Five Free Ways to Boost Your Online Poker Win-Rate - Part 2
After covering the first two ways to boost your online poker win-rate by focusing on a single form of poker, along with playing smart and in your current capacity, let's now take a look at the three remaining ways.
Mind the Bluffing
As much as it is a game of strategy, poker is also a game of psychology, especially when you play in person, with opponents left, right, and in front of you. Bluffing can be a powerful tool in the hands of an experienced player who possesses a vast understanding of reading opponents and situations. Keep those bluffs in mind and Download WPT Global today to your device to put your poker skills to work.
However, the effect of being caught in a bluff (losing a hand) or choosing to show your opponents that you've successfully bluffed them off a pot (winning it) can be two-fold. On the one hand, it may be perceived as a weakness; on the other, as a sign of audacity.
If you can bluff in a live game with a deadpan expression and monotone voice, and continue playing in that same fashion during the following hands, your opponents will have a hard time getting a good read on you.
But bluffs can be a double-edged sword and overdoing it will expose you to more risk. If you're seen to be bluffing frequently, your opponents will remember it and will start to call you more often. There's the possibility that a player calls your bluff by making a counter bluff, which then turns into a game of wits. Sometimes it's worth defending your bluff all the way, but you should always know when to fold.
Play According to Your Position
This tip is handy for Omaha and classic Texas Hold'em, but it also may be applied to other versions of poker.
Your position on the poker table plays an important role. The most inconvenient positions are the first three to the left of the buck (or button). These are the small blind, the big blind, and the so-called “under the gun” player, who sits immediately to the left of the big blind.
UTG is considered the most unfavorable before the flop, since you are the first to act: call the blinds, raise, or fold. After the flop, it is the player closest clockwise from the button who acts first.
The middle and late positions are most convenient as you get to study how others play their hands and make a more informed decision on whether to call, raise, or fold. Use that information to your advantage.
Develop a Pre and Postflop Strategy
During the first round of betting (preflop), some players may raise before your turn to call comes around. What this means depends on the type of opponent making the raise; consider whether they raise preflop all the time or only rarely make an aggressive move. The player who raises either feels confident with a strong pair, bluffs, or wants to see how other players will react to the raise.
Calling lots of preflop raises with weak or marginal hands is a common beginner error. Even when playing against a serial raiser, playing too wide a preflop range (too high a percentage of hands) can be a leak. Preflop strategy hinges in part on starting hand selection - for all game types.
Expect the game to heat up after the flop (when the first 3 cards are placed face-up on the table). Your opponents may keep betting and raising you - and each other. Yet they are still acting on only three community cards.
Some will raise; others might even go a step further and go all-in after the flop. Yet the 'turn' (the fourth community card) and the 'river' or 'fifth street' are still yet to come.
Most experienced poker players would agree that a single community card in poker can be a game-changer, let alone two. Developing a postflop strategy is tough, as you need to make fast decisions based on the community cards and how your opponents bet.
Learning how to incorporate some of these strategies into your playing style will take patience and a lot of practice. You will undoubtedly make mistakes along the way, but if anything, you will only get better with time. Before you know it, calling your opponents' bluffs, making calculated moves post-flop, and keeping your cool during intense parts of the game will come as easy as breathing.