The Fundamental Poker Strategies

The theorem introduced by David Sklansky mentioned that "every time you play your hand the way with your usually manner if you could see your opponent's cards, you gain; and everytime your opponent play his cards differently from his usual manner of playing them if he could find your cards, you also gain." This theorem has helped developed many poker strategies. Strategies such as slow-playing and bluffing are just the right examples of the theorem where you deceive your opponents by inducing them to play differently than they would if they could see your cards. The Morton's Theorem are the exceptions as applied to multi-way pot situation.


By deception, a player induces his opponents to act differently from his play if they could see his cards. The best form of deception is bluffing. Bluffing your opponents induces a message of your cards' superior hand and making them fold before the showdown. Against observant players, you bluff to induce them to call your bet when you actually have a superior hand. In some cases, when opponents think you never bluff, they don't call your bets unless they think they have superior hands. Another form of deception is slow-playing or sandbagging, which is the opposite of bluffing. Here, you place your bet weakly with a strong hand instead of betting strongly with a weak one.


This refers to the order of the players around the table. There is a strategic consequences in this. To be the last player to act gives you an advantage over the others because you get to study how your opponents acted during the betting round. Conversely, the first one to act has no information about his opponents except those from the earlier betting rounds.

The Gap Concept

In this concept, the player would need a better hand against an opponent "who has already opened the betting than he would open himself." This reflects that players prefer to play safe and avoid confrontation especially to opponents who have already showed their strengths. To call the bet wins only by having the best hand; and by raising, you win immediately when your opponents fold.

The Sandwich Effect

Like the gap effect, the sandwich effect states that you would need a stronger hand to stay in a pot when your opponents are yet to act behind you. Because you don't know how many players would stay in the game, call, raise, or re-raise. There is no way for you to determine your pot odds.

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