5 Advanced Poker Tips | How to Win at Poker

5 Advanced Poker Tips | How to Win at Poker

When you hear or read the phrase advanced poker tips, what immediately comes to your mind? It’s probably a chart or some kind of complicated formula that would require a lot of concentration. Whatever you learn with that chart or complicated formula will lead to you over-analyzing the game and confuse the hell out of you. Not only that, the game will no longer be fun. I think there is a better way to approach advanced poker tips.

Psych Ward Territory

In order to win in poker games, you need to have a devious mind. You need to know all the basic poker strategy and then play off of that because most other players will think that you’re thinking the way they’re thinking. At the same time, you can’t go too far off the reservation. That’s Psych Ward Territory. Never go to Psych Ward Territory with poker strategy. This goes against our poker rules for winning.
Psych Ward Territory is where you get so creative that you start limping from under the gun with Th8h, three-betting with A5-off, and shoving from the big blind with 44 with 40 big blinds because there were seven limpers. This is not good poker strategy.

If you go to Psych Ward Territory, I’m not letting you out. I can’t let you out! I don’t have the key. Once someone goes there, they never come back. They’re locked up forever. Once they begin playing poker hands in this manner, they start losing. They start losing, they begin chasing. Once they begin chasing, they end up in debt and financial hell.

The inmates are the people who ask you for loans, claiming they used to kill the Daily tournaments at Bally’s. They believe that’s justifiable reasoning for you to loan them $5,000. Stay away from these people. Don’t even be nice. If you’re nice, they’re going to keep coming after you. Their brains become possessed by something we don’t know anything about. What’s worse is that it’s contagious!

If you loan someone money in the poker world, there is an 11.89% chance you will get your money back. That’s -EV. So, if you were dumb enough to lend someone $5k, then you’re out $5k. This leads to you chasing and playing like a donkey. Now you’re out more money and you find yourself in Psych Ward Territory.

Not lending money to poker players isn’t one of the advanced poker tips I’m going to write about, but the natural flow of things led me to giving you this warning. Look at it as one of my bonus advanced poker tips.

Let’s get to the normal advanced poker tips now. As hinted at above, they will not be complicated. Advanced poker tips don’t need to be complicated. In my world, advanced just means deeper thinking. Welcome to my world. I hope you enjoy it.

5 Advanced Poker Tips

#1. Outmaneuver the Player Showing Bluffs

Ego plays a big role in poker games. If you really pay attention, you will notice that most of the conversation at the poker table is people talking poker strategy to make themselves sound smarter than they are to everyone else. But if someone was really a great poker player, why the hell would they talk poker strategy to their opponents? The reason people do this is Ego.

People will even show AA or KK when everyone folds to their pre-flop raise as if they conquered the British Empire one day earlier. Dude, you were dealt those cards. You had nothing to do with it. That would be like me like going to the supermarket, seeing that they’re handing out free chicken kabobs, luckily getting the best one, and holding it in the air while shouting to everyone in the supermarket, “Look everyone! I have the best chicken kabob!”

I guess that’s one way to explain Ego, but nothing is more Ego-ish than a poker player showing a bluff. When someone shows me a bluff after I fold, I always tell myself two things. One, he thinks he’s King Kong, but he’s an idiot for giving me information. Two, he just motivated me to outlast him at this table. The latter has a significant impact in poker tournaments.

The next time someone shows you a bluff, don’t be embarrassed, and don’t get defensive. The best move here is to do and say nothing, but definitely register what happened. Part of the reason he showed you the bluff is because he’s setting you up.
In his mind, and every other poker player’s mind, he’s thinking this: Now that I showed him the bluff, I can bet big with a monster next time and he’ll call. Imagine an animated and weasel-like criminal holding his curled-up hand by his chin in excitement. What he doesn’t know is that he’s playing against you or me, and we’re all over it.

Put simply: The next time someone shows you a bluff and then bets big against you in that same session, fold. It’s a trap. I just saved you hundreds of dollars. You’re welcome!

#2. Never Show Your Cards

If you were paying careful attention, then you could have picked up on this already. I’ll show my cards with a big laydown once in a while, but if I’m really on, I’m too focused to do any of that. There is one player who always sticks in my mind with this. I don’t know his name, but I know him by face. He’s a very good player who plays at Choctaw and WinStar. He focuses mostly on Texas Hold’em poker tournaments.

The reason this player sticks in my mind is because I played with him for three hours and he never once showed his hand (except on my last hand). He played very tight, but when he got involved, he was very aggressive. Player picked all the right spots against the right opponents because he always got a fold somewhere along the line.

He did show his hand once, which was his AQ vs. my KQ when I made a bad all-in call because I was already in the money. Not one of my proudest moments. KQ will cost you more money than any other hand, including JJ. You would be best off playing KQ more cautiously than you do at this time. A lot of poker players overplay it and end up in big pots vs. AK or KQ.
You also have to figure AA, KK, and QQ as possibilities. And even if your opponent has a lower pair, it’s a flip. What are you really beating if someone is willing to put a lot (or all) of their chips in the middle? KJ? On big pots, KQ is -EV. In my opinion, it’s the biggest trouble hand out there. JJ is better because I’m either looking to flop a set or go AGGRO if the flop comes three unders. Otherwise, it’s a feeler bet and I’m out.

That was another teachable moment, which adds to my bonus advanced poker tips. As far as someone showing a bluff, that’s ammo for you to make the right move in the future, it’s not ammo for them. But let them think it’s ammo for them. When you release Ego and let your opponents think they’re stronger than you, that’s when you hold a massive edge.

#3. Pay Attention to Short Stacks Late In Poker Tournaments

This might not seem as though it fits into our list of advanced poker tips, but it sure as heck does! It also falls into our poker rules for winning because it will save you chips and allow you to go much deeper in poker tournaments.

If you have a marginal hand like AT-off and a short stack is to your left deep in a tournament, then you need to ask yourself this question: Will I call his all-in for that amount of chips with this hand?
I have played in a ton of Texas Hold’em poker tournaments at the mid-stakes level, and I can tell you with absolute certainty that most players still don’t grasp this concept. It happens over and over again where someone will call/fold or raise/fold pre-flop because that short-stacked jammed it. Dude … are you not paying attention? Are you Spicoli-ish? What’s going on? You’re wasting chips!

If you can get into the habit of paying careful attention to the short stacks late in poker tournaments and only get involved if you’re willing to call that stack, then you’re way ahead of the game. I can also put it to you this way: Tighten your range of poker hands when deep in a poker tournament and there are short stacks to your left. At the same time, apply pressure on the short stacks any time you have a premium hand.

#4. Draw More Against POWs

In poker, a POW is a Pay Off Wizard. This means they will usually call your bets because they like to go for the hero calls. This relates to implied odds and how much you should expect to win if you hit your draw. Most people only use math to figure out their implied odds, but you’re not going to win the same amount against a tight player as you will against a POW/calling station if you hit your draw. In order to correctly use implied odds, you must also figure in the playing style of your opponent.

If you’re heads-up against a NIT and he bets out on the flop when you have a flush draw, it’s a fold. You’re not likely to hit your flush, and you’re not likely to get paid even if you hit it. On the other hand, if you’re up against a LAG player or POW, it might be worth taking the chance.

This is a tricky spot because if you jam it on the flop, they’re likely to call if they have a pair or better. This isn’t what you want unless you’re really going for the win, as in trying to win the whole tournament instead of just cashing. Therefore, I can’t disagree with it. Either it’s meant to be or it’s not. You would only jam it to guarantee you would see both cards (or get a fold).

You can also control the pot against these players and open up if you hit your draw. They are more likely to pay you off, hence the acronym, POW.

#5. Watch the Clock in Poker Tournaments

Of course, you want to win the entire poker tournament. If it’s a sanctioned event, this can make your year, and it might even change your life. That said, it’s not easy to win those poker tournaments because there are often hundreds of players, if not thousands of players. Once you’re in the money, you need to look at your pay raises.

I know they’re called pay jumps, but I call them pay raises because you’re working for your money. The longer you stay on the job, the more you get paid. Some poker players will scoff at the notion of looking at pay jumps. They want that ring or bracelet, but that’s an Ego thing.
I have played in poker tournaments where folding and waiting has led to pay jumps of thousands of dollars in less than 15 minutes. How many jobs on the planet can you make thousands of dollars in less than 15 minutes? Excluding drug dealing and stripping.

By watching the pay raises on the screen, you’re going to be much more likely to fold more often because you want to move up to the next pay raise. This doesn’t mean you’re going to fold AQ from the button with no action to you. You’re still going to raise there. It just means that you’re not going to do anything stupid, like raise with T6-suited from middle position because you ‘felt it.’

You might be surprised to know that the less I pay attention to the actual game of poker while at the poker table, the better I do. It’s because I’m not emotionally connected to the game. Everything is more robotic, and I’m reacting due to the patterns I have seen so many times before. When you remove emotion, you disarm Ego. I can still read my opponents when in a hand against them because at least 90% of people have the same patterns.

Final Thoughts

If you want to make more money playing poker, then I would highly recommend reading the advanced poker tips covered above. And don’t forget about the bonus advanced poker tips as well. You are now a smarter poker player than you were ten minutes ago. Anytime, my friend. Anytime. See you at the WSOP!
♠ pokerjournal.org

Advanced Poker Tips – FAQs

Q: How creative should I get playing poker?
A: Not Very. Stick to the basics and you will see better results. You only want to get creative when you’re playing basic for hours and nobody sees it coming.
Q: What is the best bluff in poker?
A: A small bluff that wins the pot. Low Risk/High Reward.
Q: Should I show or muck my bluff in poker?
A: Do not show your bluff unless you’re trying to get a good player on tilt. Even then it’s questionable. If you show your bluff, you will lose respect from every player at the table, which is very dangerous for future hands.
Q: How should I play my short stack in poker tournaments?
A: Extreme patience. You can begin shoving with premium hands at 10 BB. Your shoving range should expand for every BB you lose. At 5 BB, don’t even look at your cards. It’s better to go out swinging than getting blinded out. The latter is an awful feeling.

Author: Henry Brown