Stake levels in holdem

Posted by admin | online poker | Monday 26 July 2010 12:58 am

Let’s start with Texas Hold’em at the low stakes. As many poker players limp to see the flop, it is not recommended to bluff too much. You must raise with your strong cards, otherwise it is like slowly seeing your bankroll evaporate.

The important poker skills at this level are a good understanding of pot odds and knowing when it is advantageous to call. If you play poker well, you’ll win fewer pots than your opponents, but you will gain overall as the pots that you win will be bigger than the pots you lose, providing you with a net profit.

Sometimes bad luck will hurt you badly. You’ll often see how your draws seem to never hit while your opponents’ poker hands will be apparently favored with constant luck. This happens with opponents who never fold. You rarely should bluff, but you have to bet and raise with premium hands, adding to the pot size when you are leading. Aggression to increase the pot is also important because you have to be careful not to give free cards to the other players.

Texas Hold’em at the average stake levels is harder to play. Most of the players at these stakes are in a position to beat the low stakes, but there are also players who are only slightly used to the game, but have the bankroll to afford to play regularly. These players use less justifiable starting hands, and most pots are played with 3 or less players.

Your opponents will be playing more aggressively. Make bets to increase the pots when it is to your advantage, especially against opponents who love to call or raise with decent strength hands, but not the best of hands. If you are profitable in low-limit poker, the transition to these levels shall be very profitable for you. However, it is also important to know how to read your competitors and to have the skill to choose the juiciest tables.

Now is the time to talk about high-limit poker. Such games always are tight and aggressive. You will meet opponents who are better than the best of you. Do not play with them.

Look for profitable tables where the play is softer due to the presence of one or two loose players. If you search well, such tables can be found. The average player knows how to play poker well, probably having spent a lot of time on the game. Bluff, semi-bluff, deception and original plays to increase the pots are very important skills against these players.

Aggressive poker play with strong premium hands is still the best style. But you can win with a good bluff, as with the correct table image players will be cognizant of your style and fold their medium strength hands. But these players will also punish you if they have a chance to do so, and your chances of a positive outcome will be less because of the permanent aggression. But if you focus on the selection of tables and hands, you may make money at these almost nose-bleed games.

We end this article with the ultra high stakes. Such games can only be found at a few online poker rooms such as Full Tilt Poker. There you will find the best poker players in the world. There may be some slight idiosyncrasies, but basically the style your opponents play will be based on a well understood poker and it will be really difficult for you to find any leaks in it.

For example, some players can play too many hands before the flop, but post flop they will balance their game, partly compensating for their pre flop looseness. The players are very aggressive in fighting for the blinds. Bluffs all in, post flop 3-bets, stealing and restealing occur in these games more than anywhere else.

Normally, you should not play these games, but if you have the skills and guts, you can make massive profits. Assuming you can stand the variance.

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,