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Home > Poker Strategy > Find Your Best Game

Poker Strategy - Your Best Game


While this is hard at first, advanced players must figure out which game they play best and why. Different games and different betting structures require different skills. Since winning at poker means having a higher level of skill in certain areas, a true winner should know why he is winning in order to maximize his advantage over his opponents.

I cannot tell you which game you will be best at, but I've noticed some trends. Winning poker players have mastered the Four Key Skills of poker. Furthermore, they also have an advantage with the technical and/or people aspects of poker. The technical aspects refer to taking advantage of poker 'math,' such as mastering pot odds and playing tight. The people aspects refer to skills such as bluffing and varying your style of play. Here is what I believe certain games reward the most:

Longhand Limit Hold'em

Limit Hold'em rewards technicial skills, especially patience and an understanding of hand value. Since many hands go to a showdown, reading one's opponent only helps so much because it is harder to bluff and pot odds will often make a river fold highly risky.

Shorthand Limit Hold'em

Shorthand requires a mix of people and technical skills. People skills are important at analyzing a shorthanded game. You must understand your players and figure out which type of game to play. Often, a very aggressive form is best. However, in a loose game, you should revert to standard poker strategy. Thus, once you analyzed the game using people skills, technical skills will be rewarded because one type of 'technique' should be employed to beat the game.

No-Limit Hold'em

No-Limit Hold'em also requires both technical proficiency and people skills. Technical skills will help you understand how much you should bet and how much you can tolerate to call. People skills will help you in a hand (by putting an opponent on his cards) and determine your general strategy. No-Limit Hold'em fundamentally comes down to how people utilize aggressive betting. If people are meek, steal a lot of pots but fold if stern resistance comes to your bluffing. If people are being very loose, be patient and trap them. You should often be able to wipe them out in one hand.

So...Which One for Me?

As you can see, poker is about technical and player proficiency. If you are very good at remaining patient, playing quality hands, and playing pot odds, stick to Limit Hold'em. If you excel at poker because you know how to deal with opponents, you want to be in a shorthand or No-Limit game.