Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Texas HoldEm

Have you ever played Texas Holdem?  It is probably one of the most interesting poker games out there.  I started playing a few years ago and absolutely LOVE the game.  There is alot to be said for the game.  And in a way its like a life primer.  The same rules can be applied to both. And the strategies can be quite similar.

We all start out with the same amount of chips.  It's how you take care of them and work with them that make the chips grow.  Some people are just better at holding onto them than others. Sometimes you have to be quite creative to make your chip stack grow. And of course, the object in the end is to hold all the chips isn't it?

You must always watch your position on the board.  You need to know where you are in relation to where and what you want to accomplish.    If you play out of position your odds of winning are not always as high.  As in life you should always try to be aware of just exactly where you are are. Is the time right to make that choice- that decision?  Would it be better to hold back a bit and wait?  Is this the proverbial Being in the right place at the right time? Remember - Position is a key to power if you just learn how to use it.
This goes hand in hand with betting your position. Sometimes where you are in life determines the decisions you make. If you are in a good place to make a move don't be afraid to take the opportunity.

Watch your fellow players.  Learn to "read" them. They will show you how they play if you are patient enough to watch and learn.  Knowing how others will act and/or react will give you an advantage in many situations.  Watch their body language, their tone of voice, how they hold their cards. (and how they deal with life)

In Texas Holdem when someone "looses their cool" its called going on  Tilt. This is something you need to avoid at all costs. This is where mistakes are made because you have let emotions get in the way of the game. Playing with a cool head will always be advantageous.  When someone goes on tilt you can use their crazy thinking to your advantage.  As in life, little things learned about others can teach you volumes about how they will react in some situations.

Unless required to do so NEVER show your cards. It keeps the competition guessing.  You don't want to show them what you were playing with.  This would give them an advantage in "reading" how you play and how you bet.  You don't want to give your opponents any ammo to use against you, because in poker as in life you can bet they will if given the chance. Always leave them wondering!

Bluffing is not cheating but you better be pretty dang good at it to come out ahead of the game. And if you get caught you have to be ready to pay the consequences .

Remember that pocket pairs may not always be as good as they appear.  Sometimes cards (situations) that you think are sure to be winners will be your downfall.  Play these cards with caution. Remember that sometimes you have to admit that they weren't as good as you first thought they were.

Sometimes it is better to "check" than to make a bet. You don't always want to let others know that you have a decent hand.  You want to keep them in the game with you if you can.  Remember, you're in this to win. Sometimes it is possible to "bring them along" with you  which means more money in the pot.  If you aren't sure where on the board the card that can beat you is, try making a "feeler" bet to see if you can flush it out. If someone has a better card they will probably play with you.  Its an easy way to find out who can beat you and you can adjust your hand (life) accordingly.

Don't chase cards.  Odds are if you don't have what  you need to  "make that straight"  you aren't going to get it.  Getting a gut shot straight is pure luck and can never be counted on. Chasing cards is is like continuing to hope that everything will work  out even when you already know there's little hope of it doing so.

Admit it when there is no way you can beat the board.  Folding is not always a bad thing. It is actually a smart move when you know there is no good outcome.  Besides, you  want to stay to play another hand right?

Some say that a good player will only play about 2 out of every 10 hands.  You should never try to play every single hand.  Be patient.  Wait for the right opportunities to come to you.  And when they do present themselves, identify them and be ready to move on them.  Don't let them pass you by because you weren't paying attention.

And there you have it.  A few tips that just might make playing this game we call life a little easier.


  1. Great analogy and yes, I play.

  2. I don't play, but where you describe "tilt", it reminds me of these game shows like "Deal or No Deal" where there is absolutely no skill involved, the odds are better that a contestant will walk away with less than $1000, but people still believe that they have a better than average chance of getting the million, and the longer the "big money" stays in play, the more desparate you can see them become. It's kind of sad, really.

  3. Kenny Rogers said it best: Know when to hold them, Know when to fold them, and Know when to walk away. I prefer 7card stud.

    See Ya.