Playing limit Texas Holdem - Strategy Guide

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Playing limit Texas Holdem - Strategy Guide

You've weighed your options and decided that limit texas hold em is the way for you to go. If all your poker knowledge comes from watching poker on television, you may not be too sure how to proceed. Televised poker tends to feature no limit Texas Holdem tournaments, the strategy for which is very different than for a limit hold'em cash game. Here is a couple of basic limit hold'em strategy concepts that will get you started.

Hand Selection:
On television, you will often see top pros putting money into the pot with all sorts of crazy hands. 4 2 suited, 7 8 off suit, it often seems that there is no hand too weak for a pro to play. More incredibly, these pros seem to show a profit playing just these types of hands. You won't. In a no limit hold'em game, you have the potential to win an enormous pot when one of these hands connects with the flop. In a limit game, you can only win a fixed amount. Furthermore, in a tournament, rising blinds may force a player to try to work with a wider variety of hands than they normally would. In a limit cash game, the amount you have to put up for the blinds never changes, which means you can afford to be patient. For the most part, you should only be playing pairs and two big cards. If you want to play some marginal hands once in awhile just so your opponents won't get a good read on you that's okay, but if you're drawing to hit flushes with middle suited cards like 9 7 of spades every other hand, your stack will be gone before you know it.

Pot Odds:
If you do find yourself in a drawing situation, you need to know the pot odds vs. the odds to hit your hand. You can calculate the odds to hit your hand by counting your "outs" (the number of cards that will give you your flush or straight or whatever you are drawing to), versus the number of cards you haven't seen. So if there are 15 cards you think will give you the win, and 45 cards you haven't seen, your odds are 15 in 45, or 30 to 15, or 2 to 1. This means you are going to win the hand once for every two times you lose it. Therefore you need pot odds of better than 2 to 1 to continue with the hand, so that the amount you win when you do win will be more than the amount you lose on the occasions you continue with the hand and miss. If you have to pay $5 to win a $20 pot, the pot is laying you 20 to 5, or 4 to 1 pot odds, so if your odds to hit are better than 4 to 1, it is worth it for you to continue.

These are two of the most important elements of limit texas hold'em. If you understand these concepts, you have a good foundation for Texas Holdem success.

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