General poker strategies are the focus of this article. Though references to certain poker games are mentioned here, specific Texas Holdem poker strategies can be found elsewhere on this website.
Here are some poker strategies worth remembering:
The odds of drawing successfully against an inside straight are significantly worse than those of drawing against an outside straight.
When dealt two pair in five-card draw, you have a better chance of getting trips (three of a kind) if you keep only the highest pair and draw three cards, rather than hoping for a full-house and drawing only one. At the end of the hand, two-pair alone may just not be enough to win you the pot.
In video poker I recommend finding a strategy card (preferably one designed specifically for that website’s software) and sticking with it religiously. Beneath all the bells and whistles of the various video poker games out there is a simple random number generator. The strategy cards you can find all over the internet are designed by mathematical computations of the odds, not common sense, and certainly not, "this machine is due to hit big because it hasn't in a while".
I've read and heard it said many places that in video poker you should always play the maximum number of coins you can in each hand because, if you do pull that coveted royal flush, the amount you'll win is proportionately greater than if you pull the same hand with less coins at risk. This is true, but how often does anyone pull a royal flush? This tip is suspect. Use your best judgment here.
In limit poker the cards in your starting hand matter even more than in no limit poker, where it is said that you should, "play the player, not the cards". But that's not as true in limit poker. Since you can only bluff so high, it's relatively cheap for your opponents to call you just to satisfy their curiosity.
In multiplayer poker, certain shrewd betting strategies will help you make the most of a great hand. You can "slow-play", betting low (or even checking) to give your opponents false confidence, thus enticing them to put more chips into the pot. You can "check-raise", passing up the opportunity to place the first bet, again giving your opponents false confidence, then hitting them with a huge raise when the option to fold/call/raise comes back around to you.
In multiplayer poker, if you're holding the short stack (the least amount of chips at the table) then it's only a matter of time before the other players, and your own curiosity, whittles you down to nothing. If you're about to lose anyway, don't bother waiting for that perfect hand. Pretend you've got it already and go all-in (in no limit play) or raise, raise, raise (in limit play) before you completely cease to be a threat to the other players. Even when your opponents see right through you, which most of them will, you've still got chance and uncertainty on your side, which in poker is nearly everything. Many champions took their titles after coming back from the short stack by repeatedly doubling their chips in a rapid-fire series of all-ins – one of the more impressive poker strategies out there.
The more players at a table, the tighter you should generally play (folding more, taking less risks with questionable hands); the fewer players at a table, the looser you should play (betting on more and possibly riskier hands).
The ideal round of multiplayer poker is heads up, one on one. That's when you have your best odds, 50/50. Every additional player is another variable that exponentially decreases your chances. You may want to bet aggressively with a mediocre hand just to clear the felt of unnecessary competition. No point giving an indecisive opponent with equally mediocre cards an opportunity to pull the one card they need at the very end.
These poker strategies should get you off to a good start. Keep coming back to this website however because there's no shortage of solid poker strategies to impart, and we will continue to impart them to you. In the meantime, there's no better teacher than practice when it comes to developing your own poker strategies.