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Tips for Playing Texas Holdem

Texas Holdem is one of the most popular versions of poker playable online and in casinos, bars and home poker nights across Europe and the US.  Like other versions of the game, it’s important to understand the strategy, and to approach the table with a decisive game plan if you don’t want to lose all your money.  While it’s easy to get started with Texas Holdem, it’s difficult to play well, and to get to a stage where you’re actively stacking the odds in your favour.  However, if you can reach that Holy Grail of understanding exactly what you should be doing with every hand to maximize your return, you’ll notice more consistent winnings, and a greater control over the outcome of each hand you play.

Much of the theory underpinning Texas Holdem strategy comes down to your proximity to the dealer at a given point.  Play starts with the player situation on the left hand side of the big blind for a given hand, so it’s important to be constantly aware of the motion of the game and where you fall within it to ensure you’re implementing an effective and likely successful strategy.

There are three stages to a hand that should be considered – prior to the flop, the flop and finally the turn.  While volumes have been written on strategy and technique at each stage, we’ve condensed certain key features to provide a bird’s eye view of a basic but solid betting strategy for the pre-flop stage of a hand.

Pending your position relative to the dealer and the quality of your hand, you may raise, call or fold.

Close

If you’re dealt a pair of Aces, a pair of Kings, or an Ace and King of the same suit, raise at this stage.

If you’re dealt an Ace and a King, an Ace and a Queen of the same suit, a King and Queen of the same suit, a pair of Queens, a pair of Jacks or a pair of tens, call at this stage.

If you’re dealt anything else, fold.

Middle

If you’re dealt a pair of nines, an Ace and Jack of the same suit, an Ace and Ten of the same suit, a Queen and Jack of the same suit, an Ace and a Queen or a King and a Queen, call at this stage.

If you’re dealt anything else, fold.

Far

If you’re dealt a King and Ten of the same suit, a Queen and Ten of the same suit, a Jack and Ten of the same suit, an Ace and a Jack or an Ace and a Ten, call at this stage.

If you’re dealt anything else, fold.
Playing Texas Holdem, much like any game played for money, requires much more than a basic understanding of the rules.  If you take the time and invest the energy into learning foundational strategies, you’ll quickly be in a position to beat most recreational players and to understand better how the odds of the game work for or against you, pending the hand you’re dealt.  By devising and practicing a strategy of your own, you should be able to improve the chances of winning any given hand, and more readily identify when to cut your losses to minimize wasted chips.

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This entry was posted on Tuesday, November 24th, 2009 at 4:01 pm and is filed under Articles. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. Responses are currently closed, but you can trackback from your own site.

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