Every player has different playing strategies. Conservative players play only the best hands and very rarely bluff – if you are a beginner, it is best to stick to this type of play until you know what you’re doing and can more accurately read your opponents. Generally speaking, players holding two good starting cards have the best chance of making the winning hand or at least having the best draw after the Flop.
In the early position, use only very strong hands that can stand up to a raise or multiple raises.
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In the middle position, play strong and moderately strong hands. Get aggressive if your hand warrants it, as at this point, you really want to be thinning out the number of players.
In the late position, play a wider variety of hands aggressively. This is beneficial if it’s pre-flop and is even more beneficial if you continue to play aggressively even when faced with a bad flop.
It can be more difficult to read your fellow players when playing online as you can’t read their facial expressions. Watch out for those who are betting too quickly, as this is often a sign of a bluff. Use this to your advantage by betting high pairs and other strong hands – doing this encourages other players with moderate hands to increase the pot and, at the same time, will encourage players with weak hands to see a cheap flop.
If the flop comes out as a 4-5-6 or any other sequence, it is time to be wary, as a straight can turn your otherwise good cards, such as aces, into bad cards. Also, be wary of flops that contain two or three cards of the same suit, as chances are the other players will hold any two suited cards.
While having faceless opponents is a disadvantage in some respects; as you’re not able to read them; use it to your advantage – they can’t read you so well either, so you will have an easier time bluffing. Play a great hand after a bad one, play on your opponents’ fears and use the fact that you are invisible to your greatest advantage.
Every once in a while, let your opponents see your bluff; this makes you unpredictable, which is exactly what you want. A clever way of bluffing is to play as a member of the opposite sex – a male posing as a woman will help you take advantage of the fact that most people see women as less aggressive payers who are generally less likely to bluff. Women posing as men are sometimes able to project a more forceful and aggressive image at the table.
Observe your fellow poker players and keep notes on them if necessary – you will be amazed at how often you will come up against the same players. An online notebook is a facility whereby you can store your observations and pull them onscreen at a later date – very clever stuff that you would be wise to use to your advantage. Use it to record different players’ actions and their responses to your play.
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