Poker Strategies - The Essentials

As there are several different types of poker, the gameplay itself is very dynamic, making it difficult to talk about strategies. Let's take a look at the basic rules of strategy in poker.

Poker strategy

The Fundamental Theorem of Poker

One of the most famous poker players of all time brains David Sklansky developed the fundamental theorem of poker. Many derivative strategies at the poker table are based on it. The fundamental theorem of poker is that there are only two ways to gain an advantage at the table:

  • Playing your hand as if you can see your opponents' cards;
  • Forcing your opponents to play their hands differently from how they would play if they saw your cards.

The driving force behind the theorem, and thus behind all strategies, is bluffing, slow-playing and other similar actions.

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Bluffing and slow-play

In poker, it is important to be able to hide your emotions and not reveal the strength or weakness of your hand by your behaviour. The rules of the game allow you to use deception and tricks to mislead your opponents into behaving differently from the way they would have played if they had seen your cards. 

Bluffing - a method of play in which a player, not having a strong hand and not necessarily having a chance of getting a good hand in the course of the game, makes bets and takes other actions to mislead his opponents into believing he has a strong hand. If there is a high probability of getting a good hand on subsequent openings (e.g, straight, flush etc.), but so far it doesn't exist - bluffing at the time is called semi-blefu. Bluffing is a big bet, an attempt to draw attention to oneself.

Poker strategy - bluffing

Slow-play - another way of playing the game. If we translate the English title literally, it would be a game in slow motion. It is a deceptive game tactic which is the exact opposite of bluffing. A player who slow-playina - bets lightly, acts sluggishly, checks often or looks at his own cards and tries other players at the table who have weaker hands hand Raise the stakes and increase the prize pool.

These two ways of playing are at the heart of every poker strategy. Simply doing things the way they are doesn't pay, because other players will know what you are doing. You need to gain an edge and that is what sleight of hand is for. Well, when, where, how and how much to use those advantage-giving tricks is the individual spice of each strategy.

Position or location

As roles change during a poker game (Big-blind, small-blind, etc.), there are also implications for strategy that need to be known. Basically, the players who have to act first have to be more decisive, betting higher amounts than those who act later. It is important to understand the strengths and weaknesses of each position, because understanding the position is one of the most important elements for players to be profitable in the long term. 

If you are in a position that forces you to act later, you can better analyse what cards your opponents potentially have. And if you need to act right away, you can see how others react to your bets.

There must be a reason for a serious move

Poker is a game where successful players always have a strategy. If you are going to call or raise, there must be a good reason for these moves. Betting money unnecessarily or recklessly is simply not advantageous.

It is worth responding to a call when:

  • Poker strategies - CALLYou want to manipulate the odds of winning (pot odds) - by calling the bet instead of raising it, you always increase the benefit of calling the bet instead of raising it for players with a later turn. So even if you have a strong hand, just by calling a bet you can push a weak player to call even with a weak hand (overcall), or even raise the bet - moving the advantage to your hand.
  • Are you going to bluff in the next rounds - called long-ball bluff or the long bluff. As the saying goes, the easiest player to flip is the one who always lies/bluffs. Therefore, bluffing should be done properly and appropriately when the opportunity arises. If you feel that it is a good time to do so, you can call the bet at the first stage of the betting process and then prepare to go in with a large amount. 
  • You don't want to show that you have a strong hand - This is probably the most popular bluffing move. If you have a strong hand and you don't want others to know about it, your best bet is to call the bets and hope for a bigger prize pool in later rounds.
  • You want to avoid repeated betting - this solution is only effective when you are last in line. Calling the bet and not raising the bet prevents the first raiser from re-raising the bet.
  • Want to see more cards - if there is a high probability that the hand you are holding hand will improve with a large number of cards on the table, or will increase your pot odds, it's worth answering the bet.

It is worth raising when:

  • You want to take away the chance of an unsure player to win even when he/she has a good hand - This can be used to see if a player has the best possible hand (if the cards on the table tell you they do) or to force uncertain players to surrender.
  • You are bluffing - self-evident reasons.
  • You want to collect information - if a raise is made on an unsure hand, players can gather information about the moods of other players. In this way, it is sometimes possible to win the whole hand by chance sweat.
  • Want to increase your prize pool - if you want other players to route deposit a larger amount, you can increase your bets.

There are of course other reasons why it is worthwhile and possible to do call or raise, but we have looked at the main ones.

Poker strategy - what is the strategy used by the most famous players?

You might also be interested to know what strategy the most famous and successful players use at the poker table? We have some examples for you.

Daniel Negreanu - He wants to create the image of a very active player, and wants to constantly annoy and annoy his opponents with the same activity. Trying to win all the small pots and playing even with a fairly low probability of winning, Negreanu quite often takes the prize pool even in the pre-flop phase when he raises the bet. This way he doesn't take too many risks and increases his chances of winning. This is called small-ball poker.

Phil Ivey - This man once won as much as $16.6 million in one day, so his strategy is definitely worth a look. Phil Ivey constantly tries to intimidate his opponents and make them question their decisions and worry. Mr Ivey is starving them with his gaze, constantly looking around and being methodical. He tries to play unpredictably and never plays the same way and does not avoid bluffing. 

Tony G - Antanas Guoga, the most famous Lithuanian ever to sit at a poker table, plays aggressively, deceptively and violently. If an opponent makes a mistake, Tony G is sure to tease him about it. By talking a lot, constantly berating his opponents and behaving unpredictably, the Lithuanian can prevent other players from making rational decisions, which is why they make mistakes.


Phil Hellmuth Jr.- Probably the poker players with the most similarities to Tony G. Mr Hellmuth yells a lot, complains a lot, talks a lot, and doesn't shy away from showing his ego. He is considered by many to be the most self-absorbed and egotistical player, but there is no denying that he is very successful. You could say that he has the ability to distract other players and make them make mistakes, but Mr Hellmuth Jr. himself is a very good reader of situations and is able to behave very well at a table with many different players.

Justin Bonomo- a true student, apprentice and methodologist. As he himself speaks of his achievements, Justin Bonomo focuses his time and attention mindlessly on studying the stories of his opponents' games. He always knows more or less who he is sitting at the table with and how they like to behave. As a result, he maintains a pretty good chance of winning any table.

Bryn Kenney- is probably the most successful poker player of recent years. His strength is bluffing analysis. Bryn Kenney not only hits the perfect opportunities to bluff himself, but he also understands almost instantly when his opponents are bluffing. By playing quite dynamically and never going into a strong confrontation without a plan B, this poker pro has achieved very impressive results.

Poker Strategies - How can I maximise my advantage when playing poker online?

First and foremost, you should be constantly learning and improving your knowledge and understanding of the game, as well as increasing your experience. However, there are also some specific decisions and steps that can be made and taken to increase your earnings at the poker table.

First of all, don't avoid watching instructional or analytical video materials and read literature or articles about poker. At you can find a comprehensive blog that regularly publishes articles relevant to poker players, revealing poker secrets that help both the beginner and the expert. 

By joining Pokeriomokykola you get access to a wealth of material that allows you to improve every day.

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Your next step should be to get the right choosing the software. Poker software is an essential attribute of a successful poker player. It is simply not physically possible to process and collect data in the volumes that any poker software does. PokerTracker 4 and Holdem Manager 3 are probably the best choices for beginners to have as a constant companion to their game. With these tools, you can greatly increase your competitiveness at any table. There are also programs for more advanced players, but they can only be used to their full potential by players who are very experienced and who are looking for every possible nuance and detail that they can find to sway the odds in their favour.

You will only discover the best strategy for you when you have enough experience at the table to know your strengths and weaknesses. Only when you know these nuances can you start to find a strategy that works. There is no one right option for every player. We have already profiled the most successful players from around the world. Have you seen them? Almost all of them have wildly different and dissimilar strategies, but all of them are successful. Play, gain experience and you will soon find the best strategy for your game.