Ready for some advanced nuggets of poker wisdom that will help your game?
For today’s article, I dug through Upswing’s extensive library of strategy articles and extracted five of the most important tips that have been covered over the years.
While these tips cover vastly different topics, they should all play a part in your strategy if you want to pad your winnings in No Limit Texas Hold’em games.
As the title suggests, each of these tips are at least somewhat advanced. If you’re looking for more fundamental poker strategy, check out these 10 poker strategy tips.
With that in mind, let’s get started.
5 Advanced Poker Strategies & Tips
You can click any of these advanced tips to jump to a detailed explanation that will help you improve your skills:
- Use Non-Made Hands With Backdoor Flush Draws To Bluff
- Check-Raise More Frequently From The Big Blind
- Pocket Pairs And Suited Connectors Are Money-Makers in Multiway Pots
- Don’t Be Afraid to Check-Raise With Draws After Calling A 3-Bet
- Consider Overbetting When You Have The “Nut Advantage”
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1. Use Non-Made Hands With Backdoor Flush Draws to Bluff
If you have an unpaired hand with a backdoor flush draw, you should heavily consider betting if you have the betting initiative. This is especially true when you have position on your opponent.
For example, 8♥ 7♥ is a great bluffing hand on a K♣ Q♣ 6♥ flop.
Betting with these backdoor flush draw hands is often profitable because they become effective bluffs on the turn in a couple of situations:
- When the turn gives you a flush draw.
You’ve picked up a lot more equity, so you should usually keep up your aggression with a double barrel bet. On top of that, you have a chance at winning a juicy pot if you hit a flush on the river.
- When the turn completes a lot of draws.
Betting on super scary cards that complete draws (like the 9♣ in the example above) may make your opponent over-fold. These opponents often think something like “all of the semi-bluffs got there, so it’s unlikely he’s bluffing.”
Want to learn more about playing hands with backdoor flush draws? Read 5 Tips for Playing Backdoor Flush & Straight Draws.
2. Check-Raise More Frequently From The Big Blind
If you don’t pressure your opponents with check-raises, you make their bets much more profitable than they should be.
This is especially important when you are up against a player who c-bets recklessly with too many weak hands. Despite being weak, those hands still have equity and, if you don’t check-raise, you allow your opponent to realize that equity.
So, which hands should you check-raise?
Check-Raising For Value
You should heavily lean towards check-raising with your strong hands, such as two-pair or better. On low boards, check-raising with top pair top kicker when can be a good idea as well (e.g. A9 on a 9-3-2 flop).
But you shouldn’t stop here: after picking out the hands you want to raise for value, you should then pick your bluffs.
Check-Raising As A Bluff
The best bluffs are hands that have decent equity and a chance to improve to a straight or a flush. These are generally gutshot straight draws, open-ended straight draws, and flush draws, but having an overcard or two is helpful as well.
You shouldn’t check-raise with all draws, though. Instead, find a way to randomize them. For example, you can check-raise straight draws only when they have a backdoor flush draw, while check-calling the ones without a backdoor flush draw.
To learn more about check-raising strategy, read How to Check-Raise Like a High Stakes Juggernaut.
3. Pocket Pairs And Suited Connectors Are Money-Makers in Multiway Pots
It’s pretty intuitive that as more players enter the pot, the more likely it is that someone will hit a very strong hand (like two pair or better).
Here’s how this should impact your preflop hand selection:
When a pot is likely to go multiway, you should mainly play hands that have a high probability of making two pair or better by the river.
Which hands have a higher probability of hitting really strong hands?
- Pocket pairs
- Suited and connected hands
Pocket pairs are extremely strong multiway pot hands because they hit a set on the flop 11.8% of the time. Compare this with a hand such as JT offsuit, which becomes two pair or better just 4.8% of the time on the flop.
Now, moving on to suited connectors.
To illustrate the power of being connected and suited, let’s compare two versions of the same hand: QT offsuit and its suited counterpart
QT suited flops a strong hand or draw 26.3% of the time, compared to 16.9% of the time for QT offsuit. That’s a 55% increase in very favorable flops for QT suited (relatively speaking), which will allow it to perform much better in multiway pots.
Learn more about preflop play in multiway pots with The Starting Hands That Make the Most Money in Multiway Pots.
4. Don’t Be Afraid to Check-Raise With Draws After Calling A 3-Bet
Playing too passively out of position after calling a 3-bet is detrimental to your win-rate. You have to check-raise with most, if not all, of your strong hands while balancing your range with draws.
Check-raising with a balanced range will make your opponent’s life very difficult because they can’t know if you have a strong hand or a bluff. Conversely, not being balanced can make your plays transparent and prevent you from extracting maximum value with your strong hands.
To see exactly which types of hands and flops you should check-raise in 3-bet pots, read 3 Strategies to Help You Win After Calling a 3-Bet.
5. Consider Overbetting When You Have The “Nut Advantage”
For example, suppose you raise preflop from late position, your opponent calls, and the flop comes Q-J-T. You have a nut advantage on this flop because your opponent should never have AK, QQ, JJ, and TT — he likely would have 3-bet preflop with those hands. Meanwhile, all of those hands are present in your range.
Your overbetting range should be polarized, made up of only strong hands and bluffs. Using such a large size allows you to get the maximum with your value hands, and generate maximum fold equity with our bluffs.
The most effective overbet bluffs are usually hands that block your opponent’s most likely strong hands. The best example of this is using the nut flush blocker on a three-to-a-flush board (think A♦ K♠ on Q♦ 8♦ 2♣ 6♦ 3♠).
To learn more about sizing your bets, read 8 Rules to Help You Choose the Perfect Bet Size.
Which Advanced Poker Strategy Is The Most Valuable?
Cast your vote below!
I hope you enjoyed these advanced poker strategies from the Upswing Poker library!
Remember that you can use the links at the end of each section to learn even more about each strategy — here are each of those links again:
- Backdoor draws: 5 Tips for Playing Backdoor Flush & Straight Draws
- Check-raising from the big blind: How to Check-Raise Like a High Stakes Juggernaut
- Multiway pots preflop: The Starting Hands That Make the Most Money in Multiway Pots
- Check-raising in 3-bet pots: 3 Strategies to Help You Win After Calling a 3-Bet
- Bet sizing: 8 Rules to Help You Choose the Perfect Bet Size
If you have any questions or feedback please let me know in the comment section down below and I’ll do my best to answer!
Till’ next time, good luck, grinders!
Note: Ready to join 5,000+ players currently upgrading their No Limit Hold’em skills? Crush your competition with the expert strategies you will learn inside the Upswing Lab training course. Learn more now!