Poker is a game of skill, strategy, and a bit of luck. It requires patience, discipline, and the ability to read your opponents. If you're looking to improve your poker game, here are some tips that can help:

  1. Understand the rules: Before you start playing, make sure you understand the rules of the game. Know the hand rankings, the blinds, and the different types of bets that can be made.
  2. Start with low-stakes: If you're new to poker, start with low-stakes games. This will allow you to gain experience without losing too much money.
  3. Pay attention to your opponents: Watch your opponents closely to try and identify their playing style. Look for patterns in their betting and try to read their body language.
  4. Be patient: Poker can be a slow game, and it's important to be patient. Don't get frustrated if you're not getting good hands. Wait for your moment and take advantage of it when it comes.
  5. Know when to fold: Folding is an important part of poker. If you have a weak hand, it's better to fold and wait for a better opportunity.
  6. Don't chase losses: If you're having a bad day and losing money, don't try to chase your losses. Take a break and come back to the game later when you're feeling more focused.
  7. Manage your bankroll: It's important to have a bankroll management strategy in place. Don't bet more than you can afford to lose, and set aside a portion of your winnings for future games.
  8. Practice, practice, practice: The more you play poker, the better you'll become. Practice your skills by playing online or with friends.
  9. Be adaptable: Don't be afraid to change your strategy if it's not working. Be adaptable and open to new strategies.
  10. Stay focused: Poker requires concentration and focus. Avoid distractions and stay focused on the game.

By following these tips, you can improve your poker game and increase your chances of winning. Remember, poker is a game of skill, and with practice and discipline, you can become a better player.

Don't play every card

The first thing you need to learn when you start playing poker is that you don't keep playing with every starting card(s). If they offer too little prospect of profit, it is advisable to fold. You save a lot of money this way on games that don't actually have a good chance. Beginning players often have a tendency to want to play with everything they are given. This might be profitable in many other games, but in poker you win if you have more money at the end of the night than you started with. Since you simply do not have equal chances with every starting card, it is essential to be selective. Check which combinations are possible with the starting cards you have and whether the chance of this is high enough. Make this consideration at every stage of the game, because even if you see in a later betting round that your chance is too small, it is often best to fold.

Look back at your own game

If you play online poker it is recommended to use a program like PokerTracker. This program creates a database of all your played hands and makes extensive statistical analyses. You can screen your own playstyle and that of others and reveal weaknesses.

Choose the right table

When you have several tables to choose from it can be very rewarding to choose the right one. The most rewarding are the (often novice) "loose-passive" players. These players rarely raise and fold very little. They put too much money into a pot without making it too hard for you with a raise.


The semi-bluff is similar to the regular bluff, but can only be done when there are more cards to come. What you want to achieve with a semi-bluff is that all players (even with better cards than you) fold, just like a regular bluff, so that you get the pot. However, if this does not work, the next card can still save you. For this it is therefore necessary that you have a hand that has good chances of improvement. So you do a semi-bluff if you think that another player has a stronger hand than you at a certain moment, but there is a reasonable chance that you can beat his hand with the next card(s) (for example, you have 4 cards from a flush and your opponent has a pair). But if your opponents won't fold anyway, the semi-bluff is pointless, so choose the right situation. The semi-bluff is a very effective tactic, even in games with a fixed bet limit.

Review your opponent's capabilities

Try to analyze what cards an opponent might have. You have 3 pieces of information at your disposal for this. First of all, you have to look carefully at which cards are open (such as in Texas Hold'em or 7 Card Stud) and which combinations he can make with them. Second, the betting behavior during the current game can tell you a lot about how strong his cards are. Finally, you have to take into account the playing style of the opponent. If you combine these 3 you can often reasonably estimate what your opponent has in hand. This makes your own choices a lot clearer.

Think one step ahead

This tip is a bit more difficult, the so-called "pot odds". Try to estimate or calculate the chances that you will get the combination you want. And also estimate the chances that you win with that. Then calculate the ratio between your bet and what you win with it if you get hold of the pot. These factors will help you determine whether to fold, call or raise. This is quite a complicated matter, but very useful. To explain this properly you will soon need a whole book, so I'm not even going to try that here. If you want to know more about it, look up a good poker book. Sklansky's book "The Theory Of Poker" is one of the best works in this field. Please note that this is not an easy book and that it is aimed at advanced players.

Play smart

Use every advantage you can find (except cheating). For example, if you discover a twitch with which someone betrays that he has a strong card or is bluffing, use this knowledge to your advantage. Come up with a strategy that will allow you to turn this knowledge into profit. With someone who betrays his own bluffs by a twitch, it is clear: don't fold if he is bluffing. But sometimes it is less obvious how you can convert this insight into profit. Try to think of something, if necessary only after playing, so that you learn this way of thinking.

Play smart with your chips/money

As a starting player it is sometimes difficult to estimate at which limits you can best play. The rule is: make sure your bankroll (your poker money) is at least 250 to 400 big bets. A big bet is 2 euros in a limit game with a 1-2 euro structure, so your bankroll must be at least 500 euros to 800 euros. If you ensure that your bankroll meets this rule, you have enough buffer to absorb the fluctuations of bad luck and luck without going through your money. That way you can ensure that you don't have to put in extra money every time. This rule does assume that you play well enough to at least not lose money in the long run. If you do, it doesn't matter how big your bankroll is, all your money will eventually go through it anyway. It also depends on your playing style. If you play tight then 250 big bets is enough, but if you play loose then it is better to keep 400 big bets. You should also take into account that the average playing level of the opponents will improve as you play higher limits. So don't start too high even if you have a lot of money to start with.

Try not to be predictable

The strange thing about poker is that if you always make the wise choices, you become very predictable to your opponents. That is why it is useful to take a deceptive step every now and then. A bluff with a weak card or checking with a strong card is sometimes necessary for some confusion. You are trying to make your opponent make a mistake by misinterpreting your move. If you do this randomly then you are already less predictable, but it works best if you do this with a specific intention. If you have an ace in your hand and an ace comes up on the poker table you can choose to check (normally you would probably bet high). When the next (lower) card is placed face up on the poker table, you bet big. People will think you paired with that lower card so they won't fold as quickly. However, the risk is that the players who do not fold can still beat you if a favorable card falls for them. So you should only do this approach if you are very strong.

Adjust your game when entering a tournament

If you want to take part in a poker tournament, you should realize that this creates a different kind of game. This is because the blinds are always raised after a fixed time. This makes it increasingly unfavorable to fold and you have to adjust your game. You run an increasing risk of losing all your chips in one fell swoop and being out of the tournament. Another difference lies in the fact that you want to win the tournament. In "regular" poker it's okay if you lose an evening as long as you win in the long run. In a tournament you want to win now, especially as the blinds get higher. So you have to adapt your game to these circumstances.


Use every advantage you can find (except cheating). For example, if you discover a twitch with which someone betrays that he has a strong card or is bluffing, use this knowledge to your advantage. Come up with a strategy that will allow you to turn this knowledge into profit. With someone who betrays his own bluffs by a twitch, it is clear: don't fold if he is bluffing. But sometimes it is less obvious how you can convert this insight into profit. Try to think of something, if necessary only after playing, so that you learn this way of thinking.

Check and Raise

An approach that is sometimes (incorrectly) labeled as immoral is the check-raise. This works best in the first betting rounds. If you have a strong card and if you are one of the first to bet at the poker table, you check. You hope that someone with a questionable card will bet and then raise. If you had bet right away, that person would have known you had a strong card and probably would have folded. Now he has already bet money and whether he still folds or plays on, he is worse off than if he had folded right away. However, the risk is that no one bets, so you don't get the chance to raise. Then everyone gets another card for free and their chances could suddenly be greatly improved compared to yours. The check-raise is therefore most effective if you have players who will not check quickly. The check-raise is allowed under poker rules and if you consider that poker is a game of deception anyway, you'll understand why. Sometimes the check-raise is banned in home games and sometimes in casinos, but don't be afraid to use it if it's allowed.

Control your emotions

Poker has a psychological aspect. This is perhaps the most elusive aspect of the game. To play well, a player must be emotionally stable. He should not allow himself to be driven by fear, frustration, overconfidence or hope. He must be calculating and alert. So if you can upset a player, that gives you an advantage. He will make bad decisions because he can't control his emotions anymore. How to achieve this is a matter of instinct and experience. But it's also important to keep an eye on yourself. Do you play cool and calculating or are you taken aback. If the latter is the case, you better stop playing, no matter how difficult that is at the time. Although the psychological aspect of online poker is less important, it still exists. You don't have facial expressions that betray feelings, but people can still lose their calculatingness.

Do not immediately bet too much on good cards

If you have such good cards that you are sure that you are going to win, it is sometimes useful not to bet too much. You do this because you don't want to chase away opponents who can still replenish the pot. This is called slow play. It is especially useful if your opponents can easily fold because they don't have very good cards or will fold quickly anyway.

The Raise

It is tempting for some players to always call or check. That way you neglect a possible weapon: the raise. Especially in the first betting rounds it is often very rewarding to raise. Suppose you have an ace and a king. The chance that an opponent with low cards will make a pair later in the game is quite high. If you have not been able to make a combination, you lose. If you start raising big right away, you will probably scare away most opponents with low cards.

Tight- Aggressive

A good basic tactic for a novice player is "tight-aggressive". Here "tight" means that you don't bet money unnecessarily. So you have to learn to estimate when to fold. "Aggressive" means that you will bet and raise big if you have strong cards. The "tight-aggressive" method works less well against an advanced opponent because he will see through you. Still, it is a good starting point, especially if you can combine this with well-placed and dosed deception. Against a novice opponent, the tight-aggressive approach can be very effective.

Dare to stop too

To learn how to estimate your chances, you should look at how likely it is that you will improve your hand with each round of betting. If you have 4,5,6,7, both a 3 and an 8 yield a street. On the other hand, if you have 3,5,6,7, only a 4 gives you a street. At first glance your odds are equal with those 2 hands, but that is not the case. The first hand has much better odds because there are more cards (2 instead of 1 card) that make a straight. You also have to take into account that someone else has an even better hand. Can anyone have a flush or a full house (or higher)?

Pay close attention to your opponents

Analyze your opponent's playing style. Does it fold easily, or not at all. Does he bluff a lot or a little. Does he make many or few raises. This will help you understand his moves. Use this knowledge to your advantage. For example, you can often bluff someone who folds too quickly, especially at the start of a game.

Take a good look at your chances

If you have decent cards that you could win with but also lose easily, it is advisable not to check. You then give the other players the opportunity to check as well. They then get another card for free and thus the chance to beat you for free.