A Beginner's Guide to Texas Hold em Poker

MatthewA By MatthewA, 29th Oct 2015 | Follow this author | RSS Feed
Posted in Wikinut>Gambling>Poker>Poker Strategies

Texas Hold em Poker has become the de-facto variant of poker card games. For the beginner, there are some things that need be considered if you are to survive at the table.

A Beginner's Guide to Texas Hold em Poker

Firstly, new players need to be familiar with all the basics. The basics of the game relate to the hand ranks from a Royal Flush down to a single double. Equally, be aware of the flop, river and the turn.

When you first start playing, it would be best to do so in fun games only. This way, you will be able to acquaint yourself with basic play and better prepare yourself for the real chip games. Here you will be able to try poker without any risk associated.

The beginner needs to be patient. This is especially the case when the cards being dealt are not favorable. Never play in hope more than expectation; if you have a weak starting hand then fold before the flop. Do not be tempted to stay in, in the hope that you might get dealt some unlikely combination of cards when the flop emerges. It will probably not happen.

If your starting hand has high cards, in the form of a pair, matching suite or connected singles, then the time to play might well have arrived. With a very strong hand, raise and re-raise before the flop. With a reasonably strong hand, a raise might be okay, but nothing more. If the hand is just playable, then show caution and do not raise the pot. Playable hands are:

High Pairs


Modest Pairs (unsuited)

JJ, 10&10, 9&9, 8&8

Strong Connected Singles

AK, KQ, QJ, J&10

Suited Pairs

77, 66 (worth a go)

High Combination of Singles

AQ, AJ, Q10, K&J

Any of the above, suited or unsuited, are most certainly playable. If the flop does not help, then fold. The flop is a key point in the game, and fold if it doesn't enhance your hand. Unless your hand is a high pair, folding might be wise.

If the flop helps a little, then beginners can get confused. Ultimately, they might continue to play in the hope that a potential flush, or straight emerge on the river and turn. Folding might also be wise if you do not suspect you are holding a winning hand by the flop. Deciding to stay in is risky, so if you do calling bets is the best option. If the flop further enhances your hand, then raise and re-raise. Chances are that you are on to a winner.

Reading the play can help you. Lots of raising suggests that other players have strong or very strong hands. At any rate, if you only consider your hand to be modest then it is best to fold if there is lots of raising. On the turn and river, fold if you suspect that your hand might still be second or third best in the face of raising.

For a beginner, do not be tempted to bluff (raise with weaker hands). It is a more advanced tactic, and can actually lead to losses when not pulled off correctly.

Overall, the beginner should not be tempted to play with weak hands. Strategy should be cautious play, aimed at raising only with very strong hands and folding with modest to weak hands. Limit losses and wait for the right moments to raise and stay in; doing so will be more profitable. After playing from the fun tables, start in the low-stake lounges and from there you can adopt more advanced playing strategies.


Card Games, Poker, Texas Hold Em

Meet the author

author avatar MatthewA
Matthew is the author of the book Battles of the Pacific War 1941 - 1945. You can find further details at http://battlesofthepacificwar.blogspot.co.uk/.

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