How to win as a poker beginner playing Texas hold'em tight/aggressive poker at low stake tables

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Poker strategy guide I

As a beginner you don't have much experience working for you at the poker table. Perhaps you have played a little five card draw poker with your family or friends, or perhaps you have just seen Matt Damon play the game in Rounders. This doesn't matter if you play our beginner strategy! The only requirement is that you can read and that you are willing only to play very few hands. Of course you should, as always when playing online, now the rules of the game.

It is an ultra tight style of playing (few hands), that separates you from an average beginner. The below outlined strategy has the character of a beginner manual, and it might look like a very boring way to play poker. But remember that for a value oriented poker player, the primary goal is to win money from the other players and not to get entertainment! If you are bored you can watch the tube while playing, read a book or even play on two tables at a time. Don't seek the entertainment in the game itself. This strategy is best applied on a full table (8-10 players), and for a beginner the stakes shouldn't be higher than 1/2$ limit.

When you get one of the following starting hands:

Pair of aces (AA)
Pair of kings (KK)
Pair of queens (QQ)
Pair of jacks (JJ)
Pair of 10 (TT)


a) Bet as long as no table card is higher than your pocket(start)pair. If you are raised, you just call until showdown. You should also bet preflop with these starting hands.

b) Raise as much as possible if a third card of your start pairs ranking hits the table. If you are re-raised several times, you can consider just calling until showdown.

c) If a higher card (overcard) hits the table, you should just call until showdown. If several players raise in the same round of betting, you should realize that you don't hold the highest pair anymore, and fold accordingly. (Even though it might hurt).

When you are dealt one of the following starting hands:

Ace, King (AK)
Ace, queen (A, Q)
Ace, Jack (A,J)
Ace, Ten (A,10)

You should:

a) Bet or raise if you are hit on the ace, or if you are hit on the side card and hold the highest pair when the community cards are considered. If you are reraised you should just call until showdown. You can consider betting preflop, if you think it will eliminate players from the hand. .

b) If you get a top straight you should raise as much as possible, unless there is three suited community cards or a pair on the table. Then you should just call until showdown.

c) If somebody raise and you are not hit you should fold without hesitation. Another hand comes along shortly!

If you are dealt:

Ace + any card with the same suit as the ace (AXsuit)

You should:

a) Bet and raise as much as possible if three community cards of your suit hit the table. (You got the highest flush).

b) Call possible bets before turn and river if two cards of your suit appear, but fold at the last card (river) if you didn't make your flush. If you are hit on the ace, you should a potential last bet, now that you are there anyway. It might hold up.

c) Fold if two cards of your suit doesn't appear. If you are hit on the ace you should consider taking the hand to showdown, unless there is serious raising going on.

By entirely playing the few hands mentioned above you limit yourself to the most obvious profit possibilities. On the other hand, you have to be unlucky to loose in the long run (if you play other beginners). Of course we can all be hit by bad luck, but try to think about what would happen, if a player with recreational goals in sight play almost all his hands against a machine with one of the above mentioned 8 hands! In that situation you should be the machine. Lucky or not!

Recommended literature for this level: Lee Jones, "Winning Low Limit Hold'em" (2000).

Written by Smith Jones - a writer at

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Stud poker - Game texture

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