Playing Poker Online? Learn this Online Limit Texas Hold'em Tips and Strategy
This page contains several tips and pointers for amateur / novice Texas Hold'em player and specifically speaks towards to lower limit games, such as $.50/$1 up to $2/$4 games. Once you get into higher limit games, the skill of player increases a good bit, and much of this strategy should change - mostly in the direction of tighter, and assuming your opponents are tighter as well... But anyway - here's some tips on taking more pots from the lower limit Texas Hold'em games online.
1. Identify Your Players
At low limit games, 70% of your players are NOT going to be very good poker players. Whether they are just getting started, or just choose to not really learn the game, more than half of the players there will probably be easy money. The other 30% are decent players just fishing. (I doubt you are going to find too many poker pro's fishing at the $.50/$1 games so don't be too scared.) You can tell the weak players because they are the ones playing every damn hand, raising all the time, calling everything, etc. The better players are the more silent ones who are probably folding more than they are playing. You want to play against the weaker players and not the stronger ones whenever possible!
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2. Watch The Money!
Sure - play anything if you have the nuts regardless of pot - but when playing a medium pair or a draw of some sort, make sure there's enough money in the pot to justify the risk. (that's pot odds BTW) - Too many beginners fall in love with a flush or draw prospect and play it hard, despite the fact there's only one other player in and the pot's only worth $3.
3. Play More - Raise Less
OK - a looser player is going to call anything AND be playing weaker hands. Some say "when the game is loose, play tight" - but I suggest changing this slightly for these low limit games - "when the game is loose, play slightly tighter than the loose players, and raise less." Most good poker books assume you are always playing against top players who generally only play premium hands (as they should) - but for the low limit online games I suggest lowering this standard just slightly. In these low limit games I'll see the flop on most any connected cards for example, definitely on any pair, and definitely on anything suited. In higher dollar games I'd generally only play higher connectors and flush cards that one is Q or better. But - since you are playing slightly riskier hands, I suggest raising less often, and certainly don't bother raising to try and scare players out of the pot.
4. See Lot's of Flops - Not As Many 4th or 5th Streets
First remember this... Most winning hands are either made, or damn near made on the flop. While you may watch the loose callers getting lucky on 4th and 5th street time and again, the real truth is if you consistently look to 4th and 5th street to for your hand, you are going to lose. In addition, in case you did not know, it only costs a small bet to see the flop and 4th street, but a big bet to see 5th street. In these loose low-limit games I will see lots of flops, unless there's lots of raising going on and my hand just sucks, but unless it's either made, or just 1 card from being made, on the flop - I may not pay for the 4th or 5th card. Obviously who else is in and such can determine this as well.
5. Don't Check-Raise, Just Bet.
Check - raising is where a player checks solely with the intention of another player betting, so he can then raise them. While it can be a crafty move at times, really it's not the wisest thing to do. If you like your hand - just bet. You know they will call - and maybe even raise you - which you can then either call or re-raise.
6. Take Control
When you decide you are in - try to take control of the betting. Make your bets swiftly - and just single bets. If it's been checked around to you, bet. If one of these loose players raises back at you - don't stop to ponder it - don't re-raise - just call and get back to business, as if to say, "whatever, let's just get to this damn showdown!". Try to avoid the "raising wars" until the end - and when you have the nuts.
7. When Do You Raise?
In these low-limit loose games, I generally try to avoid instigating raise-wars with other players until the showdown, and then only if I have the nuts or am very confident I have a winner. Most of the time, I'll call or start the betting, but won't start raising until I have the nuts. Now here are some exceptions...
Sometimes you just have to mix your play up, so sometimes I just raise for no stinking reason at all. Doing this every so often will get you good action on later hands. Now the flip-side to this - many of these loose players are not even skilled enough to take note of your advertising.
Kenneth L. Nichols
4459 Cambridge Court Springdale
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