Winning a game of poker is all about strategy. Just like a war, the game of poker requires one to calculate their moves and make them with precision lest they fall victim to an opponent with an upper hand. This article is meant to help any poker player to play the game of poker like a pro and reap big when it comes to winning the pot.
The Mathematics and Psychology Behind Poker
The word mathematics should not deter anyone from getting into online poker. Mathematics and psychology, in this sense, are used to predict some crucial factors that could be very vital as to whether you win or lose in a pot. Mastering the mathematical and psychological approach towards an online poker game will among others, help one determine the following four crucial things;
- Frequency- the number of times a particular move is played and how one can counter that.
- Fold percentage- this refers to the number of times an opponent will be expected to fold should one decide to call a bluff.
- Break-even- this is crucial in determining how many times an opponent has to fold for one to make a profit on a bluff.
- Eventual value- this is a mathematical prediction of whether a particular line of play is going to make a profit or a loss in the long run.
To Get Money, You Need Money
The game of poker is played by placing bets, or you could refer to them as wagers. In many online poker tournaments, players are put off by the high buy-in. One thing that a player should understand however is that the higher the buy-in, the bigger the size of the pot. For a player that wishes to win big, they then should be ready to invest big, and that’s what it means when it’s said that a player needs money to get money in poker. Going for high buy-ins may be the key to getting higher payouts, but it should also be done with a lot of caution since it is possible to lose big too.
The Opening Hand
The opening hand that one is dealt in an online game of poker determines the next move that one should make next. Depending on the opening hand that one has been dealt, there are several options that one can make depending on their position, these are;
- Calling a raise
- Calling a re-raise
- Calling a bluff
- Folding the hand
Careful evaluation of the cards dealt has to be done for one to know what move to make accurately.
Different Hands to Play
A hand refers to the combination of cards that one has in hand. Depending on the shuffle and cut algorithm in online poker, one can be dealt several types of hands in each instance. Some of the most potent hands are;
- Pocket Aces- this is the strongest hand in poker but only as long as the number of players in the pot remains small. This hand is a combination of two aces.
- Pocket Kings- as the name suggests, this is a pair of Kings that one can be dealt in an online game of poker. They work well against any given hand except the pocket aces.
- Pocket Queens- this hand is a combination of queens, and when dealt, it is best used before the flop or before raising or re-raising.
Calling, Raising and Re-raising
A call refers to matching the bet that has been made by another player in a pot. This strategy is best used when one believes they have a stronger hand in the final round and thus can win the pot.
Raising refers to increasing the amount of the bet in the same round. This is best pulled when having the upper hand over other players.
Re-raising refers to calling another raise immediately a previous player makes it before you. This move is meant to counter the raise in anticipation of winning.
The position from which a player is seated, in this case, in an online poker game the position from which a player plays determines a lot. The best position to play at in an online poker game is the one that plays last after the flop, and the worst position is the one that plays first after the flop or immediately after the dealer button.
The stack size refers to the number of chips that one has in the game of poker. In online poker, it’s important to monitor from one’s screen, how many chips they have when compared to other players in the game. Monitoring the stack size helps one in managing their bankroll and thus knowing the size of bets to place.
Reading Your Opponent
A poker game is best won when one can read their opponent’s moves. Reading an opponent encompasses both psychological and behavioral observance. In online poker, this may be a little hard since one is not seated at the same table with the other players. In online poker, one can read their opponents by baiting them with simple moves that one can later counter. Observing the pattern with which an opponent makes his or her move helps to pin them at their own game.
Simple Structure, Complex Game
Poker is referred to as being the game with a simple structure but complex gameplay due to the many rules that go with it. It important especially in online poker, that one gets to learn the ropes first before playing to minimize on losses. The simplicity of the poker game could fool someone into thinking they can win on the first try without any expertise.
Playing online poker like a pro is a matter of learning the right strategies to execute to win a game. A player who follows the above strategies is more likely to win.