Real money poker is not a game. The moment you put your hard earned cash on the table, you should think of it as war.
"The art of war is of vital importance to the State. It is a matter of life and death, a road either to safety or to ruin. Hence it is a subject of inquiry which can on no account be neglected." - Sun Tzu
The above statement is from the 1st chapter in the Art of War, an ancient Chinese military treatise that was written during the 6th century BC by Sun Tzu. It is written on the first page because Sun Tzu wants the generals who are about to wage war to re-evaluate the reasons why they are waging war in the first place. Sun Tzu reminds them that war is a very serious subject, involving life and death of thousands of people and advice that they know everything there is to know about war before waging one.
Hence, our first lesson from Sun Tzu when applied to poker is that we should be playing poker to win money and nothing else. Sure it sounds like common sense but if you have played enough poker, you will know how often your emotions get in the way of winning. Constantly remind yourself that if you play for entertainment or for social purposes, then play with money you wish to lose. The only objective of a real money poker game should be to crush your opponents and take their money. Pride and ego should be left at home when you play poker for money.
Lesson number two from Sun Tzu is to learn everything you can about the game. Poker is a game of skill and luck. If you wish to rely on luck to win your next poker game, than perhaps you should check out another ancient Chinese art known as Feng Shui to improve your luck. Otherwise, learn to improve your poker skills. If you have never played the game before, you should start by checking out our poker basics section for a detailed explanation of the game rules.
Lessons from Sun Tzu on Poker
Why Sun Tzu Plays Tight Poker
Tight is right. Learn why the ancient military sage Sun Tzu would have advocated playing tight poker.
Know Your Enemy - Is He Loose, Tight, Passive or Aggressive?
Learn about the four most common poker personalities and how to adapt to their playing styles.
Know Yourself - Memorize Your Odds and Count Your Outs
To have a good sense of how strong your hand is at any time, you must develop a firm knowledge of the many probabilities involved in poker.
Sun Tzu said: "All Warfare is Based on Deception."
Bluffing is an important aspect of poker. Get tips on how to bluff effectively in the game of Texas Hold'em.
Playing Against the Loose Aggressive Maniac
Learn how to apply Sun Tzu's Art of War against the loose aggressive player in No-Limit Texas Hold'em.
How to play Ace-King in No-Limit Texas Hold'em
The big-slick can be a really tricky hand to play. Get tips on how to play this hand effectively.
Slow-playing Pocket Aces in No-Limit Texas Hold'em
Never slow play aces? Not really. Learn when and how to slow play pocket aces effectively.
Single Table Tournament Killer Strategy
Learn how to consistently make the money in the highly popular single table Sit-n-Go tournaments.