Lately, I’ve been doing a lot more winning than losing at low stakes ($.05/.1) no-limit hold’em, so I feel qualified to give the following poker tips on how to win $ at this sort of game.
#1. Play Tightly – This obviously can mean a lot of different things. But here are two examples of conservative play that have served me well.
(i) If after the flop you don’t have the high pair or a four cards draw to either an openended outside straight or a flush, don’t make the initial bet, no matter what your position is.
(ii) If you have a set after the flop, and there is no immediate fear of someone drawing to a straight or a flush, let others bet into you.
#2. Be Unpredictable – In general I recommend playing tightly, but you don’t want to play in such a way that other players know what you will always do. So mix it up. Occasionally make a bluff or every once in a while make an unusual bet, especially if you have good position and you’re up.
#3. Preflop – Raise if you have the following two-card hands preflop: AA, AK, AQ, KQsuited. I never go all-in with these though.
#4. Where to Sit – Sit to the left of a loose player or someone who likes to raise.
#5. Keep your Cool – Stop playing for a while, perhaps even a day, if you get mad for losing some pot. I wish I had followed this advice the other day.
#6. Going All-In – Be extremely wary of going all-in. I wouldn’t go all-in if I didn’t have at least three of a kind. And if you’re not at least %90 confident that you have the winning hand, and someone who plays tightly goes all-in, be very reluctant to call someone who goes all-in.
#7. Drawing to a Better Hand – If after either the flop or turn, others are betting, but they are not betting too big relative to the pot, you can call (don’t raise) if you have the second highest pair and a draw to either a straight or a flush.
#8. Poker Tools – If you are new to the game, use Pokerbility. It’s a great poker tool for calculating odds. It tells you when to call, raise, fold, bet. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work for all poker rooms, and it does have some limitations (read this review).
#9. Etiquette – Always be polite. It helps with karma and your own psychology. ‘tYs” and “NHs” are a minimum of good poker etiquette. Don’t criticize other players, no matter how stupid their playing is. Don’t write “zzzzzzzzzzz,” no matter how slow another player is playing.
#10. Advice – Take any list of poker tips with a grain of salt.