Texas Hold ‘Em Strategy
In the grand game of poker, it’s all about getting the best hand combinations. Being dealt with two cards, you need to make a 5-card combo that will slam all the other players down to the ground. But it’s also about making the best bluff. Bluff meaning what? It means you have to make the other players you have the better hand even though in reality, your hand would make even the most elite players laugh on the floor. That’s how poker works: anything can happen in this wild card game.
Texas Hold ‘Em
When it comes to playing poker, specifically the Texas Hold ‘Em, you need to have a strategy. You cannot barge in and think you’re ready to take on the players. You have to make a strategy that will have you last in the game longer than everybody else. Do you want to win all the pot? Do you want to become the last player standing? You’d better have a strategy up and ready so you can win. It’s not as simple as getting the best hand or getting the best bluff. You need to be strategic about what you do as you play poker.
So what are the strategies when playing a good game of Texas Hold ‘Em? What should you do when the going gets tough? Here are some of the strategies you can apply to keep yourself in the game long enough to see yourself grinning with pride when you win all that sweet, sweet pot of chips:
Take advantage of player position. Whether you’re the blind, button or early, you need to take the advantage of every player position in the game. Why? Because sometimes, the worst position has a big chance of winning it all. But in general, early positions aren’t as advantageous as the button, who is the last player to bet. The button has the most information because he or she gets to see the players bet and see if some of them have the better hand or some of them have the worst hand. But sometimes, early positions do have their ups and downs. You just need to make sure if it’s advantageous. If it’s not, you’d better fold. But if it is, you can take the risk. It’s all up to you when you’re in the early. As for big blinds and small blinds, you’ve already made the initial bet so you have the option to fold, call or raise.
Check out those tells. Do you ever notice when you play in poker that some players make these gestures that show their true emotions? Those are what you call tells. These are repetitive gestures which players do involuntarily. It means they’re gestures that even the players don’t notice. Some tells could be scratching the head or making eyebrow raises or shoulder shrugs. Whatever they are, you can use these to your advantage. How? Pay attention to how the tells go. If a player does their tell and fold, it means they got the worst hand. If they do their tell and raise, they got the best hand (or they’re just bluffing). The same thing is being done to you too. In fact, you have a tell of your own. That’s why the best strategy against being observed is to show your “poker face”. You can’t let them know your true self. Better pump up some Lady Gaga while you’re at it.
Take out the other players one by one. Most players think they should win the big pot like it’s the prize of their life. But actually, it’s better to win small many times. Why? Because eventually, the players will waste up all their chips to the pot. Anyway… as you play the game, keep track of the players and see their habits and tells. Also, be reserved in your bets. You have to last long enough to get into the later rounds. You need to make sure all the other players get eliminated so you only have two or three players left to play against. Having so many players in the game will only widen the gap of winning. By having just a few players in the game, you may have better chance of winning the pot. And once you have only one player to play against, the chance to win will become a reality. It’s also a good advice to vary your style. You have to keep your fellow players guessing because once they get deluded into thinking you’re the same old player when you entered into the game, they’ve entered your trap. It’s a game of deception so you’d better make sure to take it to your advantage. They’re Mr. Nice Guy in this game.
Calculate the odds. Just like when you play blackjack, you can also calculate the odds of winning the better hand. You can do a little card counting so you know what hand you may get in the next turn. You can also calculate the odds based on the pot being offered. Is it worth it if you make a loss? You have to make sure it’s worth it because losing a lot of chips will just have you frowning all night long. Keep yourself in the game long enough to see yourself win the game.
Know the time to raise. Raise is when you make a bigger bet than the big blind. But when do you actually raise? You can raise if you have the best hand in the game. This means that the players will be scared of you because you already made it clear you have the upper hand. If you have a decent hand, it’s either you call or raise. It’s a calculated risk so make sure you know what you’re doing when you do this. You can also raise to see if the players around you have better hands. This will force them to show a bit of their colors to you. Just make sure that when you raise, you’ve calculated the risk. You cannot just raise like a lunatic here; sometimes, the best poker players can see right through a raise that’s not done with strategy.
Know the time to call. Call is not to call your loved one but it’s a move in poker where you bet the initial bet. It’s to match with the big blind. This move is mostly done a lot to keep the losses minimal. You’ll often do the call when you don’t have much of a good hand or when you do have a good hand but you want to keep yourself reserved until you get into the later round. Call is also a good action to take when you take a good risky move like bluffing or raising.
Know when to bluff. Bluff is when you make other players other think you have the better hand even though in reality, you don’t. This is where you can use the raise. Bluffing can get you out of any sticky situation when used strategically. But don’t bluff all the time because you’ll be exposed. So use it only when you know you can do it.
Put on your poker face. When it comes down to it, you have to put on your poker face. Related to check out those tells, you have to practice keeping yourself calm and collected as you play. Showing your colors early in the game will be taken advantage of and the players around you will gang up on you and take you out right away. When you enter the game, make sure you are reserved. All games are different so you can never tell who is who and what is what. That’s why it’s best to practice on putting on your poker face. Doing so will keep your fellow competitors from guessing your true colors. You’ll need to delude into thinking they’ve got you but actually, they’re just running around in cirlces. Do that and you’ve got them right in your hands. They’ll be sorry for trying to expose you in the game.
Make your bankroll solid. Another important strategy is to build your bankroll. You might think it’s silly but it’s very important. If you really want to keep yourself in the game, you have to build up your bankroll. Not only will you have enough to bet, you can also take risks if you need to. You can make a raise, call or go all in if you need to.
Go all in, if you got the nuts. Going all in is the move in poker which nets you the biggest win and the biggest loss. This move should only be done if you have the best hand in the game. This move, like the raise and bluff, will scare every player in the table because you’re telling them, “I got the best hand!” But you’d better make sure it is the best hand. You may regret it later on if the other player who answers your go all in move has the better hand.
Strategy is an important part in poker, especially in Texas Hold ‘Em so when you play the game, follow these strategies. It may take a while before you see any improvement in the game but once you start seeing your bankroll go up and seeing your fellow players fold, you know you’ve hit the spot. Anything can happen in a game of poker so make sure you to adjust and to be consistent. You’ll need it.