Styling it Out: Learning Poker Strategy from the Greatest Names in the Game
Poker is a game that relies a little on luck, but mostly on skill, and the skills are far more in-depth than simply knowing whether you have a good hand. Essentially, poker is not a card game – it is a people game, which just happens to be played with cards. The best poker players got to where they are today not through being lucky and getting more good hands than bad, but through learning how to read the other players at the table accurately without giving too much of themselves away. The other key aspect to playing a good game of poker is having a strategy – there are various types of strategy to choose from and one is not necessarily better than the other. Developing a poker strategy is more about working out which poker playing styles suit you and building from there, rather than copying strategies that other players are using with success. However, there can be a lot to learn from watching some of the greatest players in the game and bringing elements of their strategies into your game.
Aggressive Play: Doyle Brunson’s Super System
Doyle Brunson is a multiple World Series of Poker champion and writer of one of the first ever books to be published on poker strategy, Super System, which came out in 1979. While some rule changes and additional variations of the game are not covered in Super System, making it somewhat outdated, many of the techniques and strategies outlined within the book are still being used by players today. Brunson later followed this with a sequel, Super System 2, published in 2004, with contributions from some of the most successful poker players of all time across each specialisation. Brunson’s introduction to the book focuses on what he calls “power poker”, which is an aggressive approach backed with careful observation of the rest of the players. Brunson emphasises tips such as playing in position, learning to understand how to calculate pot odds and recognising when to withdraw from the hand.
Playing Tight: Phil Hellmuth, Poker Brat
The term “poker brat” was coined specifically to describe Phil Hellmuth, who won a record-breaking 14 bracelets in the World Series of Poker but was better known for his temper tantrums and rude behaviour at the table. While it may have been his attitude that made him something of a household name, there is no denying that Hellmuth’s playing style has served him well. Career earnings stand in excess of $23 million and the brat has mastered almost every variation of poker. Hellmuth published his own poker strategy book in 2003, called Play Poker Like the Pros. The book is aimed at beginners and therefore some of the information included within is quite basic, or even patronising to some. However, when one of the game’s all-time top earners suggests starting out by only playing the top ten hands, he might be onto something.
Using the 2-4 Rule: Winning Women of Poker
Winning Women of Poker is a compilation poker strategy book containing contributions from many of the game’s most well-known and successful female players. Subtitled as Secret Strategies Revealed, the book delves into some of the winning techniques used by players such as Maria Ho, Shannon Elizabeth, Jan Fisher and Evelyn Ng among others. One area covered within the book is learning how to make a quick but accurate approximation of your chances of winning a particular hand using the 2-4 rule. Players using this rule count their available outs once the flop or the turn card has been dealt and multiply this figure by two. This provides a percentage chance of how likely a card they need will be dealt next. If players are on the flop but waiting for the river, such as when an opponent has gone all in, they multiply their outs by four instead of two to calculate the percentage. Knowing how likely you are to achieve a winning hand can help you control your betting.
Spotting Bluffs: Caro’s Book of Poker Tells
One of the most famous books ever written on the subject of poker is Caro’s Book of Poker Tells, which was first released in 2003. Mike Caro is often referred to as the Mad Genius of Poker and has played professionally for many years. He has written several compelling books on the subject, but Poker Tells delves into the more personal aspect of the game – learning how to accurately tell if an opponent is bluffing. Caro details a long list of possible tells and describes what they are most likely to mean, how often players of different levels of experience are likely to display them and how to react if you spot a tell.
Reading a variety of poker strategy books as well as practicing the game as often as possible can help newer players to begin to figure out what their own unique playing style will be. Free-play online poker can be a good practice arena for novices or those that want to adapt their playing style, as new strategies can be thoroughly tested before being brought out in real money games.
Save the Dates: PokerStars Announces SCOOP 2023
PokerStars has revealed the dates for the 2023 Spring Championship of Online Poker across all markets with .COM players still waiting for more details.
PokerStars Ontario Announces Inaugural ONSCOOP Series
The inaugural ONSCOOP at PokerStars Ontario will dish out at least CAD $1.8 million in prizes across 129 events divided into three tiers.
Don’t Miss Out on Irish Open Satellites Running on PokerStars
PokerStars is hosting Irish Poker Open satellites throughout the week, offering €1500 packages for all the winners.
Win Your Sunday Million Anniversary Seats via PokerStars Satellites
There are daily Sunday Million satellites running on PokerStars across all buy-in levels, so don’t miss out on the opportunity to play in one of the biggest tournaments of the year.
Get Busy With Some Bounty Action at PokerStars in March
With 169 individual events and $20,000,000 in guaranteed prizes, the Bounty Series on PokerStars promises plenty of great action the first half of March.
Flash or No Flash Spin & Goes at PokerStars Ontario?
PokerStars Ontario offers two variations of its popular Spin & Go format, allowing players to pick their preferred way to compete for big potential jackpots.
Don’t Miss Big Sunday Action at PokerStars Ontario
There is a rich schedule of PokerStars Ontario Bounty Builder Series events waiting for you this Sunday across all buy-in levels.
Stake & Be Staked Safely at WSOP Ontario
WSOP Ontario is the only poker site in the province offering an integrated staking platform available to all players.
PokerStars Giving Away Loads of Tournament Tickets via Mini EPT Paris
Mini EPT Paris runs on PokerStars alongside the live Main Event, featuring rich prizes and plenty of added tournament tickets.
WSOP Ontario Set to Send Players to the 2023 Main Event
Players will have ample opportunities to win dozens of WSOP Main Event seats playing various satellites hosted at WSOP Ontario.
CAD $700,000 up for Grabs in PokerStars Ontario New Series
Featuring 100 events and the popular PKO format, the PokerStars Ontario Bounty Builder Series isn’t the one you’ll want to miss out on.
Neymar Jr. Playing at Home Turf at PokerStars EPT Paris
The Brazilian superstar was in the crowd for the opening event of the inaugural EPT Paris by PokerStars.
PokerStars EPT Heads to Paris for the First Time Ever
PokerStars will be hosting the first European Poker Tour event in Paris this February, alongside the France Poker Series for those with smaller bankrolls.
PokerStars Ontario 50/50 Series Featuring $250k in Prize Money
With 50 tournaments at $50 each, PokerStars Ontario 50/50 Series promises a lot of hot action.
Tune In for the PokerStars PSPC Final Table Coverage
Live coverage will start at 19:00 CET, with players guaranteed seven figures and competing for the first place prize of $4,053,200.
Chinese New Year’s Series Another Success for PokerStars Ontario
The latest tournament series at PokerStars Ontario shattered guarantees left and right, promising great things to come.
$100,000 up for Grabs in PokerStars Ontario KO Weekend
The series features a dozen events spread over Saturday and Sunday, with the PokerStars Ontario $100 Sunday Special guaranteeing CAD $42,000 for the winners.
Mini PCA Online Series by PokerStars Brings Loads of Affordable Action
The series consists of 30 events with very affordable buy-ins, big guarantees, and added prizes that include tickets to upcoming live PokerStars tournaments.
PokerStars Reveals the Date for 17th Anniversary Sunday Million
The PokerStars flagship event will take place on March 26 and will feature the guaranteed prize pool of $7.5 million.
Vanessa Kade Receives a Surprise Platinum Pass from Poker Stars
Kade was thrilled to receive the news and pledged to share a portion of her future winnings with her Twitter followers and one of her favorite charity organizations.