Good Texas Hold’em Strategy
Although it’s possible to talk about Texas Hold’em strategy indefinitely, due to the game’s subtle complexities, we’ve compiled three of the most salient pieces of poker advice every aspiring pro should know.
Basic differences between Limit and No Limit. First of all, let’s explain the fundamental differences between Limit and No-Limit. In Limit Hold ’em, you can oNo-Limity raise the amount of the big blind and most cardrooms and oNo-Limitine poker rooms will cap the betting at 3 raises. The most important no limit texas hold’em strategy fundamentals – conclusion. Think about the strength of your hand as being relative. Think of where it stands compared to the range of hands your opponent can have. Look at the board, your own and your opponent’s position, your opponent’s betting pattern.
Pulling off fancy bluffs and check-raising the river with a small value bet may be enticing propositions. However, if you haven’t mastered the basics, then you’ll never have the ability to play like Phil Ivey and run these sorts of complex plays.
With this in mind, here are some good strategies online players with a burgeoning bankroll should commit to memory.
Cut Down the Amount of Hands You Play
One of the biggest mistakes novice players make when they first start playing Texas Hold’em is to get involved in too many hands.
Although the prospect of making a strong hand or bluffing our opponent is appealing, it’s can actually be a major drain on your bankroll if you get involved in a lot of pots.
One important fact to remember is that if you play a lot of hands you will make a pair less than two-thirds of the time and this often means you’ll have to fold a lot post-flop.
Secondly, if you do manage to make a hand it will be usually be weaker than average, which means you’ll lose pots (and therefore money) at showdown more often.
Be More Aggressive
Coupled with a habit of playing more hands than is profitable, newbies will often adopt a passive strategy when they enter a pot.
Instead of raising or re-raising they will usually limp or call and allow another player to take control of the hand. This is potentially fatal because it means the passive player is more likely to be bullied into submission and, therefore, lose the pot.
There’s an old adage in poker that you should try to remember if you want to avoid being passive and make more money: ‘If a hand is not worth raising, then it’s not worth playing.’
Be More Active
Although standard online Texas Hold’em strategy advocates that you take regular breaks, the reality is that most professional grinders never stray too far from their computers.
It may not be the right thing to do, but many online poker pros will put in 18-hour sessions without a second thought for their health, or, indeed, the health of their bankroll.
In the world of Texas Hold’em online, volume is king and if you aren’t prepared to sit for hours on end at a computer then being a professional isn’t for you.
Best No Limit Poker Strategy List
Always Try and Play in Position
No Limit Holdem Tournament Strategy
Position is king at the poker table and before you enter any pot you should consider where you are in relation to the button, the blinds and to any active players. Essentially this means you should play more hands the closer you are to the button because you’ll have the benefit of extra information. Sometimes playing out of position is unavoidable, but if you want to have the greatest advantage over your opponents it’s important to always play in position.
Get Ready With Your HUD
Hand reading is a basic tenet of good poker, but when you’re an online pro you can often get away with substandard powers of deduction by using your HUD. A Heads Up Display unit can uncover a multitude of tendencies on your opponent and help your decision making process immensely.
Since stumbling towards retirement nine years ago, Andrei Joseph has played low limit hold ’em in more than 100 poker rooms across 20 states. He would be $37,000 ahead — if there were no rake! Here’s the second of two articles from Joseph in which he continues to explore some of the attractions and challenges of what for many poker players is a favorite variant.
Here are some painful lessons from the bottom end of the poker food chain: low stakes, fixed-limit hold’em.
Last time I discussed some of the reasons I enjoy low limit hold’em (i.e, $4/$8 and below). This time, let’s talk a little strategy. If you follow the basic advice outlined below, you will distinguish yourself from the majority of your opponents and dramatically increase your chances of success.
First, and most importantly, listen to Archie Bell & the Drells: ‘Do the tighten up, come on and tighten up, you can do it now.’
Throw away , throw away , throw away . If you are dealt pocket jacks and there are two raises in front of you, fold. If you hit the low end of the flop and there is action, get out.
This advice is tough to follow. You want to play. I want to play. I want the action. You may have driven hours to get to the darn casino. Play! Play! The bozo across the table just won playing . It is my turn for a big blind special.
No! It is your turn to fold and be patient.
Learn to distinguish between bad play and bad luck. This requires both some knowledge of poker and sober self-assessment. Learn some odds — it will contribute to a positive outcome.
I have played enough poker to have been dealt pocket aces many times (220-to-1). Only once have I been dealt pocket aces at the same time as someone else.
Many low limit players will automatically call preflop with any two suited cards. What are your odds of making a flush by the river with that starting hand? The answer is around once every 15 hands. Compare those odds to your preflop call with and a flop containing two more hearts. Now what are your odds to make a flush on the turn or river? The answer is a little more than once every three times.
How much are you required to bet? How much will you win? Do you see why it is called ‘competitive algebra’?
Learning to play LHE well also sometimes appears to contain elements of psychotherapy. Look at your behavior, assess it accurately, and change the parts that are hurting you.
The default mechanism that is prevalent among many losing players includes a tendency towards superstition (‘oh, seat 8 is hot’), blindness (‘he hit runner-runner again’ while not recognizing the times that happened in your own favor), and nonsense (‘if you hadn’t gotten up to go to the bathroom, those would have been my cards’) — not science, statistics or rationality.
But you will spurn fake news and instead embrace rationality, empiricism, and a brutally honest assessment of the factors impacting your results.
Learn what the rake is and understand its importance. Few players actually calculate this. Some don’t even notice the money going down the rabbit hole. A typical low limit game will deal around 35 hands per hour. If you don’t believe this ask the dealers how many hands they get out in a 30-minute shift. Particularly if they keep their own tokes, they are trying to move the game along.
For simplicity’s sake, let’s assume a rake of up to $5 (and perhaps a dollar more for jackpots and/or promotions). Not every pot is raked to the maximum, but even if the average is a total of $4 per hand (for example), that means that $140 is coming off the table every hour. If the table is full with 10 players, then it is costing you at least $14/hour to play.
Add tokes when you win a pot, and you need to win at least $17/hour to break even. Difficult yes, but possible. Especially in Las Vegas late at night with less than sober tourists.
Which brings us to table selection. Some broad generalizations include that tight retirees dominate daytime versions of low limit. As evening approaches more liquor and younger players appear. If you are playing at a vacation destination, the play will be looser. Your opponents will include those who have already decided to lose hundreds of dollars as ‘the price of entertainment.’ Fine by me!
That’s when you will see and hear the most amazing stuff at the table. Someone calling your preflop raise with will crack your pocket aces. Resist the impulse to berate your opponent. Quietly tell yourself that you want players like this at the table. That money is coming back. You just hope it comes back to you!
If you are running bad, don’t imitate your opponents’ poor play. Patience. More patience. If you are playing blackjack, you must play the cards you are dealt. Here, unless you are in a blind, you can toss away poor cards — and at no cost. Take advantage of this. Patience.
Read a book. Almost no one else has. I recommend Winning Low Limit Hold’em by Lee Jones or Small Stakes Hold’em by Ed Miller, David Sklansky, and Mason Malmuth.
Thank you for your support of our annual Poker for Preemies Fundraiser. All proceeds from this event directly benefit the Family Support Network of Central Carolina, whose mission is to ‘provide support, education, and caring connections to those who have a child with special needs or have experienced a NICU stay’.For questions about FSNCC, or to connect, please email us. http://poker-for-preemies-greensboro-nc.peatix.com.
Read these and you will gain insight into the value of position and timely aggression. You will learn when to play big pairs and when to play suited connectors. You will learn when to let go of your hand, how to deal with maniacs, and why your opponents really will hit their lucky card on the river more than you will (because by only playing premium hands, you will win more often without having to hit that two-outer). The money invested on these books will be recovered in your next session.
Finally, keep an accurate tally of what has happened. Saying to your pals, ‘I win sometimes, I lose sometimes’ or ‘I had a good session’ or ‘wow, I really got beat last Friday’ can be a thin attempt to delude yourself. Especially given the impact of variance, having accurate, sober statistics over a period of time is the true measure of whether you are making progress.
(Thanks to my pal Ashley for being my mentor and for driving.)
Finding a trustworthy room to play online poker can be a monumental burden. That’s all the more true if you’re just looking for a place to play poker for free. We’ve listed five of the best play-money poker sites to enjoy and help hone your skills.
cash game strategylimit hold’emlive pokerbankroll managementpot oddsstarting hand selectiondrawing hands