40 POKER STRATEGY TIPS
1 – 10
1. The button represents the dealer. In home games, no button is needed, as the cards are passed around the table and each player deals in turn. In the casino and in online poker tables, the dealer is a professional or a computer. Hence, the necessity of a “button”. The button moves clockwise around the table after each hand, and the player “on the button” gets his cards last and bets last in each round. Keeping up with the current location of the button is a huge consideration when determining positional strategy.
2. Texas Holdem has no ante. To force the action without an ante, Holdem uses blind bets. The first 2 players to the left of the button are forced to put in the blind bets. Typically, the first player puts in the small blind, equal to half of the minimum bet, while the second player puts in the big blind, equal to a full minimum bet. For example, in a game of $10/$20 limits, the small blind would be $5 and the big blind would be $10.
3. Starting with the first player to the left of the button, each player is dealt 2 cards, face down, called pocket cards. The first two players to the left of the button posts the blinds, and the first round of betting ensues. The first action after the deal is taken by the player to the left of the big blind. He and subsequent players can choose to call the big blinds bet, fold or raise. In most Texas Holdem games, the blinds are live, which means that in the first round of betting, they get a chance to call, check or raise when the action moves around to them. In this sense, the big blind would be the last player to act after the dealing of the pocket cards.
4. The flop is 3 cards laid face up in the center of the table. These cards serve as common cards. Another round of betting ensues, with the first remaining player to the left of the button starting the action.
5. A single card is laid face up, next to the flop, for a total of 4 cards face up. Another betting round occurs, starting with the first player remaining to the left of the button.
6. A final card is turned face up, bringing the total number of common cards face up on the board to 5. A final round of betting occurs, starting with the first player remaining to the left of the button.
7. After betting is complete and if more than two players remain, a showdown occurs in which the winner is determined by the best five card hand possible using the 5 common cards and each players’ pocket cards. It is entirely possible for the best hand to be completely “on the board,” in which case the remaining players split the pot. It is also possible to have a “tie” in which the players with the same hand strengths split the pot. After the showdown, the button moves one person clockwise, and the next hand is dealt.
8. First off, this strategy is specific to a particular game – online low stakes No Limit Holdem. Because of the peculiar conditions in these games, I am going to question some of the traditional strategy advice you will read in books and on other strategy sites. Other strategies out there are technically superior and I make no apology for that. Where I believe this strategy is better for you, is that it acknowledges that we are not all perfect players, that we are prone to tilt when losing, and that many of us have limited bankrolls.
9. The strategy depends on the game being loose, both pre-flop and post-flop. Pre-flop this means there are a number of people (generally four or more) seeing each flop. Post-flop this means people will bet or call with hands that are not winning and which do not have correct drawing odds.
10. In addition, the aggression factor is also important. The strategy works best where the game is broadly passive, although a degree of aggression on the turn and river can actually improve results. Where the strategy needs significant adaptation is if there is aggression pre-flop. Then, some of the hands I promote become redundant, and you may have to increase the range of premium hands with which you will make or call a significant raise.