Review your poker strategy in light of these tips
No matter what your level of poker prowess is, it is always a good idea to refresh and update your Texas Hold’em strategy. No matter if you are an amateur or a professional, it is all too easy to keep on applying the same moves time and time again until you get stuck in a rut. Learn to play in a more dynamic way by reviewing this list of 7 amazing Texas Hold’em tips and using them to optimise your Texas Hold’em strategy.
1. Don’t stick to rigidly to a hand chart
Hand charts can be a good way to decide which move to make next in poker, particularly when you are just starting out with the game. Nevertheless, relying too heavily on standard hand charts will make your playing style unhelpfully robotic. Consulting the charts is always useful, but ensure that the final judgement call is made by you: don’t be afraid to move away from what the charts dictate in order to play in a way that is more responsive to what is actually happening on the table.
2. Know when to fold
If your hand has no value in an early position but you think it may acquire value later: fold that hand. Do not wait and see if it will suddenly become valuable. One of the biggest mistakes that players make is to hold on desperately to hands in the hope that they will suddenly become highly valuable, losing money in the process as they play the waiting game. Your hand should be a worthwhile one in every position that you play in: this is known as ‘keeping your hand in position’.
3. Assess opponents’ weaknesses
Playing more flexibly will help you to win more often, and this flexibility consists partly in assessing your opponents’ strengths. There is no need to treat a weaker opponent in the same way that you would treat a stronger one. You can afford to take a few more risks against a weaker player, and also to assume that they will not always make the best decisions regarding their own hand.
4. Brush up on your statistics
A pair of cards of the same suit may look like a very promising hand, however were you aware that experts have calculated that this only gives you a 4% chance of success? Better mathematicians tend to be better poker players, but you do not need to be a genius at number theory in order to learn how to calculate the statistical probability of a win. Brush up on your basic mathematics and read a few online guides to the probabilities involved in any game of poker. This will enable you to make the very best decisions for your hand.
5. Bet the right amount
Betting too little when you have a very strong hand is a bad idea – why miss out on the chance to win big? On the other hand, betting too much when you are in a very marginal situation that could go either way (i.e. it is equally likely to turn out either in your favour or in your disfavour) is not a good idea. Think hard before you place each bet. In certain situations, one good way to think about betting is in terms of thresholds. If you suspect that your opponent is bluffing, for instance, what would be the ‘threshold amount’ that would push them to reveal their hand?
6. Pay attention to the blinds
When playing in a tournament, poker players can pay too much attention to the stacks of chips being set down by other players. This can push them into laying down big stakes when they really did not need to. Matching these players’ huge bets can push you further up the pay scale, but it can leave you without enough chips to actually win the tournament. The best thing to do in a tournament is to look at the blinds and be guided by them when you put down your stake.
7. Don’t chase losses
The last of our Texas Hold’em tips relates to poker tilt: that clouded, desperate state of mind you can get in when things aren’t going your way. Now is the time to step back from the game before you make an ill judged decision such as chasing your losses and essentially flushing money down the drain.