Texas Hold’Em Tournament Strategy – Play Your Hand

Whatever your Texas Hold Em Tournament Strategy is I hope it incorporates playing some hands. Generally, and I’m just throwing this out there, you need to play hands to win pots. Rarely you can raise big and have everyone fold but most of the time you will be able to pick up small wins on players who are maybe weaker than you or you can play back at them with a big hand (like pocket kings).

To win at poker you need to play more hands than you might realise. Playing loose-good hands is good and small wins are better than big wins. Most of the time you will pick up these hands because other players are limping in and opening the betting, or they are in fact calling/checking but have hit big. You need to play more hands to win more money.

Playing folds can be a good tactic to use to get more hands into the pot. The other thing about folds is that they are an inevitable part of the game, you cannot escape. If you call a raise with a mediocre hand it’s probably not going to get better, if you fold a hand then you have given your opponents a free card (and you’ve given yourself a chance to win in the process).

These are two situations where it is important you look at possibilities other than ‘sure, I’ll call’. You might think you are tempting to call with a hand like jack 10, when really you should raise. If you have a decent hand, you might want to consider betting on the flop or turn, if you’re confident you will win a hand.

The timing of your bets is also important. Typically early positions you should be more aggressive with weaker hands, whereas in late positions you can essentially play the same hand the same way with different hands (e.g. Q-9 over pair, K-10 over two pair, pocket 22 over three-of-a-kind). Bring weaker hands into the pot with limping hands and you will get paid off more, obviously, if you hit the flop.

If you’re playing a tight game and you haven’t made any blinds you want to be playing from the blinds or near the button. With a standard sized raise you can get a few callers into the pot and possibly steal a small pot, otherwise people will just throw them away. Alternatively if you’re in late position and everyone before you folds you can move in with a reasonable sized raise (4-6x the blind).

There are certain times you want to pick up some blinds and win small uncontested pots. These are usually where you have position (you’re in a late position and everyone else is in early or middle position) or you have a bigger stack than your opponents and you can fold your hand with a bit of aggression.

This is particularly true pre-flop. Pre-flop you can limp and hope to get a few people to chase. Or you can limp and win small pots without chasing if you know you’ll pick up the blinds.

Against a loose-aggressive player on a short table you can often move all-in with any Ace. You very rarely have to worry about being called. Aside from aggression from players who want to steal too much of the blinds. If you’re up against someone who wants to be in every pot, you can move all-in whenever you want.

This a very powerful play. If you consider being in about 8-10% of all games you will win money. This means you make money every time you call the nrasing bet and lose it every time you don’t. Obviously you can’t win all the time but you should be able to win enough to have a comfortable stack, enough to support yourself through another hand or just enough to make your move with a little more confidence.

Please note, this is not going to work for all games. This is simply a Sportsbook. The numbers might only apply to certain games. Also, you might want to start small and chip slowly. You don’t want to make the mistake of playing too big early which means you can’t have enough chips to support yourself when you need it.

Position is everything. If you’re in late position then you might even want to go all-in pre-flop. Some people think this is risky. It is when you have the most information but the players before you can switch out. They could already have a better hand or a better read on you. If you’re in early position then you really want to be only playing high card hands.

Flushes – Even though you want to stay away from them, a flush can be a killer. Especially when there are 2 or 3 of them. During late position, however, it can be a little bit of a trap.