08- 6-07, LearnTexasHoldem:

Beginners Guide to Texas Hold'em

Learn Texas Holdem has been an online-poker authority for quite some time. Over the years, the site has gathered many great articles on how to deploy a winning Texas Hold'em strategy.

For someone who visits Learn Texas Holdem for the first time, it can feel a bit clustered - there are just so many articles and questions to choose from. If you are a first-time visitor, you might not know where to start.

I have therefore created a series of articles with some of the best texts on Learn Texas Holdem. If you follow this trail, I can promise you that you'll improve your poker skills in general, and Texas Hold'em skills in particular.

But there are also some guides that all readers can benefit from. For instance, do you wonder how things are done in a card room? Then check out "Entering a card room for the first time" or if you want to learn the principal differences between No limit and fixed limit? Then read "No Limit Texas Hold'em Versus Limit Texas Hold'em".

When you feel like you are ready to go deeper into the wonderful world of Texas Hold'em you should move on the "Advanced" section.



Enough talking! Take me to a poker room now!



General Strategy

  • When the average Joe off the street thinks of poker, the last thing to come to their mind is a game of strategy, discipline and preparation. Instead images of guys sitting around a kitchen table smoking cigarettes drinking beer and calling out "give me four cards" are common; a game where the ability to bluff and call peoples bluffs makes you a winner.

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  • When poker began, there were no tournaments. The idea of a poker tournament was effectively unheard of well into the 20th century. When the World Series of Poker came into existence in the 70s, tournaments were still the province of only a select few professionals.

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  • Online Texas hold'em is a great poker game that has enthralled millions over the last decade. A great many of those hold'em players probably feel that their results are not as good as they would like them to be or as they should be. It's important for good online Texas hold'em players to be able to plug leaks in their game. This is impossible to do without first identifying those leaks. Here are some common leaks in a player's online Texas hold'em game.

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  • No-limit Texas hold'em has been popular for some time, and many poker players are ready for new challenges. One such challenge may be pot-limit Texas hold'em, a game that requires some subtle strategic adjustments from the no-limit game.

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  • A common situation in Texas hold'em arises when you have a made hand and are facing a board with a draw. Your typical approach will be to bet and make your opponent pay for the opportunity to catch the card that beats you. However, what happens when that card comes? Do you automatically give your opponent credit for making his hand and forfeit the pot?

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  • One question that commonly arises in Texas hold'em is "to limp or not to limp?" Limping means flat calling the blind rather than coming in with a raise. Some players say never do it, others swear by it. As with many aspects of poker, it often depends on the situation.

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  • There are many advantages to playing online poker. You don't have to travel anywhere, meaning no travel time and no travel expenses. You don't have to tip waitresses or dealers and you can always find a game. However, many players neglect to think about another big advantage to online poker, which is online railbirding.

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  • Handling the turn in Texas hold'em can be tricky business. While different poker situations will require different strategies, there are some basic approaches a player can take to turn play that should make things easier.

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  • Flopping the "nuts," or the best hand, in Texas hold'em poker would seem to be an enviable spot, and it is. However, just because you have the best hand on the flop does not mean you can play the rest of the hand on autopilot. You need to consider how to bet in order to extract the most from your opponents and to make them pay for trying to draw to a hand that will beat you.

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  • We've all seen him at the poker table: The braggart. He arrives at the table letting you know that he'll soon have all your chips. He'll remind you every time you bet that he's not afraid to go all-in with you. Maybe he'll win big, maybe not, but he'll leave the table the same way he came in, making sure you know that, at least in his mind, he's the best there is.

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  • One of the first things poker players learn is to try not to play too many hands. Playing too many hands is one of the most common mistakes new players make. If someone is playing consistently weaker hands than other players, they are putting themselves at a decided disadvantage.

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  • Some of the most fun that can be had in no-limit Texas hold'em is when you have the winning hand. There's nothing like holding Ah 5h and seeing a third heart hit the board on the turn. Some new players may assume that hands like these play themselves. In fact, in no-limit hold'em, maximizing the value of your winning hands is just as important as getting away from losing hands, if not more important.

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  • Everybody wants to be a winning poker player. Seeing players win millions on the World Series of Poker or World Poker Tour has inspired thousands to get involved in the poker explosion, hoping to win their own big score.

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  • No-limit Texas Hold'em can be a real roller coaster ride. Depending on the stakes you play, you can find yourself up or down hundreds or even thousands over the course of a few hours. The question many players struggle with is when is it time to quit? Since the goal in poker is simply to win as much money as possible, how do you know when you have reached or failed to reach that goal?

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  • An element of Texas hold'em poker strategy that many players struggle with is how to deal with pocket pairs before the flop. Pocket pairs are interesting in that they tend to have stronger pre-flop value than most other hands, but can get progressively weaker as the hand continues. A pair of deuces beats ace-king, but most players would rather see a flop with the two high cards than the lowly bottom pair. Playing winning Texas hold'em strategy requires a solid plan for your pocket pairs.

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  • To have a winning Texas hold'em strategy means knowing what to do in a variety of situations before they ever occur. Texas hold'em poker is a game of decisions, and in the no-limit variety of the game, they can be big decisions. Having a repertoire of strategic ideas at your disposal will make it easier to make more decisions that are correct over the course of the session. One situation you should know how to handle is what to do when you make a set.

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  • If you haven't heard the term "shifting gears" as applied to No-Limit Texas Hold'em poker, you'd better learn it quick. The ability to shift gears is a crucial skill in no-limit hold'em, and no matter what their style, every pro poker player knows how to take advantage of this idea.

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  • It's not that complicated to become a winning No-Limit Hold'em player. Most online poker players have knowledge about the basic winning strategy including pot odds, hand strength, position play and bankroll management. Read more...

  • Question: Community cards are K, K, Q, Q, 5; Player 1 holds J, 8; Player 2 holds 8, 5.

    The question is: Which Player wins? My theory is the K, K, Q, Q are discounted because neither player has any advantage with them; therefore the 5 pair (player 2) wins. The other theory is the best 5 card hand: K, K, Q, Q, J (player 1) wins.

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  • If you are an intermediate poker player, most likely you are playing poker with the standard tight and aggressive style. The style usually plays only with strong starting hands and has you play them aggressively both pre and post-flop. While playing tight-aggressive is a winning combination for most poker players, advanced players often increase the range of hands the play to vary up their game.

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  • Cheating Holdem Poker Games: I think it's a good idea to mention cheating when we are talking about poker in general and specifically online and regular casino games. Not many people are worried about being cheated when they play holdem at a real casino; they are more likely to be worried about some superstition (a "bad" dealer for them, etc).

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  • I'm a big fan of training. The main hobbies/interests of mine have always been those that I did day in and day out and slowly progressed at. You do the sport/activity because you love it and years later you look back and realize how far you've come.

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  • A "tell" in poker is when you pick up on a behavior of another player that gives you a clear message communicating the strength or weakness of their hand. When most people think of poker they think of tells and bluffing. Picking up on someone elses tell is supposed to enable you to stomp all over them in a game.

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  • If you only play sometimes or play in home games with your friends you may not want to play tight aggressive poker. Tight aggressive poker is usually not as fun as gambling -- much like many other things in life taking the safe bet isn't always the most exciting.

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  • Below you will the modified Sklansy fixed limit Texas Hold'em Hand Groupings. The poker hands are listed in groups from strongest to weakest. Also within each grouping, the stronger hands are listed first so in Group 2, TT is supposedly stronger then AK.

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  • The following is some pitfalls that most players fall into when playing Texas Holdem. By reading these tips hopefully you can save some money by not doing the same.

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  • This article isn't an indepth look at poker bankrolls but just some general guide lines for beginners and how much you should bring with you when playing.

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  • I probably should have spent more time with that title. Oh well, I already saved the file. In any case, I'm going to tell a little story with some rambling lessons mixed in. This was a few months ago. The reason I'm adding it now and not before is because I just realized that reading other player's stories is interesting, especially if they may play bigger games than you do.

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  • Poker is larger now than ever before. Between online poker, expanding brick and mortar cardrooms and home games, finding action has never been easier. All this equates to options. You have options for the stakes you play, where you play them and which game you select.

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No-Limit Texas Holdem

  • In many ways, the small blind is the worst spot to be in while playing no-limit Texas hold'em. You're compelled to put money into the pot, but not enough so that you will get to see the flop if no one raises. If you do call and see a flop, you'll be out of position the entire hand. How then, should you handle the small blind in no-limit Texas hold'em?

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  • You sit down to a $3/$6 no-limit Texas hold'em game with every intention of playing tight, disciplined poker. For the first hour, you fold hand after hand, only playing your blinds. You see opponents win huge pots with hands like 56 offsuit.

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  • Pre-flop action in no limit Texas hold'em poker is about more than just going all in or folding. There are cases when you may want to limp in, make a small raise, call a raise or even overcall.

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  • In limit Hold'em, players always know what to expect from an opponent who is betting. The size of the bets is fixed so there are no surprises. In no-limit poker, an opponent can bet anything up to his entire stack, so what bets a player will face are anybody's guess. One of the scariest and often most confusing bets for new players to deal with is the minimum raise.

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  • It happens to even the best poker players: the dreaded slump. Although poker is a game of long-term skill, it is a game of short-term luck, and no amount of ability can protect someone from "running bad." A slump could last for days, weeks or months, but whenever it happens, it often seems like it will never end. What can a poker payer do to get out of a slump?

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  • The first important question to ask in a no-limit Texas hold'em hand is: What to do pre-flop? If you are staring at a 72 offsuit, the answer is easy: fold and wait for the next hand. However, what do you do with a hand like AJ offsuit? You'll often want to play this hand, and aggressive play dictates that you should often come in raising. However, how much to raise?

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  • No-limit Texas hold'em is exciting, but can be somewhat daunting to new players. One issue where new players sometimes make mistakes is in deciding whether to call or raise. This decision will depend on a variety of factors.

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Rules

  • Hi, I have a few question about Texas Hold'em limit poker. I am trying to understand the precise order and betting structure especially when there are multiple all-in players and multiple side pots.

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  • Texas hold'em is a lot of fun to play, but for some players it can get monotonous after awhile. For these players, double flop hold'em has been invented. If you know how to play regular Texas hold'em, you can play double flop hold'em.

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  • Although in most cases the rules in Texas hold'em are fairly clear, there will always be someone who tries to skirt them. Players who try to bend the rules of Texas hold'em to their advantage are called angle shooters. They hope that they can win or save a few extra bets by performing actions that are not technically a rules violation, but are in reality quite inappropriate.

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  • If you're a beginner playing in your first live Texas hold'em poker tournament, you may not be clear on all the rules. Here are a couple of questions commonly asked by players who have never played a Texas hold'em poker tournament before.

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  • One Texas hold'em poker rule that is often discussed and debated is how to handle exposed cards. The issue of exposed cards doesn't come up during online poker, but if you find yourself playing in a live cash poker game or tournament, you'll want to know how to handle this situation. Read more...

  • Entering into a casino or a cardroom for the first time is more than a little intimidating. Knowing what to expect can take away some of the anxiety and hopefully will let you make that first transition into playing live texas hold'em go more smoothly.

    Read more...

Tournaments

  • I've been learning a lot from your site. One issue I'm still struggling with is the difference between no-limit cash games and tournaments. Other than (a) the overriding goal of staying alive in a tournament and (b) the fact that you need to play more hands in a tournament end-game to win chips before time runs out, is there any substantial difference in how you should approach cash games vs. tournament games?

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  • The no-limit hold'em tournament is the cornerstone of the poker boom. It is the game played as the main event of the World Series of Poker and the most commonly televised form of poker. No-limit hold'em is not the only game that can be played in tournament format, however. Tournaments can be played with any type of poker, including limit hold'em. If you're new to limit hold'em tournaments, there will be a few tips you'll want to remember.

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  • There's a new type of Texas Hold'em freeroll that's making the rounds online. It is popular because the action is fast and furious, and online poker players love a fast game. It's called the turbo freeroll, and it's sort of like a poker tournament on speed. Turbo freerolls are good for players who don't have eight hours to devote to trying to win a multi-table tournament, and for players who love the excitement of all-in action and building massive chip stacks.

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  • Texas Hold'em freerolls require you to remain focused for long periods. You need to pay attention to the information at the table, and you need to participate in the action at the right moments. Since your goal is to stay in the tournament for as long as possible, it's important that you play with a winning strategy right from the start.

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Odds

  • You know the feeling. You get all your chips in with QQ and are called. Your opponent sheepishly turns over JJ. To your delight, one of the other players announces: "I folded a jack." You're counting your chips as the flop comes out 6 4 3, the turn a 9 and the river…J.

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  • Strong Texas hold'em poker players understand that to implement winning Texas hold'em strategy you need to understand pot odds, the odds the pot is offering you versus the odds of you winning the hand. To determine if the pot odds favor you, you need to be skilled at counting outs.

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Sit and gos

  • It is often tricky to figure out how to play a draw, but the sit-and-go presents some specific challenges with regard to this type of play. How you will play a draw, or if you will play one at all, will depend on the strength of the draw, your position in the hand, and the size of the blinds.

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  • So you know you want to play a sit-and-go. However, which one? You have more choices when it comes to sit-and-gos than you may realize. Here are some of the options you should probably consider before sitting down at your sit-and-go table.

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  • You've decided to play a Sit N Go for the first time. Perhaps you are used to playing cash games and see Sit N Gos as an interesting entry into the tournament world, or maybe larger tournaments have always been your thing and you want to see what the Sit N Go fuss is all about. Maybe you've never played online poker at all and this is where you've decided to start. Whatever the reasons, there are a few things you can expect from your first Sit N Go.

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  • Sit back and relax. This is the time to take notes on each player. How many times did he or she stay in the first 10 to 15 hands? The percentage of hands a player calls is the biggest "tell" of all. If shown down what kind of starting hands did they stay in on? Were they aggressive, passive and how was their play?

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Limit Texas Holdem

  • In the past, many players started out by learning spread-limit or fixed-limit poker, where one could bet a pre-determined amount at each stage. After the poker boom, many of these players switched their focus to no-limit due to all the new action.

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  • What is ABC poker? Poker players use the term "ABC" to refer to poker played "by the numbers," that is, with little deception. Instead of trying fancy bluffs and check-raises, ABC players tend to play in a straightforward fashion. They bet when they have a hand, they check or fold when they do not. Experienced players tend to look down upon this style of play, feeling that it is not only not creative, but that it makes these players easier to read and hence much easier to beat. However, in a fixed-limit hold'em situation, it is important for beginner to examine the merits of ABC play.

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  • Below you will the modified Sklansy fixed limit Texas Hold'em Hand Groupings. The poker hands are listed in groups from strongest to weakest. Also within each grouping, the stronger hands are listed first so in Group 2, TT is supposedly stronger then AK.

    Read more...

Etiquette

  • If you're playing in your first live Texas hold'em tournament, you should be aware that there are some accepted rules of appropriate behavior that you must adhere to. The tournament should furnish a hard copy of the rules which you should examine, and the tournament director should review the most important rules before starting the tournament. However, in case you miss any of that, here are some important rules you should know.

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  • Entering into a casino or a cardroom for the first time is more than a little intimidating. Knowing what to expect can take away some of the anxiety and hopefully will let you make that first transition into playing live texas hold'em go more smoothly.

    Read more...

 

Enough talking! Take me to a poker room now!