‘Chains’ I use depend on the opponent, the character and obviously how we’ve adapted over the course of the game.
For example, most common poke I like to use is f+mp. First time I land this in a match I will either follow up with a kara throw, or st.mk or st.hp. Next time, I may wait for a fraction of a second, go low, or go for an SGGK throw. It all depends on what frame of mind the opponents defence has left me in.
But in general, I always try and think carefully before I press a button. Lets say I do cr.short jab short. If it gets blocked, I’ll probably stop at the jab and go for a kara throw instead of the last short which will serve no purpose other than a potential red parry punishment (which Ryan Hart has done to many Ken players).
My game starts off with me going for nothing but throws. Obviously during this time if you do something silly I will punish you for it. But if you play careful, you’ll see that I’m only trying to grab you. Once you try to stop me - THATS when I’ll use pokes. So there is not really a concept of strings - I’ll do what it takes to get in and get that throw. Then you’ll start thinking about how to counter throws as well as how to deal with the few pokes that I stick out - eventually I force the opponent into a mistake and land some combos.
The biggest problem with poke chains is that each character has pretty much the same sequence of pokes that constitute a ‘safe’ poke chain - therefore an experienced opponent will always have a good idea of what is coming next.