best poker strategy articles

The 100 Most Valuable Poker Strategy Articles for 2021

Hopefully you’ve taken advantage of all the great strategy content that’s available here at Upswing. But in case you’ve missed something, or want to double back and reinforce what you’ve learned, we’ve compiled our top strategy articles. 

Each of them falls under one of the following categories (click to jump to that section):

Whether you want to binge-read a dozen articles or call it a day after a single one, this list has the potential to be a valuable resource for improving your poker skills. Consider bookmarking or saving this page in case you want to reference it in the future.

General poker strategy articles and guides

What Separates Good Poker Players From The Best?
Find out what distinguishes the very best poker players from the rest of the pack.

10 Quick Poker Tips That Will Help Your Game in 5 Minutes
Upswing’s own Doug Polk shares some quick poker tips and tricks that will help you elevate your skills both live and online.

10 quick poker tips for texas hold'em

Hand Combinations: The Secret Weapon Pros Use to Win More Money
An Upswing Poker high stakes analyst outlines a fundamental strategy that the pros use to maximize profit.

7 Things to Consider Before Becoming a Professional Poker Player
Deciding to become a professional poker player is a big decision. This article outlines what you should think about before making that choice.

Does Your Poker Career Feel Stuck? So Did This High Stakes Pro’s
Are you stuck in a rut, struggling to make a decent profit playing poker? Doug Polk once felt the same way.

3-Step Poker Warm Up Routine That Will Improve Your Results
Ben Ward outlines how you can improve your results by embracing a warm up routine. A few big name pros cut in at the end to share their own personal poker session warm up routine.

10 Poker Infographics That Will Help Your Game
Bookmark these infographics so you can have them handy when you play.

poker infographics

5 Can’t-Miss Insights from an Online Cash Game Juggernaut
These insights helped shape an elite player’s strategy.

The Ultimate Guide to 6-Handed Poker | 6-Max Cash Game Strategy
Learning how to dominate 6-Max poker is crucial to have success in online poker.

Should I Play Cash Games or Tournaments?
Breaking down the factors that go into choosing to play cash games or tournaments.

Introduction to Pot Odds | How to Calculate Pot Odds in Poker
Pot odds are one of the most important poker concepts to learn. 

Playing with Deep Stacks: Tips, Tricks, & Adjustments to Help You Win
If you find yourself playing in games with deep stacks, you need to familiarize yourself with this article.

deep stack tips and adjustments

What Your Poker Strategy Should Look Like in 2021
Exploring the differences between optimal and exploitative play.

How to Crush Nits (10 Tactics That Win Against Tight Players)
These tactics will help you run over weak players that fold too much.

How to Beat the Guy Who Is Always Betting — Countering an Aggressive Poker Strategy
Figuring out how to beat aggressive players is an extremely valuable skill.

7 Poker Tells You Should Look Out For
Poker tells are often over-hyped, but these seven are actually worth your attention.

5 Tips To Help You Break Out of Micro Stakes 
The goal of every player is to move up in stakes, and this article will help you do that.

micro stakes poker tips strategy

How to play specific hands

Use These 3 Tips To Stop Spewing Chips with Pocket Jacks
Lots of people hate Pocket Jacks. This article will make sure you’re not one of them.

When Should You Set Mine with a Pocket Pair? These 5 Tips Will Clear Things Up.
This article tells you exactly when you should look to set mine with pocket pairs.

Suited Connectors: 5 Strategic Mistakes Poker Players Should Avoid
Everyone loves suited connectors, but not everyone plays them correctly. This article will clear things up.

Why 5♠ 4♠ is Better Than 9♠ 8♠ (And How That Should Impact Your Strategy)
A fascinating look into why in many cases, lower suited connectors are more valuable than higher ones.

5 Mistakes to Avoid When Playing Pocket Aces
Don’t get too tricky with Pocket Aces. Make sure that you don’t make one of these common mistakes.

how to play pocket aces - mistakes to avoid

How to Play Ace-Queen Offsuit in Cash Games (Preflop Advice & 6 Postflop Tips)
Learn the optimal way to play Ace-Queen offsuit in both preflop and postflop scenarios.

How to Play Pocket Tens in Cash Games (Preflop Advice & 5 Postflop Tips)
Pocket Tens are a hand that you should win a lot of money with. These tips will help.

How to Play Jack-Ten Suited in Cash Games (Preflop Advice & 6 Postflop Tips)
Jack-Ten suited a is beloved because it can make tons of strong hands.

How to Play Pocket Nines in Cash Games (Preflop Advice & Postflop Tips)
Learn the best way to play Pocket Nines before and after the flop.

How to Play Ace-Ten Suited in Cash Games (Preflop Advice & Postflop Tips)
Make sure you play Ace-Ten Suited like we recommend in this article.

Preflop poker strategy

12 Pre-flop Mistakes to Avoid At All Costs
Avoid these 12 pre-flop mistakes and your results will almost certainly skyrocket.

5 Tips for 4-Betting That Every Aspiring Pro Needs to Know
Find out when it is optimal to 4-bet pre-flop with these 5 tips for 4-betting.

This Is Why (And How) You Need to 3-Bet More Often
Aggressive pre-flop play can reap huge rewards in No Limit Hold’em. Here’s why and how you should add it to your game.

5 Tips to Stop Bleeding Chips from the Small Blind
Stop leaking chips from the small blind with these 6 effective pre-flop tips.

How to Win When Your Opponent Straddles (3 Crucial Tips)
For live players in particular, learning how to play with a straddle in effect is an essential poker skill.

poker straddle guide

Should You Stop Cold-Calling in Cash Games?
The definitive answer to whether or not you should ever just call a raise preflop instead of 3-betting.

The Ultimate Guide to Squeezing in No Limit Hold’em
Everything you need to know about the squeeze play.

Limps in Poker: The Ultimate Guide to Crushing Open Limpers
These strategies will make you a limper’s worst nightmare.

Big Blind Defense Strategy 101: Tournaments vs Cash Games
The differences in defending the Big Blind in tournaments compared to cash games.

The Starting Hands That Make the Most Money in Multiway Pots
These are the hands that you should look to play in multiway pots.

starting hands multiway

Postflop strategy articles

Should You Ever Donk-Bet on The Flop in No Limit Hold’em?
Learn the best time to lead out with a bet on the flop after defending a pre-flop raise.

How to Avoid Getting Crushed After Defending with a Weak Hand
Sometimes you must defend your blind with a relatively weak holding. This guide provides suggestions on how to minimize losses in those situations.

How to Play a Flopped Straight in Cash Games (4+ Unique Spots)
Flopping a straight is one of the best feelings in poker. Make sure you win the maximum.

8 Rules to Help You Choose the Perfect Bet Size
Everything you need to know about choosing the correct bet size in No-Limit Hold’em.

How to Play Flopped Sets in 8 Common Situations
Win as much as possible whenever you flop a set with these eight strategies.

how to play flopped sets

Which Draws Should You Semi-Bluff With?
This article explores how you should decide which draws you should bluff with.

3 Tips for Winning with Gutshot Straight Draws
Make sure you use these tips for playing your inside straight draws.

5 Tips for Playing Backdoor Flush & Straight Draws
Backdoor draws have a lot of value if you use the strategies that we recommend. 

When Should You Slow-Play A Flopped Flush?
Learn the factors that go into slow-playing a flopped flush.

slow-play flopped flush 5-4 spades on A-J-9 all spades

10 Fundamental Tips for The Most Common Types of Flops
There are 10 common types of flops. This article breaks down the differences in each one.

Checking Flops with Overpairs: When Should You Do It?
All of the world’s best players have this move in their arsenal. 

5 Lucrative Check-Raising Strategies You Should Try Today
These check-raising strategies will make your opponents fear betting into you.

When to Attack After Your Opponent Checks Back (4 Tips for Probing)
Learning when to probe is an essential skill for poker players.

Want Your Bluffs to Work More Often? Try “Delaying” Them
Learn the secrets behind delayed c-betting.

delayed c-bet continuation strategy

Multi-table tournament strategy articles

5 Poker Tournament Myths Way Too Many Players Believe
Many people claim these things, but there’s no truth to them.

8 Quick MTT Tips to Help You Top the Leaderboard
These tips will allow you to reach more final tables.

The 4 Dumbest Career-Ending Mistakes Tournament Players Make
Make sure you don’t fall victim to one of these common mistakes.

4 Insights from 11 Years, 70,567 MTTs, and 6,304,190 Hands of Poker
An experienced tournament player gives four crucial insights into his approach.

4 Valuable Pieces of Poker Tournament Advice for Beginners
This article is aimed at giving tournament beginners a better chance to succeed.

poker tournament advice

Late Registering Online Tournaments: How Late Is Too Late?
The definitive answer to when you should enter a tournament.

How to Squeeze Max Value from Juicy Live Tournaments
These strategies will allow you to win as much as possible when playing against soft competition.

€1,115,207 On The Line…Should She Fold A SET? (Analysis)
Analysis of a wild hand where Maria Ho folded a set on the flop.

How To Open-Raise In MTTs So The Big Blind Doesn’t Crush Your Soul
The raising strategy that you should adopt into your own game.

How Poker Antes Should Change Your Tournament Raising Strategy
This is exactly how the presence of antes should impact your tournament strategy.

How to Play Small Pocket Pairs in Tournaments
Small pocket pairs can cost you a lot of money in tournaments if you don’t play them correctly.

Complete Guide to Tournament C-Betting Strategy
Everything you need to know about c-betting in tournaments.

How to Dominate Weak Tournament Competition Post-flop
Make as much as possible against weak competition in tournaments.

How to Negotiate Final Table Deals Like a Pro
Consider this before making a deal at the Final Table.

How ICM Should Impact Your Play at Final Tables
Exactly how ICM impacts your decisions when you make the Final Table.

icm at final tables

Live poker strategy

8 Live Poker Tips That Will Put More Cash in Your Pocket
These tips are especially useful for live players.

How to Choose a Poker Room Where You Can Maximize Winnings (and Happiness)
An all-inclusive guide to choosing which poker room to play in.

10 Things You MUST Know Playing In A Poker Home Game
If someone invites you to their home game, consider these things.

7 Multiway Tactics You Should Know Going Into 2020
Live poker has a lot of multiway pots. These seven concepts will help you crush them.

How to Adjust Your Strategy in Splashy Live Games
Everything you need to know about adjusting your strategy in loose games with a lot of weak players

Splashy Live Games Chips

Advanced poker theory articles

How Equity Realization Impacts Every Hand You’ll Ever Play
This article covers a concept that impacts all of your poker decisions. 

3 Spots You Should Actually Consider Minimum Defense Frequency (And 3 Spots You Shouldn’t)
Minimum defense frequency is a concept that you always have to consider when you face a bet.

The Only Two Valid Reasons to Bet in Poker (Every Other Reason is Wrong)
If you bet for another reason, you’re making a mistake.

How Equity Denial Influences (Almost) Every Decision & Your Results
This is a crucial concept to understand if you want to move up in stakes.

equity denial

3 Hand Examples That Will Help You Overbet Better
Overbetting is a strategy that is used by all of the world’s best players.

3 Concepts That Should Shape Your Postflop Strategy in 2021 (Positional, Range, and Nut Advantage)
These concepts are essential for every poker player to understand.

How to Dominate Ace-High Flops in 3-Bet Pots (Deep Analysis)
An advanced look into this common spot.

This Poker “Cheat Code” Will Help You Win More Hands
The definitive answer to when you should lead into the aggressor on the turn.

the weak lead play

Hand analysis articles

Rounders Analyzed: What Can We Learn from Mike McDermott & Teddy KGB?
A strategic look into the hands that made Rounders great.

When a WSOP Champ Called All-in with Ten-High (Analysis)
This was one of the craziest hero calls of all-time.

Record-Breaking $438,900 Pot on Live at the Bike (Analysis)
Analysis of the biggest pot in Live at the Bike history.

When a Poker A.I. Went Crazy with Five-Three Suited (Analysis)
Why would a solver take such a crazy line with such a weak hand?

Phil Hellmuth BLOWS UP After Semi-Bluff (Analysis)
Phil Hellmuth lost his mind after this hand.

BONKERS Bluff With $992,500 On The Line (Analysis of PokerGO’s Record-Breaking Pot)
Analysis of an insane hand that settled for almost a million dollars.

rick salomon record breaking pot 1200x800-without-read

Bluff-Raising to $302,000 vs Patrik Antonius (Analysis)
Doug Polk put in a huge bluff-raise in this hand vs. Patrik Antonius.

Phil Hellmuth Loses It Over Liv Boeree’s Very Standard Play (Analysis)
Liv Boeree made a standard play with her set, but Hellmuth still went crazy.

High Stakes Players Collide in Record-Breaking $974,631 Pot (Analysis)
The biggest No-Limit Hold’em pot in online poker history.

Jungleman Hits $825,635 Straight Flush vs Phil Ivey’s Quads (Analysis)
One of the biggest coolers in history happened between two of the world’s best players.

The Most Unbelievable $135,657 Pot in Poker History (Berri Sweet vs LLinusLLove Analysis)
There’s no doubt that this is one of the craziest hands you’ll ever see.

berri sweet vs llinusllove

The best poker quizzes

[QUIZ] Can You Play Famous Poker Hands Like a Top Pro?
You get the chance to play against some of the world’s best players in this quiz.

[QUIZ] Can You Ace 10 Super Tough Poker Questions?
These are our 10 hardest questions from all of our quizzes. No question was answered correctly by more than half of our audience.

[QUIZ] Are You a Shark or a Fish at Live Poker Tables?
If you play live poker, this quiz is made for you.

[QUIZ] Can You Size Your Bets Like a Poker Boss?
This quiz tests your ability to size your bets.

[Quiz] Can You Beat $0.10/$0.25 on PokerStars?
If you play Micro-stakes, you should take this quiz.

micro stakes 25nl on pokerstars

[QUIZ] Can You Play These 10 Flush Draws Optimally?
How well do you play your flush draws?

Only 10% of Poker Players Will Ace This C-Betting Quiz
Knowing when to c-bet on the flop is one of the most important skills that a poker player can have.

Check-Raise Strategy Quiz — Are Your Check-Raising Skills Razor Sharp?
Do you know how to check-raise like an end boss?

[QUIZ] Are You a Double Barrelin’ Cowboy at the Poker Table?
This quiz tests your ability to bet the turn after betting the flop.

Tournament Poker Quiz — How Much Do You Actually Know About MTT Strategy?
Test your tournament poker skills with this quiz.

tournament c-betting strategy MTTs

Poker strategy training courses

Postflop Game Plan ($7)
Make use of this foundational, multi-media guide that shows when and how to categorize poker hands profitably.

The Upswing Lab
This No Limit Hold’em training course is what our world-class team of coaches would teach their younger selves, if they could send information back in time. Updated monthly with a new strategy module, and once a week with a new Play & Explain video.

upswing lab poker coaching coaches

Winning Poker Tournaments
Extensive training course for serious tournament poker players. Learn the strategy Nick Petrangelo uses to crush the world’s toughest events and win millions of dollars.

nick petrangelo tournament course

Advanced Cash Game Strategy
Immediately improve your strategy with guidance from a cash game millionaire. Discover cutting-edge strategies taught by legendary pro Alex “Kanu7” Miller.

Advanced PLO Mastery
Advanced PLO Mastery is a comprehensive & digestible training course that will help you demolish Pot Limit Omaha games and become an end boss.

Advanced Heads-Up Mastery
Join Doug Polk as he shows you step-by-step how he mastered HUNL play. The advanced poker tips and strategies in this course will help much more than your heads-up game because understanding wide range situations apply to all forms of poker.

Mastering Mixed Games
Learn how to crush the softest games available as Jake Abdalla teaches you through his winning strategy for Omaha 8, Stud, Stud 8, Razz, and Triple Draw.

High Stakes MTT Sessions
Join Nick Petrangelo as he walks you through dozens of his real-life sessions and shares his battle-tested tactics.

Short Deck Course
This comprehensive course by Kane Kalas will help you tap into big potential win-rates and cutting-edge strategies for this relatively unsolved and misunderstood game.

PLO Matrix
A tool that shows you the optimal way to play any preflop hand in Pot Limit Omaha. Based on GTO preflop ranges from state of the art solvers.

Which Course is Right For You?
Take this quick quiz to find out which course is best for your poker playing needs, or keep scrolling for a breakdown of each course.


We release new poker strategy articles twice per week here on Upswing. Sign up for our email list here to receive articles in your inbox whenever they go live (you’ll get some preflop charts as a bonus).

Alternatively, you can check for updates on our main poker tips, quizzes, and guides page.

Note: Learn step-by-step how to become the best player at the table when you join the Upswing Lab training course. Elite pros have been adding new content every week for the past four years, and you get all of it when you join. Learn more now!

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Home > The 100 Most Valuable Poker Strategy Articles for 2021
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About the Author
Patrick Harvey

Patrick Harvey

Graduate student trying to make money in poker so that I don't end up having to drive Knish's truck.

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