If you want to win at poker, you need to understand a few key things. First amongst these is odds and betting. You need to create ‘positive betting situations’ – that is to say, situations where you will expect to win money on average. And the second is the ‘Fundamental Theorem’.
What’s that? If every player turned their cards over at the start of each hand, there would be a best way for each player to play the hand, mathematically speaking. In the long run, anyone deviating away from the optimal strategy would lose, and if everyone made all the right decisions, the eventual result would be a lottery. In reality, you can’t see everyone else’s cards, and so you are making decisions based on incomplete information. You have two ways to take advantage of this – reading other people’s likely hands from their play, and misleading other people as to your cards.
By doing this, you aim to create situations where your opponent is betting when they should fold, or folding when they should bet. If you can make other people play like this, whilst making the right decisions mathematically speaking, then in the long run you’ll turn a nice profit.