Texas Hold’em…minutes to learn, life time to master. One of the most important things that you need to do in order to win, is to be patient. Most people that are unsuccessful are the ones that like to play every hand and chase cards. Be selective on the hands you play and you will increase your odds greatly. Get an understanding of how the other players at the table are playing, loose….tight? This is important to know because the person playing loose is very hard to bet out of a hand and the players that are tight usually only play when they have a monster hand.
A few tips to remember. A loose player likes to bluff alot, one way to feel a loose player out is to raise his bet or check raise him and watch how they react. Remember mentally how they reacted in each betting round, so if it does come to the show down and you see their cards, you have just been given a great read on their style of play. A tight player generally only plays the “nuts” early on, but then they know you have a read on them and their style of play, so in the later rounds they try stealing the pot with a big bet. If you have a feeling they might be trying to steal the pot, again raise their bet. If a tight player is quick to call, more than likely they have a hand so fold. Otherwise with your raise, a tight player will put you on a higher hand, fold and wait until their hand comes along.
Watch how players are betting and remember that, so if it comes to a show down and cards are turned over, you’ll get a good read on their betting style. What I mean here is; did they have a made hand or were they on a draw? Did they bet on the flop, turn and river, or slow play their hand? It’s very important to learn how others play in order to win in the later rounds when the blinds are higher.
Playing Pocket Pairs. a couple things I suggest, if its early in a game wait to see a flop. The more players at the table, the riskier it is to go all-in. Wait until you see the flop and then if you pocket pair is higher than the board, bet aggressivly and see how others react. If over cards come out and someone bets big, do not be affraid to fold. Be cautious to what the board gives you, does it give other players an opportunity at a straight or flush? Several times I have had my Aces cracked going all in pre-flop. Later in the game and with less players, pocket pairs increase in strength, because you are not on a draw, unless someone else has a pocket pair that is higher than yours.
Bluffing, this is a big part of the game. A lot of players seem to be bluffing more (more so online). Here again, you need to get a feel on others playing styles in order to get a read on them to determine if it is a bluff or strong hand. All players bluff to win a pot, you have to. I think you need to bluff a win, maybe one an hour. If you are a player that doesn’t get caught in bluffs early on, it makes it that much easier to bluff a win once the pot is larger in the later rounds. If you do get caught early and often, players are more than likely to call your bets and get tells that you may not know you have.
On TILT? Another important part of this game is to control your emotions. We all take bad beats or fold a winning hand, it’s a part of the game, but if you get upset or go on tilt, you will not win! Stand up for a minute, sit out a hand, get your thoughts together, put it behind you and get re-focused.
Always remember to be patient and play solid hands. It’s a marathon not a sprint. A Thought to play by; it’s aways better to rake a small pot than to lose a big one.