Professional Poker Player Strategies: That Set You Apart

5 Things that makes a Professional Poker Player Apart from an Amateur
5 Things that Make a Professional Poker Player Apart from an Amateur

Many differences distinguish a professional poker player from an amateur. An experienced player is good enough to make a living playing poker, while an amateur player plays for fun.

1. Consider Poker as a Job, Not a Hobby

Consider Poker as a Job, Not a Hobby
Consider Poker as a Job, Not a Hobby

If you want to become a professional poker player, consider it a job, not a hobby. You need to dedicate 100% of your energy to becoming the best poker player you can, as the odds of being a long-term winner are almost non-existent.

Meanwhile, amateur players play triggered by their mood and often focus on something else while playing. A pro player plays considering the profitable opportunity, whether or not they feel like playing.

Amateur players are not concerned about their progress or opponents and don’t study the game to improve. A Pro poker player constantly learns the game, their opponents, and everything else that can give them an edge.

2. Protect Bankroll

Protect Bankroll
Protect Bankroll

Amateur players seldom have a set bankroll for poker. They spend money from their pocket and start playing. When they run out of money, they wait until they get paid again to play more poker.

Professional poker players keep a mighty bankroll and understand the risk of ruining it.

To be a professional poker player, you must keep a bankroll and use it only to play in games or tournaments, using a small percentage of your total. Professional poker players follow a few guidelines to maintain their bankroll. They never risk more than 20% of their bankroll.

3. Don’t Play Unprofitable Draws

Never Leave Profitable Opportunities
Don’t Play Unprofitable Draws

The amateur poker players play too many hands, whereas the professional player understands if they enter the pot with a better hand than their opponents, they win more often. Hence, they play tighter than amateurs.

Moreover, a professional player never plays unprofitable draws. As they’ve used the odds for so long, I mostly know if a draw is profitable.

4. Never Leave Profitable Opportunities

Never Leave Profitable Opportunities
Never Leave Profitable Opportunities

Finding profitable poker games can be challenging, but it can be possible with consistent patience and determination.

Amateur poker players play for a few hours at a time. But a professional player can play non-stop for 12 or even 24 hours in a profitable game. They try to take benefit of every possible profitable situation.

They practice a lot to keep their mind sharp and body in good shape. Professional players build their stamina, improve their diet, and exercise more to take advantage of profitable situations as long as possible.

5. Focus on Long-Run Impacts

Focus on Long-Run Impacts
Understand the Long-Run Impact

Professional players know that poker is a lifelong contest. Each playing session is important enough, and as long as they make profitable plays, the cards always play out to the correct percentages over time. They may lose on draws, but in the long run, they will win the proper percentage of the time based on the cards and odds.

Amateur players often go on tilt and repent when they lose in a situation like this. But professional players understand that it doesn’t matter, as they know that in the long run, they will win money in this situation.


In poker, the distinction between a professional and an amateur player extends beyond skill level—a mindset and approach that sets them apart. To elevate your game to a professional standard, embrace poker as a serious job, not just a pastime.

Guard your bankroll diligently, avoid unprofitable draws, and seize every profitable opportunity. Professionals don’t merely play for a few hours; they are disciplined, physically and mentally prepared for marathon sessions.

Finally, focus on the long-term impact, understanding that poker is a lifelong journey where smart decisions pay off over time. Adopt these traits, and you’ll bridge the gap from amateur to professional in poker.


How do professionals manage their bankroll compared to amateurs?

Pros maintain a dedicated poker bankroll, follow strict guidelines, and never risk more than a small percentage.

Why do professional players play tighter than amateurs?

Tighter play increases the likelihood of entering the pot with a better hand, improving winning chances against opponents.

How do professionals handle unprofitable draws in poker?

Professionals avoid playing unprofitable draws, leveraging their extensive knowledge of odds to make strategic decisions.

Why do professionals play longer sessions in poker games?

Professionals aim to capitalize on every profitable opportunity, building stamina through physical fitness and mental preparedness.

What is the significance of focusing on the long-run impact of poker?

Professionals understand that poker is a lifelong contest, where correct plays and decisions yield profits over time despite short-term losses.

How can amateurs transition to a professional mindset in poker?

Amateurs can transition by adopting a disciplined approach, dedicating time to study and practice, and embracing a long-term perspective on their poker journey.

About the author

Mamta Sharma

Mamta Sharma

Mamta Sharma is an influential figure in the realm of online gaming in New Zealand. With over eight years of expertise, she holds a prominent position as a content strategist at PokiesMobile NZ.

Mamta's journey, starting from the bustling streets of Mumbai to the serene landscapes of New Zealand, has given her a unique perspective on the world of online casinos.

Outside the virtual casino environment, Mamta is a also yoga practitioner and an advocate for holistic wellness.