When to Stick and When to Fold in Holdem

The game of Texas Hold Em is the most popular form of poker played in the modern day, this applies to both offline and online poker games. Over the years, the illustrious title of ‘Best Poker Variation’ has awarded to games such as Five Card Stud and Seven Card Stud, but is now firmly seen as being held by Texas Hold Em.

One of the allures that this variation has is that it is not only a gambling game and requires – in general – equal measures of both luck and skill. Whilst this is often a positive point as it allows for a more in-depth card game, it can be extremely daunting for beginners to the game. To alleviate any worries that may be apparent with amateur Texas Hold Em players, there are several rules that should be followed.

Once a player has started the game and has had their hole cards dealt to them, the first point to consider is how good the cards are. Calculating how good hole cards are depends on how outgoing a player is. However, as a general rule of thumb, if hole cards are not a pair of 10s or above, then a fold should be considered. This does seem like a very conservative way to play poker – and can seem boring at first, as it may take some time to receive two cards of 10s or above – but it is also a great way to learn the basics of Texas Hold Em and ensure that no money is lost carelessly.

Whilst this rule can be abided by for beginner players, there is some flexibility for players who have been playing for a while. The idea here is to split the players up into three separate categories – those who are straight after the dealer (early players), those who are after the early players (middle players) and the final players (late players). Depending on where a player is sat depends on how they should proceed with betting.

If sat in the early players section, then the conservative betting above is a good rule to stick to. If in the middle players however, it is safe to call – not raise – hole cards that are a pair of 8s or above. Finally, if a player is in the late players section of the table, then it is acceptable to call with hole cards that contain any card coupled with an Ace, as well as any form of pairs.

Unfortunately, once the flop – the first three community cards – has been dealt, it is very difficult to provide any one strategy to stick to. Deciding whether or not to enter the game with the hole cards dealt is the single most important decision to make when playing Texas Hold Em, as it impacts on how the rest of the game is played. The most important point to consider if deciding to enter a game after being dealt the hole cards is to not be worried to bow out of the game at any stage. One of the main reasons why amateur poker players lose their money in the early hands of the game is that they have the thought that as they are now in the game, they may as well see it through to the end. There is no need to play with this mentality and each part of the game should be treated as an individual one, with the decision of whether or not to carry on or fold made at each available opportunity.

Online poker, on sites such as this, tend to have advantages for the beginner as they are lead through the available game options and can only proceed with whichever option is allowed at that point in the game.

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