Texas Poker Strategy – Explaining Poker Strategy

May 29, 2010 :: Posted by - admin :: Category - Q&A Forum

In Texas poker strategy is important. When playing Texas Hold Em Poker it is a must. You need to have at least some basic strategy under your belt in order to be succesful. I’m going to show you some basic strategy by running through an example hand of poker. I’ll use this example to outline a tight agressive strategy.

The hand starts. The first two players to the left of the big blind fold. You are the next player and you have a AS-KD. You can just call the amount of the big blind or raise. The proper aggressive strategy would be to come into the pot three to five times the size of the big blind. So you do this, you raise. You would only ever progress past this point if you had a high pair or two premium cards.

Everyone folds except the player that is sitting one seat right of the big blind. He reraises you and doubles what you originally put in. Say every player between him and you folds in response to that. Usually only one or two other players will stay in (odds/probability depicting this).

So now its back to you. You can either call, or raise him or fold. You want to stay in. The proper strategy here would be to call. Depending on who your opponent was would maybe affect this. ie if he’s always loose you would reraise but if he’s always tight you would just fold. All things being equal call a standard reraise (again, you would only be here if you have high pair or premium cards)

Because of your position you will act first after the flop so you’re at the disadvantage. You can’t predict how your opponent will play the hand but he has the benefit of seeing you play first; your betting action. This will help him decide what to do.

In this example, we’ll say the flop is AH-8C-3S. This is a good flop for you because you have a top pair and top kicker. Good strategy here would depict you take the lead and raise. Now, if you bet too big you opponent might fold. You could consider calling to ensure he stays in but there is no point winning a pot if its small so you’d want to raise just three times the big blind (a standard amount) at this point. If you raise and he folds well you took an easy win. So the strategy here is if you didn’t hit the flop at all you would fold. If you did you raise three to five times the big blind. To progress we’ll say he called.

So the turn comes and it was 9C. Your still in good shape so say you raise (remember your first). You just raise the standard three times the big blind. Your opponent doesn’t call, he raises all-in. So now your only option is to call his all-in or fold.

This situation is sticky. Because he went all in from the 9c you realise that could have helped his hand. He could have two pair. No matter what two pair he has he will beat your one pair. He coudl have Aces and 9′s or, because he started in late and could have playered a middle suited connector, he could have 8′s and 9′s. He could even just have two clubs and be going for a flush draw. If he had pocket nines in the hole he could have a three of a kind.

Still you have a top pair and a top kicker. If your feeling was that he is a loose, aggressive style of player – maybe you’ve seen him go all in one too many times before – you should call. If he is tight and passive you would be worried and fold. If this was a cash game depending on how much money you can afford or how much it was would depict if you called or not. If it was a tournament game you would be extremely careful not to lose all your chips so you’d think twice about this decision but you would also be aware of not being trampled on and how good it would be to have his whole stack.

Chips are never exactly even so we’ll just pretend you have slightly more then him so you won’t be completely out if you call and lose. So you call. Since you are the only two players in the hand you both turn your cards face up and its a showdown. Your opponent has AD-9D which is why he didn’t raise on the flop and why he went all in on the turn. Here your strategy is out the window and its down to the luck of the cards,

The dealer rakes in all the chips and deals the river. For the sakes of a happy ending, we’ll say it was a KH. Yay, you’ve out drawn him and you win. In all seriosness this final outcome, the King on the river, is not the most probable. If any other card, A-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10-J-Q came out you would lose, and thats a lot of cards. The thing is, an ending like this, a top draw on the river, does happen.

The strategy though: the strategy was you went in aggressive with good starting cards. You hit the flop so continued aggressive. Faced with a large reraise later in the deal you had to make a decision based on all the information you had. In a situation like this you would never have the correct answer. If you had of folded then and there, and the outcome was like this example that would have been the wrong decision. If you had of stayed in and a different card came on the river it would have been wrong. He could have just as easily had a 8-9 for a two pair, or pocket 9′s for a three of a kind, and if that happened the river could have been an ace so you could have won two. He could have been going for a flush draw and made it, or not made it, who knows.

The idea was that we run through a hand a talk some Texas Poker Strategy, which I think we have done. Think about this, think about what you’d do, what would indicate you go one way or the next. You will benefit from the brainstorming.

Alex is an avid Texas Hold Em Poker player and has dedicated his time, effort and money to learning the art and skill of successfully winning rounds of No Limit Hold Em. Shoot him an email at alex@mytexasholdempokertips.com or head on over to his informative website http://MyTexasHoldemPokerTips.com and read his free newsletter containing more Texas Poker Strategy

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