Ways to Encourage New Strategic Ideas in Poker

Sometimes even the best poker players hit a wall with their games. Maybe it’s a string of poor decisions or bad beats, or maybe you’re trapped at a limit below what you would like to be playing because every time you move up you find your skill is not up to par. Any serious poker player should be continuously thinking about his or her game and how to make it better. Here’s some tips to improve your Texas Hold’em or other favourite poker game strategy.

PHOTO CREDITS: http://www.flickr.com/photos/wwworks/5438314669/

1. Read the experts.

There’s one poker book that should be at the top of every player’s list: David Slansky’s “The Theory of Poker.” Subtitled “A Professional Poker Player Teaches You How To Think Like One,” this tome should be read and absorbed from cover to cover. It covers not just Hold’em but Omaha, Seven-Card Stud and other popular poker games as well as how to manage life as a professional poker player. For a more concrete and specific comprehensive strategic Hold’em guide try “Doyle Brunson’s Super System: A Course in Power Poker.” Brunson expertly lays out a complete strategy that is the “TAG” (“tight-aggressive”) system with some unique twists. Read it, absorb it, and follow it and you’ll improve your chances of winning in no time.

2. Look at your statistics.

Online poker play has one great advantage over playing at the casino: the best online poker sites track every hand you’ve played and can bring you complete statistics showing your strengths, weaknesses and trends. Study these stats while playing free poker online. Are you seeing too many flops? Have you become a “calling station,” blindly following others’ raises along for the ride and watching your stack dwindle? More-advanced statistics can be had by way of add-on software that keeps track of the moves and tendencies of you and your opponents.

3. Switch games.

If you’re a Seven-Stud player, try Hold’em for a change. If you’re a no-limit player, switch to limit and watch how the betting strategies change. Even more-exotic games like Razz and Pai Gow poker are worth learning. A great way to get a shocking crash course in multiple games is to enter a HORSE tournament. HORSE consists of Texas Hold’em, Omaha High, Razz, Seven-Card Stud and Seven-Card Stud High-Low Split. While you may frustrate some veterans with slow play and lots of questions, just simply playing new games is the best way to learn them. After all, everyone was new once. Even if you stick with your Seven-Stud or Hold’Em game of choice, trying out some different games will help you find new strategic ideas in poker.

4. Watch poker on TV.

The poker craze exploding in the 2000s caused television broadcasters to pick up poker programming, nearly always Texas Hold’em. Watching top tournaments like the World Series of Poker Main Event gives you a chance to see how the experts play. Better still, this is different from reading a strategy book because you’ll see how players like Chris Moneymaker play when there’s millions of dollars on the line. Which strategies did they use with the “nuts,” or best possible hand? What did they do when they knew they were beat? Did someone wisely ditch a full house that would have lost to a higher full house? These are the strategies you should be watching for to improve your own game.

5. Stay within your limits.

If you’re playing poker when you don’t have the money to lose or you are playing at a limit that is too high for your bankroll to support, you’ll play poorly. The best way to experiment with and learn new strategies is to play at a limit that is comfortable for you, win or lose.

This guest post was written by Nisha on behalf of Jackpot Party UK, where you can play slots online (US players can play for fun!)

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