10 Poker Secrets the Pros Don't Want You to Know About

Poker Secrets
Professional poker players keep a lot of secrets about how they play that they would rather most amateurs don't discover.

These are the tips and tricks that allow them to get ahead and keep winning while most people continue to break even or lose and complain about their "bad luck."

So let's dive right into the top 9 poker secrets that most poker pros don't want you to know about!

1. It's Not Really About the Cards

Most poker amateurs focus much of their attention on the cards that they are dealt. And they get frustrated if they go "card dead" for extended periods of time.

However, poker pros know that the large majority of hands in Texas Hold'em do not go to showdown. Therefore, why does it even matter what you have?

One of the biggest poker secrets that the pros use to abuse the amateurs is to hammer on them in position again and again and use position to bluff them out of the pot.

It's not always about the cards in poker.

2. Never Show a Bluff

Another secret that the pros have is they never show a bluff. Amateurs love to proudly display their 72 offsuit when they bluff somebody and have a good chuckle about it.

But poker pros know better than to give out free information like this.

They know that it is much better to let that doubt fester in their opponent's mind about whether they got bluffed or not. It's not worth the quick little ego boost by showing the bluff.

Poker is war. Never give your opponents any free information, ever.

3. Sometimes You Have to Fold Your Aces

One of the biggest reasons why amateur poker players lose is because they get married to a big hand like pocket aces or pocket kings.

Poker pros know better. They know what AA and KK are just one pair and they can and will routinely get beat.

Example of when you need to fold pocket AA:

It is very important that you learn to get away from you big overpairs sometimes. This is especially the case on really wet board textures against tight passive opponents.

4. All the Money Comes From 10% of the Players

Another one of the biggest poker secrets that the pros know very well is that the vast majority of their winnings comes from about 10% of the player pool.

These are the huge whales, fish, fun players, whatever you want to call them.

If you play online poker and use a HUD then these are the guys who will be playing 40% or more of their hands, chasing every terrible draw and so on.

The pros would rather not play at all than sit in a game without one of these players in it. Because, once again, they know that this is where the money is coming from.

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5. You Make Your Own Luck

The next poker secret that the pros know and understand much better than most people is that you make your own luck in this game.

They know for instance that it is very easily possible to run bad for 100k or more hands. Heck, tournament pros know that you can literally go years sometimes without winning big!

But most people focus on one or two unlucky hands from their most recent poker session and proceed to lose their mind about it.

poker secrets tilt

If you want to see a perfect example of this, check out my recent post on if PokerStars is Rigged and go read some of the crazy insane comments it received!

You make your own luck in this game by understanding that the long run is much, much longer than you think. The pros focus instead on superior decision making and outworking their opponents.

The results will follow in time.

6. You Have to Love the Grind

One of the biggest keys to your success in poker is truly loving the grind. The "grind" is something poker pros refer to as the day to day work you put in at the poker tables.

And more specifically the discipline and attention to detail that goes along with that.

I have been known for playing some of the most hands in online poker history at the micros. Millions and millions and millions of hands. Many people thought I was crazy or hated on me because of it.

But what they didn't understand is that I truly enjoyed waking up each day and playing 5k or 10k hands. Win, lose or draw I truly enjoyed the struggle and the journey.

Poker is kind of like weightlifting. You have to fall in love with the lifestyle and the process. Your results over the short term are always going to be all over the place.

Learn to enjoy the grind above all else and strive to be the very best in the games you play. Tune everything and everyone else out.

This is how I ended up creating some of the highest winnings in online poker history at the lower limits. I explain it all in Crushing the Microstakes.

7. Embrace Technology

Another poker hack that the pros know is that you have to embrace the power of technology to improve your poker game.

There are poker tools and software that can help you get better reads, study your hands, study your opponents, find your leaks and fix them.

Such as PokerTracker (shown below).

poker secrets poker hud

You can also use these poker tools to understand your equity better in all situations, track your results, table select better and even challenge yourself against sophisticated AI programs.

The bottom line is that if you want an edge in today's games, you need to be taking advantage of all the poker tools, educational resources and software out there these days.

Here is the list of all the poker software tools that I use as a pro.

8. Never Be the Same Player 

The next poker secret that most pros will not reveal to you is that they are never the same player from day to day.

As I have talked about several times before on this blog, when you play against me at the poker tables you will face a different player every time.

You may be up against a complete maniac on Monday who is trying to bluff you every hand. But on Tuesday I am a tight passive Nit who is shoving on you with the nuts.

I switch up my play style literally every day. In this way, none of my opponents can ever really get any solid reads on me.

As soon as they think they have me figured out as a tight passive Nit I am triple barrel bluffing them again with 8 high.

This is something that Daniel Negreanu talks about in his new poker training course.

One of the biggest key to his success he says is constantly mixing up his game and confusing his opponents.

9. Become a Lifelong Student of the Game

Another poker tip that all pros know and understand is that in order to succeed over the long run you need to be a lifelong student of the game.

Now don't get me wrong, putting the long hard hours at the tables every single day is more important than anything if you want to succeed in this game.

My typical office:

However, it is also extremely important that you are always upgrading your knowledge and understanding of the game.

Luckily there are so many great resources out there these days created by top notch pros to help you continually be improving your game.

Whether this is poker books, poker courses, poker forums, Twitch streams, Youtube, poker training sites or hiring a coach. It is all available.

Don't ever make the mistake of thinking that you know everything in this game. Because, that is exactly the moment when your opponents will start passing you by.

It is very important to always keep learning from the best and improving your game. Here is the list of all the best poker training sites that I recommend.

10. Bring Your A-game Every Single Time

The last poker secret that the pros don't want you to know about is that you need to bring your A-game every single time you sit down to play.

This means not playing when you are stressed out, depressed, angry, tired, drunk, high and so on.

This is why many poker pros also focus so heavily these days on the big three: diet, exercise/strength training and good sleep.

Because when you have these in order, you simply have a huge edge on most of your opponents before you even sit down to play against them. You are less likely to tilt, you are thinking more clearly and so on.

If you really want to succeed in poker then you need to approach this game with the same kind of dedication and attention to detail that you would find in a professional athlete.

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Final Thoughts

There are many poker secrets that the pros would rather you not know about. But these are some of the top ones.

The truth is that succeeding in this game over the long haul is very difficult. And that is why so few people actually do it.

If your dream is to really excel in this game and take it beyond a part time hobby then you really need to ask yourself how bad you want it and how much effort you are willing to put in.

Hopefully some of the poker tips in this article can help you in your games.

Lastly, if you want to learn how to start making $1000+ per month from low stakes poker games, make sure you grab a copy of my free poker cheat sheet.

Make sure to let me know in the comments what some of your top poker tips, tricks and hacks are!

poker secrets


  1. hi nathan ar yu serious about 5k 10 khands/day??whats is your average hands per months nowadays (i guess yu dont grind as much than in the past?)

    1. Yes I played 5k or 10k hands a day for years and years. These days I don't play as much because I travel a lot and this website and my Youtube keep me very busy as well.

    2. will yu one day tell us story about real hate yu got from players?must be funny with some insight

    3. I don't think any of them are even around anymore, probably went broke and quit the game. My haters always motivated me to succeed even more in poker anyways. So really, I have to thank them.

    4. Anonymous14 September

      Hi Nathan, how many tables and hours did it take you to reach 5k or even 10k hands per day - I find it hard to get 10k hands in a WEEK!

    5. I turn haters into motivation....love it when the tides turned.

    6. In order to play 5k or 10k hands a day I would be 20 or 30 tabling for between 4 and 8 hours a day. I don't play this many tables anymore, nor do I recommend it.

  2. Great article Sir. What software will you recommend to a laptop,(and do you have a video that shows how to use it) Im mostly a tournamentplayer. Best regards from Denmark.

    1. Thanks glad you enjoyed! I wrote an article a few weeks back talking about all the poker software and tools I use.


  3. I remember playing with you pre-Black Friday @ 5NL on stars. It's cool that you're so famous now.

    1. Haha not trying to be famous, just enjoy helping people get better at poker :)

  4. Hey hello nathan ,yeah i talked bad about pokerstars but i won a tournament for 500$ maybe i should switch to tournaments?

    1. Lol Jaguar congrats! Remember though that we play for the long run in poker. One tournament win is great but that doesn't define your overall results and it certainly does indicate if a poker site is good or not. Keep crushing it though!

  5. I would add Mindfulness Meditation to the necessary preparations for success. I teach an introduction to it as part of my day job in Mental Health but it's made a big difference to my emotional control at the tables !

    1. Good tip as well! I need to do this more!

  6. Hi Nathan great post as usual a while back I purchased your NL2 6 video series learned a lot from that still go over it. Also purchased the Playbook. Was wondering if there are any plans for a new NL5 video series at all.
    Great stuff keep up the good work

    1. Hey Phil glad my videos and books are helping you! No plans for an NL5 series but I do have plans for a video based course later this year covering all limits at the micros.

  7. Great post as usual, sir.
    I shared this on my facebook page, i hope you do not mind.