Texas Holdem Tips

The keys to winning in Texas Holdem poker are position, patience and power. The absolute most important decision you'll make while playing Texas Holdem will be whether to play your initial hand. The biggest mistake most players make is playing too many hands. Be aware of your position in relation to the dealer, as it is important. You need a stronger hand to act from an early position because you have more players acting after you who may raise or re-raise the pot. One of the most crucial things in Texas Holdem is to remain Patient and wait for Powerful starting hands to play from the correct Position.

The player to the left of the big blind acts first before the flop. He, along with the other two players to his left, are in early position. The next three players are middle position and the ones after that are in late position.

In Middle position - Call with, 9-9, 8-8, A-Js, A-Ts, Q-Js, A-Q, K-Q

In Late position - Call with A-Xs, K-Ts, Q-Ts, J-Ts, A-J, A-10 and small pairs. (Note: X denotes any card) It takes will take a stronger hand to call a raise than it does to make with one. If there is a raise before it is your turn to act you should fold. There's no need to put in two bets with marginal hands!

Note: A lot of players will play any two suited cards from any position and they will play an Ace with any small kicker. These hands are losers and should be treated as such in the long run and you should avoid getting into the habit of playing them. These are traps and will end up costing you money.

The Blinds - When you post your blind the money is no longer yours and now belongs to the pot. A lot of players believe they must defend their blinds by calling all raises even with marginal hands. In situations like this, there's no need to waste additional money on marginal hands. Also remember not to automatically call with the small blind if you have nothing to start with. Saving a half bet will pay for your next small blind.

The Flop - Your decision to continue playing after seeing the flop will be the second biggest decision you'll make while playing in a Texas Holdem game. Ultimately, it can also be one of the most costly decisions if you decide to continue playing after the flop with nothing. It's commonly said that the flop defines your hand. The reason being, after the flop your hand will be 71% complete. Where does that figure come from you ask? Well assuming you play your hand out to the end, it will consist of seven cards. After the flop you have seen five cards or 5/7 of the final hand, which is equal to 71%. With this much of your hand completed you should have enough information to determine whether to continue. A poker author by the name of Shane Smith came up with the phrase “Fit or Fold”. If the flop does not fit your hand by giving you top pair or better or a straight or flush draw, then you should fold if there is a bet in front of you. If you played a small pair from late position and you do not flop a third one to make a set you should throw the pair away if there is a bet.

The Turn - If you feel as though you have the best hand after seeing the Turn card and you're the first to act, then go ahead and make a bet. A lot of players will try and to get fancy and check- raise in this position. If the other players at the table also decide to check, you have lost a bet or two. In low limit games the straightforward approach is usually the best as there are plenty of players who will call you. Make them pay. Why give them a free card if you don’t have to? If another player raises on the turn and you hold only one pair, you are more than likely beaten and should fold. If you get to the Turn and you hold only two unsuited over cards (two cards higher than any cards on the board) with no flush or straight draws, then you should fold if there is a bet in front of you. Too much money is lost by players who hope to catch a miracle card on the river. The best hand you can make with two unsuited over cards is a pair which will probably lose anyway's.

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