If you love playing poker, you certainly know that it is mostly about skill, which makes it quite unique in the world of gambling. It doesn’t really matter what kind of poker you’re playing, be it in a traditional brick-and-mortar casino or an online casino. You’ll always need a good poker strategy no matter where you are.
If you manage to create a great strategy, inspired by the most skilled poker players in the world, you’re bound to become one of the best yourself. On the other hand, if you’re not looking to become one of the greats, a good strategy will still be of great use as it will enable you to win a lot more than you lose.
So, it’s all about getting the best strategies available as that’s the only way to truly increase your winnings in poker games. Without further ado, let’s begin with all you need to know about playing poker like a pro and the best poker strategies you can use.
Everything You Need to Know About Basic Poker Tactics
Naturally, before you start learning about poker strategies, you’ll need to learn how to play the game. You probably already know the rules if you’re looking to learn strategies, but you should practice as well. By doing that you’ll get to know the game inside out, not just it’s basics.
With sufficient practice, you’ll learn more advanced things like what hand is likely to win over which other hands. For instance, as a beginner, you’re unlikely to know that the top two pair is a great hand that’s likely to win the pot, but it’s unlikely to win if there are a total of four clubs on the table and you have no clubs in your hand.
That’s why practice is crucial if you want to learn things like these, but a poker strategy for beginners is the next step once you learn the lay of the land.
Practice Poker for Free
If you want to practice poker and learn how to implement the strategies you find, it’s best to start playing real poker games for free. That way, you’ll be able to get a better feel for the game without risking any cash.
As you might already expect, there are plenty of online poker sites that offer many poker games for free. All you need to do is sign up, and you’re likely to get a couple of different games that you can play without depositing any money. Bear in mind that most poker websites offer games for free as long as you register, but you will still have to start playing with real money at some point. No poker website wants to hand out its services for free for too long.
Furthermore, you’ll notice that many people tend to put a lot of “money” into these demo games, which you can do as well. However, it’s important to remember that once you start playing with real money, you’ll have to play smaller hands in the beginning, to avoid losing a lot of money while you’re still a beginner.
Understand That a Universal Strategy Does Not Exist
What’s the best poker strategy? This is one of the most common questions people have when they are looking to become better at playing poker. The problem with this is that there is no single best strategy you can use in every situation.
Poker is fluid, and every game is unique, which is why the best strategies are always situational. In essence, you need to learn how to play poker well, and then you’ll quickly get to a point when you’ll have the best strategies for every situation.
For this reason, we’ll focus on giving you tips and tactics that you’ll be able to adjust to specific situations. The best poker strategy is to become a very skilled poker player with a lot of experience!
Poker Tactics and Tips for Advanced Players
As we’ve stated, there are a lot of tips, tactics, and strategies you can use to be a great poker player. There is no single best strategy one can employ to win all poker games, but by learning the best ones that we’ve carefully selected, you’re bound to become much better in no time.
And that’s precisely what you need with this fantastic game of skill that has the potential to make you rich. Let’s have a look.
Don’t Stick to a Single Playstyle
There are plenty of styles described in detail in poker strategy books, but most players have one, and they always stick to it. This is a mistake.
The best thing a poker player can do is change styles according to the situation on the table, i.e. how the game you’re playing at the moment is unravelling. However, you should still know what all the poker styles boil down to, as those are great strategies to have at your disposal:
- Aggressive style — all about big bets and putting others under pressure
- Passive style — the opposite of an aggressive approach, where you’re mostly calling and letting other players dictate the game
- Tight style — valuing caution while playing, which means taking fewer risks and playing fewer hands
- Loose style — the opposite of a tight style, where you play lots of hands and take lots of risks
In essence, each type of play has its advantages in specific situations, and once you become better at playing poker, you’ll be fast to pick the right approach according to what’s happening in the game.
Aggressive Plays and Fewer Hands Are Crucial
If you’re looking for poker strategies for Texas Hold’em or other similar poker games, you should always bear in mind that there is a limit to how many starting hands a player can use until they have to fold before the flop. You can only be lucky for so long!
That’s why it’s great to develop a preflop strategy if you want to quickly improve your winnings. You can use preflop charts as well, but you have to stick to them and this style of play. It might be tempting to play a hand much earlier, but you have to be patient and play only those that really work. That’s what we mean by playing aggressively with fewer hands.
To stay true to our previous advice on poker styles, we need to tell you that this tactic is actually a combination of an aggressive and tight approach to poker.
Even people who have never played poker know about the ubiquitous bluff — perhaps the most culturally significant feature of this famous game. Bluffing is crucial in poker and it needs to play a vital part in your poker strategy.
However, bluffs are hard to pull off. Many players know how to spot a bluffer, and when that happens, you will lose your money faster than it takes to say the word “bluff” itself!
That’s why you need to learn how to do semi-bluffs. This bluff is dictated by the cards you have, not how the game is going. You need to have a few cards that have the potential of turning into something great, like a flush draw or a straight draw. In essence, you need a backup plan for your bluff.
On top of that, you need to make sure that your bluff makes sense. Even semi-bluffs are useless unless they make sense in the context of the hand.
In essence, if you’re going to bluff, you need to think if the story you’re trying to tell with your bluff is sensible and consistent. You will learn this as time passes and as you play more live games. It will become an essential skill because most hands you’re dealt will be terrible and only deserving of a fold, so you’ll have to bluff occasionally to sometimes win these terrible hands.
Never Be the First to Limp Into the Pot
An excellent strategy for poker is always to avoid open-limping. The reasoning for this is actually quite simple:
- If you raise, there’s a chance to win the pot, but if you call before the flop, there’s no way to win anything.
- When you limp first, you allow other players to stay in the game for cheap, which means you’ll have more adversaries later on and therefore fewer chances to win.
Take the Opportunity to Strike When an Opponent Is Weak
This type of tactic would be immoral in the real world, but in the game of poker, it’s vital to attack when your opponent seems weak.
It might not be easy to spot a weakness as a beginner, but as time passes, you’ll become much better at it. That’s when you need to start exploiting those weak behaviours to your advantage, as that’s one of the best ways to win the pot.
Learn the Odds
Odds are always more important in games of chance, but poker is not only a game of skill but of luck as well. That’s why it’s quite useful to learn how to calculate your odds.
This is not an easy thing to do, as it means you need to be able to quickly consider the cards that you have, the cards on the table, and the ones that are still in the deck. Naturally, this means taking a look at your hand and considering the cards you need to achieve a specific hand, and then determining how likely it is for the cards you need to land.
Yes, it does seem like quite a hard thing to do, but the earlier you start attempting to do this, the better you’ll become as time passes. You don’t have to be an expert at determining the odds, but it’s good to have at least a general idea of them. This skill is beneficial in deciding what to do next and how much to wager.
Use Position to Your Advantage
All advanced players know how crucial your position at the table can be. The player who’s the last to play can use insights gained from what their opponents have already done. Naturally, players switch positions with every new hand, so this is a shared advantage.
Paying attention to things like these can be an advantage according to every poker strategy guide. In essence, you should always play more hands after most of the players have already played their hands. This way, you can gain useful insight into what the opponents are doing, and thus get better at choosing the best course of action.
Make Sure to Play Your Strong Hands Faster
You want to be decisive and fast to react with your strong hands because that’s the best way to build the pot and eventually make more money from it. Most players are slow with strong hands, and they tend to lose this enormous potential they have by not chasing their opponents away from the pot.
However, that doesn’t mean that you should be fast with every strong hand as not all strong hands are bound to bring you the win. You need to make sure your strong hand is unlikely to be outdrawn, and that there are no scare cards left that could later prevent you from getting that money.
When you’re uncertain of how strong your hand is, it’s better to bet anyway. That’s because you might get a chance to watch your opponent fold early, which is always a welcome sight.
So, there you have it, every poker strategy, tactic, and tip you should know about if you’re looking to improve your poker skills. All of the advice we gave you was carefully selected and proven effective by real poker professionals, so there’s no reason to worry that the tips won’t help.
By using our advice and practicing poker as much as you can, you’re bound to reach tremendous heights as a poker player, and maybe even become one of the best in the world!