Texas Holdem Strategy

05/19/2015
By Pamela PattersonGoogle
Has time and time again shown how aggression even with any two cards can force your opponent off a top hand.  These guys are millionaire pros and you probably can't do what they do, but it stands to reason that anyone playing poker for profit should learn Texas Hold’em strategy.

There are so many different facets to the game where Texas Hold’em strategy is akin to games such as black gammon or chess that will have players in a battle of wits from second guessing opponents' to reading players strategy.

Slow Playing
 
Slow playing is a dangerous game and very popular with beginners. It is basically when a player has hit a good hand on the flop or has been dealt cards such as AA or KK pre-flop. The biggest problem with this play is failing to play the hand correctly. Let’s say for example you are dealt AA and you just call the blind bet to enter the pot, you are basically opening up the hand for players with lower cards to join in on the action. The more players in the hand the worse your odds of winning become.
 

 
Having had an easy call to see the flop players with low pairs could make a set, which ruins your Aces. The other player with suited connecters 67 of diamonds also liked his cards chances considering the easy call to join the action and favourable odds. Now you would be at risk from a set at 12% odds, flush draw at 11%, or a straight draw.
 
If the player with 67 has diamonds and 2 diamonds come out on the flop, he may not feel like folding away a flush draw opportunity. At this point if you check to slow play the Aces again and another diamond appears on the turn, then the pot is just about to get expensive for you. You are now faced with a tough fold decision plus you are losing the hand to a player you should have bet out of the pot pre-flop.

Improve your odds by narrowing the field

It is nearly always advisable to raise before you go into any pot to make players fold mediocre cards. The fewer players competing in the pot the more the odds of winning the hand change in your favour. Raising also gives you the advantage as anyone calling or re-raising your bet is telling you "Hey I have a good hand too".
 
Effectively raising is all about getting information about the cards your opponent might have and displaying the strength of your hand.

Killing the pot mid hand
 
Another important part of poker is killing the pot when you have hit a hand or at least you are making your opponent pay against the odds to see the next card. Imagine the Aces situation above and then you landed trips on the flop, but your opponent still has the suited connecters and is on a flush draw. Despite the fact you could land quads or a full house, you should be able to recognise the flush draw potential and bet high to either make the opponent pay to see the next card or to kill the pot and take the money.

All these strategy plays are just some of the ways to kill the pot or make players fold pre-flop to improve the odds of your hand by going up against fewer players in the pot. Texas Hold’em rules are easy to get to grips with, but actually knowing how to play Texas Hold’em and building your own strategy takes hours of play and patients.
 
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