Luck is heavily involved in poker, and sometimes, simply having a good understanding of the game isn’t enough to help you win the pot. This is where basic poker strategy comes into play.
Having a poker strategy is a good way to boost your chances of winning even if the odds are stacked against you. With this guide, you will learn the best way to earn a winning hand with a few poker tips and tricks that will ultimately help you improve your game. After all, that’s all anyone can really do. The rest is all about luck, player behaviour and external circumstances.
Stick around to find out how you can aim to become a professional poker player, thanks to these poker strategy tips.
THE MATHEMATICS OF POKER
As mentioned previously, poker is a game of luck, skill, and the ability to read situations and opponents. However, poker is also a game of mathematics, and this factor shouldn’t be downplayed. Players should be able to calculate the odds of either them or their opponents winning.
Although it cannot be assumed that those who do not use mathematics in poker won’t win, having a solid understanding of your odds can only boost your chances of winning as it gives you an edge over other players.
Like poker theory, many experts have offered their insights into the mathematics behind this game. With a little bit of research, you will definitely find a poker tip or two that may help you win future poker games. Researching poker and gaining familiarity with probability will ultimately boost your chances of success. The more time you dedicate to researching poker odds, the greater your advantage will be over your opponents.
The aim of this technique is to make the most profitable decisions during each round. With a solid grasp of the mathematics behind poker, you will become more familiar with pot odds, probabilities, different card combinations, pot equity, bluffs and more.
WHAT ARE POT ODDS AND EQUITY IN POKER?
Often expressed as a percentage, the pot equity is the amount of equity you have in the pot; that is, the likelihood that you’ll win a game at a certain point in time (assuming you use correct play). For example, if there is €100 in the pot (or currency equivalent) and you are 60% in favour of winning with your current hand, then your pot equity is €60.
In general, it is worth playing value bets when you have an equity advantage. This is due to the fact that you gain equity if your opponent calls since you can prevent your opponent from realising their equity by forcing them to fold with your bet.
In both cases, your equity percentage may grow even more, and you may ultimately improve your chances of winning with the given hand. If not, you stand to win more money if all goes well.
Pot odds are simply the ratio between the pot size and your bet size. For example, if the starting pot is €10 and a player bets €5, then the pot size is now €15 and a player is facing a €5 bet. This places the pot odds at 15 : 5.
SHOULD POT ODDS BE HIGHER THAN EQUITY?
Generally, every poker player will want their pot equity to be larger than their pot odds. With pot equity of, say, 40%, you will ideally profit more from the 40 times you win the pot than you’ll lose during the 60 times you lose the pot.
Having very enticing pot odds is great when you want to win money in a large pot. In the long term, however, pot equity stands a better chance of conserving or even improving your chip stack.
WHAT IS A GOOD EQUITY IN POKER?
Playing poker with as much as 25% pot equity is considered more than just a survival-oriented playing style. This means that 25% pot equity stands to offer you a long-term profit, as long as you play solid poker without committing rookie mistakes.
WHAT STRATEGY SHOULD YOU USE TO PLAY POKER WELL?
Poker players have been developing poker strategies for as long as the game has been around, but paying attention to the right poker strategies is a strategy in and of itself. If anything, one of the most important poker tips is to start playing poker with the following strategies.
PLAY FEWER SPECULATIVE HANDS
Should you play tight or loose? In general, one should play tighter, since that entails sinking money in fewer hands. Pursuing a relatively weak hand will, in most cases, end up in lost money. Won’t that mean that you will play fewer hands? Yes, and that isn’t a bad idea.
In normal cash games, we advise playing tight for a number of reasons. First off, not all hands are worth playing, especially considering the number of chips that a weak hand can send to waste. Playing fewer hands will not only preserve your chip stack, but it will also disguise your strong hands in the future.
Once you learn to play tight — that is, folding relatively weak hands and only pursuing hands on the stronger side — you’ll want to play them aggressively. Doing so will render you unpredictable to your opponents since they’ll have no idea whether you’re sitting on a very strong hand or just air.
MANAGE YOUR BANKROLL WELL
This is one of the most important poker beginner tips you can find on all the poker sites in the world: conserve your bankroll.
Adopting an aggressive bluffing strategy, going all-in and haphazardly swinging between solid and aggressive poker behaviour will see your bankroll tank, which would put a premature end to your online poker game.
One of the best poker skills you can learn is to survive for as long as possible while even turning a profit in the long term.
One of the best poker tactics you can learn is to be patient. Do not play any poker hand just because you’ve been dry on strong hands. Do not play aggressive poker early on in the hopes of recouping a past loss.
There’s no hiding from the fact that poker is a mentally intensive game. Even professional players have a tough time remaining patient through long hours of a good poker game. Losing your patience and playing loosely is an absolute no-no.
If you feel that you can’t remain patient, it would be a good idea to play online poker another time, preferably after a good break. You will always be able to play poker, but you won’t be able to play a cash game if your bankroll runs out prematurely.
PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR POSITION
Although patience is key in poker, position is king. Early positions are very unfavourable in poker since at least half the players at the table will act after you. Seeing as your actions will tell your tale, other players get to adapt to your action accordingly. It is not advised to play anything other than strong hands in this position.
On the other hand, late position grants you the superb advantage of acting after other poker players. In this case, you’ll be able to get away with weaker hands as long as you play them well.
THE BEST POKER STRATEGY TIPS FOR YOU
Whether you’re looking for a poker strategy for beginners or just a poker basic strategy to develop your game, you’ve stumbled on the right section. Have a look at these poker tips and see how you can solidify your strategy against strong and weak poker players alike.
TIP #1 – LEARN HEADS-UP POKER STRATEGY
For the unaware, heads-up poker is played between two players, making for a potentially long game of poker. Equipping yourself with heads-up poker tips can pay off very well in normal poker games, where you will eventually have to go toe to toe with another player for the entirety of the pot.
TIP #2 – MASTER THE STRATEGY OF PLAYING TEXAS HOLD’EM POKER
Texas hold’em is the most popular variant of poker in the world. Learning how it works — including how each betting round works — is staple knowledge that can further your understanding of other poker variants.
Fortunately for beginners, Texas hold’em gameplay is continuously discussed, reviewed and demonstrated by several poker connoisseurs. Feel free to check out the LV BET Casino Blog to find out more on how to play Texas hold’em.
TIP #3 – START AT LOW STAKES AND PLAY WITHIN YOUR BANKROLL
Before looking at those high-stakes tables where the big money is said to be, new players (or those with small bankrolls) are advised to stick to low-stakes tables first. This will allow them to garner the knowledge necessary to expand their horizon of the game, with the end goal being that of competing against the whales sitting at high-stakes tables.
The early stages of poker careers are oriented towards grasping the basics while building upon that as time goes on. With time, players are usually able to recognise the nuances of each situation and play differently depending on the situation at hand.
TIP #4 – DON’T SLOW PLAY STRONG HANDS
The aim of poker is to make the most out of your hand. It is hard to do so when you’re slow playing a monster, so why do it in the first place? Exploiting the few strong hands (post-flop or otherwise) will, at the very least, subsist every big blind you have to place. At best, you’ll make a profit.
TIP #5 – PLAY AGGRESSIVELY BUT CAREFULLY
As we’ve mentioned above, playing aggressively can pay off much better than playing defensively in certain situations. Playing aggressively when you have air in the hope that your opponent folds is called bluffing, which is a double-edged sword. If it works, you’ll get to enjoy the pot. If your opponent bets, you’ll end up facing a hand that potentially has better pot odds than yours.
TIP #6 – KNOW THE HAND RANKINGS AND POKER ODDS IN ADVANCE
Before as much as looking at what poker sites you want to start playing at, it is imperative that you learn all about the poker hand rankings. This doesn’t mean that you should learn them by heart; rather, keep a hand ranking sheet next to you while you play. In time, you’ll be able to play poker without having to consult the ranking sheet at all.
If you’re just starting out, feel free to check out which hands beat which here.
TIP #7 – KNOW THE MOST IMPORTANT POKER TERMS
Getting accustomed to all the poker lingo isn’t a must, but it will definitely help you navigate the world of poker better. Luckily for you, we at LV BET have created an entire catalogue of poker terms that you can consult whenever you bump into an unfamiliar term. If you’re ready to take your game to the next level, then you should definitely check out that list. If anything, it will help you learn about strategy without having to research special terms all the way through.
TIP #8 – WATCH YOUR OPPONENTS AT THE TABLE
Instead of giving in to boredom while you’ve folded, put that downtime to good use by taking a closer look at your opponents’ actions. Pay attention to when they tend to raise and if they prefer slow playing strong hands or not. These small crumbs of information might prove to be invaluable in future streets when you could possibly face off with them for some big pots.
TIP #9 – MASTER THE POKER BLUFF STRATEGY
Bluffing well is a skill that takes a lot of time to learn, and it remains a hit or miss at the end of the day. A good introduction to bluffing is semi-bluffing, which involves playing aggressively with a hand that, although not made, has the potential to become a winning hand in later streets. Such hands include but are not limited to flush draws and straight draws.
Although bluffing with air can bear its fruits in the right circumstances, semi-bluffing can pay off really well if future streets allow it. Do not underestimate the potential risk of a semi-bluff, since it can go just as badly as a normal bluff can. Your best bet is to gauge the strength of your hand relative to the situation.
TIP #10 – ESTABLISH SOLID PREFLOP RANGES
Developing solid preflop ranges is crucial for the sole reason that you wouldn’t want to invest too much money in a hand that can be undone by the flop. Granted, if you’re in the big blind preflop, there’s nothing much you can do, but a solid preflop poker strategy is vital to winning more.
Moreover, if you’ve been playing your opponent for a while, the chances are that you have an idea about your opponent’s range. Use this to your advantage to gauge what your opponent’s cards are and what they need to make their hand.
TIP #12 – ADOPT A POKER TOURNAMENT STRATEGY
Poker players play differently in poker tournaments, so much so that developing a tournament poker strategy is essential. In tournaments, players tend to play wider until they reach the bubble, after which will be a test of the bravest and the most experienced.
TIP #13 – CHOOSE THE BEST POKER GAMES
Discovering which poker variant is the best for you might take some time. Luckily for you, LV BET can expedite matters in that regard, thanks to this list of poker games. Check it out in order to familiarise yourself with what poker games are out there, including a brief explanation of how they are played.
The LV BET game portfolio is full of expertly crafted games released by some of the best providers in the industry. We’ve got over 3,000 slots for you to discover, including Megaways™ slots, jackpot slots and the obligatory classic slots that serve to satisfy all the player tastes and preferences possible.
Furthermore, our dozens of card games are all-encompassing. We offer online roulette, online poker, online blackjack and online baccarat — all developed with great care and attention to side bets and superb features.
Our Live Casino is also definitely worth a mention. In our live game portfolio, you could find several gems developed by BetGames, Evolution, Pragmatic and many other Live Casino connoisseurs. We offer live roulette, live poker, live blackjack, live baccarat, live craps and even live game shows, so feel free to pay us a visit.
WHAT SKILLS ARE REQUIRED FROM A POKER PLAYER?
Knowledge and patience are two of the most important traits that a poker player could have. With time and practice, coupled with our detailed strategy reviews, you can make the next step to becoming more than just a solid poker player.
CONCLUSION – IS POKER A GAME OF LUCK OR STRATEGY?
The truth is that poker is a game of both luck and strategy. However, strategy eventually trumps the need for luck since it will allow you to adapt your decisions based on the situation at hand, rather than hope that luck is on your side. This is what separates excellent poker players from seasonal ones.
✅ Does using poker tips help you win at poker?
Consulting well-research strategy tips like the ones discussed above will definitely help you win more, granted that you follow the advice and make the correct decisions. Having said that, there is no guarantee that you will win, since luck and several other factors will determine the fate of your hand.
✅ Which seat to choose at the poker table?
Seeing as the betting order is shifted after every round, it doesn’t matter which seat you choose at the table. Your best course of action is only playing solid hands when you’re in early position, whereas playing late will enable you to play with a wider range.
✅ What not to say at the poker table?
Poker etiquette states that you should treat fellow players with respect. This is why snarky comments and such discourse is not well-received in poker.
✅ What is the easiest poker game to win?
Poker variants can range from simple to play (such as Texas hold’em) to more complicated (such as Chinese poker). Nevertheless, winning isn’t any easier since that depends on your knowledge, experience and luck. We recommend trying Texas hold’em if you’re new to poker.