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Old 06-05-2015, 01:42 AM   #1
Sonia
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Default Basic winning strategies in Texas Hold'em

For a pure beginner, I'd suggest the following:
1. Play tight. Don't get involved in starting hands with marginal value. Generally stick to pocket pairs, big face cards, and suited aces. As you get more experienced, you can integrate more hands into your comfort zone, but when starting out, stick to strong starting hands.
2. Be aggressive. Beginners often make the mistake of checking and calling too much, when they should be betting first or raising. If you've opted to follow #1 (playing strong starting hands), then you should be aggressive when you finally get into some hands. Don't get crazy and go all-in for no reason, and don't bluff too much with big bets, but when you've got strong cards, bet them for value. Don't get cute and try to check or bet small; more often then not you'll invite someone to draw out on you cheaply.
3. Play in position. One of the most typical mistakes newbies make is to ignore their position at the table. In short, you want to be more aggressive when you're on of the last players to act in the hand (on the button or to the right of the button). Position matters a lot because you have more information about what other players have done in that round of play. When you're in "early position" you're at a disadvantage, because you have to act before other players.
4. Don't fall in love with one pair. When I started out in Texas Holdem Poker, I lost a lot of big pots falling in love with a big pocket pair or top pair. When the board looks scary (suited or connected cards, or big cards higher than your pair), or when there's a lot of betting and raising in a hand, most often one -pair isn't going to be enough to win. Unless you're playing with a bunch of super-loose, reckless opponents, a big pot means a big hand, and just a pair isn't a big hand.
5. Fold Ace-Jack. I hate Ace-Jack. II've lost track of how many times I've lost pots with it or watched people lose their stacks hanging on to AJ. If you play AJ and flop an ace, you could easily be dominated by AK or AQ, and crushed by AA or JJ. If you pair your jack, you may be way behind KK or QQ. You might hope to flop a draw, but most draws you hit with AJ will be gutshots. Most often, when you play ace jack and hit the flop, you’re making decisions about what to do with top pair and a kinda good kicker. It's the textbook hand for "winning a small pot and losing a big one."
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