Postflop Strategies for Poker Tournaments
Tournaments are one of our favorite ways to play poker. Not only is the victory more satisfying than a simple cash game, but people also screw up left and right, making them very profitable. To win poker tournaments, you need a fundamentally sound strategy and the ability to shift your play to exploit your opponents’ weaknesses.
Let’s go over three tips for postflop play to help you win your next tournament.
#1: Check Raise for Thinner Value
Nobody wants to bust out of a poker tournament, so this means that most people are only willing to check raise with their best hands, either the nuts or maybe a strong draw. However, to play a balanced strategy, you need to incorporate more bluffs into your check raising range, but that’s not the end of the story.
There are also many boards where you should check raise for thin value, looking to stack your opponents’ weaker hands. Especially if you’re playing against a weaker opponent who loves to call down with marginal made hands, you can crank up the aggression with check raises to win even more chips.
#2: Be Aggressive When You Have the Nut Advantage
Having the nut advantage means that you have more nut hands in your range than your opponents. When you have this advantage, you can apply pressure to put our opponents into tough spots and force them to make mistakes.
For instance, if the flop brings only low cards and you called from the big blind, you have the nut advantage because a big blind calling range is generally quite wide, meaning you have plenty of small cards in your range. Compared to the pre-flop raiser, you’re much likely to make a straight or a set on this type of board.
Conversely, if the flop brings big cards and you open raised from under the gun, you have the nut advantage because an UTG raising range is usually pretty tight. Compared to your opponents, your range contains more big cards, giving you the nut advantage. Press that advantage.
#3: Play Tight vs Strong Ranges
Way too many people just blindly call with a marginal made hand without thinking about the ranges involved. We need to change that. So, when you’re up against a player with a very tight range, especially when you’re out of position, you should just fold a ton. This is even more true in multiway pots.
Most people don’t think about folding as an exploit, but it is one. When your opponents aren’t willing to play any hands unless they have a strong hand, we can fold against their aggression and refuse to pay them off. This prevents them from winning the big pots while we continue to scoop up the smaller ones when they don’t get good cards or even win big pots when we hit an even better hand.