Poker Strategy Tips: The Five Weapons of Success
Poker is all about spotting opportunities and seizing them in order to make a profit. However, if you ride onto the battlefield without a suitable arsenal of weapons, then becoming the dominant force will be virtually impossible.
Indeed, all the will in the world is almost useless unless you have a core set of poker strategies which you can call upon at any time. Of course, arming yourself with the necessary skills to survive in the virtual warzone of the online poker world isn’t easy. Fortunately, however, we’ve gathered up some of the best poker strategies from the top players in the world.
Drawing the best bits from their extensive arsenal of talents, we’ve compiled a list of top five poker tips from which you should be able to strengthen your armour and forge a winning poker career. So, without any further delay, here’s a rundown of five fundamental poker strategies you need to know.
- Managing Your Bankroll – Once you’ve defined your own bankroll (the money you have spare to play poker with), you then need to learn how to manage it effectively. Although the actual dollar amounts you spend on a single game of poker will vary, the ratios will always stay the same. In fact, regardless of whether you’re a pro or a novice, we suggest you risk no more than 5% of your bankroll in a single cash game.
For example, let’s assume your starting bankroll is $1,000 and you want to play 6-max NLHE cash games. In this situation, you shouldn’t play stakes any higher than $0.25/$0.50. The reason for this is that online poker can be extremely volatile and it’s easy to lose a buy-in; even if you play perfectly. In practice, a buffer of 20 buy-ins should be sufficient for the majority of small to mid-stakes cash games online.
- Don’t Tilt! – If you can’t control your emotions at the table then any online poker tips you receive will be useless. Going on tilt basically means that you lose control of your emotions and play in a suboptimal way. Because of the brain’s hierarchical structure, your rational decision-making process becomes blocked when you get too emotional. To avoid getting emotional and going on tilt, make sure you take regular breaks, play within your limits and always remember that luck is temporary but skill is permanent.
- Find the Right Games – If you’re the tenth best poker player in the world, but decided to sit down with the nine players who were better than you, it’s very likely you’re going to lose in the long run. Online poker is all about table selection and that means finding players who are less skilled than you are. Be honest about your skill levels and, when you’re playing online, look for tables where the pre-flop raise percentage is low and the number of players limping into the pot is high as these are often filled with weak players.
- Study Your Opponents – Watching others around you is one of the most important skills an advanced online poker player can have. High level poker is all about being reactive. This means you need to watch what players are doing and do the opposite. For example, if they are aggressive then play with more caution. Similarly, if everyone is playing tight, you should up your aggression levels.
- Be Flexible – Our final poker strategy tip is only one that’s possible to achieve if you’ve honed your other skills. In order to move with the dynamics of the table and take advantage of your opponents, you need to learn a range of styles. All players will have a default strategy, but if you want to mix it up with the likes of Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu, you need to have a wide range of tools in your repertoire. Once you have all these skills and can combine them in the heat of battle, you’ll not only be a tough player to beat, but a highly profitable one.