Strategy and Tips Playing Poker in Casino
The most important decision you will make is made before you even leave your house. That decision is whether or not to play poker. If you are not prepared to play your best game and devote your full attention to your idnpoker play, then you should stay away from the poker table. Your attitude and frame of mind can and will affect your decisions at the table.
Make it a habit to look at your hole cards (your face down cards) once and memorize them. This will allow you to act quickly when it is your turn and keep the game going. It will also prevent you from giving away any tells (hints about the cards you are holding) that may occur by looking at your cards.
You should have a game plan before you sit down at the table. Mental preparation can be just as critical as knowing the selection of hands you will play. Get enough rest and eat properly before playing. This will help you stay alert during the game.
Game selection is very important. You don’t have to be the best player in the world. You only have to be better than the others at the table. If your opponents are too tough, then you should find an easier game.
Study the other players to determine what type of players they are. After some time at the table, you should be able to determine whether a player is loose or tight. You should also have an idea of the types of hands they play.
Review and analyze your own play after each session. No matter how good you think you are, there is always room to improve your game. You can only do this through honest assessment of your play.
Bad players are profitable and you want them in the game. Never berate or try to educate another player at the table. If you suffer a bad beat, just say “nice hand” and move on. If you berate a bad player, you may drive them out of the game. If you educate them, they may play better next time.
Make sure that you bring to the table at least twenty times the amount of the table’s maximum bet to gamble with. Playing when you are under-capitalized is not the way to play winning poker. You want to make sure you have enough to handle the loss of a hand without having to buy more chips.
Never try to bluff more than two players at once. There will usually be someone who wants to “keep you honest.” In low limit games if there is even one calling station at your table, you should not bluff. (A calling station is a player who will not fold his hand and will stay in the hand to the end.)
If the pot is raised before it is your turn to act, you will have to call the original bet and the raise. This is known as cold calling. Unless you have a very powerful hand, you should fold. You need a stronger hand to call a raise than you do to initiate one.
Keep your emotions in check. The table is not the place for foul language or temper tantrums. It will not be tolerated, and it makes you look foolish.
If you start to get tired, leave the game. Playing winning poker takes concentration. If you play too long, you may get tired or even bored. This can cause you to make mistakes or play marginal hands.
The term “tell” is short for a telltale sign. It can be a voluntary movement that a player makes to try to deceive you or it can be an involuntary reaction to the cards. If you can learn to spot tells, you will be able to win some hands just by reading another player.
Most players will act strong when they are weak and act weak when they are strong. A player who looks sad or shrugs when placing chips into the pot usually has a very strong hand.
A player staring right at you is trying to intimidate you and is daring you to call their bet. They usually have a weak hand or are bluffing. A player looking away from you, trying to seem uninterested usually has a strong hand. That player wants you to call.
If a player’s hands are shaking when they make their bet, you can be sure that they have a very strong hand. This is an involuntary tell that is usually not an act.
If a player looks at their chips after seeing the dealer turn over the community cards in hold’ em or the next card dealt to them in 7-card stud, it usually means they are going to bet. For most players, this involuntary action signifies they like what they see.
In Texas hold’em, if a player looks at his pocket cards when three cards of the same suit flop (first three community cards), they usually don’t have a flush. Chances are they have one card of that suit and they want to see the value of the suited card.
After the flop in Texas hold’em, a player staring at the flop usually was not helped by it. A player who sees the flop and immediately looks away or glances down at their chips has made a hand.
When you first sit down at a table, study the way the players stack their chips. Although it is a generalization, loose aggressive players typically maintain unorganized/ sloppy stacks, while tight conservative players keep well organized/neat stacks.
A player who is very attentive and sitting in an erect position usually has a strong hand. A player who bluffs a lot leans forward in a confrontational way. Remember, strong is weak!