Let’s first talk about Texas Hold’em at the low limits first. As 5 or 6 poker players limp to see the flop, bluffing is almost meaningless. Bet or reraise with your premium cards, otherwise it is like slowly seeing your bankroll evaporate. The important poker skills at the micro-limits are a good understanding of odds as well as knowing when it is best to call. If you play poker well, you might win fewer pots than your competitors, but you will be compensated as the pots that you win will be juicy to provide you with a solid edge. Sometimes bad luck will hurt you, you’ll often see how your draws seem to never hit, but the opposite will be true for your opponent, because your opponents will sometimes never fold.
Bluff rarely, but you imperatively need to bet and raise with premium hands, increasing the pot size when you are leading. Betting and raising to increase the pot size is also important because you must be cautious not to provide free cards to your contenders, who hate to fold. And if you have an apple computer, you can nowadays play mac poker online without a problem as many rooms have added this feature in their offering.
Next is poker at the medium stakes. Most of the players at these stakes can beat the low levels, but you will also have to deal with on occasions people who are only slightly used to the game, but possess the bankroll to afford to play regularly. These players use less premium starting hands, and most pots are played with 3 or less players. Your opponents will be playing more aggressively. Make bets to increase the pots when you are the favorite to win the hand, especially against poker players who love to call or raise with decent strength hands, but not the strongest hands. If you are profitable in low-limit poker, the transition to mid-stakes requires to know your opponents well and to know how to choose the easiest tables.
Now real poker. Such games almost always are tight and the most aggressive. You will usually play opponents who are better than you. Do not play with them. Look for profitable tables where the play is softer due to the presence of one or two loose players. If you search well, you will find such tables waiting for you. The average player plays nearly optimally, probably having spent some time to learn the game. Bluff, semi-bluff, deception and marginal moves to control the pots are very important skills against these players. Aggressive poker with strong premium cards is always the best way to play. But you can win with a good bluff, as with the respect you deserve, players will be understand of your style and fold their medium strength hands. But as players will punish you if they might, and your chances of a positive outcome will be less because of the aggression you will encounter. But if you pay attention to the selection of tables and hands, you can win in these high stakes battles, though it is far from easy.
Let’s talk about playing poker at the ultra high stakes. There you will find the best poker players in the world. There may be some variations, but basically the game these players play will be well rehearsed and it will be hard to find a way to control the table. For example, some players pretend to be maniacs before the flop, but post flop they will balance their game, partly compensating for this lack of premium hands before the flop. The players never stop to be fighting for the blinds, and use creative approaches to holdem. This is what you must be ready to face. Reraise-shove, post flop 3-bets, stealing and restealing occur here more than at lower limits. Usually, you should avoid these games, but if you have the self-control and skills, you should only play when there is an advantage, and you can make giant profits there. The volatility in these games is out of this world, and the average poker player here can easily loose his bankroll. Make sure you it is not you.