Learn Poker Strategy & Tactics

Poker strategy advice is everywhere you look online. Visit any poker site and you’re sure to find at least a couple of articles telling you how to play poker better.  And here at RakeMonkey.com, that credo is no different. We’d like to help our players get better and our team works tirelessly at updating our reviews and strategy content.

So what you’ll find below are our strategy articles. Most, if not all of our articles are written by players with winning poker experience. You can feel confident about using the advice and ideas that we share.  Below our articles you’ll find some general tips on how to become a better poker player.  Enjoy!

How to Become a Better Poker Player

While becoming a pro poker player isn’t a possibility for all players, becoming a better player is. It just takes a little bit of time and effort, as well as the following:

  • Creativity – Following the same lines, using the same moves and plays as everyone else is a surefire way to become stagnate, not to mention predictable. Poker players that think outside the box tend to find small tactics that work, that other players don’t know about. The only way to know what these are is to test ideas yourself.
  • Question Everything – Good poker players question everything. They ask if they played their hand in the best way possible. They question their reasoning for playing that hand, that way. They question the feedback they ask for. They question everything, because the answers often give you new ideas to try and insight to how others play the game.
  • Hard Work – Like anything worth having, becoming a better poker player takes time and consistent effort. You need to play, but you also need to review hands, possibly get coaching, spend time in forums and reading. Poker isn’t easy. Don’t let anyone else tell you different.
  • Constant Self Review and Honesty – Good poker players constantly review and criticize their play. If they can’t do it without bias, then they ask their peers to do it, or hire a coach.
  • Think for Yourself – This goes along with creativity and questioning everything. You should think for yourself. Clearly take all feedback, answers, advice and so on, but at the end of the day it’s you, your hand, your situation, and only you should decide how to play your hand.
  • Money Management – Better poker players know how to manage their money well. Without money, you can’t play poker, and you certainly cannot move up in stakes to learn and earn more.


Some of the best players I know worked their asses off to get where they’re at, and even they’ll tell you that they still have a long ways to go. No one knows everything about poker, and once you think you do, you’re sunk.

Where to Start

I think many beginner poker players have a difficult time knowing where to start. There are so many options, and there is so much advice out there that it can become overwhelming. I’m probably not helping the situation much, since I’m only going to give you more advice, but I recommend following this and ignoring everything else. That will make the process easier.

Learn One Game

The reason why you should stick to one game is because each game and variation has it’s nuances. The little quirks and ticks that only regulars of that game understand. When you study one game, say turbo heads-up sit and goes, you learn the strategies, what to do and what not to do to become a winner.

Holdem is the popular choice, but that can work against you too, since that’s where all the players are. You might consider trying a lesser popular game to learn like omaha or razz. Then choose a variation. Sit and goes are easier on the bankroll, tournaments pay bigger when you win, but have higher variance, and cash games have the highest ceiling, but you need to be more conservative with your bankroll. So those are a few things to think about.

Once you get a game down, then you can try other games. It’ll be easier then, too.

Learn Basic Strategy

All games have basic strategy. You’ll want to learn these if you want to shorten the learning curve in the games you want to play.

While we try our best to cover those strategies here, and while some of our articles will overlap, we don’t cover every possible game and variation.

Your best bet is to visit a forum like PartTimePoker, 2+2 or Pocket 5s. You’re more likely to find a group of players that discuss strategy for the games you want to play. At the very least you’ll find someone knowledgeable enough to give you helpful advice. You might even find a group of guys, forum or Skype group that you can join.

From there, just learn everything you can. Practice, review, practice and then review some more. You’ll start crushing your games before you know it.

You Don’t Have to Be “Great” to Make Money Playing Poker

I wanted to finish this page up by telling you that you don’t have to be great, let alone the next Phil Ivey, to be a profitable poker player. You don’t need fancy poker strategies, and you certainly don’t need to play the highest stakes.

I’m not considered a great player, but I managed to win an extra $500-$1,000 per month playing part time. I started with the $3 ad $6 18-man turbo sit and go’s, then graduated to the $16s and then the 90-man KO turbos on Full Tilt. Not high stakes by any means, but I played 20-50 games per day on average, and studied a lot. That gave me the opportunity to be staked and coached, which led to further opportunities like staking and coaching on my own. I earned a decent amount of money in the process, too.

My point?

If I can do it, you can do it too.