Top 10 Tips and Tactics

August 6, 2009

  1. You have to be careful how you play if you have a low pair for the first two cards given

    If you have the following scenario then I would stick it out if the betting is low. If as the game carries on you do not get a 3 of a Kind or two pairs with the cards on the table then it is always best to fold.

  2. Don’t fold too early

    If you find that all the players remaining are checking, then it is wise to check yourself and move on to the next round. This ensures that you stay in the game, and may get a card you need. Also you would not need to put any money into the pot when checking.

  3. You will have 5 cards to deal with after the second round

    This is perfect an opportunity to see how well you are doing, how good is you current hand? If the hand is good and stand a chance to win then continue but if it is not the best or very bad consider folding.

  4. Don’t play on tables which are too high for you

    All players have tendency to play on tables which have stake values in order for a great payout if they win. But for other players who may not have the money, it can affect your play making mistakes and feeling very panicked. High Stake games are considered for players with great experience, hence a beginner should never try these games.

  5. Take out weak players if you start with a strong starting hand

    This is a great opportunity to take out some the weaker hands, play with high raise during the preflop which should make a few players drop out. Those who believe can win will add money to the pot.

  6. Be careful of sequences such as 6,7,8

    Always be aware that even if you have a high pair when there is a sequence like 6,7,8 another player may have cards to make it a straight.

  7. If you are caught bluffing, it may not be all bad news

    If you are caught don’t worry as it can make it harder then next you bluff for the other player to guess what you are going to do. Don’t however have a goal to trick bluff the other players as if a player knows you are doing it they can take all your chips.

  8. Know the players habits

    During the game, pay attention to the other players, particularly how they make each move. Are they making decisions fast or take their time, sometime this can help judge the cards which they hold and make a move accordingly. For online games, this is slightly harder unless you are a regular and then you can end up at the same table as other players you have had previous game with. This a great opportunity to use the feature in you chosen poker software to read up on poker notes.

  9. Watch high stake games

    If you have an opportunity to watch a high stakes game then you will be able to learn more about how the professionals play. Again the player note feature in your software can be very useful.

  10. Don’t relax when playing in no money games

    If you are just beginning and learning about a particular game such as Texas Hold’em. I would resist the urge of not playing as if the game had money on it. You actions will be very tentative and if the same situation comes again in a real money game it could cost you. Instead always play to win, it is the only way to learn from mistakes, and develop everything you have learnt all without losing any money.

Texas Hold’em Starting Hands

August 6, 2009

As many people will tell you there are a wide variety of starting hands which can be applied at the beginning of the game. This guide will however only concentrate on the hands allow for you to win.

Below are some of the guidelines which we will be using to indicate the best hand to use. Each hand will be colour coded and also noted which cards can be used. Hopefully this guide will give you the best possible start.

  • Blue – represents the top ten stating hands which can be raised and re-raised at any time throughout the game
  • Green – represents the best call to make early in the game which you can then continue to raise in further rounds.
  • Orange – represents the best call to make in middle or late stages of the game.
  • Purple – represents the best call which can only made in the last stage of the game.

Starting Hands

  1. Any Pair – this is great starting hand which will give you the option of creating a high pair, two pair, three of a kind, a full house or a four of a kind. The higher the starting pair which you have the better chance of winning the game.

    Below are a few varieties which can be played, these can be played in any suite

    1. Ace + Ace, King + King, Queen + Queen or Jack + Jack
    2. 10 + 10, 9 + 9 or 8 + 8
    3. 7 + 7, 6 + 6, 5 + 5, 4 + 4, 3 + 3, 2 + 2
  2. Any high card (Ace to Jack, no numbers) with any card matching the suit – they provide you with the possibility of high pair, two pair, three of a kind, flush, straight and straight flush. With an Ace, King or Queen arranged correctly can be made into a flush.

    Below are a few varieties which can be played, these have to played with matching suites

    1. Ace + King, Ace + Queen, Ace + Jack, Ace + 10, Ace + 9, Ace + 8, Ace + 7, Ace + 6, Ace + 5, Ace + 4, Ace + 3, Ace + 2
    2. King + Queen, King + Jack, King + 10, King + 9, King + 8, King + 7, King + 6, King + 5, King + 4, King + 3,King + 2
    3. Queen + Jack, Queen + 10, Queen + 9, Queen + 8, Queen + 7, Queen + 6, Queen + 5, Queen + 4, Queen + 3, Queen + 2
    4. Jack + 10, Jack + 9, Jack + 8, Jack + 7, Jack + 6, Jack + 5
    5. 10 + 9, 10 + 8, 10 + 7, 10 + 6
  3. Any high card (Ace to Jack, no numbers) with any different suit high card – these cards could provide you with a opportunity to play either a high pair or a straight.
    1. Ace + King, Ace + Queen, Ace + Jack, Ace + 10, Ace + 9
    2. King + Queen, King + Jack, King + 10, King + 9
    3. Queen + Jack, Queen + 10, Queen + 9
    4. Jack + 10, Jack + 9
    5. 10 + 9
  4. Low card (numbered cards) with any matching suit low card – These cards can give you the possibility of creating a flush or a straight as they have the same suite in common.

    Below are a few varieties which can be played, these have to played with matching suites

    1. 9 + 8, 9 + 7, 9 + 6
    2. 8 + 7, 8 + 6, 8 + 5
    3. 7 + 6, 7 + 5
    4. 6 + 5, 6 + 4
    5. 5 + 4, 5 + 3
    6. 4 + 3

NOTE: If you happen to have none of the hands mentioned above, I would recommend you fold and try again next time.

Strategies for Texas Hold’em

August 6, 2009

As you find with most poker games, there are various methods which can be used by different players to try and get an edge over the competition. Texas Hold’em is no different for this reason we will concentrate on the basic strategy and hopefully give you some tips and tactics which you can use to become a better poker player.

As a player you will always have to make one of two decisions in all rounds of the game, these are whether to ‘fold’ or to ‘stay’. The decision normally relies on two important aspects of the game these are

  1. The five cards placed on the table by the dealer (community cards)
  2. The two original cards given at the start of the game by the dealer (hole cards)

Most poker strategies are based around the two original cards which are given to each player. These cards are very important as they always determine the starting hand used with the cards placed on the table. Remember that this is the same for all the other players.

Deciding on the right strategy will take practise and a lot of hours playing against opponents of similar levels to you. The decisions which are made can depend on the following

  • The starting hand
  • How many players in the game
  • The five cards (community cards) dealt by the dealer for the table
  • The limit of the game (How high)

IMPORTANT: It does not matter the number of players in a game or the stake value it is the starting hand that plays the most important part to becoming victorious.

Guide to Playing Texas Hold’em

August 5, 2009

Starting the Game

To begin the game, a dealer is chosen between the players, it does not matter who it is as after each hand is player a new dealer is chosen. After the dealer is chosen, the blinds will need to be made. Remember the blind players are always to the left of the dealer. The dealer can then start to give out the cards, for the opening it will be two cards given in a clockwise direction.

You are now ready to start the first round of betting, this is where the fun really begins.

Round 1 – Betting

This where the game starts. The players look at the two original cards which were given to them from the dealer and check to see if it is worth playing on. The bets go around the table clockwise, and starts from the player to the left of the big blind player. In the first round all players apart from the player who played the big blind can choose the following options:
FOLD (exit the game)
CALL (Match the bet)
RAISE (Increase amount to the fullest)

If the remaining players in the round, choose to call then the player who posted the big blind amount has the an additional option.

CHECK ( Allows for them to stay in the game, without calling or raising)

Round 2 – The Flop

After the first round of betting, the dealer will now deal out the first three community cards face up for the table to see, usually placed in the centre of the table. The players remaining can now use there two original cards with the 3 community cards to form a possible winning hand.

Betting

In this round the betting will begin from the dealers left, no matter the circumstance for example the dealer may have folded in the earlier round. The play is always played clockwise for this round, betting commences with the first player closest to the dealers left. The same set of options is available for the players as previously either fold, call, and raise. The first players to make to enter a wager in the round has the option to check, if no raises are made then all players can check.

Round 3 – The Turn

After the round 2 has finished, the next phase is for the dealer to give out the fourth card which is placed on the board. Once the second betting round has come to an end, the dealer deals the fourth
community card on the table. It is at this stages where the game become very interesting as players have now 6 cards which to look at and figure the winning the hand.

Betting

This round of betting follows the same pattern as the previous round, difference this time the stakes have increased and players now have to up the money when waging at the table.

Round 4– The River

The dealer now plays the final card, which is the fifth on the table. This gives the players a total of 7 cards to try and get the best possible hand out of.

The Final Bet

This round is exactly the same as the previous round as players are still playing with the higher stake level.

Showdown

This is the final stage of the game, where all players who have remained in the game show the hands which they have, normally the last player to bet begins and so on.

Players have the option during this final stage to “MUCK” (fold, not show cards). If the scenario of all players fold, with the remaining player winning by default then a showdown is not required. The winner can choose to show their hand if they wish to but most do not.

Winning The Pot

Below is a summary of the three ways which the pot can be won by players in the game.

  1. The easiest way for a player to win the pot is for them to have the best winning hand. In an online environment the software will usually calculate this for you and declare the winner at the end of the game.
  2. If a scenario occurs when two player have the same winning hand then both win the pot which is halved.
  3. The last way, is when the 5 cards which are on the table make the best winning hand, if this happens then all the remaining players will get part of the pot money. This is known as the ‘board plays’.