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Texas Limit Holdem

The tips presented here are especially useful to beginners and low- experienced (intermediate) players. They show a certain style of play. By using these tips players may improve their techniques and turn this game into a money making machine.

A limit game makes it possible even for inexperienced players to have a good chance at winning in a short period of time. The limit provides a sort of security net, because a player cannot lose it all in just one round. In a short run, the Limit is not very forgiving, but in the long run a lack of discipline, wrong calculation of pot odds, or a passive play with strong hands may be rather destructive. Having played the Limit, I found it more challenging sometimes than Pot or No-Limit.

Let's use the words by Doyle Bronson: You can play all kinds of Poker for money. You chose what you like best. But if you chose to play the Fix, remember that compared to NL it can be more destructive to you bankroll than anything else. The Fix on tilt is worse because getting even takes much longer time and the frustration may cause your play to deteriorate.

Despite what I have written above, I think that everyone should start with the Limit. It gives you a chance to learn all the basics and discipline of the game. Every good Poker player should start with the Limit, through No-Limit and end in tournaments.

Texas Limit Holdem

One of the most important skills is the ability to read your opponents. Equally important is the calculation of pot odds, the management of your bankroll, and being not vulnerable to go on tilt.
In Poker Tilt describes a player who is frustrated and doesn't follow his/her normal strategy e.g. When a player has lost a lot of money and is trying to get it back by taking the risk of placing large bets on really poor hands (raising from J9 or T9).

In Holdem Poker the most important decisions are made before and after the flop. Most beginners make most mistakes right at these points.

If your decision is correct however, the fourth and fifth street game should be much easier.

The most profitable is a tight / aggressive style of play. In short, it means that you play only strong hands that can make the Nuts. When you have a strong hand, you play aggressively.

The Nuts is the best possible hand in a single round e.g. communal cards: AA76J, and your pocket cards: AA, you are said to have the Nuts.
You have to use your strength and the weakness of your opponents.

The most important tips:

Play starting hands that stand a chance to become the Nuts. In a regular game at a full table you should see no more than 20-25% of the flops.

Select the right tables: Beware of tight/aggressive tables (low profit, high volatility). If you see strong players who are better than you, look for another table. The ideal is the situation where you are the best player. Don't make it your ambition to win every game; you must be reasonable and careful. Look for games where at least 30% see the flop on average (the more the better).

When you are drawing, make sure to have pot odds. Try to get the Nuts and not the losing hands (a pair on the table or flush and you're waiting for a straight).

Always analyze your relative strength in the hand. Try to anticipate the hands of your opponents, which cards may help them and which ones may thwart their hands.

Try to remember your opponents' styles of play. What kind of hands do they raise and re-raise with? Do they call all the way with weak hands? How do they play pairs? How do they play their draws? What kinds of hands do they call/raise from early positions and then later positions? It may also help you to kill boredom at the table.

Always bet and raise when warranted. Don't be passive by just just calling. If you believe you have the best hand you should bet and raise or re-raise. You shouldn't give any free cards to your opponents. Checking and calling is the main reason for bad betting.

Always have a good kicker. Weak kickers result in second-best hands, which may prove too expensive.

Vary your play to avoid being predictable and to confuse your opponents about your style of play. From time to time, play strong and weak hands in a different way e.g. limp on "raising hands" and bet/raise on some "calling hands" (check with AA instead of raising). Never be passive before or after the flop. Your opponents will have respect for your play and they may consider you a much better player.

Fold in time. If you suspect that your opponents have better holdings, fold. This will save you a lot of money.

When you decide to bluff, make sure that your opponents don't hold strong hands. You have to be reasonable. A good time to bluff is a Scary card, giving a pair third card in a suit.
Almost never on the river, which is the final communal card. If it gets to this point and a player has invested a lot of money in the pot, he will most likely call, even with a weak hand. The Flop and Turn are the best place to bluff. Your opponents realize that they will have to pay more on the next street. Bluffing in Limit games is extremely difficult, especially when bets are low. For this reason alone, it is not a very good idea.

The most common mistakes in Low Limit Texas Holdem.

Playing too many starting hands before the flop.

Calling too much with trap hands.

Too passive a play with strong hands thus letting too many drawing hands in on the flop.

Drawing for cards that are unlikely to produce the best hand. For example, the flop is 7 K Q and you hold A7. Even if you get another A on the turn, this card could potentially give someone holding an AK or QA a bigger two-pair.

Calling all the way to the river without proper pot odds.

Bad table selection.

Poor bankroll management. Placing high bets will surely make going broke a real possibility (you need approximately 150-200 times the*BB at your table).

Texas Limit Holdem

Let's take a closer look at the game.

As I have mentioned before, one of the greatest skills is the right selection of starting hands. There are a few important factors, which determine how you should play before the flop.

You have to answer yourself a few questions. Is the table tight or loose? (Players are said to be playing tight if they are very careful. A tight player will call only TT, AQs, AJs, KQs, AK; and raise on AA, KK, QQ, JJ, Aks). The opposite of tight game is loose game. (A loose player may play even weak hands; 22).
A tight game is defined as a game where few players, 2-3 on average, see the flop and then fold. This type of game usually ends on the flop or turn and hardly ever you can see the river card. Playing these games is not really profitable, even if you are an experienced player.

If you do decide to play in a tight game, you should select your starting hands very well. (You might be able to play 15% to 20% of them all).

The opposite of a tight game is a loose game. A loose game is a game where many players see the flop and go to the bitter end with their hands. You should play more hands in this game (usually not more than 30% of the hands). You must still be very selective about the hands you want to play.

If many people see the flop, cards such as 76s or small pairs may increase in value. There is also a greater chance for you to play more drawing hands.

At a short-handed table (6 players or less), big cards (AK, KK AQ) increase in value.

If someone has raised before the flop you must have a very good hand to call. Beware of cards like AJ and KQ if you're not in late position. Take a note of the fact that cards like AJ or KQ can be easily defeated when an A or K shows up on the flop. If the raising hand is AK, you're in serious trouble. Having the highest hand, you'll probably want to stick to the end and there is a good chance you will lose.

The most common mistake among the beginners is to play with two high cards regardless of the position they are in (early, middle, late).

You have to be extremely careful, especially in early positions, with pocket-cards like AT, AJ, KQ, KJ, KT, QJ, QT. They may drive you into a trap, especially if someone has raised. Usually they produce the second-best hand. It is also a common mistake to re-raise on these cards. The cards that raise from early positions include: AA, KK, QQ, JJ, AQ, AK.

Another common mistake to play every A with a kicker. Such a game may be rather expensive in the long run (even if you get an A).

Have respect for good players. If you see them raise from early positions, don't hesitate to fold your AQ hand. Such a strategy will save you money in the long run.

Free card

It so often happens that you try to draw for a straight or a flush. In the Limit Games the amount of bet on the flop is ? the amount of bet on the turn. You can take full advantage of it if you are in a late position and it is your turn to take action. By raising on the flop, you suggest to other players that you have a strong hand. On the turn, the player sitting before you will wait therefore for your move. If you check in the final position on the turn you have a chance to see the 5th card for free. In the long run this type of play may save you a lot of money. There is also a chance that the river will give you the card that you have been waiting for and the person before you have raised.

Check-Raise The check-raise strategy you can use when you have strong hand. If you are sure that the person sitting before you will bet, don't hesitate to raise. When you do that you force your opponent to put more money on the table and increase thereby your winnings. It is a much better tactics than just checking. Semi-bluff

Semi-bluff is a term used to describe actions of a player who doesn't have the best hand at the table but who has a few outs that can produce the Nuts in the end. For example, you have an Ace of Spades and a Jack of Spades on the flop, which shows Eight of Spades, Ten of Spades and Six of Diamonds. This very moment you have 9 outs (9 cards may improve your hand) for a flush. Perhaps you will need only an Ace or a Jack to win, which gives you additional 6 outs for a total of 15.



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