Getting Into The Game – Playing in Texas Holdem Tournaments
Excited about getting into a game of Texas Holdem (No Limit) but don’t know what to do after the cards are drawn? Try these highly advanced techniques I’ve developed in my years of playing the game.
Early on, the game is all about getting stuck into some pots. The blinds are cheap at 10/20 so it is easy to see flops. Don’t hang around for the best Texas Holdem starting hands, as they will rarely visit you. Decisions as to whether to play should be based on table position and numbers of players in the pot.
If all the players are in and you can get in cheaply then do so even with rags. The hope is that you will hit two pair or higher in which case you should follow up with a large bet. Most people will be playing high cards – Ace, King, and a variety of picture cards. Hardly anyone will be playing lower cards like 56, suited or not.
Best Bet When Starting Out With No Limit Tournaments
High cards are of course best, but the way to advance in early no limit tournaments is to catch 2 pair or higher and make those holding a pair of Aces (inc one on the board) pay for it. Weaker players can never get away from big starting hands. If you have hit a two pair on the flop then you’ll likely see action against a single pair that often leads to an all-in.
You need to be mindful of the possibilities and play each poker hand as the situation and betting dictates, but you should know that your opponent does not expect you to be on a set or two pair if low cards are on the flop.
You may continue to see 75% of flops and always bet top pair. Look out for poker traps such as large re-raises, calling to the turn followed by aggressive betting. Watch the early position players betting heavily pre-flop. You should continue these poker strategies throughout the early game until the blinds move up above 50.
Remember, strategy accounts for probably 90% of your success. The rest is up to lady luck.
Adding ‘The Bluff’ To Texas Holdem Strategy
Texas Holdem is also a game of bluff – to play well you have to master bluffing and that often means stealing from late position. By the end of the first third of the game you should have a good handle on the way players play certain types of hand. Low cards on the board post-flop and turn, which combined with checking all around is an indication that you should dip your toe in the water.
Don’t bet large at these situations with a stone cold bluff because you will walk into players who have set a trap – you also look to other players with over cards like a thief looking to steal the pot. A pot size bet or slightly less is, I find, most effective. Obviously it will bring out the traps which you need to back away from. If not your bet will suggest to all the other players that you’re trying to disguise how good your hand really is.
These tricks are easy to use once you are aware of them and start using them when you are playing. Using these techniques can help even out the battlefield and enable you to stay on course to achieve your goal of winning big pots to progress in a Texas Holdem tournament.