Playing poker Online is different from real world play, the speed is far greater, the tells are fewer. Your goal is to play poker make money and have fun. Of course its always more fun when you win and win lots. Online poker has huge potential payoffs if you know how to play correctly. At lower limits there are so many fish that solid play can rack up a large bankroll relatively quickly. The key is to make small (2.5-3.5X the blind) raises when you are in good positions with makable hands (6h 7h) your hand is weak but you can flop a monster if you can get in cheap enough.
A good way to get a head start on your competition is to know what they don't. Most Online players don't have and understanding of what is explained on these clips. The key is getting you the right information fast so all of these clips are less than 10 minutes and arranged around key strategies that will improve your game far faster than your opponents.
|Small Ball - Daniel Negreanu|
|Advanced Strategies - Gus Hansen|
|Poker Tells - Mike Caro|
|Short Stacked Strategy - Hellmuth|
|The Gap Concept - Phil Gordon|
Texas Holdem is the World's most popular poker game, it comes in three popular versions. They are Limit Holdem, Pot Limit Holdem and No Limit Holdem. The differences between the games are when it comes to the betting structure. The basic rules and poker hand rankings are all the same. This Texas holdem strategy guide gives you a quick overview of how the game works. Get the Poker Strategy Card for Texas Hold em Starting Hands and learn basic concepts like how to play pocket pairs.
Texas Holdem uses a standard deck of 52 cards. Games are usually played between 2 to 10 players per table. Each player is dealt two cards face down -These are called hole cards. The first round of betting occurs and if two or more people are still competing the first three of five community cards are dealt this is the flop. These cards are dealt face up on the center of the table and are used by all players in combination with their hole cards to make the best 5 card poker hand. Another round of betting occurs, and a forth card is dealt face up - this is the turn. Another round of betting, then the fifth card is dealt - the river. Its now time for the final round of betting and then the remaining players show their hole cards to see who has made the best poker hand.
The action is started with two forced bets called the blinds, there is the big blind and the small blind. The big blind sits two seats to the left of the dealer and puts in the amount of the minimum bet. The small blind sits directly to the left of the dealer and puts in a half of a minimum bet. Some games, and the later stages of some tournaments have an ante, which is a small forced bet smaller than the small blind that everyone chips in before the start of a hand. The ante is used to increase the action at the table - as more is at stake more betting will occur.
To demonstrate position for our example we will use a 6 person table. To keep track of the deal a "Dealer Button" is used. The player who has the dealer button is said to be In Position. The two players to the left of the button are referred to as the blinds. These players are said to be Out of Position. The player to the left of the big blind is the first to bet they are said to be in early position. The next person to bet is said to be in middle position. The player to the right of the button is in late position. In the first round of betting it is the big blind that bets last. In the following rounds of betting it is the player in position - on the dealer button. Position is important in Texas Holdem with being in late or in position preferred. The reason is that you get to see what the other bet first and you are able to save bets when the hand is not in your favor or to take advantage of it when it is favorable.
Any Position These hands are playable from any position
Pocket Pairs: A-A K-K Q-Q J-J T-T 9-9 8-8 7-7
Suited Connectors: A-K A-Q A-J A-T K-Q K-J K-T Q-J J-9 T-9
Unsuited Big Cards: A-K A-Q A-J A-T K-Q K-J
Middle Position Add the following hands in middle position
Pocket Pairs: 6-6 5-5
Suited Connectors: A-9 A-8 A-7 A-6 K-9 Q-9 Q-8 J-8 T-8 9-8
Unsuited Cards: K-T Q-J Q-T J-T
Late Position Add the following hands in late position
Pocket Pairs: 4-4 3-3 2-2
Suited Connectors: A-5 A-4 A-3 A-2 K-8 K-7 K-6 K-5 K-4 K-3 K-2 J-7 T-7 9-7 9-6 8-7 8-6 7-6 7-5 6-5 5-4
Unsuited Cards: A-9 A-8 A-7 K-9 Q-9 J-9 J-8 T-9 T-8 9-8 9-7 8-7
read more on playing pocket pairs
The first player to bet is the player to the left of the big blind in early position. The player has three choices at this juncture; they can call by putting in the amount of the big blind; they can raise a minimum of twice the big blind (maximum depends on game type) or they can fold and save their chips for a better hand. The action moves around the table clockwise for one round until each player has had a chance to bet. If their is a raise on the table the action will continue to go around until all participating players have called the same or maximum amount or if their is only one player remaining they win the hand. This first round is called pre flop. The flop is the second round of betting, after the three community cards flop the action starts with the small blind and moves clockwise to the button again the betting continues until players have the same amount (or maximum) bet or all fold to one player. For the third round the turn and the forth round the river, the betting is the same as in the first.
Limit Holdem is a betting structure where there can be a maximum of 4 raises per round with an increase of one times the bet size for each player that raises per round. The pre flop and flop the bet size is the amount of the big blind. For the flop and the river the bet size is double the big blind with a maximum of 4 increases per round.
Pot Limit is a variation in holdem where the maximum bet is the size of the pot.
This is the most popular version of Texas Holdem and the version that is used to determine the World Series of Poker main Event Champion, such as Poker Legend Doyle Brunson won back to back in 1976-77. In the No Limit version there is "No Limit" to the maximum that you can bet. You can push all of your chip into the center of the table at any time. The other players then have to either call or raise if they can when faced with this bet or and it goes down to a showdown or they fold and you win the hand with no contest. The move of pushing all of your chips in is said to be going All In.
In all versions of Holdem when a player has all of his chips in the pot they are said to be all In. If there is only one or no players left with chips then there is a showdown. The hole cards for each player are flipped face up on the table for all to see and any remaining community cards are dealt and a winner is declared. The All In move is part of the huge draw of Texas No Limit holdem where you can be put your entire stack on the line at any time and lose it all or double it and then some.
One of pokers great appeals is the option to bluff an opponent off the better hand. A bluff attempts to steal the pot without a showdown, a key component is never to show your hand as it would likely lose, except against a worse bluff.
Phil Gordon - Making big bluffs - timing is very important, make sure that your opponents last action was weak and that yours was strong.
Annie Duke - Don't start Holly-wooding -pretending that you have a strong hand is different body language than if you really do - it can be easily picked up.
Gavin Smith - Failed bluffs set up a trap for later - use it as a weapon.
Reverse post oak bluff - A great way to BS a player with a weak or medium hand into making a reasonable bluff to get you more money in the pot. The stage - on the flop you make a monster a flush, straight, full house or quads - the nuts or very close. You want to milk this sucker for all its worth so you toss in a minimum bet (post oak bluff). It looks like your making a weak attempt to steal the pot - many players will play back at you with a reasonable bet. At this point should call if another card wont put you in jeopardy. On the turn check or make another small bet. If he raises you here again, re-raise but keep it about the same size as their bet or slightly larger ( you want tit for tat action to build a pot. If it gets to the river - get more aggressive and get more - even all in right away. Massage this to your situation and you should be able to steal more pots cheaply and make an occasional big haul by inducing a bluff in your opponent with a reverse post oak bluff. Of coarse at Top Online Poker we recommend a scorched earth policy filling your pockets and eating your competition alive. Find more poker strategy tips.
If you are just starting out you need to know the basics of Texas Hold' em, hand rankings, pot odds (the easy math) and how to play pocket pairs, big cards and suited connecting hands. No Limit is the big game but to start do what one of the most successful Online players did - Play Limit Holdem. You want to start with the the top 10 holdem starting hands (AA>88) and AK suited and off suit and AQs. The biggest mistakes most beginners make:
Play to many hands from the wrong positions.
Bet too big or small - 3.5X - 4.5X is a good raise in No Limit Holdem
Play weak draws too strongly and call way too much after the flop. A draw can be bet but only small bets should be called unless the odds are overwhelmingly in your favor.
Play the 20% of hands that you should never call a raise with.
Afraid of being bluffed - you want to keep them bluffing so they bluff you when you have the nuts and you get all their chips. If you lose a few setting up this trap - that's the cost of your bait.
Bluffing. Small Bluffs are OK even profitable but a big bluff - leave it alone until you have thousands of hands of experience then only use it rarely (like once in a tournament) and in a very well picked spot.
Moving to intermediate play too fast. Simple beginner strategy allows you to win and build your stack, adding more hands gets you into more trouble unless you have some experience and a good understanding of pot odds)
By now you should have several thousand hands under your belt and a solid understanding of pot odds. You will also have picked up some tells based on betting patterns that help you decide where a small bluff can pick you up a pot. The key is to make small (2.5-3.5X the blind) raises when you are in good positions with makable hands (6h 7h) your hand is weak but you can flop a monster if you can get in cheap enough. Stealing blinds and making small bluff or semi bluffs can improve your game at this stage. Going from the top 10 pairs to add a few hands in late position (big cards suited and unsuited (AJ, KQ, KJ, QJ, A10, K10, Q10, J10), smaller medium pairs (77, 66, 55) Axs and suited connectors (10s 9s, 9s 8s, 8s 7s, 7s 6s). Even though you now should start to play these hands its still better to muck them a good percentage of the time. As your play and win rate improves you should be moving into higher limits but moving down if your win rate decreases. You should also make sure that you get some real world poker experience playing in casinos or with friends picking up on some poker tells can help your win rate significantly. Learn something you wont find anywhere else with a Reverse Post Oak Bluff
Advanced Texas Holdem involves plays such as Daniel Negreanu's Small Ball Strategy and Gus Hansen's super aggressive maniac style. At this stage you would be putting in 20 hours or more a week into poker have read at least dozen poker books and have experienced tens of thousands of hands. You have been keeping records of your play and have been profitable for some time. You know your strengths and analyses your losses to help you turn them into strengths. At this level you will have some good money finishes in tournaments or many good cash game wins. This is the point where you have taken all you have learned and make your own style and strategies - separate yourself from the pack. This is where you want to be to go pro maybe trying to win an entry into a major tournament like the WSOP and maybe to get some Las Vegas experience.