A carefully thought out pre-flop strategy is essential if you are to win at Texas holdem poker.
Here is a basic Texas holdem pre-flop strategy to get you off to a winning start:
Tip 1 – Consider the Number of Players
With 10 people in the game, there is a greater chance of someone having a good hand, than in a game with a lesser number of players. Players need to be more cautious in large games as more players means more competition.
Tip 2 – Consider the Other Players Playing Style
Consider how the other players are playing and adapt your strategy to give you the best possible advantage against them.
For example, if you notice a player is raising every hand pre-flop, you should consider playing tighter. You can then take him out when you have a good hand in the pocket pre-flop.
Tip 3 - Your Bankroll
If you only have a small bankroll, you should play extremely carefully and select one hand to bet on, hoping to get as many players involved as possible for a good size pot.
On the other hand, if you have a large bankroll, you can take the higher-risk higher payout bets and be more aggressive.
Tip 4 - Consider Your Table Position
Players in late position have the ability to influence the size of the pot more than players in early position. This is especially true pre-flop. The dealer is obviously in the most advantageous position, as they get to see how all the players play before making their own playing decision.
Players must be more selective with their hands in early position, as they don't have the advantage of seeing other players betting before they decide if they want to stay in the hand.
Players in late position can play weaker hands with less fear of loss.
Tip 5 – Know the Hands You Should Play
When playing Texas Holdem, it’s essential to know which hands you should pursue during pre-flop betting i.e. which hands are most likely to yield a win, and to determine which hands are worth risking money on.
There are many books and downloads on the Internet that will do this for you automatically, and for novice players these tools are useful until you gain experience
Tip 6 – Discipline
The most important pre-flop skill is to play with discipline and patience.
The idea is to only play a hand when you have an advantage.
You have to beat 10 other Poker players, and most of the time, your hand will simply not be good enough to win.
Playing only the hands when you have an advantage requires a great deal of discipline, since you will not be involved in many pots.
Playing with this strategy, will however, provide you with a lot of time to study other players and their potential weaknesses that you can exploit.
Texas holdem is a game of psychology as well as odds, and the above are general pre-flop strategy guidelines to follow.