Playing Texas Holdem poker online or at the tables without first thoroughly understanding the rules and terminology is a bit like trying to run before you can walk. As any seasoned player will tell you, you have to learn the basics before you can really start winning. Why? Because knowing how to apply the rules can help you to make smart choices. In this article, we’ll share some tips that will help you sharpen your Holdem game play.
If you’re learning to play a sport, everyone knows that practice makes perfect. The same applies to Texas Holdem poker. Most beginners want to dive in without first learning the Texas Holdem rules. Big mistake! Go online or purchase a guide book before you begin to play for money. You should also be very, VERY disciplined about your bankroll. It is so easy to get carried away and before you know it, you’ve lost your rent money. When learning to play Texas Holdem, give yourself a low spending limit and stick to it, as no game is worth getting yourself into financial hardship.
Practicing the fine – and fun – art of bluffing can help you win big at the tables. As the pros will tell you, having a great poker face is a big asset. Bluffing can help you when you suspect that an opponent has a better hand than you do. If you can “trick” or “bluff” them into thinking that you hold the better hand, thus getting them to fold, then you can rake in the pot. Yet timing is everything. If you bluff too much or raise out of position, then your opponents will catch on to your Texas Holdem strategy. Also, don’t cross your fingers and let it all hang out on a pure bluff. This Hail Mary move is never a good idea because an ace high rarely wins. You’re better off with a semi-bluff when you have a late position or you are only facing one opponent. Also, never bluff when a player has so much money in the pot that your raise or bet will not be enough to force him to fold.
One the other hand, getting caught trying to pull a fast one can work in your favor. A seasoned player will quickly figure out if you only raise when you have a good hand. This works against you because they will fold without putting their money on the table for you to rake in. Putting doubt into the minds of your opponents will force them into making tough decisions during big pots, and continually making your opponents make decisions is a strong strategy. Getting paid off with your big hands is what poker is all about, so if you find that everyone always folds when you bet big with a good hand, then try advertising your bluffs every once in awhile. Your body language speaks volumes, so use it to your advantage. Lean back, look relaxed, and let a little smile come to your face. Your opponents will never know what has hit them.
The highlight of playing Texas Holdem is always those dramatic moments when anything can happen. While those plays are fun and exciting, don’t get hooked on that adrenaline rush. It’s better to be safe and play like you mean it! Don’t take big chances with mediocre starting hands; limp in sometimes just to see the flop, and then decide if it’s worth betting on to see the turn and the river cards. Keep those rules up your sleeve and you’ll always walk away a winner.
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