If you have watched any poker on television at all, then you are probably
familiar with no limit texas holdem. When it comes to playing, however, the key
is to make sure that you are not the sucker at the table. There are some simple
tips relating to the blinds, the flop, the turn, and the river that may help
you avoid being the sucker. Each is an important time in the game where
decisions have to be made, knowing how to make good decisions may not always
win you the pot, but it may keep you from losing your shirt.
The most important thing to keep in mind with regards to the blinds is that once
you put the money out there, it stopped being yours. The tendency with many
beginners is that they feel like they have to defend their blind. That will
lead to calling with marginal hands and raising when you shouldn’t. Save your
bets and remember that by saving that half bet, you may be paying for your next
The second biggest decision you will make in a no limit Texas holdem game is
whether to continue playing or not after the flop. Remember, once you can see
the flop, your hand 71% of the way to where it is going to end up. Going by the
advice of Poker Author Shane Smith, it is crucial that if the flop does not
give you a high pair or a straight or flush draw then it is best to fold if
there is a bet out. Low pairs are just not worth it.
At the Turn
At the turn, don’t get caught up trying to catch a miracle on the river, because
it is tempting. If, however, you believe that you do have the best hand after
the turn, don’t mess around with it, place your bets. Getting fancy and hoping
for a check raise you may simply cost yourself some bets. Also, if you are
holding only a pair and another player raises you there is a good chance you
are going to be beaten, so don’t be afraid to cut your losses.
No Limit Texas Holdem On The River
Having kept all other stages straight, you will only be seeing the river if you
have a good hand. You should either have one that is ready to win or drawing to
a winner. Again, always bet your hand if you are going first. If the player
folds, he likely would have simple checked back on a check raise anyway. Just
remember two things at the river: don’t call on a losing bet and don’t fold
your hand. If you have played right to this point and keep those things in
mind, you won’t be the sucker.