Dozen tips for playing winning poker

Dozen tips for playing winning poker

May 09, 2017 3:00 AM
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Holdem Tips Part II

Here are a dozen great tips for playing Texas hold’em – winning poker, that is. More will follow.

Tip 1: Luck – that’s nothing more than chance – can be good (in your favor) or bad (not to your benefit). Develop your poker skills to reduce the bad luck factor.

Tip 2: Play only in games where you are comfortable with the stakes. It’s your choice. Recognize that there may be hands with lots of raising and re-raising. If you feel the stakes are too high for you, it will attack your emotions and how you play your hand – to your detriment. Don’t play scared.

Tip 3: Check out the table – preferably before you sit down to play. Are there too many tight players? If so, you cannot win much money; more likely you will lose. Playing at a casino, the rake, bad-beat Jackpot drop, and tip to dealer will be too costly compared to how much you might win when you make a power-house hand. That table is not for you.

Tip 4: Likewise, avoid a table that you feel is too aggressive: Raising and re-raising every hand dealt may make it too costly for your mindset. With most starting hands, you don’t want to have to pay three or four bets to see the flop. Only those rare made-hands (pocket Aces, Kings, or Queens) and premium drawing hands (A-K, A-Q, A-J and K-Q) merit that high an investment. Consider moving to another table.

Tip 5: No alcoholic beverages while you are playing. Even a glass of beer or wine may contain enough alcohol to reduce your attention to the game. And, quite likely, you’ll soon be making costly mistakes. A cup of coffee or hot tea is a better choice.

Tip 6: When peeking at you hole cards, avoid exposing them to your neighboring opponents. With your cards face-down on the table, carefully twist up the corners of your hole cards with one hand, while shielding them with your other hand.

Tip 7: Position at the table is very important. It’s to your advantage to be seated to the left of a very aggressive player (a “maniac”), so he acts before you must make your decision. Knowledge (information) is power! It’s great if passive players are to your left. Then, you are less likely to be raised when you call to see the flop with a marginal drawing hand.

Tip 8: Planning to take a break? Do it when it’s your turn to be the Big Blind. Don’t leave the table when you are in a late position, which gives you an edge over your opponents.

Tip 9: Getting tired? Don’t play when you are having trouble keeping your eyes open. It’s been a long day and, perhaps, too many hours at the table. Pack up your chips and check out. Tomorrow will be another day. You play best when you are alert.

Tip 10: The Hold’em Caveat is crucial when considering calling with a marginal (mediocre) drawing hand. It is best to call only if it’s a multiway hand (high implied pot odds) with no raises (less risk).

Tip 11: Bluffing is an essential part of winning poker. Successful bluffing is more than just making a big raise; it’s important to get into your opponent’s mind – to convince him your hand is much better than his. The Esther Bluff will help. But, don’t bluff too often, or opponents will get wise to your deception and call more often.

Tip 12: And finally, the best way to win is to avoid losing. These tips will help you.

Look for more great tips in future issues of GamingToday.