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Your Best Game

If they want to maximize their winnings, advanced players should figure out which poker game they play best and why. Since winning at poker means having a higher level of skill in certain areas, a true winner should know why he is winning in order to maximize his advantage over his opponents. Different games and different betting structures require different skills.

I cannot tell you at which game you will most excel. The only way for you to know for sure is if you keep track of your poker statistics by using a tacking program.

However, there are certain ingredients that are necessary for success at certain poker games. Poker players need to have an advantage with the technical and personal aspects of poker. The technical aspects are poker math, such as mastering pot odds and playing tight. The personal aspects are skills such as bluffing and varying your style of play. Here are the qualities that I believe certain games reward:

Longhand Limit Hold'em
Limit hold'em rewards technicial skills, especially patience and an understanding of hand value. Since many hands go to a showdown, reading one's opponent only helps so much because it is harder to bluff and pot odds will often make a river fold highly risky.

Shorthand Limit Hold'em
Shorthand requires a mix of people and technical s People skills are important for analyzing a shorthanded game. Since there can be more bluffing at a shorthanded game, you will need to know when to increase or decrease your aggression. In general, more fancy moves can be made in a shorthand limit game than a longhand game, making people skills all the more valuable. Nevertheless, it is still limit hold'em, so technical skills are still very much important.

No-Limit Hold'em
No-limit hold'em also requires both technical profi and people skills. Technical skills will help you understand how much you should bet and how much you can afford to call. People skills will help you in a hand (by putting an opponent on his cards) and determine your general strategy.

No-limit hold'em fundamentally comes down to how people utilize aggressive betting. Steal a lot of pots if people are meek, but fold if stern resistance comes to your bluffing. If people are being very loose, be patient and trap them. You should often be able to wipe them out in one hand.

Pot-Limit Omaha
Pot-limit Omaha is gaining in popularity among pl especially no-limit hold'em players. The skills required to excel at pot-limit Omaha are similar to those of no-limit Hold'em. However, the variance at pot-limit Omaha is so high that players need to have more "gamble" in them than typical no-limit hold'em players. Being able to tolerate huge swings and avoid tilt is more important in pot-limit Omaha than any other poker game.

So...Which One for Me?
If you are very good at remaining patient, p quality hands, and playing pot odds, stick to limit hold'em. If you excel at poker because you know how to deal with opponents, you want to be in a shorthand, pot-limit or no-limit game.

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