When you are getting ready to compete in the Texas Hold ‘Em game of your dreams, the last thing that you want to do is choke. Poker is a risky game, and if you are just getting started in the world of competitive play, you need to think about what you can do to make sure that you are going to get the results you want. If you are stepping into a card tournament, remember these tips.
When In Doubt, Fold
The next time you get a chance, watch some top-notch card players in action. Of course there are the big dramatic showdowns where things are tense, and where bluffs carry the day, but the truth is that these events are rarer than you think.
A great card player knows to fold their cards if they think they can’t play them. You will always fold more hands than you play, so don’t sweat it if you feel you are sitting out.
Whenever you get a chance to raise, you should bet the same amount each time. It sounds like a simple trick, but its a great one. People do keep track of how much you put in, and they can often use the amount that you put in to determine how strong you think your hand is.
When you bet the same amount over and over again, they are going to have to do without this important clue as to the strength of your hand.
Bluffing is part of the fun of the game, but the truth is that most amateur players use it too often. The old rule states that you should only ever bluff two people at once. If you do much more, you are going to start getting people who are going to try to keep you honest. Make sure that you bluff sparingly and that you keep yourself honest when you can.
Beware Aggressive Play
Part of the fun of a tournament is that you are all in from the beginning. You are not walking away with anything unless you progress, and this knowledge can make people really reckless and aggressive when they otherwise wouldn’t be. The truth is that a certain amount of aggression can be a good way to really loosen up your play style.
However, one of the best things that you can do is to keep it loose in the beginning and to gradually make your play style more conservative as the game goes on.
When you are not actively playing a hand, make sure that you watch other people. Poker is as much about reading other people as it is playing your cards, and different people will need different strategies. Never rely on luck; tournament play is too fast for most luck to even get a grasp on the situation!
Poker tournament play is a fantastic way to burn of some stress and to walk off with the tournament winnings. Take a moment to consider how you can make sure that you stay in!
Chris Tan is an Asia-based writer specializing in topics of gambling strategies, tips and tricks. He previously wrote an article on “Poker Hands Explained” and also contributes to the BetAsia casino games site.