Essential Texas Hold ‘Em StrategiesUnderstand your starting hands
It’s extremely important for you to have a good understanding of your starting hands during the initial rounds of betting. You must ascertain if the hand is worth betting or not. You’re dealt 2 cards in Texas Hold ‘Em and you must make your decision based on them.
Hands to raise – Aces, face cards or the pairs of tens are always considered good hands to raise. A queen and an ace or a king and an ace are also pretty strong hands. It may be a good idea to raise the pot value before the flop if you get any of these.
Hands to call – 2 consecutive face cards (belonging to different suits), or a face card and an ace are good hands to call or match any bet. 2 non-face and consecutive cards belonging to the same suit may also be favourable. It’s recommended to call and not raise with low pairs.
Master the holding and folding strategies
One of the keys to winning at poker is knowing when to hold and when to fold your hands.
– If your hand may deliver good returns in case you get the right cards after the flop, you may want to hold on to them.
– The basic formula for calculating your odds is: (Number of outs x 2) + 1. So, if there are 12 cards that could possibly improve your hand, you’ve got (12 x 2) + 1 = 25% chance of getting either of them in the flop.
– Now you’ll need to figure out if your hand is worth betting or not. This can be done by adding the pot total and the bet amount, and then multiplying the sum with your outs percentage. Hence, if the pot total is £ 80 and the bet to call is £ 10, then the calculation would be like: (£ 80 + £ 10) x 0.25 = 22.5%. This implies that you must match any bets that are lower than 22.5% of the (pot + bet) total, which is around £ 20.
– Use the pot odds as a guideline and a basis for judging the worth of a hand. Please note, this method doesn’t take many other variables into account.
Understand your opponents’ psychology
Poker is more about playing one’s opponents than playing one’s cards. You must master the art of reading your opponents’ emotions and psychology, and use them to your advantage without giving them a hint about your plan or cards.
Never let your emotions affect your play style and attitude. You may end up losing hands if you do. Keep changing your pace, and switch frequently between different playing styles to keep opponents from predicting your actions.
The ability to see tells is an art that is mastered over a period of time, by honing ones skills game after game. Stay put at it and you’ll get there!
Think on your feet
Never get bogged down by the systems or react to different situations. All poker situations are different from each other, owing to the human factor.
Plan your bankroll
If you’re learning the ropes of poker, you must never invest an amount that’s more than the ‘fun’ amount for you to lose. Once you start winning regularly, make adjustments to your bankroll in order to maximise your earnings. The basic thumb rule is that you must be able to afford losing no more than 200 bets at their highest limits. Hence, if the limit is £ 10 bets, your bankroll should ideally be £ 2000. Keep a constant track of your losses and wins, as it’ll help you figure out your long run situation.
Last but not the least, please don’t forget that you may need to pay taxes on the amount won, so figure your returns accordingly.