Poker Strategy – Importance of Planning in Poker

Great poker strategy involves making a plan and keeping it clearly in your mind so you know which poker plays to make, when and why during the poker game. You should have an end goal in mind when you see the pre-flop but the real poker planning strategy comes into play after you see the flop because at the flop you know 71.4 percent of your final hand. After the flop you should be thinking about what position you are in and how you want to strategically play the hand situs judi slot online.

You should always ask yourself the following questions after seeing the flop:

o Do I have a made hand? (e.g. set, straight, flush,), a draw (e.g. straight draw, flush draw)

o What are my opponents likely to have based on the betting and the number of opponents left in the hand?

o How likely am I to succeed in a bluff? (based on number of players left in the hand, style of opponents play)

o Are any of my opponents likely to bluff at the flop?

o Do I have the best hand?

o What hands can I represent?

Keep in mind that when you are in early position before the flop you really don’t know how your opponents are going to play their hands and what they could possibly have. After the flop, however you will have far more information to help you with your poker strategy and planning. The better you know your opponents, their style of play and what they call or raise with the better judgment you can make You should judge not only where you currently stand in the hand but also what is likely to happen.

Then decide what you ultimately want to achieve with your poker hand. Are you going to try to protect your hand, bluff, gain information, build a pot, trap a player or take the pot down straight away? The next step with your poker strategy is to make a plan to achieve the end goal, consider your options and then make your move.

Here are some important factors to consider when planning your move in the poker hand:

o Number of opponents in the hand. The more opponents still in the hand after the flop the likelihood of at least one of your opponents having a small or large piece of the flop is high. Having more poker opponents in the hand also means the average winning hand goes up since there are more ways for everyone to make hands.

o Style of your opponents play. It is easier to play against players who are passive or predictable. Passive players can be pushed off a hand easily or played for free cards whilst a predictable player will often let you know whether you are ahead or behind in the hand.

If you have aggressive poker players at your table you can get them to raise or bet to push the passive players out of the hand to decrease the number of opponents left or play off them by allowing them to take the lead.

Size of the pot. Pot odds and implied odds are extremely important after seeing the flop. You should always know how many bets are in the pot when it is your turn to act. You need to know what the pot/reward is so you can calculate the reward-risk ratio.

If the pot is small, you may be able to steal more often, but you also must play fewer draws and long shots. You may also wish to take chances to increase the size of the pot. Also, when the pot is small; you can gain tremendously if you induce your opponent to put money in with terrible odds, even though he sometimes will get the winning hand.

If the pot is large, stealing becomes harder, though much more profitable. Protecting the pot by eliminating opponents must become part of your poker strategy plan.

o Nature of the Flop: Evaluate how many draws appear on the flop and how plausible the draws are.


As you now know, it is very important to set goals and plan to achieve a positive end result with your Poker Strategy. Always know why you bet, checked, called or raised. Knowing where you are in the hand and what your end goal is, is critical to making decisions in the hand.

Planning in poker will not only improve your poker play it will also improve your poker bankroll.

Matthew has played both online and live poker for 3 years and works as a poker dealer.

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