Texas Hold 'em strategy can take many forms depending on a number of factors. Size of the table, skill level of players, position of risk and style of opponents all can and do factor into how one approaches the game. If you are a new Texas Hold 'em player, it is vital that you gain a good foundation in regards to identifying possible winning hands, losing hands and the ability to recognize a hand that might be great for a bluff. The following Texas Hold 'em strategy points highlight some of the basic and fundamental aspects to succeeding at this game as a beginner.
- Betting. The hardest and most variable factor pertaining to Texas Hold 'em strategy is the betting rounds. Betting takes the form of Pre-Flop, the Turn, and the River. However, the most important aspect of this is the Pre-Flop. At this point you will have two cards, and you have to decide, depending on your betting position, whether you want to "Check," "Bet," or "Raise," "Call," or "Fold." By checking, you are neither betting nor raising, essentially, staying neutral in terms of your position on the betting round. Your cards you get in the hole, which are the first two cards, determine whether you should bet or raise, if checking is not an option. A good and solid strategy is to fold if you do not hold suited cards in the hole that are under a 10. However, many other factors can influence this decision.
- Bluffing. When you first start utilizing Texas Hold 'em strategy, bluffing should be kept at a minimum, but integrated gradually into your arsenal. The key to bluffing is to convince your opponents that you actually have a winning hand, whether you do or not. At first, the temptation is to do cold bluff. A cold bluff is betting or raising when you don't have anything good to bet. A decent player will either right away or eventually see through a cold bluff. Great Texas Hold 'em strategy has shown time and again that easing a bluff into a round, when you have a decent to winning hand, will win more hands and bluff players more consistently than just bluffing at the outset with no idea or plan in mind.
- Betting position at the table. When you are betting, is just as important at how you bet. For example, if you have already bet two chips (double blind spot) you have already bet the minimum. So in the absence of any raises, you can check at your discretion when it is your turn to bet. Do you raise? Or do you check? You have a free bet at this point, so folding is not an option, unless someone has already raised. If you have a pair of Aces for instance, or even a pair of two's it might be advantageous to bet at this point. Do not bet too much or the other players might fold right away, essentially only winning your own blind back and some change. The key, again, is to draw them in like a fisherman baits a fish. Cast out your lure with a moderate four dollar bet. It gets them thinking.
- Know your bankroll. You watch the chips dwindle. You see them build up, and then shrink again. This fluctuation is normal, especially at the beginning of poker player's career. But you should change your betting strategy in relation to you chip count. With a small bankroll, you can end up playing too conservative and eventually get sucked dry. If you have a very small chip count, but have a pair of Aces, and know you most likely have your opponent beat, a good strategy is to go all in, forcing your opponent to put up or shut up. This can be a good way to build back your chip count, providing you win the hand. Once you get back to a competitive and advantageous chip count, you can go about capturing the chips of your competitors.
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