The game of Texas Hold’em has been over complicated throughout the years. This is why many amateurs fail to make a profit in cash games. It is important to understand that imitating a play you saw by a professional, on a high stakes table, will almost certainly result in failure.
People have forgotten the basic poker strategy, as it was played 20 years ago, in its pure and simple form, expressed in a variety of books for Doyle Brunson’s Supersystem to Dan Harrington’s Harrington on Hold’em. In modern low stakes cash games, the field is filled with amateurs, which are just begging to pay you off. Complex moves, plays and bluffs sometimes get in the way of the main idea, which is to make a profit.
Playing basic poker strategy is perfect for beginners aiming to make a profit, and for advanced players keeping their variance low whist playing the loose low stakes. This how-to guide should provide all the basic information you need to achieve the strategy, from the minute you cash-in to the time you cash-out.
While many in the United States have been focused on the Senate confirmation hearings in Washington D.C. for Donald Trump’s controversial choices for ... Read More
The 'Brains vs Artificial Intelligence' no-limit hold'em tournament featured 80,000 hands between some of the greatest professional poker players and ... Read More
Six Plus Hold’em is an exciting new spin on the conventional Texas Hold’em poker game. The most fundamental difference between Six Plus Hold’em and mo ... Read More
In poker – specifically, Texas Hold'em – a pocket pair is often seen as a "must play" hand. As the name suggests, a pocket pair is when you're dealt t ... Read More
The first aspect of playing basic Texas Hold'em strategy is how deep to buy-in to the game. Many of you may opt for the simple 100 big blind buy-in, but don’t forget that buying-in deep or short has its advantages and disadvantages, and if used correctly can be used in order to obtain larger profits.
Playing the Short Stack (50 Big Blinds) | When buying-in as a short stack you have the advantage of doubling up easier than other players. The reason is that deep to your low stack, after a couple of bets, your opponents become committed to calling your all-in. Despite the fact that they know they are probably behind. The disadvantage is that you don’t get a chance to see raised flops with suited connectors and small pocket pairs, which could pay off.
Playing the Big Stack (200 Big Blinds) | When buying-in as a big stack you have two main advantages, one being that you can act as the big stack bully and you can afford to play coin-flips pre-flop or follow-up draws post flop. A big stack bully will raise with a wider range pre-flop putting your opponents in difficult position. Playing coin-flips is expensive, but when you hit its worth it.
Unfortunately, we cannot analyse the complete array of pre-flop play and situations you will find in Texas Hold’em. There are literally hundreds of books out there trying to explain this exact factor alone. Instead here are the main things to consider pre-flop:
Competition | The first thing we should mention is that you should try not to get involved with the professional players on the table. Get involved with the amateurs, which are more likely to pay you off when you have a hand. It is highly advised that you sit back for the first couple of rounds and study your opponents. Try to pick up some tells, how they act when they are bluffing, how they act whilst they have got a genuine hand. You should be able to tell the fish from the sharks after the first couple of rounds. Two factors that will help you identify the amateurs from the pros are amateurs complain a lot and play a lot of hands. For more help on spotting the professionals you may check out the “7 signs you are playing a professional poker player,” included on this website.
Position | The second factor, which you should acknowledge, is position. Position, in poker, is the advantage you gain when playing an opponent who has called pre-flop out of position, where the player who holds position gets the opportunity to act last. This allows the accumulation of information from his opponents, either by physical tells or by his act of checking or betting. So try to restrict your range of pre-flop holdings to the dealer seat, cut-off, or a late-middle position. This way you will always have the post-flop advantage against your opponents.
Starting Hands | The third and most important factor that determines pre-flop play is the range of holdings you choose to enter pots with. To be successful in basic Texas Hold’em cash game strategy, you have to be very selective on your starting hands depending on a variety of situations. Once you familiarise yourself with the range of possible match-ups and the chances of them being dealt, you’ll be in a better position to decide how much to bet before the flop.
Here are some of those vital statistics that will help you get your games off to the best start.
Starting Hands | The first thing to consider is how often you are likely to get the best cards. The top starting hands in poker aren't common - the odds of receiving a big-suited hand (jacks or better) are 54.3 to 1, and the odds of receiving a big-suited pair (tens or higher) are 43.2 to 1. It's a good strategy to wait for these hands in general, but be aware they might not come for 40+ hands, so when the blinds are high, don't hold out for aces and kings.
High Cards | The next thing to consider is the actual strength of your high cards. To help you understand your hand strength, compare the five possible combinations you might start out with. Each of these considers the likelihood of one two-card hand beating another.
This information should help you choose which cards are worth playing, and start you thinking more about what your opponents might be holding.
In order to achieve maximum success in this basic poker strategy, you must be efficient in playing a correct pre-flop game. Two important lessons you should remember is that you shouldn’t bluff a calling machine and secondly don’t try to value bet the pros. If a professional feels your value betting weak he will attack you with a re-raise that you can’t call, and if you’re betting into a calling machine amateur he will keep calling you down with nothing and win.
Don’t try to semi-bluff in multi way pots with draws, this will usually require you shooting a second blank on the turn if the draw doesn’t come in and this can be quite un-profitable in the long run. Don’t try to make hero calls with small or medium pairs against amateurs. Remember, amateurs are allowed to have a hand once in a while also.
When to leave the cash game is probably the most important factor that will determine your profitability as a poker player. As a modern day trader, knowing when to close the trade is equally if not more important than knowing which trade to open and when.
There are three reasons which you should have in place in determining how and when to quit the game.
With practice available online for free, or at small stakes, try different combinations and see how those odds translate to real games.
When picking up the basics of online poker, you probably started with a strategy for the pre-flop and flop stages of the game. Now it's time to turn y ... Read More
Going all in makes or breaks poker players, given that they use all of their chips when betting or calling. Only one player gets to experience the ecstasy of winning in such tense moments, while the l ... Read More
A Warrington man has proved that it’s possible to win big at poker without being a veteran. In fact, it only took Nerchabouh Tachajian four years to r ... Read More
For the uninitiated, poker can seem like a high-pressure (and highly complicated) game, with numerous possible hands and lots of rules to keep in mind. Perhaps one of the trickiest elements of the gam ... Read More
Whether you're an aggressive player who likes to dominate proceedings or a more considered participant, controlling the pot effectively is one surefir ... Read More
You've navigated your way past the masses and you now find yourself just one elimination from victory or defeat. It's heads up time at the poker table ... Read More
It can be tricky deciding what to do when looking down at a medium stack in a tense poker tournament. Where do you begin? Do you try and maintain your ... Read More
The ten-event Chicago Poker Classic (CPC) is now in its seventh year, and according to Poker News, in 2015 it proved to be more popular than ever. One ... Read More
With all eyes turned to watch the New England Patriots inch past the Seattle Seahawks to win the Superbowl, poker fans were also keeping a close eye o ... Read More
While his namesake Cristiano Ronaldo is still happily playing football in Spain, the original Ronaldo has been rather quiet since his injury-forced re ... Read More
Learning to play poker, particularly in a live gaming environment, can sometimes feel like learning a new language. That's why Gambling.com has compil ... Read More
26 year old Leeds born poker player Tom Middleton (no relation to royals Kate or Pippa), has emerged the victorious champion of the European Poker Tou ... Read More
In Texas Hold’em you’re required to place a bet before the starting flop, so it’s always worth considering how strong any two starting cards are again ... Read More
Stud is a classic form of poker, requiring plenty of observation, patience and strategy. With the game more focussed on individual hands than communit ... Read More
The full range of possible starting hands in Texas Hold ’em poker is vast; when drawing two cards at random from a 52 card pack, there are 1,326 possi ... Read More
Dealers are a requirement to poker as referees are to a football match. Even if you have been playing poker in a dealt game for years you might not appreciate the value of a good dealer, the reason b ... Read More
Texas Hold‘em and Omaha are similar online poker games that vary in one or two very important ways. Both games involve players being dealt hole cards; ... Read More
Whether playing poker on an online site like Poker Stars, or in your favourite local casino, choosing a game can sometimes seem like it requires a who ... Read More
Texas Hold ‘em is unsurprisingly the entry level game for most poker players; its format is easiest to understand & its odds most simple to calculate. ... Read More
Poker has gained popularity over the past 10 years, and the skill level at which the game is being played has risen as well. Professionals are a dime ... Read More
In today’s competitive poker world every little counts and fixing leaks in your game is extremely important in increasing your long term profits. ... Read More
Sign up for the free Gambling.com Newsletter to stay on top of all the best bonuses!