Playing Too Many Hands- Texas Holdem

By: Mark Tyrrell


Texas Holdem poker is a game of patience. It doesn't pay, for example, to get bored and play too many hands at once. You have to be willing to sit out a lot of hands. That's why, when they first start out, one of the first things a player should learn is how to choose what hands to play and what hands to fold.

A Strategy of Limited Hand Play:

What hands you choose to play in Holdem poker games depends a bit on what sort of Holdem you're playing. In a limit game, for instance, it's easy to justify playing too many hands. Bets are fixed, so it doesn't cost much to stay in a hand. If you stay in every hand just because it's cheap, though, that spending will quickly add up. So, don't get caught in that trap.

The other thing you need to understand about limit games is that what you can win is also fixed. So, even if you do get lucky and catch one of your hands, it won't matter. You aren't going to make up for all of your losses from chasing down that one good catch.

The Strategy of No-Limit Hand Play:

In a no-limit Texas Holdem poker game, the problem is a bit different, you should try a different poker strategy. The reason you shouldn't play too many hands in a no-limit game is that you could easily get sucked into a pot. What I mean by that is that the pot grows after each betting round. So, even if you make a small bet with a marginal hand pre-flop, you stand to lose a lot of chips. That's because you could wind up chasing a hand all the way through to the river. Then, if you lose, you could lose all of your chips.

What Hand Not to Play- An Example:

Pretend, for a moment, that you are dealt two suited cards, such as the seven and five of spades. Most experienced players no better than to play such a hand, but let's suppose that you like suited cards that are close together like that. After all, they might give you both flush and straight possibilities, right?

Well, yes, that is right, but at what risk? Suppose that the flop comes and includes and Ace of spades, a seven of clubs and a four of hearts. Well, the chances of catching either your straight or your flush are now looking even better, so, you call a big raise to stay in the pot. Then, on the turn, you catch a six of spades.

Congratulations! You're now on both a spade flush and a straight draw! What's the problem? Well, you only have one card left to come. If you don't hit your spade or your flush, you could be out a lot of money. Not only that, but you might feel forced to call after the river card anyway, since you're pot committed.

There's really no reason to ever allow yourself to play hands that could get you into such a situation. That's why hand selection is so important. So, consider that the next time you're dealt a marginal hand.

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In a no-limit Texas Holdem poker game, the problem is a bit different, you should try a different poker strategy. The reason you shouldn't play too many hands in a no-limit game is that you could easily get sucked into a pot. What I mean by that is that the pot grows after each betting round. So, even if you make a small bet with a marginal hand pre-flop, you stand to lose a lot of chips.

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