Limit Holdem Strategies For Online Poker

Limit Holdem Strategies For Online Poker



Table position is a big part of playing online poker Texas Holdem. Where you sit compared to who has the button will effect your strategy. A general rule is that the person who is the dealer (the person who has the button) is in the best possible position


2010-06-10

Playing Position


Table position is a big part of playing online poker Texas Holdem. Where you sit compared to who has the button will effect your strategy. A general rule is that the person who is the dealer (the person who has the button) is in the best possible position. This is because you get to see everyone else's bet before deciding what to do with your hand. The one exception to this is the very first round, in which the people who post the big blind and the small blind actually go after you do. However, they are already committed to the pot, while you have no money at risk. For every round after the first, though, the big blind and small blind are the first to bet, giving them the disadvantage. One strategy to try when you're the dealer is, if everyone just checks his or her hand, you place a bet. This is called trying to "steal the pot". Basically, you're hoping that they have a marginal hand (which is likely since they didn't bet) and will fold to you, not wanting to waste their money on their own sub-par hands if they think you have a good one. This can get dangerous, though, as they may be trying to “slow play” you – more on this later.


If you're earlier in the betting round, you need to play a little tighter than you normally would if you were later in the round. You don't want to over-commit yourself to the pot. Even if you have a hand that you think deserves at least a marginal bet, you could get that bet raised to something higher than your hand is worth, which can wind up being a very bad thing when playing online poker.


Aggressive Play


Try some aggressive play every now and then. One strategy I like to use now and then is to pretend there's no call/check button, only raise and fold. What this does is make you think whether or not your hand is actually worth playing. If you aren't willing to bet on your hand early on, it may not be a hand you want to play. I don't recommend doing this for every single hand all the time, however. This is a slightly more advanced, risky strategy, but it can be used to great effect depending on your opponents. Don't try it until you feel you're ready, online poker is a tricky thing, you need to be comfortable with your tactics.


When you’re facing somebody who’s playing aggressive, on the other hand, you need to adjust your play style to theirs. If you're playing against aggressive players, you'll want to be tighter and only play top-tier hands aggressively. Remember, they'll likely raise or at least call any bets even if they have a poor hand due to their loose playing style. However, you don't need to play so tight that you don't call anything unless it's at least a tier 2. You just need to play tighter than they are. When playing against these types of players, it can be worth your while to call something just to see the flop. Then you can decide whether or not you think your hand can win. They may try to keep betting even if they have nothing to bluff you out, so even having middle-pair or a low pocket pair could win the hand.


Slow Playing


I'm now going to talk a little about slow playing, which also called check-raising. Basically, this is when you have a good hand, but only check or call to feign weakness. You're trying to make your opponent think that you have a weak hand so he or she will raise you with his or her marginal hand.


This is where it really helps to know your opponent. Normally, slow playing isn't a good idea. To just bet it out is better. Lots of players will hit the call button just so they can see the next card for a hand that they wouldn't bet with, which is exactly what you want. However, this is just a general rule. If you know that you're playing with players who are very loose with their betting, it can be better to try and slow play them. For example, let’s say you’re later in the table (close to the button, or you have it). If a loose player after you bets $10 and everyone calls, and you have the great hand, you can re-raise it to $20 (or higher, depending on the game type and your hand). They'll be more inclined to call this, as they’ve already committed at least the $10 into the pot.


Starting Hands


These are the best to worst starting hands, rated in tiers. The higher tiers are the best hands, the kind you'd want to bet heavily with pre-flop as they have the best chances of winning the pot. I'm going to use abbreviations to describe the hands. For example, A-To would be Ace-Ten off-suit. Whereas Q-9d would be Queen-Nine suited. Note: These are rankings of the best hands prior to the flop. Even if you're holding pocket Aces, a flop of two four's can lose it for you if an opponent happens to have one or two fours in his or her hand.


Tier 1: A-A, K-K, Q-Q, A-Ks, A-Ko


Tier 2: J-J, A-Qs, T-T, A-Qo, A-Js, K-Qs


Tier 3: 9-9, A-Ts, 8-8, A-Jo, K-Qo


Tier 4: K-Js, Q-Js, J-Ts, K-Ts, Q-Ts


Tier 5: All pairs 7-7 and below, all suited Aces (example: A-Xs), T-9s, 9-8s, T-8s, 8-7s, 7-6s, 9-7s, 6-5s


Tier 6: A-9s, A-8s, A-7s, any two cards ten or higher, A-9o, A-8o


Tier 7: All the rest; play these hands very rarely


Finding a Table


No matter what poker site you play on, you want to find the table that has a high pot average. Some people are nervous about doing this because they think it means more of their money is at risk, or that these people are high rollers. However, what this usually means is that the players are relatively loose in their play style. They raise more often, and more people are calling those raises, and they can’t have winning hands that often. These are the tables where you can make the most profit. If the poker software allows, also look for games with a high flop percentage, as this means that lots of people are calling to the flop.


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