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Free Poker Tracker

Are you looking for a free poker tracker, or just interested in learning what a poker tracker is?

You’ve come to the right place. We’ll also take a look at the best poker tracker for live poker, tracking all the hands you play at your weekly poker night. Let’s get into it.


In the world of online poker, players are constantly searching for ways to improve their game and gain an edge over their opponents. One of the most popular tools used by online poker players is the poker tracker, also known as a Heads-Up Display (HUD).

A poker tracker is a software program that collects data on every hand you play and stores it in a database. The software then uses this data to provide real-time information on your opponents’ tendencies, strengths, and weaknesses.
This information is displayed in the form of a HUD that appears on top of your online poker table.

The HUD displays a variety of statistics, such as the player’s VPIP (Voluntarily Put in Pot), PFR (Pre-Flop Raise), and aggression factor. These statistics provide insight into the way your opponents play and can help you make better decisions at the table.

Until now, poker trackers have only been for online poker, against strangers. But why can’t you have a poker tracker for when you get together for a poker night with friends?

Well, now you can.

Free Poker Tracker


Poker trackers are extremely useful, but at EasyPoker we wanted to create a free poker tracker that also tracks your hands when playing live poker, face to face with friends. So that’s what we built. 

EasyPoker is a digital poker set designed to help you play poker with friends anytime, anywhere. It’s originally designed to be placed face to face, when you’re sitting together with friends but don’t have a physical poker set with you – but if your friends are busy, you can challenge strangers online. 

Recreational Poker

When you use EasyPoker to facilitate your poker night, every hand you play is automatically tracked.
We track everything from VPIP and PFR to aggression factor and WTSD. 

Our free in-app poker tracker is made for you to understand your plays better and help you grow as a poker player. At the moment, we do not track and show your opponents’ numbers – we track and show your poker stats. 

This helps you get a clear vision of your playing style, and suggests improvements. 

We wanted to create a simple and free poker tracker that is easy to read and understand, and we really think it turned out great.

Try our free poker tracker by downloading the EasyPoker digital poker set here. Available in both the App Store and Play Store.

Recreational Poker
Poker stats


Poker trackers work by collecting data on every hand you play and storing it in a database. The software then uses this data to generate statistics and create a HUD that displays real-time information on your opponents’ playing styles. 

The data collected by a poker tracker includes information such as the number of hands played, the number of times a player raised or called, and the amount of money won or lost. This information is then used to calculate various statistics, such as VPIP, PFR, and 3-bet percentage. 

One of the main benefits of using a poker tracker is that it allows you to gain insights into your opponents’ playing styles. For example, if you notice that a particular opponent has a high VPIP and PFR, it may indicate that they are a loose and aggressive player. Armed with this information, you can adjust your strategy accordingly and make more informed decisions at the table.

Another advantage of using a poker tracker is that it helps you identify leaks in your own game. By analyzing your own statistics, you can identify areas where you’re losing money and work to improve your play in those areas. 

Overall, poker trackers are a valuable tool for serious online poker players. They provide a wealth of information that can help you make better decisions at the table and improve your overall win rate. 

Free poker tracker


The legality of using poker trackers when playing online poker is a topic of much debate in the poker community. While there is no definitive answer, the general consensus is that using a poker tracker is not illegal, as long as the software does not violate the terms and conditions of the online poker site. 

Most online poker sites have rules that prohibit the use of third-party software that provides an unfair advantage to players. This includes software that automates actions, colludes with other players, or provides information not available to other players at the table. 

It’s important to note that the legality of using poker trackers may vary depending on your jurisdiction. In some countries, the use of any third-party software when playing online poker may be illegal. Before using a poker tracker, it’s important to research the laws in your area to ensure that you’re not breaking any rules.

However, many online poker sites allow the use of poker trackers as long as they do not violate these rules. Some sites even provide their own built-in tracking software that players can use. 

How to bluff


In conclusion, poker trackers can be a valuable tool for serious online poker players. These software programs collect data on every hand you play, and use that data to generate statistics and create a HUD that displays real-time information on your opponents’ playing styles. 

While the legality and ethics of using poker trackers may vary depending on your jurisdiction and personal opinion, there’s no denying that these tools can help players make more informed decisions at the table and improve their overall win rate. 

If you’re considering using a poker tracker, it’s important to research the different options available and find one that suits your needs and budget. Additionally, it’s important to be transparent about your use of the software and abide by any rules or regulations set forth by the online poker site or the group you’re playing with. 

With the right mindset and approach, poker trackers can be a valuable asset in your quest to become a better online poker player.

Private poker with friends

If you and your friends are looking for a simple way to play poker together on a private table, look no further! Give our free EasyPoker app a try. 

With EasyPoker, you can easily create your own private poker game and invite your friends to join. This is not just a poker app, but works as a replacement for your physical chips and cards – perfect for when you want to play poker on the go.

Using the free EasyPoker app also helps you get better at poker, since the app automatically tracks all your hands and plays – allowing you to see your stats and understand your poker playing style.
All you need to do is focus on playing your cards and enjoying the fun with your friends.

Recreational Poker


If you’re interested in boosting your poker skills, we offer an extensive collection of guides
Take a look at these two guides that can help you enhance your skills right away.

Win poker
Poker stats

Important Poker Stats

So you want to learn the most important poker stats? We’ve got you covered. 

Poker is a game of skills and strategy. One thing that truly separates the good players is their understanding of key metrics. How to calculate them, read them and learn from them. 

There are several important poker stats you should know such as PFR, VPIP and aggression factor. In this blogpost, we’ll explore these stats and explain what they mean, how to calculate them and how to use them to your advantage.

How to track your poker stats

Keeping track of your poker stats is the best and fastest way to improve your skills.
Most players would be surprised to see their stats, as we often think we have a certain playing style which then turns out to be wrong. 

But the numbers don’t lie, and there are actually some numbers that return a higher win percentage than others. Tracking your stats is also a great way to tell if you’re improving as a poker player.

But, keeping track of your poker stats while playing can be a hassle. You don’t want to sit there with pen and paper, writing everything down and missing all the fun of a poker night. That’s why our free EasyPoker app automatically tracks everything for you.

No need for pricey third-party software – all you have to do is just play your cards and then go to your stats page for a quick look from time to time.

This allows you to keep track of your playing style and progress without the hassle. 

Poker stats

Preflop raise (PFR)

Preflop raise, or PFR, is a poker stat that represents the percentage of hands in which a player raises before the flop. So, before they’ve seen anything but the cards in their hand. This is an important poker stat, because it indicates how aggressive a player is, since raising before the flop is considered a very aggressive move. A high PFR indicates that a player is very aggressive and likely to raise with a wide range of starting hands, while a low PFR indicates that a more passive player who only raises with strong starting hands.

Every game is of course different, but most agree that a good PFR is between 10-20%.

Ideally, it should be 2 or 3% lower than your VPIP (See next stat).

How to calculate PFR
Preflop raise (PFR) is calculated by dividing the number of hands in which you raise before the flop by the number of hands you’ve played. For example, if you raise with 80 hands out of 400 total hands, your PFR would be 20%. 

Of course, if you guys are using the free EasyPoker app to facilitate your game (physical or digital) – the app automatically tracks your PFR and displays it to you.

Poker stats

Voluntarily Put Money In Pot (VPIP)

Voluntarily Put Money In Pot, or VPIP, is a poker stat that shows the percentage of hands in which a player voluntarily commits money in the pot. It has to be voluntarily so blinds and ante does not count. It only looks at times a player calls, bets or raises. Again, a high VPIP indicates an aggressive player who plays many hands, while a low VPIP indicates a more tight player who plays a lot fewer hands. 

Every game is of course different, but most agree that a good VPIP is 15-20%.
This means you’re tight aggressive, which is the most winning style in poker today. 

How to calculate VPIP
Voluntarily Put Money In Pot (VPIP) is calculated by dividing the number of hands in which you voluntarily put money into the pot by the total number of hands played.
For example, if you’ve played 400 hands and put money into 100 of those, your VPIP would be 25%. 

And of course, if you guys are using the free EasyPoker app to facilitate your game (physical or digital) – the app automatically tracks your VPIP and displays it to you.

Poker stats

Aggression factor (AF)

Aggression factor, or AF, is a poker stat that indicates how aggressive a player is by looking at the frequency of aggressive moves like bets and raises, to more passive moves like checking and calling. 

A high aggression factor of course means that a player is very aggressive, and a lower one indicates a more passive player. This stat is important, and shows you a lot about a player’s style of play. Some players, like Gus Hansen or Doyle Brunson, excite us and become legends from a very aggressive playing style.

Every game is of course different, but in today’s poker, a good aggression factor would be around 3. 

How to calculate aggression factor (AF)
Aggression factor is calculated by dividing your number of aggressive moves, like bets and raises, with the number of passive moves like checking and calling. 

For example, if you’ve made 20 aggressive moves and 40 passive moves, your aggression factor would be 20/40 = 0.5. 

And of course, if you guys are using the free EasyPoker app to facilitate your game (physical or digital) – the app automatically tracks your aggression factor and displays it to you.

Poker stats

Attempting to steal (ATS)

Attempting to steal, or ATS, is when you make an aggressive move in late position in a ballsy attempt to scare all others into folding – thereby ‘stealing’ the blinds/ante.
It’s a very useful strategy that helps you build your chip count without risking too much. 

ATS is the poker stat that keeps track of how often you attempt to steal like that.
A high ATS indicates an aggressive player who is willing to take risks and play a wide range of hands in late position, while a lower ATS indicates a more passive player. 

The ideal ATS really depends on your playing style, but I would recommend a relative high ATS of around 40%. 

How to calculate ATS
Attempt to steal (ATS) is calculated by dividing the number of times you’ve attempted to steal by the total number of opportunities to do so. For example, if you’ve played 50 hands on the button and attempted to steal the blind 20 times, your steal attempt percentage would be 40%. 

And of course, if you guys are using the free EasyPoker app to facilitate your game (physical or digital) – the app automatically tracks your ATS and displays it to you.

Poker stats

Went to showdown (WTSD)

Went to showdown, or WTSD, is the poker stat that tracks how many of the hands you play that actually make it all the way to showdown before getting settled.

It can help you determine how often a player is willing to put their hands to the test and reveal their cards. A high WTSD indicates that a player is more likely to see a hand through.

The ideal WTSD depends on your playing style, but it’s generally believed that a good WTSD is around 30%. 

How to calculate WTSD
Went to showdown (WTSD) is calculated by dividing the number of times you went to showdown by the total number of hands you played. For example, if you played 100 hands and went to showdown in 20 of them, your WTSD would be 20%. 

But of course, if you guys are using the free EasyPoker app to facilitate your game (physical or digital) – the app automatically tracks your WTSD and displays it to you. 

Poker stats

Won money in showdown (W$SD)

Won money in showdown, or W$SD, is the poker stat that shows how often you win a pot after taking it to showdown. Having a high W$SD is obviously a good thing, and it tells you if you choose the right times to go to a showdown. 

How to calculate W$SD
Won money in showdown (W$SD) is calculated by dividing the number of showdowns in which you’ve won the pot by the total number of showdowns you’ve been a part of.
For example, if you went to showdown 20 times and won the pot 10 of those times, your W$SD would be 50%.

And if you guys are using the free EasyPoker app to facilitate your game – physical or digital – the app automatically tracks your W$SD and displays it to you.

Poker stats

Private poker games

If you and your friends are looking for an easy way to play poker with friends on a private table, we’ve got you! Try our free EasyPoker app.

EasyPoker let’s you create a private poker game and invite friends. Now you don’t need physical chips or cards to play – our app takes care of everything. 

It can even track your hands and stats so you don’t have to – all you have to do, is just play your cards and have fun with your friends. 

Recreational Poker

More poker strategy

If you’re looking to upgrade your poker skills, we have a vast library of guides. 
Check out these two guides that will help you improve your skills instantly.

Win poker
poker playing styles

Why MrBeast Suck at Poker

MrBeast is a genius video creator and businessman – but in my view also one of the biggest fish in modern poker. Although Jimmy loves the game, he is careless, impatient, and a gambler who likes to put on a show.

Depends on Dumb Luck

MrBeast’s poker game basically depends on dumb luck. In the showdown between MrBeast and Ninja in a high stakes poker game, MrBeast went all in pre flop with a queen, six off-suit. When accessing the value of a good non-paired starting hand you look at the high card value, suiteness and connectedness. Taking all these in consideration, this hand is not a good starting hand, so on paper this is a really bad play. It’s clear that he doesn’t try to limit the risk with mathematical probability.

What my full video on this here.

MrBeast Poker

As you can see in the video, MrBeast got extremely lucky and won the pot against an ace and a king.

But analyzing his poker game in debt shows that he has a long history of making bad bets and calls with a variety of mathematically weak hands. And in the long run luck will always run out.

MrBeast’s Gambling Problem

This urge to make risky plays might come from his interest in gambling. During his  appearance on the IMPAULSIVE podcast, MrBeast talked about how he enjoys high stakes gambling. He mentions that he was once denied by a casino, as they did not accept bets larger than 10.000 USD on the roulette.

Bringing this carelessness to the poker table will cause him trouble, as most serious poker players use math to eliminate risk. This is in deep contrast to MrBeast, who seems to let his urge to gamble control his poker playing style. 

MrBeast Poker Podcast

MrBeast Huge Poker Bankroll

Having a huge bankroll might allow MrBeast to make risky plays, but luck can quickly turn when you are this careless. This was proved when MrBeast made an appearance in a charity poker game with poker legend Doyle Brunson, Phil Hellmuth, US senator Ted Cruz, and other public and internet figures.   

Phill Hellmuth tells MrBeast how he was warned that he (MrBeast) plays a lot of big pots. MrBeast replies that he usually loses, so this should basically be free money for his opponents, as he only really started playing 6 months ago. This indicates that he sees himself as a newbie, and might not always know what he’s doing when it comes to playing poker pros. He confirms this by calling an All In for a potential straight after having played only a couple of minutes.

He ends up losing 126.000 USD on this move and is busted out of the game. Having only a 33% chance of hitting the straight, this is also considered a bad and risky play. Phil and Doyle Brunson even tell him it was a bad play and they both would have folded in his place.     

MrBeast also ends up making some bad plays because of, what looks to be, impatience. We all know the feeling of impatience when playing live games and you keep getting low tier hands. But MrBeast takes this to a whole new level – especially when he plays high stakes poker. We see lots of examples of this when analyzing his playing style.

MrBeast Plays Low Tear Poker Hands

One example is from a big poker game between MrBeast, Tom Dwan, Ninja, Ludwig, Phil Hellmuth, xQc and Alex Botez.

Poker pro Tom Dwan had a top tier starting hand, and made a 3-bet for 35.000 USD. MrBeast is sitting on a 7, 2 off suit. This hand is famous for being the weakest starting hand you can have in poker, as it’s the lowest combination of cards that doesn’t have connectedness or suiteness.

Jimmy calls and the flop comes out 4, 10, 2. MrBeast immediately goes all in, holding only a pair of deuces. This is the lowest pair you can have in poker. Tom, who is sitting on a pair of kings, obviously calls and busts out MrBeast.

Jimmy might have played like this for the show and entertainment, but for a high stakes poker player this is a horrible play. And these types of plays are the reason why he busts out so often.

In conclusion MrBeast treats poker like a game of chance instead of a game of skill. I’m not claiming that he is a gambeling addict, but according to himself he loves gambling. Bringing this mindset to the poker table is not ideal, especially when playing with pros, who can exploit this weakness. Depending this much on luck will empty out his bankroll in no time.

MrBeast Poker EasyPoker

How MrBeast can Improve his Poker Skills

In order for MrBeast to up his game he needs to control his impatience. This means playing less hands and chasing less mathematically bad hands. It’s definitely not his playing style, but it’s an easy way for him to improve his game tremendously. However this might not be easy for him, as he loves to put on a show. His mindset is that watching him needs to be entertaining and a rush. So having a tight playing style will truly compromise this mindset.

He does however claim that he’s already working with a poker coach, so we might soon see a MrBeast that will actually play as a real poker beast. 

Want to Play Poker with MrBeast?

You can also improve your poker game by playing private games on the EasyPoker app. All you need to do is create a private table, share the game PIN with your friends – and you are ready to play poker. You can get the app for both iPhone and Android.

Poker Tips for Beginners

Looking for some poker tips that will take you from beginner to pro? Well, look no further.
I’ve been playing poker for some time now and by now have also taught most of my friends and family how to play. In my opinion, these five tips make a world of difference and seem to be the easiest way to jump ahead in your poker journey.

Let’s have a look.

Poker Tips for Beginners

There’s no right or wrong way to play poker – not one method that will guarantee success. 
But there are ways and means for you to maximize your chance of winning. 
There are good habits, and bad habits. Situations to avoid, and situations to seek. 

In the end, experience is always going to be the best teacher. But familiarizing yourself with basic aspects and practices will instantly set you apart from other beginners.

1) Know the Basics of Poker

There’s no way around it. Poker becomes a lot easier when you know the poker basics like rules, the different hands and what beats what. It will loosen up your game and give you the confidence you need to build and play out a strategy. It’s a lot easier to place a bet if you know that you’re holding a full house and that that beats a flush.
This may sound daunting at first but don’t worry, you really only need to scratch the surface here.

I’ve gone ahead and made a complete YouTube playlist of 6 videos that will tell you everything you need to know in less than 30 minutes total! They are easy to understand and have a ton of great visual examples.

Poker tips

2) Stick to Playing Strong Hands

This is something I see in all new players. They are always eager to take part in the action and can’t stop themselves from chasing a bad hand to see what the community cards will make of the two cards they’re holding. But actually, top poker strategy says that most hands should be discarded and folded the minute you’re dealt them. 

Most professional poker players these days practice a tight aggressive poker playing style. This means they’ll fold most hands pre flop but go hard when they’re dealt cards within a specific top range. Your range is for you to decide but it’s probably too wide, so look into narrowing it.

Not throwing money after a bad hand will save you a ton of chips and make a huge difference to your game – allowing you to go hard when you get the hands you do want to play. So, unless you’re big or small blind, consider folding a lot more. 

To nail down your very own range check out this short video I’ve made explaining starting hands in poker.

3) Play with Confidence

Confidence is key in poker. Both when bluffing and when playing an actual monster hand. Or at least the impression of confidence.

Good poker players will sniff out insecurity and pounce on it, if you get caught betting with a lack of faith in your own cards.
In general, you want to stay away from checking and calling. Checking and calling tells everyone around the table that you are still not happy with your cards but hope that something on the table will save you. This is called limping, and that’s pretty much a death sin in poker. Unless of course, you’re faking a limp to get other players to challenge you, only to get beaten by your monster hand at showdown. But don’t worry about that for now.
If you have good cards; bet or raise.
If you have bad cards, fold.
Yes, it’s really that easy.

4) Play Poker with Friends

I know, I know. When you’re first starting out it’s very tempting to just run down to your local casino and live out your James Bond poker fantasy. But I’d advise against this. 

Instead, try to keep things fun and experimental by just playing against friends in a home game over a couple of beers. This cozy sand-box environment is exactly what you need to experiment with different playing styles and strategies. It’s nice to know that you can try out different things without the fear of losing your life savings. 

Playing with friends also has the added upside of being able to discuss different aspects of the game or a given hand with someone – which is a good way to learn more and get some instant feedback on your plays.

Poker Rules

5) Consider Your Opponent

There is an old saying in poker; “You don’t play the hand, you play your opponent.”
A lot of new players fall into the trap of just looking at their cards, then at the community cards and then back at their cards. Look up for God’s sake!
Your opponent’s face and body expression might be telling you exactly what you need to know. 

And this is not just to determine whether or not they’re bluffing. Paying close attention to the moves of your opponent can also help you tell exactly what hand they have.
Players like Daniel Negreanu have become infamous and feared for the ability to accurately guess and call out the hand of their opponent.
Pay attention to their tempo, when they choose to raise or bet as well as how they react after seeing the flop, turn and river. Do you get the feeling that they’ve made a hand somewhere, if so, what could it have been? Maybe they got aggressive after seeing a 10 on the turn, but you’ve made a pair of jacks on the river. What does that tell you?

And while we’re at it, consider the community cards as well. Not just in relation to your own hand – what might this board provide your opponents? Does it contain a possible flush or straight for someone to have?

Best App for Poker With Friends

As mentioned in the beginning, one of the best poker tips for beginners is just to play a lot of social poker with friends. And with our free EasyPoker app, it’s never been easier to play poker with friends – anytime, anywhere.
Our app works like a digital version of a physical poker set and provides you and your friends with both chips and cards, for free. Just create a game, share the game code with your friends and slide to deal. It’s so simple that everyone can just pick up the app and start playing right away – no hassle.

Poker strategy

More Poker Tips for Beginners

I hope you enjoyed this blogpost and found my tips helpful.
I would love to hear your thoughts, or maybe additional tips you think might help someone get better at poker. Let me know in the comments below.

If you’d like more poker tips, have a look at these two posts.

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poker playing styles

Top 5 Poker Beginner Mistakes

I see a lot of new players make the same poker beginner mistakes.
Poker is an awesome game, easy to learn but hard to master. However, knowing these 5 poker beginner mistakes will instantly make you better at poker and separate you from the other poker beginners.

So let’s get into it.

Common Poker Beginner Mistakes

All beginning is hard, and poker is no exception. But in my years of teaching friends and family to play poker, I’ve seen how 5 beginner mistakes seem to repeat for everyone.
And I was certainly guilty of these mistakes myself when first starting to play poker.
Luckily though, they are super quick to fix once you understand the basic aspects of poker strategy. 

1) Seeing too many flops

The most common beginner mistake in poker is to see too many flops.
This basically means that you play too many of the hands you’re dealt.
The first decision you make after getting your cards is the most important one; are these cards you want to play or is it best to just fold them without getting invested.
Most poker beginners are too restless and curious to see what the flop will make of their hand. They just want to take part in as much action as possible. A loose playing style.

But actually, most poker pros have a very tight playing style and play only very few of the hands they’re dealt. Mathematically, there is no reason to bet chips on a bad hand, in the hopes that the community cards will turn it into something. 

Unless, of course, you’re trying to bluff. But you really shouldn’t bluff a lot – more on that later.

Take a minute to familiarize yourself with what cards to play and what to throw away – what we call ‘ranges’. I’ve made a 3 minute video that explains the concept with lots of visual examples.

The lesson here is simple:
Stick to playing mostly good hands – don’t waste money chasing a lucky punch.

2) Bluffing against too many players

Ah, yes, bluffing. Perhaps the most recognizable and well known aspect of poker strategy.
And it is a great tool. But TV and movies make it seem like every hand is a huge bluff.
In reality, good poker players don’t bluff a lot – and you shouldn’t either.

It’s fun, it’s exciting and it gives a great rush to trick someone into folding an otherwise superior hand. 
But you have to be smart about it.
Again, I’ve made a short video telling you everything you need to know here. 

The main factor when deciding when to bet is not your cards but the amount of players you are bluffing against. It’s a lot easier to fool one player, than a whole table.
And if you’re bluffing against a whole group of players, chances are that at least one of them has something good enough for them to call anything. 

And the last thing you want to do is get caught bluffing.

The key take away: 
Limit your bluffing to when you’re up against one or two players. 

3) Playing against the big boys & girls

Right when you start off, you just want to play a lot of poker. And so you drive down to the local casino or go online to sit at a digital poker table. But I’d advise against this.
Getting absolutely schooled by some poker sharks won’t do you much good.
When first starting out I would recommend playing with just friends and family.
And stay away from big money games. You need to be able to make mistakes without losing your life savings along the way. 

Luckily, our free EasyPoker app makes it super easy to play an authentic game of live poker with friends – anytime, anywhere.
It works as a digital version of a physical poker set and the app takes care of everything. All you have to do is play your cards and focus on learning.

The key take away: 
Download EasyPoker to play poker with friends.
No – just kidding. But make sure the opponents you play are at your level or willing to teach you their skills. And stay away from big money games at first.

Poker strategy

4) Not knowing the the fundamentals

A lot of new players don’t know the fundamentals of poker – and I get it.
It can seem kind of daunting. But, you really only need to scratch the surface here, guys and girls. No need to run out and buy thick old books or pay for online courses.
Having just a loose understanding of poker strategy like hand rankings, bet sizing and playing in position will instantly elevate your game and put you miles ahead.

Lucky for you, I’ve gone ahead and created a playlist of easy-to-understand videos telling you everything you need to know in less than 25 minutes. And with a ton of great visual examples. You can find it here.

The key take away: 
Familiarising yourself with just the basics of poker strategy will make a huge difference and put you miles ahead.

5) Limping

This is perhaps the most common of poker beginner mistakes – and something all skilled poker players look for. At its core, poker is a game in which you bet on whether the cards you’re holding are better than everyone else’s. So it’s about confidence.
Therefore, it’s best to either bet or fold – calling and checking isn’t advised. 

Trying to just ‘limp’ your way into seeing more community cards is seen as a sign of weakness – as if you need something from the board to make your hand good.
Players holding good cards will see that, and immediately think that you’re grasping for straws. Especially if you revert to just checking and calling on the turn after betting on the flop – they’ll know you are bluffing. 

Top 5 Poker Beginner Mistakes

You have to play with conviction – and try to avoid hands where you have to make a huge bluff to ride home your terrible hand. 

The key take away: 
If you have good cards; bet/raise.
If you have bad cards; fold.
Don’t limp. 

More content on poker beginner mistakes

We’re building a vast library of poker tips and tricks for players of all stages.
If you’re new to poker and want to get better I recommend diving into one of these two. 

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Poker playing styles

Being thoughtful of poker playing style is a fast way to get better at poker whether you’re a skilled player or a poker beginner. Things like bluffing and betting becomes a lot easier when you get a read on your opponents playing style. 

No players fit perfectly into just one of the playing styles – it’s more fluent. And players may switch between playing styles if they get bored or if they are really talented and use it to set a trap for you. 

If – like me – you prefer watching a short video instead of reading a page, you’ll be happy to know that this entire blog post has been condensed into a five minute video.
The text version continues beneath the video.

What is poker playing style? 

Some players bluff a lot, others are more reluctant. Some players are always a part of the action, while others play less hands. This all comes down to a player’s playing style. 

A poker playing style is determined by how many different starting hands you’re willing to play – and how aggressive you play them. 
To sort of categorize the different playing styles we use this chart.
Tight versus passive & aggressive versus passive.

Poker playing styles

Tight playing style vs loose playing style

On the far left of the chart, we have tight. Tight players will only play a very narrow range of starting hands. They are in no rush, and don’t mind waiting for a perfect hand.
This means they’ll often fold their hand pre flop. 

Loose, on the other hand, means you’ll play a wide range of starting hands. This is the type of player who gets bored easily, and so they want to take part in everything.  

Passive playing style vs aggressive playing style

In the bottom of the chart, we have the passive player. One who doesn’t like to come off too strong. They prefer checking and calling, in an effort to see what their cards may turn into with the right community cards. But they stay away from confrontation. 

Aggressive players are quite the opposite. They play their hands with great conviction and prefer to bet or raise. They feast on the tension and pray on other players too tight to call their crazy actions.  

The four different poker playing styles

This creates four different poker players – and those are what we refer to when we talk about the different poker playing styles.

Each poker playing style has its pros and cons and while some of them are more efficient than others, you’ll often find all four types around your table.
Let’s have a closer look at each of the different playing styles – and how to beat them.

Poker playing styles

Loose passive poker playing style

This is a common beginner’s choice of playing style and perhaps the worst one. 
They are loose, so they’ll play a lot of the hands they are dealt. But the passive side to them means they don’t do much – they just check and call.
For this reason, they’re often referred to as a ‘Calling Station’. 
Since they have money in every round, but play it slow, they often end up losing all of their chips in a hurry.

Going into a hand without conviction is essentially what we call ‘limping’ – a death sin in poker.
The hands you play have to be played with conviction.

Loose passive players take part in all the action in the beginning of the night, but will spend the majority of the night as a spectator with no chips.
Don’t be a calling station.

Poker playing styles

When facing a calling station, stick to playing your strong hands. And don’t bother bluffing – they’ll happily call anything.

Tight passive poker playing style

This player has a more conservative and ‘boring’ approach to the game. Unlike the calling station, these players are ‘tight’, meaning they only play a narrow range of the hands they are dealt. They’ll happily fold hand after hand pre flop, waiting for that perfect hand.
And when they do get their golden hand, the passive side to them means they usually just check or call. So even if they win the hand, it’ll be a small price pot. 

The risk-averting, and kind of boring, approach to the game has earned this playing style the nickname ‘Rock’. Since they just sit there, without doing much. 

They may get more time at the table than a calling station, but eventually, they’ll bleed out from the blinds. 

When facing a Rock pay attention to the times when they are small or big blind. You have a great chance to ‘steal some blinds’ by placing a bet pre flop – they’ll fold their blinds way too often. 

Tight aggressive poker playing style

Often shortened to just TAG, this playing style is generally considered the most effective and it’s also the playing style most professional poker players use – at least as a baseline. 

As tight players, they only play a narrow range of the starting hands they are dealt. 

They sit patiently, waiting for the right hand. But when that hand comes along, unlike the rock, a tight aggressive player will pounce and attack with force – betting or raising.

They are often called ‘sharks’, because they’ll patiently circle around the pot until the perfect time to attack, delivering that deadly bite. 

But, there’s always a bigger fist, and there are ways to blow a shark out of the water. 

Their tight plating style makes them fairly easy to read. If they have something, they’ll be aggressive. So if you spot a shark trying to just limp their way into the next round, by checking or calling, hit them with a raise. 

Loose aggressive poker playing style

Also known as a TAG. These are the maniacs – the entertainers.
The players that make poker worth watching.
Their loose approach means they play a wide range of starting hands and take part in most hands. And they play aggressively with lots of bets and bluffs.

These players are nearly impossible to read but the playing style also comes with great risk – you either win big or lose big.

But there’s no denying it’s very thrilling to watch, and you think of players like Stu Ungar, Doyle Brunson and a personal favorite; Gus Hansen. 

When facing a loose aggressive player, you’d be smart to take the tight aggressive approach. Lure them into a trap and have them build a huge pot for you to steal from under them.

What’s the best poker playing style

So, the million dollar question (sometimes even literally) is of course; what’s the best playing style in poker

First, it’s important to note that no player fit’s 100% into just one category. It’s fluent and you probably find yourself somewhere between. You may also switch between different playing styles during a game. A tight player may turn loose if bored and vice versa. 

You’ll see a lot of new players take a passive approach, before understanding the strategy and mechanings of the game. But there is no doubt that an aggressive approach is the most effective. As long as you pick the right times to be aggressive. 

In general, it’s best to either bet/raise or fold. Try not to check or call.

Most players practice a tight aggressive playing style, and that is probably the most efficient and winning of the four. Although the loose aggressive playing style is the one that produces the most poker icons and legends.

Poker Rules

The best poker playing style seems to be switching between different playing styles.
Stick to aggression but fake a passive play to set a trap once in a while.
That’s the best strategy to win at poker. 

Practice your poker playing style

If you and your friends want to practice your poker skills and play around with different poker playing styles, you should check out our app. The free EasyPoker app works as a digital version of a physical poker set. We think it’s the best app to play poker with friends – whether you’re physically sitting together or playing online from separate locations. 

The app takes care of everything, so all you have to do is just play your cards and have fun.

Plus, it’s free. So you might as well give it a try?

Poker strategy

More poker strategy

We try to build the best online library of easy-to-understand poker tricks and tutorials. 
If you like this guide og poker playing styles and want to dive deeper into poker strategy take a look at one of these.

Win poker

Poker Strategy

Finding the best poker strategy for you is crucial if you want to optimize your poker game.
Good poker players know that every hand is a winner – it’s not about the cards you’re dealt, but how you play them. This post breaks down some of the most basic and best poker strategy. 

If you’re completely new to poker, you may want to learn the basics rules of poker, before diving into poker strategy. Lucky for you, we’ve made a simple video telling you everything you need to know in just 4 minutes.

What is Poker Strategy

Poker strategy is one of those things that really surprises players who just started playing poker. Most people outside of poker think it’s a game of luck. You’re either dealt a great hand or a terrible hand. And the player who’s dealt the best hand always wins. 

Luckily, poker is much more complex than that. After all, it’s no coincidence that the same handful of players always end up at the final table.

The different aspects of poker strategy

There are of course a bunch of different aspects to a good poker strategy.
In this blog post, I break down some of the most effective aspects of poker strategy.
I plan to dive deep into poker strategy over the coming weeks, with new videos and additional paragraphs and topics for this post.
Let me know if you have any topic in particular you’d like me to talk about. 

Together, we’ll create the complete guide to the best poker strategy.
Now, poker of course isn’t just one game, but rather a whole genre of card games. The most widespread version of poker is called Texas Hold’em, and that’s the genre we’ll talk about throughout this blogpost.

How to bluff in poker

A pair of aces or a royal flush doesn’t come around too often in Texas Hold’em. Most hands you’re dealt are just ok or straight up bad. This means you can’t just fold every bad hand, and go all in when you hit a monster hand. 

This is simply too easy to read, and your opponent will catch on to this poker strategy.
This is why we ‘bluff’. 

Bluffing is when you ‘lie’ and pretend to have a great hand, in an effort to have your opponents fold their otherwise better hand. Bluffing is a great tool in your poker strategy, since it allows you to win some pots even with weak hands and also keeps your opponents guessing.

Poker betting strategy

Betting is obviously a core aspect of poker – and probably what most people think of, when they think poker. Shoving that pile of chips into the pot. But poker betting is actually a science and one of the absolute most important aspects of poker strategy.

Betting is usually divided into two different kinds of bets. A blocking bet and a value bet.

Blocking bets are a mind game. 
Sometimes, you’re dealt a hand that could turn into something, with the right community cards. So you may want to see a flop or a turn. In this case, you want the price of further participation to stay low – so you can’t have other players betting heavily. So we place what’s called a blocking bet. A small bet, designed to tell other players that you may have something – keeping them from placing huge bets of their own. Allowing you to see more cards without too much investment.
If done right, a blocking bet can actually control the action of other players and keep the game right where you want it. 

Value Bets are essentially the opposite of bluffing in poker, since this time you actually want the other players to call or, even better, raise. Let’s say you’re dealt a great hand, like pocket aces or that you hit a flush from the flop.
In this case, you’re on track to win the hand. 

Win Poker

So, naturally, you want to build the pot and raise your imminent prize. But you can’t just go all in at this stage, since this would most likely scare off opponents and have them fold – leaving you with just the blinds and some change in the pot. Not a great win.
In this case we place a value bet – a small bet, nudging opponents to either call, or even better, raise. This means they are still in the game, betting chips, and driving up the pot for you, thinking it’s all their idea and that they are in charge. Quite genius. 

Table position in poker

You may not know it, but the way you’re all seated around the poker table has a big impact on the game. More specifically, in what order you get to act your turn in a round.

Every round of poker of course has a dealer, a small blind and a big blind. As we all know, the small and big blind are required to place a bet upfront – so the first player to act freely is the player sitting after the big blind. This is usually thought of as the worst position to be in, since you haven’t seen anything from your opponents. You have to just act from your cards alone. 

The later your position, the better. Since you get to see more players act before you – giving you an idea of what they may have.
The best position to be in is the dealer, also known as ‘the button’. In this position you get to act third last in the first round, and last for every round after that.

Poker Positions

In general, the later your position the wider range of starting hands you should play.
We’ve made a video and a seperate blogpost that goes into greater detail about what starting hands we would recommend you to play in what position.

Position in poker may not sound like a big deal, but skilled players know what an important aspect of poker strategy it really is. 

Poker limp

Limping in poker is often referred to as the most common beginner mistake.
Poker is about confidence, and in most cases it’s advised to either bet or fold. When someone tries to just check or call, this is seen as a weak attempt of limping one’s way into seeing more community cards. It’s especially obvious when someone bet preflop but then decide to just check post flop. 

Poker R

If skilled players catch you doing this, they will turn up the heat and put some pressure on you with big bets.
If you have good cards, raise.
If you have bad cards, fold.
Don’t limp. 

Private table poker app

The best way to get good at poker is really just to play a lot. We’ve created the free EasyPoker app that works like a physical poker set – and we believe it’s the best poker app for friends. 

Whether you’re sitting together or playing apart from separate locations, EasyPoker gives you that feeling of a good old physical poker night. The app handles everything for you, so all you have to do is just play your cards and focus on your poker strategy.

It really is the easiest way to play poker with friends, plus it’s free. Give it a try.

Recreational Poker

More poker strategy

We’re constantly adding new and exciting content to our library, and if you have something particular you’d like us to dive into, let me know in the comments.
Here are a couple of other blog posts you may find interesting.

Win poker
Poker positions

Poker Betting

Want to understand poker betting?
You’ve come to the right place. 

We all know that poker is about betting and, hopefully, winning poker chips.
But what is the best strategy for betting in poker, and how do you make the most of a good hand?

It’s important to know how to bet in poker, and if it’s done right, your poker betting strategy can actually control the choices other players make.
Let’s take a look. 

If you’d rather watch a video than read a blogpost, here’s a video I made about how to bet in poker.
This blog will continue beneath the video, and go into further detail of how you can make the most of your poker betting. 

Poker betting

What is poker betting?

Starting off small here. More advanced players might wanna skip this paragraph.

‘Poker’ is not just one game, but rather a whole genre of games. The most popular version of poker is called ‘Texas Hold’em’, made popular by film and TV. 

In Texas Hold’em, all players are dealt two cards for them to see but keep a secret.
You then bet on whether your cards are the best. This is called poker betting.

Betting is the main aspect of playing poker and most people probably think of chips being pushed into the middle of a table when thinking of poker. It’s easily the most recognizable aspect of the game. 

It’s also crucial to master if you want to win, so taking the time to understand poker betting and finding the best poker betting strategy will help you a lot.

Let’s get into it. 

Reasons to bet in poker

Betting your chips is how you win new chips. You gotta risk it to get the biscuit.
If you try to just cruise through a game of poker without really betting, you’ll just be bleeding chips from the blinds and eventually run out. 

But, you know what they say, sometimes the best defense is a great offense.
The same is true in poker, and as we’re about to see, betting can even be used to control other players and have them play less aggressively. 

There are generally two reasons to bet in poker; to control the pot with a blocking bet or to build the pot with a value bet.

Blocking bet

You can actually guide the choices of your opponent and control the pot by betting.
Sometimes, you’re dealt a hand that might not be great but could turn into something with the right community cards. This means you may want to see a flop or a turn before making the final decision.
But, if you just check or call here, players sitting after you, who feel pretty good about their own cards, might place a large bet. Making it expensive for you to see a flop or turn. 
This is when we place what’s called a blocking bet.

This is a small bet, often around a quarter of the pot, designed to have a physiological effect on your opponents. Although small, this bet shows initiative and will most likely make your opponents think twice before making too large of a bet up front. Allowing you to see more cards without too big an investment. 

Poker betting

Value bet

Alright, but what do you do, when an actual amazing hand comes along? Like when you’re dealt a pair of aces. This is the strongest starting hand in Texas Hold’em and will most likely win the round. So how do you play a great hand like that?

Poker betting

You of course want to make the most of the hand and try to get a lot of chips in the pot for you to win. But you can’t just go all in right away – that will scare off your opponents causing them to fold and leaving you just the blinds to win. A great hand wasted. 

This is when we use what’s called a value bet. It’s called that, because it aims to increase the value of the pot – without scaring your opponents. Let’s dive into it. 

The opposite of betting in poker

Value betting is a form of poker betting that’s essentially the opposite of bluffing in poker, since this time you actually want the other players to call – or better yet, raise. Bluffing in poker is designed to scare off opponents with a bold and aggressive play, forcing them to fold their otherwise superior hand. But when poker betting, we not only want them to follow along, but ideally have them think it was all their idea and that they are very much on top of the situation.
It’s quite cold, when you think about it. But very effective.

How to value bet

You of course want your value bet to be big enough to grow the pot, but not too big for others to follow. The ideal value for a value bet actually varies, and depends on three things. The strength of your hand, the board and your opponent’s playing style. 

The strength of your hand

If the flop gives you a monster hand like a full house or a flush, you’re probably well on your way to win the round. In this case, your goal should be to get as many players to continue as possible. Take your time, and don’t be afraid to ‘slow play’.
If, on the other hand, you get a hand that’s good but not great, like top pairs from the flop you may want to be a little more aggressive with your betting. Although your hand is probably strongest at the moment, future community cards could turn the ties and give your opponents an even stronger hand. 

The board

The 5 community cards, commonly referred to as ‘the board’ can flip a round on its head, turning an otherwise great hand into nothing. So you need to always be aware of your hand.
Let’s say you’re dealt a queen of spades and a queen of diamonds, and the flop comes 2, Q, 6 – all hearts. 

Poker betting

You now have a really strong starting hand, that became three of a kind on the flop. But, since the community cards are all hearts, the risk of an opponent developing a flush is high – and that would render your three queens useless. 

You need to watch out for boards that have cards of the same suit, connectedness or high value, since these could give your opponents strong hands. These kinds of boards are commonly referred to as ‘wet boards’, and in this case you’ll want to play aggressively, getting your opponents to fold and securing you the pot before others make a great hand.

But, if the board is ‘dry’, meaning low value cards of different suits and no real connectedness, your pair of queens is still looking strong – and you can take your time.

Opponent’s playing style

The last thing to consider when poker betting a great hand is your opponent’s playing style. If you’re playing against what we call a ‘tight player’, someone who doesn’t like to bet or bluff, you’ll probably be best off playing it slow. So you don’t scare them away. 

Poker betting

But, if you’re playing against a more loose/aggressive player, who likes to raise, bluff and see many flops, you may want to be more aggressive, in an effort to challenge them and have them pile chips to the pot.

Digital poker set

Now that you know the basic strategy of poker betting, you should try our free EasyPoker app. It’s a digital version of the physical poker set you know and love – but this poker set is always with you and fits right into your pocket. 

We don’t facilitate gambling, and you only play against your friends – so it’s really the perfect poker app for friends to practice their poker skills. 

It’s meant for physical poker nights, but with features like our built in voice chat, it works great for digital poker nights as well. 

You should try it – it’s free. 

Poker betting

More poker betting & bluffing

Now that you know how to use poker betting to either control or build the pot, your game will instantly improve. But you can also use betting to bluff in poker, allowing you to win hands even with weak cards. Bluffing in poker is perhaps the biggest difference between good and great players, and we’ve got the blogs and videos to teach you both how to bluff in poker – and how to spot when someone is bluffing

Let’s have a look 👇👀

How to bluff
Poker positions

Poker Rules

Understanding poker rules is of course crucial if you’re trying to get a game going.
Poker is easy to learn yet hard to master – but there’s no reason to over complicate things when explaining poker rules.

This blog will tell you everything you need to know and I’ve even created a 4 minute video, so you don’t have to read unless you want to dive deeper. The video is a part of a 6 video series teaching you poker strategy, but you only need to see the first one to understand poker rules.

Let’s get started.

Poker Rules

Texas Hold’em Poker Rules

Now ‘poker’ is actually not just one game, but a whole genre of card games.
But Texas Hold’em is by far the most popular one, and probably the one that brought you here after watching Casino Royale’ playing Red Dead Redemption or binging Kakegurui.
All great reasons, by the way.

Texas Hold’em Poker is usually played by 2-12 players who all sit down at a table.

You then choose who’s going to be the ‘dealer’ for the first round. This role usually just passed clockwise after every round.
But how do you decide who gets to be the first dealer?

Who is the first dealer in a game of poker?

This is usually decided by ‘dealing to the first ace’. So, one of you picks up the deck of cards, and starts dealing a card to each player, for everyone to see. The first person to be dealt an ace will have the honor of being the first dealer of the game. This is not a part of the official poker rules, but it’s how most home games do it.

Being the dealer of a round is usually considered a positive thing, since this means you get to act last – after watching all other players act their turn. More on this in our blog about playing poker in position.

Basic Poker Rules

After shuffling the deck, the dealer serves all players two cards, heads down.
You see your own cards, but keep them a secret. 
The very essence of poker is that you then bet on whether your hand is the best, or not.
The order in which players have to act moves clockwise around the table. 

Have a bad feeling about your hand? Fold.
Feel good about your cards? Bet. How much is up to you.

Poker Rules

Players who fold their hand, give up their cards and sit the rest of the round out.
If someone makes a bet, they automatically up the cost of further participation in the round. Meaning all following players need to match that bet to stay in a round. 

Once every player has made the choice to bet or fold, the chips are gathered in what we call the pot.
The aggregated prize for winning the round.

To ensure every hand in poker always has something to play for, we have the two roles of small and big blind.

Small and Big Blind

What does small and big blind mean? Don’t worry, although this is often the part of poker rules that confuses beginners the most, it’s actually pretty simple.

The person sitting after the dealer is small blind and the person after that is the round’s big blind. Just as the role of dealer, small and big blinds change clockwise after every round. The small and big blind are required to bet a predetermined, often small amount. Like 10 and 20. Big blind is always double the small blind.

Blinds are there to make sure every round of poker matters, and that there is always something to be won.

Other than that, it works as a gentle ‘push’ for players who haven’t got the nerve to bet. 

Poker Rules

What are community cards?

Alright, so we now know that the essence of poker rules is to be dealt two cards and then bet on whether your cards are the best at the table.
But, as you might imagine, this becomes pretty boring and predictable. Like, if you’re dealt a pair of aces, you’d be sure to win.

This is why, in a full round of poker, another 5 cards are drawn from the deck and placed on the table, face up, for everyone to see. These are called community cards, and they are the part of the game that makes poker unpredictable. 

At the end of a poker round, your final ‘poker hand’ will consist of the best 5 card combination of the two cards in your hand and the 5 cards on the table.

Poker Rules

The cards in your hand are for you to use only, but every player in the round can mix their cards with the community cards – and yes, multiple players can of course use them at the same time. In some rare cases, your final poker hand of the round doesn’t even include the two cards you’re holding in your hand, if the community cards have a straight for instance.

But, to keep the possibility of twists and turns, not all community cards are drawn and placed at the same time. It goes flop, turn and river. 

What is the flop?

After all players have made their initial choice of betting or folding, the chips are gathered in the pot and this is when 3 of the 5 community cards are drawn and placed on the table.
These first 3 community cards are called ‘the flop’.

Poker Rules

After the flop, another round takes place, where players again get to either bet, fold or check. Checking means you’d like to proceed without betting and is only possible if no one before you has betted in this round. If any remaining player makes a bet, all players have to either match that or give up their cards.
So if I check, but the guy after me makes a bet, I then have to make a choice to follow or fold before the round can continue.

The small and big blinds are not forced to bet any amount after the flop – that is only for the first round of a hand. 

What is the turn?

When all remaining players have made their choices, assuming 2 or more players are still in the round, another community card is drawn from the deck and placed by the other 3.
This one is called ‘the turn’.

Poker Rules

Exactly same procedure as after the flop was turned.
Remaining players get to check, bet or fold, before a fifth and final community card is drawn.

What is the river?

The river is the fifth and final community card, and all players now know what 5 cards make up their final hand. A last round of checking, betting and/or folding follows.
After that, we get to see who wins, when all remaining players have to show their cards in what we call ‘the showdown’.

Poker Rules

Showdown in poker

When the last actions have been made in a round of poker, players lay down their 2 cards and show the rest of the players what they’ve got.
You can really do it in whatever order you wish, but according to the official poker rules, the showdown follows the same order as the round has.

The player with the best 5 card combination of the 2 cards in their hand and the 5 cards on the table, wins the round and collects all the chips in the pot. If two or more players have the exact same hand, they split the pot evenly.

In this case we win because we have a pair of aces + a king, a jack and a ten.

Poker Rules

What are the different poker hands?

There are 10 different kinds of ‘poker hands’ to have.
Here is a video explaining what beats what – also described in this blogpost.

A digital poker set

If you and your friends are new to poker, and just want to play and learn – I recommend using our free EasyPoker app
It’s designed to take care of your poker night, so you don’t need chips, cards or even a table. 
The app takes care of everything. 

It’s free, simle to understand, has no gambling and you only play with friends you know.

Perfect for poker with friends.

Poker Rules
Poker Rules

More Poker Rules & content

So, now you know your poker rules and are ready to play some poker with friends.

Ready for ‘all in’, ‘pocket aces’ and ‘flipping the nuts’. But what does all of this even mean?
Prepare for your next poker night by reading up on some poker lingo.

Or if you’d like, you can brush up on how to tell if someone is bluffing. Should come in handy. 

poker terms and slang
Poker positions

How to Bluff

Want to learn how to bluff in poker?
You’ve come to the right place. 

Alright, so you’ve been playing poker for a while now and feel like you’re beginning to understand the game. Aces are good, a flush beats a straight – and the player who’s dealt the best cards always wins – right?
Thankfully, no.

Because poker is a game played in the mind as much as on the table – and great players know how to get a quick win from terrible cards, by tricking their opponents into folding an otherwise great hand.

It’s time we talk ‘bluffing’ – and, oh boy, is it going to make a difference.

If you prefer watching over reading, we’ve made an entire video explaining how to bluff in poker. This blog post continues beneath the video. 

Why Bluff? 

Alright, so, the perfect hand doesn’t come around too often when playing Texas Hold’em.
This means you can’t just go all in when you’re dealt a monster hand, and fold every time you get a bad hand. This would be too easy for your opponents to read.

This is why the best poker players switch up their play, and sometimes try to trick their opponents into misreading them. 

This effort of misleading is what we call bluffing and, if done right, it will keep your opponent guessing, never getting an actual read on your game.
Allowing you to win pots with a terrible hand. So it’s important to know how to bluff. 

Now, bluffing is usually divided into two different kinds of bluffs, called a ‘pure bluff’ and a ‘semi bluff’.

What is a pure bluff? 

A pure bluff is when you’re dealt a terrible hand but choose to play it very aggressively in an effort to convince the other players that you have a great hand. To scare them into folding their otherwise superior hand. 

Like if you’re dealt a hand of 7 2 off suit. This is the worst hand in Texas Hold’em poker, and would normally always lose. But, let’s say you’re big blind and therefore already somewhat invested in the round. Raising here might get everyone else to fold, and so not only would you not use your big blind, but also steal a nice little pot. 

A pure bluff is of course extremely risky, and is therefore often referred to as a ‘stone cold bluff’. But, getting a quick win with a terrible hand can help you a lot – and will keep your opponents guessing.   

What is a semi bluff?

Less risky, is the semi bluff.
This is when you’re dealt cards that aren’t good, but could turn into something if the community cards hit just right. A hand like 7 8 suited. This of course isn’t a strong hand, but it is suited connectors, so you have a decent chance of hitting either a straight or a flush in combination with the community cards. 

A semi bluff is when you have cards that aren’t great, but could turn into something.
Like 8 9 suited. This isn’t a strong hand, but since they are suited connectors, you have a decent chance of hitting a flush or a straight from the community cards.  

A semi bluff is of course a lot less risky than a pure bluff, and for that reason, it’s usually performed a bit less aggressively.

When to bluff

Now, when you bluff should of course vary. Never be easy to read. 
But, 3 factors should help you pick the optimal time to bluff. 

1) Number of opponents
The more players in the hand, the more people have to buy your bluff.
It is always going to be easier to convince one or two players, than a whole table.
You’ll want to limit your bluffing to when you’re up against one or two players. 

2) Strength of opponents
Players who are low on chips or who try just calling instead of raising, might not have the courage to call your bluff. But the chip leader probably will.
Consider your opponent’s situation, and make sure you don’t challenge a hard ball. 

3) Your opponent’s playing style  
All players are different, and you should always consider your opponent when choosing a strategy in poker. Players who call and fold a lot are referred to as ‘tight players’, and other players who bluff and raise a lot in are often called loose or aggressive. 
It might be more prudent to bluff against a player with a tight playing style, than a loose cannon who might suddenly call your bluff.

When you bluff

So, you’ve found the perfect hand to bluff – now, how do you actually convince your opponent? He or she is probably looking for tells to spot your bluff, and you’ll want to use every trick in the book to hide it. 

 Luckily, we have some rules of thumb that will help you do that.Namely ‘representing a hand’ and the ‘continuation bet’. Let’s have a look.

How to bluff

Representing a hand

You need to always be aware of the game’s development.
Keep the community cards in mind, and act accordingly. If you’re bluffing hitting a pair of aces on the flop, and the turn shows another ace, you need to double down on your first bet – since you’re now bluffing having 3 aces. When fully committing to a bluff, forget your actual hand and act like you have the hand you’re trying to convince them. 

Otherwise, good players will easily spot your bluff and lure you into a trap.

C-bet (continuation bet)

In for a penny, in for a pound.
If you’ve made a bet pre-flop you need to keep betting after the flop, whether the community cards have given you anything or not. The last thing you want is for someone to follow an initial bet and then just ride it out from there to the showdown.
You have to be more aggressive, and keep betting.
A C-bet shows confidence and initiative. Without it, your opponent will easily be able to spot that your initial bet was just a bluff.

🚨 Most important rule of how to bluff 🚨

Remember, if you’re bluffing, you need to make all opponents fold.
The last thing you want is to end up in an awkward showdown with your terrible hand and a bunch of chips invested. Finish the job before that, and get your opponent to tap out.

Practice how to bluff

So there you go. Now you know when and how to bluff. If done correctly, this will make a huge difference to your game, by allowing you to win pots even when dealt terrible cards.

To practice your skills, I recommend downloading our free EasyPoker app.
It’s a digital version of a physical poker set – perfect for poker with friends! 

Pokerface app alternative download
Poker Rules

More tutorials

Poker is a wonderful game – easy to learn, but hard to master.
To add more tools in your poker toolbelt of strategies, consider watching the full playlist we have on YouTube. I tried to keep it light and fun, and it is in to way overly complicated. 

It will take you through the most common aspect of poker strategy and take you from beginner to advanced – in under an hour!

Or head on over to this blog post, that talks about poker tells and how to spot them.
That way, you’ll be able to sniff out a bluff from other players as well.

You can find it here.

Poker tells