Poker Strategy

This section contains VPP’s latest entertaining and informative articles covering all aspects of poker, including poker strategy, poker tournament strategy, online poker, live casino poker, and your standard poker home games. Learn about new poker strategy, how to play on sites like Full Tilt, or just read for fun.


Recently Added Poker Strategy Articles


Preflop Play in Limit Hold ‘em – Part III

By B. A. Winterhalter

Being Suited, Connectedness, and Being Paired
The next three aspects of starting-hand strength that we will want to consider are the following: 1) being suited 2) connectedness 3) being paired. I’ll discuss them in that order. In considering the first two attributes, it’s important to remember that high-card strength is by far more important than either of these two components. Thus, a hand like 32s, while it has these two favorable components, is still very weak and should be folded almost 100% of the time..  more

Cheap Draw

By Daniel Yee

The other day, I was playing at a six-max, .50-1 No-limit table on Full Tilt and an interesting hand came up that illustrates the power of using pot odds to make the right call on whether to continue with a draw, especially after someone with a monster hand makes a fatal mistake.  I had limped in early position with 66, the player with the monster hand made it 3 British Pounds in late, three other players (including the small blind and the big blind called). The pot was 15 Pounds.  more

Psychological Poker

By Rod Dietrich

I really hate the expression that someone “has a good poker face.” It’s so common now that people don’t expect you to react when you have something good happen to you during the course of a hand. The term “poker face” is so universally understood that beginner players tend to over act when they get their cards on the flop, apparently showing their “reverse poker face.” They say silly things to try and shake people off the scent, come across as a downtrodden, beaten card player who can’t catch a break. I’ve even seen it in the pros; people overacting trying to sell their losing hand when they really know that they’ve got everyone else beat. Everyone’s got a poker face. Big deal.  more

How Blackjack Can Help Your Poker Bankroll

By Daniel Yee

It sounds counterintuitive — that playing blackjack online can contribute to the health and wealth of your poker bankroll. How can a game in which the house wins in the long run (the house edge in an eight-deck shoe can be about .43 percent) make you money in the long run? The answer is online casino incentive bonuses. Poker players who don’t take advantage of this “free money” are hurting themselves in the long run.  more

The Trouble With Pocket Pairs

By Lance Whinery

The trouble with pocket pairs is they are often only the best hand before the flop. And when they are the best hand after the flop, it is often difficult to tell.  If you want a great  Full Tilt Poker Bonus Code you need to visit When finding pairs, (like any hand) there’s three options—fold, call, or raise. Each of these options has their place.  more

Video Killed the Word-of-Mouth Star

By Brian Bavosa

Moneymaker. Raymer. Negranu. All are legends in their own right. The fact still remains that in today’s day and age, one tournament can allow you to take your fifteen minutes of fame and stretch it into a lifetime of millions: The World Series of Poker.  With this year’s World Series main event boasting a winner’s share of $12 million, there no wonder as to why any and every Average Joe from his neighborhood home game is racing to Vegas to try and become a household name.  more

Being a NL Trapper

By Daniel Yee

The chubby businessman pushed all his chips in the middle when I bet out the flop during a $2/5 NL game at the Gold Strike Casino in Tunica, Miss. I only had J9s but I knew I had him in the heads-up pot. Wait a second, you say. J9s isn’t a particularly good hand. This is true, but I was banking on the implied odds that he would put all his chips in the middle of the pot if I hit my hand.  more
The Dangers of Online Cheaters

By Michael Morris

In today’s online poker community, the one most vital and overlooked skill is recognizing online fraud. Home and cell phones, instant messengers, multiple PCs in the same location, and other various communication devices all contribute to the ever growing danger in on line gaming. Where online poker can be a great opportunity and locale to hone your game and learn new betting patterns and tactics, its best to remain aware of those players “around” you, especially when real money begins to come into the mix.  more

Razz Strategy

By Daniel Yee

Ever have one of those days in which none of your poker hands turn out to be the best and you think, “Gee, if I could win with the worst hand possible, I’d be rich!” Well, apparently other poker players in the past have felt the same way you did, because there’s Razz, a low version of Seven Card Stud, in which players win by having the worst possible poker hand.  more

Pocket Aces in Limit Hold ‘Em

By Lance Whinery

Anytime you stumble across pocket Aces, you’re in great shape. If the game is Limit Hold ‘Em, however, where you and your opponent can only bet and raise in one set increment, this is no time for slow play and trickery. Because you can’t make huge protective bets, Limit Hold ‘Em is a game where it is very difficult to push people out of pots when the board looks threatening. In addition, you can’t cover the difference of a small, slow-played pot in the later streets with a large, deceptive bet. That’s why in Limit Hold “Em, I like to raise straight out pre-flop with a monster hand and take any opportunity to raise, regardless of how strong it makes my hand look.  more

In Internet Poker, the Chat Box is Your Enemy

By Lance Whinery

If you’ve played a lot of internet poker, you will occasionally run into the occasional typer that needs to comment on everything in the chat box. This is a habit I think you should try to stay away from. While you’re busy with that, players are making moves that you’re missing, and you aren’t studying your own hand, choices, and odds.  more

Betting Before the Flop

By Rod Dietrich

There are eight players around the table; sixteen cards face down on the felt. This is the moment when you seem to be at the mercy of the poker gods, when the game appears to be more about luck than it is skill, but don’t be fooled. Sure, there are chips to be had already, the big and the small blinds, so make no mistake, this is for real. Any time there is a pot to be had, it is for real and worth your efforts. And it is understood that there is an inherent fear of the unknown when it comes to betting before the flop. However, you can overcome that fear by playing smart and playing correctly.  more

Buddy List

By Daniel Yee

Although it’s great fun to just jump into the first online table you find and start beating your competition, you’ll find your profits grow if you play against the same players over and over again and especially those who have worse poker skills than you. These may be “calling stations,” or people who call every bet, afraid that the bettor is trying to pull the wool over your eyes. Or they may be people who have a habit of gambling a little too much, paying a hefty price for draws and second-best hands.  more

On Preflop Play in Limit Hold ’em – Part II

By B. A. Winterhalter

The first, and most important thing that you should consider when attempting to evaluate the strength of a hand is how high its cards are. It is my opinion that the faces on certain cards in hold ’em create a distraction from seeing the true value of hand. In the earlier days of card printing, when cards as low as today’s 8 had faces, this might have been less of a concern. But as we all know, today’s cards have the unique virtue, or perhaps vice, that only the best of them are painted..  more

On Preflop Play in Limit Hold ’em – Part I

By B. A. Winterhalter

Anyone who has played a goodly number of hands of hold ’em has almost certainly noticed that the game is much easier when you have good cards in your hand to begin with. The first experience of being dealt pocket aces, for instance, can be a thrill: most people know that these two cards–rockets, bullets, American Airlines, call them what you will–are very likely to hold up even against a large number of opponents.  more

How home games will ruin your poker skills

By Michael Morris

All poker players have their beloved home games, and aside from providing an evening of distractions and fun, but at the cost of a player’s personal game. As all good players know, playing your cards is only a fraction of proper play. Making bets according to the table and the flow of the game is a major contributing factor in the success of cash and tournament play. It is for that very reason that home games tend to do more harm than good.  more

What happened on my way to the WSOP

By JB Bruhns

I have been playing Poker a lot lately as a hobby here in the US, the good old land where everybody dreams of making it rich. And some do. With producing or writing movies, with hard work (sort of outdated), with savvy deals, with cheating investors or employees or both (very in), and with POKER (super in)!  more< Decision Oriented Poker

By Justin Williams

Like many young players I became engrossed in poker almost immediately after watching Chris Moneymaker win the 2003 WSOP on ESPN.  Just as I began playing the game, poker’s popularity soared throughout 2004 and now seems to have indicated that its new status in our popular culture will possess at least some degree of staying power. more

Poker Tournament Strategy for Beginners

By Mike Cohen

If you’ve never played in a poker tournament before there is a golden rule for beginners – and that is to play in a tournament! Any tournament. There are plenty of opportunities to play and there is a range of fees and costs involved that can satisfy even the cheapest and most timid of players. If fact, there are so many online poker tournaments that anyone with a computer can join and many in fact can play for free. more

Why Table Position Matters

By Ankur Amin

Most poker players who have been around the game for a while know that to win a person has to be both lucky and good. While it is easy to tell what exactly the luck factor is, however, the skill part of playing poker is more of a gray area. Most players equate skill with being able to correctly read an opponent, or choosing the right hands to play. The truth is that being able to decide when it is a good idea to play a certain hand and when it isn’t, based on where a player sits with respect to the dealer, is equally important. more

There’s More to Poker Than Just No Limit Holdem

By Eric Rolwing

With the poker boom over the last three years we have come accustomed to seeing No Limit Texas Hold’em television programs on every second of the day. This has caused some dissension among longtime poker players and baby boomers. This is because you can’t walk into a casino, or card club these days and find a game outside of the ever popular No Limit. There are no games of Omaha, Razz, Stud, or even Five Card Draw. more

Strategy for the Novice Player

By Jamie Sharpe

Stuart Tomanek dabbles in poker, and he knows enough to be dangerous, but fully admits, “I still have a lot to learn”. According to Tomanek, you don’t have to be an expert to challenge seasoned players. There is no need for theatrics at the poker table, but a few intentional mistakes often give seasoned players a false sense of security. more

Online Poker Tells

By Ryan Hemrick

I have been playing online poker for small to medium stakes now for over 3 years. I play mostly sit and gos and multi-table tournaments and my buy in’s have ranged from $5 to $100. In this time I believe I have picked up a few tells that are tell-tale signs of a very weak player. One can use these tells to find out who the worst players at the table are and to exploit them later. This strategy will be mainly for sit n go’s, multi-table tournaments, and no limit cash games. more

Online Tournament Strategy

By Nicholas James McDowell

You’ve been playing online poker for a while now, and the play money is easy to come by. Vast sums the size of last year’s salary exchange hands with every river and you find yourself wondering with childish glee, what if it was real? You figure, how much of a difference can it be to sit down with real stakes? So then you find yourself sitting at a real money game, pocket aces in hand.  more

Getting the Best Out of a Bad Beat in No-Limit Hold’em

By Jim Donahue

Every serious or semi-serious no-limit Texas Hold’em player has experienced at least one truly atrocious bad beat, one that made him stand up and stare blankly at the board for several minutes as if the whole thing was a cruel joke. Some days I expect Ashton Kutcher to jump out from behind me and declare that I’ve been “Punk’d” and that the runner-runner one-card flush my opponent caught to crack my flopped set of aces was a setup. But it never happens. The game goes on as usual; poker waits for no one. more

Starting With Small Stakes

By Brian Bavosa

When starting a new hobby, passion, or job, it is always a good idea to start off doing things small, and gradually increase your load as you progress. Playing poker is no exception. As I have previously stated, whether it is online, at a home game, or at a casino, it is always a good idea to play smaller stakes, before losing your shirt attempting to make “the big score.” more

Starting Hands

By Brian Bavosa

When it comes to Texas Hold ‘Em, there has often been a long-winded debate about which starting cards to play. It is highly publicized that playing bad starting card will often result in more losses than wins, and often involve getting yourself trapped in hands that you should not have been involved in, in the first place. more

Controlling Your Ego At The Table

By Brian Bavosa

We’ve all been there. You’re seated at a table, whether online, in a casino, a tournament, or even at our home games, where there is one loudmouthed, total egomaniac. Since physically assaulting them would be poor form (and get you booted from most casinos/tournaments, while online would either break your computer monitor or fist), here are a few tricks as to how to tune them out—and play your game, not theirs.  more

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