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Advanced Holdem Poker Strategy

Poker Tips and Strategies for Advanced Players

It happens to all of us. Plays that worked yesterday do not work today, bluffs are being picked off, and the strategy guides that you read last year are proving to be irrelevant today. So, what happened? Did variance finally catch up with you, or are you playing bad, or what? Well, in a similar fashion to athletes, there are times when poker players reach a point in their game where they simply cannot advance anymore. They hit a plateau and it seems like all the effort in the world does absolutely no good. In fact, many times it does more harm then good.

Most times this will happen to athletes simply because they are repeating the same training exercises or drills on an everyday basis. To get over this roadblock they have to find ways to mix up their training so that it shocks the body thus getting the body out of feeling comfortable with the same old exercises and back to producing results once again.
It really is the same idea with poker players especially if they grind it out every day at the same tables with the same players. Using the same old strategies is bound to catch up to you and to get over that plateau, it is important to shock your opponents in the same fashion that an athlete shocks their bodies with new and improved training and drills.
And how do you do this? Well, by learning advanced poker strategies of course. And to get you all off to a great head start, we have compiled a list of strategies for you to employ at your next game.

Bet, Raise or Fold

This may seem very simple, and frankly, it probably is. But many players still happen to "call" bets instead of raising or folding. This works against you in many ways.

1. You have no idea of how good your hand is when you call an opponent's bet. If you feel your hand is no good, you fold. However, if you feel as if you have a strong hand you need to raise. Your opponent will fold himself, call, or raise. Information can be gathered based on their decisions. For example, if he folds to a re-raise then he was bluffing or had maybe ace rags. If he calls, there is a good chance that he is on a draw and was semi-bluffing or maybe has a pocket pair or 2nd pair. And if he raises then you know his hand is strong.

2. By calling a pot instead of raising or folding, you are allowing the pot to slowly build up with very little investment needed by others to call. Or in other words, the pot odds are getting much better which justifies many mediocre hands to call. This of course is bad because the more players in the pot, the more hand possibilities that can potentially beat you.

3. Although not always a guarantee, many times a raise will cause everyone to fold which will earn you a pot with little risk and effort on your part.

The only time "calling" is really worthwhile is when you are on a draw yourself. That way there is little investment with the potential of a huge return when hitting a big hand.

Check Raising

Ok, check raising is not a new concept but many players are only 1 dimensional when check raising a hand. In fact, many players check raise with only good hands on the flop so needless to say, they become quite easy to read. Something to think about is to considering checking the flop and then check raising the turn. Depending on your opponent's aggression, checking the flop, turn, and then check raising the river to seem as if you are making a steal can be a feasible strategy. It should also be noted that this pulling moves off like this would of course depend on your opponent, as we do not want to miss getting value for our hands. Also, analyze the board carefully, as we do not want to give away free cards that could beat us.

Check raising can also be used in situations where you are out of position and the board is rather dry where it is highly unlikely your opponent connected with it. You would check the flop assuming that your opponent will bet at it, and as soon as he does you check raise him to take down the pot. If used sparingly, this can pick up a number of easy pots. But be sure to keep in mind that if played back at, it is a good idea to let the hand go so not to waste more money on a lost cause.

The Float Play

The Float Play is where a player misses the flop but calls a bet anyway with the intention of running a bluff on the river should their opponent not bet the turn. This can be a great play especially if you mix it up with check raises on the river with solid hands.

However, it is important to try this play when the conditions are correct.

1. You will need to be in position, as it is important to see what your opponent will do. If your opponent bets the flop, and then the turn, there is probably no way to run this play successfully.

2. The flop texture is very important as well. The board needs to be uncoordinated with cards that do not fit your opponent's hand range. Running a bluff on a board where there are several hand possibilities can prove to be bad for your stack.

3. Your stack size needs to be large enough to apply pressure to your opponent. You will not want to look "committed" in any way. That way your opponent really has to choose whether or not their hand is worth all those chips.

Advanced Strategies in Play

While this is not a complete list of advanced strategies, the few that we listed above should add a little bit of creativeness to your strategy portfolio. It is important to try to learn new poker strategies whenever possible to try to mix up your game and to maintain an edge over your opponents. This will often times result in keeping your opponents confused on what you have, which will then result in earning more chips.