Getting in a Texas Holdem Game

Players should make sure that they feel comfortable with the site or building they play at. This means you should like the look and feel of the place. If your not comfortable, your play will suffer. You should also pick a limit that you are comfortable playing. Only you can choose this, but keep in mind, you could lose up to 100 times the big blind, although that would be a really bad day.

Your first hand that you should play is one of your most important. If you lose this hand you are going to need to win hands in order to be even. If you win this hand you will be up already and therefore more confident in your play. So because this hand is so important you are going to want your first hand to be a good hand, NO marginal hands. You may end up passing up some winners but in the long run its going to focus the rest of your day toward good solid play. If you start off playing weak hands its very difficult to tighten up later, also others first impression of you would be weak and you will then need to play stronger (sometimes costing money) later to gain their respect.

Another important step you are going to want to adjust to is; winning poker can be very boring. In a live game a person can go for two hours or more without even playing a hand. A good player is expected to win around 1-2 big bets per hour in a reasonable good game. (Few losing players few winning players) Therefore mistakes where you call a bet on the turn and river can cost you an hour of play/work or more. Beginning players must realise that over an infinite number of hands faced up everyone will win the same number of hands. Therefore it is the skill of a player that gets him to fold one bet earlier when losing and bet one bet more when winning. (These extra bets are often called value bets) Folding is often the biggest money maker in a good players bag of tricks. They are not always going to be correct but when you count the value of all the money saved and compare it to the size of the winner folded, the money saved should be larger. The best way to accomplish this is not to get trapped into a hand where you are either drawing dead or have only a few outs. These trap hands are often the result of a poorly selected pre-flop hand. This could be the result of bad cards, cards played out of position or cards that don’t have the proper pot odds to justify playing. One example of this which many beginning players make is “K T” off suit under the gun. In a passive game this may be justified but in a game where the pot is usually raised it is the kiss of death. Very often your hand is going to miss the flop and because of your position your going to check to the people behind you and they can easily bed you out of the pot, with or without a winning hand. What would be even worse is if a player raises behind you with a hand like “A K” or “K Q” and you flop a King. This would result in you paying the player off to the river with only the hopes of hitting a ten or some other slim draw. Good hand selections before the flop is one of the most important concepts of poker. In the beginning you should learn the tighter path of play to avoid the traps.

Watching others playing at the table is important to learn their patterns not necessarily for you to mimic. Most of the people you are playing against have never read a book or studied poker in any way. Following a bad example just because they seem to be getting lucky or hitting cards can develop bad habits. Sticking to solid play will rarely result it a “crazy rush” but it will result in a slow constant winning cash flow. If a player has not worked hard to play solid when a bad streak of cards or a series of bad beats will put a person on tilt. Tilt is simply the result of loosening their pre-flop standards or drawing where pot odds are not positive.

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