Principle No 1: The Strength Principle
In general, you want to bet your strong hands, check your mediocre hands, and fold (or sometimes bluff) with your weakest hands
That shouldn't be too hard - NOT?
Obviously you want to bet your very strong hands to build a bigger pot when you're likely to win. With your middle hands you better check because it’s harder to make money when you bet these. Better hands than yours are likely to call or raise, while weak hands probably fold. Folding your weakest hands is quite obvious. Bluffing with your weakest hands might be not so obvious, but then again if the bluff works, you've gained value from a hand that had none.
Principle no.2: The Aggression Principle
The risk of never challenging is always greater than the risk of challenging.In general, aggression (betting and raising) is better than passivity (checking and calling)
"War is about power and the 'card game of power' involves spilling blood, creating sorrow, abusing others, AND betraying trust, assuming success, the ability to squirm out of tight spots. Raising bets to their highest to reduce the field and making your mediocre hand better, these are the coin of power, not goodness, not light." Victor Lee“In a balance of mutual terror............ Whoever acts first, has the advantage!"
Aggressive actions have two possible outcomes:
- your opponent could fold to your bet, or
- he could call your bet and you may win at the showdown.
2 options are better than 1.
Principle no.3: The Betting Principle
In general, a successful bet must be able to do one of 3 things:
- force a better hand to fold,
- force a weaker hand to call, or
- cause a drawing hand to draw to unfavorable odds.
- If you can chase away a better hand, you won a pot you normally would have lost.
- If you get a weaker hand to call, you've got more money into the pot.
- The same goes if you let somebody call a draw at unfavorable odds
Principle no.4: The Deception Principle
Never do the same thing all of the time.
This is quite clear. Be surprising, don’t act predictively!
In order to be successful at poker, you need your opponents to keep guessing; about your bets, your folds, and how you play the ranges of hands you do play.
Look at your watch when you have to make a decision, if the second hand is on between the 9 and the 12, go ahead and check or limp or Call or BET.
It's a random action and it will keep them from pushing you too often. Using 10 to 12, if out of position, is about 17% (counting the 12) and using 9 to 12, in position, is about 23% (not counting the 12).
Randomness will keep them guessing and improve your tight image. You can use a different random trigger on the flop, turn, or river, like which suit to use as the trigger. Be creative, but consistent!
I NEVER BLUFF