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Poker strategy

Poker is based on luck; however this element is actually rather marginal. In reality, you have to be aware of the richness of the game, probability of distribution of hands and effective tactics. In this article, we are going to analyze poker strategies. But first of all, we indicate mistakes to avoid.

Mistakes to avoid

When you start playing a new game, it is normal to make mistakes. They are part of the learning process. Let’s have a look at the most common mistakes made. Hence you should be able to avoid them.

The biggest mistake is related to the psychological sate which poker fans call tilt. When you have just lost big, or are on a wining streak, you can go crazy. At this point, you will choose wrong bets and make irrational decisions. When you notice the fist signs of tilt, it is better to take a break.

It is also not advisable to have a permanent strategy; otherwise your opponents will be aware of it. Hence do not always bet the same way, always change the placement of your bets on the table. Change your re-raise patterns sometimes at the end or in the middle. This way your opponents won’t be able to predict your game.

Beginners always have a tendency to play all their hands. They are mistaken. When you have bad cards, there is no point in betting and end up losing. This just decreases your chances of wining. So always fold when you have weak cards. It is also possible to bluff, but don’t over do it which is another common mistake. In fact you will lose all credibility. Your re-raises will not be respected and you will have to change your game plan or even worse you will be limited to bluffing and end up losing many chips.

Like any other casino game it is important to have a strict budget. Otherwise you will regret it.

Finally, like all games which are based on luck, you should certainly not become superstitious. It is tempting to relate luck or bad luck to an event. This type of belief is absurd because it affects the way players play, they take into account things which are not related to poker.

Game tactics

When you are betting, it is important to change your tactics after each new card. Here are the most important strategies :[list][*]The first tactic is slow-play. betting weakly with a strong holding rather than betting strongly with a weak one.[/*][*]The second is check-raise: when other players speak after you, check in order to force them to bet then raise. If you have a strong hand; this tactic puts you in a better position.[/*][*]Semi-bluff: player can win the pot in two different ways, by all opponents folding immediately or by catching a card to improve the player's hand.[/*][*]Continuation bet: is simply a bet that is made on the flop if you were the pre-flop raiser, with a king or ace even if you did not improve your hand on the flop.[/*][*]Flat call bluff it is a sophisticated form of bluffing. Betting, even if you do not have a combination or if you have a weak hand, bluff on the next card especially if it completes your hand.[/*][/list]

The best hands

From the beginning of the game, it is possible to detect a hand which is useless. Thus, it is good to discard it. However, it is also possible to detect excellent hands. It is sometimes difficult to know if a hand is good or bad, especially in open poker.

In order to help you let’s take a look at the best possible hands. Here they are, in order of decreasing value: a pair of aces, a pair of kings, a pair of queen, an ace and a king, a pair of Jacks, an ace and a queen, a pair of 10. If you have one, bet big on pre-flop.

There are other hands that are strong enough but you need to wait to see the flop before deciding. Here they are, the strongest to weakest: an ace and jack, king and queen, queen and jack, valet and 10, 10 and 9, a pair of 9, a pair of 8, a pair of 7, an ace and another card of the same colour. If you have one, do not use three times but only once or twice.

Pot odds

Pot odds you are used to make a decision after the flop. When it occurs, two possibilities are conceivable, your hand may be formed or wait for cards to improve your game.[list][*]In the first case, bet and raise. You should win the pot as quickly as possible to prevent your opponents from getting cards that are to their advantage.[/*][*]In the second case, draw. Pot odds can then help you determine if you should follow or not. Start by counting the number of outs remaining. These cards allow you to improve your hand. To calculate your chances of hitting an out on the next card, you multiply the number of outs by 2 and add 1. To determine the maximum bet that you can follow, multiply the previously obtained number by the pot amount plus the bet.[/*][/list]