Texas hold’em is probably the most popular poker variant in the world, and for the right reasons. For starters, it is the most straightforward poker variant you can play, as it does not require you to memorize as much as the other variants. On top of that, it is more skill-based, so there is no need for you to rely solely on your luck as you would when playing slot machines.
Poker strategies can be divided into two categories – the ones that every beginner should know, and the more advanced ones that you should try to learn when you get more experience playing the game. The article below focuses on the former group of players and lists some of the essential strategies you can try when playing limit or no limit hold’em.
It is important to keep in mind that when it comes to card games, it is usually best to take small steps and avoid trying to gather all possible information at once. So, try to give yourself time to learn and make mistakes instead of trying to use every strategy listed here at once.
Think About Ranges
In poker, it is important to think about the range of hands your opponents may have when it is your turn to act. This way, you will be able to place their actions into context and determine whether or not they are strong enough to continue playing. It is likely that your opponents might be bluffing much more than you think.
Do not get frustrated if, at first, your estimations are not quite right. The more you play Texas hold’em, the better you will become at guessing the ranges of your opponent’s cards. With time and experience, you will start doing it subconsciously.
Always Have a Reason Behind Your Decisions
This is a common rule among most card games. The decisions that players make should be based on the information they have on their opponents’ hands. So, if you are deciding to take any action while playing Texas hold’em, you better have a reason to do it. Random decisions made under pressure are a sign of bad play, and your opponents will be quick to notice when you start struggling.
For instance, when you decide to fold your cards, you should know why exactly you are doing it. Maybe you know that your hand is too weak to beat other players or there are too many opponents who still have too many cards left in their hands. You should never fold at random without being fully aware of your situation, as folding without a particular reason can make you lose money.
Start Bluffing More
Bluffing in poker is the art of making your opponent lay down a better hand than what you hold. An unwritten rule says that you should bluff until the money you lose from getting caught gets close to the money that you would lose if you were not bluffing.
When playing Texas hold’em, you might notice that some players bluff more than others. Bluffing in this game is perfectly allowed, and, truly, you should take advantage of this possibility. One of the main advantages of bluffing is that it will help you learn how opponents react to your actions. Observe their reactions, but try to not let them see that you are watching their moves and reactions closely. If you want to, you can also try different variations of bluffs and experiment with them until you find the ones that work best for you.
Avoid Calling All the Time
If you are new to Texas Hold’em, then it is safe to assume that you call a lot more than you raise. Unfortunately, your opponents can easily exploit your strategy by using it against you. You should avoid calling too much in the early stages of the game and start raising instead, as this will make it harder for your opponents to guess your hand. If you have the best hand, you should definitely try to raise your value. If you do not have a good hand, it might be better to fold unless you can tell that the odds are in your favour.
Know Your Position
On the button is arguably the best position in Texas Hold’em. When a player is on the button, they are the last person to act in three out of the four betting rounds. If you are this player, you end up knowing how many other players are still going strong and can use this information to make a better decision on how much you should bet or if you should even bet at all.
A small bind is likely to be the worst position. After the three other betting rounds – flop, the turn, and the river – you have no other choice but to act first. Of course, there are instances where even this position can be used to your advantage if you decide to play aggressively, but it is still simply better to be last, especially if you are a beginner.
These are just a few essential Texas Hold’em strategies that you should learn when trying to get better at playing this game. Keep in mind that in Hold’em, it is always good to know your position, bluff and avoid excessive calling.
It is also in a good sense to think twice before making any decisions and always have a reason behind them. Keep on practising and adapting your style of play to these strategies, and you should be able to become a better poker player in no time!