Tips for Texas Hold'em (pokerdominator)

Adjust to your opponents

You have to change your strategy depending on the playing style of your opponents. When you're up against loose opponents you should lower your starting hand standards and play more hands. Don't try to bluff loose players (if it's not a very good opportunity), instead you have to play better flops against them. You have to be more cautious when you're playing against tight players - you should always respect tight player's big bets and raises. However, tight players are normally easier to bluff than loose ones (they call a lot).

Passive players are easy to read and generally pretty easy to play against. When they make bets or raise they have strong hands and you can safely fold (if you don't think you have an even stronger hand of course). Aggressive opponents are more difficult to play against. If you don't stand up to them they will take control of the game and bully you around. You should raise or re-raise against these players even though your hand isn't very good. This is the best way to take back the initiative. When you have a really strong hand you should try to trap your aggressive rival, in order to get a huge pay off.

Don't play too many hands

Strict starting hand standards are vital in Texas Hold'em. If you're careless and play too many hands you will surely lose money over time. With that kind of approach you will find yourself in tricky spots over and over again. A lot of hands look tempting to play, but might actually get you into big problems. However, if you get a really good hand, the best advice is to raise. In this way you get control of the hand. If the other players don't hit the flop they will probably respect your raise and fold if you make a bet.

Some quick Texas Hold'em tips:
  • Suited connectors do best in multi-way pots. You want to win as much as possible when these hands hit.
  • Always make sure you have the best kicker. Playing hands down with a weak kicker is a common and often very costly mistake to make.
  • When another player raises you have to have a really strong hand to call (or re-raise). A lot of inexperienced poker players play their hands too far and lose a lot of money because of this.

Pre-flop - be unpredictable

You have to have the discipline to fold if you think another player has you beat. If you lack this discipline, you will find it very hard to be a winner over time. If the flop is bad for you, the best idea is normally to fold (unless it's a good bluffing opportunity). If you flop a really great hand (or a draw to one) you should try to maximize your winnings. The best way to do this is being unpredictable:
Make Semi-bluffs - you make a bet or raise when you're on a draw (to a flush or a straight, preferably the nuts). You might win the hand right away (if the other players fold their hands), but if you don't you will still have a chance of hitting a winning hand.
Slow play - you cover the strength of your hand by just checking or calling. You're aiming to lure your rivals into betting big in the upcoming rounds. However, this is a risky strategy that has to be used with great care. You should only slow play when you're absolutely certain that you have the best hand. It's very costly to slow play and lose.
Make check-raises - you check, hoping that one of your rivals will bet, and then you re-raise. When you check-raise you have to be sure that you have the best hand. If you're beat your opponent will make you pay dearly.

Remember that you can't use these deceptive plays all the time. The best idea is often to play the hand straight forward.

Bluff in the right spots

Bluffing is a vital part of poker, but your bluffs have to be well timed:
  • Don't bluff when it's a big pot. Players won't fold as easily in these cases.
  • Don't bluff when the community cards are likely to have helped the other players.
  • Don't bluff when there are more than three players in the hand.
  • Tight players are easier to bluff than loose opponents.
  • You will have more opportunities to bluff when you're sitting in late position.

Use your position at the table

Late positions are preferable since you in these situations have lots of information about the other player's hands. You will be able to adjust your game to their actions before it's your turn. When you're in early position you have little information about your rivals' cards. No checks, calls or raises that will help you estimate the value of your hand have been made.

Accordingly, you should play more hands from late positions than you would from early positions. Late positions also give you more opportunities to bluffs, and steal pots. This is extra valuable when you're up against tight opponents.

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