The objective

Everyone shares one common goal in poker — to win money. However, what works best for each individual is hard to say. I’ve seen many of my friends succeed using unorthodox strategies opposite from the top players I’ve known and played with (e.g., deep stacking, chip dumping). Find more information on

From my own experience, I would classify the best strategies as a combination of three things: understanding what your opponent has, how he plays it, and how you will play against his play style.

Once again, this is not necessarily specific advice for any game type; rather, it’s more general guidelines that should help you make decisions throughout any session or tournament at the poker table. Let me present some concepts related to these guidelines, so they are more easily understood.

The game

There are only two cards in your hand in poker, and you can bet or fold to keep the other player in the dark about your hole card. In hold them (and most other games), as well as in life, you have five cards to keep information hidden from others — knowledge of how many opponents are left in the tournament; what their playstyle is; what they think of you personally; and anything else that may help characterize them.

Though this provides far greater power over someone vying for a piece of your prize pool, it also places a burden on keeping secrets when they aren’t necessary to share (i.e., generally speaking). Knowing whether someone will respect your bets based on history or assume things based on personal relationships is difficult at best.

Thus, don’t ever underestimate the power of deception — maybe you should leak information, and your opponents will respect it, or perhaps you should maintain a stoic demeanour no matter what hand you have.