The most important aspect of Texas Hold’em Poker that beginners should learn is choosing their hands before the community cards are dealt (pre-flop). It’s always good advice for new players to only play strong hands, but the more advanced the player’s skill is, the more profitable it can be to expand the game and play more hands. The simplest way to think about preflop strategy is that the closer you are to the button, the more hands you can make profitably. It all stems from the importance of the position. The later a player is in position, the less likely he is to have a better hand. They also have an advantage post-flop because they act later than their opponents.
Let’s assume that in early position, just dealing with all high pairs, AK and A-Q. This seems to be a good default range for most players. If we start there and move to the middle, the range can be expanded to include all pairsA-J and K-Q. When we get into late position and get close to the button, we can start playing hands like A-10, K-J, and all the “Broadway” hands (Straight 10 to Ace). We can also start by adding small connectors of the same color.
These are just general areas that most players will feel comfortable with, but as the game progresses it is important not to get stuck in these given areas. Poker players need to be able to adapt to the dynamics of the table and the types of players behind them. Let’s say you’re in last position with a hand of the same suit like 7-6, and the player in the second-to-last position (cutoff) on the button doesn’t throw away his cards very often. Opening with this hand may not be profitable, as players who need to act later are less likely to commit to their hand. It is better to fold at this point and wait for a hand that represents greater value in the immediate showdown, such as a pair or a high card.
Your relative skill level at the poker table is another factor that affects your predictions. -Flop strategy. If you feel there is a better player than you at the table, you should play fewer hands. This will prevent you from getting beat and losing money on positions you shouldn’t be holding. On the other hand, if you feel like you’re better than most of the players at the table, you can play more hands because you can give your opponents hands that can beat you after the board (post-flop).
This is a gradual learning curve. However, before expanding your preflop hand range, you should familiarize yourself with your game.