In the past decade, there has been a dramatic increase in the popularity of Texas Hold em. This is mainly due to increased media coverage, the establishment of online gambling sites, and its broader competitive appeal. ESPN’s broadcast of the World Series of Poker has undoubtedly brought new fans to the game; Doyle Brunson and Gus Hansen are now household names. The rise in the number of online gambling sites has made games available at any time with some sites even offering free poker games. Now looking for friends to play a house game is a thing of the past as you can now engage with experience players and refine your game faster than you ever imagined. And while you need to be athletic to play sports, poker is accessible to all people; all you need is a chip and a chair.
However, despite the increase in the number of players entering the game, Texas Hold em has not seen a correlated increase in the quality of play. Players are throwing their money away on bad plays, but complaining about bad beats. Successful poker players have a strategic approach to the game that takes years of experience to master. The following are a few of the game’s most important concepts.
Developing a poker strategy is thus one the most important aspects of being a successful player. First, the player should be aware of their position at the table. Being on the button is the most advantageous position to be in, providing the player with opportunity to act last. This makes plays like stealing the blinds a much easier proposition. When a player is the big blind, he/she is in the worst possible position. The chips are already in the pot regardless of the quality of the hand. The closer the player is to being in the button, the better shape he or she is in.
Secondly, the player needs to be aware of their image at the table. If the player consistently shows high quality starting hands, the rest of the players think he or she has a conservative style. This impression should be used as an advantage; players can play lower quality starting hands, like suited connectors and low pocket pairs, but receive the same respect. Conversely, loose, aggressive players are thought to play every hand. This can be used as an advantage when holding higher quality cards because their bets will be called.
Finally, the player should know when they are beat. Just because a player started off with bullets in the hole doesn’t mean they are guaranteed to win the hand. The best players can win with any combination of cards.