Basic Poker Strategy - An Introduction

Online Poker gained its popularity in 2003, when Chris Moneymaker won the WSOP! This event is also referred to as ''The Poker Boom''. Before none believed that amateur players stand a chance against the pros, but now one has beaten the Scotty Nguyen himself! After this event, Online Poker really blew up, with players around the world joining online poker sites. Most didn't even know the rules quite well, that didn't withhold them from playing for hundreds of dollars, even thousands. Players who had a sound basic poker strategy at the time earned hundreds of thousands. Yeah, it was that simple back then!  

So what exactly is this basic knowledge, that is needed in order to win at online poker? If you genuinely think it can be described in one article or even sentence, think again. Poker is one of those games, that takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master! However, you have to start somewhere and that is right here. The following tips will give you a basic knowledge and a foundation of your poker strategy baggage. 

Tight is right

This is an often used term to describe a winning poker players playing style. Tight describes being selective about the starting hands you play. You should generally play around 20% of your hands at a 6max table and around 15% at a full-ring (9max) table. While these percents are accurate, they doesn't represent an equal range from all the positions. You'll learn about this a little later in this article, in the section about positions at the table. 

General takeaway from this is – play tight, both pre-flop and post-flop. Playing trashy hands will only get you into trouble.

Position is everything

This never gets and never will get old. Position is the most important aspect in poker. Your position at a poker table is crucial, as you have to act depending on it. The earlier you have to act, the less information you have about your opponents. If you have no information, you are guessing. I guess I don't have to tell you anything about guessing. Poker is a game of skill, but it's also a game of incomplete information. The one, who completes this information better, will get rewarded the most. With rewards I mean cash... 
The later your position at the table is, the better it gets. The worst position at a poker table is UTG, the best – BTN. BTN or Button gets to act the last, both, pre-flop and post-flop. Thus, it gets the most information about opponents. 

You are never done learning

Poker is not solved. I'm not sure, if cash-games can get solved, but they certainly are. More mathematical poker types, like SNG, are actually close to being solved. This is possible, because these games doesn't really change and you can develop a table of cards you need to play in a particular situation. 
Cash-Games are way different, as the stack sizes are deep and the blinds always remain the same. There are many options each time, all featuring different expected value and outcomes. 
With learning I mean't educating yourself and analysing your previously played hands. This can be done via tracking software, which is widely offers on the internet. You are free to choose whichever you like more. I advise to choose Hold'em Manager, which costs money, but is way more powerful than its competitors. It can be bought at www.holdemmanager.net

Prepare yourself

Most people underestimate the link between how they feel and how well can they play poker. Having a fresh mind will greatly increase your chances versus the competition, as you'll be able to think in a more logic and straight manner. Online Poker also features a limited time for making a decision, that's why it's important to play, when you feel great! 
Under no circumstances you should play drunk, high or whatever you tend to get. It's the worst thing possible, as alcohol totally messes up your brain and you won't be able to make logical decisions. 

Be selective about the tables you play at

Poker is a game where the strongest and best wins. It might not be so obvious short-term, but after a while you'll get the picture. It will always be easy to notice and find better players than you are, this isn't the same the other way, though. Bad players are instantly spotted by regular players and the tables get filled instantly. Your goal is to always play against as many worse players as possible. This is how you'll make the most of your money. People, who say that they improve so much by playing other regulars either don't have any idea or they have different goals in poker. If your goal is to win money as much stress free as possible – search and hunt the bad players. 

Look for the best bonuses possible

With the current state of the poker industry, sites are doing crazy things to get players attention. This obviously works in your favour, as you get increased bonus amounts and promotions with great value. Having a great return on the rake you pay is as important as learning and educating yourself. All poker sites charge a fee for their services – the rake. Over a long amount of time, rake adds to several thousand dollars in some cases hundreds of thousands and even millions. If you get a third of it back, you are already way richer! Third is actually a low estimate, as you can get as much as 60% of the rake you pay! Check Bet365 and their 200%, up to $1000 bonus offer for example. Use Bet365 bonus code COACH and you will get a good boost of your deposit!