Poker Basics: A Poker Strategy is a key to success

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No matter if you play 5hand or Holdem Poker – a Poker strategy is important

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Simple Path To A Winning Poker Strategy

How to

develop Your Own Winning Poker Strategy

If you want to improve your poker play and create a set of poker strategies that have you winning more pots, then there are a number of areas you need to review. In some cases your knowledge may be sufficient, and in others you may have it all wrong, so it’s best to assess your skill in each area.

While it isn’t necessary to know anything about Poker history, you should know the rules of poker, and how the game is played today. This would include knowing the ranking of hands just to make sure you know what hand beats what other hand. It’s a good time to also review the terms used in the game, so you don’t feel like a fool at the table.

Next you should become familiar with pot odds, how to calculate them, and how to use them to make decisions. Why is this important? All too often players play a small pair hoping to make it into trips, while staring at a board that could help another make a flush or straight, and they don’t know the odds of making three of a kind are pretty low. Conversely, knowing the odds of your opponents making a hand from what you see on the board can encourage you, if you already have a strong hand. For example, there are only two cards (called outs) that can turn a pair into trips, but fifteen outs that can make an open-ended straight, flush, or straight flush. I have written about it in a previous article, and you should research this important area online.

Now that you know about pot odds, turn your attention to learning what good starting cards are. Here are some basics rules of thumb:

Strong Starting Hands:

· A pair of high cards (Aces – Kings – Queens – Jacks – 10’s)
· An Ace and another high card Suited (A – 10 of Hearts)
· Connected Face cards Suited (Q – J of Spades)
· Ace and King Not Suited

Medium Strength Hands:

· Face + 10 Suited (Q -10 of Diamonds)
· Medium Pairs (pair of 9’s, 8’s, or 7’s)
· Two High Cards Not Suited (A – Q, J, 10 or KQ down to J-10)
· Ace and Medium Suited  (A – 9 of Hearts)
· Medium Suited Connectors, (10 – 9 of Spades (no gap), 7 – 5 of Hearts (1 gap))

 

Part of your strategy needs to include determining in which situations would you play medium strength hands or worse? This leads to the next area of play, your position. If you are early in the rotation, then playing medium strength hands is usually a mistake. If you get a raise, you will find yourself paying more to play and you will be chasing the whole way. If however you check and no one behind you bets, then you might play your hand or even raise and try to steal the blinds. So your strategy and choices of hands to play is modified by your position, and not set in concrete based solely on hand strength.

Simple Poker Tips – Hand Strength & Poker Strategy
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Now you need to focus on betting strategy, which again depends on the strength of your hand, and position, and takes into account what your opponents are doing. In general if you have a good hand you would be aggressive to eliminate players with weaker drawing hands, unless your hand is a monster hand, in which case you should choose to slow play, and let someone else be the aggressor. If you play quality cards consistently, your opponents will figure that out, and as a result you may occasionally bluff and get away with it. A ‘tight’ player will be far more successful bluffing than a ‘loose’ one, and bluffing is not a strategy, it’s a tactic to be used sparingly.

A lot of attention is given to reading your opponent and discovering their ‘tells’. Some of this is natural, as everyone has some intuition about whether someone is telling the truth. In general ‘tells’ are just mannerisms and habits that people unconsciously display in certain situations. Look for signs by observing the play of others especially when you are not in the hand. Do they play quickly in some situations and slowly in others; do they get real chatty or silent when they have a hand or bluff? If a player sees the flop frequently and folds infrequently, they are a loose player and likely to play poor cards. Wait until you have a good hand and then pounce.

Lastly, make sure your strategy considers your chip stack, the number of players in the hand, and your tolerance for risk. This is where you need to change gears based on your situation. If you are risk averse then only play good hands, unless your position gives you an opportunity, but once you are in the hand you must be committed to it, or you will find others pushing you off your hand with their loose and aggressive play.

If you spend some time educating yourself on these areas, you will be on your way to a winning poker strategy that will increase your enjoyment and bankroll. Remember that the more you practice and learn about the game the ‘luckier’ you will become.

By: Alan Wilson Jr.

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