What is There to Poker Strategy?

Type: article

Poker strategy is really very simple on the face of it as it comes down to win the other guys chips or in the case of a cash game…his money! Sounds easy right?

Well, that assumption would be incorrect at best and at worst exceptionally naïve.

Poker is a very simple game to learn but it takes a very long time to get good at it. But now with modern technology and artificial intelligence this could be changing.

Poker Strategizing

Some players make a good living by playing very “loose and aggressive” while others fatten their stacks playing a more passive or “tight” form of poker.

Loose and aggressive players tend to play many more hands than a passive player hoping that their cards will connect with the flop in some way and the tighter players tend to sit and wait for big hands and then push them hard when they get them.

The Pros and Cons

Both forms have their strengths and weaknesses. The fast player can spend a lot of money trying to hit those flops but usually, get paid off when they do because their opponents don’t suspect them having the have the cards they have in most cases because they tend to play hands that are unusual trying to hit the sweet spot. A good example of this type of player is an old pro named Gus Hanson. Hanson would see cheap flops with hands like 6/5 suited which don’t hit the flop often but when they do they tend to get paid off by unsuspecting players who only like to play big cards like Aces, kings and queens.

Other Factors

A point to note about playing poker optimally is to remember that while your cards are of course important they are hardly the only factor, and, in some cases, they are the least important factor.

Your position at the table is probably the single most important factor and can even determine what cards you will play in certain situations.

Poker is a game of gathering information and the smaller the number of players who are left to act behind you gives a big advantage in deciding how and what cards to play.

Quite obviously if you have a hand like A/A or K/K you will play from any position but if you have a speculative hand like Q/10 Suited it is best played in a pot that has yet to be raised and the fewer players left to act behind you gives you a more likely chance that you can see a cheap flop and hope to connect. The same can be said with small pocket pairs like, 2’s, 3’s etc. you want to see a flop in the hopes of making 3 of a kind but do not want to call large bets before the flop because the cost of doing so and missing, which you will do in most cases, can become quite expensive indeed.

Other factors to consider when playing poker are the style of the play of your opponents. Do they take a lot of chances playing weak starting hands hoping to hit a flop? Or do they sit back and wait for and then push only the biggest of hands? Do they bluff a lot? Or when they bet, or raise do they almost always have the best hand? Watching what is happening at the table, even when you are not in the hand, especially when you are not in the hand, can give you valuable information that you can then use when you are playing a pot against that opponent.

Take your time and learn as much as you can and most importantly…have fun!