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A Quick and Easy Texas Holdem Poker Lesson for Beginners by Michael Thomas

Texas Holdem’ Poker for Beginners – A Quick & Dirty Lesson

You may be a complete beginner at Texas Holdem’ Poker, but you don’t have to look like a novice when you sit down at the table. It may take some time before you can send the pros running with their tails between their legs, but you can start out with solid strategy and win a few hands right away. What you need to know is how to lead with strong hands from the start. Get that down, and you are on your way to becoming an accomplished player.

The Best Beginner Hands

The hands that a seasoned pro would start out with are not always the best hands for a beginner to start out with. The best hands for someone without in-depth knowledge of the game are as follows:

  • Ace-Ace
  • King-King
  • Queen-Queen
  • Jack-Jack
  • Ace-King suited (both the same suit)

These are safe options if you don’t understand what might happen after you lead with other combinations. The best advice I can give you is to fold if you are unable to lead with any of these hands. You will eventually gain deeper understanding of the game, but until then, stick with these options.

The Beauty of Folding

One of the biggest mistakes beginners make is to stick around to see the flop. They have high hopes of improving their hand, but they don’t have the game knowledge needed to justify hanging in there sometimes. More often than not, the flop will not improve your hand and you will end up losing money over and over.

This is why it is so important to know what your safe starting hands are and to be unafraid of folding when you don’t get one of those hands. You will save yourself from losing more than you win when the flops don’t improve your hand time and again.

Confidence to Raise

What happens when you do get a hand with one of those ideal starter hands listed above? It is time to raise the pot and stick in there. Right away, players with weak hands will fold. If you don’t raise the pot, those players may stay in long enough to see the flop, since it won’t cost them anything. You can prevent them from possibly improving their hands by raising the cost of admission to see the flop.

Once you raise, pay attention to who simply calls and who raises you more. This will tell you who believes in their hand and who is just in it on a hope. Once the flop is revealed, don’t lose heart if your hand is unimproved. You may still have a great hand, since you started out with one of the better hands at the table.

When another player wants to continue raising the pot, you need to question what they may have in hand. They could be bluffing, but they may also have a strong hand that can beat yours. With each round played out, question what your opponents could have in hand. This will help you determine whether you need to stay in and try to win or fold.

Raising after the Flop

You can raise after the flop to see if other players stay in or bow out. This is best done when you have a high pair to stand on. If you don’t have a high pair and other players are staying in regardless of raises, then you may want to go ahead and fold to avoid a loss. As long as you believe that you still have a shot at coming out on top, it is worth raising to see how the other players react.

Follow this strategy for the turn card and river card, dropping out only when the reactions of the other players tell you that they could have great hands.

Summing It All Up

If you remember the following three rules, you will impress yourself and probably a few other players when you hit the poker table as a beginner:

1. Only play one of the best starting hands listed above.

2. Fold your weaker hands without hesitation.

3. Use raises to study the reactions of other players and determine when to stay and when to fold.

If you want to win more than you lose at Texas Holdem’ Poker, this simple strategy will get you started. You will still lose some hands, but your losses won’t be as significant as they would without this strategy.

 

This article was published on Sunday 02 August, 2009.
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