Showing posts with label Texas Hold 'Em. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Texas Hold 'Em. Show all posts

Wednesday, June 20, 2018

The Importance of Position in Texas Hold ‘Em (Pre-flop Play)

Poker - Texas Hold 'em - Photo: Wikimedia
Grabbing information is one of the most important skills that you need in poker. From your opponent’s betting patterns and the "tells" that they make simply define your hand and are simply integral on your next decision. But you can’t do that without proper positioning, which is on the button or somewhere near it.

But that doesn’t mean that you should fold every hand if you’re not in the proper position, each has its pros and cons, and it should also determine how you should play your hand.

In this article, I’ll tell you how to utilize perfectly your position in pre-flop play.

Early Position

This position is from under the gun to the third turn in a ring table, which has around eight people seated. In this seat, you have to be choosy in raising your hand or simply limping into the pot because there are about five to seven people yet to act, thus there are more chances for them to raise the bets and given that you don’t have a hand that’s good enough, you just lost money the size of the blind.

So it’s important that you only raise premium hands in this position like AK, AQ and AJ suited. When someone re-raises after you, you have a good idea that he/she has jacks or queens. So not only is raising pre-flop a good way to drive out people who have small cards that may get lucky after the flop, it also gives you information on who probably has a hand better than yours.

Middle Position

In this position, you have to be looser, but not to the extent that you’re virtually throwing your chips away. A9, K10, and QJ may be raised here, given that no one has raised and indicated that he/she has an excellent hand.

Again, the reason why that you should raise pre-flop is to mine important information about your opponents, if they have good to great cards.

Late Position

In late position, you can practically raise any hand you want, depending on the circumstances. If everyone just limps into the pot, and a raise is nowhere in sight, then you stick your foot right in and raise around four to five times the big blind, even withcards like 24. It may win you the pot right there.

But be wary when everyone calls when you do raise,because they may sense that you’re trying to steal the pot. Don’t cringe if your technique fails and if the flop shows high cards like A-J-4, raise outright and try to steal the pot again. They may rethink that you tried to steal the pot before the flop and give you credit for hitting aces or jacks.



As you may observe, one may get looser in choosing his/her cards when nearing late position and also presents you the opportunity to steal the pot. The late position also entails you to play more aggressively and show some muscle, enabling you to hammer on pots, do isolation plays and basically eat up the blinds. So to speak, the position should guide you on how to play your hands because it opens the option of instilling fear into your opponent, bluffing your way into the pot or does the complete opposite of the previous two.




Sunday, March 12, 2017

History of TEXAS HOLD 'EM

Picture of hole cards in a game of texas hold 'em
Picture of hole cards in a game of texas hold 'em
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Even though not much is known about beginnings of the game of Hold ‘Em, or poker in general, it is said that it started at around 1900s. It has spread throughout the state of Texas and was embraced by many as their prime poker game for gambling. And it has been introduced to the bright lights of Las Vegas on 1967 by a group of Texan gamblers and card players, notably Crandell Addington, Doyle Brunson and Amarillo Slim.

Early Years

Its magic has enthralled many, with players ranging from crack-heads to more sophisticated players. But in the 50s, only a few casinos offered the game of Hold ‘Em, and they had shabby poker rooms for it. With that, many professional players tried valiantly to find a better location for their cash games, and they finally found it in the now-defunct Dunes Casino on the Las Vegas Strip and with its prominent location, Hold ‘Em’s popularity simply took off.

In the late 60s, poker tournaments for Hold ‘Em were now being held, notably by the Gambling Fraternity Convention and it helped the game gain more recognition. The Convention was then bought by Binion’s Horseshoe Casino and has taken up Hold ‘Em as the main event due its leanings on psychology rather than pure odds. The game simply rose to the top after that, with merely eight entrants in its nascent stages to 100 in 1982 and that has doubled a decade later.

With the surging popularity in place, one of the top No Limit players, Doyle Brunson, started the advent of Poker Literature with his book, Super System, which has revolutionized how people played poker. Also, it has brought the game to a wider audience and had put it into the mainstream. It even influenced more poker books to be published, notably by David Sklansky and his Theory of Poker and Dan Harrington’s Harrington on Hold ‘Em. This made the game’s learning curve a lot shorter and made every tournament more exciting and challenging.

A pair of aces is arguably the best hand to be...
A pair of aces is arguably the best hand to be dealt in Texas Hold'em Poker.
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Explosion in the Nineties

This has carried on until the late 90s and the first decade of the 21st century, when the popularity of the game went into another level and went worldwide. It started with the film Rounders (1998), which starred Matt Damon and gave the Hold ‘Em a romantic feel.

One also has to take into account the influence of the internet and gave everyone on what was years of experience in a short amount of time. Online poker rooms like Partypoker.com and Pacificpoker.com paved the way for that. It is said that current stars like Phil Ivey and Gus Hansen fined tuned their game in the internet.

And from there, what was only 200+ 1991 WSOP grew to 800 in 2003 and an unbelievable 5000 in 2005.

Conclusion

Texas Hold ‘Em is definitely here to stay, given that it leans more on strategy and psychology rather than strict mathematical analysis and probability, which has been the case of other games like Blackjack. Its appeal stretches to far reaches, not only in terms of regions but also of social class. It has hit popular culture, with it being considered more and more as a sport rather than gambling. It has even changed how people think of the game, with works like the The Poker MBA sitting in bookshelves. Truly, Texas Hold ‘Em has grown to a new level.