A Poker Educated Thought Did you know that poker is not a game of luck?
Did you know that players of skill and intelligence can gain an advantage over amateur players?
Did you know that in poker, the best hand does not always win?
What does all of this mean for the intelligent poker player?.
First, you cannot be a good poker player without at least a basic understanding of the rules of the game. If you want to be a successful player, you must know your Texas hold em hand rankings and when to fold.
The two areas of the game that you really do not know – the mental game of when to act and when to fold – are the most crucial aspects to a winning poker game. They should be thought about even before you sit at a table and put your first bet, or even before you reaches into your pocket to deposit your first dollars.
Thinking about how much to bet and what you should do with each hand, will help you be a better player. Once you have those simple, fundamental moves down, then you can ensure your every hand is one that you can profit from.
Below, I have listed a few of the top tips that will help you determine when to play or fold a hand when you are playing Texas hold em. Some of these tips are laid out based on the hand rank, so that the smart player will know when to act – and when to fold.A Poker Educated Thought
Pairs:If you are holding two see-fors, you have top pair, and you are hoping for a set (three of a kind), you should raise. If you are holding 77, and you are hoping for a set, you should raise if the pot has been raised. Note that with two cards to come, you will usually want to fold unless you have a top pair that is likely to beat the next hand.
First, the why of raising. If you have a hand of 2, 3, 4, or 5, you should only raise with the strongest cards, since you are trying to get as much money into the pot as possible. If you have 5 and the flop is a 2, a 7, a 10, a Queen, and a King, this is a pretty tough hand to beat. With other flops, you may be behind, but you’ll still have a lot of outs to possibly still win. Most players raise on all the way down when they have something like Ace, Ace, 8, 9 and you can’t wait to get a free card!
Second, the timing of raising. Timing the raise is really important, because it goes a long way to identify the kind of hand you have, the number of players in the hand, and the kind of betting that’s going to follow. Once again, the timing of the raise is telling you what you need to do in the hand. If the pot is cheap, you should generally fold, but if the pot’s expensive, you’ll have to make a choice based on if you want to risk more money on the hand, and hope you’ll win, or call and take the pot.
Third, in addition to understanding the why behind the raises, and the expected timing of those raises, you should learn to analyze the players in the hand. When you’re starting out as a poker player, you’ll encounter a lot of players who try to get into many pots, and you’ll see a lot of people who love to chase flushes. Don’t forget that when you make the decision to call or raise, you are involving all of your chips.
So when you call the flop, make sure you consider your hand and your opponents’ hands before you do anything. After you check the flop, you’ll get a free card, so you might as well try to take down the pot now before someone else does.
Take into account what other players are doing. By calling you may be allowing someone to have a better hand, or you may be encouraging a flush to be built.
Don’t call here if you’re holding a high pair like Ace King or higher, or two suited cards, because you’re hoping someone will have a low hand, and you can crush them with a big raise.
When you make a small raise, you’re usually letting people see the flop for cheap, which is a mistake you can exploit later.
The most important thing to remember about the small blind is that it costs more for them to stay in the game, so if you have a good hand, you can make a lot of money for yourself if they don’t have one. Small blinds tend to be so short that they don’t give you any added benefit for extra bets, so it’s worth your while to call them every time, no matter what you’re holding.A Poker Educated Thought