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Winning the pot in poker takes great skill and experience, but how do you reach that level of gambling proficiency? Knowing the basic strategies, practising by yourself and watching the pros play in tournaments are all great starting points to becoming a great poker player.
Various strategies can increase your advantages and minimise your disadvantages in poker. Learn more poker exploits and strategies that can help you win the pot at Bitcasino.
Learning how to play poker and its principles is the first step towards becoming a better player. This requires a deep understanding of poker essentials like the rules, mechanics, and card values to make informed decisions during games.
Furthermore, it allows you to gain insight into predicting and strategising against opponents. With a keen understanding of the game, you can anticipate your opponent’s actions and know how to respond effectively.
Let’s start by reviewing the basic mechanics, rules and features of poker you need to know. This section covers everything from card values, hand rankings, poker positions and more:
All cards in a deck of 52 are assigned a value ranging from low to high. The lowest card value typically begins with 1, while the Ace has the greatest value.
The game's lowest to highest values are from left to right: 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10; Jack, Queen, King, and Ace. However, Ace, the highest-ranking card, can also be considered a low card with a value of one, depending on the player.
On top of knowing the individual card values, players must also evaluate their cards’ strengths as a whole. Hand rankings are combinations of cards with varying degrees of strength.
In poker, the strongest hand is a royal flush, which consists of the 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace cards in the same suit.
In contrast, the weakest hand is the top card, which is only one high card.
Despite having a weaker hand, you can still win by bluffing at the right time. This is a poker strategy where you make others believe you have the strongest hand, pressuring those with weaker hands to fold.
Either way, it’s up to you to assess your hand and make the right moves to increase your chances of getting a payout.
Read on for additional information on the hand rankings, from lowest to highest:
Odds of getting this hand
The lowest-ranking hand comprises a single card from any suit or rank in a hand of 5.
The 5-card hand contains two cards from the same suit or rank.
Two pairs of cards of the same suit or rank and a random card.
Three cards with the same number and two random cards.
Five cards of various suits but with a sequential value
(i.e. 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9).
Five cards from the same suit with different numerical values.
It consists of a pair of cards and a trio of cards of the same value. Suits can be chosen randomly
(ie. 2, 2, 2, 7 and 7).
Four of a Kind
Four cards with the same numerical value. Suits may differ.
Five cards of the same suit, arranged sequentially.
The highest ranked hand consists of a 10, Jack, Queen, King, and Ace, all of which have the same suit.
At the start of the game, there are mandatory ante and blind bets that must be placed. Find out more about them below:
At the start of the game, each player must make an ante bet to confirm their participation. Every player must risk a particular amount, which varies depending on the type of poker being played and the stakes at the table.
Players in specific poker table positions around the betting table must place their wagers before the start of a session.
Blind bets fall into two categories: small blind and huge blind. The small blind is posted by the player to the dealer's left, while the player to their left posts the large blind. In general, the value of the large blind is double that of the tiny blind.
These wagers start the action and set the game's flow, so be ready with a strong strategy when sitting in these positions.
In poker, there are five major betting actions: bet, call, fold, raise, and check. Read below for more details on each:
When you wager in poker, you add chips to the pot to demonstrate your confidence in your hand's strength. To continue the betting activity, the following player must match, call, raise, or fold.
Players with a powerful hand may increase the pot by controlling its size and increasing their bet amount.
Matching another player's open wager is called calling. It signals a player's determination to play for the current pot and remain in competition.
When someone else bets, you must at least call to stay in the game. This often occurs after a thorough assessment of the hand's capabilities.
Folding indicates you're giving up your hand and claim to the present pot by discarding your cards. Players fold when their opponents increase their bets or stakes or when they think their hand is weak and unlikely to win.
Raising your stake communicates your intention to raise the pot and your confidence in your hand's power. The next player to act must call, reraise, or fold according to the situation. You may compel your opponents to raise or fold by raising your cards, which allows you to gauge the strength of your opponent’s hands further.
Opting to check during the betting round transfers the action to the following player. This means you won’t stake any chips.
Poker positions are more than just where players sit at the table. It determines who acts first and last, which dictates how much information you can get before you act.
There are four different table positions: blinds, early, middle and late. Have a look at the advantages and disadvantages of each position.
Players sitting in blind positions take action first and last, limiting the knowledge they may obtain before taking action.
The small blind and large blind are the two players in the following positions:
The early positions are three seats to the dealer's left. You cannot profitably play weaker cards in certain scenarios, and players often have a limited opening range.
The next player is in the middle position, located at the table's midsection from the dealer. Players in this position can open with a greater variety of hands because they see how others behave in front of them.
Last on the list is the late position, the two remaining players to the dealer's right. The main benefit of players in this position is that they observe all the players that come before them. This gives them more information to use and gauge what moves they should make.
Cutoff and hijack positions
We also have to talk about the cutoff and the hijack, which sit beside the last person in the middle position and the player on the cutoff’s left, respectively.
One of the most common strategies in this position is 'buy the button,' in which the cutoff raises the bet aggressively to force the button or dealer to fold. This position typically removes the blinds from the button and cuts, thus, its name.
Now that you know the basics of poker, it’s time to learn how to practice by yourself and what strategies you can use to win. Read about it below:
Game Theory Optimal (GTO), or Game Theory strategy, is a defensive poker strategy where you play an optimal game and protect yourself from exploitation by other players.
The first step to using this strategy is to identify the weaknesses in other players. This can range from simple tells to making impulsive moves. Following this, you need to see the pattern behind their strategy and commit this to memory.
With both of these pieces of information, there’s a better chance that you can see when another player is in a bad position.
Additionally, you can adapt your strategy against theirs and play counter-moves. By doing this throughout the game, you’ll be placing bets and making countermoves to stay ahead of the game.
Practising this strategy will teach you how to think critically about each move you make against other players. Once you’ve reached mastery of this tactic, there’s a better chance of extending your bankroll over a longer period.
Play video poker at online casinos like Bitcasino for strategic practice and game familiarisation. In these games, you play against an AI or computer dealer.
Without the constraints of live play, players may hone their strategies, comprehend hand values, and make better decisions when playing video poker.
You can use risk-free practice tools such as demo play versions. This free-to-play option offers no financial risk and allows you to try new betting strategies for better winning probability, sharpen your prediction skill and gain confidence.
One of the best ways to get better at poker is to watch experienced or professional players. You can gain insight into strategy's subtleties when you examine their opponents' movements, decision-making processes, and alternative actions.
Big poker tournaments like the JOPT (Japan Open Poker Tour) feature elite play and provide an opportunity to watch sophisticated tactics in action. Similarly, many videos on YouTube featuring expert poker players offer easily accessible information for research and self-education.
Moreover, you can observe other online players play live poker games at Bitcasino. See how an online match progresses and take note of other players’ moves and strategies.
Poker fans who want to improve their skill and compete at a higher level will find that studying experts provides a dynamic learning experience that improves their strategic thinking, flexibility, and general competency.
The quantity and quality of practice, whether you win or lose, greatly influence the improvement of your poker skills. The objective of your practice games should be to try out different strategies and see which ones work, which don’t, and what can be done to improve.
This process sharpens your understanding, pinpoints areas for improvement, and applies strategies to subsequent games for success in the future.
In poker, luck and unpredictability are inevitable regardless of skill level. Players need to acknowledge this to create effective poker strategies. However, learning poker probabilities enables players to make more informed betting decisions.
Practice is crucial to hone your poker gameplay, but where can you get that practice? You can find various online poker games at Bitcasino, the premiere online gambling platform.
Here are some of our top poker games to play at Bitcasino:
Play against a computer in video poker or against other players online and with a skilled live dealer at live poker games.
Try out different positions in the table, variations and strategies to win the pot. Deposit crypto today and start practising to become a poker expert at Bitcasino.
Poker is a highly challenging game of skill where your experience and tactics are always put to the test. Many gamblers find joy, engagement and even big rewards with the right strategies.
Use our strategies like watching professional games, learning the characteristics of skilled poker players and more to improve your gameplay. Once you’re ready to play for big money rewards, find the best poker games at Bitcasino.
The best way to know what solid poker players think is to watch high-level poker games and see what they do. You can also watch interviews to learn about their thought process on the moves they made.
You can play poker games for free with Bitcasino’s games that feature demo mode. Simply browse through our library of games and find the ‘Demo Mode’ button below the playing screen. Click on it to activate the feature and enjoy playing the game to your heart’s content.
Bluffing is an advanced tactic in poker wherein you make other players think you have a stronger hand than theirs. You can do this by showing ‘tells’ like scoffing, smiling or looking overly confident. It’s worth noting that players must bluff sparingly so that other players don’t notice or take advantage of them.
Words by: Charlotte K.