No-limit Hold’em poker strategy is a tricky thing. There’s really no right strategy to play. Some people will tell you that “tight is right” and Phil Hellmuth is certainly an example of how effective that poker strategy can be, but Phil Hellmuth isn’t the only winning poker pro out there (as much as he likes to think he is).
There are several loose-aggressive players that are also big winners on the tournament circuit. Gus Hansen, Daniel Negreanu, Ted Forrest and Sammy Farha are names that almost anyone will recognize, though no one would ever accuse these players of being tight. In fact, Gus Hansen wrote a book all about his thought process and it sold like crazy because so many players wanted to know what went through his head when he made his signature insane plays.
The best thing to do is to choose a poker strategy that fits your skill level. Here are some suggestions:
Beginning players should use a tight-aggressive poker strategy. Never enter the pot without a solid hand like 99+ or AK and always enter for a raise. Your late position raises can include other pocket pairs and KQ+ when you’re in position and the pot is unraised. This style is designed to make your post-flop decisions as easy as possible and you’ll rarely be outkicked.
Intermediate players can loosen up their range a bit to include all pocket pairs, 67+ suited and AJ+. This poker strategy requires more skill to be profitable because you’ll face more marginal situations post flop.
Advanced players can try a loose-aggressive poker strategy. This style is very difficult to play because you will be starting with the worst hand a lot of the time and trying to outplay your opponent.
Keep in mind that this isn’t a progression. Many professionals continue to use a tight-aggressive style. The poker strategy that’s best for you will depend on your comfort level and your bankroll.