Looking for a poker strategy to improve your chances of winning and begin to play like a professional poker player? You are not alone.
This article doesn’t list all the poker tips and tricks under the sun. Instead, it focuses on specific Texas hold’em strategy elements that are proven to help you identify the best hands to play and improve your chances of winning at poker.
Continue reading to learn:
- Why beginners need to learn the basics
- What are some advanced game theory tips to learn right away
- What is a poker odds calculator and why it matters
- How online poker training sites can help you become a better player
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In other words, if you are looking for a poker strategy guide with clear and easy-to-understand poker tips for beginners, you’ll love this one.
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Poker is one of the greatest games on earth. The combination of skill and luck, the psychological element, and the fact you can make money from it all help with its popularity.
Whether you play on the world’s most prestigious poker tours or you just love to play poker with friends, in order for you to increase your poker winnings, you need to learn how to win at poker. To do this, you need to learn the basics, become familiar with concepts like poker odds and outs, and a few other strategy tips that will help you with every single poker hand you play.
AN INTRODUCTION TO ‘POKER MATH’: How to Calculate Pot Odds in Poker. is a simple guide to understand how to calculate pot odds in poker.
The process of learning how to win at Texas hold’em can be broken down into several categories. The main ones are:
- Basic Poker Tips: These include elements like the hands ranking, poker glossary, basic strategy articles, and other poker tips for beginners that can help you improve your hand.
- Advanced Poker Tips: These can include the correct use of poker tools like an odds calculator and more sophisticated strategies that will help you win at Texas hold’em poker with a variety of players.
- Long-Term Poker Training: The key to learning how to win at poker is to continue to develop different ways to approach the game and never sit on what you already know. The most effective way to succeed in this mission is to practice as much as you can and rely on resources like good poker books and poker training sites.
Basic Winning Poker Tips
If you want to discover how to play Texas Hold ‘Em you need to know the rules first.
When I first started playing poker, I didn’t know anything about the game. That includes what starting hands I should play or what beats what in poker.
You’d be surprised at how many people sit in a real money poker game and expect to win at Texas Hold’em poker without even a clear understanding of the poker rules and other basics.
Those basics not only include knowing the poker hand rankings so you know what beats what, but also the various positions at the poker table and how they affect your strategy.
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Basic tips help you learn key poker concepts like pot odds and implied pot odds, as well as the importance of following solid bankroll management rules.
Once armed with this information, you’re ready to add a few more strings to your bow and move one step closer to discovering how to be a winning poker player.
Advanced Winning Poker Tips
The next stage in your quest to win at poker every time is to learn some of the more advanced concepts.
Fill your mind by studying such aspects of the game as:
You should also learn how to play against the various different poker player types — e.g., tight-aggressive, loose-aggressive, and loose-passive — because each opponent type needs to be approached with a different strategy.
Some of these advanced concepts became public knowledge in the mid-1990s when David Sklansky penned The Theory of Poker.
It is in this book that you will find Sklansky’s thoughts on what he calls “The Fundamental Theorem of Poker,” which reads:
“Every time you play a hand differently from the way you would have played it if you could see all your opponents’ cards, they gain; and every time you play your hand the same way you would have played it if you could see all their cards, they lose.
Conversely, every time opponents play their hands differently from the way they would have if they could see all your cards, you gain; and every time they play their hands the same way they would have played if they could see all your cards, you lose.”
This text may seem long-winded, but the idea being expressed is quite simple.
The correct decision (i.e. the one that will bring you poker winnings) to make in any given poker situation is one that has the largest expected value, or ‘EV‘ as it is commonly abbreviated.
If you were able to see your opponents’ cards, you would be able to calculate the mathematically correct decision and would win at poker every time!
Obviously, it is not possible to calculate the correct decision to mathematical certainty as poker is a game played with incomplete information.
But you can use all of the available information presented to you to make a decision that would yield long-term positive results — decisions that are +EV.
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Apply Your Skills
While it is practically impossible to learn how to win at poker every time in a monetary sense, due to the luck factor, by making decisions that are +EV you actually are winning every time you play poker, at least in the long term.
- As a simplified example, imagine you are heads-up with an opponent in a hand where the board reads .
- You hold and your opponent has accidentally revealed , so you know that you need to complete your flush to win the hand.
- There is $100 in the pot and for some reason, your opponent decides to only bet $20.
In this situation you should snap-call, because even if the river is not a spade you actually gain in the long run.
Why is this the case?
Because the pot odds you’re receiving are 5-to-1 (calling $20 to win $100) yet your chance of hitting your flush with one card to come is about 4.1-to-1.
As the pot odds are greater than the odds of hitting the hand, you actually make money in the long run even if your flush misses!
That is to say, if you faced the same choice many, many times and always chose correctly, you do stand to come out ahead thanks to your consistently ‘+EV’ decisions. And that folks, is how to win at poker every time!
Of course, the game is more complex than that overly simple example suggests. But in essence, the idea still holds.
The key to how to win at poker is to make more +EV decisions that –EV ones, and then play enough for the math to make the results run true.
Use a Poker Odds Calculator
One way to improve your own game vastly and increase your chances of learning to win at Texas Hold’em is to play around with different scenarios to see what the mathematically correct decision would be.
Since we know that the relationship between mathematics and poker isn’t one that everyone loves, we developed a free poker tool that helps you with all your poker calculations.
The next time you play Texas hold em poker and you want to know whether you hold a strong hand or not, load up the PokerNews Odds Calculator and look at how much equity your hand has on different boards and against different possible hands for your opponents.
There are other tools and poker cheat sheets out there that allow you to see how your exact hand fares against a possible range of hands, too.
Knowing this information and being able to draw upon it while in the heat of a hand could be the difference between winning at poker or losing.
Always look to extract as much value as mathematically possible, if you want always to win at poker.
Continue the Learning Process
It may seem to an outsider that the best poker players have discovered the secret of how to win at poker every time, yet this simply isn’t true.
What is true is those at the top of the pile are extremely skilled poker players, but they are also some of the hardest working people in the industry, constantly working on their game and trying to improve.
The true secret to winning at poker is to be like them and continue to work on your game.
Whether you like to keep your collection on an e-reader like the Kindle or you prefer the old ink-and-paper combo, poker books are an essential element of any winning poker strategy.
The right poker books give you the unique opportunity to learn how to win at poker using the experience of the best players in the history of the game.
If you don’t know where to start with your collection, have a look at Nolan Dalla’s list of the best poker books ever written.
The ten poker guides in the list will help you win at poker more than any poker cheat sheets or quick tips ever will.
The best part? These poker books won’t help you only with Texas hold’em but will give you the opportunity to improve your play also if you prefer other games like Omaha poker, five-card draw, stud poker, and many other card games.
Youtube is another great resource to find good strategy guides to improve your poker games.
While some of the best videos are kept behind a paywall by a number of advanced poker training sites (more on that later), videos are another great resource to get better results when you play cash games and poker tournaments.
A great starting point with a lot of useful poker tips for beginners is the official PokerNews YouTube Channel.
Over the past 15 years, the PokerNews team traveled the world and all the major poker tours to interview professional poker players and have them share the strategy secrets that made them as successful as they are.
The Poker News strategy videos are your best option to learn poker winning strategies if you are on a budget.
Click here to access the channel and browse through hundreds of free poker videos.
Poker Training Sites
If you really want to learn poker and you don’t want to be stuck playing low stakes games forever, you need to consider joining one of the best poker training sites.
While the best ones are not for free, the level of coaching and help you get from them is essential to progress in real money poker and compete with other players at the highest levels.
If you are new to the world of online poker training and you don’t know the difference between resources like Upswing Poker, Run it Once, and Daniel Negreanu’s Masterclass, here’s an overview of the best poker training sites.
Learning how to win at poker requires a lot of work – and a lot of reading. Now that you know what to expect and what tools can help you reach your goals, it’s time to move onto other in-depth poker guides like: