Which kind of poker are you best at? There is no quick way to find out and only keeping poker statistics can help you. For math wizards, you may do this manually and be sure that you never forget a game. Or if you feel that you need a professional to help you, you may use a program at websites such as www.checkyourbets.com.
Once you know which poker you are good at, you should be able to answer another important question: Why are you winning most of the time at one variation of poker and losing often at the other? Is it because you have mastered the technical aspects of the game? Or is it because you are simply topnotch at the people aspects of poker? The technical skills of poker involve being adept at poker math, such as pot odds. The people skills involve bluffing and being able to modify the style of play.
You will find that poker players have different opinions about which of the two types of skills are more important. Many poker blogs are dedicated to their theories. However, here are personal theories about skills and games that you may want to check out.
In Longhand Limit Hold’em, the most important advantage of a poker player is his technical skills. The winning player must be patient and understands hand value. Your people skills won’t contribute much to your winnings. It is hard to bluff and it is useless to read your opponents since many hands reaches the showdown. The pot odds make a river fold make a river fold extremely chancy.
Your people skills will be more useful in Shorthand Limit Hold’em since there is more bluffing done, compared to Longhand Limit Hold’em. A winning player in Shorthand Limit Hold’em knows precisely when to increase his aggression and when to cool his heels. But you must not forget that it is still a limit hold’em poker. Mastering pot odds is still vital in winning the pot.
To win in a No-Limit Hold’em, both sound technical abilities and fairly accurate people skills are needed. Your technical abilities should include knowing when to call, to raise, to check, or to fold. Your people skills involve the reading of styles of your opponents. If opponents are timid, you can win and steal a lot of pots by bluffing. But you must also know when to fold if your opponent shows obstinacy. If your opponents are reckless and loose, you can win by patiently waiting for that opportunity to trap them. Then, wipe them out in one hand.
If you have a “gambling spirit”, you may be able to tolerate the huge swings in the Pot-Limit Omaha. The winning player should also be good at avoiding a tilt. A tilt is to play poorly or wildly after losing big or winning over awesome players. In Pot-Limit Omaha, you should be an expert at dealing with your opponents and at controlling yourself. Have fun.