Before you start reading in-depth poker strategy articles, you should know the basics of the game. As the saying goes, learning to play Hold’em takes only a few minutes, but mastering it takes a lifetime. So, let’s start with the things that are easy to understand, to make sure you learn the basics of poker.
Poker is played with a 52-card deck, where the ace is the highest card. In the game of Texas Hold’em, players try to form the best possible five-card hand. Which is by using a combination of their two pocket cards which are not seen by the other players. And the community cards which are dealt face-up on the table. Make sure you know the poker card rankings so you can determine if you have the best hand.
The rules of the poker game are quite simple: you deal the cards and then come the betting round. Players who decide to fold are out of the action until the next hand. Those players who bet and call their opponents remain in the competition to win the pot. Pots are the chips in the middle of the table. Players who make it through all the betting rounds make it to the showdown. This is where the best possible hand wins. Make sure you know the rules of poker.
Texas Hold’em poker is a very mathematical game. It is not a game where you count cards, but one where you consider the odds. What is the probability that an opponent will beat you? How many outs are there to ensure that you win the hand?
There are several two-card start combinations that can be dealt in the game of Texas Hold’em Poker. So, if you are dealt a pair of queens and your opponent raises, what are the odds that he has a better hand than you? There are strategy articles to teach you about probability calculation. Starting with the mathematical considerations of starting hands. Continuing with the statistical probability of getting certain poker hands on the flop. What is your probability of success at having 10 outs and how does that percentage change if you only have 5 outs? It’s all a matter of mathematical arithmetic.
Tight game style
Play only in the few hands where you get very good cards. Much better if you have high pairs or a high flush. Not only should you enter the game with only strong cards, but you should also bet aggressively.
This is the most recommended Texas Holdem strategy for beginners. As it gives them more room for movement when they have not yet mastered the psychology of the game and the bluffs. The reason why you should bet high upfront before the cards are placed on the table is to discourage the number of opponents willing to bet. You are telling them “I have a good hand, only bet if you have good cards!
That way you know that the few who enter the game also have good hands. Once on the flop, you can assess whether it favors you or your opponent. And you can either fold or raise, even betting all on a good combination.
Aggressive style of play
It’s one of the most effective styles if you hold your ground. Most poker beginners are usually very conservative. If you find yourself at a very conservative table, being aggressive pays off. It involves being the main player at the poker table always forcing other players to double their initial bets. And if they match you, you will continue to raise the stakes. Never even, if a player raises the initial bet before you do then he raises the bet even more.
The usual behavior will be that the initial players who bet conservatively will pull out and you will only be left with a few big fish. Whether you play a good hand or resort to a good bluff will depend on your experience. The aggressive style in texas hold’em is for experienced players only.
Here is an example of the aggressive style:
You have A, K and the flop is K, 9 and 2.
You have the tall straw in this hand and a flush seems unlikely, only a lucky flush can beat you.
Your best bet is to up the ante. If your opponents fold you will have won a good pot for the initial raises. If they match it, you are still the favorite, and if they double you go All-In and for a very good pot.
Many beginners choose to pass in this situation because they want their opponents to stay in the game and take the initiative to raise. Or they want to make them think you don’t have a good hand. This is called Slow Play, and it is a tactic that should only be applied in some circumstances. You should always raise and avoid having to show your cards at the end.
Cash Game Strategy
Cash games are the most common online poker table games, not tournaments. They are always open and you can sit at the table if there is a chair available. The games with only two players are very aggressive and the psychology of the player plays a very high role. He plays to learn, but not with the aim of betting hard if you are a beginner. Ten-player tables are slow because good hands are difficult to draw. And it is easy to tell who has them, so few match the bet. The following tips are usually very effective for beginners.
Tips for playing Cash Game
Sit at tables of 5 to 7 players at most. With 5 as an ideal number. The number of players is usually 2 to 10. Tables with 5 players are balanced. Here you can more easily dominate your opponents and take control of the game if you are superior.
Your style should be more inclined towards Tight-Aggressive. You only play hands where you have good cards but with strong raises.
When you take the lead in chips don’t change your strategy, stay tight-aggressive all the time. Only in tournaments should you change your strategy, not in cash-game. The reason is that opponents tend to come and go, there will always be new ones who are not used to your style of play.
A full aggressive style is not recommended, do not try to be in all hands. There is no reason to be increasing your jackpot so fast, cash tables do not expire. So you would be decreasing your chances of success in favor of making money faster. Tight-Aggressive allows you to manage the best odds. And also drop opponents with good hands by scaring them with your strong raises.
Slow-Play poker strategy
Not to be confused with a slow-burn play stance. Slow-Play is a strategy that we all think about applying, but it is difficult to apply well. When you have very good cards, like AA, and you know that your chances of winning are 80%, you want some players to bet, and a lot.
So you pretend not to have a good hand and bet the minimum. You’re hoping that another player will take the initiative thinking you have a low hand. If you get a raise, you delay the match to make it look like you’re not sure you can win. So the opponent keeps raising the bet until the end. Only at the end do you decide to make a big raise or bet it all. This will confuse your opponent who will be wondering what the hell happened.
The truth is that this strategy should never be applied with strong pairs like AA, KK, KQ, and more. When you get this kind of hands before the flop, what you should do is play it strong. If you bet the minimum, you will be giving the possibility that opponents with weak hands enter the play. And then, catch a flush and damage your hand.
Slow-Play for beginners applies when you have a low hand, but were able to enter the flop. You then caught a very good hand like a straight. You pass, pretending that you have nothing important. Then wait for another player to take the lead in betting. From this stage, you have 90% of the game insured.
So get into low-betting hands always to see if you have a chance to apply a Slow-Play.
Stealing the blinds at Texas Holdem
When you are in the big blind (button) you bet the last one, which allows you to see how others bet. If only one player enters a hand, and it’s only you and the Small Blind who matched, you can double the bet. Do it with aggression by betting much more. Usually, the Small Blind will fold. Your initial small bet is an indicator that you do not have good cards and are fishing.
This is a basic online poker strategy, and players usually raise on the Big Blind even if they have a small hand. If they only raise a smaller bet, it is an indicator that they do not have good cards. If you are on the Small Blind and see this behavior, you can be aggressive and double down on the Big Blind. They usually fold when they realize they have been bluffed.
But be careful, you’re betting a lot to win not so much. Get this hand-matched and you with a bluff can take you out of the game.
Tilt poker strategy
Tilt occurs when a player loses his temper and starts playing in an erratic way, meaningless way. It usually happens in players who start losing several hands. Or whenever they lost a big pot they thought was safe.
Identifying a tilting player is easy. To do so, observe how they take part in all the hands and raise the bets without analyzing how the others bet. This is a great opportunity to bleed them dry and take all their chips.
Wait for the right moment to enter the bet, the best thing to do is to follow the raises without taking them out of the game. They usually play without any cards, but this doesn’t mean they can get a game with the flop. If you have good hands and you catch a pair, be patient, and follow the game to the River. At the last moment, bet everything and you will most likely fall into the trap.
How do you play low stakes Texas Holdem poker?
A low hand is always a difficult hand to play in Texas Holdem. Keep in mind that all players entering the game will have two cards. Some higher than yours, they will need to secure a pair to beat you.
When you bet with a low card pair you are only looking to get a threesome. And you’ll have to go to the flop. If you get out, you can apply a Slow-Play by pretending to have a high card. But if you don’t get the pair, let someone else control the betting rhythm.
The hard part is knowing whether to go in before the flop. Doing it with a small bet gives the other players with low cards a chance to catch something. Doing it with a big bet is more professional but risky, as everything is defined by the flop.
When to apply this poker strategy? It is best recommended at an advanced tournament stage. You can also apply it when you have enough chips to practice. You should control your bets by raising money before the flop. If you don’t get a trio, you have to make the decision whether to keep a bluff by raising your bet. You only do this if your opponent shows signs of not having a high pair on the flop.
Good luck at the tables!