Poker table positions

Texas Hold’em Strategies

The Poker Haus has two strategies presented:

On top of these you can find some basic poker tactics below. If you are new to the game, you should also see the rules and how to calculate odds to get started!

Texas Hold’em Poker strategy

Texas Hold’em is a comply game, but everything starts with the two hole cards you get pre-flop. If you have high cards, you have a good chance of having the strongest hand or at least a draw for the strongest hand on the flop. If you are dealt a medium-strength or a conditional hand, you should decide whether to play it or not basing on your position. If you are in a late position, you should play such hands, if you are having a chance to the flop without having to pay too much for it. On the other hand, strong high hand should be played almost every time, regardless of the position, and they should be played aggressively, from the very start. When you are holding a strong hand, your goal is to eliminate some of the opponents, since the more opponents there are left in the hand, the biggest the chance that someone will draw a hand stronger than yours. If you have a high pair, but a threatening (suite or connected for instance) flop comes out, you should be careful – if you encounter plenty of betting by your opposition, you should usually fold, despite the fact that you have already put some money into the pot.

  • Good before-the-flop strategy is one of the foundation of successful poker play. You need to analyze many different factors, such as the total number of players, your position in the hand, how aggressive your opponents are, your bankroll, and finally how much risk you are willing to take.
  • Total number of players: The more players at the table, the bigger the chance that at least one of them will get a hand such as pocket Aces or pocket Kings. It is also more likely that on the turn or the river, some of them might make the hand that will beat you. That is something you must have in mind when playing a big table. With shorthanded games, it is quite the opposite, so adapt your strategy accordingly.
  • The position: Position is extremely important in poker, and it is especially the case pre-flop. That is why have dedicated an entire chapter solely to the position factor in Texas Hold’em.
  • How aggressive your opponents are: If you see a player that is overly aggressive (i.e. raises almost every hand before the flop), you need to tighten up your play – you should leave the blinds to that player, waiting for the right opportunity to take the big money from him or her when you hit a strong pocket hand.
  • Your bankroll: What actually matters here is the size of your bankroll comparing to the bet size. For instance, if you are at a $5/10 table with only $10 left, you will need to wait for your opportunity patiently, and bet when you get a strong hand, hoping you will be able to get as much people in as possible. On the opposite, if your bankroll is $10,000, you may consider adopting the bets with a higher risk and a higher payout.
  • The amount of risk you are willing to take: If you are willing to risk more, you will play very aggressive pre-flop game, aiming for the big pots and being ready to sustain the substantial losing streaks. On the other hand, in case you prefer to “play it safe”, you will need to be much more selective with the hands you are going to play pre-flop. In this case, you won’t win that often, but you will be in much lower risk of making costly losing streaks. The choice is entirely up to you – you should play the way that suits you personally.

Strategic tactics

Naturally, the card you have will be a major factor in choosing your moves during the game. If you have the strongest hands, such as the AA, you will always bet aggressively from the start. There are other good hands as well, and you will learn which ones they are. In general, having suited or connected cards usually makes your hand a bit stronger.

There isn’t an exact blueprint you can apply from situation to situation, but there are several typical examples you can use as a base for building up your poker strategy. Here are some of the most common ones:

  • High pairs & strong hands pre-flop – do a fast play. By doing so, you will accomplish two things: first, you will scare off weak hands that might get lucky and kill you on the turn or the river; and second, this way you will be able to build up a solid pot early on.
  • Only draw to the high end of a straight. You should never aim for both ends or even worse for the low end. For instance, if 8-7-6 come out on flop, you should only draw to the straight if you are holding the 10-9. The 5-4 and the 9-5 are not good enough reasons to bet waiting for the straight.
  • Play low and medium cards only if they are connected. This also includes any suited combinations that cannot make a straight on the flop. For instance, having the high and the low end of a straight, such as 10-6 for instance is never good to play.
  • Low pairs – play them with caution. Low pairs are all pairs form 22 to 66. Those should be played only from a late position, and only if playing them isn’t going to cost you too much. If you do play them, getting anything but the quads on the flop is usually a good reason to fold.
  • Two-way draw on the flop – play aggressively. Two-way draws means a possibility to make both straight and flush/trips, etc. If you get one of these after the flop, you should bet or even raise.
  • Two high over cards or an Ace – bet if there is a garbage flop. Garbage flop is a flop comprised of unconnected and unsuited (“rainbow”) medium or low cards. It is called that because it gives very little chance of making any strong hand on the turn or the river. If you have an Ace, or two high over cards, there is a good chance you might turn out winner if you bet. However, if anyone raises after your bet, it is usually best to fold.
  • Uniform flops – beware of those. This refers to flops such as 9-8-7, since those can make straights quite easily and beat your otherwise solid hand.
  • Suited flops – beware of those. We are referring to suited flops that can easily help someone complete a flush. Beware of the flops like that – you should almost exclusively be holding the nut in the suit, or two pair or trips that may fill up.
  • When player raises, check their chips. When down to a very low bankroll, player would often go all-in with almost any cards in hand, just so they can cut their agony (or hopefully struck a lucky win that will bring them back in the game).