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Texas Hold’em Poker
Texas Hold’em Poker

Texas Hold’em Strategies

Poker is a game of chance, skill, and strategy. No hand is an automatic winner or loser. The best strategy for increasing your odds is to know the game inside out. But remember, no amount of knowledge can guarantee a win.

Before you play at a casino

A casino is not the place to learn how to play poker. Serious players play to win and they won’t hesitate to take advantage of novice players.

Before you make the decision to play at a casino, make sure you know your stuff, inside out.

Know the hands

A hand is seen lifting a pair of hole cards to get a peek at them.

Understanding how to evaluate your own cards as well as being able to predict possible hands of other players can help you know when to stay in the game and when to fold.

Know when to walk away

Knowing when to get out of the game is the best way to keep from losing more than you can afford.

Two cards appear face down above the betting line.

Fold often

It’s perfectly normal in poker to fold your cards for a few rounds and “cool off” (unless you’ve paid your blinds, or get a good hand).

Take breaks

If you’re feeling tired or hungry, you can opt to take a break and still keep your seat at the table. Similarly, if you win a big hand, don’t feel pressured to keep playing. There’s no rule that says you must stick around. You could play one hand, win, and leave if you wanted.

Tip

If you miss too many “blinds”, you can lose your seat. Ask the dealer to better understand your casino’s break rules.

Don’t go “on tilt”

A man runs on a treadmill, chasing a bag of money hanging just out of reach.

Try not to go “on tilt” – that’s when someone let’s losing a hand get the better of them, and they start playing aggressively, maybe even doubling up their bets to try and win back their money. More often than not this strategy leads to further losses.

Tip

Going “on tilt” is also known as chasing your losses, and it’s a bad strategy: no hand is guaranteed, and you could lose your chip stack in a few short hands.

Get to know the players

Three players are seated at the poker table, each with 2 hole cards face down in front of them.

Keep your eyes on the other players at the table. You may be able to spot patterns in their behaviour. Look for “tells”, which are indicators of a player’s betting intentions or hand value. Examples of a “tell” include changes in behaviour like leaning forward or back, fidgeting, doing chip tricks, displaying nervous tics or changes in tone of voice or facial expressions. A tell can help you determine if your opponent has a high hand or is bluffing.

Calculate scenarios

Two blank hole cards are placed at the top of the image with an arrow pointing at 5 blank community cards placed below.

You must be able to identify “the nuts”. The nuts is the best possible hand that can be made using the five community cards. If your hole cards combined with the community cards don’t add up to the best possible hand, you don’t have “the nuts” – which means someone else might, and you could lose in a showdown.

Tip

Playing conservatively and only betting or raising with strong hands can help to extend your play time and budget.

If I play more, will I win more?

Playing more can increase your skill and knowledge, but no level of skill can guarantee a win. When it comes to Texas Hold’em, no matter how much you practice, there is no system or sure way to win. Over time, the average poker player is more likely to lose than to win.

TIP

Remember, if you’re paying a session fee every 30 minutes to stay in the game, the longer you play, the more it will cost you.

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