Poker is not like your average game of chance. While in most gambling games, you never really have any edge at all, in the game of poker skilled players do have an edge. That’s where poker POKER STRATEGY


Poker is not like your average game of chance. While in most gambling games, you never really have any edge at all, in the game of poker skilled players do have an edge. That’s where poker strategy comes in. Poker is often like a war at the table, and those playing with no poker strategy whatsoever are as doomed as any other unprepared army. In fact, if you go into a poker game without executing some form of poker strategy, you might as well concede defeat as soon as you sit down. Poker is not like roulette or baccarat, but it might as well be if you are not employing poker strategy of some kind. Even the smallest amount of poker strategy will give you an advantage over players with no poker strategy at all, and you better believe there are plenty of players out there not using any kind of poker strategy. Don’t be one of them. The bad news is that you are never going to be finished learning poker strategy. The greats never stop learning, and you will be learning poker strategy, forgetting poker strategy, changing your opinion on a specific piece of poker strategy as long as you are playing the game. At least you should be if you plan on winning.


The good news, as stated earlier, is that you don’t have to know every piece of poker strategy to play winning poker. Just knowing a little more about poker strategy than your opponent will give you a big edge over her, and knowing a lot more about poker strategy than your opponents will have you crushing the game.

But where do you learn poker strategy? How do you start? There are several places you can learn sound poker strategy, and while you may find that one place to learn is easier than others, it will benefit you to learn poker strategy from several sources. Like any other subject, reading about the game will come most naturally to those used to studying. Perhaps one of the oldest ways of learning, talking to people about poker strategy, and discussing your play and theirs, will help you better understand the game. People say practice makes perfect, and for a hands on approach, actually playing the game over and over again will provide some of you with a better understanding of poker strategy than all the reading in the world. It really depends on how you like to learn, and what seems to come to you more naturally. So where do you find these poker strategy resources?

To learn poker strategy by reading about it, you can find several books on any type of poker in any bookstore or library. There are a ton of books out on the game of poker, and for all level of players. From the very basics of poker strategy, to advanced concepts used by the biggest stakes players in the world. Don’t feel like leaving the house? No problem. You can also order books online. Odds are your favorite online poker site has them for sell. Places like Pokerstars will actually let you order a huge selection of poker books using points you earn while playing at their site! There are also amazing articles on poker strategy all over the web. Professional poker player Mariealena Calabrese writes several articles about poker strategy online, most of which can be found here in her blog section. While you’re there you can also work on one of the other ways to learn poker strategy. Discussing the game with others.

Discussing the game with other players can be a huge help when learning poker strategy. It allows you to get feedback on the way you played a hand or session, get advice from people who have more experience, and to help others as well by offering your point of view. If you play in a regular home game, or at the same casino a lot, find out who the best players are and ask them for advice. If you don’t play live poker, you can still discuss poker strategy with other players online. The internet is full of poker forums where you can discuss all aspects of poker strategy. The best kind of forum will have a mix of members who play about the same as you, a little better, and also allow you to discuss hands with professional players. Poker Forum is probably one of the best places to discuss poker strategy for a few different reasons. First of all, they cover just about every poker game there is in their Neverwinpoker Real Poker Discussions section and each game has it’s own section there so you can focus on the one type of game you’re trying to learn, or bounce around the forum and learn about several games. Also players range from your average Joe trying to learn the basics, all the way up to professional players like WSOP bracelet winner Todd “Dan Druff” Witteles, who has his own section called the Ask Dan Druff Forum and every type of player in between. The more people you discuss poker strategy with, the better you will get. Even those who might sound foolish to you will at least give you some perspective on how different players think about the game. When you are done discussing poker strategy with others, you can move on to the hands on training. Playing the game.

Some people are just better at learning poker strategy through the hands on approach. World class players like Phil Ivey, Sammy Farha, and Freddy Deeb have claimed to have never read poker books, and just gained their poker strategy through years of playing the game. Professional poker player Brett Richey says to forget the books and just jump into the highest games you can afford and start learning. While this may be a little extreme, there is no doubt that you will gain a lot from just playing a high number of hands. Wether at your local casino, or even better at an online poker room like Full Tilt or Pokerstars where you can play several more hands than at a live game, you will soon start to see the same situations over and over. And if you pay attention you will develop your own poker strategy for making the most, or losing the least amount of money in that given situation.

So while it is true that learning poker strategy is a never ending process, you will be able to use these strategies as you learn them. Wether you find discuss poker strategy with others, read about poker strategy, or just get your feet wet by jumping straight into a game and paying attention, poker strategy is all around you for the taking.

Beginner Poker Strategy

Chinese Poker - Part Three - Strategy

Having dealt with the basic rules of Chinese Poker in my first article, and some common variations of the game in the second one, it is time to turn our attention to the strategy of the game. Although Chinese Poker is much more luck-dependent than most other forms of poker, there are still some basic rules to follow in order to give yourself the best chance to succeed.

Chinese Poker - Part Two - Variations

In the first article in this series, I outlined the basic play and scoring of a typical game of Chinese Poker. However, over time, a number of variations of the game have sprung up, with varying degrees of popularity. Probably the most common variation is the addition of special hands to the game that increase the number of points the player receives for winning a hand. The special hands most commonly used are three-of-a-kind in the front hand (the three-card hand), a full house or better in the middle hand and four-of-a-kind or a straight or royal flush in the back hand.

Chinese Poker - Part One - The Basics

If you follow the professional tournament circuit, or watch shows like High Stakes Poker on television, you have no doubt heard stories about a game called Chinese Poker. Perhaps the most dramatic of these tales (at least the ones that have made it to the ears of the public) occurred a little over a year ago when Phil Hellmuth reported losing over a half million dollars to Phil Ivey in one session of play! It is clear that Chinese Poker has become a staple of professional poker players to while away the hours in between tournament sessions and regular cash games, or to distract them during lengthy airplane flights. So what IS Chinese Poker?

When Is It OK To Check And Call?

Sometimes it is ok to check and call or just call in a no limit hold em tournament. Most of the times it's not, but there are times, usually against loose aggressive players who like to make small bets to check and call as raising will generally lead to either being re-raised or generating a fold. By just checking and calling against this type of poker player, they continue to put money into the pot at small increments and give you the correct odds to draw to your hand or to win the pot even though you only have a marginal hand.


So as a beginner you have decided to take the plunge into omaha hi lo. So, as with any other form of poker, a beginner needs to know which hands to play. This article will help the beginning omaha hi lo player know which hands are most likely to show a profit in the long run when playing. Although most written literature on forms of poker tell you that starting hand requirements are subject to change depending on game situations, the fact is that in omaha hi lo, at a full table, being the tightest player in the game can actually be all you need to do to turn a profit.


Omaha is probably the most popular form of poker besides hold em, and in many places even more popular than hold em. The pots can often be bigger in omaha, and the play much more loose and exciting. You could win several buy ins in a typically loose game, or lose several, which makes the game very exciting.

Essential "Outs" Calculations for Beginning Poker Players

Are you ready to get serious about your game? A poker player who sincerely wants to improve his game must learn to apply mathematical concepts and considerations to his strategy. Math-based decisions are crucial in all forms of poker, from low limit cash games, to ten thousand dollar buy-in tournaments. You don't need a calculator, and you don't have to be a math whiz. Just follow these simple steps and improve your game today.

Cash Game NL Hold'em Strategy

General Poker Strategy

Playing Badugi

Every once in a while, a variation of poker seems to come out of nowhere and suddenly gain popularity. Such was the case many years ago with a little game called Texas Hold’em, and I think you know where that fad ended up. Recently, more and more people are playing a form of low triple-draw called Badugi. While it is hard to imagine this simple, fun game ever gaining anywhere near the popularity of Hold’em, it is being spread in more live and online venues, and is worth learning about, especially since many of the people playing it have no idea of what they are doing, and can be easy prey for informed players. This article is meant to explain the basics of Badugi, and describe some basic strategy to help you understand how to play it profitably.

Stack Dynamics

In another article, I discussed depth of money dynamics, a critical component you must evaluate when it comes to the end of the tournament and short-handed play. However, that is not the only thing that must be looked at when making a decision. Stack dynamics, or the relation of your stack size in comparison to your opponents, is just as, or maybe more important, than depth of money dynamics. Specifically, it affects what hands you can play and against whom you can play them.

NWP - Position Is Power

I have a saying I tell my students all the time – Position Is Power. This simple statement is at the core of so many various poker decisions that I've decided to spend a whole article discussing the importance of position. I'm going to do so by outlining some reasons why position is important and showing examples.

Depth Of Money Dynamics

You might look at the subject for this article and wonder what depth of money dynamics is. The simplest definition I can come up with is that it is the relation of the average chip stack in proportion to the blinds. I can explain it better by showing you some examples of three different situations that appear on the surface to be identical but in reality are polar opposites.

Why make a standard bet of ½ to ¾ the pot?

A common question I am often asked is “why should I make a standard sized flop bet?”

Let me start by pointing out some of the advantages to making a standard bet.

Using Betting to Gather Information

One of the biggest mistakes a person can make in a no limit hold em tournament is to check/call. I see player after player doing it and it is a fundamental error. I know that I'm still guilty of doing it from time to time and have to remind myself how wrong it is after the poker tournament when I am reviewing my play.


Pot Limit Omaha, it ain't Hold Em

Pot Limit Omaha (PLO) is a game of action and lately it has started to draw in poker players far and wide as they attempt to get in on the supposedly easy money to be made in PLO. A problem many of these players make, however, is that they treat PLO too much like Hold Em. In this article, I'm going to go over two of the biggest Hold Em mistakes poker players make in PLO.

The Math Of Pot Limit Omaha

Pot Limit Omaha (referred to as PLO after this) is an action game. The potential for drawing out is almost always available and aggressive players love the game because of the fear they can instill in tight players because there are so many ways to lose a hand. Understanding the mathematics of PLO can go a long way towards increasing the profitability of your PLO play. This article is going to look at some very basic PLO situations and show you the math that applies to them.

Omaha 8 Turn And River Play

In my previous two articles, I explained the types of hands you should play pre-flop and how to proceed on the flop for those hands. In this part, I am going to go through the turn and the river play, which if you've followed what I've laid out in the previous articles should be relatively simple. It is so straightforward in fact that I am going to lay out the types of turns and rivers you should be looking for, how to bet/raise them, and then provide you with several real life examples to show you what I am talking about.

Omaha 8 Pre-flop Play

There are numerous theories out there about what hands people should play in Omaha 8 including point systems that take into account each of the cards you hold in your hand. I'm not going to try and complicate things that much for you because it's much easier than that, especially when playing at the lower limits. Here are the hands you should play and why...

Omaha 8 Flop Play

In my previous article, I laid out for you how to handle pre-flop play in Omaha 8 games. In this part, I am going to expand on that and go over play on the flop. The flop is the most important part of any Omaha 8 pot. It is when you have the most information and the betting limits are the cheapest (in a limit cash game). There are two key concepts with flop play... the flop texture (how the flop matches up with your hand)... and the odds that your hand will improve to win at least half the pot.

Poker Theory

Is Poker Gambling?

Empire Casino, London Poker is perpetually linked to - and surrounded by - gambling and gamblers. For this reason, it's important to take a serious look at what "gambling" itself means. "The real thing to know is that folks will stand to lose more than they will to win. That's the most important percentage there is. I mean, if they lose, they're willin' to lose everything. If they win, they're usually satisfied to win enough to pay for dinner and a show. The best gamblers know that."

Psychology of Poker

The Psychology of Poker

There are aspects of poker which make it different than any other card game. It is easy to apply strategy learned from playing backgammon, chess, spades, and other games to your poker approach. Following basic strategy and playing percentages at all times will give you the ability to make money from terrible players, but you will do so very slowly. It is hard to beat the rake using only mathematical evaluation. If you want to become successful, you have to understand and use psychology. There are two important aspects to using psychology effectively in poker. First, you have to know the playing styles of your opponents. Second, you have to understand the perception other players have of you.

Seven-Card Stud Strategy

Tournament Play