Learn To Play Poker – Learning Texas Hold’em

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The game of Texas Hold’em is by far the premiere poker game in the world today, and millions of players worldwide play it online for fun, excitement, and the thrill of competition. If you’ve already read our guide on (link for learning poker rules fast), then we’re ready to talk about some basic strategy and ways to maximize your profits once you sit down at the table. We will also cover the difference between normal betting and tournament play, because each of these Texas Hold’em games have very distinct differences when it comes to placing wagers.

The Opposition

In the remake of the movie “Maverick” starring Mel Gibson, Brett Maverick walks into a saloon and asks to join a table of rowdy looking players. The locals decline his request at first, but then he makes them an offer by saying that he will lose each and every hand for the first hour of play, regardless of how good or bad his cards are. With that said they invite Brett to sit down, and during the first sixty minutes he continuously folds while watching the other players to learn their obvious tells, betting strategies and weaknesses in general. Once he finally starts to bet, the other players quickly realize what they thought was a handicap actually turned out to be a great benefit for Maverick.

When playing Texas Hold’em online, it is important that you be a heck of a lot like the fictional character Brett Maverick. From the very first hand, your main goal at any table is to study the betting habits of those around you and to keep notes on how they interpret each hand. For example, if a player is seen raising frequently, then that’s the person you’ll likely be making the most money off of because he does not wait for hands to develop before betting them. The players who often fold to any kind of raise are at the other end of the spectrum, because even if your hand isn’t the guaranteed winner there’s a good chance that you can force them out early if necessary. Likewise, if a player that normally folds suddenly places a huge bet, there it is important to re-evaluate the strength of your hand to be sure that you should still be betting. Recognizing how each competitor plays their hands will help determine how you should approach each betting round, and this is a ridiculously huge advantage if carried out consistently.

Reading the Cards

In every betting round, the primary goal is to determine the ultimate hand from the cards provided. If the flop shows A/K/7 of hearts, for example, the very best possible hand would be a flush with the queen of hearts as a hole card. If another king were to come on the turn, then the highest possible hand would be a full house, kings over aces. If the ten of hearts flopped on the river, then you have to worry about someone having a royal flush. The best possible hand changed after each new card was revealed, and this is an important fact to remember.

Reading the cards is important for two reasons. The first and most obvious point is to determine how each hand should be bet. If the flop showed K/7/3 of three different suits and your hole cards gave you top pair or three of a kind, there is an excellent chance of winning the hand and it should be bet aggressively. In this situation trip kings would be the ultimate hand, so if another player re-raises it would be a good time to consider your opposition and their betting habits to determine how likely it is that your hand is better than theirs. The most common mistake made at any poker table is not seeing the full possibilities of the flop, and betting big just because you have that pair of kings is not always a sound strategy.

Differences in Tournament and Open Play

When you’re sitting at an open table, the goal is always to win as much money as possible. This can be accomplished in several different fashions; betting aggressive to force others to fold, folding often and waiting for a big hand, waiting to trap aggressive players, or a steady combination of all three strategies. In tournament play, the goal is exactly the opposite. While it is important to capitalize on any top hands, the ultimate goal is to avoid losing so that you remain in the tournament. The table you’re at will ultimately determine your betting style in either situation, but it is important to remember why you’re playing in the first place and adjust your betting habits to give you the greatest chances of victory.

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