Texas Hold'em Poker Strategy – Tips and Tricks for Beginners

Texas Hold'em Strategy

How to Play Your Position at the Texas Hold ‘Em Table

Learn more about making the most of your position at the Texas Hold ‘Em table.

Knowing your position in the chronology of play is a key factor in developing a Texas Hold ‘Em strategy.

By default, the dealer (the player holding the dealer button) has the highest advantage at a Texas Hold ‘Em table, as they are the last player to bet and they have the most insight into the existing layout of the table (i.e. possible hands held by other players).

Because play rotates around the table clockwise starting at the dealer button, players to the immediate right of the dealer will have a slight advantage over those sitting to the dealer’s left.

Some Texas Hold ‘Em experts even argue that the player sitting to the immediate right of the dealer is, in fact, the most dominant player at the table, as they can work to ‘cut off’ the dealer by raising at the last minute.

By analyzing your position at the table and figuring out your place in the betting order, you can start to formulate a specific poker strategy that works in your favour based on the layout of the table and its seating arrangement.

Your choice of Texas Hold ‘Em strategy depends on your overall motivation – that is, if you are playing for fun or money. The strategy you choose and your placement at the table can dictate how frequently or aggressively you play and how often you raise bets.

Loose Play

Loose Players are risk-takers that bet often and aren’t afraid to bet big!

‘Loose’ Texas Hold ‘Em play is a risky but rewarding style of poker play that can benefit more aggressive Texas Hold ‘Em strategies.

In Texas Hold ‘Em, loose players play hands more regularly and make more extreme and impulsive bets. They are more prone to gambling, intimidating other players and making unpredictable, high-value bets.  To put it simply, loose Texas Hold ‘Em players take more risks than your average poker player.

Tight Play

Tight Texas Hold ‘Em players know how to wait it out!

In Texas Hold ‘Em, ‘tight’ play is the opposite of loose play in that it involves taking as few risks as possible and betting conservatively.

Tight Texas Hold ‘Em players keep their cards close to their chest, and playing tightly involves playing hands as cautiously and occasionally as possible. Tight Texas Hold ‘Em strategy play is all about only playing strong hands, striking when the time is right and avoiding any losses at the table.

Knowing When to Call, Raise & Fold

Knowing how to play to your strengths and play hands at the right time is an essential part of Texas Hold ‘Em strategy.

Texas Hold ‘Em players can play the game either passively or aggressively. However, no matter how tightly, loosely or aggressively you choose to play the game, there are some key tips that everyone should know.

  • When to Raise – If you are fairly certain that you’re holding the best hand at the table, it’s time to raise the bet and raise big. This will worry your competitors and potentially increase your odds. Similarly, if you have a complete hand and don’t need any other cards from the dealer to complete a winning hand, raise big and force out players waiting for a winning community card.
  • When to Call – If you have a potentially winning hand, calling can be a good strategy. Calling can encourage other players to bet big, and help you to conceal your winning hand until the last minute. Calling can be used as a kind of reverse-bluff Texas Hold ‘Em strategy.
  • When to Fold – You can’t win every time, and a key part of any poker strategy is knowing the right time to fold. By quitting when you are ahead and putting logic before pride, you can minimize losses at the table and come back to fight another day in the next round. There is nothing wrong with playing cautiously and accepting defeat once in a while.

How to Narrow the Odds & Play Your Starting Hand

Knowing the odds of the game from back to front and always using the strength of a starting hand works well for any Texas Hold ‘Em strategy.

It is essential to be fully aware of the odds of the game when it comes to forming your Texas Hold ‘Em strategy. If you know the odds of the game like the back of your hand, you can more easily identify your potential to win.

With each new round of betting, the odds can fluctuate in a dramatic and unpredictable way. As more cards leave the deck and players drop out, it is really important to stay aware of the odds as they change with each round.

Many Texas Hold ‘Em players will approach a betting round based on their position and the strength of their starting hand. By always sticking with your starting hand, you should be able to stick to a consistent narrative in the face of wildly changing odds.

The aim of Texas Hold ‘Em is to increase your chances of taking the pot home by narrowing the odds and eliminating other players from the table.

Learn to Read Other Players & Protect Yourself from Table Sharks

Identifying ‘tells’ and learning how to bluff is a crucial staple of any Texas Hold ‘Em strategy.

Correctly reading the reactions and betting patterns of other players is a key skill in Texas Hold ‘Em.  Good Texas Hold ‘Em players are adept at identifying ‘tells’ in other players, which are subconscious micro-expressions made by players when reacting to bets, comments or card turns.

Being able to effectively pinpoint playing behaviours and ‘tells’ of other Texas Hold ‘Em players at the table can help you to figure out how strong their hands are and even manipulate their play.

As well as learning to identify telling betting patterns and reactions, good Texas Hold ‘Em strategy involves protecting yourself from the eyes of your opponents.

Here are a couple of Texas Hold ‘Em strategies that you can use to throw opponents off the trail, keep your poker face and avoid being caught by another player at the table.

Avoid Playing with Emotion or Showing Your Reactions

Avoid playing emotionally or exposing your reactions to other players at the table.

When playing a game of Texas Hold ‘Em, it is crucial that you do not show any visible reactions to progressions in the game, whether positive or negative.

The only responses that other players should be able to see should be measured, manufactured responses designed to influence or bluff.

By consistently keeping your poker face on, it will be trickier for your opponents to gauge the strength of your hand or predict your future actions.


In Texas Hold ‘Em strategy, bluffing can be used to manipulate other players and convince them that you have a better hand than you really do!

Bluffing is a frequently employed Texas Hold ‘Em strategy that works to convince other players that you have a winning hand when you are really sitting on nothing.

Texas Hold ‘Em Players usually bluff only when they are working with a valueless hand, so bluffing is a deceptive and manipulative strategy.

Bluffing can influence dominant players into folding, based on their assumption that your (weak) hand is superior.

Bluffing is an effective Texas Hold ‘Em strategy that can be used to knock strong opponents from the round, narrowing the odds and increasing your chances of winning the pot!

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