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Your poker strategy guide

Welcome to our guide on strategies for the most exciting and popular card game to exist – poker. The game of poker is thought to have developed in the 19th century in the United States. However, its origins can be traced all the way back to the 16th century. In particular, it’s thought to be an adaptation of the Chinese game ”As Nas”, a card game that shared almost identical rules. Since then, it has become extremely popular throughout the world and has been rated as the number one card game worldwide. It’s an incredibly entertaining, challenging and addictive game. Why? because as well as being a game of luck (like most casino games), it’s also a game of skill. With these two factors combined, it gives players some control over the outcome of the game whilst still keeping the uncontrolled excitement element too.

Introduction to poker

Without a doubt that the main reason poker became and remains so popular is because of its social aspect. In contrast to many other popular card games (for example, blackjack), in poker, you play against other people. Some poker tables can comfortably seat up to 10 players. Therefore, it makes it the perfect game to play against friends. And it’s great for tournaments too! You can gain many important life skills from playing pokers, such as patience, focus, concentration and emotional control. It will also bring out your healthy competitive side as you showcase your poker skills in games. It can take time and effort to become a great poker player and reading this guide on strategies is a great place to start. There are many different poker strategies that you can implement to give yourself the best possible chance of winning. So without further ado, let’s check them out… 

Poker Strategies

Needless to say, even if you memorise and implement these strategies (listed below) into every poker game, it does not necessarily mean you will win. Even professional players will lose games from time to time. However, learning these strategies will certainly increase your chances of winning and improve your poker skills. They will help you with any poker game, whether you’re playing online, at a live casino poker table or in tournaments. So, without further ado, let’s take a look at our favourite poker strategies… 

1. Start by playing one table

This first strategy is for beginners. We want to start with this one because it’s VERY important. Regardless of whether you believe you know the poker rules thoroughly, or you are very confident that your poker skills and strategies are excellent – always start by playing one table first. If you haven’t played poker before (or have but not much) ease yourself into the game slowly. Why rush? rushing into playing multi-tabling straight away is the recipe to quick financial losses. Concentrate on learning effective poker strategies and putting them into practice to find out which one works best for you. There’s plenty of time to move onto multi-tabling when you’re ready. Most professional players turn to multi-tabling because they believe they can increase their profits significantly per hour. But it takes a certain level of poker skill and experience to be winning on different tables simultaneously. 

2. Learn poker odds 

Let’s take a look at the mathematical side of poker – don’t worry maths haters, it’s not as daunting as it sounds. It’s basic maths and like everything, it will become much easier with practice! Learning the poker odds is extremely important because it essentially gives you an idea of whether or not you have a winning or losing hand. It’s how poker players can access the current game situation. And when you have this information, it’s much easier to plan your next move (on logic, not emotion). Also, you need to know the poker odds that you have in order to hit the winning hand. If you don’t understand how the poker odds work, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to create a profitable plan. So, learn how the odds work and how to calculate them!

3. Count your outs

Counting your outs is a very important poker strategy and you should ensure that you execute this skill from the get-go. The ‘outs’ refer to the cards you will need to hit in order to improve your winning hand. Please note: the hand that you have will affect how many outs you have. Counting your outs is also the first step to calculating your odds. Knowing how many outs you have will help you work out your odds. Which in turn, will make your next move (whether to call, raise or fold) a much easier decision. Study charts beforehand if you’re not good at maths – no excuses. 

4. Think about your opponent’s cards

Needless to say, it’s impossible to know your opponent cards. But this doesn’t mean it’s not important to try to think about what they might be. You need to ensure you’re making calculated poker decisions and not deciding your next move on a whim. Learn to put your opponent on the range so you can calculate your next move more easily. There are many factors to take into account which may give you an idea of what hands your opponent could be playing. First, you need to think about your opponents’ current position and what possible hands he could play from there. Many other factors will help you decide, such as their post-flop action, betting or checking (which can indicate strength or weakness), the time they take to make decisions and more!

This isn’t an easy strategy! In fact, it’s fairly complex and difficult, so beginners should study simplified step by step guides of how to put their opponents on range. Once you understand this, you can move on to a more advanced guide with higher accuracy. The more you practice, the more naturally it will come. Give yourself the best possible chance at winning by making a more educated decision. 

5. Think about ranges, not hands

Many poker players make the mistake of trying to put their opponent on a specific hand. A ‘range’ refers to the complete spectrum of poker hands that a player can obtain in a particular poker circumstance throughout the game. Such as a flush, middle pair, top pair, ace-high etc. You’ll find that beginner or inexperienced players will tend to put a player on a specific hand. But an experienced or professional player will always put a player on a range instead. Why? because it’s far more realistic and effective to put them (and yourself of course) on a range after each move. Not only will it give you much more accuracy when calculating the pot odds. Don’t just trust your ‘gut feeling’, use the tools and strategies you’ve learnt to work it out. With strong technical knowledge of poker, you can use the information to build the opponents range.

6. Play tight but aggressive

This strategy is very straightforward – aim to play a few hands as possible and play them aggressively. There are many benefits to adopting this approach, such as an advantage over the loose-aggressive player in terms of cost. Playing fewer hands means spending (and losing) less money because mistakes will be less costly, which means more profit, cha-ching, cha-ching! Also, it’s very common that taking this approach will lead to a significant increase in other players errors. How? because you are constantly forcing them to react to your aggressive actions. This can throw them off guard and lead to errors, depending on the level of experience of the poker player of course. Playing all hands aggressively will also help you disguise the strength of your actual hand. There’s one thing for sure, it makes you a tougher player to be up against.

7. Fold when you’re unsure

Deciding to fold when you’re unsure is a major difference that lies between a good and bad poker player. It may sound very simple to fold when you’re unsure but actually, it goes completely against human instinct. We have naturally curious and competitive brains which consequently make it difficult to fold. Not only are you surrendering your chance to win the pot but you also won’t be able to find out what your opponent had. Therefore, many (bad) players ignore uncertainty and try to think positively that it will go in our favour and they will win. You’ll find that the professional players will possess a great ability to fold if they believe they are going to be beaten. So, if you’re feeling very unsure about whether to bet or raise, it’s time to fold. Know when to cut your losses. 

Another special Casinos Jungle tip – just like all strategies you choose to adopt, make sure you pay special attention to the details of each hand when you fold. This will help you in future games on whether or not you’re making the right decisions and extend your knowledge. 

8. Pay attention to signs of weakness in your opponents and attack

This sounds rather aggressive as a strategy! But in clearer terms, we mean when a poker oppotonent is showing signs of weakness, it’s time to get your bluffing game on and take adavantage. You should figure out the weak players at the very beginning of the poker game. There are many immediate signs to look out for that could potentionally detect a weaker player, such as under-betting, limping, one-tabline and mini-raising. It’s important to study what actions indicate weakness and strenght. Remember, some players will be trying to disguise their weaknesses and they will be much less easy to spot. Use your strategies and skills to decide how/when to attack weak players. Doing it every time could make your moves more predictable too, so choose your attack times wisely. Don’t ever let the weak player be you! 

9. Don’t bluff too much

This strategy is simple, do not bluff at every possible opportunity. Whilst bluffing is a very important skill in poker, it’s also common for players to bluff too much. And some players don’t bluff enough! The skilled players have typically mastered finding a great balance. Beginner players will frequently overuse the skill of bluffing to the point where it becomes obvious and other players have an advantage over them. However, with practice, your judgment for when to bluff will improve. In the meantime, we suggest bluffing when the stakes are low and practice convincing your opponents that you have a good hand. Of course, you won’t always be successful but you can most definitely become a better bluffer by understanding the when, how and the right times to bluff.

10. Only play when you’re in a good state of mind

This is SO important for all players regardless of their experience or skills in poker. You must always remind yourself that playing poker is supposed to be an entertaining, fun and enjoyable experience – this goes for the professionals too. If you’re in a bad state of mind, you’re much more likely to make poorly informed decisions that could negatively affect the outcome of the game. And the last thing you want is to make your state of mind any worse by being reckless in poker. Also, you are less likely to handle your losses well. Like in everything, you’re going to perform best when you’re happy, feeling yourself and your mind is clear. Bring the best you to the poker table so you have the best chance at increasing your profits. Poker can be mentally intense, so you must ensure you playing in a clear and good state of mind.

We feel it’s important for each player to imagine losing all of the money that they’re planning to spend in the casino before playing. If you’re trying to avoid that thought or simply won’t be about to handle it, PLEASE do not play. Also, if you feel any anger or frustration building up whilst playing, it’s time to quit and take a break! Come back when you’re feeling good.

11. Leave your ego at the door

There is no place for the ego in poker. If you stick to playing better players, you will end up losing. It’s really as simple as that. Trying to feed your ego when it comes to poker will cost you (literally!). You need to choose a table to play at that you believe has weaker players than you. The general aim should be to be better than at least 50% of the players at the table. Don’t let yourself be the weakest player and just play against better poker players – that’s a quick way to lose your cash.

12. Adopt consistent strategies

And last but not least, adopt a consistent strategy! You need to ensure that you put different strategies into practice and find out which one works best for you. And what’s bringing you the most wins of course! This will undoubtedly help you to minimise your losses and maximise your winnings. You’ll find that the best poker players usually apply the same winning strategies each time. 

Poker Variations

There are many variations of poker and no doubt, new variations will continuously be created. All variations will come under three main categories: draw poker, stud poker, and community card poker. (explain what each one is). Variations of poker include Texas Hold’em, Omaha, Seven-card stud, Five-card draw, High Low Chicago – these are the most popular variants. Less popular variants include Queen, Countdown, Criss Cross Poker, Double Cross Poker, Billabong and Shanghai, Five-O poker, Kuhn poker. And many more!

Final thoughts

This guide is created with love and expertise from Casinos Jungle. In the hope of offering you some simplified but extremely effective poker strategies. Strategies that can be implemented by poker players of all levels, beginners or experienced. We often find that many players make the mistake of assuming there are years of experience and skill-building between them and the professionals. However, this is in fact untrue. The gap isn’t as wide as you may think! Professional players have simply just perfected their winnings strategies.

Initially, you should try out different strategies to see what works for you and make adjustments accordingly. But after reading this article, doing your research and playing a few games, you should have a good idea of what strategies work for you. It’s important to view poker in a logical way. And you’re much more likely to make decent wins! One thing we can guarantee is that something ALL highly successful poker players have in common is a consistent and effective winning strategy.