The winner of each poker hand is the player who has the strongest combination of cards, using any combination of "pocket" cards and "community" cards. The combinations are listed here from strongest to weakest hand. Each combination is illustrated by an example, where the following abbreviations are used: C - Clubs, D - Diamonds, H - Hearts, S - Spades; J - Jack, Q - Queen, K - King, A - Ace.
Don't laugh at opponents mistakes. You'll motivate them, and they'll play better. Always make it as comfortable as possible for your opponents to lose. The only strategically acceptable exception is you've busted them permanently. Then if you ridicule them, it can't cost you anything in the future
One of the best times to bluff is when an opponent is staring you down, reaching for his chips, or otherwise threatening to call. Although opponents, who are trying to discourage your bet by threatening to call, may actually call, they don't have hands powerful enough to raise. So, what remains are usually hands that they will be reluctant to call with. They will either call reluctantly or fold. Usually, in limit poker games where the size of the pot dwarfs the size of the bet, an opponent acting in this matter will fold often enough to give your bluff attempt an expectation of profit.
Sometimes you're frustrated because there's such a large luck factor in poker. Once you master enough poker skills, it's only natural to want to let others know that you are accomplished players. Poker isn't the type of game that makes impressing others easy. Finally, if you vary from your game plan to impress opponents, you're risking losing a lot of money that should have stayed in your wallet. Sitting and waiting for an hour won't look very impressive to your opponents, and choosing the routine thing instead of a fancy play won't, either. But this is the way of winning poker.
Poker players who exhale noisily and subsequently bet usually hold big hands. They're trying to appear sad in an attempt to fool you. Among more sophisticated opponents, the sigh won't be obvious. You'll have to listen closely, but it's often there and it's usually an act, whether subtle or more obvious.
When the house rakes money directly from your pot, you need a bigger advantage to call and raise. If you're renting your seat by the hour, you should play more liberally.
A basic strategy for the single-table tournaments is to play solid, playing only premium hands in the first three rounds. After that, open up and play more hands, becoming more aggressive the higher the blinds get, and the shorter handed the tournament becomes.
Have a game plan for your poker tournament. Decide if you are going to start out playing tight in the early rounds, or if are you going to play fast and try to accumulate chips early. Consider adjustments you might make if you get short of chips, if you get a large stack, or how you might adjust to different types of opponents styles. Be prepared for everything!!!
When you are playing, always observe your opponents and pick out who will and who will not, defend the blinds. The higher the blinds get the more valuable this information becomes. Remember the tight players are easier to rob. Be ready to take advantage of them.
Good poker players know general percentages. They know that you have about 1 in 8 chance of hitting a set when holding a pocket pair, and that you have about a 1 in 3 chance of completing a flush draw at the flop. They know the importance of 'outs.' Outs are simply the number of cards that will improve your hand. Count your outs, multiply them by two, and add one, and that's roughly the percentage shot you have at hitting.
Good poker players can figure out the 'pot odds.' Knowing outs is meaningless unless it's translated into rational, calculated betting. If you know you have a 20% chance of hitting, what do you do then? Well, simply once you figure out your chance of hitting/winning, you divide the size of the pot at the river (the current pot plus the amount of money that you think will be added through future bets) by the amount you have to put in. If you have a 20% chance of hitting and the bet to you is 50, if the pot at the river will be greater than 250, call. If not, fold.
Math skills are the most basic knowledge and it is day one reading. Anyone who doesn't understand these concepts should not play in a game until they do.
You have to understand the risk reward nature of the game outside of the actual poker room. You have to know how much bankroll you need to play, and how much money you need in reserve to cover other expenses in life.
Be slightly risk-averse. In economics, a person is defined as risk-neutral, risk-averse, or risk-loving, depending on how that person rewards the next dollar they gain or lose. Risk loving are perfectly happy risking their entire roll on an even odds bet, a risk-neutral person is indifferent towards it, and a very risk-averse person would never risk his whole roll. You should demands a big enough advantage to not be considered 'risk-neutral,' but tends to value every dollar on the poker table equally. If you cannot afford to lose the entire amount of money you bring to a poker game, you should not be playing with that much money.
You should be able to calculate the odds of catching your hand to the odds the pot is giving you. Knowing the probability of making a specific hand in poker can be done by calculating hand odds. Figuring out how many outs you have will give you the possibility of calculating the number of times you will hit your hand by the river.
Poker pot odds is the a ratio between the size of the pot compared to how much it will cost you to call a bet from another player. The higher the ratio between the size of the pot and the cost of calling a bet, the better your poker pot odds are. If there are $40 in the pot after the flop and a player bets $10 and two other players calls his bet then you are getting 7 to 1 in pot odds. If you are chasing the A-9 flush draw from the flop, than you are getting a 36% or 3 to 1 in hand odds to catch your card at the river, so calling or even raising this bet will be a correct decision to make.
When you have garbage in your hand, fold faster than Spiderman.
Don't pretend that you are some big poker player unless you have the bankroll to back it up. You should start with at least 50 times the table limit.
A bad poker strategy is to play too many hands. Most players play way too many hands. You will win more by folding more often.
The secret of winning money consistently is to find games with players who play worse than you do.
Play a game with which you are familiar. This will give you a chance to acclimate to online poker without feeling at sea.
Understand the difference between playing at the casino and playing online. At the casino, you'll have to play more wisely against possibly more skilled competition.
If you're having a bad time at the tables, take a break. In fact, take breaks anyway just to keep yourself fresh and fed.
Bet your big hands to the hilt and make every active player pay to see your hand.
Vary your playing strategy. The player whose game is always the same becomes an easy mark for smart poker players.
Try to keep a poker face. Don't complain when losing or show elation when winning. The emotional aftermath will prohibit clear thinking and proper evaluation of succeeding hands.
Try to sit with your back to the wall and try to avoid kibitzers who watch your hand. Onlookers who don’t keep poker faces tip off many good hands.
Trust no one at poker; it is a game for blood. If you want to play a good game you must forget friendship and bet your hand for what it's worth. Top-money winners do.
When you play poker, give the game all you've got or get out. That is not only the best way to win at poker; it's the only way you and the rest of the players can get any fun out of what ought to be fun.
In the poker room you never sit down to play on your own. Rather, you make your way to the desk behind which the room manager, some supervisors, and some chip runners are milling.
Read the board of house rules present in most cardrooms. This can usually be found hanging on the wall. It tells you everything you'll need to know to sit down and play, as well as any particularities that you might not find in other cardrooms.
Where you sit in relation to your turn to bet has an impact on your results. Being forced to be an early bettor in a hand is much less advantageous than being able to bet later in the round.
Poker is a game of skill, but a lot of the skill involves being able to cover your true feelings and, at the same time, to assess the true feelings of others who are trying to do the same.
When the time arrives that you're holding the unbeatable hand, make sure you make the players pay dearly to see it.
The first 5/7 cards you receive will be the foundation of your hand. Build your strategy around these. You're not likely to better your opening hand. The odds of improving your hand on the draw are about even.
You'll soon discover who the strong players are at the table. As tempting as it is, try to resist the temptation of trying to beat them at risk of losing sight of the other aspects of your game. You'll lose big time if you're not lucky. If you're lucky enough to win, it'll barely be worth the effort.
We're talking real poker here, not video poker, so remember you're not trying to impress the change lady by getting the highest hand. Your goal is to be holding a better hand than your opponents. When everyone else is frightened off by your superior play, the pot is yours.
If you can't beat the other hands, don't join them, fold and live to play another day. The table will always be ready when you are.
If you've ever played seven-card stud, you know that medium pairs, such as eights and nines, can be a profitable way to start. But these small pairs are much less profitable in Hold'em and can actually lose money. That's because, if any higher card hits the board, it's likely that an opponent has made a pair of that rank by using just one card!
In Holdem it's harder to catch up to an opponent than it is in seven-card stud. In seven-card stud, you might start with a pair of sevens against your opponents’ pair of nines. Then you might catch a pair of kings to win. But in Holdem, if you catch a pair of kings to go with your pair, it's on the communal board and you BOTH improved to kings up.
You need to be very selective about the cards you start with in the early positions in Holdem. The powerful advantage for your opponents of being able to act after you remains through all rounds of betting after the first. This means that beginners should only play their premium hands when they're first to act after the blinds hands like ace-ace, king-king, and ace-king. And you won't get those very often. So, usually, you'll simply fold early.