Whether you are a newbie to the game of Texas Hold ‘em, an old pro at the game or a weekend poker wager, I know that you, like me, are interested in knowing what beats us. It also interested me in learning how to adjust my game to be profitable.
You will find this article combining information on several forms of poker, combined with strategies.
At the Poker Stage
You will probably be at the poker stage now. If you are a practiced poker player at all levels, you will probably perform quite well at this time. You’ve built up your skills and are probably quite satisfied with your level of play. At this stage there is no relatively as much information on other players as at the stage we just described. If you are relatively good at your game you will probably be able to guess the hands of the other players at the table.
Now you will be able to watch the players and if you see that they are playing with a broad range of hands you can pretty much guess as to what hands they usually play. You will also be able to add money to your stack.
A rough idea of what the best starting hands are is to try to get a pocket pair in the range of Ace King, Ace Queen and Ace Jack suited (preferably suited). A pocket pair is a hand of two cards of the same rank. If you can get other players to fold, it’s worth it. That pair of tens is worth more than that.
However, you won’t be able to guess what two cards you opponents are holding. That is the toughest part of working out what beats you. You may be able to get a better idea if you re-raise a c-bet pre-flop and the flop is ragged. But, if you can’t guess, you are walking into a minefield.
Disturbing your opponents is one thing. But, keeping your opponents in the hand is the real business of the game.
Adjusting Your Game
If you are comfortable with your game play, don’t change it too much. But, if you are making some adjustments, start with one of the best.
What do I mean by adjustments? In the beginning you shouldn’t necessarily be playing too tight. You want to establish yourself with a good hand and just a few players at the table having decent hands. In fact, you don’t want to play against people that may know you are good, or even be worse.
Now, when the blind comes around you should consider playing a more “normal” Bolagila game, with cards of all ranks, but definitely loosening up. And, in the beginning, you shouldn’t always tighten up. If you are usually a calling station and have “quality” hands, you want to startle the table. And, by playing premium cards, you will set yourself up to win chips in the beginning.
Sure, you can win some hands by bluffing, and an Ace or King will probably help you once in a while, but sooner or later, you are going to beat a more seasoned player. You want to win more than that, actually. You want to set yourself up to win before the end.
So, don’t call all the time. Bluff occasionally. And, don’t play every hand. If you core your strategy on the number of hands you will play, this will be easier. You’ll have to pay attention to the number of hands played in the last few rounds. Call fewer but consistently when necessary.
Here’s an example: You are on the button, everyone before you folds, and you are the first to act. If you have Ace Seven and the flop comes Jack of Spades, Ten and a 9, you probably should bet Seventy-five times the blind. Most times, players with Ace Seven will fold. Checking, even if checked to, is a sign of strength.
Jack Spades is an easy hand to raise with. It is strong against other spades, and it can be a good hand to take down an entire pot. Against a flop like Queen of Hearts, it may be worth calling another raise.
Playing aggressively will not work if you only play certain hands. It is more effective if you also play a wide variety of hands. If you raise with Ace Seven, Ace Ten, King Queen and King Jack, and receive a call from the button, your opponents will not likely put you on one particular hand.
Raising the first blind and then laying it down will be more effective if you have more chips in the pot. Betting the blinds will accomplish this end.
When you have a lot of callers in the pot, especially those near the button, you will probably be able to save the blinds and don’t have to worry about them.