Welcome to the Texas Holdem Poker Page the leading Texas Holdem Poker resource for poker tips and poker strategy.
If you are serious about improving game, read our poker strategy and poker tips pages. By following the Texas Holdem Poker strategy and poker tips taught here, you will learn the best starting hands, how to play them correctly and much more.
In order to make the transition from beginner to expert Texas Holdem Poker player you must play and practice. By putting to use the poker tips and poker strategy that you learn here you will make improvements in your poker game. You can play for free or for real money in any of our recommended poker rooms.
How to Play Texas Holdem Poker
Texas Holdem poker is an easy game to learn how to play. Read through this page and you’ll be up and running in no time.
These are the basics on How to Play Texas Holdem Poker.
The Language of Betting
Make sure you know the language of betting (it’s easy and you probably already know it):
2. Call – matching the bet that is in front of you
3. Check – pass the action to the next player without betting
The betting structure of Texas Holdem Poker games is as follows:
A Limit Texas Holdem Poker game means that the size of the bet is fixed on each street. An example of this would be, in a $1/$2 Texas Holdem poker game, the bets are made in increments of $1 before and after the flop. On the turn and the river the bets increase to $2. If you are new to the game I highly recommend that you play in a structured limit game.
A Pot Limit Texas Holdem Poker game is a combination of structured limit/ No limit, in which you can make a maximum bet at any time up to the amount of money that is in the pot.
In a No Limit Texas Holdem Poker game there is no limit to the amount that you can bet. But there is usually a minimum for each bet.
Poker Tip #1
Maximize your winnings and minimize your losses. Simply put, bet on the hands that you have a good chance of winning and fold the bad hands. In Limit play you must play solid hands. If you are being dealt bad hands throw them away. Limit Hold em is primarily a showdown game and very rarely can you bluff anyone out of a pot.
While many of us have watched Texas Hold em Poker on TV and have seen players bluffed out of pots we understand that this effective strategy in no-limit Texas Hold em rarely works in limit because you are limited to a maximum bet. This makes bluffing and picking-up small pots more difficult in limit Texas Hold em Poker.
Again, stick to playing the best hands.
Poker Tip #2
Patience and self discipline are two of the most important qualities a player must have in a limit hold em game. Being patient and waiting for playable hands, especially when you are a beginner is very difficult. It can be boring sitting on the sidelines watching others play out their hands.
Avoid the temptation to play “garbage” hands just so that you can get involved in a hand.
You can’t let past hands ruin your judgment. Being patient will pay dividends in the long run. Resist the temptation to play bad hands, throw them away. We’ve all folded away poor hands only to see a great flop that comes down that would have given us a full house or straight. Never let that tempt you into playing poor hole cards.
Poker Tip #3
Stealing a quote from Doyle Brunson, “Limit Hold em is like a job – the more hours you work, the more money you’ll make”. Money Management and the self discipline from which it comes are almost the most important factors in Limit, second only to learning how to become a good player. If you can’t manage your money, you won’t have any.
Money management does not mean giving your self a set amount to play with or lose. It simply means knowing when to stay in the game and when to get out. If there are easy players to win from – stay, if there are some real good players you may want to think about quitting.
If you’re on a big losing streak, it’s always a good idea to play in lower limit (and usually easier) games to build your bankroll up and to shore up your game.
Poker Tip #4
If you throw away the bad hands, you’ll have the opportunity to observe the other players. This is what you should be doing when you throw away your hands.
After you have folded a hand begin practicing the art of reading a player’s hand. The art of reading a players hand can take quite a while to learn. But if you are folding you bad hands you will have plenty of opportunities to study your opponents and practice reading hands.
Pay attention to as many things as possible when playing. This is especially true if you are a new player. Do they call a lot or bet a lot? Do they play many hands? Do they play the same hands the same way? Do they have knowledge of the game or are they a weak player?
By studying your opponents you will learn to pick up tells – clues on what kind of player they are, how they play certain hands and what cards they might hold. Needless to say, when you pick up a tell you can exploit your opponents weakness and profit from it!
Poker Tip #5
Knowing when to play and when to quit is an important consideration for a poker player. Play as long as the game is good and you feel good. If you’re winning and the players you’re playing with are inferior and have plenty of chips to give, as long as you feel good, keep playing.
If you’re tired and the inferior players have left and been replaced by good players then you may want to think about quitting. If you find that your patience and discipline are lacking, then you should also consider quitting. Remember, you will not always win. Everyone suffers bad beats.
Poker Tip #6
What makes some hands better than others? Obviously pocket pairs, especially high ones are powerful opening hands. Pocket pairs can win without any additional help from the board. If you’re pocket pair connects with the board you can turn a set and even a full house.
Higher cards are better than lower cards as they make bigger pairs with bigger kickers. Suited hands have a better chance of making a flush and suited connectors (or near connectors) are more likely to make straights, flushes and on occasion straight flushes.
Hands that incorporate both hole cards are usually stronger than hands that use only one.
If you like to play suited cards and suited connectors I recommend that you now how to calculate pot odds and know how many outs you have.
Poker Tip #7
Playing in shorthanded games will typically favor the aggressive player. Because there are fewer players to begin with, hands that are not thought of as premium hands rise in value. Examples of this are medium pairs and high cards that you wouldn’t normally raise with in a full game (A-8, 8-8, 7-7…). If you are raising before the flop, when the flop comes down and your opponents do not connect with it you may very well steal the pot.
Drawing hands in shorthanded games are typically not good hands to play with because of the limited number of players in the game. It is highly unlikely that you will get pots large enough to make it worthwhile to chase.
Playing in shorthanded games is also great practice for playing in tournaments. As your opponents are knocked out of the game, you’ll be going up against fewer players. Playing in shorthanded games will prepare you for these situations.
On a final note, with all the extra hands that you will be playing in shorthanded games your bankroll can take large swings. You need to be ready to handle these swings. Shorthanded games can be very profitable and remember you will need to know how to play in a shorthanded game if you ever want to play in and win a tournament.
Poker Tip #8
When looking for a place to play online, consider how long the card room has been in business for – 4-5 years is a long time in the online gaming world. Sites associated with professional poker players also are more likely to be reputable – the theory being that they don’t want to be associated with a shady outfit. The pro players do not want to put their reputations on the line.
You can belong to more than one online casino site (like Spin Rider Casino) or poker room as I do. Some poker rooms offer a better sign up bonus, some have better or more frequent freeroll tournaments. Another may have easier ring games. There is no limit to the number of poker rooms that you can join.
Do some research at a site that you trust which reviews online casino and poker rooms. Start out by making a small deposit. Try out the software and see if the site fits your needs. Does the site offer games at the limits that you want? Is it easy to withdraw cash? Are there enough players online when you are likely to play so that you’ll always have a good game available
By checking out the lobby of an online site you will get to see who the players are in a particular game, the percentage of flops that they are seeing – which helps you find a tight or loose game, the number of hands being played per hour.
The most profitable games will be the ones that have larger than average pots and a high percentage of players that are seeing the flop.
Just about all online casinos have games that start out at limits as low as .05/.10 (some even lower!) which are great for a beginner and increase in increments small enough so that you can slowly get acclimated to playing for larger pots. Of course if you prefer to go to the higher limit or no limit games, there is no shortage of these either.
Poker Tip #9
The decisions you make on the flop are the most important. After that there are fewer details.
Taking into account and using everything you read and study will help you solve the problems you’ll face in limit hold em. However, there is no substitute for experience. Only by playing will you gain that experience, confidence, self-discipline and control to make you an expert player.
Try not to be too predictable. Don’t play the same hands the same way all the time. By swaying from your normal style of play – occasionally – you’ll keep your opponents off balance.
The table can be broken up into the following sections:
Player one = the Blind
Players 2 to 4 = early position
Players 5 to 7 = middle position
Players 8 to 10 = late position
So what are good hands before the flop when you’re in early position? – You want a hand that’s strong enough to stand a raise (pair of aces, kings, queens etc…) if you have one of the three highest pairs I’d recommend raising. Of course if your hand is poor you should fold. Don’t be afraid to fold. Remember that patience is very important in limit hold em.
Raising with a strong pair does two very important things for you. It gets more money in the pot and more importantly, it thins out the field. Strong pairs decrease in strength according to the number of hands out there. Your best and really only form of protection is to raise.
Poker Tip #10
Most important of all, if you want to improve your poker game, you have to practice and play. Studying what the best hands are is great. So is reading about strategy but you eventually need to apply that knowledge. The only way you’ll really ever improve is to play.