Advanced Texas Holdem Skills

By: Fawzia Awwad

Last week I experienced one of the greatest wins of my entire life. Not only was I able to beat all of my friends at the poker table, but I was able to do it without exerting much effort at all. Texas holdem poker is a game that requires great skill. A game of skill that can be mastered in a relatively short period of time if you apply the right techniques and strategies. In order to become successful at the complicated game of texas holdem poker, you need to develop the following three skills.

1) Patience

If no good cards come your way for long periods, you must be patient, and fold your cards if you feel they have a low chance of winning. Its better to wait for a strong hand before placing large bets. Otherwise you may go all in with a weak pair of cards and lose all of your chips. In poker, its very easy to become frustrated, especially when bad cards are coming your way for extended periods of time. You must be patient and never show your frustration. Otherwise other players may pick up on your frustrations, and start to understand your thoughts, and your thinking patterns.

2) Knowledge of the hands

You cannot bet properly if you do not know what the cards in your hands are worth. For example, a strong player will know that a pair of suited cards presents many options, and can be very powerful. If an inexperienced player were to come in possession of two suited cards of low value, he/she may fold because they do not realise the power of their cards. You must become familiar with all of the card combinations and their chances for winning. Otherwise you will almost certainly waste great cards, and not capitalize on good opportunities.

3) Your betting style

If your betting style never changes, then your opponents will quickly pick up on your game play strategies, and begin to read you like a book. My friend Ben has the exact same betting strategy every single time I play him. Even with a bad set of cards, he raises his bets during every single betting round. He does this to test the other players, who usually fold if they don't have a good hand. If someone doesn't fold, and Ben has a bad hand, then he will immediately fold. In order to trick other players, and stop them from reading your betting style, you must vary it from time to time. For example, sometimes I deliberately check, despite having a strong set of cards, to fool my opponents. At other times, I raise during every single betting round, and then pretend I am going to fold, even though I have good cards, to encourage other people to increase their bets.

Master the above three skills and you will become a great poker player in a relatively short period of time. I am sure that the next time I play my friends at Texas holdem poker, they will not be able to defeat me. As demonstrated on cable television, and all around the world, Texas holdem poker is a game of skill, and all the spoils will go to the player who has done their homework on how to win, and how to play competently.

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