Poker, the classic game at casinos, is fairly easy to learn but challenging to master. Good old poker can be enjoyed anywhere – parties, gatherings, and of course, casinos. You will enjoy poker (online and offline both) more when you have a few tricks and strategies up your sleeve.
Today, we have collected some basic and advanced poker strategies to take your game up a notch. Whether you have just stepped into the poker world or well-acquainted with basics, you will find these strategies helpful. So, here are some poker strategies you should know about.
Basic Poker Strategies You Should Adopt
If you are a newbie at poker, you will find these strategies helpful!
1. Think and make good decisions
To begin with, know that you will not win every poker game you play. After all, poker has an element of luck. Even the pro players have their losing streaks. Hence, make it your goal to give your best at every hand you play. Consider each session as a separate event. Do not keep track of your previous sessions and make decisions based on that. In the long run, this attitude will improve your game.
2. Start with a firm hand but look into other hands
Of course, you must kick off with a strong starting hand. But the remaining hand should be robust too. Expert players master the skill of a strong initial hand. But they also play their middle and end hand better. Significant decisions are made after each hand ends. You should imbibe skills like bluffing, using the right positions, and suitable betting systems.
3. Beware of the tilts
For a game based on math and probability, you should bar the emotions from influencing your play. Your opponents might use emotional tricks against you. Emotions will lead you to make wrong decisions and costly mistakes. If you face steaming and tilting, leave the game. Take a break for a few minutes. Remember, you can play again anytime.
Some Advanced Poker Strategies
Take your poker skills up a level with these poker strategies!
1. Mix your styles
Broadly, the poker approaches can be categorized as-
- Tight – cautious moves, few hands, and little risks
- Loose – opposite to tight approach, lot of hands, and a lot of gambling
- Aggressive – lots of bets, open pots and larger bets to pressurize opponents
- Passive – lot of calls, let others decide your moves
If you do not fit perfectly in any of these categories, congratulations! Changing your styles is helpful at the table as it makes you unpredictable. Beginners should use a mix of ‘tight-aggressive’ approach. However, in the long run, it is advised that you get comfortable with an aggressive approach.
2. Positions are crucial
The dealer plays the last hand, and hence, he is at a greater advantage. He has an edge as he has seen how others have acted. The dealer is switched for every hand. So, when you are in the dealer’s shoes, ensure that you make the most of it.
Meanwhile, the late position players have a slight advantage as they can observe other’s moves. If you are in this position, relax your starting hand as you have greater flexibility and more options.
3. Bluff sensibly
Even the novices know that bluffing is one of the important poker strategies. A perfect bluff might get you a pot even if you do not have a strong hand.
The goal is to make other players fold their best hands so you can take that pot away. Most of the time, you will have useless or weak hands, which are worthless. This is where bluffing skills come in handy.
A bluff is successful when you make your opponents think that you have the winning hand. Imagine that you have the best hand and make moves following that chain of thought. Before bluffing, make sure to consider your hand thoroughly to build up a convincing ‘story.’ A smart player might see through your bluff if you make incomplete or hasty decisions.
4. Calculate your odds and outs
The calculations are easier than you think. Suppose you are holding four hearts. If one more heart falls on the river, you win! There are 13 hearts in a typical deck; you are holding two, and two are on the board. There are still 9 hearts left. Excluding the 6 mentioned cards, there are 46 cards left that could make it to the river. Out of those 46, 9 will get you the pot. These are your outs.
37 of those 46 cards will be of no use to you. So, the ratio becomes 37 to 9, and thus, your odds are 4 to 1.
5. Determine if the pot is worthy
We will assume the above outs and odds to explain how you can determine if the pot is worthy.
Let us assume you are against one player and waiting for the last heart to show up in the river. The opponent bets 10, and there is 10 in the pot. In this case, you have to pay 10 to win 20. The pot odds are straightforwardly 2 to 1. But your odds of winning are 4 to 1. Here, you are risking 4:1 against 2:1, which doesn’t sound too good, and it would be best to surrender.
Meanwhile, if the pot holds 90 and the opponent adds his 10 to it, you have to pay 10 to get 100. Here, the pot odds are 10 to 1, which look good against your 4 to 1 odds. You should take the risk and call. This is a worthy pot.
So, these are some must-know poker strategies that you can adopt in your game. You will get used to them with practice and experience. As you play more, you will develop your own poker strategies!