Texas Hold ‘Em Strategies and How to Win
The poker variant Texas hold ’em is said to have been played in Texas from the beginning of the twentieth century although it was not until the 1960s that it started to be offered in Las Vegas. The game soon became popular in the casinos there and it began to gain global interest. Nowadays, poker is played all over the world and Texas hold ’em is the among the most prominent variants. Indeed, in some places, it is the only version of poker that is played. Given how popular Texas hold ’em is these days, more and more interest has gone into the various tactical approaches you can take to the game. What are some of the best Texas hold ’em strategies that will help you to win more often and – when you do have the winning hand – to win bigger prize pots?
Raise When You Flop
If you have a hand that you feel is strong, then it is likely that you will want to see the flop. If so, raise the stake before you do. The reason for this is that if you don’t, then you are effectively allowing the other players to see what is in the flop without any risk. In other words, they can view it for free. Look at it from their point of view – what have they got to lose? On the other hand, when your hand is relatively good, you are backing a potentially winning hand while making the other players consider the strength of their hands a bit more than perhaps they would like. Novices to the game, in particular, are usually very happy if they get to see the flop without paying for the privilege so don’t afford them that opportunity!
Play More Hands When You Are Last
Firstly, there is nothing wrong with folding at any time. Although you should not fold every time you have a weak hand or the other players will soon know when you have a strong one, it is best to play more of the hands you receive when your turn is last. This is simply because you gain more information about the other players’ hands when you take your go last in the cycle. Of course, in all forms of poker – especially Texas hold ’em – any data you can gather from the cards is useful in determining what you do next. As such, a more involved attitude to each hand you play last is likely to help you win more often.
Don’t Play Too Many Pre-Flop Hands
This is a rookie error that you will see time and again with beginners to Texas hold ’em. Many new players are tempted to play many hands before the flop that they really should be folding on. It is understandable why this is – after all, you have to be in it to win it. However, you really ought to be playing hands which have a reasonable chance of winning. Some of the top players around the world recommend that you only play a quarter or so of your hands when playing Texas hold ’em seriously. Fold the rest before the flop.
Getting Out After the Flop Is Okay
On hands that you do play once the flop has been revealed, there is no obligation to proceed. If you do so, then be sure that you have a reasonably good chance of winning which means having at least one high kicker to differentiate your hand from a similarly scoring one. If you proceed with a middling hand and no kicker to speak of, then the chances are that you are chasing a pot that you are never likely to win. The trouble with this eminently sensible advice is that it is so difficult to follow. After all, nearly every gambler who has invested in their hand wants to back their initial judgement. Remember that this means playing your hand based on your emotions rather than your rationality. Keeping this in mind is probably one of the best strategies you can learn for any form of poker.
Don’t Over-Bluff a Poor Hand
When you know that you have a weak hand, there really is only one way that you are going to win. This is to bluff, bluff and bluff again. Going all in with your chips may seem the only way to prevent a humiliating loss if you have bluffed a little and nobody has bought your pretence of a good hand. Professional poker players know that doubling or trebling down on a bluff is an error because the other players will – generally speaking – know that an all in bet is being made to try to get others to fold due to a weak hand. In Texas hold ’em, it is just as important to try and minimise your losses with hands you have initially backed by folding instead of ploughing on in the hope that your stake does the talking for you.
River Card Advice
The last card in a game of Texas hold ’em can be crucial and, there again, it sometimes makes little difference. Also known as fifth street, the river card may help you and it may not. The same applies to any other players left in at this stage, of course. Therefore, if you think your hand is the strongest one before the river card, then try to make it as expensive as possible for other players to reach this point. Conversely, if you know you need a favourable river card to augment your hand’s strength, then try to get to this stage with as little stake going down as possible.