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The Basics of Poker Strategy

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Poker is a game that involves the twin elements of luck and skill. The application of skill virtually eliminates the variance of luck, allowing you to win more often than you lose. This is true whether you play the game for fun or as a career.

A basic strategy involves betting aggressively. This forces your opponents to make decisions about how to play the hand. A player can check, call, raise or fold. The more information you have about your opponent, the better your decisions will be. You can get a lot of information about your opponents by reading poker books, watching poker videos, and following poker blogs.

There is no one-size-fits-all strategy to poker, but some general rules are helpful in the beginning:

Start at the lowest stakes possible. This will allow you to play a wide range of players, and learn the game at a comfortable pace.

Avoid calling raises with weak hands, especially in early positions. You should raise preflop if you have a strong starting hand. A premium opening hand like a pair of Kings or Queens is a great reason to raise.

Observe the action and try to predict how other players will react. This will help you develop quick instincts, which will improve your chances of making a good decision. You can also study the strategies of experienced players and consider how you would have reacted in their shoes. This will help you build your instincts and improve your poker game.