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Advanced Texas Hold Em Strategy

While there are distinct advanced strategies that can be helpful in Texas hold’em, most of them come with years of experience and lots of time at the table. Over time players develop instinctual playing abilities that simply cannot be taught. There are some things in the advanced category that you can learn and use right away to your advantage. The beautiful thing is most people never learn these strategies and you can use them to extract money left and right from your uneducated opponents. This article will discuss check raising and pot odds.

Check Raising

Check and raise is a deceptive move that is used to trap unsuspecting players. While this is a powerful move, it is important that you not overuse this technique. It should be used as a special tool to extract more money from opponents. Using it too often will telegraph your moves and make it ineffective. A good situation from which to check raise would be when are in early position and flop a strong hand and most of your opponents are weak. You can check and then when a late position player bets, you come in for a raise. Savvy players will catch on to this quickly, but poor players are going to call and you can trap many people in the hand. Here are a few tips on check raising:

  • Use it to vary your play and extract more money from opponents. Do not use it as a regular tactic
  • Check raise good opponents in tight races or when you think they have the best of it. Every now and then a good opponent might respect your raise and lay down their hand.
  • Check raising with a marginal hand is an excellent way to semi bluff and might just accomplish what you are looking for, to get your opponent to fold.

Pot Odds

This is an important advanced concept that most players never bother to learn. The idea behind pot odds is figuring out how much money the pot is offering you in relation to your chances of hitting the hand you want. Here are some examples:

  • If you hold a pair pre flop, your chances of hitting a set on the flop are about 7.5:1. What this means is that if you hold a low pair like 33 or 44, you most likely will want the pot to offer you at least that amount on your money. So if the bet were two dollars and the pot was at ten dollars, your odds would only be 5:1, not quite there yet. On the other hand if there was sixteen dollars in the pot you would be getting 8:1 and now it is completely worth it for you to try and flop a set.
  • With two cards to come you have an outside straight draw. The pot is offering you twenty dollars on a four dollar bet. The odds of hitting your inside straight by the end are worse than 11:1. You should be able to tell right away that this is a bad bet. You are only getting pot odds of 5:1 and if you were to make this move every time you played poker for the rest of your life you would go bankrupt thousands of times over.

The point we are trying to make with this article is that advanced strategies are subtle and very specific. You have to learn to identify the situations where they can work and do not over use them. The best poker players in the world are those who can successfully change up their play and keep opponents off balance. By using these poker strategies from time to time, you throw your opponents off and keep them guessing.

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