Poker Strategy Tips

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61. Practice online before playing live. You can get a lot of hands per hour in online really cheap. Playing lots of hands is important because it gives you a feel for the cards. And playing the cards in poker is the beginning of strategy; the other stuff, like bluffing and reading tells, only works if you already know how to play the cards.

62. Fold a lot. In Texas holdem, for example, you’re probably going to fold preflop at least 85% of the time, and possibly fold on the flop another 50% of the time or more. This is called “tight play”, and it’s also fundamental to a good beginning poker strategy.

63. When you do play a hand, play it aggressively. Raise a lot. Raising gives you two chances to win the pot. Your opponents can fold, or you can show down the best hand. Either way, the money is yours. This is called “aggressive play”, and some people phrase it this way: “Raise or fold”.

64. Learn how to calculate outs. Outs are the number of ways you can improve your hand. If you have four cards to a flush, for example, there are nine cards which can improve your hand to a flush. There are also thirty-nine cards which won’t improve your hand.

65. Learn how to calculate pot odds. This is how much of a payoff you’ll get if you win. If there is $100 in the pot, and it costs you $10 to call a bet, you’re getting 10 to 1 pot odds. If you’re chances of making your hand are 2 to 1, then this is a profitable bet to call.

66. Don’t bet hunches. You’ve either got a positive expectation or you’re folding. Otherwise you’re not playing correctly.

67. Learn some basic tells. Strong usually means weak and vice versa, at least during live play.

68. Don’t bluff much. If you’re a beginner, don’t bluff at all. Most players bluff less than 10% of the time.

69. Don’t be intimidated by other players. A good player will run over your endlessly if you’re scared.

70. Get a good feel for starting hand requirements. Know the difference between a high pair, middle pair, low pair, suited connectors, and big little suited, and have a strategy for playing each starting hand. Also learn what effect position at the table should have on your play. (You’ll loosen up in later position and tighten up in earlier position.)


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