Two of the most significant strategies for every player of Texas Holdem to comprehend are patience and bluffing. They go hand in hand, and a high level of skill at both is what differentiates the pros from the amateurs at the table.
Patience, as your grandma always told you, is a virtue. And it is far more virtuous for both you and the pot to contain your excitement and exercise patience when you get that winning hand. A perfect hand, one you just know is going to win, is hard to hide for novices. They get all aroused and it shows all over their face. And the game ends with a smaller pot.
Ideally, you need to be patient enough to get the other individuals to feed the pot as long as possible, so your winnings with the perfect hand are big. You need to learn how to read the table and watch out for clues from your fellow players: are they playing tight, or loose?
Keep a grip on your concentration, weigh up the risks – and do not be surprised if you are suddenly feeling emotionally fatigued. Losing a hand that you were certain you had won is frustrating.
If it happens twice, you are going to feel even worse. You will begin playing frantically, making foolish bets and encouraging early folds, wasting an otherwise winning hand. When you reach that stage, it is time to take a break. Sit one out, and leave the room.
You will be amazed what a ten minute break will do to your concentration. Take a walk outside and clear your head. Let out some of that stress in your shoulders and get your focus back. When you return to the room you will be playing a stronger game with a clearer head.
Keeping that pot growing is all about bluffing. Let your opponents see you bluffing early in the game. They will think they have got you sorted. Then, when you get that tremendous hand again, show them something different. They will be expecting you to bluff – it is what the game's all about – but the skill is in concealing your real bluffs and uncovering the bluffs of the other individuals.
Filed Under: Poker Strategy