Poker players find it hard to take advice. Sometimes cards look “lucky” and you play them on a hunch; at other times you get a gut feeling another player is bluffing and take them on. These types of instincts are great when they pay off, but more often than not they will lead to one simple result – losing money. Following Steve’s rules, on the other hand, will help you win money.
Steve’s Badger poker rules for Texas Holdem online or live poker
- Never slow play aces. Limp into a pot with five other players and your aces are less than 50% to win. With aces, the best strategy is to get all your chips in against one other player. The only time you should limp aces is under the gun or in early position, in the hope that you will be raised.
- Never call a re-raise with A10. The re-raise is very likely to be a better ace and in that case your hand will be completely dominated.
- AK loses its value after the flop. Play AK strong before the flop, and try to take down the pot without seeing a card. After the flop, AK can be tricky to play if it doesn’t hit.
- Position, position, position. Position is a huge advantage as you can see what everyone else is doing before you have to bet. Be aware of position at all times.
- Value calls are over-rated. A “value call” is often an excuse for a bad call. Don’t call into a hand just because the pot is big and you might get lucky, or because you have already invested in the pot.
- Never bluff a bad player.There’s no point in representing a good hand to a player who is not even considering what cards you might hold.
- Play the player, not the cards. Make a note of your opponent’s betting patterns and use them to your advantage. If someone always bets out on the flop, you can check raise them when you hit.
- Don’t give free cards. Bet when you’re ahead; don’t give your opponents the chance to catch up. Make them pay to see another card for their draw. Too often, players check the flop when they’re ahead, then bet the turn when they’re behind!
- Mix it up. Changing gear is crucial at different times in the tournament. Playing the same hands different ways will keep your opponents on their toes.
- Befriend to the left and bully to the right. Steal position from the player on your right when you can, but fold your blinds to the left, or show your strong cards after a blind or button raise so they know you’re not making moves on them. This way, they are less likely to try to make a move on you or steal your position.
- Raise or fold in small blind. If it’;s just you and the big blind, raise if you think you have the best hand and fold if you think you don’t. A call is weak. The exception is if you have a monster hand and want to trap your opponent.
- Don’t tilt. If you’ve lost half your chips because of a bad beat, don’t throw the rest away on tilt. Be patient and wait for a good hand with which to double back up. It may well come.
- Raise on the button 50% of the time. The button is a huge advantage, and the blinds will need to have a good hand to call you.
- Watch your opponent’s stack. Don’t call into pots with a short stack on your left; they may well try a steal and you’ll have to fold.
- Don’t give out free information. Only show your cards for a good reason.
Best poker advice for Texas Holdem online or live
These basic rules and tips for playing online or live Texas Holdem poker are great advice but not always easy to follow in the heat of the game! Stick to these rules as much as you can and you’ll find you lose less and win more.