Texas Hold 'Em – the game that takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master!

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The title of this post says it all. Truer words were never spoken. I have spent the last five years playing Texas Hold ‘Em and I still have not mastered all of the idiosyncrasies of the game.

The most difficult part of the game for me has been to tell when I have the best hand possible at the river. There are many times in a game when I have committed all my chips pre-flop or post-flop and my opponent has caught a miracle card at the river to beat my hand. That is the nature of the game.

There are other occasions when I reach the river and I can see all five common cards that I can use with my hole cards. Even then, I am not sure that I have the best hand. In some of those cases, I have called all-in raises only to find out the hard way that my hand was not the best possible one.

This has caused me to lose chips in tourneys or dollars in cash games. It is the one aspect of the game that I need to improve on if I expect to continue to play poker.

Texas Hold ‘Em is tough enough, but figuring out the best hand is not all that hard, if you take the time to think it over. This is where a snap judgement can be fatal. So, going forward, I will have to work harder at that aspect of my game.

Because I was not doing as well as I liked at Texas Hold Em, I decided to play some Pot Limit Omaha High. For a couple of days I was doing quite well, slowing building up my bankroll. In just three sessions, I had increased my bank roll by $60.00. But I gave that all back in just one hand.

I was dealt A-Q-10-9, double suited, meaning that the A-Q was the same suit, hearts and the 10-9 was also of the same suit, clubs. The flop was Q-Q-A, giving me a full house of Queens over Aces. My opponent and I raised at the flop, the turn and the river. My opponent was all-in but I still had some cash left in my stack. She turned over A-A-10-10, giving her Aces over Queens, for the best hand.

This was one of those instances  where I should have considered what hands could beat my hand and I would have arrived at the conclusion that she must have A-A to beat me or A-Q to tie. So needless to say, that is definitely one facet of the game I am going to work on if I continue to play No Limit and Pot Limit cash games.  Knowing when you have the best hand is also helpful on Limit games as well.

When you are not sure if you have the best hand, do you slow up and check or call instead of raising or re-raising? How do you evaluate your hand against your opponents? Do you take into account betting patterns? How do you make your decisions?

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5 thoughts on “Texas Hold 'Em – the game that takes a minute to learn and a lifetime to master!

  1. Pingback: Texas Hold 'Em – the game that takes a minute to learn and a …

  2. Pingback: Texas Hold 'Em – the game that takes a minute to learn and a …

  3. I've always liked the tagline of hold'em. It really is easy to learn, but hard (impossible?) to master.When I have doubts that my hand is still best, I usually feel the need to keep betting to not look weak, but a reraise will for sure make me fold. Of course, if I think my opponent is onto my semi-bluff, I may give up and start checking.

    • I guess that the uncertainty of the game is part of the challenge. Even the best players seem to not know what to do – based on what I have seen on “Poker After Dark”. I know I still have to work harder on my game. Have you started playing online again?

  4. I've always liked the tagline of hold'em. It really is easy to learn, but hard (impossible?) to master.When I have doubts that my hand is still best, I usually feel the need to keep betting to not look weak, but a reraise will for sure make me fold. Of course, if I think my opponent is onto my semi-bluff, I may give up and start checking.

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