What does it take to be a winning poker player … Genius ? Luck ? Skill ? Cheating ? There are loads of poker strategy websites, videos & books out there offering texas holdem poker secrets. However if you just follow our simple 27 tips you will be well on the way to being a winning player.
1. Always be Prepared to Learn … Poker is a game that takes a moment to learn and a lifetime to master. Good poker players become good players, improving and winning more because they constantly work at their game. Read as much as you can about poker strategy from book, online & by getting tips from other players … More Poker Strategy Articles
2. Pure Bluffs Rarely Work … Especially online & certainly not at lower limits. There will always be someone happy to look you up with a better hand or more outs or complete junk. SODS LAW says even they will out draw you – then your on tilt and that’s just a world of pain waiting to happen. Well calculated semi bluffs are a different matter & that’s really playing poker.
3. Don’t Overplay Ace King … AK is called big slick for a reason. Always remember it’s only a drawing hand, it’s NOT a favourite against a smaller pair even against any other lower cards its still only 66% favourite. Know when to give Ace King up and if your facing a big raise or a re-raise you should probably get the hint.
more … Playing Big Slick / Ace King
4. Don’t have a Favourite or Lucky Poker Hand … Just because you got lucky once with 72 suited doesn’t mean this is a good reason to always play it, in any position at any price. Don’t think because you’ve seen some pro pull off a bluff with 23 suited you’ll be able to do the same. Luck hands don’t have some kind of odds defying qualities – They did just get lucky.
5. Fold, fold and fold again … Solid poker starting hand selection is where you minimise your losses and maximise your wins. Long term this is more important and effective than getting a few short term lucky wins.
more … Poker Starting Hands
6. Dont Check … Remember your giving them a chance of a free card not you. If you wouldn’t bet or raise maybe you should be folding. You should either be checking tactically or not checking at all as a check generally shows weakness, this is fine if your trapping but be careful as it always give players with drawing hands a good chance to catch up.
7. Don’t be a calling station … If your calling bets just to stay in a hand on the off chance you’ll catch a lucky card or two – you wont – yes you see it all the time but trust me it wont happen when you need it to. Generally don’t call a bet unless you would have raised it. And if you’d have raised it – then 4king raise it.
8. Mood, chasing loses & taking a break … Don’t even think about playing poker if you not really in the mood. Don’t play if your thinking more about your money than the cards in front of you. Take a break if your not playing well. Don’t try to squeeze in a session – if your thinking about work / got to walk the dog / make an appointment – leave the cards for another time – you’ve probably just saved a load of your bankroll – just as good as a win.
9. Don’t Just Chase Poker Bonuses … Poker bonuses are great for new players and can really help to build your bankroll, but don’t chase them at any cost. If your playing low stakes trying to clear a big bonus this may just be unrealistic and you don’t want to be reloading just to clear a bonus … concentrate on being a winning poker player above all else.
more … Poker Bonus Hunting Guide
10. Avoid Going on Tilt … We all see it and we all get bad beats – pick yourself up, chill out and forget that hand. Concentrate on the next hand and if its duff then fold it. Don’t screw yourself up over it and don’t play like a moron for the next 10 minutes cashing up and throwing away your money just because someone got lucky.
11. Don’t Play over your Head … Avoid playing poker games you simply don’t have the bankroll for. If your playing with money you can’t afford to loose or with all of your bankroll at any one time, you won’t be playing comfortably and if you bust out – your broke.
more … Bankroll Management
12. Keep Focused … Boredom is always a problem online and this leads to playing too many hands and not watching hands that your not involved in. Watch every hand, make notes and try to pick up other players weak points and betting patterns. By focusing on the game you will be more involved even when you haven’t got money in the pot which will win you more money.
13. Understand Other Poker Players … In order to maximise your winnings you need to adapt your play for the other players at different tables. Understanding the different types of poker players and poker styles is vital to be able to out wit them and not get beaten by them.
14. Action junkies are your friend … Make money from them but don’t become one. Changing gears is one thing, needing a miracle is another. We all see players get lucky playing hands after hand but we may not see them inevitably loose it all to a better player down the line.
15. Improve your Pre-flop Game … Both strong and drawing hands need to be played correctly pre-flop to maximise winnings. With strong hands make sure you don’t give too many players too much room to improve. And with weaker drawing hands or marginal hands make sure you have potential to improve at the right price to justify chasing.
16. Never Drink and Play … Simple just don’t do it, playing drunk or drinking while playing is a sure fire way to throw away your bankroll. You will be easier to tilt, swifter to call marginal hands or make just plain crazy bets for the hell of it.
17. Make Player Notes … This is really valuable and gives you a bit advantage as you build up information on specific players and their betting patterns. Making Poker Player Notes can make the difference between make a great fold or a losing a big pot.
18. Don’t moan or bad mouth in the Chatbox … If the table is lose which is a good thing you don’t want someone who just got lucky re-thinking his game ‘cos you told him he was a retard. Sometimes they get lucky, congratulate him on his luck and that way he’ll call you next time – when you’ve got him beat.
19. Try New Poker Rooms … Staying and only playing one or two poker rooms is fine but your missing out on a whole world of potential profit. Not all rooms are the same in fact in many ways they are all very different. It’s always worth trying a few for free, in private freerolls for example. Read up on the different sites pro’s and con’s in our reviews to find sites that are most suitable for you.
20. Tight Aggressive Poker … TAG Poker is the best basic poker strategy for a solid winning poker game. This should be your default style while you develop as a player into trying and perfecting more advanced and situational strategies for winning poker. It is vital that you have a strong tight aggressive style which you can consistently play when you intend to without falling into bad habits unintentionally.
21. Button & Position … The button is simply the most powerful position to be in (which is why it moves round). Make the most of it when your on the button take control of the table, loosen your card requirements and be aggressive. If you have a weaker hand aim to steal the blinds, if you have a strong hand you can drive home your advantage as players will think your just stealing from the button.
22. Watch and Learn … Railbirding & watching other players online may seem like valuable time wasted when you could be playing at the tables yourself but you can learn a lot. Pick out some of the higher stakes games and just watch and learn, being out of the game enables you to spot plays and moves which you may not notice if you were actively involved.
23. Start out Playing Sit N Go’s … For new players wanting to improve their poker tournament skills Sit N Go’s offer an excellent way to practise and improve tournament play. With only ten players they offer a good opportunity to regularly finish in the money and gain experience cheaply.
more … Winning Sit N Go Strategy
24. Play Small Pairs Cheaply … Don’t overplay small pairs like 22-77. Don’t make crazy pre-flop raises with them, don’t call big bets on the flop if you haven’t made trips. Consistently playing small pocket pairs is a sure way to eat your chip stack, only play them cheaply and when you have a lot of callers to give you pot odds.
25. Stay out of Trouble … Avoid getting too involved in the early stages of tournaments including SNG’s. Loose maniacs will try to steal and make big all-in moves, leave them to it unless you really hit a big hand like pocket aces, kings or queens then you can take them down. Drawing hands are not worth the risk early doors.
26. Have Patience … Probably one of the most important pieces of advice for all poker players is learn to be patient. Don’t jump head long into calling when you know with a bit of thought that you have fallen behind. Be patient at improving your poker skills, the more you read and learn the better you will get … but it won’t happen over night & it’s a never ending journey of improvement.
27. Learn from other Poker Players … Being active in a poker community is a great way to improve your game, get tips and discuss ideas, problem hands or strategy with other poker players. In a friendly forum like ours many successful players are only too keen to help new players out with advice and answers to their questions.