Unfortunately, there is no ’10 step guide’ to winning in poker. If there was, everyone would know the steps, and eventually it would come down to who had the best cards.
The beauty of poker is the different skill levels and abilities that are at any table at any time. It is these differences, the human element, that makes poker such a great game, and also that provides the opportunity to win – or lose.
It is sometimes said that poker is a game of people played with cards. If you think about that for a moment, you hopefully will see how true it is. Playing other casino games against the house with a fixed edge leaves only luck to help a player make a profit. While there are professional casino gamblers, there are very few of them. It is the disparity in the skill set brought to the poker table that creates the opportunity for some players to profit, and to profit continuously.
So while it is relatively easy to learn what cards beat what in poker, and who bets when, the real skill in poker is learning abut the other players. It is a fact that you will make most of your profit from other players mistakes, and your own mistakes will also account for most of your losses.
Another way to put all that is that winning at poker is mainly done by not losing. Aside from luck and the variance of the cards, every player will make some good plays and some bad ones. It will be difficult for event he worst player to lose when they are getting great cards. The same goes for you. But it is winning, or at least coming out ahead, when you are not getting great cards that is the real measure of a good poker player.
I am spending what may seem as too much time beating on this topic, but I believe that it is vitally important for every poker player to have some sort of philosophy of poker. To know what is happening and why it is happening is probably the most fundamental skill you will ever have when it comes to poker.