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Texas Hold Em
Arrow  Texas Hold Em Strategies
If you?re new to Texas Hold?em but want to get better, here are some handy tips that we?ve learnt at the sharp end. Print this out, memorise it; it?s worth it you know.
 Very strong starting hands
  • Pair of aces (pocket rockets)
  • Pair of Kings
  • Ace-King on suit
  • Pair of Queens
  • Pair of Jacks
 Strong Starting Hands
  • Ace-Queen, Ace-Jack and Ace-10 on suit
  • 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 Starting Hands
  • 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 off-suit
 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 shouldn?t play
Basically, anything else. You can still get away with it, and if you?re 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 there?s 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 rockets?


Some basic tips and strategies
  • Play cautiously when the game first starts. Settle down, catch the mood of the game. Of course, if you?re 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 you?re 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 you?re dealt a low pair, play cautiously and only play when the betting is cheap. If you don?t flop a three of a kind or two pairs, it?s 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 raising.
  • Watch out for uniform flops like 7,8, 9. Even if you?re 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 flush.
  • Getting caught bluffing once in a while isn?t 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 don?t 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 you?re looking to play regularly, it?s worth making notes on the players you come across. Having notes to refer back to can give you an edge in future games.
  • Don?t be too quick on the fold. If you can see cards for free as everyone?s checking, then do so.
  • Don?t look to play every hand. If you haven?t got a decent starting hand, bin it. Save your cash for when you have something worth playing.
  • If you?re getting the hang of Texas Hold?em by using the play for fun tables, pretend your chips are real money. Don?t play with a devil may care attitude, it?ll only get you into bad habits.
  • Beware of good hands in large games. If in a full ring game of nine people, six or seven are still in a hand, it?s highly likely that one of the players has a very good hand. Your pair just won?t 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 three?s that you thought was a loser may not be so bad after all?
  • 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 you?ll do OK. Losing your rag is called going off tilt. It?s a bad thing.
  • Don?t 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 it?s only for low stakes. There?s 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, don?t give up.
  • Never play at a table where you can?t afford to lose. It?ll 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. It?ll pay off against players at lower levels.
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