With 10 World Series of Poker bracelets under his name, Phil Ivey is regarded as the best poker player in the world. Your skills may not get you to the Poker Hall of Fame — yet, but with determination and strategic tips, anything is possible. Whether you want to earn some cash by playing cards or aspiring to clinch a win at a poker tournament, you’ll be sure to benefit from the tips and tricks on Texas Holdem that we divulge in this article.
What is Texas Holdem?
New to poker? Fret not, for here is a brief overview of Texas Holdem. Texas Holdem is one of o the most popular types of poker. There are two types of cards: two hole cards, which only the player can see, and five community cards dealt upwards, visible to the whole table. The objective is to get the best five cards from the seven that you are dealt. The winning player will have the best hand and has not folded at the end of the game. The winning player will get the pot, which is the money bet for the hand.
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Tip #1: Limit your range
You should be careful with the number of hands you play. Avoiding repeatedly folding by playing many starting or weak hands seems like a good strategy, especially for beginners. However, it increases the chances of losing money. Playing too many hands is especially risky when the other players are more experienced and are more daring in their gambles. Instead, try sticking to playing only strong hands, such as aces and kings, as well as appropriate observing in positions. You can practice with a wider range of hands and expand your pre-flop range after you are moderately experienced and have graduated from being a beginner.
Tip #2: Balance your range
As deceiving your opponents is key to poker, you will gain an edge over your opponents by being unpredictable. If you are too rigid in your playing style, it makes way for your opponents to guess what kind of cards you have. This will prevent your big hand from paying off and your buffs from getting through. To avoid this, play a balanced range and mix it up. When you have a big hand, avoid always continuation-betting on a flop. Instead, vary your strategy. For example, by check-raising a flopped flush draw half the time while calling the other half, or three-betting in the big blind with a suited ace in one hand before calling the next.
Tip #3: Manage your bankroll
Managing your bankroll is crucial to ensure that you do not go broke when you are down on your luck in a game. It would be best to have a bankroll of a minimum of 25 times the buy-in for your game. If you lack that amount of capital or just want to limit your spending, you can first practice by playing free online poker games. It is a good way to hone your poker skills and has a far more budget-friendly option than gambling with real money in live poker.
As the saying goes, you need money to make money in poker. Poker is still a game of luck. Even if you are confident of your skills or are on a winning streak, there is always the risk that the cards will break your way or your opponents hit multi-flush draws. When it comes to your money, it’s always better to be safe and ensure that you are properly bankrolled.
Tip #4: Lose the game, not your determination
As mentioned earlier, poker is a game of luck. Sometimes a game or four are just riddled with bad luck. However, mental fortitude and confidence are necessary for you to get far in poker. Even the best of the best run into bad luck, but they keep calm and make the best of the situation. For example, videos of Phil Ivey show that he does not get visibly upset when he takes bad bets.
Tip #5: Increase your wins, not your ego
Remaining humble and rounded is essential in poker, even when you are on a winning streak. If you play consistently, it is inevitable that you will win multiple rounds, just as it is inevitable that you may lose multiple rounds. It is important to not become overconfident over a couple of wins for you may lose all the money you won in the next round. Though it’s understandable that beginners will get excited over their wins, it is still crucial to observe more experienced players.
Tip #6: Learn from others
Poker is not an individual affair. Like a business, networking and interacting with your fellow players can prove to be invaluable. Building rapport with more experienced players can help you improve your skills. You can get feedback on your performance by going through your hand histories with them. Having supportive friends who share your interest in poker can also help you persevere. You can join poker forums and chat groups, or reach out to veteran poker players online, especially on social media.
Tip #7: Get bluffed, move on
Even the most experienced poker plays fall for bluffs. It definitely stings to have your opponent flip over a bluff after you folded a good hand. However, this is better than letting your worries of getting bluffed cloud your judgment. Folding your best hand is a better alternative to losing money. Though the more daring players may get the small pots, you have a higher chance of scoring a big win when those players pay off your better hands. Lose the battle, win the war.
Tip #8: Stay humble
As you get better at poker you may be tempted to show off your skills. Sometimes this means you make the ill-advised decision to accept bets or challenges that feed your wallet but drain your wallet. Though poker legends such as Negreanu can afford to lose $1.2 million to a challenge, most do not have that kind of capital. Stay humble and play for improvement and money, not for your ego.
Poker is a thrilling game of strategy and luck, with millions of people playing it across the globe. Whether you’re playing competitively in tournaments or just want to earn some cash on the side, each game is an opportunity to sharpen your skills. Try using these tips in the next game you play and see if you have improved.