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No Limit Texas Holdem Strategy

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See No Limit Texas Holdem Rules

No Limit Holdem Strategy

It is important to be able to read your opponents to know when they are bluffing and when they really have a solid hand. Learning some basic strategies and general rules will go a long way toward making sure you can at least hold your own in a friendly game.

Always remember the two cards you hold are the only cards that set you apart from the other players and give you the chance to win, and all of the face-up cards are community cards, shared by you and every other player. It's vital that you focus on what those cards could mean to someone else at least as much as you focus on what they mean to you. Keep your eyes open for your opponents' straight and flush possibilities.

When you look at your cards, be careful not to reveal anything with your reaction either facial or otherwise. Taking a sharp breath, no matter how softly you do it, can tell a wily opponent all he needs to know to have an advantage over you. Knowing your cards are good depends in part on how many players are in the game, but a general rule is that you should consider folding before the flop if you have two non-pair cards, both less than 10.

A more conservative player might fold if one of the cards is less than 10; a more aggressive player might stay in with, for example, an 8 and 9 of the same suit. If the big blind is low enough, it may be worthwhile to pay in so that you can see the flop even if you don't have particularly strong cards in your hand. But don't abuse this exception for it can get you into trouble more quickly than you imagine.

The good hands should come, eventually, and you'll be in better position to take advantage of them if you don't waste your chips trying to get something out of nothing. After you see the flop, don't be afraid to cut your losses. With seven players at a table, two pair or better will generally be the winning hand.

Remember, as the number of players goes down, so does the potential of a strong hand. If you're at a table with just two other players, it could pay off to be more aggressive. If you're first to bet after the flop, don't be afraid to check. This can work to your advantage in two ways. First, if your hand is on the weak side, you might be able to see one more card without having to put more into the pot. Second, if your hand is strong, you could convince an opponent or two that it's weaker than it really is.

The Turn and The River give you two more chances to either get out of the pot before you lose even more money -- or increase your winning. The best advice here is to be cautious. The bottom line is this: Don't allow yourself to get sucked in too far with a weak hand. There is a point where the investment you've already made, makes it sensible that you hang in there. You can measure this in terms of percentage of your chips. If you have already committed 40% of your chips to the pot, another 5% isn't that much. This is a gray area, so once again the best advice is to be cautious, so good luck.


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