Playing poker can be very easy, but also extremely complex, and all at the same time. Poker is very easy to learn, but most people say you never truly master the game. There are many facets to playing poker but I want to keep it simple and stick with a few of the basic poker strategies.
Your first key to having a successful poker strategy is to have a solid working knowledge of the game. There are two main ways of acquiring this basic poker strategy, reading and experience. With the poker explosion there are so many great poker books on the market. Some of them make learning basic poker strategy so much easier than ever before. Bookstores carry a wide range of poker literature that will definitely get you started in the right direction. In addition to great poker books, there are also great poker forums on the Internet. If you have a question about the game, chances are that someone else has already asked it first. Forums can give you another avenue to explore.
While reading about the game is a great place to start, there is no substitute for experience. Developing your own basic poker strategy takes time, and the great thing about doing it today is that it is much easier than in years past. The Internet has made it possible for poker sites to provide you with a great learning ground to gain experience. You can try out numerous poker strategies either for free, or for a very small amount. Nearly every poker site has free tables, and they also have low limit tables as well. These are perfect learning grounds.
The next big key to a solid poker strategy is using good judgment at the table. This all comes down to experience. This is probably the biggest key to playing good poker. If you have great knowledge but don’t make solid decisions it won’t do you much good. Every decision you make should be thought out before it is made. I know this is much easier said than done. It definitely comes easier with experience. The more situations you face, the better you are at analyzing them the next time they come up.
The final basic poker strategy key we are going to talk about today is how to develop a feel for the game you are in. This is where the great players excel and where the average players fail. It is laying down a great hand when you know you’re beat. We all get that feeling. I have had it; you have had it. We have a great hand that we definitely want to call with, but somehow we feel that we are beat. For example, let’s say we have a set of Kings in No Limit Hold’em and the river card is a third club. It is so difficult to lay down a set of Kings, but sometimes you just have the feeling that your opponent hit the flush. Those are the tough lay-downs that come with having a feel for the game. It is not something you can explain; it is just a feeling. It comes with experience. Many players with years of experience still have a tough time with this.
As you develop your own basic poker strategy try and remember the keys we discussed. Learn the game, practice as much as possible, make good decisions and develop a feel for your table. If you can do these things your chances of success the next time you play will be greatly enhanced.