Kick up your Texas Hold’em game with five easy tips
Texas Hold’em poker favors those that play well, although it’s sometimes possible to pull off a major upset, as well. In general, good players will trump bad players almost all the time and there are a few things you can do to increase your odds of winning.
The position is always an important element in Texas Hold’em. The best position to have is “the button,” the last person to act in virtually all betting rounds – after the flop, after the turn and after the river.
When the action comes to you, you will know exactly what your opponents are thinking and attempting with their bets, giving you better chances at deciding how to react.
On the other hand, the worst position to be in is the small blind. The small blind has to act first after the flop, the turn and river are dealt. On rare occasions, it’s possible to use the small blind to your advantage by playing aggressively, but remember the rule about good players trumping bad players.
Keep in mind the number of players at the table and in the hand. A particular hand may not work with seven players in the hand, but could be much stronger when only two or three players remain. Almost invariably, play becomes more aggressive when there are less players at the table.
Pay attention to the other players. Keep track of their chip counts – just a rough estimate, how they’re betting and how they’re reacting. Make mental notes of trends for each player and try to figure out who are the bluffers and who are the tight players. If a tight player – someone who almost exclusively bets low – suddenly bets big, watch out.
Poker players don’t like to lose – some hate it more than others. If a player loses a key hand and then comes in swinging with a big bet, it’s possible that they’re on tilt and venting their frustrations. It could be a good time to attack and drop them even more.
A good rule of thumb is that there’s no free flop. If you have a good enough hand to warrant dealing the flop, make sure to at least raise the minimum. This way, you will weed out the weak players and cause the other players to think twice before calling or raising. If they raise, however, remember what you’ve read so far.
Never be afraid to exit a hand. If the flop doesn’t look strong, back out. If you flop a pair, but there is the possibility of two overpairs, your hand isn’t as strong as you think and you have to be ready to react accordingly. This is where position can be extremely important. Don’t let your stubbornness get the best of you, or you will definitely be sent home. There’s only one goal in Texas Hold’em – to win the game, not the hand.