Since experience is acquired playing poker, the player’s skills and abilities gradually increase. This opens before him a whole range of strategic possibilities that will allow him to rub shoulders with higher level players, being able to opt for more imposing prizes.
However, a poker player is someone who is always in a constant learning process. In fact, there are those who get frustrated because, without being rookies, they have not acquired what it takes to stand out above the rest.
If this is your case or if you feel identified, maybe you should take a look at this compendium of advanced poker strategies that we have prepared. You may already know some of them; others may ring a bell or you may not have had the chance to put them into practice, so be sure to take a look at it: it can be very useful for you to access an advanced poker competition.
Continuation bets: continue betting in an unfavorable situation
The first stop is the continuation bet, a strategy that starts from a very simple premise: we will not only win by having good hands. The mathematics are implacable in this respect, and probability says that in the long run it will be impossible for us to have good enough hands to ensure victory.
In a continuation bet, the player continues to attack once the flop has come out even though he has not called. To understand how this works, a classic example is used: if we have a king and an ace and raise preflop, it is possible that the big blind will call.
We are left alone, but no problem. When the first three cards come out, they all come out low. An ordinary player would check because it is the logical move, but in a continuation bet, we will continue betting.
Note: we will probably still have the most powerful hand with the high card, which means it is not a bluff. If it were, we would be aware that we have no chance of forming a good hand, and yet we would still bet.
However, there are a number of cases in which the continuation bet is discouraged: if there are many players in the hand, if someone has bet before and the initiative is not born from us, or if we believe that an opponent may have tied a superior hand.
Blocking bet: cancelling the opponent’s bet
The blocking bet is another of the advanced poker techniques that should be mastered. It differs from the continuation bet in that it is ideal to execute it when we are not ahead in the play. The purpose is simple: to bet first to prevent the opponent from making a higher bet, that is, to stop the opponent’s bet. Hence its name.
Let’s see it with an example: we have a J and a Q of hearts, and on the flop come K, J and 9, one of them with a heart. In this situation it is normal that you debate about what to do because you can have the best hand, but nothing guarantees it.
The problem is that an aggressive player may bet and take the initiative away from you, which would be a problem for you in case you really have the best hand.
If the pot has no raises, you will usually try to steal if they check. In fact, someone with a high pair will probably bet. What to do then? Because you will have a hand that you probably don’t want to part with.
What you can do is bet to block your opponent’s hand, that aggressive one you have identified. Imagine you make a bet of 10 or 15 euros. That’s a small bet for someone thinking of check-raising, but it’s big enough for someone who needs a strong hand and wants to raise.
Also, the pot won’t be big enough to make a bluff feasible, so that option is out. If your opponent gets a straight on the flop, most players will call to catch him, since they will have nothing to lose. Thus, you will keep your hand and your opponent will not find it profitable to continue betting.
Check-raise: the perfect strategy to neutralize aggressive players
One of the best strategies to block the moves of aggressive players is to use what is known as check-raise, which seeks to expose the weakness of the opponent and make him an easy prey. What the check-raise seeks is simple: to increase the opponent’s confidence so that he makes a mistake, and at that moment attack him to inhibit his attempt to win.
However, the check-raise has a somewhat dangerous particularity, and it is that, if the opponent has a flush or straight draw, it is possible that he can see for free the cards that he will use to beat you. However, check-raise works particularly well with aggressive players who try to steal pots regularly.
Keep in mind that neither the check-raise nor any of the advanced poker strategies that we have discussed in these lines are infallible. They work well in certain cases and if the conditions are right, but they can fail in case the opponents see your intentions.
At a poker table you will not be alone and it is very possible that, if you face experienced players, they will use these same tools against you, so you must be alert to the signs that indicate that you may be the target of sharks.
These are just some of the advanced poker techniques you can use against players of a certain level in a poker game, both physical and online. However, remember that you can take a look at our basic poker strategies to brush up on the basics of your strategies and be sufficiently prepared for the game.