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Poker Strategies: Long-Term and Short-Term

Poker strategies are either long term or short term. We should realize that we will play better in poker if we rely on long-term poker strategies than those short-termed.

Short-term strategies are those mostly born out of sheer luck. Beginners are mostly amazed by them and often go all out for them. These kinds of poker strategies make us win more out of luck than strategy. For instance, we hold a suited 7 and 8 (spade) and the flop has Ah, 10c, and 6 c. We decide to call. Most players would probably fold here - it is the right move. But out of a short-term strategy we fancy we decide to risk.

The above risk is worth taking. We just need a 9. Let's say at the turn a 9d appears with a harmless 2d at the river. It's sheer luck (not pure strategy) that the turn and river came the way they did and we won a big pot because the play reached the river. Was the decision to call wise? It was impractical and too risky. But we won anyway, through a short-term strategy. Such poker strategies are fun and incredible but they only work once or twice. Relying on them often would result to disaster.

There are times we have to try short-term solutions, like to break up a strategy trend to avoid being predictable. But long-term solutions are what reliable poker strategies are made of. We may lose sometimes even while using long-term remedies because we can get unlucky lots of times. But relying on short-term poker strategies can get us in worse situations over the long run.

If, say, we have a suited 8 and 7 again (spade) and the board has unsuited Q6-5. We decide to call after everyone folds to us. Then the turn shows a Qs and the river a Kh. The opponent flips a suited AQ (diamond) over and we lose. Did we make a bad decision to call? No. In this situation we have the pot odds we need to make that call. The problem is, the opponent is luckier to have been dealt an AQ. But this does not mean that long-term poker strategies as we have decided to do here is a weak strategy.

Hence, to decide what poker strategies are effective and which are not, we do not rely on what gives us temporary lucky winnings now. We try to see poker strategies on their long-term effectiveness. Through this we get more reliable winning strategies.