Poker is one of the favorite games for many – while some play it for the fun element and others play it for the ‘earning money’ capability it brings to the forefront. Which of this is your reason to play poker, or perhaps both?
The game is so addictive and fascinating that it makes you want to win regardless of the reason for which you are playing it. But, how to win poker? What is the secret behind being able to win poker games consistently? What is it that the poker pros do differently? Is it just down to natural instinct or gut feel on the poker table? Well, your gut feel may help you to win at poker once in a while, but, it may not be enough to be a consistent performer over a longer period of time.
You need to be aware of certain key poker techniques and poker strategies that increase your chances of winning poker tournaments. Depending on the poker game variant, and the stage of the game, you may apply the appropriate poker technique and give your best shot at winning the game. Please note that poker still remains a game of probability and there is no fixed strategy that can ensure you win this game at all times. The strategy or tips to win poker can help you maximize your chances of winning. So, let us quickly have a look at some of the important tips that will enable you to become a player who is able to win at poker regularly.
Play Winning Poker
So, how to play winning poker online? Just download an app for a poker platform like Spartan Poker and start playing more games. Whilst you are at it, ensure you follow some of the key poker strategies / tips discussed below:
Get to Know What Makes the Successful Poker Players Tick
There are some amazing Poker pros such as Phil Hellmuth, Phil Ivey, and so on. You need to start reading a bit about them to understand what makes some of these world’s best poker players win poker games regularly. One of the key things these players do is to understand who they are playing with. They would try and understand each of the players with whom they are competing on the poker table. Based on this analysis they develop a basic thought pattern that they are able to use in order to outwit and outsmart their opponents on the table.
Just imagine if you too can manage to do this and direct your efforts towards understanding your opponents on the poker table. Remember, this kind of thought process will give you a massive edge over others, just like the great players have in most of their games! Of course, it is not easy to achieve this, but, with practice you will be able to develop a method by which you can start manipulating other players during gameplay.
For example, once the great players know that there are couple of hesitant players (not so confident ones) on the table, they will try and play aggressively to make sure that these players fold their hands (even when they have better ones).
And most of the great poker players combine this ‘thought pattern development’ strategy with a style of play that they adopt based on the type of hand. For example, some of these players target to play passively and stay in the game even with a weak hand. Similarly, once they have a strong hand, they target to play aggressively in order to win a large pot.
Remove Element of Doubt from Your Pre-Flop Game
Instead of thinking afresh just before the pre-flop round about whether you should play a particular hand or not and letting your expressions reveal the kind of hand you have, it would help if you do some homework about the type of hands to be played from different positions (along with the ones not be played). This will help you to save time in taking your decision during gameplay and also make you feel more confident.
But, this is easier said than done. For example, a good strategy is to keep playing more hands when you are near to the button (dealer). You need to be ready with a proper game plan on which hands to play and from which positions on the poker table. Once you perform this analysis, you will be pleasantly surprised with the clarity it shall bring to you while actually playing the game.
Most importantly, it will be an important step towards making you a consistent poker player.
Stay Wary of Aggressive Players
You won’t be the only one who goes prepared with few poker strategies to any poker tournaments or cash games. ‘How to win poker?’ is a question that almost every poker player has in their mind and many are likely to have done their homework. You are likely to find few other players who are using some kind of poker strategy to enhance their chances of winning. It is here that you need to be street smart.
For example, identify players who are going with the aggressive play strategy and stay wary of them. If you are experiencing a losing streak with your hands, you may start losing confidence and when a good hand comes across, you may be tempted to fold just because couple of other players are being aggressive. Be wary of such situations, because you don’t want to lose the opportunity to win amongst a streak of losses. That one win could actually turn the game around for you. So, while it is wise to be cautious and preserve your chips for more games, be confident of your good hands against the aggressive players!
At the same time, if the aggressive players appear to be bored or tired or annoyed, you can try a trick on them even when you have a strong hand by going for ‘check’. This is likely to make those players to put their bets even with lesser hands. Making them lose in such games will annoy them further and force them to make more mistakes – all to your advantage!
Keep Your Opponents Guessing
In your attempt to follow winning poker tips and strategy, you may make your game predictable to other poker pros on your table. This is where you may dig your own grave! While it is important to follow the right poker winning strategy, you need to keep your game unpredictable so that opponents cannot guess your style of play or your hand correctly in all situations. Remember, poker is played as much in the mind, as it is played on the table. Your aim should be to keep your opponents confused!
And how do you achieve that? By following some simple poker game play tips that would not make it possible for your opponents to guess your hand appropriately on most occasions. Let us check out some example scenarios below which will bring more clarity to you:
1. Try to keep your bet size the same with majority of your hands. This way, your opponent will not be able to easily guess whether you have a good hand or a bad hand. Whatever you lose with a bad hand, you will be able to recover with a good one!
2. Attempt to play your strong and weak hands in the same manner. This will make it difficult for other players on the table to put you on hands. And they will soon realize that they are losing their chips stack just to find out what kind of a hand you have. Sooner or later, they will stop risking it and start folding soon!
3. Play your post-flop hands with the same actions. This will keep your opponents guessing and they will find it difficult to understand your holding. It is likely to frustrate them and increases the chances of them making some error.
As seen here, most of these scenarios showcase how you can go away from the norm and play a style that doesn’t allow your opponents to form a fixed opinion about you. This makes it extremely difficult for any of the other players to manipulate you. Once this is achieved, you have already won half the battle.
Maximize Your Winnings and Minimize Your Losses
You would have heard many poker players state that you can survive long in this game if you can maximize your winnings and minimize your losses. But, it is not just a case of survival. You want to win more and this rule is very relevant for the same. Remember that you will be able to win more games if you have enough chips with you to bet appropriately when the strong hands come by. Also, in order to apply the various poker winning tips, you would have to sacrifice few chips here and there to keep the opponents guessing.
This is where you would do well to start the initial few rounds with a smaller fixed amount for most bets. Try to get a few wins under your belt and aim to win more towards the later stages. This will ensure that you do not lose a lot of chips in the initial rounds on your bad days as well. And you are always couple of wins away from turning around a bad day into a good day!
The above discussed strategies and tips will assist you to consistently win at poker games during tournaments and cash games alike. Do not be in a hurry to implement all of these. Practise and master few techniques first, and then try implementing newer ones. Use platforms like Spartan Poker online to play more games, try your hand at our freeroll poker tournaments and get better at implementing these strategies and becoming a more confident poker player!