Poker is unusual for a card game when it comes to devising strategies to win. That’s because the cards in your hand are what they are and that’s never going to change. Sure, you can pretend to your opponents that you have a strong hand, or try to conceal from them just how good it is, but the fact is that you can only play with what’s been dealt. So the main strategic influences that you can bring into play are in the way that you bet and the way you behave.
Like business strategies, applying the ones that we are suggesting here should improve performance, and hopefully profit too. And the more of these ten that you incorporate into your game, the more successful you may be.
1. Use online strategy tools
More and more players these days are turning to online sites to play their favorite poker games. As well as enjoying a wide choice of games, there are often a number of strategy tools to use. These may range from instruction and training guides to probability calculators. These give you a clear point of difference and advantage over playing in a “live” game. So, make sure you always use them to your advantage.
There are many great online poker sites with a variety of games and strategy tools in Canada, not all of them are regulated by AGCO, the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario’s online service, even fewer are having responsible gaming tools and policies to prevent compulsive Gambling.
We have run into the website which is hosting the largest variety of cash games and Poker tournaments online and is considered by many probably as one of the best online poker operators in Canada today, see: https://ca.888poker.com/.
2. Play fewer hands
One of the biggest mistakes that many less experienced poker players make is to feel that they have to play every single hand. This is understandable. After all, who wouldn’t want to seize every possible opportunity to win? But experience will start to show you which hands are going to be winners and which may be costly errors when you persist with them.
Whilst you are perfecting your poker strategy, new players should play fewer hands until they feel confident knowing which hands could win.
3. When in doubt, fold
You may be familiar with the analogy of the person holding on to the anchor rope of the rising hot air balloon. There’s the decision to be made about when to let go. The same principle can apply when you’re holding on to a weaker poker hand too.
It can be easy to get wrapped up in the betting, even if you’re not totally confident that you’re the winner. So, instead of hanging in there waiting for the inevitable, follow the advice of Kenny Rogers and know when to fold.
4. When a hand’s strong, bet strong
There’s a flip side to this, as there is in many parts of life. In this case, when you’re able to make up a strong hand exploit it to the full. After all, they come along rarely enough in a game that you want to take full advantage of when one does. It’s a balance though. You need to gently urge your opponents to fill up the pot without the danger of spooking them. If they genuinely believe you have a monster hand they’ll be folding faster than a black belt at origami.
5. Bluff, but don’t over bluff
As we’ve mentioned, strong hands don’t come along very often, but moderate ones do. This means that there are going to be many occasions when you need to bluff if you’re going to enjoy a profitable game. So be prepared to do this when the need arises. But also be aware that if it’s overused it will cease to have any power in the game. And a poker player without power won’t get very far at all.
6. Make the most of the Big Blind
It’s widely acknowledged that this is the very best position on the table. Depending on how many are playing, it might not come round that often. So, when it does, make sure that you take full advantage. You’ll have had plenty of opportunities to size up other players’ hands and style of play. In this case, as with many others, knowledge really is power. Use it wisely and you should do well.
7. Know how to spot weakness
Look out for the signs of insecurity in other players. Typically, this may be if they check on the turn and the flop. When spotted, put the squeeze on them with the right level of bluffing strategy to keep them interested and away from folding.
8. In tournaments, start bold
To succeed in most tournaments, you’re going to have to increase your stack of chips by at least 300% or more. That means you need to hit the ground running with a sound and aggressive strategy. At least if you do find you need to adjust it if things don’t immediately go your way, you’re more likely to be starting from a position of relative strength and can adapt your tactics accordingly.
9. Only play when you’re feeling in the mood
It’s not just athletic performance that can be affected by mood. It also has a major part to play around the poker table top. The chances are that you are going to need to stay alert and focused for a considerable amount of time in a game.
If you’re not in the right mental state to shut out other thoughts and concerns in order to concentrate, you can guess what the outcome will be. Players must make sure they are in the correct headspace to play a game of poker.
10. Play the long game
If there is one overriding tip to achieving poker success, it’s recognizing that it’s a marathon, not a sprint. Losses in the short term can be converted into gains over time and learning the ins and outs of poker is also a never-ending process.
So, hopefully, these ten tips will leave you better equipped to take on all comers. Then your poker potential could simply become unlimited.