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Poker Strategy

Most of the players won't be paying attention to you. They only care about their own cards; they don't care about you or your cards. They will play their cards as they always play their hand, regardless of whether or not you are in the pot. You are basically a ghost to them...but hopefully you will be a ghost that's slowly taking their money! If you want to beat these types of players, you simply need to a play a straightforward game that will win in the long run.

  • There is no way to teach someone situational judgment skills. The only advice on this topic that I can give is to practice and pay attention to your flaws. What are some situations that could be played differently? How often do you correctly place opponents on their hands?
  • If you are going to play poker, have confidence in yourself. Think for yourself. Don't worry if your play may be violating textbook guidelines. A winning poker player's arsenal combines general poker knowledge with situational judgment skills. Losing poker players don't think for themselves or simply don't think at all.
  • Don't be naive and think you can be a guaranteed winner overnight. Poker is a tough game. Some people have played poker for years and still cannot become winning players. You are not going to just read a few articles and become a dominating poker player right off the bat. It takes skill, practice, and patience to become a good poker player. Also, just because you do well at one type of poker does not necessarily mean you will do well at other forms of poker.
  • Poker can be fun, relaxing, and potentially even profitable. However, always have the right mindset when you are playing at the table.
  • If your hand needs improvement, the concept of pot odds can help you determine if you should call to see the next card on the board. Few beginning players understand pot odds, and they often call too much.
  • A lot of people learn how to play poker by playing in a similar fashion to other people. They may just imitate others at the table, or they may try to play like a professional they saw on television. This is the wrong way to go about playing poker.
  • All gambling involves luck. While luck tends to even itself out over the long run, people naturally focus on the short run and on their fluctuations.
  • Having a suited hand is a plus. However, you should not play a hand just because it is suited. The first two things to consider about a starting hands are the ranks of the cards and if the cards are paired. These are by far the most important factors in the value of a hand. After this, you should consider if they are suited or connecting.
  • Everyone knows that to win at poker, you must maximize your wins and minimize your losses. Maximizing your wins is fairly easy. Slow playing and trapping help accentuate these wins, but the reality is that any fool can win a decent amount when he has a good hand. What generally separates a winning poker player from a losing one is how the two players lose their hands. The winning poker player knows how to dump his second-best hand while the loser will call it down and lose at the showdown.

  • Bluffing and calling bluffs depend on expected value. When you make a bluff, you should have some estimate in your head about the bluff's chance of success. This chance of success should meet with a positive expectation. For example, if the pot is $100 and I make a bluff of $50, I need at least a 33% of winning. This is because I need to win 1 out of 3 times in order to break even.
  • You should only play mind games with tight-aggressive and hyper-aggressive players. These other players act predictably, so there is no real reason to change them. However, you do not want to be bullied by hyper-aggressive players, and you do not want to live in fear if a tight-aggressive player bets because this is what these players want. You need to consistently change your image to these players. You want to make it difficult for them to think you are tight-aggressive or a hyper-aggressive.
  • Perhaps the most important mind game is how much you bet. You should not bet based on how much your hand is worth, but how much your opponent's hand is worth. Bad opponents will let you know what their hand is worth by betting its value. However, good players will bet how much they think you value your hand. To bluff someone out, you generally must bet more than how much they value their hand.
  • Notice the number of fundamental mistakes people make. If you notice people calling with K 4 and drawing to inside straights without pot odds, the game is good. People who often call with poor starting hands and draws without pot odds are doomed to lose.
  • Most bad players lose money at Limit Holdem over time. This is because they continually make small mistakes. They call when they do not have pot odds, or they continue to call when they are clearly beat. Every time you call when you shouldn't, you are making a small mistake.

  • You always should analyze the proper play based on two scenarios: when you call, and when you raise. If you call: If you call and lose, you will lose one bet. However, if you call and win, you will probably win 1.5 bets (50% chance button will call and lose to you). If you raise: If you raise and have the losing hand, you will lose three bets. This is because the small blind will reraise you. If you have the winning hand, you will win two bets. The button will fold and the small blind will call your raise. Obviously, this is an imperfect example.
  • Most difficult thing is to control your emotions when you're expecting something more from the game and it is very important for you. That is why it is always better to take into consideration that you can lose and think positively about your possibility to lose, another time you'll win. If you feel that you aren't able to control your emotions it's better to stop playing or go for a walk, it will calm you down and you will get back the ability to think clearly. It is significant to understand that poker is just a game and there are many other things in the world.