Poker is a game of skill where your actions can impact the outcome of the game. There are some basic strategy tips that you should follow in order to improve your game. Before you even begin you must make sure to understand the rules of the game you are playing and be very aware of the hand rankings in the game. Understand how your position at the table may affect your play.
Wait for a Top Hand
Poker is a game which requires patience. Professional Texas hold’em players fold their hands up to 80% of the time before the flop. You can often tell if you are holding a quality hand from your first cards and the aim is to cut your losses early if you are holding a hand that cannot win. The more you add to a pot that you cannot win, the more money you will lose. Fold early and fold often, unless you are holding a potential winner.
If you do not fold before the flop, it should be because you hold a promising hand. That being said, do not be afraid to raise. The fewer players there are in the pot, the more often you should raise instead of calling. If there are a lot of players in the pot, you can assume that someone has a strong hand so fold your average hand and call your strong hands.
Don’t Be Afraid to Fold
Even if you started with a strong hand and have been raising, make sure to recognize when you have been beaten. If another player keeps on re-raising and your hand is not improving, you should cut your losses and fold.
Watch the Pot
The size of the pot may help you determine how to play your hand. A small pot may not be worth the cost of you continuing even if you hold a good draw. On the other hand, a very large pot may be worth playing an average hand.
Keep on Top of Your Opponents’ Game
Make sure to keep on top of your opponents’ game. If there are community cards, try to work out what the strongest hand anyone could have is and look back over your opponents’ play to see if his actions are consistent with holding that hand. This will give you a good idea of how strong his hand is. Also, see how you have been playing and what you have done to give your opponent an idea of your hand. As beginners, we tend to place too much emphasis on our hand alone and forget about our opponents’ hands and what they could hold. Keeping the big picture in mind will help you to plan your play.