Learning the basic Texas Hold'em strategy will help you become a solid player right from the start. It is only the lack of self-discipine in executing the strategy that can prevent you from beating most of the novices in this field. However, relying only on the basic strategy will make you overly one-dimensional and thus rather easy to figure out by more experienced players.
To take your game to a higher level it is necessary to add some other elements to it.
This can be accomplished by including some more playable hands in your list of starting hands of the basic strategy. Here are those that merit such inclusion: K-Js, A-10s, A-Q, K-Q, 7-7, 6-6, 5-5, 4-4, 3-3, 2-2, where the “s" means that the cards are suited, that is, they belong to the same suit, be it spades, clubs, etc.
In each stage of the game, you need to evaluate your hand to see if it improves as new community cards are exposed. If that's not the case, you fold. Otherwise, you choose to bet or even raise depending on the possible outcome you anticipate and how likely it is.
It is advisable to use these additional hands only if you are in a late position, meaning that you are one of the last three players that act after the dealer. This way you introduce a greater variety to your game. As a result, you become much less transparent to your opponents.
Another element of the advanced strategy involves what is called “suited connectors. " These are cards such as 8 of hearts and 9 of hearts. It is rather difficult to win with suited connectors. However, they offer you a chance at a straight, a flush, or a straight flush. Since you should expect to be losing more than winning with suited connectors, you want to go after big pots. The more players put money into the pot, the more profitable playing suited connectors is in the long run.
It is recommended that you play suited connectors before the flop in a rather conservative manner. Abstain from raising, but only call bets, and no more than twice. Calling more puts too much of your money into the pot at the time when your chance of winning it is not very obvious at all.
It is advisable to play only the higher connectors such as 8 of hearts, 9 of hearts and higher. This gives you a better chance of winning with a flush or a straight.
On the flop, you will need to re-evaluate your hand to see if it makes sense to stay in the game. For example, if your two hole cards are 8 of hearts and 9 of hearts and the flop is 7 of hearts, 10 of hearts and a Queen of clubs, then you should certainly keep playing this hand. However, if the flop turned out to be 6 of hearts, a Queen of diamonds and a King of spades, you should fold.
You will find more information about this game on the author's site at http://www.eminimethods.com/texas_holdem.html
Waldemar Puszkarz, Ph. D. , is a web veteran with 15 years of web surfing under his belt. By training, he is a theoretical physicist, but his interests are much broader than science and include also trading financial markets, sports betting, poker, and researching online business opportunities. He is also an avid book reader and sports afficionado. Currently he is making his living mostly as a day trader. He has been in the trading trenches for almost a decade during which he has traded a variety of financial instruments. He is the owner and webmaster of Eminimethods.com (http://www.eminimethods.com ) which provides free common sense trading education and simple trading systems for e-mini and stock markets as well as reviews of honest online business opportunities (http://www.eminimethods.com/HOBO.html ).