No Limit Hold'em Strategy
Becoming a better online Texas Hold'em player is a matter of application, dedication and a little bit of luck. Although improving players love to make claims about Hold'em being a skill game, the fact of the matter is that Texas Hold'em online does involve a small element of luck. However, it's how you create your own luck that counts.
The one thing you'll have to accept when you sit down at a top online site is that negative variance (a downswing) can always be just around the corner.
Fortunately, if you can make enough good moves before those nips at your heels turn into big bites, you'll still make a healthy sum of money during a session.
Good Texas Hold'em Strategy
Although it's possible to talk about Texas Hold'em strategy indefinitely, due to the game's subtle complexities, we've compiled three of the most salient pieces of poker advice every aspiring pro should know.
Pulling off fancy bluffs and check-raising the river with a small value bet may be enticing propositions. However, if you haven't mastered the basics, then you'll never have the ability to play like Phil Ivey and run these sorts of complex plays.
With this in mind, here are some good strategies online players with a burgeoning bankroll should commit to memory.
Cut Down the Amount of Hands You Play
One of the biggest mistakes novice players make when they first start playing Texas Hold'em is to get involved in too many hands.
Although the prospect of making a strong hand or bluffing our opponent is appealing, it's can actually be a major drain on your bankroll if you get involved in a lot of pots.
One important fact to remember is that if you play a lot of hands you will make a pair less than two-thirds of the time and this often means you'll have to fold a lot post-flop.
Secondly, if you do manage to make a hand it will be usually be weaker than average, which means you'll lose pots (and therefore money) at showdown more often.
Be More Aggressive
Coupled with a habit of playing more hands than is profitable, newbies will often adopt a passive strategy when they enter a pot.
Instead of raising or re-raising they will usually limp or call and allow another player to take control of the hand. This is potentially fatal because it means the passive player is more likely to be bullied into submission and, therefore, lose the pot.
There's an old adage in poker that you should try to remember if you want to avoid being passive and make more money: "If a hand is not worth raising, then it's not worth playing."
Be More Active
Although standard online Texas Hold'em strategy advocates that you take regular breaks, the reality is that most professional grinders never stray too far from their computers.
It may not be the right thing to do, but many online poker pros will put in 18-hour sessions without a second thought for their health, or, indeed, the health of their bankroll.
In the world of Texas Hold'em online, volume is king and if you aren't prepared to sit for hours on end at a computer then being a professional isn't for you.
Always Try and Play in Position
Position is king at the poker table and before you enter any pot you should consider where you are in relation to the button, the blinds and to any active players. Essentially this means you should play more hands the closer you are to the button because you'll have the benefit of extra information. Sometimes playing out of position is unavoidable, but if you want to have the greatest advantage over your opponents it's important to always play in position.
Get Ready With Your HUD
Hand reading is a basic tenet of good poker, but when you're an online pro you can often get away with substandard powers of deduction by using your HUD. A Heads Up Display unit can uncover a multitude of tendencies on your opponent and help your decision making process immensely.
Being fearless doesn't mean you have to be reckless. Although some poker pros may look like they're playing a crazy style, most of them are in full control of what they're doing. It's OK to be fearless and aggressive, but don't lose your discipline. Never bet more than you can afford and never lose sight of solid poker strategy.
Obviously a HUD won't give you all the answers and there is a skill in deciphering the information and using it in an effective way; however, you shouldn't become too reliant on one. Many online Texas Hold'em pros will have a matrix of numbers in front of them and base almost all their decisions on these.
This can certainly bring them huge profits, but it can also harm their overall hand reading abilities. If you want to become an online pro then using a HUD to its full potential is necessary, but you should counter this with playing blind at certain times. Combine your own intuitions with numerical data from a HUD and you'll become a Hold'em pro in no time.
Finding The Right Leve
If you're looking for the best Hold'em sites to implement your new found strategies on, then check out our recommended platforms. We've had our team of experts conduct a thorough review of all our top online poker rooms and they've ensured that all your needs will be taken care of when you ante-up online.
In fact, every site we recommend has a plethora of low stakes games which provide the perfect setting to test out the Hold'em strategies we've listed in this article.
Finding the right level of play is key to making long-term profits and ensuring you don't go bust. If you find yourself struggling against super-aggro players or find the skill level too high, don't be afraid to drop down until you're confident enough to take the leap.
Top Tip: Always Think Long-Term
Of all the online Hold'em tips we could give you, the most important is this: poker is a long-term game.
Because your luck will ebb and flow over the course of a session, it's important to look at your performances overall.
Just because one of the strategies we've listed in this article doesn't work first time, it doesn't mean it's wrong. So, make sure you stick with it and always focus on your long-term results.