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Texas Holdem Poker Tips From Pros

Aug 17, 2007
Like any other game, Texas Holdem has fundamental/basics that are not very flashy or readily apparent, but must be mastered (and continually mastered) before excellence can be achieved.
You are not trying to win pots. You are trying to get the best of it on bets. You are trying to wager money, make bets, with a mathematically favorable expectation. This involves having as a coincidental goal the winning of pots, but that is not the main goal, and certainly not the focus of our efforts. We simply want to get our money in with the best of it.

The biggest difference between cash games and tournaments is the blinds. In a cash game the blinds always stay the same while they are constantly raised in a tournament. A players chip stack becomes smaller and smaller for every hand in a tournament, even if he is not in a single pot. If you have $1000 in chips, and the blinds are $5/$10, you are in good shape, but if the blinds are $300/$600 you are on the verge of elimination. The chip stack is always in relation to the blinds and players know that they sooner or later will push all-in and put their tournament life at risk. This does not happen in a cash-game where you do not have to fight for survival. If a player would go broke he can just buy in for new chips and continue playing.

How do you play poker?

Every player is dealt two cards. Based on the value of these cards, they decide whether to fold, call the bet before them (there are always bets in the middle because the two players to the left of the dealer are forced to put in blind bets), or raise.

once the betting round is finished, three cards are dealt face up in the middle of the table. This is called the flop. Each player at the table combine their two cards with the three in the middle and decides what he wants to do.

After the flop betting round is finished, one single card is dealt face up in the middle (the turn). Again, each player combines their cards with the ones in the middle and decides what they want to do. The turn betting round is when the bets double if you're playing Limit poker.

Once the betting round is finished, one more card is dealt face up into the middle, called the river. There is one last betting round, and then any players who are still in at the end compare the best hand they can make out of their two cards and the five in the middle. Whoever can make the best hand wins the pot.

On some tables there are over aggressive players who will bet on anything and also raise to stupid levels. These players may win a lot of chips in a short period of time, however in the long run will always lose. You have to stick to your game plan and not get frustrated by these type of players. See it as an easy way to make money as eventually they will come unstuck, hopefully to you.

Poker can become quite addictive, therefore only bet what you can afford to lose. Play the game as a hobby and enjoy it, you are more likely to win with this attitude.
About the Author
Derek Pliers writes and plays texas holdem poker
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