Fear not, for armed with dedication and the right guidance, you can navigate this intricate landscape and emerge as a victorious player. Enter Tight Poker, where we’ve crafted a comprehensive beginner’s guide to poker strategy, anchored by insights from our Strategy Expert, Dara O’Kearney.

As a professional poker player, coach, and the author of what’s hailed as the greatest poker strategy book of all time, Dara’s recommendations form the backbone of this optimal strategy starter pack. So, strap in, because we’re here to unravel the excitement of poker and guide you on your journey to mastery.

At Tight Poker, we’ve gone the extra mile, offering in-depth guides for each aspect of poker strategy. Take a deeper dive into our dedicated pages to gain a thorough understanding of each topic and elevate your grasp of poker strategy. Your journey to mastering the game just got a whole lot more exciting!

Hand Rankings

Poker Hand Rankings Logo

To embark on your poker journey, we recommend that you start with the foundations. Understanding the poker hand rankings and rules that form the bedrock of the game is a vital step in your journey to becoming a winning poker player. Here you can learn the basics of the game, including how the betting rounds work, the different betting limits, and what hands beat what.


Poker Position Logo

Next on the list is Position. Position is paramount in poker, as it provides you with additional information that isn’t available to your opponents; in a game of limited information, any informational advantage you have is priceless!  At our position page, you can learn all about the poker table positions, why position is so important, and the art of leveraging your position to gain a strategic edge over your opponents.

Poker Ranges

Poker Ranges Logo

Once you become experienced enough, you can move beyond putting your opponent individual hands and move into the world of ranges. By reading through our Poker Ranges piece, you can understand the concept of poker ranges, why they’re used by all of the best professionals, and how you can implement them into your own game. By grasping the concept of ranges, you can elevate your strategic thinking and gain an edge on your opponents.


Bluffing Logo

Bluffing is arguably the most fun part of poker and the most widely known, but also the most misunderstood – Dara O’Kearney

Bluffing is an art form, a thrilling dance of deception. At our bluffing page, you can learn the nuances of bluffing, and understand the crucial moments to deploy this tactic. We cover the different types of bluffs you can make, how to calculate the optimal bluffing frequency, and even uncover physical tells you can use to ensure your bluffs get through as often as possible.


Folding Logo

Every seasoned player knows that knowing when to fold is the key to long-term success. Recognizing when to fold will help preserve your bankroll during the inevitable downswings, and like they say; a penny saved is a penny earned! Here at our folding page, you can discover the significance of folding, when you should and shouldn’t fold, as well as get access to a helpful preflop folding chart.

Poker Odds

Poker Odds Logo

Poker is a game of skill, but it’s also a game of numbers. The mathematical side of poker is becoming ever more important; you need to understand the mathematical underpinnings of poker and have a solid understanding the odds and probabilities of different situations if you don’t want to be left behind. At our poker odds page, you can learn valuable mathematical concepts such as counting your outs, pot odds, and expected value, that will keep you one step ahead of your opponents.

You can even empower your learning with Tight Poker’s free poker odds calculator. Enhance your understanding of the game by calculating odds in real-time with our easy to use platform.

The Flop

The Flop Logo

Once you’ve grasped the basics, it’s time to navigate the complexities of post-flop play. This is where the pots really start to grow, so it’s important that you have a strategy for navigating the later streets. At our flop page, you can learn how to categorize the flop and how to play different hand categories on each board, as well as pick up helpful strategy tips that you can use to one-up your opponents.


Check-Raising Logo

The check-raise is a potent strategy that can catch your opponents off guard. This deceptive move was once banned from upstanding card rooms, but is now an important part of a poker player’s arsenal. On our Check-Raising page you can discover the benefits of check-raising, how to find good targets for check-raising, and even learn what to do when facing a check-raise.


Semi-bluffing logo

Semi-bluffing is a dynamic bluffing strategy that combines aggression and opportunity. While the aim is to take down the hand without showdown, you keep a bit of equity in your back pocket in case you get called. If you want to learn how to implement this bluffing strategy into your own game and even learn how to spot them from your opponents, check out our Semi-Bluffing page.

Squeeze Play

The Squeeze Play Logo

In a passive game with a lot of callers, the squeeze play can help you pick up juicy pots without needing to see a flop. At our Squeeze Play page, you can learn when to apply preflop pressure to win pots and isolate weak opponents. We also cover the ranges you should use and how to play against a squeeze from your opponents.


Tilting Logo

Tilt can be a silent (or not so silent!) adversary. Learning how to manage your emotions and maintain a clear mind, even in the face of adversity, is an important part of becoming a long-term winner at the poker table. Confront tilt head-on at tilt page, where you can learn; the different types of tilt, how to manage your tilt at the tables, and how to best exploit a tilting opponent.

Bankroll Management

Bankroll Management Logo

In the grand tapestry of poker mastery, bankroll management is the thread that weaves it all together. After all, if you don’t have a bankroll, how can you expect to play? Gain control of your poker finances by reading our Bankroll Management page; learn how to effectively manage your bankroll across different game types, when you should adjust your buy-in level, as well as strategies to help safeguard your bankroll.


Congratulations! You’ve navigated the intricate path from poker novice to a player well on the road to mastery. Armed with knowledge and strategy, the tables await your triumphant arrival. Embrace the challenges, savor the victories, and may your poker journey be as rewarding as the game itself. It’s time to shuffle up and deal – the adventure has just begun!

Did this article deal you a winning hand?

Jackpot! You’ve flopped a winning hand! This article has surely added some extra chips to your stack. Tune in for more valuable insights and pro-level strategies!

Looks like you’ve been dealt a bad beat. We’ll shuffle the deck and try again.

Dara o'kearney

Poker Pro, Coach, and Author
Former ultra-runner turned poker pro Dara O’Kearney, Ireland’s top online winner with over $3 million in profit, has a stellar poker career. He’s earned 8 Pocket Fives Triple Crowns, a 2008 European Deepstack win, and notable victories like a Super Tuesday win in 2013. With 225 cashes, 76 final tables, and 10 wins in 21 countries, his live poker record is impressive. O’Kearney, a coach and best-selling poker book author, co-hosts The Chip Race Poker Podcast. As a Unibet Poker ambassador, he reached new heights in 2015 with a $262,502 2nd place finish at the WSOP. Stay updated at daraokearney.com.
More by Dara