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Texas Hold’em Poker Strategy Articles

Our Texas Holdem Poker Strategies section includes a number of excellent resources to help improve your poker game. Written by Texas Hold’em Poker players for Holdem Poker players.

Basic Texas Hold’em Strategy

As the old poker saying goes: “Texas Hold’em is a game that takes a minute to learn, but a lifetime to master.” The rules of Texas Hold’em are simple, but if you want to be a successful player you need to master a number of complex strategic concepts. This section is meant to be an overview of Texas Hold’em strategy. If you want to improve your Hold’em skills you should read more strategy articles and of course play the game. Practice makes perfect and you should play as much Hold’em as you possibly can.

Different Playing Styles

First of all, it’s important to point out that there isn’t an optimal Texas Hold’em strategy. Some people have quite a bit of success with a tight and careful approach, while other pros make their living thanks to a loose and aggressive playing style. What everyone should do is pick a strategy that suits their temperament and personality. Forcing yourself to play a certain way is never a good idea.

Starting Hand Strategy in Hold’em

Good starting hand selection in crucial in Texas Hold’em, and the best advice for beginners is to only play strong hands, and play them hard (trapping and slow playing can be very expensive for those who are new to the game). More advanced players can play more creatively, and enter pots with suited connectors and other marginal hands. The most important thing is to always have a plan for the later rounds in the hand. It definitely pays off to be one step (or more) ahead in poker.

Position in Texas Hold’em

Inexperienced players often ignore their position at the table and play hands the same way, no matter where they’re sitting. This is a big mistake in. Late positions are very advantageous in Texas Hold’em, since you get to act after your opponents and thus have a lot more information to base your decisions on. Some pro players even argue that position is more important than the cards. When you’re in late position, you can trap and outplay your opponents, and force them to make costly mistakes in big pots. You will soon realize that having to act first in a hand can be a real nightmare. One thing is for sure: playing marginal hands from early positions is a good way to lose money.

Post-Flop Play in Hold’em

You will be facing many difficult decisions on the flop, turn and river. If you follow our advice, you will be in late position most of the time, but of course that’s not a guarantee that you will win the pot (but it will make your life a lot easier). It’s hard to give general advice for post-flop play, but a couple of things can be said: it’s crucial to unpredictable, and you have to be able to give up hands when you realize that you’re beat and a bluff won’t work. It’s all about maximizing your winnings and minimizing your losses.

Bluffing

Bluffing is an art form, and it takes skill and experience to pull a big bluff off. Pushing all your chips in randomly - hoping for the best - is basically a suicide strategy. You have to able to identify good opportunities to bluff. These are some basic guidelines for bluffing:

  • It’s better to bluff against few opponents than against many.
  • It’s easier to bluff in small pots than in big pots.
  • It’s difficult to bluff bad players (they will call no matter what they have.)
  • It’s easier to bluff with a tight image than with a loose image.

Your Opponents in Texas Hold’em

This is what it all comes down, knowing your opponents in Hold’em. You should always be observant at the poker table and gather as much information as possible about the other players. Which types of hands to they play and how do they act in different situations? Are they tricky players who like to slow play and set traps? Are they able to fold strong hands? When you have this information, you will be able to make correct decisions in difficult situations. You may force a tight player to fold with a big bluff on the river, or you might be able to extract the maximum from a calling station who isn’t capable of throwing away a decent hand.

Read more about: Reading Your Opponents in Poker


Additional Texas Hold’em Poker Strategy Articles

No Limit Texas Hold’em (NLHE)

Limit Texas Hold’em (LHE)

Texas Hold’em

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