Top 10 Quick Poker Strategy Tips

Dennis  «Dennis_Stets» 
19 Mar 2024
Holdem Strategy
19 Mar 2024

Poker is the most popular card game in the world, but not all players manage to win in it steadily. The thing is that success in it depends not on luck, but on the ability to organize an analytical approach to the game.

To earn profit on a regular basis a poker player needs to use a competent poker strategies, which he can form himself or study, thanks to the availability of a lot of theoretical sources. In this review we will tell you about the main aspects of the basic poker strategy, so that a beginner can plan his training and not miss the most important things.

#1: Bankroll management

First of all, a player should play depending on his current bankroll. Even if he considers himself a pro, it doesn't mean that he can take the last money and sit at the most expensive tables. Profit in Hold'em is earned not in two or three hands, but on a distance of many hands played. At this distance even an experienced poker player does not always win steadily. Of course there are ups and downs. Therefore, a player must have a reserve of funds that will allow him to realize the mathematical expectation.

Experienced players recommend having a poker equity of at least 50 buy-ins for cash tables and at least 100 for tournament events.

However, all recommendations are approximate, as each player is different. Approximate values of poker bankroll, depending on the table limits, are given in the following table and you can refer to it:

Game  Optimal BB / Buy-in   Low BB / Buy-in   High BB / Buy-in   Very Low BB / Buy-in 
No-Limit Holdem 2500 1500 2000 1000
Fixed Limit 6-max 600 400 400 100
Fixed Limit full ring 300 200 200 50
SnG 50 25 30 10
MTT 100 50 75 15

#2: Starting stack size

When playing for money, a player takes a stack of a certain size to the table — the same number of chips each time. The money he takes to the table is called buy-in or starting stack. Its size is determined not at will, but on the basis of what strategy for Texas Hold'em game he chose. Out of here there are three types of stack sizes:

  • Short. Mostly used by beginners who are not yet able to make assumptions about the opponent's card range and make decisions in difficult situations on the postflop. Playing with such type of stack, a player tries to play the best hand on preflop extremely aggressively in order to take the pot at once or knock out maximum opponents, avoiding difficult situations on postflop.
  • Medium. The range of starting hands expands, and the player more often reaches the postflop poker game, where he uses various tactics. He already knows how to play complex boards, but avoids entering the bidding with speculative cards, which the stack size does not allow to play profitably.
  • Deep. Used by players who know Texas Hold'em strategy poker well and are able to use the whole arsenal of tactics on the postflop. Their stack size allows them to play different cards in any favorable situations. For example, thanks to their deep stack, they can favorably play small pairs in a multipot when three of a kind combination comes up on the postflop.

It turns out that the choice of starting stack size is directly related to other aspects of basic poker strategy, such as the range of starting hands. It also affects the size of poker equity. For example, when playing with a short stack, a poker player needs a much smaller bankroll than when playing with a deep stack.

#3: Stack accumulation

It's not enough to always take to the table the stack size that is favorable according to the strategy. Also it's necessary to maintain its effective size. If a player loses some chips due to blinds, he should buy them back in so that the stack is back to its original size. 

Here’s another poker advice: when playing with a short and medium stack tables, you should also reduce its size while leaving. For example, after increasing the stack by 1.5 times, it is recommended to leave the table and sit at a new one or return to the same place with the original number of chips.

Limit  Required Bankroll   Bankroll to sit down with   Recoup with   Leave the game with 
NL10 $50 $2 $1.50 $2.50
NL20 $120 $4 $3 $5
NL25 $150 $5 $3.75 $6.25
NL50 $300 $10 $7.50 $12.50

When playing with a deep stack, chips are rarely leaked because most opponents will have fewer chips, so they won't be able to take the entire pole in one bad poker hand.

#4: Choosing starting hands and position play

Best poker strategy on preflop is the selection of starting hands that are promising in the position the player is in. The earlier he makes a decision, the stronger cards he should have in his hand to enter the bidding. The point is that when making a decision first, he does not know how many opponents will enter the game and what size bets they will make.

Therefore, the more opponents make decisions after the player, the smaller number of starting hands is suitable for playing.

Example: A player enters the bidding with two deuces in early position and receives a high raise from his opponent, who moves right after him. Since he is also in early position, we can conclude that he has a strong or best hand, possibly a pocket Pair. It is dangerous to call his bet, and by folding, the player will lose the money he has already invested in the pot. To avoid being in this situation and wasting chips, an experienced poker player would fold his pocket deuces in an early position.

The later a player moves, the wider the range of cards he can play. This does not mean that he will play a wide range of hands in every situation. Some cards will be promising to play even if the opponents have entered the bidding with a raise. Others are only suitable if everyone before the player has folded.

Since it is difficult for beginners to immediately grasp the choice of starting hands and how it is affected by the actions of opponents, various charts have been developed for them, telling them how to act with certain cards in different positions.

There are generally accepted card charts, which can be also easily found on the Internet.

But it’s important to take into account that there are different criteria when choosing a method: for what style of play it is intended, with what stack it is effective, for what poker table it is (ring or short).

#5: Preflop betting tactics

Poker is a game of tactics. As we mentioned above, a poker player should choose starting hands based not only on position, but also on the actions of his opponents. However, he should also choose the optimal bet sizes himself, entering the bidding with cards that are promising to draw. For example:

  1. Raise. Cards allow you to take the pot at once or increase the pot, as they provide a high chance of winning. At the same time, a raise forces some opponents to fold out of the hand. By reducing the number of opponents in the betting rounds, the value of the hand is preserved, which increases the possibility of winning on the postflop or showdown.
  2. Raise Call. The poker player is not sure if his cards are stronger than his opponent's and is wary of raising. However, he does not folds them as he acts after the aggressor and will have a tactical advantage on postflop.
  3. Limp Entry. The first bet without raising or calling of an opponent's low bet is made when the poker player wants a multipot to form. He has a speculative hand or a weak pair that allows him to make a strong combination on the postflop with a low probability. Since the chances of making a strong hand are low, he doesn't put much into the pot and doesn't discard cards because multiple opponents have entered the betting. A pot formed by several players in this case allows for a big win (in case the combination does come together).

Preflop betting tactics are related to the selection of starting hands, so they can be planned in advance or gained through experience.

#6: Determining player style (TAG & LAG)

Next poker tip is the style of play. Despite the fact that a player can make a plan of action with certain cards, he should not make decisions always according to a template, because favorable actions in some conditions may turn out to be wrong in others. It is about the fact that opponents differ in the peculiarities of the poker game. For example, against the loose player you should choose some lines of play, and against an aggressive player — others.

All online poker players can be divided into several categories. Each will be characterized by a certain style of play, each requires a certain approach and tactics of confrontation peculiar to professionals or recreational players.

Such a type of player as a maniac (amateur) prefers a very aggressive way of playing, constantly makes huge bets, not considering the chances and value of his cards. Such an opponent always tries to bring every hand to the final stage (showdown) and necessarily with personal participation.

Despite the fact that the actions of a maniac can hardly be called logical, sometimes they manage to remove large pots on luck alone. This is what gives rise to the opinion that this manner of play is profitable. But the statistics shows quite the opposite, if you take into account the long-term perspective, such a player will be in loss.

How to resist this type of player and what to do when you find such an opponent at your table? Initially, make sure that you are really playing against a maniac and not a tight aggressive opponent (TAG). Unlike the maniac, whose strategy is mainly guided by excitement and adrenaline, the tight aggressor, despite some similarities in tactics, all moves are well calculated, and the purpose of raising bets is the desire to increase the value of cards and remove as many competitors as possible (in the current hand).

When playing against a maniac, you should reduce the number of hands you play. 

It will be necessary to enter the game if you have strong pocket cards in your hand. Do not succumb to the factor of excitement and do not go to the style imposed by the maniac, although due to the subconsciousness of the person this happens quite often. Giving in to emotions, the player risks bankruptcy because of his ill-considered bets.

When we talk about cash game, it is better to leave the poker table. Much more correct and safer for your wallet will be the transition to the game against more tight opponents. It's much worse if you play against such a player in a tournament, because unfortunately there are no really valid methods of playing against him.

To find real counteraction to tactics, where logic is completely absent, it will be hard even for the toughest tournament player. The only way out, as already mentioned, is to refuse to play weak cards and enter the game only with powerful combinations.

Trying to explain the actions of a maniac is not that simple, as it seems. Well, the main thing to remember, despite all the problems that creates such an opponent — careful and well-built game in most cases brings good profit. This truth can be confirmed by any professional poker pros.

Strategy tips to win at Holdem

#7: Postflop Play

While beginners and even more experienced players can use the chart of starting hands on the preflop, there are no such visual materials for the postflop. The number of possible situations is too huge. That is why poker Hold Em strategy with a short stack, in most cases, provides a poor choice of lines of play on the postflop: fold, raise or even all-in. In addition to information obtained through observation of opponents, a successful player should use the following helping tools:

  • Poker math. Allows you to calculate the pot odds of winning or making combinations and compare them to the odds of the pot to determine the profitability of decisions. By making favorable decisions, the professional poker player ensures his own profit on the distance and makes the opponent's game unprofitable.
  • Tactics. Although tactics cannot be planned in advance, they are part of the implementation of strategy. A player can learn tactics with the help of theoretical materials, adopt them from other players or form them on his own. Tactics allows to realize important tasks: to increase the bank, to bluff the opponent, to form the necessary poker image, minimize losses, etc.

#8: Table Selection

An important aspect of strategy poker is the selection of tables in terms of quality. Here’s three main points when making a selection:

  1. The playing field — the player should choose those tables where there are more weak opponents than strong ones. This allows you to significantly increase your profit.
  2. Stack sizes of players — the opponents' stacks are evaluated and the table where the poker player can effectively use his own stack is chosen. For example, it is foolish to take a deep stack to a table where all opponents have short stacks. This will not allow you to use all the chips to form a big pot in a winning situation.
  3. Number of opponents — the strategy of the game changes, depending on the number of opponents at the poker table. For example, a starting hand chart that is effective at a 9-max table will be unprofitable when playing heads-up. Therefore, a poker player chooses the tables to play at which the number of opponents corresponds to the chart he uses. Experienced players know how to change the range of starting hands, depending on the number of opponents at the table.

For a successful Texas Hold'em strategy for cash game (not poker tournaments), you will have to spend some time selecting tables. It’s one of the best poker tips you should remember.

#9: Understanding the principles of bluffing

How to bluff correctly, so that it will bring you a definite benefit? This is the question every advanced player. In principle, anyone can bluff, but when and in what situation to bluff, it must be learned.

The ability to use bluffs correctly is one of the key components of poker, which distinguishes real professionals from ordinary players. There are a few basic principles that will help you play poker more successfully:

  • Determine the style of play of those you are going to mislead with a bluff. 
  • The most convenient opponents for bluffing are average players. Never try to bluff against bad players, they will counter-bet whatever it takes and open you up. 
  • You cannot win every time you bluff, you should realize that bluffing is a small risk against a large reward. 
  • Your risk in bluffing is one bet to win some. Even when you get busted when bluffing, that's okay. It will allow you to get a few extra entrants into the game the next time you have strong cards. 
  • A lot in poker depends on position. The player who makes the decision last has the advantage and if the opponent in front of you checks, you have a good opportunity for a successful bluff.

If you bluff all the time, no matter what players are playing against you, part of them will figure you out and open you up with weaker hands than usual, and your money will become an easy target.

#10: Moving Up In Limits

That's not all essential poker tips for beginners. Initially chosen limits according to bankroll management are not final. When successfully playing at the usual limit, the professional poker player increases his capital. Of course, he can withdraw part of the money or the whole bankroll, but this does not allow him to increase his income, as it keeps him at the limit that was originally.

To increase the profit he should leave a part of his winnings in the separate poker bankroll and when the capital reaches the right level — try to go up in limits.

If suddenly the new limit is unprofitable, the player must return to the previous one to avoid bankruptcy. After some time, having improved the strategy by analyzing and eliminating mistakes, it is possible to return to higher stakes again.

Successful players move up from cheap tables to more expensive ones, gaining the opportunity to earn more.

And our todays tips for playing poker are always at your service! Poker strategies should be studied comprehensively, without missing any aspect!

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