Texas Holdem for Beginners

It takes more than good luck to win in Texas Holdem poker. Like the song says, “You’ve got to know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em.” A good strategy can help you get back in the game when you are the short stack at the table. In this article, we’ll give you some great tips to help you play Texas Holdem like the pros.

Knowing the Texas Holdem rules inside and out is the key to becoming a good player. If you are playing online Texas Holdem Poker, then print out the rules and keep them by your side as a reference. You also need to understand the language of Holdem poker. For example, AA means a pair of aces and is the very best of starting hands. T9s means a ten and a nine of the same suit. K8o means a king and an eight of different suits. AJs means an ace and a jack of the same suit. The most difficult thing for Holdem beginners is knowing when to raise and when to fold. If your pocket cards are AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AKs, AKo, or AQs, then you should raise, at least three times the big blind. If you are dealt TT, 99, 88, 77, AQo, AJs, ATs, KQs, KQo, KJs, QJs, then you should call or fold.

Knowing what to do with your flop is key to a good Texas Holdem strategy. The flop consists of three community cards which are dealt face up. The turn is the fourth community card, and the river is the fifth. After you see the flop, you now have five cards to contemplate, including your two pocket cards, and you need to ask yourself some questions before you decide whether to check, bet, call, raise or fold. For example, how strong a hand did you flop? What pot odds do you have? What kinds of draws are on the board? And, what kind of hands are the other players likely to have? Your position in the betting order will also influence the outcome. In poker, “position” is the concept that defines how near you are to the dealer (called the button). In all but the pre-flop betting (due to the small blind and the big blind on the first betting round), the dealer (called the button) will be the last one to act. This provides the strategic advantage of seeing what all of the other players do before committing to a course of action.

Unless you’re a psychic (or cheating!), of course you have to guess at what cards your opponents are holding. When you get some experience, you’ll learn how to read body language, especially if you play Holdem with the same people a lot. The most common mistakes that beginners make in the their Texas Holdem strategy is calling when they should fold, folding when they should call, calling when they should raise, and raising when they should call or fold. Any of these errors can end up costing them money. To avoid these mistakes, it’s critical to make a good decision during the flop. If the flop does not improve your hand, then muck that hand. Don’t raise and pray that a higher power will magically turn up the right cards. Doing that will likely result in a very short stack of chips!

Playing Texas Holdem poker is 1 part luck and 2 parts strategy. Always have a game plan when you get to the flop and leave as little to fate as possible. If you have a good hand, then figure out your possible “outs” and determine if it is worth pursuing. However, if you have a flimsy hand that may or may not win you the pot, then think about all of the hands that could beat you. Good judgment is your ace in the hole whether you are playing Texas Holdem online or in a casino. So shuffle up and deal!

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