51 Texas Holdem Tips And Strategies
Poker is a game that is constantly evolving and changing year in and year out.
The strategies employed by today’s players are very different than what players were using even just a few years ago.
However, there are timeless Texas Hold'em tips which will always serve to add some BBs to your winrate.
I have done a lot of research (and used my own experience) to put together a list of over 50 of the best tips to help you take your game to a new.
If you find these poker tips useful, please hit the share button!
#1 Play Poker At The Right Times
Okay, I must admit, this one might seem obvious. But there is a reason I put this as number 1 ranked tip:
It helped me increase my winrate by 50% from the year previous to implementing this.
It's very, very simple yet not many people do it
So what is the poker tip? Simply play more when the games are good (e.g. the weekend) and less when the games are bad (e.g. mid-week).
You might think that's a dumb tip – and that it's completely obvious. However, how often would you consider how good the games are before playing?
Most players will just jump online on a Wednesday night (when all the fish are asleep) because they want to play – not because they are thinking of their bottom line and how profitable playing actually will be.
I did some analysis and came to the conclusion that I should completely ban myself from playing poker on Wednesday and Thursday.
Why? Because I would have been better off sitting on the couch and watching Netflix rather than grinding.
The analysis also suggested that I should play more at the weekends as these were my most profitable days (which seems obvious).
The result: over 50% increase in my winrate from this small change.
Find out more about this tip and the analysis I did right here: https://howtoplaypokerinfo.com/one-tip/
#2 Religiously Take Notes On Your Opponent
Poker is a war of information. The more information you have on your opponent, the more likely you will be to come out on top.
Start paying attention to your opponent's tendencies and make a note of anything you can use against him or her in the future.
It might be his demeanour when bluffing, or how he acts confidently when holding a monster hand.
Even if you don't take a notepad to live games, make sure you take a ‘mental note' of anything you may be able to use in the future or alternatively use the notes feature on your phone (when the hand is finished, of course).
Here is an example of notes that I took on one opponent who wasn’t very good that I played with a lot at 50-100nl zoom on PokerStars (explanations in bold):
13/06/16 50nlz – the date I started taking notes, and the stake 50 No-Limit Zoom – floats flop with QT 3bet 8xxs w/o BDFD – He called a bet with QT on an 8 high board without any backdoor draws– C3bet Ipw AK, call cbet K44 raised turn barrel Q – Called a 3bet in position with AK, called continuation bet K44 and raised the turn– CC OOP A3o, XminR A83r – Cold called out of position with A3o and check min-raised A83 rainbow board
I write in a shorthand style that I can understand to make it much quicker to write notes.
For more info on this Texas Hold'em Tip, see how Jonathan Little takes notes on the poker table.
#3 Slowplay For The Right Reasons
There is a time and a place for slowplaying in poker, but not, for example, when you have AA preflop against a loose aggressive opponent.
Slowplaying weak hands postflop is also a common newbie error. On the contrary, if you have a set on a dry board, raising your opponents bet can be a big mistake.
Discover the slowplaying dos and don'ts over at Pokernews.com.
SunTzuPoker.com looks at a good slowplaying example and interestingly, how slow playing is the opposite of bluffing.
#4 Join A Poker Training Website
A very simple poker tip is to find a poker training site for the game type you enjoy most.
One of my favourite pieces of training is the Upswing Poker Lab which is run by the famous poker pro-Doug Polk – this course starts at the very basics of poker, and will teach you the fundamentals of Cash games MTTs and live poker turning you into a well-rounded player that can hold your own in any texas holdem game.
I break down all the upswing poker lab has to offer in my review right here.
Training sites aren't free, but they are almost always well worth the investment: would you rather spend 1-year learning skills on your own that you can pick up in a few weeks from a series of lessons or course?
We ranked the best poker training sites on the market in our post here, so if learning poker quickly piques your interest, make sure you check it to find a training site suited to you.
#5 Learn To Spot The Fish
Thanks to www.bestpokerrooms.com
Playing against bad players is what winning poker is all about. We already mentioned that you want to play when the games are good, but when at the table you want to play against those who are bad.
The more quickly you can spot the fish, the quicker you will be able to adjust and take home their stack.
Fish effectively have a clock on their stack; they will eventually lose it – you want to be the ultimate winner of their chips, so act quickly.
Look for telltale signs of a fish: limping, calling down with weak hands, overbetting or underbetting in the wrong spots. PokerRockets.com discussed this in more detail in an excellent article here.
#6 Get A Poker HUD
A HUD or Heads Up Display is a tool online poker players use to display stats on their opponent.
Poker tracking software such as DriveHUD or Holdem Manager gathers the stats and shows the HUD. If you are playing online and aren't using a HUD, you are at a huge disadvantage, as the majority of other players have stats and are tracking you.
One option is Holdem Manager 2 as I have used it for years with no issues (it has a free 30-day trial) but another great option is DriveHUD for which you can find more information here.
HEM or is very useful for tracking your online results even if you don't want to use a HUD. For info on setting up a HUD see BlackRain's post (it isn't that complicated, I promise! ).
#7 Learn To MultiTable
MultiTabling is simply the act of playing more than one table when playing online poker.
Playing more than one table can increase your hourly from single digits all the way up to $100s of dollars per hour if you are skilled enough.
However, be careful – playing too many tables can actually hurt your winrate and turn you into a breakeven rakeback grinder!
And nobody wants to be a rakeback grinder.
Find out how to MultiTable and how many tables to play in my blog post.
#8 Learn How To Play Flush Draws
Flush draws are a pretty difficult hand to play and most players don't play them correctly.
Flush draw strategy waayy detailed for this post so I will just direct you to Upswings free 20 rules for playing flush draws which will tell you everything you need to know.
#9 Don’t Bluff The Calling Stations
Okay okay, you might have heard this one before – don't bluff the fish. But you still do it, don't you?
Probably, so I am reiterating this ancient tip!
Calling stations are people who will not fold no matter how big you bet or how poor their holding is… and they are a very common player type.
It can be frustrating to play against them, but there is a simple trick to beating them: be patient, wait for a big hand, and then, value bet them to death.
#10 Play At The Right Stakes
When will the 5th best poker player in the world be out of his depth?
When playing poker with the 4 best poker players of course!
This goes back to our very first tip of making sure that you play at the right times and right places. So make sure you play at stakes that are right for your skill level and your bankroll.
#11 Poker Is A Long-term Game
Do not become overly concerned over short-term results. It takes a substantial amount of time or hands played for a player to be able to determine if a player is a winner.
Online, it can take upwards of a 100k hands to know you are a winner, that's 2-3 months for even a heavy grinder.
Live poker will take even longer!
So forget about the short-term results and concentrate on making good decisions.
#12 Don’t Call When You Know You Are Beat
Seems simple, right?
But this is very common with experienced and beginning players to mutter the words ‘I know you have me beat’ but continue to call anyway.
If “I know he has me beat” crosses your mind, force yourself to make the folds. It's necessary to be disciplined if you want to become a profitable player.
Pokerprofessor.com covers how a big laydown is often worth more than a big win in this article.
#13 Stop Limping Pre-flop
Limping preflop is simply calling the big blind when first to act instead of raising or folding.
The majority of winning players do not include limping in their preflop poker strategy; unsurprisingly the majority of losing players think limping is the go-to strategy.
Limping isn’t an effective approach as the small, ‘insignificant' losses add up quickly.
See our Texas Holdem strategy guide for more information on limping.
#14 Put Your Opponent On A Range Of Hands
Start considering what your opponent may be holding, and not just what you have in your hand.
Practising ‘ranging' your opponent will significantly improve your winrate and is one of the most important skills a player can learn.
Find out more about putting your opponent on a range here.
Famous poker pro and coach James ‘Splitsuit' Sweeney also has a course on putting your opponent on a range called the hand reading lab. However, it's not cheap at $497 but is a great investment to make for your poker career if you are truly dedicated to improving this important part of your game.
#15 Exploit The Limpers
Following on from the previous poker tip on not liming, you should be trying to play as many pots as possible with people who limp!
Limping indicates a novice player, and thus you can take massive advantage of them. Players who limp frequently play ‘fit or fold’ meaning they only continue with their hand if they hit and hence they are a very easy target.
There is a well-written article over at flopturnriver.com which discussed this poker strategy in more detail. PokerVIP.com also has an excellent guide for isolating raising limpers which can be found here.
Focusing on limpers is one of the best ways to increase your winrate and easily one of my favourite tips for Texas Holdem.
#16 Position, Position, Position
No not “location, location, location!”
Just as location is the most important idea in real estate, position is the most important concept in poker.
Experienced players base their starting hand strategy around the effect of position.
That means playing fewer hands when you are likely to be out of position (e.g under the gun, middle position) and more hands when you are guaranteed position (on the button).
Make sure you read up and understand position then check out upswing's free preflop ranges which tell you exactly what hands to play.
#17 Stop Overpaying…