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The Nuances of Becoming a Winning Limit Hold ‘em Player
While we all dream of becoming a master Texas Hold ‘em Poker player, the stark reality is that most players never progress to become an effective and consistent player. Those that do develop into consistent winners typically do so because they are able to understand and grasp the nuances of Texas Hold ‘em Poker.
There are many considerations for the novice to understand when setting out to play limit Texas Hold em Poker.
While many of us have watched Texas Hold ‘em Poker on TV and have seen players bluffed out of pots we understand that this effective strategy in no-limit Texas Hold ‘em rarely works in limit because you are limited to a maximum bet. This makes bluffing and picking-up small pots more difficult in limit Texas Hold ‘em Poker.
While I do favor an aggressive style of play in limit Texas Hold ‘em Poker it does need to be controlled. What this means is that when you do play a pot, you play it strongly.
Another factor to consider in limit Hold ‘em is that you can have as many as five or six players going for the pot. This is a result of the fact that bets are fixed so it can be harder to trim down the number of players vying for the pot.
Going up against several players for a pot means that the ability to read an opponents hand is one of the most important tools a limit player needs to develop. Most of the times you are going to have to show down a hand, and being able to read what hands you are going up against will help you make better decisions. Because most of the times you will have to show down a hand you will typically want to stick to playing big hands.
Oftentimes the deciding factor in whether you are successful in limit Texas Hold ‘em Poker is patience and self-discipline while playing.
Being patient and waiting for playable hands, especially when you are a beginner is very difficult. It can be boring sitting on the sidelines watching others play out their hands.
You can’t let past hands ruin your judgment. Being patient will pay dividends in the long run. Resist the temptation to play bad hands, throw them away. We’ve all folded away poor hands only to see a great flop that comes down that would have given us a full house or straight. Never let that tempt you into playing poor hole cards.
When you are on the sidelines you should be paying attention to what others are doing. This is where you will begin to develop the ability to read your opponents hands. As mentioned previously, this is one of the most important tools that you can develop.
The time you spend watching others and learning how they play hands will be very useful when you do play a hand against them and are now armed with information on how they played in similar situation.
If you’ve been playing close attention to your opponent you’ll know how many hands he plays, is he aggressive or does he tend to call most of the time. Is he a good player? Does he play the same hands the same way all the time?
By carefully observing your opponents you will be able to pick up ‘Tells’ – physical mannerisms which may give up information about their hand. When playing online, while you won’t be able to pick up the physical tells, you will be able to pick up whether an opponent tends to slow play a certain type of hand or just jump right in with a bet.
You’re more likely to profit from this type of information if you’re playing with relatively inexperienced players. Tell’s great if you find one.
Also keep in mind that your opponents will be observing you for clues on your style of play. That is why it is a good idea to mix-up your play by treating the same situation in different ways. You can avoid being too predictable by changing the way you play your hands.
By avoiding predictability you will keep your opponents off balance.
About the Author: Michael Vall is the webmaster of Texas Holdem Poker Tips and Strategy - A Complete Strategy Guide and Tips for Texas Holdem Poker, Online Casino and Poker Room Reviews.