Poker Strategies

The Poker Strategies to Use to Defeat Opponents

When we hear about poker it’s usually to argue if it’s a game of skill or a game of chance. Well, what does it matter? The best poker players have got to the very top and there is no player – no matter how luck they are – that can dislodge them easily from there.

This should tell you that poker is indeed a game of strategy, depth, and understanding that you cultivate not by some begging of the fates, but by sitting down and putting in all the work you need to become better at poker.

Today, we will take a look at several poker strategies that will allow you to triumph over the competition and rise to the top of the poker pecking order.  

#1 Counting Cards – In Poker? 

Did you know you could count cards in a game of poker? You have probably heard about casino patrons getting escorted off the premises because they were counting cards in blackjack, but poker?

Bizarre as this may sound, you will actually be able to count cards in poker and get praise if you are good at it. Now, this is not a surefire strategy, nor is it supposed to bring you much in the way of success, but it will provide you with a better chance of winning when you actually try. 

Card counting will mostly be narrowed down to what cards have been played, which means that you will need to take a closer look at what has been discarded, what the River looks like (or the stages before that) and your own hand and try to infer what may be still in play and what isn’t. 

This strategy is not a cut-an-dry card counting but it will definitely be a powerful tool in your arsenal on the way to the top of the poker world. Of course, this won’t always work – some players decline to show their hands which will make it harder to count cards (and why would they show their hands and volunteer free information?). 

#2 Playing Small, Going Big

One of the best things about poker is that you can start small and go big. This is a great strategy that many new poker players forget to follow. When it comes to poker, most people think that it all boils down to having a big bankroll and pushing as much as you can. Legit online poker sites you can play here will show you that you really can start with a small budget and scale.

All worthwhile card rooms will make it so that if you are skilled enough, you can progress gradually to the top, and this is precisely what you should be trying to do in the long turn. Players should focus on starting small and budgeting well as opposed to entering big prize pools with a huge buy-in before you can qualify for such event on skill alone. 

#3 Learning about Opponents

Another thing that not too many players do is learn about their opponents. Why? Because poker is a prideful game and players won’t really admit – even to themselves – that they need to do research and come better prepared for their games against opponents.

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Of course, there are some opponents that you cannot research against. Phil Ivey and Daniel Negreanu for example will stomp the bulk of poker players (although they too lose a lot to be fair), so your biggest advantage going against the top dogs would be anonymity.

You don’t want to have too big a profile for yourself out there. You want to be quiet and suave, polite and discreet so that when you sit at the big table nobody knows your name – and nobody knows what to expect.

In the meantime, you will do well to study your opponents and really try to up your game and calibrate against them. Remember that when you are fairly new to poker, it also throws your opponents off especially if they sense that you are playing well. 

#4 Being Good at Reading Social Cues

Now, poker is about reading social cues and you may be wondering – does this really work or is it more the stuff they put in movies? Well, it depends – sometimes it does. A player will have and betray anxiety, perspire, and perhaps have a slightly different attitude when they are under pressure.

The term “poker face” is not just a pop song. It really matters if you are unreadable. The whole thing with the glasses and hoodies at poker tables is so that other players can’t figure out what you are doing and whether you are perturbed. 

So yes, reading social cues can be really helpful when it comes to poker and you will definitely benefit from being able to tell when your opponents are indeed worried about something and when you have – indeed – the upper hand. 

#5 Getting your Training form the Top Players

One thing that would really help you master the game of poker – and put a very good strategy to the fore is if you could get your training from established players. We are talking about players who are just as motivated to win, they have a good reputation and track record, and are willing to pass their knowledge onto the next generation.

Let’s be honest here – this won’t happen for the most of you. That’s okay, there are always good players you can learn from, befriend, and even theorize and brainstorm with. There is o need to be Negreanu’s own ward to be good at the game.