The best poker strategies
When it comes to playing any card game, strategy is everything. It’s best to go in with a game plan otherwise you risk making a bigger loss than you anticipated. Whether you’re playing in a real life casino or you prefer to play poker online, having a strategy is your safest bet.
The popularity of poker has increased in recent years with more and more trying their hand. This could be due to the increase in people choosing to play multiplayer online as it has made poker become more freely available and accessible across many platforms. Unlike playing sports or other activities, playing poker isn’t weather dependent and you don’t need anyone else to play.
However, poker does require a certain level of skill in order to play – especially if you want to win! Learning the skills to play poker isn’t too taxing but making sure you’ve got the strategy down is where it can get tricky. We’ll be taking you through some of the best poker strategies to ensure you’re at the top of your game.
Poker tips for beginners
Starting out is never easy but, like with anything in life, confidence is key. The more you give the impression you look like you know what you’re doing, the more people will believe you. Poker is all about the bluff so start practicing that poker face in the mirror!
- Be aggressive
The only way to win at poker is to take some risks and place your bets. The biggest mistake new players can make is being too cautious and tentative. You’ve got to take the risks if you want to win big. If you’ve got a good opening hand – use it! And play more aggressively than you think you should, you want to force other players to fold so you have a better chance at a win. Don’t let the other players push you around or force your hand. Be certain in your decisions.
- Patience is key
Don’t let aggression get the better of you – it needs to be balanced out with patience too. Of course, if you have a great hand then don’t sleep on it. However, if you rush too much then you can make catastrophic errors that could lose you the game. Knowing when to take risks and when to take a step back is a balancing act but it will become second nature with practice. There are four things to remember when it comes to patience in poker:
- Most hands dealt are going to lose – simply based on the law of averages
- If you don’t have a good hand, fold immediately so as not to lose out
- Watch other players carefully and gauge their reactions
- Wait for a situation where the odds are in your favor and then max out on the aggression to go after that win
- Watch your opponents
Use your time wisely – if you’ve folded, use that time to watch the other players and gauge their reactions. Take note of when they fold, when they raise and whether their faces give anything away. Getting to know your opponents will give you a better idea of what you’re up against when you’re in the next game.
- Learn the language
There’s nothing more embarrassing than having to ask the dealer or other players what a certain phrase means. This will also be a huge giveaway that you’re new and might not know what you’re doing. Not only does this make for an embarrassing moment but you’re also leaving yourself open to be taken advantage of by the other players.
Top poker strategies
Once you’re feeling like a well trained poker player, there are some other top tips that could help you stay at the top of your game.
- Keep your bluffing frequency under control
Bluffing too often can lead to you losing your money and being booted off the table quickly. The best way around this? Let the cards you’re holding dictate whether it is you’re going to bluff or not. Meaning that you should try and bluff with hands that have outs to improve the best hand later on in the game. These draws can be your back up for later on in the game especially when you can learn psychology online to get to grips with the human psyche.
- Defend your big blinds
The big blind is most important as you already have one invested in the pot. This means that whenever sitting on the big blind and you’re faced with a raise, the pot odds with be more favorable than the other positions – a bit like a discount. But remember this is all conditional on:
- The position of the raiser
- The number of players in the hand
- The size of the raise
- The stack sizes
There are still lots of elements to consider so make sure you’re keeping track so you can make decisions quicker.
- Only play when you want to
Poker requires a lot of skill and concentration so if you’re not really feeling the game, it’s best to give it a miss. The worse you feel, the worse you’ll play – and that ends badly for everyone. Poker should be a fun game to play with friends and exercise your logistical thinking, not a chore. So, if you’re not feeling top of your game, it’s best to give it a miss.
Now you’ve got all the best poker playing tips, it’s time to practice! Why not try out a game online first and see how you get on before taking on the big tables.
For more articles, check out these study tips online to excel at your craft.