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Poker Tips

The Poker Father's Top 10 Poker Tips for Playing Poker

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Poker Tip #1: Playing too many hands
Most beginners play way too many starting hands, in fact top players typically play between 20-30% of their starting hands. Concentrate on higher value starting hands and help remove the luck element of the game.

Poker Tip #2: Know when to hold’em and know when to fold’em
Learn how to fold a hand, and don’t be a calling machine. Many beginners keep betting regardless of the board or what their opponent’s actions are suggesting. Top players frequently say it’s the hands you can lay down that are often the key to profitable play.

Poker Tip #3: Choose less skillful opponents
...if you want to win money. Sounds fairly obvious, but you should play at betting limits where you can beat the majority of players. Move down in limits if you are having difficulties winning money. In poker, always leave your ego at the door.

Please Note: If you want to become a better Poker Player than you should choose to play against better Poker Players then yourself. This is the Golden Rule of life if you want to become better at anything! However, keep in mind that you can lose a lot of money playing against better players because Poker is Gambling. Please see our Terms of Use Page.

Poker Tip #4: Watch your opponents habits
Especially when you aren’t in a hand. The best time to study is when you aren’t emotionally invested in the hand, and you can make more prudent observations. Watch how opponents bet, and how much they bet, in what position are they betting. Learning how your opponents play is key.

Poker Tip #5: Betting to gain knowledge
Betting is not always because you have the best hand. Top players use various betting techniques to try to gain information. For example, a defensive bet is one that you can use early on to avoid calling a bigger future bet. A re-raise may be used to probe the credibility of your opponent’s hand.

Poker Tip #6: Learn to put your opponents on a hand
Once you have mastered Tips #4 & #5, it is time to put your knowledge to work. Try putting yourself in your opponents shoes, and learn to put them on a hand. Ask questions like “Why did he re-raise me that amount?”, and “Why did he only call in the previous betting round?”, “Maybe because he only called me, he has a kicker problem?”

Poker Tip #7: Learn how to bluff and semi-bluff the right times against the right players, and at the right frequency. Bluffing is often a misunderstood concept, and much to many beginner’s dismay most pros use bluffs quite sparingly. A bluff can be very effective when used rarely, and where there is a seemingly low risk of being called by your opponent.

Poker Tip #8: Changing Gears
Unpredictability can be good. Most pros can figure out a really loose player by waiting for the nuts and being patient. However, an even easier opponent is a tight player or “rock”, who plays only the Group 1 type hands. You need to change your game up, and let them see that you can run bluffs, and can play some lower value starting hands. These changes should be subtle and shouldn’t dramatically affect the flop rate we mentioned in Tip #1

Poker Tip #9: Understand player position
...and how it is critical. Not only is it important to play strong hands, it is even more important in what position you play them. For example, the ideal position is the Button (the Dealer), as you are last to act, and have the advantage of watching all of the betting action before you need to make a decision. eg. If the action before you consists of a bet, a raise, and a re-raise, and you hold a pair of Tens, you might think that folding is the right decision.

Poker Tip # 10: Read books and take notes
Players can always learn more if they want to be a better poker player. Keep notes on what works and doesn’t work for you, and eventually you will come up with a style of play that works uniquely for you and improves your game. Please see our list of Top Poker Books if you want to see some good selections.

Bonus Poker Tip!
"Keep your friends close, but your Poker Friends Closer"
-The Pokerfather

More Poker Tips
Please also see our news articles on "Five Unconventional Tips to Poker Success" and "Ten Tips to Improve Your Online Poker Game"


Please Also See:
Poker Tips - Poker Lessons - Tournament Tips - Poker Rules
Poker Starting Hands - Estimating Odds - Poker Strategy

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