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

CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING SCENARIOS:

  Scenario 1:

  When playing poker, you were to be dealt a two of diamonds and a five of clubs and you were to fold the hand following the advice to play only cards. The flop was to be two of clubs, five of hearts and five of diamonds.

  Betting would be heavy after the turn and river cards (ten of clubs and jack of diamonds) and a large pot was awarded to someone who had been holding pocket queens. Your fives full would have easily beat queens and fives if you had stayed in the hand. You should not regret your choice to fold a hand that would have been a full house: you would have made the correct decision.

  A miracle flop would not override the fact that over the long run, playing low cards would only have cost you more money than you would have won.  Even your miracle flop would be vulnerable to overcards on the turn or river. Had a queen hit, the poker player with pocket queens would have beaten you. You would have also lost to the other poker players holding jacks, tens or even a ten and  five. While it has been true that any two cards could win, to play profitable Hold’em poker, you   would have to play high cards and fold low ones.

  Scenario 2:

  You were to be dealt a ten of clubs and a jack of clubs and you were in an early position to the left of the big blind. You had call, and the poker player to your left had raised. The next five people were to fold, and the poker player in the dealer position had called the raise. The flop was an ace of diamonds, two of hearts and the seven of spades. There was a bet after the flop and you had folded since your hand was now worthless.

  You would have needed to catch two perfect cards to have made the straight. You should have folded after the first raise.  It would have cost too much to play for a straight or a flush in an early position, and against   so few people, little money would have been won even if you had hit your draw.  The poker player who had raised probably had had a big pocket pair so you would have been an underdog from the start. If you were to have known about the raise and the small number of poker players, you never would have called the blind.

  From an early poker position, you couldn’t have known, so you shouldn’t have called.Summary of Pre-flop Play

  These scenarios have illustrated wishful thinking that you would have needed to avoid. In short:

  1.Playing premium hands from all positions.

  2.Raising and calling raises to stay in the game until the flop.

  3.With a pair of aces and kings, you had re-raised.

  4.Playing strong hands from middle and late positions.

  5.Calling the big blind, but using your judgment on calling raises.

  6.Playing drawing hands from late positions.

  7.Only calling the big blind if a large number of poker players had remained (five or more).

  8.Using judgment on calling raises, and remembering that if many people had also called the raises, it had been correct to stay in the hand.

  9.Folding all other hands.