Poker is a game of strategy and the most important of these is to master the starting hand selection, and to understand how it changes the game and the player position held at the table. The strongest hand should be played as the starting hand, and the subsequent weaker hands should be played in the late or strongest position.
The next thing to master is the rest of the hand play. Successful middle and end game play comes from years of practice and as a general rule, professionals play a much better remaining hand.
The following are different strategic approaches to playing Poker.
- A tight approach is used by a careful player who plays his hand cautiously.
- A loose approach is used by a player who is not afraid to gamble
- An aggressive approach is used by a player who is constantly calling and putting others under pressure.
Small improvements reap rewards on winnings, so the key to success here, especially for beginners, is to have plenty of patience. It is also advantageous to know your odds and probabilities in order to try and work out which cards are coming next. Another point is to know how to work out pot odds, which is determined as the ratio of chips that can be won versus those that need to be put into the pot.
As much as poker is about mathematical strategy, players can also be affected by their emotions both positively and negatively. The terms “tilt” and “steaming” refer to emotional states which cause players to make bad decisions. In both cases, anger and frustration lead the player to lose discipline and concentration, and end up in an overly-aggressive state leading to unwise calling, betting and raising.