Being a Winning Player vs. being a Good Player

When you think of a good player, you no doubt think of a winning one.  After all, you’ve got to be good to win at the game of poker so this should be a mute point, right?  The truth is though, not all good poker players are winners in the long-run.  There is a huge difference between being a good player and a winning player; winning players make a profit over the long haul while good players simply know how to play.  Obviously, you want to be known as a winning player so here are some ways to accomplish that feat.

Understanding Variance

Variance (also known as luck) is always going to be a part of poker no matter how good you are.  There is a certain element of chance involved with poker that is going to be there despite your best efforts to control the table.  Sometimes this element of chance causes you to lose in the long run which is never a pleasant thing.  However, you have to realize there will be dramatic swings in your results that are just a product of what cards land on the table.  You have to be able to withstand the rough times in order to get to the good ones.

Factoring Rake

With the amount of money that the house takes from hands, you could actually profit while playing against your peers, yet lose money in the long-run.  Consider that in a $2/$4 game of No-Limt Hold’em, anywhere from $3 - $6 could be taken from the pot.  This might not sound like a lot, but it actually does come out to be a sizeable amount when you’re up against slim profit margins.


Above all, winning players refuse to be complacent and are always studying strategy while trying to improve their game in some way.  This is in great contrast to good players who are merely happy learning lots of intermediate strategy, and then sticking to their guns.