Playing A Poker Hand Tips
Playing a hand profitably from start to finish can be a pretty difficult task, as there are always opportunities to make mistakes along the way.
However, as you start to play more hands and read step-by-step hand strategies like the ones on this site, you will find it easier to make the right moves and make the right sized bets based on the factors in each situation. From then on you can work on fine-tuning your game to help maximize your wins and minimize your losses by playing as perfectly as possible on each street.
So to help your overall hand strategy, here are a few key tips for playing a hand of poker:
1) Take your time with decisions.
If you are playing online, you are given a generous amount of time within which to make your decision on what action you are going to take. You are in no hurry to make your play, so carefully think about how you are going to play and use your time wisely.
You will be surprised about how often you can have a sudden change in thought and make a better play by simply taking the extra 5 seconds or so to review your initial decision. So don’t rush yourself, and allow yourself to take the time to make the best decisions on every street.
2) Think about future betting rounds.
It is all well and good to think about your current situation on one street, but it is important to consider how future streets are going to be played out depending on the action you make in the current betting round. For example, if you are preflop and are contemplating a call, you should try and think about how you would play the flop.
If the majority of situations you can think of on the flop appear to be very tricky to play, it will probably be in your best interest to fold and save your money for another spot. Similarly with other betting rounds, consider how future betting rounds could play out to help yourself make more informed decisions.
If you have no idea about what you're going to do on the next betting round if you make the call, then you need to have another think about whether you should carry on with the hand.
3) Think about past betting rounds.
Every hand has its own unique ‘story’. The majority of poker players will play in a certain way and form patters in the way they check, bet and raise depending on the strength of their hand. If you always think about how and why an opponent played the way they have on each round, you will be able to piece together small parts of a puzzle to help you put them on a more specific range of hands.
You can then look at all of these individual factors to help put your opponent on a certain range of hands, and make plays based on what hands you think your opponent may be holding. At the end of the day, the best tell of all is a player’s betting pattern.
The best tell of all in the game of poker is the way your opponent has played up to that point in the hand.
4) Think about how other players see you.
Knowing about your own table image is just as important as knowing about the individual playing styles of your opponents. If you are aware of the way your opponents see you as a poker player, you can use it to your advantage to make more profitable plays.
For example, if your opponents see you as a loose player that likes to play a lot of hands, you will find that you are going to have a harder time bluffing them out of pots. So if your opponents think that you are the type of player that likes to bluff, you should stop bluffing and bet when you have the best of it. By doing this you are likely to get paid off when you have the best of it and you are saving yourself from losing money by trying to bluff your opponents when they are more likely to call.
5) Change gears.
This concept is tied in slightly with knowing your own table image. If you are constantly changing gears, your opponents will find it more difficult to read you and so they will be unable to ‘pigeon hole’ you and play in a way to combat your particular style.
If you are switching from tight to loose, your opponents will have trouble knowing where they stand, and so you will be able to win more money than if you constantly play in the same way throughout each session. However, changing gears does not mean going from super-aggressive to super-tight at the flick of a switch, so you should try and wait for the right opportunities to change your style, rather than trying to force it in the middle of a session.
6) Be disciplined.
Discipline is something that even the best players in the world struggle with from time to time. You can have all the poker knowledge in the world, but if you are unable to let a good hand go when you know you are beat, you will not be able to make it as a poker player.
It does not matter where you are in the hand or how much you have invested, if you know the correct move is to fold, you should fold. Having good self control in poker also means not going on tilt, and not throwing more and more money away if you are on a cold streak. If you feel that you are frustrated and so you are not playing your A-game, you should get up from the table and save yourself some money.
Playing winning poker becomes very difficult if you are prepared spend an hour winning a nice amount of money, only to throw it all away (and more) in under five minutes because of tilt.
Poker hand tips evaluation.
Hopefully a few of these pointers will have highlighted areas in your game that you will need to work on. There is no room in poker to be arrogant and ignore obvious leaks in your game, so make sure you always try and be honest with yourself about your ability and where you can improve.
It is easier to say to yourself that you can let a good hand go when you should; yet still make those crying calls at the table, but it is profitable to admit to yourself that you could improve and plug up the leaks in your game. You are your own personal tutor when it comes to poker and it is not often that you will have someone pushing you to do the right things.
If you are soft on yourself and ignore obvious flaws, you are not going to be able to take your game to the next level. Your ability is in your own hands.
Poker hand guide strategy.
Go back to the thorough hand guide.