Updated
9/21/2023

Online Poker Strategies

Your level of success and the amount of income you can generate from it will greatly depend on how well-thought-out your strategies for poker are, as well as how strictly and consistently you can adhere to them.

As a novice player, it's essential to have a clear understanding of what you expect from this game. Are you aiming to become a professional and earn a living through it, or are you simply looking to have an enjoyable time at the tables without any desire to win big money? Becoming a winning player requires investing much time and effort into learning strategies and honing your tactical poker skills.

Why Strategies of Poker Are Important

Strategy is an essential element of any game. To thrive in today’s poker landscape, staying ahead of your opponents and cultivating a sense of situational decision-making is crucial. 

Each table, each game, and each spot presents unique challenges. 

The secret to your success lies in developing a solid technique and using that knowledge to adjust your tactics through the game. Here strategies vary depending on the format of the discipline played: cash games or tournaments (MTTs).

For beginners, however, it is best to start with the basics to acquire fundamental poker skills. This includes learning terminology and understanding player actions during preflop and postflop stages. Advanced topics incorporate poker math and psychology (neglecting it may result in losses during high-stress situations). 

Various Playing Styles Explained

Is there an actual strategy to poker? Well, there is neither a single nor universal winning formula to immediately help everyone become millionaires. However, following certain approaches increases your chances of making a stable income. So, just below, you will find a table outlining the four main playing strategies, each has unique characteristics.

TypeExplanation
AggressiveIt entails raising and 3-betting with every hand you enter the pot.
PassiveThis is a more cautious approach, intended to play your range passively: calling and limping constitute a large part of your actions.
LooseIt involves playing the majority of pots and frequently betting and raising to keep opponents off balance. A loose player’s range includes both marginal and premium hands.
TightThis approach focuses on playing only strong starting hands. It is suitable for novices as it reduces the risk of losing with marginal hands.

These styles have been combined into the following hybrid strategies: tight-aggressive, loose-aggressive, tight-passive, and loose-passive.

Tight-passive technique

The defining characteristic of this online poker strategy is a highly conservative approach to playing even premium hands, both pre-flop and post-flop. However, the main downside is the potential for missed opportunities to maximize winnings from strong starters, and one will be vulnerable to more experienced players' bluffs.

Main peculiarity: there is a significant risk of not extracting max value in hands against skilled opponents.

Loose-passive technique

This style is embraced by recreational players, resulting in frequent pre-flop limps, a lack of a defined range, and a complete disregard for folding. The primary advice when facing such opponents is to avoid bluffing them. Instead, you should patiently wait for a strong hand, extract value from it across all three streets and then claim your winnings.

Main peculiarity: recreational gamblers mostly stick to this approach.

By the way
By the way

The previous two strategies are favoured by so-called hobbyists. Now let’s focus on the tactics employed by regular players.

Tight-aggressive technique

A person aggressively plays only a limited portion of their range, focusing on premium starters preflop and powerful combinations postflop. This approach is highly recommended for newbies as it helps decrease the prospect of possible losses.

Despite being profitable at micro limits, this poker basic strategy has some disadvantages: your table behaviour and range become too apparent for proficient players, your post-flop options are limited, and as a result, you will win less compared to your rivals.

Main peculiarity:you will be vulnerable against seasoned players.

Loose-aggressive technique

It allows one to mix their range and remain unreadable to their opponents. However, it is not recommended for novices as it requires a deep understanding of post-flop play and thorough knowledge of mathematics. Such a strategy can lead to both increased winnings and potential financial losses. To excel, you must maintain a cool-headed approach and know when to adjust your aggression, even if your bold moves don't always pay off.

Main peculiarity: top poker professionals adhere to this approach.

Texas Holdem Poker Strategies

Classic Hold'em is considered one of the simplest games to learn, but mastering it takes years of practice. Further, we will discuss basic poker concepts that beginners should focus on. We highly recommend thoroughly acquainting yourself with poker rules if you are new to this world. Take the information below seriously if you want to achieve excellent results in poker.

  • Determine your opponents' playing style

There are two main types of opponents: loose and tight. Loose players tend to play many pots, having a range that includes both premium and marginal hands. Tight rivals, on the other hand, follow preflop charts and play strictly according to them, which narrows their range to strong pocket cards. In terms of playing style, they can be either aggressive or passive. We remind that the first group enters action by raising and 3-betting, whereas the second group prefers to limp and call.

  • Play tight

Novices typically enter the game with a wide range of starting cards, which is a huge mistake. In the beginning, you should only act with the strongest hands so that you won’t be put on tough decisions, particularly after you have invested much money in the pot. When having a powerful holding, you can confidently jump into the action. In such spots, try playing more aggressively, that is, consider betting and raising rather than passive calling.

Adopting a tight playing style (otherwise referred to as ABC game) is a great way to make money with online poker at micro-stakes. But, as you move up the limits, basic poker Texas Holdem strategy won’t be enough. Your opponents will quickly learn to read your moves, making it difficult for you to win consistently. So you'll need to integrate more advanced poker strategies into your play to become a strong winning player in the long run.

  • Calculate your poker odds and count outs

Poker is a skill-based activity, and mathematics plays a crucial role here. When playing tournaments or cash games, you need to assess the risk versus the potential profit. Keep a close eye on your opponents' betting and stack sizes. Count possible outs to improve your hand and compare them with pot odds. Relying solely on luck is inadequate. To stay competitive in today's online poker environment, you should constantly strive for improvement and sharpen your skills.

Useful Tips for Tournament Players

Cash games and multi-table tournaments are fundamentally distinct. The pivotal aspect of MTTs is the constant growth in blinds, which would vastly impact your play. Therefore, it is crucial to study effective strategies with the following paramount factors in mind:

Tailor your strategy to your stack size
Tailor your strategy to your stack size

In tournaments, chip counts often fluctuate like a roller coaster. You may have 50BB in one hand, go down to 20BB in the next one, and then suddenly jump to 60BB.

Be ready to move all-in
Be ready to move all-in

When your stack is less than 10 big blinds, feel free to go all-in with any pocket pair or Ax. You urgently need to double up, and folding cards would be pointless as the blinds will merely "devour" you.

Befriend with variance
Befriend with variance

This aspect holds greater significance in tourneys compared to cash games. Even skilled poker players fail to avoid downswings; it's inherent to the format. You will not get in the money in each MTT played, but the key is to sustain profitability over the long run.

Long-time expenditures
Long-time expenditures

There are regular five-minute breaks scheduled every 55 minutes. However, it's crucial to remain actively involved in the game for the rest of the time and avoid extended absences, as blinds can deplete your stack.

Adjusting to tournament phases
Adjusting to tournament phases

A tight playing style is generally employed during the early stages, as players have deep stacks. However, your actions should become more aggressive as a tourney advances to the later phase. Heads up poker strategy during the final table also has its specifics. This step is crucial in MTTa, as the victor claims the greatest portion of the prize pool.

Video Poker Strategy for Beginners

People with high visual intelligence will find watching various instructional videos the best way to build an adequate game strategy to climb up the stakes. Beginners, naturally, should start with simple concepts and gradually progress to more complex ones.

Regardless of your level, you should be serious about your bankroll management. Poker is your business project, while bankroll represents your starting capital. To reach the top, you need to move up smoothly to avoid the risk of bankruptcy. We have a video on this topic, and you can watch it below.

Novices tend to be impatient and feel locked out of the game; they are often reluctant to appear weak among their more experienced friends or simply unsure how to act. Any cards can seem fine enough, but one can easily lose their chips without knowing which starting hands are strong. So make sure to check our poker cheat sheet and watch the following video:

Neophytes initially make lots of mistakes, which is normal. Having examined the poker game, we have created a video compilation highlighting the most common newbies’ missteps.

One can find more interesting and educational videos on our YouTube channel (Cardmates Poker).

Did you know?
Did you know?

Alongside articles, one of the most convenient sources of information is so-called VODs (Video on Demand). These are video lessons on poker theory and strategy produced by proficient and successful players. The one recording is seated at the table and provides commentary on every action, explaining why they made certain decisions in each case.

Advanced Poker Strategies

Players who have successfully progressed through micro-limits should master state-of-the-art techniques such as floating, squeezing, isolating limpers, defending against turn barrels, playing in multi-way pots, etc. These approaches will take their game to a higher level.

Professionals leverage poker software to track their behaviour and analyze opponents. You should be capable of studying their hand histories to identify areas where their winrate can be improved. It is also advisable to start using GTO solvers to train and find optimal solutions to particular situations and equity calculators to know your odds of winning or losing a hand.

As you can see, the best poker ways to win money are to learn theory gradually and constantly improve your skills, instead of relying on luck. You will find detailed strategies for various poker formats and disciplines on our website. They are conveniently located at the top of the page so that you can access the target article with just one click.

FAQ
🧩 Is there a strategy to poker?

Even in the most effortless game, it is possible to develop a specific set of techniques and tactics that will enable a player to win more frequently against opponents who have disregarded such an opportunity. Luck exerts a notable influence on the outcome of individual hands. However, when an experienced player faces an amateur a thousand times, they will inevitably emerge with a profit. The realm of poker encompasses various strategies due to the wide range of factors involved, including game format, stack size, number of people at the table, opponent types, etc.

🎯 What is advanced poker strategy?

The advanced play considers mathematical parameters such as equity, pot odds, and ICM. It also incorporates more complex tactical techniques like blind stealing, bluffing and semi-bluffing, continuation betting, slow playing, etc. You should work on your discipline, perseverance, and psychological aspects of the game, develop tilt resistance and fearlessness when moving up in stakes, among other factors.

👀 What is the 5 10 rule in poker?

Players employ this rule when considering a call or a raise with a speculative hand. Its essence is fairly straightforward:    

  • if the raise size is less than 5% of your stack, feel free to call with ease; 
  • if it is more than 10%, confidently muck your cards;
  • if it falls between 5% and 10% of your stack, act at your own discretion.
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