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101221 - Texas Hold’em

101221

Texas Hold’em

Without a doubt Texas hold’em (especially the no limit variety) is the most popular poker game in the world right now. Made popular by high stakes gun slingers wagering up millions on television and the World Series of Poker, Texas hold’em is an easy to learn fast paced poker game that has taken the world by storm. Don’t be fooled though: just because this game is easy to learn doesn’t mean it is easy to play. Texas hold’em can take a lifetime to master and with the constant influx of new players, someone always has a new trick up their sleeve. In this article we will look at the basic strategy concepts of Texas hold’em and lay the groundwork for a solid hold’em foundation.

Starting Hands

Without a doubt this is the most important part of a good Texas hold’em foundation! It is so easy to get caught up in this idea that any two cards can win in hold’em and while that is certainly true, the bottom line is that the higher ranking hands win more often and those are the ones you must play. In Texas hold’em you will want to practice something called selective aggressions. This means you will be very picky about the starting hands you play, but once you decide to play them, you enter the pot very aggressively and don’t let down. Here are some great starting hands in Texas hold’em, these will play from any position:

* AA
* KK
* QQ
* JJ
* AK suited
* AK
* AQ suited

These are the types of hands we are talking about with selective aggression. Enter the pot with a raise pre flop on hands like these and punish your opponents for playing lesser hands.

Playing in small stakes games

Most likely when you get started at Texas hold’em you are going to be playing in small stakes games. In fact, unless you have tons of expendable cash, this is the best idea anyways. Small stakes games are usually filled with loose players who aren’t very knowledgeable. Be careful though, there are some small stakes sharks who really do grind it out at the small stakes. The key to small stakes hold’em is playing super aggressive, being very tight and lastly, not messing around when you get a good hand. There is usually very little reason to slow play or use any other kind of trickery in small stakes games. The reason behind this is very simple. In small stakes games, the players are usually of such low skill level that they believe any hand they have can win and they will chase down some crazy draw until the end. Now the unfortunate part to this is of course the fact that every now and then they will suck one out on you and it will be really frustrating. Most of the time though, your superior hand will win and you will have extracted the most money possible from your weak opponents by simply using a straightforward and aggressive betting approach.

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