Searching for a few useful Texas hold ’em Strategy Tips? In this post, I discuss 7 tips that I personally believe can enhance your game. Texas Hold ‘Em is a poker game that compensates those who play smart. Of course, luck is always involved in Poker, but a smart player will usually win when playing bad players. The key is to know the rules, the strategies, and tactics, and just play wisely.
There are plenty of Texas hold ‘em strategy tips out there. I could never cover all of them in one post. However, I will focus on 7 strategy tips that I find crucial to improving one’s game and chances of winning. So let’s get started.
My 5 Texas Hold ‘em Strategy Tips:
Before diving into the advanced strategy tips, let’s start with the important step of knowing how to play your starting hands.
1. Where The Game Begins: Know Your Starting Hands
I will never play every hand that the dealer gives me, and so should you. Even the best players fold a lot of their starting hands. In Texas hold ‘em, a starting hand includes the two hole cards that belong to you, and are hidden from the other players. Another five community cards are dealt into play, but the betting starts before any of these are exposed.
Since Poker is a game of probability, statistics, and lots of math – studies have shown which starting hands are most likely to win a game. You can easily find a preflop chart of poker starting hands, which rank them according to how probable they are to win. If you know the best starting hands – you can apply this to your Texas Hold ‘em strategy. Memorize these charts and use them to determine which hands to play from which positions.
However, you can’t just wait for the best poker starting hands. The probability of these cards being dealt is not big, so this will mean you won’t be playing many hands. The key is to combine your starting hands knowledge together with your position strategy and other tactics.
2. Find The Patsy and Select the Right Table
Warren Buffett, the legendary investor once said — ‘If you’ve been playing poker for half an hour and you still don’t know who the patsy is, you’re the patsy.’ It’s a brilliant quote.
This practically means you need to do your intelligence work. Monitor your table and try to identify the bad players. Why is it so important? Because identifying bad players is where you can make most of your profits.
If there are no patsys at your poker table, it will be much harder for you to win and be profitable.
How do you identify the patsys? Well, they are usually the players that play too many hands, try too many bluffing tactics, and repeatedly bet with bad hands.
This is especially important when playing online poker. There are hundreds of games being played every single minute, with lots of patsys out there. You need to look around and monitor the tables and ensure you pick the games with as many patsys as you can find. This will increase your chances of winning.
3. Know How To Size Your Bets
Playing online poker, especially in No Limit cash games, provides you with a dangerous scenario of betting any amount that you have in front of you. This false “freedom” can eventually get you into big trouble.
When sizing your bet before the flop, follow what is going on at your table. If the typical pre-flop raise is 2xBB – then that is the size you should take. Trying to be smart and raising an unusual amount pre-flop can make it hard for your opponents to think clearly. Make sure you are sizing your bet according to the table.
After the flop, it’s a different story. In case you were the raiser before the flop, you’re practically obliged to place a continuation bet (known as c-bet). How big should your c-bet be? Well, it should assist you in defining the strength of your hand, and will usually be between 40% to 75% of the pot. Almost every novice player or patsy will see a big c-bet as a sign of strength. This will allow you, in most cases, to get the handover.
The goal of this is to make your opponents believe that you own the game. In a scenario where your continuation bet is too small, you may face a re-raise or check-raise. On the other hand, if you size a bet too big – you may end up in a scenario where you’re committed to a hand beyond your plans.
4. Deploy the Check-Raise as a Strategy
When you’re holding the strongest possible hand, you can check-raise your opponent’s bet to squeeze more money into the pot. On the other hand, when you think your opponent has the strongest hand, you can check-raise in order to bluff and scare your opponent into throwing his hand away.
What exactly is a Check-Raise in Poker? Well, it’s a tactic of checking when the action’s on you and raising following a player’s bet behind you.
Why is Check-Raise a good tactic? It can be a good move for two main goals mentioned above: Squeezing more value into the pot when you have a strong hand, or bluffing and scaring your opponent into throwing his strong hand away.
Like many poker pros, I believe the check-raise is a brilliant tactic that should be part of your poker strategy.
5) After the Flop – Make The Smart Move
After seeing the flop, many novice players tend to make stupid mistakes. Some patsys think that because they’ve already “invested” in a hand – they should stay and play it out, no matter what hand they have.
Never be afraid to cut your losses after you see the flop. Don’t play out a hand just because you’re in it. After a flop, if you aren’t in a good position – the better odds are usually in favor of getting out.
However, this will depend on several factors, like the number of players at the table. When this number goes down – so does the probability of a strong hand. If you’re only three at the table – the better odds may be for you to be more aggressive.
There are plenty of Texas hold ’em Strategy Tips out there. After absorbing the tips above, you should go back to Google and search for more articles with other useful Poker advice. For players like us, the learning process never really ends.