Poker Strategy Tips
As with any form of war or game, it is always important to have a strategy...or in our case a Poker Strategy. There is no doubt that if you want to become a better poker player you must have and know some of key strategies in poker. Below are some vital poker strategies that all poker players should master:
TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE INFORMATION EXPLOSION:
More has been written about poker since 1990 than had previously been written in the entire history of the game. Along with reaping a literary harvest, you can also jumpstart your poker learning by using Wilson Software's sophisticated poker programs that allow you to practice against opponents programmed to act just like players you'll find in traditional casinos and on the Internet too. You can even tweak the programs if you're so inclined, changing the player profiles and other factors to create a game tailor-made for your purposes.
You can also use the software for research purposes. It's easy to set up almost any sort of simulation to test the strength of one hand versus another in a heads-up situation or against a table full of player profiles of your choosing. Your authors have been using this product for years to do just that sort of thing.
FREQUENT DECISIONS ARE IMPORTANT:
Decisions, decisions, decisions. Poker is a game of decisions. But not all of them are equally important, and not all of them are critical. Things that occur all the time are important. Even when a loss attributed to a wrong decision is small, it eventually adds up.
Always defending your small blind in Hold'em, for example, illustrates the point. Suppose while playing online in $2-$4 Texas Hold'em, with $1 and $2 blinds, you always defend your small blind — even with abysmally weak hands like 7h-2c. Based on the random distribution of cards, you're typically dealt such a throwaway hand about one-third of the time.
At 60 online hands per hour — a typical pace in cyberspace cardrooms if the game is running efficiently and most poker players are attentive and have good Internet connections — you're dealt the small blind six times every 60 minutes. If you always call, you wind up calling twice each hour when you really shouldn't. That's only $2 each hour, but if you play ten hours per week, at the end of the year you've given away well over a thousand dollars unnecessarily. Sobering thought, isn't it?
COSTLY DECISIONS MATTER TOO:
Decisions costing a significant amount of money, while not occurring often, are very important. Suppose all the cards have been dealt, and your poker opponent bets into a fairly large pot. If you call when you should have folded and your poker opponent wins the pot, that's an error, but not a critical one. It cost only one bet. But if you fold the winning hand, that's a grievous error, because now the cost of that mistake is the entire pot.
We're certainly not advising you to call every time someone bets on the river. But remember: Calling doesn't have to be correct too often to pay off handsomely over time. If the cost of a mistaken fold is ten times the price of a mistaken call, you need to be correct only slightly more than ten percent of the time to make calling worthwhile.
EARLY DECISIONS MATTER MOST:
Early choices usually mean more than later ones because of their impact on subsequent decisions. Whenever you make an incorrect move up front, you run the risk of rendering each subsequent decision incorrect as well. That's why your choice of starting hands is usually much more critical than how you play on future betting rounds.
KEEPING YOUR EQUILIBRIUM WHEN YOUR LUCK GOES SOUTH:
No magic elixir can eliminate the troughs everyone experiences now and then at poker. Losing streaks are no fun. Even the realization that you're not the only poor soul tossing about in the same sinking boat sheds little consolation when you've been buffeted by the vicissitudes of fate. At such times, remind yourself that poker is a lifetime endeavor, and that as long as you continue to play your usual solid game based on good decisions, your discipline will eventually pay off.
In this poker strategy, we recommend one course of action to any poker player mired in a losing streak: Shift gears. We all change gears during a poker game. Sometimes we do this consciously, as a planned strategy, while other times we just wind up playing differently later on than we did when we first sat down.
When you're losing, consider gearing down . . . way down, by playing fewer hands. Losing means it's time for lots of traction and not much speed. It's a time for playing only the best starting hands. Not marginal hands, not good -- or even very good -- starting hands, but only the best hands. That means you'll throw away hand after hand. It takes discipline to do this, particularly when some of the hands would have won. But here's the recipe for gearing down:
• Stay away from troublesome, marginal hands. Go with the gold.
• Make opponents pay to draw out on you. Most of the time they won't get lucky, and that extra money in the pot will wind up in your stack of chips.
• Never play weak starting hands from early position.
These poker strategies apply to all forms of poker. But by themselves they're not enough. Each form of poker is quite different, and each demands the application of specific strategies and tactics if you're to win consistently. Once you've learned to blend general poker strategy with game-specific tactics, you'll be on your way to becoming a solid, dangerous poker player, online or off.
For more great poker strategy please visit the The Poker Father.com's Poker Strategy page.