Poker is one of the most strategic casino games in the world, and as such, there’s plenty of ways you can play your hand and increase your odds of winning. We’ll take you through our five best poker tips and tricks, helping you to improve your skills and become a better player.
Know the Value of Your Starting Hand
It may seem like a given, but this is one of the most valuable Texas Holdem tips around. It’s critical that you understand the value of your starting hand (the two hole cards you’re dealt at the beginning of the round) before you start betting.
One of the key things to remember is that the community cards can completely change the value of your (and your opponent’s) hand, a fact that’s particularly true of Texas Holdem. Don’t get attached to your starting cards, particularly if the flop doesn’t improve your hand – that’s a surefire way to lose money.
Sizing Your Bet Poker Tips
Next on our list of poker tips is bet sizing. On the whole, you should size your bets in relation to the pot that you’re betting into. Poker is a precise game, and the failure to accurately size your bets could cause the deterioration of your bankroll in a relatively short space of time.
When sizing your bets, you don’t want to make them so transparent that your hand is obvious, while you also need to bet in such a way that you’re able to extract as much value from your hand as possible. If you have a high value hand and go all in when you hit the flop, no-one will call and you’ll have wasted a golden opportunity to maximise your profits.
It doesn’t really make sense to bet £10 into a £500 pot, since you’re gaining minimal value from your bet, while betting £100 into a £10 pot is equally senseless, as you’re extracting the minimum level of value from the pot. You need to know what you actually want from your bet – to force another player to fold, or to increase the potential value of the pot – and bet accordingly.
On the other hand, over-betting is a poker strategy that can be used to great effect, if you know what you’re doing with it. Over-betting can be used to maximise the value of the pot or get you some extra winnings, should you have a winning hand. Whether you’re using it to bluff, misinform, or goad your opponents, in the right hands over-betting is a devastating strategy.
Don’t Play So Many Hands
Novices often think that they have to call every round, but that’s far from the truth. There are 1,326 potential starting hands in poker, and few of them are worth playing, in fact, most of them are going to lose you money. Knowing when to fold is key, and could end up saving you substantial amounts of money in the long run, not to mention giving you a greater chance of walking away a winner.
If you play a weak hand into the flop, you’ll end up chasing a particular combination, and the first thing a seasoned player is likely to tell you is that, in poker, chasing is one of the worst things you can do. This is one of the best Omaha poker tips, since the pace of that variant of poker is so fast and aggressive.
A general rule is that if you’ve got anything less than a Pair or closely linked high-value cards, folding may be the best option. In addition, if a player raises their bet before you, you should probably only meet their raise if you have the “nuts”.
Poker Tips for Playing in Position
One aspect of poker which beginners frequently struggle with is position. The phrase “playing in position” refers to being the last person to bet in the round. It’s the strongest place from which to play, since it means that unlike everyone else at the table, you have all the information available to you. It lets you bluff more convincingly, and allows you to control the size of the pot.
In a sense, playing out of position is like playing with one eye closed. The blinds are probably the worst position on the poker table from which to play, and you should avoid wagering large amounts if that’s where you’re playing from. In a large pot, playing in position is the ideal place to be. Remember, the blinds move around throughout the game, so you’ll get plenty of chances to play in position as the game develops.
Count Your Outs
One of our best poker tips is simple: count your outs. Outs are the cards you’ll need to get to improve to the winning hand, for example, if you’re on a Flush Draw (a hand with four cards of the same suit) and need to improve to a Flush, you have nine outs.
If you have Ks and Js, there are nine Spades that could be drawn from the remaining deck to complete your Flush hand, be that in the flop, river, or turn. If you’re on an Open Ended Straight, you have eight outs. Learning to count your outs is one of the crucial poker tips. It helps you to calculate your odds, and lets you know the true strength of the cards you’re holding.
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