10 lessons Crypto traders can learn from Poker Strategy
Special contribution from Gatos
1. Learn The Basics
If you are new to any game, not just poker but any game, before you play, you have to learn the basics. Just like J-Js beats 10-10s or A-K is a huge favorite against A-Q. Otherwise, you are going to loose all your money in DAY 1. Similar in crypto you must learn the basics. I have friend who entered the space 2 months ago, and although he trades in Binance every day, he never downloaded metamask or sent an eth transaction just for the sake of the experience to understand what are these gas fees that everybody talks about. So, in other words, you need to have an all round view of the crypto space and learn the basics!
2. Play solid hands – Through away trash hands
Every book that has been written by the legendary poker players, such as Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth or Stu Ungar to name a few, the number 1 rule is to play solid pairs and fold trash hands, meaning A-As K-Ks etc vs 10-3 or 7-2. And although in crypto is a bit subjective of what can be considered a “good hand” there are some characteristics that can keep you away from scam coins and identify these solid coins. There might be a lot of factors that each one of you is considering when researching for a coin, such as the market cap, total supply, the team behind, the technology, the fees etc, if I had to choose 1 factor as the most important, I would personally choose the use case. If I see myself (and others) not only now but in 5-10 years using this technology and is superior in comparison with other crypto projects, that would be the identifying factor that will make me feel that a have the nuts* (*terminology for the best hand possible)
3. Big Pairs – Small Pairs / Big Cap – Small Cap
As in poker I would always bet my money in a pair of A-As against any other hand. Similarly, some can argue that he will always invest their money in BTC, ETH and any of the top 20. But what happens when you have small pair such as 3-3s or 5-5s, your opponent has A-K and the flop comes A-3-7? You flopped a monster. So try to find these 50-200mil market cap pocket pairs and wait!
4. Be patient – Hodl
This brings us to the next big lesson which is to be patient and hodl. Occasional and recreational poker players that go out in a casino drinking and laughing (which is good by the way, don’t get me wrong) are entering pots with every single hand they are dealt with, trying to make their 100$ into 10.000$ overnight, which of course is not possible. 99% percent of these players always call, playing too many hands, are not patient to play solid hands and usually what happens is they always go broke. You can spot the good poker player in a table a) by entering very few hands-pots – is patient and b) has usually the biggest stack – knows how to hold and protect his bankroll. Likewise, in crypto don’t try to become a millionaire over a night, trying to ride every coin that pumps during that day. That is not possible. Be patient and hodl.
5. Be aggressive and do not be intimidated
In big corrections you always hear that big whales are trying to shake week hands. Well guess what, this expression comes out from poker. If you are seated in a poker table with 500$ and the guy opposite has in front of him a 20.000$ stuck, what you think he will try to do? He will use this chip stack as a big stick and is going to whip the sh*t out of you and take all your money. So do not be intimidated when big wales trying to boss you around with their bankrolls!
6. Bluffs, Trash talking, and staying away from traps
In a poker table, the professional poker players know that sometimes cards don’t even matter, and they can very easily make you fold the best hand, while make you call with the worst hand. So, whatever they are telling you, think twice before you act because there is a reason why they are telling you. They want you to call or they want you fold! Similar in crypto, think twice before Elon Musk or any youtuber tells you what the next gem coin is, cause there is a reason why he is telling you. They want you to buy or they want you to sell!
7. Value Betting
A good poker player always knows how to make the maximum amount of money from each hand. He rarely over/under bets his hands, carefully calculating his pot odds and tries to keep his loses to the minimum. He knows when to get in and knows when to get out. In crypto the num.1 rule that everyone says (although not a lot of people follow, including myself) is to buy low and sell high. Follow this, and you will maximize your winnings both in poker and in crypto.
8. Improve your game
I remember myself when I started playing poker and loosing big time, I took the decision to educate myself and learn how to beat this game. I read books, I watched endless hours of WSOP and WPT tournaments and gradually I improved my knowledge of the game. Similarly, as there is not a poker university there is not a crypto university. You have to do the work, meaning you have to spent many hours in youtube, reddit, twitter researching and developing your knowledge about blockchain and crypto, reading the whitepapers and figure it out by yourself!
9. Learn from others more experienced that you
There is a saying in poker which goes “In a poker table you always get advice from people with less chips than you” Meaning that loosing-bad players (hence they have less money) are always keen to give you advice. In poker you must look at the experienced and successful players and try to follow how they became so successful. Be selective as to who, either in real life, in YouTube or twitter choose to listen.
10. Don’t be a fish
In a poker table it is said (as in the famous Rounders movie with Mat Damon) that if you cannot spot the fish* (poker term for sucker, worst player) in the first hour of the game, then YOU are the fish. And throughout any game session, money always change hands in a poker table from the new players to the more experienced ones, from fishes to sharks and whales. You just have to decide what do you to be, a fish or a shark….?
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