Poker TheoryEvery game has its own theoretical elements that are unique and detailed. Likewise Poker too has a considerable amount of theoretical details which every player should really know. On the subject Poker theory, the literature by legendary Sklansky is a remarkable reference used by many players of Poker. Some important theory elements are:
Realize the Strength of Your Poker Hand
The most important aspect of poker is to know the value of your hand. Understanding whether or not to raise a given hand in a certain position can be real tricky. A number of factors come into play and any strategy can only be generalized since every game is different based on the players at a table.
Power of Position
As you get closer to the dealer button, marginal hands become stronger and more profitable to raise pre-flop. For instance, raising with a hand like A-J or K-Q as the first player to act is by and large a poor decision because it is likely that someone behind you has a better hand, and even if they don’t, you lack a positional advantage to see how they will act when the flop comes. However, on the button, as the last player to act, these hands become very strong and we consider, should always be raised. With a hand like this you rarely want many, if any callers. You’d be simply happy to just take down the pot of a few big blinds. Preferably, you’d want someone with A-X or a low pocket pair to call so that you can get them off their hand easily. What you don’t want to happen is someone with A-K or A-Q call you with either of these hands because then you’d have serious kicker problems. Luckily, in most cases, someone with that strong a hand would raise before you and you can let your hand go.
Handling Pocket Pairs
Pocket pairs also turn more powerful in later positions. These hands though can be raised in practically every position if you are a good post-flop player. If you dig up a lot of callers you can hope to catch a set and double up through someone and if you get just one or two callers you can most likely play them off a hand.