Texas Hold ‘em strategies and tips

Do you know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em? Is your poker face so unreadable even Lady Gaga is left in the dark? Or are you just looking for a way to stretch your poker muscles by delving deeper into the world of the hugely popular Texas Hold ‘em poker? Whatever the case, we have some great tips and strategies for improving your hold ‘em game.

Be sure to check out our poker guide, where we explain the rules of a few types of poker – Texas Hold ‘em included – in detail.

Game learning tips

You cannot master a new game if you don’t understand the rules and nuances. If you want to become a great Texas Hold ‘em player, you will need to learn as much as you can about the game. However, there’s only so much you can learn from websites and books. Here are a few tips on how to get your learning right.

  • Practice, practice, practice: the best way to master any skill is to do it often and learn from your mistakes each time.
  • Learn from yourself: make notes, take videos, keep a record of the game you play so that you can go back over it later to see what mistakes you could have avoided, or which were down to chance.
  • Use online poker as a learning tool: online poker games can not only help you learn how to play, but can also analyse your play behaviour to identify improvement areas.
  • Find an online poker coach: there are plenty of great poker players online who offer various courses and training academies to teach you how to play Texas Hold ‘em like a pro. Investigate a few of these and find one that you enjoy. Just make sure to check their credentials before signing up!
  • Don’t overwhelm yourself with information: the rules for Texas Hold ‘em are pretty straightforward, and once you understand these, you should be able to play. From there, it’s more a matter of practice.
  • Learn with friends: half the fun of poker is playing it with other people. If you can, find a few friends who can acquire this new skill alongside you. You can then practice with each other, and exchange tips and ideas.
Texas Hold ‘em strategies and tips

Game selection tips

Every poker game is unique, even if it is following standard rules to the letter. Everything from the venue to the people playing with you is important to a good gaming experience.

  • Choosing a game table: it may be tempting to sit yourself down with the big players, but, especially if you’re new to poker or Texas Hold ‘em, look instead for tables with players of your own, or a lower, skill set. Build your skills over time before going for the big guns.
  • Choosing an online option: this can be a little trickier than choosing a game based on live opponents. Always ensure the online casino is licensed and reputable. Select your game based on variance and volatility, and view the game guide to see game stats.
  • Choosing a time to play: play at a time when your preferred opponents will be playing. For newcomers to the game, try to aim for times when recreational players will be playing. This counts for both in-person and online games.

Finance tips

Gambling revolves around betting, winning and losing money. Is it any surprise we will include a few money-related tips?

  • Manage your budget: this tip applies to every single real money game played in a casino. We strongly recommend setting a budget and sticking to it.
  • Setting the stakes: depending on your level of skill and experience, it’s important not to play excessively high stakes. While you are still becoming a Texas Hold ‘em pro, stick with lower stakes. This will also help extend your bankroll!
  • If you are playing online, take advantage of the deposit limits that you can set, if these are offered. This can help avoid problem gambling behaviour.

Mental/emotional tips

There’s no point pretending there’s no emotional component to poker. There are all kinds of emotions, from tension to excitement, fear to joy. Here are some tips to keep mentally healthy while playing.

  • Detach from your emotions: people can make bad choices when their emotions get the better of them. While there will always be some emotional aspect to your decisions, it helps to minimise this when gambling.
  • Don’t play tired: sleep deprivation can cause you to make poor choices and decisions. We recommend playing poker when you are wide awake and relaxed.
  • Don’t play when upset: If, for any reason, you’ve experienced emotional stress or turmoil recently, make sure it isn’t influencing your play capability.
  • Take a break: poker will still be there when you get back, we promise. If your playing is starting to cause negative emotions or physical effects, take a step back and stop playing for a while.
  • Build up your energy: Getting some daily exercise and eating healthy food can have positive effects throughout your life. It can help improve your decision-making ability, too.
Texas Hold ‘em strategies and tips

Bluffing tips

Texas Hold ‘em wouldn’t be poker without a fair share of bluffing. Here are a few tips for this favourite poker pastime:

  • Don’t overdo it: if you try to bluff on every slightly poor hand, other players will quickly realise it. Try to save your bluffing for when it’s really needed.
  • Play the hand first: even if your hand seems weak, try to figure out a way to play it before going for the bluff. This way, you ensure all your bases are covered.
  • Choose your target: everybody who plays poker knows that bluffing exists. They expect other players to try it on them. Some players, as a result, simply ignore attempts at bluffing and just play their hand. Pay attention to your fellow players and try to work out who is more susceptible to bluffing than others.

One more round

Texas Hold ‘em has grown massively in popularity over the last few years and with good reason. It’s a slightly more complex version of the game than traditional poker, and the open card element adds to the intrigue of who is holding what, exactly. If you’re new to this version of poker, or to poker entirely, do check out our other poker-related courses to learn more about this fabulous game.

Tell us what you think

How’s your poker face? Do you know when to hold ‘em? What ups and downs have you experienced at the table? Tell us your Hold ‘em stories and tips and help other gamblers benefit from your wisdom.