Advanced Strategies For Poker Pros
There are numerous tips and tutorials for beginners on how to win poker, but what about poker players who want to know how to get ahead of other great players? After all, they already know how to win, what else is there to know? Well, here are five tips for an advanced poker player wanting to improve their game. For those who play online, ignition is a poker site full of players.
1. Make small changes
There are five levels in a poker game.
When you are a beginner poker player, it is not hard to improve and learn how to win the game. Anyone can follow the rules and make a profit from the game.
However, as you climb the levels, you realize that it is harder to have an advantage over the other players. In the middle levels, luckily, you can still follow a set of formalized strategies and know how to adjust to the game you are playing in order to win. At this stage, most of you still do not have to worry about losing the edge to other players. With that said, it is not an easy feat and it requires consistency and practice if you wish to win a poker game at this stage.
Now comes the most difficult part where players climb to higher levels. The lowest levels of poker can be seen in online games against computers, and the other end of the spectrum being professional players playing against one another. The middle limits remain roughly the same between the micro limits and the low-level tables consisting of the middle level.
One thing to note is that when you are in between the middle and top-level, it could be more beneficial and easier to compete with the lower levels than the top level. However, if you desire to reach the top levels, then read on.
The key is to learn how to adapt on your own because there is no formula in the books. The changes you make are usually minuscule and should be according to how you play and the level you play at. This could take some time because you have to always find a small edge that you can take advantage of. The results are often minuscule as well, but it could prove to be very useful, especially at such an advanced level.
It could be the defining factor as to whether you win or lose here.
2. Know your fundamentals
Playing at higher levels means facing opponents who know how to outsmart you. You need more tips and tricks in order to win. This includes learning how to semi-bluff and trap your opponents.
Most professional players employ fancy strategies, bluffs, and traps all the time. But they also know when to fold when they need to.
There is a certain risk when you try to follow these professionals and make fancy plays because you could overthink it and fail instead.
Going back to your basics could be a reverse-psychology tactic to mislead the other good players, so sometimes you need to play strong when you’ve got a good hand and fold when it is no longer profitable.
3. Time your decision-making
Poker strategies often are easy to predict by other advanced players. It is therefore important that you don’t show what is up your sleeves when you play poker at the higher levels.
In order to hide your moves and thoughts, you should ensure that the time you take to make every decision is the same. This way, your opponents do not know what you have on your hand based on how long you take to make each decision. This is one of the information you can withhold from your opponents so they cannot get an edge over you.
However, in cases where you are the last player and need to decide to bet all in or fold, the time taken does not matter. In fact, it is wise to take your time in order to figure what your best bet is since the information exposed to the other players is of no use anyway. The second is when you know you are going to fold a bad hand before the flop on starting hands.
4. The five-minute rule
This strategy is influenced by Dan Harrington and is best used when you are bluffing. You need to know how many times you make decisions like bluffing so that you can space them out in order not to overdo it. For instance, if you bluff too many times, your opponents can pick up this information and not fall for your bluffs. This five-minute rule can help. When you bluff during this five-minute window, then do not bluff for the rest of the hour of that window. This way, you won’t expose your strategy and you also do not have to overthink every time. This is useful in cases where you don’t have much information about your opponents.
Introduce more variability to your play by using different five-minute windows each time you play, so your opponents cannot figure out your play.
If you know that bluffing is the best bet, or if you know it definitely won’t work, then disregard this rule.
Otherwise, this five-minute rule is useful so that you don’t expose your playing style too much which could be detrimental to you.
You also need to be aware that when you reach higher levels, many of your opponents are smart and are watching everything that you do. This means that you need to be careful about making the same decisions at the same time.
5. Be unpredictable
All the tips above can accumulate to a set of strategies you stick to.
However, at the higher levels, the opponents you play against can detect your play and use this against you. There are winning rules you can fix, but some should not be.
The difference between the same play by a bad player and an advanced player is that you cannot predict the hand of the bad player because they often do not know what they are doing.
Analyze your set of strategies you usually play by and look for ways where you can break it. You can test your strategies to see which ones you can break to mislead your opponents.
In the end, you should have a set of rules you strictly adhere to and a set of rules that you can break from time to time so your play is unpredictable and thereby increase your chances of winning.
Concurrently, you should learn how to decipher your opponents’ set of rules and use it against them. You cannot assume that they have the same play as you.
All poker players will reach a stage where they find it hard to improve, but these five tips can help to gain an edge when you are at that stage.