Top 10 Poker Strategies

Before you read on, know these two universal truths:

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  • EVERYONE was once a beginner.
  • Change is possible, if not inevitable.

So, do you want to play poker like a pro? Obviously, you do. Whether you’ve lost your winning touch in poker offline or want to dominate poker online, following a handful of these tips will help start your winning streak.

A gentle reminder and an honest disclaimer

With any discipline or activity, you must do more than practice; you also need to know how and what to practice. That ensures that practice – if not perfection – at the very least guarantees progress. Without further ado, here are the top 10 poker tips for poker in 2019.

1. Know your poker

Poker comes in many formats, variations and types. It’s important to know which one you’re playing. Here’s a quick rundown of each:

5-Card Stud

By far the easiest variation of poker, the dealer gives each player five cards. The players must use just these five cards to come up with their winning hand.

7-Card Stud

In this variation, the dealer gives seven cards to each player with three down and four facing up which ultimately increases the odds of making a winning hand.

5-Card Draw


Just as in a 5-card stud, players are dealt five cards. The difference is that they can choose to discard and draw up to three more.


7-Card Draw

This variation of poker is the same as the above 5-card draw with the only difference being there are seven cards.

Texas Hold’em

Texas Hold’em is the most popular poker game in the States. Each player is dealt two cards and must use a minimum of three community cards to complete their 5-card hand.

Omaha Hold’em


Omaha Hold’em is very much like Texas Hold’em. The two primary differences are that each player is dealt four hole cards and all five community cards are shown at once.

2. Fundamentals: Learn the natural order of things

As the old adage goes, we have to be able to crawl before we can walk, walk before we can run, jump before we can fly and so on and so forth. The takeaway message here is that before you learn more intricate poker strategies, you have to know how to play poker and understand poker rules. A great starting point is knowing your poker hand order and the makeup of each hand. This alone will be a step in the right direction. Here they are:

  1. Royal Flush – Best possible hand in poker. Ten, Jack, Queen, King, Ace – all in the same suit.
  2. Straight Flush – Five cards in a row, all in the same suit.
  3. Four of a Kind – The same card in each of the four suits.
  4. Full House – Also called a Full Boat. A pair plus three of a kind in the same hand.
  5. Flush – Five cards, all in one suit, but not in numerical order.
  6. Straight – Five cards in numerical order, but not of the same suit.
  7. Three of a Kind – Sometimes called Trips or a Set. Three of one card and two non-paired cards.
  8. Two Pair – Two different pairings or sets of the same card in one hand.
  9. One Pair – One pairing of the same card with three other non-matching cards.
  10. High Hand – No matching cards, not in consecutive order and at least two different suits.

3. Keep it simple, make it significant


Now that you can recognize the value of your hand, it is important to remember to not to play too many of them. You might want to build up your experience but arguably more important than the frequency of playing is the quality of play. If you find yourself staying in hands simply to add to your playing tally, you could live to regret it. Try to avoid playing more than half of the hands you are dealt. This may seem difficult but all you need to do is determine what kind of hand is worth playing and stick to that as a base-level requirement.

4. Take it easy on the bottle

Poker hands, poker chips, poker faces and poker music. Something about the poker experience just lends itself to knocking back a few drinks. Be cautious. A little too much drink and your risk aversion will take a nosedive, making you reckless. The pros beside you at the poker table will certainly be as sober as judges to stay sharp. You should be too.

5. Don’t aim too high

There’s an undeniable thrill in playing your best poker hands at a table that challenges you and where the stakes are high. However, this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt too.
When winning regularly at a lower level is a good signal to move up, one should be wary of other instances when moving up to a higher limit game might be a bad idea. If your motivation for high limits is driven by ego or the simple fact that you won’t have to queue as long, then you need to check yourself.
If the stakes are so high that you are questioning whether you can afford to lose, because it will affect the level of money you have at your disposal for daily life, then it’s best to stay in your lane or tap out.

6. Ranges over hands

At Borgata poker, we’ve noticed that the great tell between an ordinary poker player and the crème de la crème is their approach to reading potential outcomes. Ordinary poker players focus on the potential hand someone might have whereas the elite take it a step further and take into consideration the range of hands a player could have.

The difference is the elite player is prepared to overcome and deal with far more eventualities than their ordinary counterparts. This is because the moment an opposing poker player doesn’t have the exact hand predicted, the ordinary player loses.

7. Consistency, consistency, consistency

If the consistent flow of water can cut through rock, the same level of consistency should help you win in any variation of poker. The effectiveness of any poker strategy is also the ability to consistently use it.

8. Very good tables could mean bad games

Sound simple? Good. However, you will be surprised how many beginners do themselves a great disservice by playing in games that constantly feature talented regulars. Whether you’re playing poker online or enjoying a night at a brick-and-mortar poker casino, you need to take the time to suss out the opposition.

The truth of the matter is if winning money is the end game then you need to be up against players who make mistakes and forget the fundamentals.

9. Surrender for success

The idea of surrendering for success seems counterintuitive but that’s exactly what can make all the difference in the long haul. The really good players have mastered this poker strategy – they have taught themselves to lay down a good hand when they get the feeling they will lose.

How often have you had a good hand and felt you were going to lose but failed to fold? Rather than regret it, it is better to fight the urge to play when your instinct tells you not to.

When you are sitting on the fence about calling or folding as opposed to a bet or raise, play it safe and fold.

10. Be a lifelong learner

There is always an opportunity to learn and when you make the most of these opportunities you can only improve. Particularly on online poker sites, take the time to line your data up against the high performers. Over time, you will start to see what strategies you can adopt and tactics that perhaps you should no longer incorporate in your game.

Putting your newfound knowledge into practice

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Knowledge is of no value unless you put it into practice.” – Anton Chekhov

We’re inclined to agree with Mr. Chekhov. Armed with these helpful hints and tips, rest assured that as long as you apply them to your game in 2019 and every year going forward, you will be sure to up your poker play in no time.

Whether you’re searching for a “casino near me” or would prefer to win big from the comfort of home, Borgata’s online presence is backed by over 15 years of market-leading land-based success in Atlantic City, NJ. We value your safety, security and casino experience which is why we have created the most ideal environment to try your hand at poker online or offline.


Play your favorite style of poker with Borgata poker today. Sign up, deposit and withdraw at your own convenience with our multiple secure banking options.

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