No Limit Texas Hold’em Poker Strategy

* If you feel like getting into No-Limit mode whilst reading this strategy article, be sure to start the song at the bottom of this article first.

 Growing in popularity steadily since around the 1900’s, No Limit Holdem has now become not only one of the most popular forms of poker but also a legitimate social activity in households worldwide.  The No-Limit addition to the name of the game denotes that at any time an active player can bet up to his entire chip stack whenever it is his turn to bet, this does make it an extremely risky game to play, yet at the same time adds an extra exhilaration unparalleled in other games. 

With the threat of the stakes being raised exponentially at any street, tight hand selection and playing the correct strategy greatly increases the chance of long term success.  Fairly obviously (but worth mentioning) starting with the best hand is often the secret to taking the whole pot down.  Therefore for beginning {1070 poker players} it is recommended to play from a tight aggressive stance.  This will mean you need to fold a vast quantity of you dealt hands especially preflop, once you are dealt a strong hand, you play very aggressively.

Your position relative to the dealer is a very important part of No-Limit Poker. If you are required to bet first in a hand you have a worse position than the player who is last to act, he will be aware of the move you have made before he decides how to respond. He may bet a poor hand you check to him, one which he may have folded had you bet first. Waiting for the right hand in the right position gives you the best advantage over your opponents.

Remember to consider your position when considering how to play a hand preflop especially when planning a raise, here is a rough guide to which starting hands match which positions:

Early position: JJ+, AK
Middle Position: TT+, AQ+, AJs+
Late position: 99+, AQ+, AJs+
As you can see the later your position the weaker the hand you can open the betting with.  Small pocket pairs from 22-99, unless over valued, can be very profitable in No-Limit Hold’em cash games.  If you can call for the minimum or even a small raise they are worth playing almost every time in any position.  When you do hit your set (three of a kind or trips) on the flop, hopefully you will be up against a strong hand, possibly a larger pair like AA or KK or your opponent may have just hit top pair, then you will stand to win a big pot.  If however your hand doesn’t connect always remember to let this one go if there is any action against you and wait for another opportunity.
Following this strategy pre-flop play is fairly straight forward; post flop is where things get a little more complicated. If you stick to this simple strategy you should have found yourself in a strong situation, acting late in each betting round (hopefully even last) with premium starting cards. This way when you have hit a pair it should be top pair with a good “kicker” two pair would almost certainly be best hand and on the rare occasions you hit trips you once again you can be confident of your kicker.

If you did always hit the board hard this would be a very simple game, however more often than not this will not be the case. Having your tight table image will help greatly here, you should be shown some respect as the pre flop raiser and a follow up or continuation bet can often pick up the pot without a strong hand, in essence this is a bluff however you should be in the position that even if you are called there is a distinct possibility that the next card could make you the best hand so you are bluffing “with outs”.  

If however players are re-raising and putting the decision back on you it is key to realise you are beaten and let the hand go. This will maximise the amount of pots you do win make sure you get best value when you do and minimise your losses when your behind. 

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