It doesn’t matter if you’re a recreational card player who enjoys a game once a month, or an aspiring pro spending hours grinding out profits every day.
But I’m guessing you always knew truly successful players do something different than the rest.
Some say it’s ‘natural instinct’…
Others put it down to years of practice… practice… and more practice…
But the reality is, almost all professional poker players use a small selection of ‘techniques’ that they employ to beat the game… time and time again.
And in the next few minutes, I’m going to reveal exactly what these techniques are… And how you can use them in your game to see consistent wins in both cash games and tournaments.
To do this, I’m going to take you behind the scenes with some of the world’s best poker players, and reveal exactly how they’ve been able to make millions of dollars online and in live games.
But before we get into the specifics, there are two main reasons why professionals have an ‘unfair advantage’ before the cards even hit the table.
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What Are These Reasons?
The first, is their ‘edge’. Or, to put it simply, the advantage professional poker players hold over their opponents, regardless of the cards dealt, chip stacks, or situation.
You see, the great poker players – Phil Ivey, Daniel Negreanu, Phil Hellmuth – understand who they’re playing. And they’ll use this basic thought-pattern to outsmart, outwit, and manipulate their opponents, giving them a winning edge.
In fact, every professional poker player on the planet would admit to using their knowledge of who they’re playing in conjunction with one of the following play-styles:
- Play aggressively to win a large pot with a strong hand
- Play passively to try to win with a weak hand
- Play aggressively to make your opponent fold a better hand
And while what they’re able to do may seem like ‘magic,’ these are just the basic fundamentals of poker, with the added benefit of using their edge.
In just a few moments, you’ll discover how you can think, act, and win like the pros.
But let’s look at the second reason the pros are winning consistently.
Understanding Poker Game Theory
Poker theory is, in essence, the fundamental rules of profiting from poker.
This means understanding how the game works, basic mathematics, percentages, and how to make the best decisions that are profitable in the long run.
And as David Sklansky – author of “The Theory Of Poker” – stated: It’s the aim of maximizing wins and minimizing losses.
So how do you do this?
It’s easy – Using theoretically balanced ranges, professionals are able to play in line with the most profitable playing style. This means that against 99.9% of players you’ll make profitable plays, virtually every time.
Of course, there will be times when your aces get cracked by kings or where he hits his one-outer on the river.
But stick to these profitable styles of play, and you can guarantee yourself a big, fat, juicy income stream.
And the beauty is that even many players who call themselves ‘professionals,’ don’t use these theories correctly. They put their money in and hope for the best.
And don’t get me wrong – they do well. But they could be doing a lot better.
And that’s why I’ve been consistently crushing cash games and tournaments for the past 12 years. I’ve made millions of dollars in my career (yes that’s net profit). And I’ve played against the biggest names in the game… and won.
And today, I’m sharing these powerful techniques with you… for FREE!
The 5 Things That Will Get You Winning at Poker Consistently
So we’ve looked at the reasons why the great professionals hold such a dominance over all other players. But now let’s look at the 5 most important steps to getting your winning poker strategy working.
- Knowing what cards you are going to play
- Disguising your holdings
- Finding the right game to play in
- Making adjustments for your opponents
- Simplifying major decisions
Part 1 – Know the cards you are going to play
“Every battle is won before it is ever fought” – Sun Tzu.
Poker, at its most simple, is a game where you play your cards against those of your opponent. There are a lot more variables involved in playing, but choosing the hands you play is at the very core of successful poker playing.
It may seem obvious which hands to play… and which hands not to play… But are you actively going into games with a detailed understanding of which hands to play, and from what position?
Above, you’ll see a standard 10 handed poker table. Each named position requires different playing strategies, so you should be playing different hands from that position.
As a general rule of thumb, the closer you are to the button, the more hands you should be playing.
This might sound obvious to the “aggressive” players, but even then, they often make a lot of mistakes, simply because they…
- Don’t map out the hands they want to play before the session
- Become scared to implement this strategy facing other players
To avoid this problem, study beforehand which hands you should be playing and from which position.
You’d be amazed just how much difference this can make to your game. When you discover some of the hands you should be playing, and some of the hands you shouldn’t be playing, you’ll likely be pretty surprised.
Here’s a simple exercise you can use to help you understand positioning, and the importance of hand selection. As an example, pick which locations on the poker table you would play these hands from:
- [Ts 9s]
- [Ah Td]
- [7s 5s]
- [Jc Jd]
Each of these hands is different from the other one, and they should be played from different positions. Let’s look at some sample answers below.
- [Ts 9s] – All Positions
- [Ah Td] – Mid to Late Position
- [7s 5s] – Button
- [Jc Jd] – All Positions
Weak poker players think this level of study is unnecessary…
And luckily for you, that’s why they’ll always stay weak players, letting you take their money time and time again.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s unnecessary to understand hand selection – by putting a proper strategy in place, you eliminate all doubt from your preflop game, and you’ll become a far stronger, more-confident, winning poker player.
Part 2 – Disguise Your Holdings
So now that we’ve covered the art of hand selection, it’s time to make sure that the hands you do choose are played correctly.
Take for example, a player called John. He’s incredibly tight, and he raises preflop maybe once an hour. At showdown, he’s only ever shown monsters, and you’re confident that each time he raises preflop he has 10-10 minimum.
This style of play can work – short-term – but savvy players will exploit his weak tendencies, and he’ll soon become very easy to beat.
In poker, you don’t want to become predictable. In other words, you always want to keep your opponents guessing, meaning they have a tough time putting you on a hand.
We can achieve this by using a few techniques, which are designed to confuse them and leave them unable to read you.
Here are four cardinal rules for playing your hands:
- Raise to the same size with all hands you play.
- Play many hands postflop with the same actions.
- Play some weak and strong hands in the same way.
- Do not show your opponents your cards at any point you do not have to.
- Let’s look at each of these individually.
1 – By keeping your bet sizings the same, it becomes virtually impossible for your opponent to put you on a hand. Plus, when your opponents think you’re raising with bad cards, they’ll pay you off when you have a monster (just watch Tom Dwan get gifted chips in HSP).
2 – By playing many hands postflop while using the same actions, it helps to keep your holdings disguised, and it means your opponents will become extremely frustrated with your constant barreling-style. This helps to continue the pre-flop secrecy in the previous point.
3 – Playing weak and strong hands in the same way adds yet another layer of depth to your game. It’s another tool to stop your opponents from putting you on hands, and they’ll often continually fold in resentment, not wanting to risk their stack to find out what you have.
4 – Do not show your opponents your cards at any point. Watch Phil Ivey play – You’d struggle to find even one time where he shows his opponents his hands, and this is crucial. You don’t want to give your opponents any information you don’t need to. And by never revealing your holdings when you don’t have to, you’ll add yet more mystery to your game.
Part 3 – Find the Right Game to Play In
Finding the correct game to play in is probably one of the most overlooked aspects in poker, yet it’s one of the most critical. In his book, ‘Super System,’ Doyle Brunson talks about how he’d always be on the lookout for games with guys who were drunk, steaming, or just plain bad players.
And while things are a little different with the rise of the Internet, there are some core principles you should remember before jumping right into a game.
Here are some of the considerations you should be making before even THINKING about joining a table:
- How high the house rake is.
- Whether the players are weak, average, or good.
- How the players are playing – are they playing lots of hands, or is the table being tight?
- If in a live situation, is the environment safe to play?
- Have you played with any of the players before? That knowledge of his play could give you an edge.
Poker is a game for people. We talk together, we play it together, we win and lose at the table together. That said, you always get to pick who you play with.
There are many different aspects to finding the right game to play in. Let’s look at the list of good places to play:
- A game with no rake taken by the house.
- A game played with many recreational players who play for fun.
- A game where much alcohol is being consumed.
- A game with a lot of loose action by various players at the table.
- A game that you know is safe.
Some of these are more realistic than others, and it’s not always possible to control some of these factors, but the most important thing is that you’re aware of them and keep them in the back of your mind.
Don’t fall into the ego-war trap of many poker players. If you see players at a table that you know are better than you, then simply move on and find another table. It can be tempting to play against players who are more skilled than you – and don’t get me wrong, I know it can be tempting to take a shot into the big game – but at the end of the day, you’re here to make money, and you can maximize your profits by playing against weaker, less-able players.
Part 4 – Make Adjustments to Your Opponents
Making adjustments dependent on your opponent’s game is where the best players in the world shine through and really show their edge. Determining what tendencies their opponents have, and taking advantage of those tendencies, allows them to beat them consistently.
Again, Phil Ivey is a great example of how good players adjust. Ivey studies his opponents intently, looking for any information he can get. You’ll rarely see him talking or laughing throughout a hand. Watch him – he’ll stare down his opponent, analyzing their every move and determining how best to play against them.
However, while this stare-down approach works well for players like Ivey and Mike McDonald, it doesn’t work for everyone, and I for one, don’t feel that staring into my opponent’s soul gives me a huge deal of information.
Instead, I look for actual tendencies I can take advantage of and manipulate.
Some of these include noticing:
- How aggressive they’re playing.
- What hands they’re turning over at showdown.
- When they appear tilted, or they’re getting fed up with waiting around for hands.
- When they play hands that just don’t make sense.
Using these techniques can help you build a strong mental image of your opponent’s play style, letting you use this information to make the best decision possible.
In reality, you’re not always going to be able to tell if a player is bluffing or if they have the nuts. But using these techniques, you can begin reading your opponents and gaining information other players at the table don’t have.
For example, if an aggressive player is looking worn-out, bored, or annoyed, I am far more likely to check my strong hands rather than betting them. This induces them into making bets, even when they have absolutely nothing.
I wouldn’t check all my hands, but I would analyze the situation dependent on the factors above, and begin to set the trap.
Try to keep focused at the table at all times. Notice what hands players are showing down, and decipher whether their pre-flop raise was correct or incorrect. If it was incorrect, then chances are they’ll be making other mistakes, allowing you to capitalize and make profits from them.
Part 5 – Simplify Your Decisions
When playing in any poker game – be it a tournament, cash game or sit n go – it’s important you keep a level head and don’t stress yourself out. When you feel as though the information before you is overwhelming, it’s a great idea to mentally slow down and analyze the situation.
Don’t feel afraid of annoying other players or getting the clock called on you. Take as much time as you need, and logically think through the hand in progress.
Think about what hands you can have in this situation, and what hands your opponents can have. And use this information to determine your most profitable move.
If you ever feel stuck, then think about all the hands you would play in the same way. Don’t feel obliged to three-barrel bluff just because you have no showdown value.
Sometimes it’s far better to cut your losses and wait for better opportunities, rather than risk your stack on marginal decisions. This largely comes back to knowing what hands you should be opening the pot with, and how you should be playing them.
These are called raised first in ranges, and they allow you to know what hands to play, and from what position to play them.
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You’ll discover how these ranges can help you become a poker player consistently booking profits, by understanding…
- Early Position Raises
- Middle Position Raises
- Hijack Raises
- Cutoff Raises
- Button Raises
- Small Blind Raises
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