The Best Way to Win at Poker

Poker is a game of chance and skill. However, over time the application of skill will eliminate much of the variance of luck. In fact, poker is one of the few games where you can actually improve your winning chances by studying and practicing. There is no substitute for learning from your wins and losses at the poker table, but don’t forget that there are also incredible poker resources available online to help you in your journey of becoming a master at the game. Poker blogs, poker professionals, poker articles and poker videos will all be valuable tools in your quest to become a poker pro.

Before you start playing poker you should learn some basic poker terms and rules. These terms are important to understand because they will help you make better decisions when you play. Some of these terms include the following:

Ante – The first, usually small, amount of money that each player puts up to begin the betting round. The person to the right of the button puts in the ante. This person is the dealer for this hand and passes it to the next player clockwise after each round of betting.

Raise – To increase the amount of money you bet on a given hand. To raise, you must have a higher than average hand. You can raise with a high pair, three of a kind or even a full house. If you want to raise, you must say “raise” and the other players must either call your bet or fold.

Flop – The third community card that is dealt face up in the middle of the table. The flop is when everyone gets a second chance to bet or check. If you are still in the hand after the flop you can continue to the showdown by raising or folding.

River – The fifth and final community card that is revealed on the table. This is the last betting round and the highest ranked poker hand wins.

The best way to win at poker is by betting aggressively with your premium opening hands, such as a pair of Kings or Aces. If you bet aggressively, it will force your opponents to think twice about going head-to-head against you and they will likely fold. Besides being an excellent strategy, this is also an excellent way to disguise the strength of your hand. For example, if you hold pocket fives and the flop comes A-8-5, people will have a hard time putting you on that hand because it is so unlikely. However, if you are holding pocket aces, you can bet very aggressively because it is more probable to win than pocket fives. This type of play is called GTO (Game Theory Optimal) play. The GTO concept is an approach/strategy based on balanced ranges and mathematical models that will maximize your winning potential at the poker tables. It is a great tool to use in combination with your own knowledge of the game and your intuition.