Tips to master Texas Hold'em
Texas Hold'em is a game that takes 5 minutes to learn and a lifetime to master. There are so many levels to the game and no matter how good and experienced you are there is always more to learn that can improve your game – more info about the game, more insights regarding human psychology and more knowledge about the individual players you challenge. This all means that a truly great poker player will never think he or she have mastered the game and will newer stop studying the game and developing new skills.
Below you will find some tips about how to to become an advanced winning Texas Hold'em player that is good enough to take on good players and good enough to understand that there is always more to learn.
This article will assume that you have learned the basic rules for Texas Hold'em and will focus on no limit games.
Tips to master NL hold-em
Learn the pot odds for different hands by heart. You should study them in a similar way to how you memorized multiplication-tables as a child. The pot odds for each and every possible hand and outcome should be imprinted so you know them by heart and never need to calculate the odds while playing. This will allow you to make better decisions quicker. It might not seem important as you have time to calculate the odds at the table, but the truth is that your poker instinct will improve dramatically if pot odds become something instinctual for you rather than something you actively think about. It will allow you to make better decision and free up your brain to consider other factors, such as player behavior, that might be missed if your mind is busy calculating pot odds.
Watch Poker on TV, especially large tournaments. See how the big players play and analyze why they do what they do. You should however never just try to mimic their game. This is mainly due to two reasons.
1. You need to develop your own game and
2. The end of a big tournament is a very different beast than a regular ring game and what is a brilliant play in one might be a terrible choice in the other.
Read poker books. By reading books by different successful players you get an insight into a number of winning strategies and can try to incorporate elements from all of them into your own game to create your own winning style.
Try to get a tutor. Getting a skilled poker player to take you under his or her wings and give you tips on how to improve can be incredibly valuable and shave months and years of your learning curves.
Play poker. It might sound obvious but need to be said anyway. It does not matter how much you study - nothing will replace actual table experience. It is often a good idea to start by playing online since you can play several tables at once and each hand is much quicker. This means that you in a few months can get the same experience that used to take players years or even decades to accumulate. If your bankroll allows it, you should stay away from the free and micro tables. It might seem tempting to start playing at these levels but there are too many players who do not take the game serious at these levels to allow you to gain any real experience. True poker has a completely different dynamic than these small tables. You can of course use them to build your bank roll, but you must not put to much stock into what you learn on these levels. The lowest level where you can start gaining real experience is 0.5- 1 USD (sometimes 0.25-0.50 USD). Anything below that level should be considered bankroll grinding only.
Play both cash games and tournaments. If your cash game development seems to get stuck, play tournaments for a while. If your tournament play isn't evolving, try playing cash games. Changing discipline like this can usually make wonders for your game.
Do not be afraid to take a few days off. If you seem stuck and/or are tilting, it can be good to have a few days away from the tables before getting back to the game.