Texas Hold Em Strategies
If youíre new to
Texas Holdíem but want to get better,
here are some handy tips that weíve
learnt at the sharp end. Print this out,
memorise it; itís worth it you know.
| Very strong
- Pair of aces (pocket rockets)
- Pair of Kings
- Ace-King on suit
- Pair of Queens
- Pair of Jacks
| Strong Starting
- Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack and Ace-10 on
- Ace-King off suit
- Pair of tens
- Ace-10, King-Jack, Queen-Jack,
Jack-10 on suit
- Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack off-suit
- Pair of nines
- King-Queen off suit
- King-10, Queen-10 on suit
| Medium Strength
- Pair of eights
- Jack-9, 10-9 on suit
- Pair of sevens
- 9-8, 8-7 on suit
- An ace with any other on suit card
- King-Jack, Queen-Jack, Jack-10
| Other starting
hands that are sometimes worth playing
- Any low pair
- Connected cards in the same suit, for
example 8-7, 6-5, 5-4 etc
- Ace-10, King-10, Queen-10 off suit
- King-9, Jack-8 on suit
|Starting hands you
really shouldnít play
Basically, anything else. You can still get
away with it, and if youíre short stacked
and forced to go all-in you may not have much
choice, but they should generally be treated
with extreme caution.
Always remember, that thereís an inherent
degree of luck involved with the game. While
playing the percentages should lead to a
profitable and rewarding time at the poker
tables, bad beats are a part of the game. You
can sit there with a pair of aces against a
player with 2-7 and watch them flop three of a
kind to beat your pocket rocketsÖ
| Some basic tips and
- Play cautiously when the game first
starts. Settle down, catch the mood of
the game. Of course, if youíre a
naturally aggressive player, or you
catch some decent starting hands, you
can go for it from the start. If other
players are playing cautiously, you can
often force them out early.
- Play aggressively if youíre dealt a
strong pre-flop hand, it gets money in
the pot early and encourages weak hands
to fold. You want those potentially weak
hands out of the way; they can still get
lucky on the flop.
- If youíre dealt a low pair, play
cautiously and only play when the
betting is cheap. If you donít flop a
three of a kind or two pairs, itís
probably best to get rid.
- Play aggressively when you have
options after the flop. If your hand has
a chance of making a straigh, flush and
three of a kind for example, get
- Watch out for uniform flops like 7,8,
9. Even if youíre holding top pair,
someone could easily make a straight.
- Beware of suited flops. If three
hearts appear, chances are high that
someone somewhere is going to make a
- Getting caught bluffing once in a
while isnít necessarily a bad thing.
It can even be worth deliberately
getting caught playing a bluff in a
certain way, thus making it harder for
opponents to read your game. Just donít
throw away too much cash right?
- Study your opponents. Watch how they
bet, flop, call and bluff. Do they act
quickly, do they take time to act? If
youíre looking to play regularly, itís
worth making notes on the players you
come across. Having notes to refer back
to can give you an edge in future games.
- Donít be too quick on the fold. If
you can see cards for free as everyoneís
checking, then do so.
- Donít look to play every hand. If
you havenít got a decent starting
hand, bin it. Save your cash for when
you have something worth playing.
- If youíre getting the hang of Texas
Holdíem by using the play for fun
tables, pretend your chips are real
money. Donít play with a devil may
care attitude, itíll only get you into
- Beware of good hands in large games.
If in a full ring game of nine people,
six or seven are still in a hand, itís
highly likely that one of the players
has a very good hand. Your pair just wonít
cut it. Just let go dammit, let go.
- In very short-handed games, or in
heads-up play, good hands are hard to
come by. That pair of threeís that you
thought was a loser may not be so bad
- If you have a losing streak, never
never never start playing more
aggresively to try to win back your
losses. Luck evens itself out over time,
play your game and youíll do OK.
Losing your rag is called going off
tilt. Itís a bad thing.
- Donít try to beat other players; let
them try to beat you.
- Learn the probabilities of making
certain hands in any given situation. A
player who plays the odds well, is a
player who plays well.
- Play as often as possible, even if itís
only for low stakes. Thereís no
substitute for experience.
- Vary your playing strategy from time
to time. Play the same way all the time,
and good players will work you out.
- Make sure that you learn from your
losses. They often provide you with more
telling information about how to play
the game than winning. Whatever happens,
donít give up.
- Never play at a table where you canít
afford to lose. Itíll affect how you
play. Adversely that is.
- Watch high-stakes tables. The higher
the stakes, the better calibre of player
it tends to attract. Watch these tables,
study how they play and assimilate this
information into your game. Itíll pay
off against players at lower levels.