Poker can seem like an extremely difficult game, given the large number of variables that should be kept in mind in any situation. But if we create a specific game plan - a strategy - then making the right decisions will be much easier. In fact, the only question that should be of interest is: “How can we turn a specific game situation into money?”

If we want to become professionals, then our main concern is that each distribution is profitable or not lead to losses. And the process of planning and creating tactics must take these factors into account over long distances.

Consider some points to keep in mind before the flop.

What do we expect from preflop?

Before you begin to act preflop, you should understand what you can expect at this stage of the game. What will we achieve by performing this or that action? For example, when raising a bid, you should ask yourself: “Do I expect to get 3bet in this situation? And if so, do I have a plan for further action? Do I expect the opponent to accept the bet if I raise? Or will the enemy “crush” us with this decision? If so, what will I do next? ” Such questions are relevant in almost all circumstances, especially in later positions.

What hands do we play preflop?

There are various types of strong hands that you can get preflop. Including hands with which it will be convenient to bluff, those with which there are great chances to collect a strong combination, semi-bluff hands and other varieties. If you choose a particular type of hand for a draw, you should make sure that you know how to play them in the future. At the same time, you need to learn how to calculate your chances of winning with a certain hand. You will also need to determine the approximate chances of rivals, depending on their preflop actions. Roughly determining the cards in the deck is another of your tasks.

What kind of continued distribution is expected?

Having received cards preflop, we can assume how the deal will continue. This can be several different game lines that can be predicted. Our preflop decisions will depend on how many players remain at the table in the future. This can be predicted with a certain degree of probability. If many folds are expected, you can play more aggressively. If, on the contrary, you feel that your rivals are ready to raise, then do not rush into trouble.

Do not despair if you could not predict the future distribution (for example, if there are five opponents left at the table, although you expected to stay 1 on 1 with an opponent). Perhaps this is just an accident. But if your “predictions” do not come true too often, you should review the strategy and identify errors.

Consider stack to pot ratio

Since our main goal is to make money, we should take into account the size of the bank in the distribution that we want to continue. The strength of the hands being played will directly depend on the size of our stack, as well as on a certain call hand.

You can define for yourself certain zones in which you can play certain hands depending on the profitability of such an action.

As you play, you will notice that taking this into account becomes important, as effective stacks become smaller and become less relevant as the pot grows.

Which plan will be the most profitable?

Poker is good because it can use all possible ways to make a profit. If we perform actions at the auction first, we do not have many opportunities. If someone has placed a bet before us, the diversity of opportunities increases.

Before you take any action, you should quickly "go over" all the possible ways to play preflop. Having built logical chains, you should choose the most profitable of the possible.

It is likely that the obvious action to receive a win will not be the most optimal. And to act differently will be more profitable for you.

If we want to get to the flop, will the aggressor preflop win the hand?

Raising a bet from an opponent preflop is not a rare event. Based on this, we can more accurately form the range of initial hands, if we can approximately calculate the chances of collecting a good hand on the flop. So, if the aggressor has a weak hand, we can easily throw him out of the table with a more aggressive bet on the flop. Another option is to throw him out of the table already preflop by reraising (but be careful and calculate your chances).

Based on the strength of your hand, you can build strategies against aggressors already pre-flop.

Similar logic can be used if 3bet is played preflop. For example, we consider a situation when an aggressive opponent plays against us, and we expect him to raise rates already at the initial stage. If the opponent plays fit-or-fold, we have a chance to earn good money by supporting his bet.

Our task is to build strategies for the future already pre-flop.

How often will CB players lose after the flop?

It often happens that we play preflop against a player who raises. Or we play against someone who hopes to pick up the blinds preflop by raising.

In this situation, it is important to play only the range of hands that can become winning at later stages.

Decision making flexibility

For success at the poker table you will need to constantly make various decisions. The same game line will not be able to bring you a stable income. Think one step ahead and determine what actions can turn the distribution in your direction. If an opponent calls our raise pre-flop, this does not mean that you can’t continue to bluff. So, if you notice that this opponent is in no hurry to raise on the turn and river, you can take the initiative in your hands by making several raises.

But as a rule, your flexibility will depend on awareness. Therefore, it is necessary to collect and record information about opponents both in a particular distribution and their behavior throughout the entire poker game session.

We wrote a lot of tips and it won’t just be sorted out straight away. However, you can do it gradually - it will be easier to learn recommendations with experience. Practice imagining the outcome of the distribution in a given situation when performing various actions. And compare the final result. This analysis can be your passage to a higher level in poker.