Define your basic style of play. A penny saved is easier than a penny earned.
- I find that ‘selective aggression’ is the best poker strategy. When you play a pot, always try to play it strong. A large percentage of the time your opponents will miss the ‘flop’. Therefore the first player to bet, wins the pot.
If you are playing selective aggression over a long period of time, you will definitely have the ‘best of it’. So for my second rule of poker, I suggest you adopt this same style.
However in online poker, be prepared to back off fast if you feel you are behind. Do not chase the pot when you don’t have either the ‘goods’ or the odds. It’s just not worth it.
Be Selective In your choice of starting hands. Play only the premium hands, from a medium pair up to the aces & no junk. Everything that is not below is junk & the lower you go in the list, the better your position must be (relative to the button).
Play these aggressively from any position
A-A K-K Q-Q, A-K(s), A-K
Play these aggressively from mid position, limp in from early positions
J-J, A-Q(s), 10-10 A-Q, 9-9, 8-8, A-J(s), K-Q(s) A-J, A-10(s), 7-7, K-J(s)
Play these aggressively from late position, depending on how many already in the pot & your chip position – there is a case for throwing these away from early positions
A-10, K-J, A-9(s), K-10(s), Q-J(s), 6-6, Q-10(s), J-10(s), 5-5
Play these from late position, but don’t fall in love with them
A-X(s), J-10, J-9(s), 10-9(s), 4-4, 3-3, 2-2, K-X(s)
This is debatable & depends on your experience
I play mid suited connectors 6-7(s) 4-5(s) from mid positions on, the reason is that if I catch a big hand or draw it’s well disguised & I can take down a big pot.
Aggression Will always come out on top. if you come out aggressively pref-lop, the chances are you will take it down on the flop. Most of the time your opponents will miss there hand, you bet & they fold. Do it every time (unless you had about like four callers pref lop). You will get caught and loose some pots, but that’s the prise you pay for picking up all the others. If you get caught then you have given them information, you are going to bet your hand strong every time after the flop, you are now ready to catch someone re-raising you when you hit big on the flop.
Use this selective aggression strategy as the basis for your play. But don’t stick to it all the time, you will become predictable, mix it up a little, dependent upon your position, stack & the tournament level. You need imagination to play this game.
That last bit was for all the forum members that may be trying to get a handle on my game. And I’m sure lots of them will have their own view on this.
Remember that Before you go beyond my second rule of poker, you need to learn all you can about poker strategy.
- There are plenty of good opportunities to ‘get you’re money in’ when you have ‘the best of it’. So please do not gamble.
Save your money, even when at the time it may not feel exciting, the buzz comes when you see your bankroll grow.
Remember the old proverb. ‘A penny saved is a penny earned’. Saving money in poker is definitely easier than winning money in poker.
I’m going to repeat this because it’s so important. The key to success over a long period of time is, by not chasing and not gambling unless you have very good pot odds. DO NOT GET INVOLVED AGAINST THE ODDS (got that?…ok).
A large percentage of the players you’ll be up against WILL try to chase with a four flush or an inside straight draw, or even with middle pair no matter what the pot-odds are.
These players don’t follow my second rule of poker, they just can’t resist it, and they get bored if they’re not playing. They do have good spells of play, where they constantly out draw their opponents, but over a period of time THEY ALL LOOSE.
These players make up a large percentage of the ‘lifetime poker-loser club’ (over 90% of all poker players, on-line or off are loosing).
It’s not compulsory to join this club, so please don’t 😉
I have three labels stuck at the top of my PC screen;
- Game plan
In my opinion, without these attributes you are a dead duck, a ‘fish’.
- Generally speaking you should loosen up your game if you feel you are involved in a game where players are tight. For example you may decide to relax your starting hand requirements in late position, or raise the pot with only a medium strength hand. If you do this, it’s important to maintain your aggression, you play the hand representing the goods.
- It may be obvious to some, but ill say it anyway. In my second rule of poker the exact opposite is true if you find yourself in a loose game.
It’s important to have the flexibility within your basic style of play to cater for these situations. Poker is all about finding a small edge and trying to capitalise on it.
- As a general poker rule I try to never bluff. The reason for this is that there seems to be a huge amount of non-believers on the net.
Also there is the ‘no judgement factor’, in cyberspace no one can see you squirm. Players find it much easier to call a bet when there’s nobody to face. If they get it wrong, who’s going to judge them? They can also leave the table, with just a click of the button.
And finally the cyber chips. They simply don’t seem real. Chips were probably the gambling industries greatest invention. It’s much easier to release playing chips than your ‘hard earned’ cash. It therefore goes without saying, that players find it even easier to call if all they have to do is click a button.
So unless you are certain, please don’t bluff.
- I hardly ever Slow play
Mostly for the same reasons explained above. Over a period of time you will earn more money on-line by not slow playing.
You will also incur far less ‘bad beats’. People seem to think that they get more beats On-Line than in a live game. My answer to that is simple:
Yes you probably do, and the reason is a collection of the points above. If a study were carried out, I’d put money on the fact that on-line poker hands get to river 10% more than in a live game. I would also wager that an on-line card room rake is at least 20% higher per hand than at a live game.
So overall, players take more chances on-line. Unless it’s obvious that you have the ‘nuts’, my second rule of poker says it makes sense to always bet your good hands.