Texas Hold’em Strategy

Despite the fact that most people consider poker to be a game of luck, there is a lot of skill that is required to play the game. This is why so many people flock to tournaments like the World Series of Poker (WSOP). They wish to test their skills against the best players in the world.

Below you will find a basic strategy for the game of Texas Hold’em poker, this will give you a good idea of how to start playing and winning more hands as you go along.

The Basics

To start off you will need to understand how the game is played. Texas Hold’em is a stud version of poker where you are dealt only two cards face down and then a series of community cards are placed on the table. You must make the best five card hand out of these seven cards.

The most important cards are those that you are holding in your hand, they are known as the hole cards. You will be betting that you are holding better cards then the other players and making them either bet against you or drop out by folding the hand altogether.

In Texas Hold’em you will have no wild cards to work with nor will you have a chance to draw. Making the best of the hand that you have is necessary and proper betting is the only way that you are going to get to the end of the hand.

Hole Card Betting

The first round of betting will be on the hole cards. That is where the players around the table are going to set the tone for the hand. You will need to bet according to the power of the hand that you have. Knowing what you have is extremely important when you are betting the hole cards.

One of the most powerful hands that you can have is a pair. The higher the pair the better off that you are going to be. So any pair that you receive in the deal is a good betting hand and you should bet accordingly. However, you should not over bet because there is a good chance that someone else is holding a stronger pair.

Matched suits are also strong betting cards. You have the opportunity to make a flush or even a straight flush when you are betting these cards. The chances are far lower than if you are betting on a pair but they are still strong enough for you to make the right moves early on.

Unmatched pairs and low cards are poor betting hands. You should avoid using hands like ten and two, which is a Texas Dolly hand, or betting other mismatched pairs. Only the pros bet in this manner when they are sure of what the other players at the table are holding.

Early Table Betting

An important step in the Texas Hold’em strategy is betting the early table. When you are betting the early table you are essentially betting on the community cards that are going to fall. Most often you will do this after the first round of cards that have been played.

Once you have seen the flop, which is the first three cards of the community cards, then you can get a better idea of how the hand is going to run and you can bet accordingly. It is in your best interest to stay with the standard betting practices that have fallen during the table play. If you are too quick to jump in then the other players might realise that you are betting on nothing or something small and you will be called.

Bluffing is very common in the early table play. You should be careful when you are bluffing because it is very easy for another player to call and find you holding nothing in the your hand.

Slow Playing

Slow playing is a very popular strategy in Texas Hold’em. You will be playing the table but you will take an extended amount of time to make a decision on each of the bets that you are making. More often than not this happens when you are betting on a good hand and you want people to believe that you are trying to bluff.

The process for slow playing is very simple. You have a strong hand and you are wanting to bet it heavily. When the bet comes to you there is a simple move that you will make. Do not bet right away but simply give it time for the other players to start to wonder what you are doing.

The more that you slow play the hand the more that you are going to make the other players question the hand that you are playing and question their own hands as well. This is something that will net you a lot more chips when the end of the hand comes around.

Check Raise

The check raise is one of the most popular of all the Texas Hold’em strategies that are played in the world to this day. Using this simple system you are more likely going to draw in more players that have poor hands and build the size of the pot then you are playing with any other system currently in use.

The first order of business is to make sure that you are playing the hand soft all the way through. For this to work you should have a very strong hand, three of a kind or better. When the first round of betting gets to you there is only one thing that you have to do: check. The check bet is something that many players tend to do when the hand they have is not strong.

With this you have set the stage for the right betting from the other players. Now you will simply wait for someone else to bet. When another player has bet you will wait for it to come to you and then you will raise the bet.

Be careful to not raise the bet too much, as you do not want the other players to drop out. The idea of the Check Raise system is to keep as many of the players in the hand and betting as you possibly can.

When the next round of cards is dealt then you will do the same thing. You will need to be as sly as possible with this because an experienced poker player can easily spot the Check Raise process and will drop out with a low power hand.

Re-Raise

Finally we come to the simplest strategy of Texas Hold’em. The Re-Raise process is one that is powerful when played correctly. All you have to remember is that you are attempting to get someone out of the game without having to show the hand that you have.

When you use this system you should work from the river or last card in the community. If you note that you have a weak hand then you can force the other players out by raising and then continuing to re-raise the bet to a very high amount. If you do not play this system properly then you are most likely going to lose a lot more chips in the process but it is very effective in most cases.

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