Top Poker Strategy Tips

Poker strategy

All poker players lose hands; good poker players think about why they lost and learn from their mistakes. You need to constantly work on your poker skills and strategy so that you gain all possible advantages over your opponent. The following tips will help you improve your game, enjoy your play, and, of course, win more money.

Play with money you can afford to lose

Bankroll management is essential if you're going to play poker for more than one weekend. Play within the stakes that you are bankrolled for and don't play with money that you can't afford to lose. Don't forget that the higher in stakes you go the more skilled players you'll meet. Start low and slow. Learn the game and improve before you try and move up.

The Price is Right works for poker, too

After learning the basic rules of the game, you'll need to learn about outs and odds (try our online poker odds calculator if you find this tricky). You need to know if the price you're getting when you call somebody's raise is a good price. Sometimes the price is too high, and you should let that hand go. Learn about outs and pot odds and you'll avoid risky situations.

Don't feel you have to play every hand

"Only a loser finds it impossible to accept a temporary setback. A winner asks why."
Ita Buttrose

Most beginning players play way too many hands. You don't have to play every hand you get and you don't have to keep playing a hand just because you called on the flop. It may not seem obvious, but it takes a great deal of skill to know when not to play a hand in poker and when to give up on a hand. Use a starting hands chart to choose better hands to play and you'll start winning a higher percentage of the hands that you do play.

It's all about where you are at the table

Your position at the poker table is a key to your success. When you are in an earlier position you have less information about what other players will do. Conversely, when you are in later position you get to see what the other players are doing before you have to act. This explains why those starting hand charts we talked about above show a range of starting hands by position at the table. Play tighter when there are more people to act after you who will then have position over you in the hand.

The cards are only part of the game

Poker is played against other people, with personalities, attitudes, and skill levels. Don't forget to think about your opponents. Even in an online game, there are personality traits that you can spot and take advantage of. For example, think about that shy, passive player who rarely plays a hand. When he starts getting excited and betting big, he probably has a big hand. Pay attention to what others are doing, even when you aren't in the hand. Think about their tendencies and use them to your advantage.

The most important person at the table is you

Don't forget to pay attention to yourself. If you're in a bad mood and feeling frustrated by some hands that you've just played, you are likely experiencing "tilt." Anything that distracts you from playing solid poker is tilt. It will prevent you from being a winning player. Walk away from the poker table, take a walk or eat your dinner. Taking a break will keep you from losing more money and get you back into the correct frame of mind for playing your best game.

Top 5 Quickfire Poker Tips

Poker strategy

Think you're ready to crush the poker games like a pro? Think again. If you're not armed with some basic skills you'll be scrabbling around for bucks before you know it. Take some quick advice and come out the other side a better player.

  1. Find a Solid Poker Site

    With so many online poker sites out there, it's easy to dive in to the first shiny room you find and try to win cash. But making money is about hunting the fishy (bad) players and making sure there's always a game on. A solid poker room will have thousands of players to take on, so you aren't waiting for a seat, and plenty of bad players to win easy money from.

  2. Master Hold'em First...

    Texas Hold'em is the most fun, and easiest game to learn. Master it first before considering anything else. Start low, with small MTTs and Sit 'n Gos. When you've become disciplined with starting hands and position, and you can be aggressive when you need to, consider a move up.

  3. ...Then Attack the Mixed Games

    Think you've got that Hold'em game sussed? Try out one of the many variants you'll find online. Online poker rooms are able to cram Omaha, Stud, HORSE, Razz and a million weird and wacky variations into their lobbies - but it doesn't mean the majority of players are much cop. Learn the basics and take on the fishy players who don't have a clue.

  4. Hunt Out Value Online

    Poker sites are falling over themselves to bring in new players. To do that, they'll host regular guaranteed prizepool tournaments with plenty of cash up top. If they don't attract enough players you'll have 'overlay' - extra cash stumped up by the site. Hunt down those value tourneys and take advantage.

  5. Make Use of Player Points

    Every time you play poker online you'll earn Player Points, whichever site you're at. These can be exchanged in multiple ways, for goodies, bonuses or buy-ins to other tournaments, so rack up the points as you play and make the sites work for you.