There are few hobbies that look more glamorous than poker. We’ve lost count of the number of climatic scenes we’ve seen in movies or television shows when a major character has sat at a poker table, bet their house, vehicle, business or significant other on the outcome of the turn of the cards, and lost big time. Granted, it doesn’t look all too glamorous when you’re on the losing side of a bet, but there’s something about the timeless classic of all card games in online casinos or their sister sites which makes us feel sophisticated and classy. We all wish we could be great at poker.
Unfortunately, poker is one of the hardest of all the casino games to learn. Anyone who can count to 21 can learn to play blackjack. There’s no skill involved in roulette. There isn’t really much skill involved in slots. Mobile slots are a little different – many of the games you’ll find on a mobile slots website now have an element of skill involved in them as well as the luck- but for the main part, standard slots in a casino are just a matter of dumb luck. An experienced mobile slots player will likely know one or two small strategies which can improve their chances when they’re standing in front of a physical slot cabinet, but we’re still talking about a type of game that’s 90% luck. It’s nothing like the level of skill and knowledge that’s required to ensure you win at poker more often than you lose.
While we can’t turn you into a seasoned poker professional in the space of a single article, we can point you in the right direction. By the time you’re done reading this, you’ll be a better poker player than you are right now!
The Flop Should Never Come For Free
If your hand looks moderate to good before the flop comes, you should always back it. Whatever comes with the flop might completely change the balance of power in a game, and so you should never allow anybody to get that chance for free if you feel like you’re onto a winner. When you’re at a table where all the other players want to check, it’s usually a sign that they’re inexperienced. They want to see what comes out before they decide whether their hand is worth backing. If they do, they might get lucky. Their seemingly-worthless and might turn into a straight. You should raise by the minimum bet every single time. If your opening hand is particularly strong, raise by a lot more. You’ll find that the majority of players fold quickly.
An Early Retreat Is A Cheaper Retreat
Rookie players often develop the mentality of ‘once I’m in, I’m in.’ They’ll keep paying to see the whole flop, even if they’re not confident about what they have in their hand. That’s just a surefire way to lose chips, and a strategy that relies on luck more than judgment. If you’re still in after the flop, ask yourself one question:- has your hand improved at all? If the answer is no, get out. You might be holding a pair of 10s, for example, but if there’s a King or an Ace on the flop, chances are one of your opponents is now holding a pair of Kings or a pair of Aces. You should only remain in after the flop in two sets of circumstances; your hand got better, or you’re holding a high-value pair. Even so, beware of pairs which turn up in the flop. They could mean that someone else is now holding three or even four of a kind. If in doubt, get out.
Positioning Is Important
Pay attention to where you are on the table; different positions involve different strategies. The best position you can be in is on the button. From that position, you’re the last person to make a bet at every crucial point of the game, and so you’ll have the maximum level of information available about your opponents when you do so. By contrast, the worst position to be in is the small blind. You’re the person who has to go first at every stage, and you set the tone. If you’re indecisive here, you’ll get eaten alive. If you’re stuck at the small blind, your best strategy is to be aggressive. If you have a promising hand, back it heavily and give everyone else pause for thought. If you don’t, get out as fast as possible.
Fewer Opponents Mean Easier Wins
This is a tip that goes hand in and with never letting people see the flop for free. If you’ve pushed a couple of opponents out by raising the bet before the flop, you’ll hopefully only have one or two players left to face when the flop appears. In this scenario, a moderately strong hand becomes a strong one because the chances of your opponents holding anything better are drastically reduced. Some of the cards which would likely have been crucial to making a good hand out of the flop may well be in the hands of your opponents who folded. It’s generally much more likely to be worth your while to push a strong pair when you’re down to two or three players after the flop.
Pay Close Attention To Other Players
This might sound obvious, but you should watch your fellow players closely, like those big players do in gambling advertisements videos. Unlike in films or movies, though, we don’t mean watching them for signs of a visible tell. The commonly-believed cliches about a scratch of the nose or a twitch of the eyelid are largely works of fiction. Look for patterns in play. Somebody who hasn’t bet more than $20 for the entire game, but suddenly throws in more than double that out of nowhere, is likely holding something valuable. They should be treated with caution. On the flip side, if someone who’s just lost heavily suddenly throws in a huge bet during the next two or three hands, they’re almost certainly trying to bluff to clear their losses. Push them all the way, because if they’re committed to the bluff, they’ll likely see it through to the end.
As Kenny Rogers sang many years ago (if you don’t know who Kenny Rogers is, ask your parents), poker is all about knowing when to hold ’em, and knowing when to fold ’em. We hope that this article has left you feeling a little more enlightened on that front.