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How To Enhance Your Poker Betting Strategy

By: Cyman Harrison

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The betting strategy of poker is complex and it is simple. That is why poker is such a fun game for people of all ages. And, knowing a solid betting strategy is a great way to get the most out of the poker games you play.

Here are some helpful scenarios to help you improve your poker strategy:

When you are in the dealer’s position and only you and the blinds remain in the game, a raise in this position is called Blind Stealing. This is because the blinds may fold and if you raise then you can buy the blinds in this way. Just calling at this point allows the players who posted the blinds to just check. Failing to raise here is an opportunity missed.

If you are the last player to act and your opponents have checked, betting to limit the amount of players or to take the pot is called a Steal Raise. It is best to use this strategy when you are holding a drawing hand such as a flush. You shouldn’t use this move very often since better players will recognize the move and begin to Check Raise your hand.

A Check Raise is to get an insight into your opponent’s hand by checking, waiting for them to bet and then raising, which increases the pot.

The Opener is a move done by people who are bluffers; when they are in the position to act first, they raise, making the other players call two bets at once. This limits the amount of players in the pot. It is a sort of Backwards Steal Raise. This will usually force many players to fold. Any of the remaining players can be characterized as aggressive or as having an excellent hand. This technique is also known as betting for information.

Squeezing is a strategy that you can use. It is betting when you are holding a good hand and presume that another player may be on the draw.

Now, let’s talk about pre-flop strategy:

Before the flop you need to consider your hole cards, the number of players, your position at the table, your bankroll, the aggressive or passive players at the table and how much you are willing to risk.

The best strategy for Texas Hold’em is to play tight and aggressively. That means only betting on high ranking hands and then when you do bet, bet often.

If there are a lot of players in a hand, chances are high that one of them has a strong hand in their pocket. If there are fewer players, it is less likely that another player has a strong hand. In larger games, there is also a higher risk that someone else’s pre-flop hand will fit the flop. Also consider that players in earlier positions are more able to influence the size of the pot than players in later positions.

If you only have a couple dollars left, then you must play with extreme caution, with an even more tight strategy than usual. If you have more money, you can play more regularly.

If you have been playing in enough hands at a table to recognize a player that is raising every pre-flop, then you must play a much tighter game. That player will win the big blinds often, but you can hurt him or her later with a winning hand.

If you want to go for large pots but don’t mind loosing a few hands, you should raise pre-flop, especially if you are in a late position. If you prefer to be selective at pre-flop then you should patiently wait for a winning hand.

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Cyman Harrison writes for several Texas Holdem websites including which provides resources to help poker players improve their skills. Do you want to WIN more at Texas Holdem?

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