Have you always been more of a slots person than a poker player? Do you usually prefer a few quick rounds of Blackjack over a longer game of Hold’em?
There are plenty of casino players out there just like you, and then, there are the guys who have mastered the game of Texas Hold’em. It’s really not too hard to figure out once you’ve been playing for a while, and it’s also more exciting than you might assume at first.
All you have to do is know how to play the game. This goes beyond learning the rules and choosing your bets. Playing Texas Hold’em is all about strategy, about choosing your moment and reading opponents – and yes, a little bit of luck.
If you want to get better this game, check out the 10 Texas Hold’em tips below.
1. Start Slow
Some casino games – like slots or craps – can be played on a whim. You don’t need much strategy to put a few dollars into a machine just because or place a bet on one turn of the craps table.
If you want to last at a Hold’em table, though, you’ve got to start slow. This goes for both in-person casinos and online gambling. Coming into the game with a bit of patience can take you a long way; it gives you a chance to read the room and see how the cards are treating you.
In other words, settling into your seat allows you to figure out your odds. While you can’t control the cards or other people’s reactions, you can start to see how aggressive the table is and what kind of hands are coming out.
2. Focus on One Table First
It’s possible for players to take the luxury of online gambling too far without thinking things through. They decide to sit at multiple Texas Hold’em tables at once instead of focusing on one at a time.
Even if you’re starting slow at each table, you’re still splitting your focus. It’s better to gather all your energy on one hand and watch what everyone around you is doing first. Focus on building your skills and increasing your funds before you start bouncing around.
3. Figure Out the Other Players
The longer you spend at one single table, the more you come to understand the other players. Figure out the guys ahead of you first then watch out for those who like to raise the odds or bluff a bit after you play.
This will always give you the upper hand no matter where you are at the table or what’s in your hand. When you figure out the other players, you can start telling who really has a hand you need to watch out for and who’s betting on dumb luck.
4. Play the River to Your Advantage
If you’re not sure how to start figuring out everyone around you, watch how they react just before the river. As you do so, try to play this part of the game to your biggest advantage without giving yourself away.
Aggressive players will almost always make it expensive for others to get to the river. They’ll raise the bets before the final card turns to push opponents away. Smart players only do this when they know they have a good hand.
Remember that good doesn’t mean great. Watch out for the possibility of a straight flush or a full house depending on what’s on the table. If you happen to have such a hand, the odds may, in fact, be in your favor.
5. Bluff When It’s to Your Best Benefit
When you’re not too sure of your odds, you can either bluff or fold. There are times when it’s best to cut your losses and fold, and times when a little bluff may work out better than you think.
Try not to bluff all the time, though. Other players will catch on to you and start playing more aggressively to put you in check. Not to mention, the last thing you want is for someone to call your bluff and raise the stakes when you really don’t have anything good in your hand to hold onto.
6. Don’t Be Afraid to Do Something Different
This next Texas Hold’em tip is a little unexpected – and that’s the whole point. If you think a player has you figured out, do things that are a little out of your norm.
Start making minor bluffs before the river if bluffing isn’t your style, or hold back on your bets if you’ve been doing too much of it. Remember it may be in your best interest to slow play, too.
Take a step back and simply check or call your way through a game. This makes you seem like less of a threat even if you have the best hand at the table. Players won’t see it coming and they won’t know what to make of you as the hands pass.
7. Understand Your Position
Another thing to consider is your position at the table. Are you the first guy placing bets or the last? Do you fall somewhere in between, with a little power to influence the people who follow you?
Sometimes, position matters more than the cards. If you’re first to play, your bets depend on the behavior of other players at the table. If you’re closer to the end, you have a little more time to observe a hand before deciding what you want to do.
8. Know When to Fold
Speaking of deciding what to do, know when to fold. Get this into your head now – you don’t have to play every single hand. Even when you do, you won’t always win them.
So, count your losses carefully and know when to step back. There really isn’t any shame in folding, especially when you recognize there’s not much value in your hand in the first place.
9. Always Muck Cards
You have two options when you fold: muck, or show. Always always always muck.
Showing gives you absolutely no advantage. When you fold and show in the middle of a round, it tells whether or not you were bluffing. When you show at the end of a hand that you win, you’re either showing off or telling others that you hustled them.
None of this plays out well for you. Always muck to keep people guessing what’s really in your hand.
10. Quit While You’re Ahead
Last but not least, quit while you’re ahead. You’ve probably heard this a time or two no matter what your casino game of choice is. Still, this tip doesn’t lose its value.
It’s worth reminding yourself when it’s time to get up and walk away. This is especially true if you’re seriously down from when you started or if you’ve made enough winnings to call it a night. Don’t chase your losses and don’t push your luck.
How to Get Better at Texas Hold’em: Play!
One more thing to keep in mind: you won’t get better until you put the tips above into practice. You have to actually sit down and try your luck to see how good of a Texas Hold’em player you really are.
Make sure to use the tips above as you do so. If you’re looking for an online casino to play this game on, click here.