There is more than one way to keep score in poker, though ultimately cold-hard cash speaks loudest. By this reckoning Allen Cunningham is one of the most successful ever to play the game. Added to the $12 million he has raked in, there are five World Series of Poker bracelets which tell strongly of his expertise. Poker Tips From Allen Cunningham should listen.
Who better, then, to learn the fundamentals from?
When playing it’s extremely important to pay attention to how other players perceive your play, particularly in a live game but also online. Playing loose may enable you to pick up an early stack, but it will most likely hinder you in the latter stages of a game, impeding your ability to make plays as the blinds rise.
A loose image will soon be picked up upon by experienced players. The flip side to this is the danger of playing too tight. A conservative approach invites the risk of missing out on opportunities to accumulate chips or even just keep your head above water.
The ideal medium is to project a tight image whilst actually playing somewhere between the traditional concepts of a “tight” and a “loose”. Amateur players tend to play too many hands.
A lack of expertise can result in playing too many junk hands, and when doing so not playing them aggressively enough. Merely calling when they should be raising the bet. A decent rule of thumb for the newcomer, or relative newcomer, is to play tighter whilst making the size of your bet bigger. By doing so you make it much more difficult for your opponents to maneuver. Also think about your hand in positional terms: the stronger you are post-flop, the lower your bet size ought to be.
Always Fold Junk
It’s straightforward advice on the face of it, but it’s well worth stressing, repeating, and remembering. Get rid of junk hands. Doing this will prevent the temptation to steal blinds when the action is passed to you but the odds are stacked against you. In the long run failing to put down junk cards is a quick route to the poor-house as once in a while you’ll end up being pot-committed with precious few outs.
Another advantage to this discriminatory course of action is that you’ll further enhance your image as a tight player, and when you’re in a position to raise with something like A-8 you can be fairly sure you’ll be able to steal the blinds even though you’re actually playing a bit looser.
Always make sure the bluff you’re trying to sell is credible. The story has to add up, or else your opponents will soon work it out. The other important considerations are when and who to bluff. If you know an opposition player believes you to be a bluffer, then don’t bluff him. Period! He or she will call you with anything. The ones who are more likely to be successfully bluffed are the players who think about the game that bit more. If someone doesn’t give due thought to the game, they’re not smart enough to be bluffed! Pick your moments and opponents with equal care.
“Price is what you pay, value is what you get”
As in many walks of life, attaining value is crucial in poker. It’s the difference between winning and losing. If you were going to buy a second-hand car and the listed price was $12,000, would you ever offer $15,000? Of course not, you’d lead with an opening $10,000 at most. This is the principle that bears repeating. A sharp mathematical mind certainly helps when assessing whether you’re making a value bet, and that’s something that can be honed, but equally it’s not the be all and end all.
Experience will help no end when it comes to making that same judgment, and as you build up on that you’ll find that knowing when to bet becomes a more instinctive call to make. When it comes to gaining that kind of experience, the worth of online poker really comes into its own. It’s so fast, hand after hand after hand, that you can pick up more knowledge and insight in a far less amount of time than playing live. It’s a fantastic way of learning the fundamentals, key rules that can then be transferred to the live game where you can incorporate different skills.
The other economic fundamental that applies directly to poker is that you can make more by spending less. Make sure you’re playing the rights hands and pay close attention to bankroll management. Even the best player in the world will soon go broke if they take their eye off these balls. Adhering to these maxims will prove a sound starting-off point for any would-be poker player, whilst they also shouldn’t be forgotten by those with more experience. This was an article Poker Tips From Allen Cunningham should listen.