Tips to Take Your Poker Game From “Meh” to Amazing

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It is said that poker is easy to learn but hard to master. At the beginning, you could lose a lot of time as well as money if you do not know basic tactics and strategies to make you a more confident and profitable player. You cannot expect to win everytime as even the best poker players can’t do that but using these tips, you can improve a lot in No limit Texas Hold’em and win more than you did before.

One of the main tricks for playing good poker and winning at it is to bluff effectively. If you bluff ineffectively, you could lose money at the table. You should let the cards that you have tell if you should bluff or not. This means bluffing only when you have hands which have a chance to improve to the best hand on a later street, like straight draws or flush draws. These hands are called semi bluffs by poker players because of their potential beyond the bluff itself. Bluffing with total nothing hands before the river is not advisable. If you do not want to bleed away your chip stack, you can only play a limited number of hands before the flop. A solid preflop strategy is the easiest way to improve your poker and you should try to stick to it and not play any hands not worth playing. Playing all of your hands aggressively helps you to disguise the strength of the actual hand you have. Your opponents won’t know if you have A-A or A-K or 7-6, which confuses them and makes you a tough opponent.

When you have a strong hand, it is advisable to fast play them so as to build up your pot and make more money. It’s best to bet your strong hands and build the pot but you should not always raise/bet your strong hands post flop. You can get sure about your strong hands if it’s unlikely that you’ll be outdrawn or if there are not many scare cards which could prevent you from getting paid on later streets. If you still feel uncertain, you should just bet. It can be disappointing when your opponent folds, but that’s not as bad as getting outdrawn or to miss out on potential value. Limping or calling the blind preflop is a bad bet when you are the first person to enter the pot. This is because you can’t win as big of the pot as when you could have won if you raised and also because you give the players behind you very good pot odds, which makes it more likely that you will face multiple players and less likely that you’ll win the pot. You should only limp when at least one other player has already limped, it is known as over-limping and can be a good play because you get great pot odds and can hit something good on the flop, hopefully.

Another good tip for winning more is to fold when you’re unsure that you’ll win. Good players have an ability to lay down good hands like a top pair when they think they’re beaten. Calling too often and in wrong situations is one of the easiest ways to lose at poker. When you are unsure if you should call or fold versus if you should bet or raise, you should fold to be safe. Note down the details of the hand if you fold in any of these situations so that you can figure out if you made a right fold. This will improve your skills consistently. If your opponent checks his hands, they usually have a relatively weaker hand that will fold if faced with multiple bets. This is the bluffing with nothing situation which was talked of earlier. So, when your opponent shows a lot of weakness in a pot, you can take advantage with an aggressive bluffing strategy. 

If you already have 1 big blind in the pot, you should defend it using the right hands. Whenever you’re faced with a raise while in the big blind, your pot odds to call will be better than other positions. Because of your position to be the last person to act preflop, you can call with many more hands and profitably so than if you were sitting in any other position. But you should not call raises with bad hands and only try it at more borderline hands. How wide to defend your blind is dependent on many factors such as the position of the raiser (you should play tighter with early positions and looser with the late positions), number of players in the hand also influences your defense as you should play tighter when one or more players has called the raise. The size of the raise should also be taken into consideration as larger the bet size, tighter you should play. 

Playing solid poker early in tournaments is also a good tip for winning more. In order to finish by winning money, you need to increase your pot by at least double and even triple. So, you should play solid as well as aggressive poker early on and build up a stack for a long run. Only if you are short stacked or near the money bubble, then you should use a survival oriented strategy early on in the tournament. You should also only play when you are happy as it is a fun experience and you perform the best in this mentally intensive game only if you feel happy. And if you feel anger, frustration or fatigue build up, you should just quit the session and save yourself money. 

You should try and put yourself in such positions in which you are the most likely to win and not let your ego come in between poker. If you want to make a very good profit, you should play against the worst players and generally only play better than half of the players in order to have a positive win rate. If a game has at least one player who is limping regularly, has many multiway pots and has rare or frequent re-raises, it can be considered a good poker game.

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