If you are like me, you see a whole bunch of long posts and quickly move on to something else. The following are a summary of the 10 poker tips I created with a link back to each post should one peak your interest. Enjoy!
Summary for tip #1: Understanding the Various Styles of Poker Play
- There are four broad styles of poker play.
- Players typically fall into one of the categories, though their style may change over time.
- Casual players typically play too passively and often very loose.
- Tight- aggressive play is the goal.
Summary for tip #2: Understand Table Position
- Understand the style of play of those seated near you as it will have a direct impact on your optimal playing style.
- Be aware of your seat position on every hand relative to the button.
- On the button you can play more hands due to getting to act last.
- Right after the button you plan less hands due to having to act early.
- Casual player often ignores the button and plays too many hands in early position.
Summary for tip #3: Understanding Pot Odds and Implicit Pot Odds
- Casual players overvalue small pairs and inside straight draws and call too many bets in hopes of a miracle card.
- Casual players do not consider pot odds when deciding to call or raise a bet to them.
- Multiple your outs to make a hand by 2 to approximate your odds of hitting an out on the river. Multiple by 4 to approximate your odds of hitting an out on the turn or river.
- If the odds of you making your hand/ winning the hand with your current cards is better than the pot odds offered, at least a call is appropriate.
- Consider implied odds and chances you will still lose the pot if you make your hand before making your betting decision.
Summary for tip#4: Fundamental Theorem of Poker
- Casual player views poker as a game of trying to win the huge pot. To win the huge pot, you need to see as many flops as possible.
- Poker is actually a game of making correct decisions and forcing your opponent into incorrect decisions.
- Evaluate poker success based on correct decisions vs. the actual outcome of the hand.
- Casual player is typically predictable in their playing hands and betting style. Opponents often make correct decisions.
- A player only needs to be mildly unpredictable to cause their opponents to make incorrect decisions.
Tip#5 Summary: Do not play so many hands!
- Greatly increase the minimum standard of hand you need to see before you get involved with a hand.
- Seeing 15-30% of the flops is reasonable. Do not try to see more than 50% of flops early in a tournament.
- The goal in early and middle position to avoid playing the hand unless your cards are so good they force you into action.
- The goal in late position is to steal the blinds and generally play a higher percentage of hands.
- If your hand is good enough to call with, it is good enough to raise with!
Tip #6 Summary: Winning by having other players lose
- Do not push other players out of the pot when multiple players are in a small pot that will likely knock out another player. You win by ensuring that player loses.
- Move from very tight playing style in the direction of an optimal tight playing strategy by adding certain key cards before the deal.
- If you are dealt one of your key cards, play it as though it were a premium hand. This introducing a bluffing frequency that will get you more action.
- Select 1-2 specific cards (King of hearts for example) in early position as key cards.
- Select 4 cards in middle position (any queen for example).
- Select 6-8 cards in late position (any queen plus jack spades and king diamonds).
- Increase the number of key cards as number of players at the table decreases.
Summary Tip#8: Protecting Your Hand
- The goal is to not allow opponents with weak hands to make a hand on the turn or the river without having to overpay to make their hands.
- Size of the bet post-flop depends on the pot odds you want to give your opponent.
- Bet of ½ the pot gives 4:1 odds which should make the weaker hands exit the pot. This is a typical sized bet post-flop.
- Bet of less than ½ the pot encourages callers.
- Best of more than ½ the pot will only attract the strongest of hands (or weakest of players).
- A very strong hand will often check or bet less than ½ the pot.
- A vulnerable hand will often bet more than ½ the pot.
- A drawing hand will often check.
- It is critical to estimate a range of hands that your opponent is playing based on their betting history.
- If you can’t put the opponent on the hand you are now gambling.
- Exit the hand unless you have incredible strength.
Summary Tip#9: Going all-in
- Never be loose in your all-in bet. If you think, “What the heck”, time to fold.
- To call an all-in raise, consider the pot odds, the strength of your hand and what hand your opponent might have.
- Opponents rarely bluff all-in. They have some sort of hand.
- Rarely call all-in on drawing hands.
- Pot odds have to justify the call.
- To raise all-in, consider number of chips your opponent has left, odds that your hand will hold up and what your opponent wants you to do.
- If opponent fears the all-in call, make their fears come true.
- Be wary of chip stack size and impact on opponents’ propensity to make a loose all-in call.
- Consider making life simple by raising all-in pre-flop.
- Situations where your lack of experience is being exploited.
- Later in the tournament when 5-6 players or less remain.
Summary Tip #10: Play Free Sit-n-Go Tournaments Online
- Sit-n-go online play money tournaments offer fairly realistic game play.