Before you start playing your hand in a Texas Holdem poker game, no matter what your hand’s strength is, you need to carefully consider all factors involved in a solid pre-flop strategy.
The factors you have to take into consideration are several, every single factor is important for a successful Texas Holdem game, so pay attention to them, as they can greatly improve your game.
Number of players on the given table – with 10 people in the game, it is much more likely that someone else other than you has a strong hand in the pocket, than the same possibility in a short-handed game. Also, you will need to be more cautious in larger poker games, because the chances of someone’s pre-flop hand to fit the Texas Holdem Pre-Flop will be much greater than in a short-handed game. Remember, more competition means stiffer competition.
How aggressive the gamblers are – assuming that you have already been playing with a few people for several hands, and you noticed some sucker is raising every hand pre-flop, so it will be reasonable for you to play tighter. Let this guy win the blinds, then nail him to the wall when you have a solid hand in the pocket Texas Holdem Pre-Flop.
Pay attention to your bankroll – if you have, say, $5 left, you will want to play extremely carefully and select only one hand to bet on, with the hope to get as many players involved as possible for a bigger pot. In a situation like this, you better be all-in before the Flop is dealt. On the other side, if you have, for example $900 at a $1/$2 table, you can take the high-risk, high-payout bets.
The importance of your playing position – players in late position have the ability to influence the size of the pot in a greater way than those in early position. This is especially true before the Flop is dealt.
Your tolerance for risk – depending on your own playing style, you may want to play more or less aggressively on the Texas Holdem Pre-Flop. Players who aim to play for larger pots, but do not mind a greater chance for losing a few hands will want to raise before the Flop, especially if they happen to sit in a late position. Other players will prefer to be as selective as possible on the Texas Holdem Pre-Flop, looking for a winning hand here or there. Actually everything depends on your own playing style, and how you apprehend the other players at the table.
Of course, you also have to consider the cards that you have in your hand. And yes, AA is the best hand you can start with, but it is also good if your hand is suited, or if your cards are ‘connected’ – such as a Seven and an Eight. It is also very important to know how your two cards hold up against other combinations of cards.
Some Texas Holdem Pre-Flop Advises
Most of the time during your game you should raise or re-raise with top-pairs such as AA and QQ, and top connectors – AK, AQs, in order to make the holders of low-pairs and various connectors pay to see the Flop against you. Remember that they will often have the opportunity to double up on you if they hit on the Flop, despite the fact that many beginners do not realize this and fold too often before the Flop.
Stick to the premium hands, because it will cost you very much to ‘chase’ with second-best hands in No Limit poker games.
Keep most of the raises down to between 70% and 100%, which will make it 3 times the big blind to go typically equals an 80% pot bet, in order to save money when you get re-raised or called by stronger holdings. If there are weak players in front of you, raise to about 4-6 times the big blind to make them fold their hands.
Always respect the strong tight players (for example, you have to drop your AJ starting hand if a strong player raises under the gun).
When some really weak players have entered the pot, be ready to call and take flops with them.