Poker Strategy – Play the Cards, Not the Hands


Poker is a card game in which players place chips into the pot before they get their cards. The player with the best 5 card poker hand wins the pot. Players can check, which means they pass on betting, call, which means they put chips into the pot that their opponents have to match, or raise, which is to place more chips in the pot than the previous player.

There’s a lot of catchy expressions in poker but none more well-known than “Play the player, not the cards.” This is a fancy way of saying that your hand is usually only good or bad relative to what everyone else at the table is holding. For example, if you have pair of Kings and the guy next to you has American Airlines pocket rockets, your kings are going to lose 82% of the time.

A strong poker strategy must include a variety of tactics to combat different styles of play. If you’re playing against a player who knows your tendencies, they’ll be able to read you and exploit your weaknesses. You need a plan A, B, C, and D to keep your opponent from getting the better of you. For instance, if you’re a player who rarely raises, stronger players will shove you around the table like sharks in a fish tank. If you play aggressively, you can make these players pay for it. They’ll be less likely to check with weak hands and you can get paid for your strong ones.