Basic poker strategy is easy to pick up, but to play online poker, you will require a simple set of tips and tricks.
Although learning poker strategy takes only a short amount of time, getting to the professional level requires years of effort. Nevertheless, this article will teach you some essential poker betting strategies so you can jump ahead of the rest. After you’ve read this article, use a promo code such as this to get started on online poke and maximize your winnings!
Learning to Play Poker
Not only is online poker now legal in some US states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania, but it is also easily accessible and comes with a number of friendly stakes you can choose from. In addition, certain websites come with bonuses and promotions so you can stay within your budget.
Let’s go through a few poker rules in Texas Hold’em, which is the most popular type of poker.
Each game begins with every player getting two cards face down. Thereafter goes one round of betting before a ‘flop’ is dealt. This refers to three cards that are shared between everyone at the table.
Another round of betting occurs, followed by a ‘turn’ card being added to the flop.
This is followed by yet another round of bets, and a final ‘river’ card is added to the ‘turn’.
The goal of poker is to create the best poker hand consisting of five cards out of your two hold cards and five community cards. Some examples of winning hands include royal flush, full house, and flush.
Essential Poker Strategy Tips
Now that you know the basic rules of poker, let’s get into some tips that will help you improve your game.
Be Conscious of Your Starting Hands
As a beginner poker player, you might feel the urge to play every hand like most other players, instead of staying safe and folding.
However, you should be careful which hands you start with because most of your hands will usually be behind on the flop and you will be losing money.
Poker strategy revolves around selecting appropriate starting hands — giving up insignificant hands but seizing the opportunity to play a great hand. You should choose a few premium hands to raise in a late position (where you are one of the last players to make a move) and fold your small holdings preflop.
The following are some of the best starting hands in poker:
- A-K suited
- A-Q suited
- A-J suited
- K-Q suited
These are hands that can be easily raised in a late position. Certain hands like A-A and K-K can also be raised in an early position (you are one of the first to play post-flop).
You may also play hands like 10-10, 9-9, 8-8, 7-7, 6-6, and suited aces such as A-10, A-9, A-8. Small pairs like 2-2 and 3-3 should only be played to glean value on the flop.
In a game of poker, you need to be aggressive if you want to play premium hands. Playing premium hands will not be fruitful if you are cautious of betting many chips and forcing players out.
As such, be tight and aggressive by choosing a few hands to play and betting intensely. When playing against weaker players who are inclined to fold, be aggressive with your small pairs and suited connectors as well. This allows you to hide how strong your hands really are, particularly when you only connect with a part of the flop.
Learn to Bluff Well
All the best players bluff, which allows them to win many pots. You will often forget a flop or turn, which is where bluffing comes in as a means of making players fold.
Good players bluff to obtain better hands to fold. You will need to learn the continuation bet (c-bet), which is a bet you make on the flop following the betting preflop.
A c-bet will keep the game running regardless of whether you have hit the flop. In addition, if you are armed with an aggressive persona, a c-bet can help you mask your made hands. Other players will conclude that you are merely attempting to buy the pot when you actually have a decent hand.
Do Not Bluff Too Much
Bluffing is a great strategy, provided it is not done excessively. You want to avoid losing chips by playing your marginal hands too often, especially if the calling station does not recognize your plays.
You can also try semi-bluffs, which are used when you hold a drawing hand that may evolve into a strong hand.
Know Hand Rankings and Odds
A good poker tip is to know the starting hands, but knowing hand rankings is essential to playing online poker.
For instance, if you have A-8, and the flop shows K-8-2, you may still be beaten by a pair of kings or a set of 2s or 8s.
In this case, you may require another 8 to make it three of a kind, but you might run the risk of giving another player a full house. Getting an ace would give you two pairs and strengthen your position. But be aware that a pre-flop raiser might potentially hold A-K.
You also need to know the odds of hitting a winning hand. You will need to learn about:
- Hand Odds
- Pot Odds
Outs are the number of cards in the deck that may improve your hand. If you know your outs, you can gauge your hand odds.
Now, you can compare the amount of money required for the pot to call and compare these two figures.
There are many hand odds cheat sheets you can find online, which will give you an edge over other players.
Protect Your Blinds
It is important to defend your blinds at every opportunity.
In the big blind, you are the last to act. You have many options– you may raise, call a raise or check if there has been no pre-flop raise.
Being the last gives you a lot of pre-flop information on other players, and you can call the big blind with many hands. You might also get a decent price to see the flop.
But be cautious with the big blind. Take into account re-raised pots and the number of players in the hand. Try defending your big blind with a hand that plays well multiway, such as suited connectors and premium pairs.
Fold If You Need To
With the sheer number of hands dealt in online poker, you will not have to play many hands, because another hand will show up in no time.
Control the urge to play poor hands because the game is boring and you have been folding any poor hands.
At the same time, you should learn to fold when you have a good hand if you think you have been beaten by another player.
A good rule of thumb is to fold the hand when you are unsure of what to do when experiencing a raise.
Know Your Table Position
The position you have will determine the types of hands you raise and call with, and your aggressiveness pre- and post-flop.
In an early position, where you act first, you may encounter a raise or re-raise. In a late position, you have more information on your opponents.
Now that you are armed with these essential tips, why not start by practicing at low-stakes games? The more games you play, the more you’ll improve.
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