Poker is a game of skill. After learning the basics, you can move on to more advanced concepts.
Considering Poker Strategy
Making Poker Decisions
Set a limit on how much you want to spend. Winning consistently takes practice. It is laborious. There’s nothing wrong with having fun with poker, but not planning to lose. Your poker style helps you make better decisions and sessions.
Good Decisions Lead to Good Results
Even the best poker players lose. Expect not to win every time. Play well in every session. The cards and wins will follow. Incorrectly assessing their poker skills based on session results. Make the best play every time. This is better achieved.
Poker is a game of incomplete information. That’s not hard. Winning poker starts with selecting your starting hands. You will win more pots if you enter the pot with the best hand.
Beyond First Hands
However, starting hands are only one aspect of poker strategy. With a solid starting hand, you can concentrate on your play for the rest of the hand. Professional players tend to play better after the starting hand decisions than amateurs for the rest of the hand.
In particular, each hand’s final decision. Calculate pot odds, bluff, and use position. Even small improvements in a player’s abilities can have a huge impact on their lifetime winnings. To learn and improve your game, use our free Poker School resources.
A winning poker player should also be able to avoid tilt. If you let them, they will exploit your emotions. This leads to bad decisions and losses. Tilting and steaming are common issues that necessitate a break. In ten minutes, the game will remain. Tomorrow it will be.
Modifying Your Poker Strategy
One of its most appealing features is the sheer variety of approaches, styles, and games. Most styles include:
- Strict: a conservative approach that takes few chances.
- Loose players play more hands and are more willing to gamble.
- aggressive play involves opening pots and placing big bets to frighten opponents.
- A passive opponent is one who calls more than bets.
Consider your poker strategy. How best to describe you?
You’re right if you said “all of them.” Playing too rigidly at the poker table makes you predictable. The ‘tight-aggressive’ combination is recommended for beginners.
Playing mostly good hands before the flop can teach you discipline and keep you out of trouble with marginal hands. Your style will change with practice, but you should always remain aggressive.
Being the last to act in a betting round gives you a tactical advantage. Because the dealer position changes every hand, everyone benefits.
Play more hands when in late position (after most players have acted). As the hand progresses, good players in late position often relax their starting hand requirements. You are said to be ‘in position’ when playing opponents who must act before you. This is a plus.
Sense Your Bluffs
With more players, there’s a better chance of getting a good hand. But a well-timed bluff can save you a pot.
What does a bluffing poker player want? They want their opponent to fold. Yes. Most of the time, you want to fold weak hands before the flop. This is when bluffing is critical to winning. Consider how a successful bluff will persuade your opponent that you have superior cards. Would you have played the hand differently if you had the cards? Is the ‘story’ you’re telling logical? When bluffing, consider the whole hand. A wise opponent will see right through you if you place a last-ditch bet to win the pot.
Knowing Your Odds
Odds express the probability of an event. The probability of landing on ‘heads’ or ‘tails’ is equal in both cases, and is expressed as one to one (1/1, or ‘evens’). The odds of rolling a six on a six-sided die are 5/1 because it is likely to land on a different number five times for every six.
In this case, the river is needed to complete your flush and win the pot. Two clubs in your hand, two on the board, nine clubs left. Except for the two in your hand and the four on the board, nine river cards can win you the pot.
So 37/9 for a flush. (37 cards out of 46 do not make a flush, but 9 do.) The odds of making your flush are 4 to 1.
Consider the above example’s “pot odds,” or the winnings to bets ratio. Assume you’re heads up against one opponent. You have 10 and your opponent has 10. Call or fold. Which way to go? It’s easier than you think. It costs 10 to win 20 – a 2 to 1 pot odds. An actual flush probability is closer to 4:1. Taking a 4/1 risk for a 2/1 return is a bad play.
When did your opponent put in their last 10? For a 10 to 1 pot, you’d have to pay 10 to win 100. Call if offered 10/1 for a 4/1 risk.