Use this Trio of Advanced Poker Tips to Improve Your Game
Players who really understand the game of poker are able to go beyond card strength and disciplined play to understand and utilize other important concepts. Advanced poker tips are focused on aspects of the game with which many players never bother. In this article, we’ll consider pot odds, player position and calculating outs. Each of these is an aspect of developing your advanced poker strategy.
Determining Pot Odds
When it comes to advanced poker tips, the ability to calculate pot odds is a good way to lower your risk and gauge the benefits of staying in a hand. Pots odds are a determination of how much you are being asked to risk and how much you might make in taking that risk.
As an example, if it costs you $20 to stay in a hand where you might win $60 and you have weak cards, you’ll probably want to fold. Why? That’s because you have bad pot odds. You stand to win $60 while risking $20. The odds are 60:20 or 3:1. You’re matching one-third of the pot with weak cards.
On the other hand, let’s say you have a strong hand and the pot is worth $1,000. Your bet is $50. Your pot odds are 1000:50 or 20:1. Those are good pot odds if you’re holding strong cards, and they are well worth taking.
Properly Playing Position
The strongest position at the poker table is the Dealer Button. That because the poker player in that spot gets to wager last, which means they are able to gauge how everyone else bets before making a commitment to the hand. Many poker players agree that the ability to play your position properly is essential to successful play.
Generally speaking, the further to the right of the dealer a player sits, the weaker their position with the small blind being the weakest spot. To illustrate this, let’s say you’re just to the left of the big blind. This is an extremely weak table position. Perhaps you have some decent hole cards, and with the minimum bet being $20, you decide to bet $100. That’s five times what you need to wager to stay in the hand.
Everyone folds until you get to the Dealer Button. The player at the button raises to $500. The small blind and big blind both fold and you’re left in the hand. To continue, you must wager another $400. You could have gotten to this juncture by spending just $20.
Your cards aren’t strong enough to risk $400, so you fold. Or worse yet, you decide to stay and start bleeding chips. The fact is you’ve misplayed your position. When playing hole cards in an early position always think about how much of a raise you’re willing to see before betting, and if you can get away with the minimum, then bet it. Leave it to others to raise.
In poker, an “out” is defined as card that will turn your hand from being a losing hand to a winning hand. The more outs you have, the better your chances are of winning. If you hold an Ace and King of Hearts and on the flop a 10 and 8 of Hearts and 9 of Spades are exposed, you would have 10 possible outs to make your flush. If someone else is holding a 7 of clubs and a King of Diamonds, they would have as many as eight outs to make a straight on either end.
In this scenario, both poker players would probably stay in the hand. But the player with the possible flush has a better chance of winning than the one with the possible straight. That’s because they have two more outs. Let’s say a six of Hearts is revealed on the turn. Both have made their out but a flush beats a straight any day.
In calculating outs you need to determine how many cards you need to make your hand and if those cards will actually allow you to take down the pot. The poker player holding the flush must always be cognizant of any player that may be able to make a full house, which would beat them.
Start Using These Advanced Tips
If you’re a poker player, you want every edge that you can get and these three advanced poker tips will certainly help you do that. Be sure to think about each and every aspect of the game and pay attention to every new card as it has the potential to change a hand dramatically.