- The first thing you have to realize is that the board texture is vital to your hand. The best cards for your hand are what are referred to as air cards. These are cards that are not connected, and so you do not have to worry about being outdrawn. You might win the pot with a hand like 6-8 or 3-5, but you are likely to be up against at least two other hands.
- The next type of hand that you need to be concerned with, although it is not the strongest, is pocket pairs. When you are dealt pocket pairs, even the worst ones, you need to be careful. One pair is not enough to win a poker game, and in order to make something happen, your pocket has to be better than someone else’s.
- In addition to paying attention to what cards you have and what cards your opponents have, you also have to watch for the activity in the blinds. If you are in the small blind, and everyone checks before you, you should play a little more aggressively. Often, players will try to steal in cheap in hopes of pulling a lot of money out of their opponents. If you notice that most everyone checked behind you, this might be a good opportunity to up your bet a little. It is very easy to tell if someone is trying to steal. They will make a check-raise immediately on the flop.
Always be aware of your opponents when you are playing them.
- It is very easy to let your guard down when you are playing online, but you definitely want to not let your guard down in a live game. If you spot weakness, be ready to re-raise them with any hand. Many poker writers will talk about spotting a check raise as one of the best ways to winning a poker hand, and I agree. If you have the right Observation skills, you will definitely want to take advantage of opponent’s weaknesses to win a game. Spotting someone’s weaknesses is an advanced poker skill, but if you can spot someone’s “tells”, you can control the flow of the game entirely.
- In addition to spotting your opponents’ flaws, you also have to consider the fact that they might be working on it too. A very important part of poker is to understand your opponents’ frame of mind. If there is a good part of the table taking a shot at your money, you might want to consider getting up and leaving. That wouldn’t be a very smart thing to do, but if you are in a bad place psychologically, you might be taking some bad beats. By getting up and leaving you can minimize the psychological effect of those bad beats. You can also leave the table when you are thinking about your money, and come back later when you are more mentally rested.
Getting up and away from the poker table is sometimes necessary in poker.
If you find yourself going through a bad run, forcing yourself to raise your blinds to get your money back, you are going to be taking a mental and financial beating. Unless you can convince yourself that it will be worth it, sitting in a decreased stack and being desperate to get it back will be a quick way to burn up your bankroll.
So whenever you are going through that rough patch and searching for ways to get your money back, remember this Texas Holdem secret. If you have a decent bankroll, you are lucky. If you don’t, you are not alone.