Creating a Poker Strategy
Online poker strategy can be a pretty broad term thanks to the many variations of the game. What does a poker strategy entail? This really depends on which poker game you are playing. Between Texas Hold 'em, Omaha and 7-Card Stud, among many others, you could spend a lifetime learning the online poker strategy most appropriate for each.
Although most poker games bear similar features, the playing strategies of each such game are indeed completely different. Since in this article it is not our goal to introduce and analyze the specifics of different poker strategies, we prefer to present a general overview of terms related to traditional and online poker game strategy.
Position, position, position
One of the most important terms in any poker game strategy is 'Poker Position.' The term refers to the order in which players are seated around the poker table. In general, the earlier poker position (players who are dealt to and act first, roughly the first three players seated to the immediate left of the dealer) are considered less popular than the later poker positions. The reason for this is simple, players in an early poker position must act without having any clue regarding what their opponents hold in their pockets.
Although in poker a player's private cards are exposed only at the showdown, the average poker player can read his opponents based on their behavior at the table. Early poker position players, however, are spared this privilege. Therefore, they need to hold stronger hands to bet or raise than players seated in later position. In conclusion, being in late poker position is a definite advantage.
Loose/ tight and aggressive/ passive play
Another important online poker strategy is the style of play. Selecting a style to fit a player's goals in the game is a rare skill typically developed with experience. Loose players generally play more hands and don't fold despite having a weak hand in their pocket. Tight players tend to play fewer hands and do not continue when a weak hand comes their way.
An aggressive player is a player who raises and bets a lot. Accordingly, a passive player is a player who prefers calling and checking. Players who combine loose play with passive play are often regarded as 'Calling Stations.' Unless a player intentionally seeks to project a certain message to his opponents, loose/ passive play indicates a player's weakness, which can either be used to your advantage or detriment depending on if you are that player.
Raising and calling
A key online poker strategy, regardless of game variant is knowing when to raise and when to call. These are strategic decisions of utmost importance. A player should raise in particular situations, which are also dependant on your poker position, such as:
A. When you have a strong hand and you want to fatten the pot.
B. When you have the best potential hand and you want to drive competition out of the pot.
C. When you seek to gain info regarding the strength of your opponents' hands if you are called.
Alternatively, a player should call in certain situations, such as:
A. When you want to throw off your opponents and conceal the real value of your hand.
B. When you are drawing and want to see more cards.
C. When you seek to avoid a re-raise by the original bettor.
These are very basic online poker strategy related tips. If you want to become a real poker expert you need to practice and develop your own winning strategies. Any poker pro would tell you that merely memorizing game rules is not enough. Poker, traditional and online alike, is a game of skill. And naturally, skills require honing before any success is achieved, so take the time to master your poker strategy before hitting the tables.