available information, and made your calculations, you just have to go for it.”

-05- Be Confident
Sit down at the table, whether it’s with friends or at a professional tournament— with the belief that you’re going to win. “You can’t play at a high level without having a lot of confidence in yourself, your skills and your ability to win.”


How to Cheat at Poker

The simplest way to cheat at Texas Hold Em is by hiding a card from a previous game in your sleeve, or your lap. Do so by waiting to fold only when there is a muck (the area of the table where all the dead cards go) and throw just one of your cards in. This will give you an extra card to swap in with future hands.