While playing at the lower stakes poker tables, it’s enough to play by the book and focus on the basics. However, as soon as you move up the stake level, so should your betting strategy. Facing intermediate players or even a very aggressive player with higher standards and advanced poker strategy, it’s vital to up your game too.
Remember, poker is a constant learning process, which means, regardless of your player status, you need to keep studying.
When searching the internet, you’ll be finding numerous tips for beginners on how to play poker correctly, but what about poker players who want to improve their betting strategies? To be armed at the poker table, a varied and well-stocked arsenal of weapons is a must-have when deciding to face the pros.
Therefore, let’s dive into some of the top advanced poker strategy tips.
Top 9 Advanced Poker Strategy Tips
After learning the fundamentals of poker, it’s crucial to keep expanding your poker knowledge. Staying ahead in this competitive environment is critical to developing advanced poker strategies.
Here, we’ve listed the top tips every advanced player should know.
1. Remember Fundamentals of your Basic Poker Strategy
In our strategy tips for beginners, we have stressed absorbing the basics of poker. If you want to become a genuinely skilled player, the rules, hand rankings, implied odds, good pot odds, and an eye to observe your opponents need to become second nature.
As long as you struggle with your fundamentals and theoretical knowledge, wait before enhancing your know-how with these advanced tips. We recommend going back to basics first.
Facing Professional Poker Players
When playing against professional players, you face different advanced strategies, bluffs, and traps. Playing more professionally requires knowing exactly when you are holding weak hands and is your time to fold. Try not to adapt to fancy strategy moves your opponents have developed over time, and instead use your basics as a reverse-psychology tactic and mislead an aggressive player.
Keep in mind that you’ll be folding far more hands than you play.
2. Think About Opponent’s Range, Not Hands
If you want to spot the difference between beginners and advanced players, look at how they think about what their opponents have. A beginner always thinks of a particular hand. Advanced players think in terms of their opponent’s range. This way of thinking can be vital for calculating pot odds.
What is a range?
A range is the entire spectrum of hands a player can have in a specific situation. For example, your opponent can have a top pair, middle pair, bottom pair, flush, a draw, ace-high, or be in for a bluff.
How to go about the opponent’s range?
A player, who did their homework well, will understand that their opponents will show up with this entire range of possible hands. A good player won’t simply focus on a single decent hand but will try to figure out the various frequencies and play at maximum value.
Therefore, do not just listen to your gut. Instead, go with an advanced poker strategy and watch your opponent. One key takeaway is that optimal strategies and gut feelings are not going well together in poker.
3. Learn to Drop Your Favourite Hand
Almost every single player has a favourite hand, and practically every time a player gets dealt their favourite, they want to play it so badly.
In reality, whatever your favourite hand is, it’s not always the best starting hand you can get in the game. It might make sense to play it in a good position, like middle position or even late position. However, consider folding in an early position, should you know it’s not a solid hand.
Ensure you are not giving your favourite hand preferential treatment compared to actual value hands. You should remember that winning in poker is about maths and logic as a key takeaway. Therefore, be innovative about your gameplay.
4. Stay in line with your Advanced Poker Strategy
One of the most critical strategy tips is to stay consistent with your betting strategy. It’s not wise to suddenly change your gameplay because it feels like a good thing to do. Remember to not rely on your gut feeling when it comes to good strategy.
Trust the knowledge you’ve built up over time and apply it at the poker table. A player, who found their way and knows how to win at poker, uses the same winning strategy. Therefore, as your key takeaway, do not change up things suddenly when you find what works well for you, especially after a big win or even a significant loss.
5. One Small Change at a Time
As soon as you start levelling up your poker game, you’ll notice it’s getting harder to stay ahead of other players.
Unfortunately, there isn’t a secret formula of advanced poker strategies on how to introduce changes and adapt your game plan. Before rushing into drastic changes, find that slight edge that you can take advantage of first. The results could be tiny; however, poker is a long-term game, and a slight change could be helpful.
Stay alert and be thoughtful about your changes.
6. Always be Reasonable
There are apparent differences between one poker player to another. However, each poker player goes about their decisions differently, not always in the most intelligent manner.
An average player or beginner would take drastic decisions out of boredom or is simply after some thrill. A professional player always has a good reason for the decision they make. Every action is thought through well.
Make sure to always play responsibly and to use your experience. Stay alert to the situation when you play at an advanced level, especially as soon as you go for multi-table rounds.
7. Know When to Fold Your Aces
Another excellent example of spotting an advanced player at the table is the ability to fold a possible playable hand like an overpair.
You might have experienced this in the past, or you are going to. Think about the feeling you get when holding a pocket pair of AA, and a tight player raises all-in on the turn. You make the ‘crying call’, and he again turns over the set.
What’s the ‘crying call’?
It’s typically a call made by a player to complete the last round of betting. However, in which the caller is not confident about having the best hand yet cannot resist calling because of curiosity, stubbornness, or other reasons.
How to go about it in your Advanced Poker Strategy?
Stay alert and always pay attention! A good player can let go of any emotional attachment to their pocket pairs as they can see the whole picture. Recreational players might have a close passion for their aces or kings and can’t let go.
Keep in mind that also aces can lose. Even if you kick off with the best of all hand rankings, there won’t be a guarantee you’ll be holding the winning hand. Sometimes you need to fold your aces to stay in the game and not lose as much money as you would otherwise.
8. Make use of the Five-Minute Rule
Learn from the best players out there like Dan Harrington. He influenced this particular strategy tip. The five-minute rule is used when you are bluffing.
When deciding to bluff, it’s crucial to be crafty about it and not expose your strategy. Remember, you are playing against professional players who have advanced poker strategies. They won’t fall for overly bluffing at the table.
How to use the Rule?
Should you bluff during the five-minute window, do not bluff for the rest of the hour of that window. This method comes with the advantage: you won’t expose your move and won’t have to overthink, especially when you don’t have enough information about the other players involved.
Also, a meaningful way to use this tip is to use the five-minute window differently each time, so your opponents won’t be able to figure out your move. However, make sure not to force yourself to go for bluffing. When reaching higher levels in poker, your opponents are watching you, too, and they’ll be bright enough to figure out what you are doing.
9. Advanced Poker Strategy means being Unpredictable
As advised many times before, keep watching your opponents and get behind their moves. However, your opponents will do precisely the same with you. There’s a good chance they’ll detect your strategy and use it against you.
What can you do about it?
Another reminder, poker is a long-term game, and you’ll never stop learning and adapting your playing style. We’ve mentioned earlier that in order to stay consistent in your strategy, you need to have a set of rules you strictly adhere to.
However, have a set of rules you can use to experiment with and to reach an even more advanced poker strategy. Do this by analysing the actions you usually play and looking for ways to break them.
This allows you to be unpredictable from time to time and to mislead your opponents. At the same time, try to make sense of that particular set of rules your opponents are using. If you master this, you can use that knowledge against them and go after the big pots.
All poker players will hit a plateau and have difficulty improving their playing style for future hands. However, with these advanced poker strategy tips, you’ll have a chance to pass this phase.
As you might have noticed, it’s often just a tiny adjustment of what you’ve learned in your How to Play Poker guides, but these small things can make you a better player.
And to avoid remaining with the recreational players, start viewing the game in a mathematical, logical and detached from emotions way to be more successful.