Offline Poker Strategy

While playing in a Las Vegas should come easy to someone that knows the game well and practices online on a regular basis, there are certain things that are different. Playing in brick and mortar casinos puts you against other players that you see face to face, so there are additional elements and strategy elements that you need to consider.

Visual Tells

This is probably one of the most important things to master when you’re playing in a casino in Las Vegas or anywhere else for that matter. Those tells, once you know how to spot them in those that have them, will let you know when the other guy has a good hand or when he’s bluffing. It’s an important tactical advantage and while you have to learn how to spot these details in others, it’s just as important that you don’t offer them visual tells of your own. You might want to ask your friends about your own tells before you head on to a casino and give strangers a chance to notice them. Another idea might be to record yourself playing against friends, so you can analyze the video later.

Limit the number of hands you play

One of the biggest tips a beginner should consider is to think things through and to only play the hands that are of a certain quality or better, giving you the best odds to win a hand. A good rule of thumb is to play less than one third of your hands, meaning the best ones that you get.

In order to do that, you have to learn what the strong hands are, the ones that you have to play and the ones that you should not. We’ll cover the top 15 combinations below, starting with the best 5.

The five top hands that you can get and the ones that you should always go after are the AA, followed by KK, QQ, AK suited and JJ. If nobody raised before your turn came up, always play these hands. If there was a raise already, you might want to only play the top 5 hands instead of the top 10 or 15.

The next 10 hands that one can get at the start of the game are 10 & 10, AQ of the same suit, AJ of the same suit, AK off suit, KQ same suit, A&10 same suit, KJ same suit, AQ off suit, 9 & 9 and JQ suited.

When you consider how many other possible starting hands there are, besides the ones we mentioned in the top 5, you will understand that most of the time you need to fold.

Learn the odds

This is an important part of any poker game, knowing how to calculate the pot odds and then how to figure out your equity and how to compare them. That should give you a good idea whether to keep going or not. If the higher number is the one from the pot odds, go ahead. Otherwise, it would be a bad call.

Control yourself

Not losing your temper and knowing when to quit, even though you’ve already invested a decent amount in a hand, that’s something you need to try and master if you want to play poker, both offline and online.

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