The Game Of Texas Hold’Em

Texas Hold’Em in a Cardroom

Texas Hold’Em Online

Winning poker

Tactics

Strategies

Putting It all together

Psychological Considerations

Where to go from here

Places to Play

Appendix I Hold’Em poker Variations

Appendix II Poker Tournaments

SUMMARY

  Poker has been an exquisitely balanced game.For every action there has been a counteraction, for every strategy a counter strategy. Much like martial art that would depend on balance and timing, your approach to poker would have to be dynamic and adjustable.


  In his book The Theory of Poker, Sklansky has provided a table of common poker mistakes   and corresponding strategies for exploiting each mistake. * All the mistakes have been described in terms of extremes, such as bluffing too much, bluffing too little, never bluffing, never slow playing.  Each mistake has required a counter strategy tailored to turn your opponents’ excesses against them. The lesson Sid has taken from Sklansky’s table is that poker has not been a game about strength and aggression; rather, it has been a game about balance and self-control. You couldn’t control your opponents in a poker game.

  You could control yourself and adjust your play so that your opponents’ excesses would become their own undoing.David Sklansky, Theory of Poker, 3rd Edition (Two Plus Two, Las Vegas, NV, 1994) pages 254-255.

GAME OBSERVATION FORM FOR ONLINE HOLD’EM

Cardroom /URL:

Game:

Date:

Stakes:

Start/End Time:

Participants:

HAND

RAISE PRE-FLOP

NUMBER PRE-FLOP

NUMBER POST-FLOP

SHOW DOWN

WINNING HAND

POT

  Observing Online Poker Games

You should make photocopies of the form on the left and use them to assess online poker games.

  You should observe the play of at least ten hands. You should assign sequential numbers to the hands in the first column. You should make a check mark in the second column if there is a pre-flop raise. You should note the number of poker players who would pay to see the flop in the third   column and the number of players who would continue to play after the flop in the fourth column. You should make a check mark if there is a showdown and note the rank of the winning hand. You should jot down the amount won in the last column. You should use the notes in considering the strategic questions posed on the previous page. You should pay special attention to behavioral extremes, such as: always a showdown, never   a showdown, everyone folding following a raise; everyone calling a raise.

  You should approximate where the game falls on the strategic grid and plan your strategy before entering the game. It would be especially important to observe online poker games carefully because social cues player motivations would be more difficult to discern in an online environment.