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A Winning Poker Strategy For South Africans

Let's face it, as fun as poker is, you're probably playing to win. It's not just about being victorious or finding occasional glory. You want to win big and as often as humanly possible. The real question is how do you make that happen? Do you really need to go blindly in the dark or pay your dues for years before outsmarting your opponents? If you ask prosperous players the secret of success, you'll quickly discover they all have one thing in common: a successful strategy.

While strategies vary widely, it's important to understand the basics. This is critical whether you choose to mirror your favourite poker pros or devise a winning system that's entirely your own. Follow our strategy guide and start winning more often with whatever cards are in your hands.

Poker Strategy In A Nutshell:

  • Developing a solid strategy is critical to succeeding at the tables.
  • Mastering pot odds will let you know whether you should remain in the hand.
  • How you play your cards will depend on where you are seated.
  • Studying your opponents is the best way to beat them.
  • Contrary to popular belief, tells apply to online poker.

Success Isn't Random

Victory isn't just about landing a pair of pocket aces. Assuming you play at a fair and honest site, the cards you receive are completely random. What you choose to do with those random results is another matter entirely. You can pray to the poker gods all you want or rely on your lucky charms, but a solid strategy is a million times better.

This is precisely where starting hand selection comes into play. Don't fall into the rookie trap of bluffing with garbage hands. If you have an incredible hand or even a very strong hand, raising is advised. The real question is what to do with hands that are speculative. You'll want to proceed cautiously, especially in the beginning. What you ultimately do will depend on your position.

Putting Yourself In Position

It's important to pay attention to your position at the tables. While this will rotate and may seem out of your command, how you use this position is key. When you find yourself in early position you'll need to play hands that are strong. By contrast you'll want to rely on drawing hands when seated in a late position.

Following your gut is never enough. You'll need to understand the pot odds and keep tabs on them at all times. Pot odds are all about figuring out whether a call is mathematically the right move in terms of future payouts. If you have to bet 100 Rand to win 1000 Rand, the odds are 10:1. You'll need to compare this value with the odds of hitting the draw when the next card is dealt. If the pot odds are better, then you can justify calling. You'll get the hang of this quickly, especially when paired with a poker odds calculator.

Taking Advantage Of Tells

Knowing your opponent is arguably one of the most important keys to success. When you play against your mates live on the weekend, you know who the notorious bluffer is. You know the guy who only raises when he has a full house. A nervous twitch or a sweaty brow isn't hard to ignore, and you can make your moves accordingly. When the action moves online there are still plenty of tells or dead giveaways.

Timing really is everything. Players who take their time before placing a huge bet often have a great hand. An opponent who calls instantly after you bet tends to have a poor hand. Players who delay checking are trying to deter you from betting.

Take Notes

After spending time at a table, you'll get a feel for the way each of your opponents plays. It won't take you long before you face the same players. You can actually keep personal notes on individual opponents if your memory isn't incredible. Several poker clients let you jot down details about players that will reappear whenever you are faced with them again.

Don't forget to take advantage of the chat feature available in most poker software. You'll love the rivalry and camaraderie that quickly develops.