Texas Holdem is a very popular form of poker played in almost every home all over the world. This game is very easy for all beginners to learn, but at the same time it is quite difficult to be mastered. Every professional player will tell you that Texas Holdem poker is a game of strategy and skills. Playing this card game without strategy is practically impossible, remember that nobody can win without strategy.
This is part of a series explaining how to play each phase of Texas Holdem. Below is the complete list of articles.
Before the Flop
Up to ten players can play Texas Holdem poker at a table. In the beginning of the game all players are dealt two down-cards, also known as hole cards or pocket cards. The first betting round, known as the Pre-flop takes place, starting with the player to the immediate left of the Big blind. When the first round of betting is over, the dealer draws three face-up community cards in the middle of the table and this is known as the Flop. In order to become a winner in Texas Holdem poker game it is very important for you to know how to play before the Flop. It means that you need to learn how to play your starting hand.
There are many things to be considered when deciding whether to play your hand before the Flop. Some of the most important factors are your position at the Texas Holdem table, the number of your opponents and of course the strength of your starting hand. Remember that your position at the table is very important when you play flop games like Texas Holdem. It is because your position remains the same throughout all rounds of betting. In early position before the Flop you will not have much information as the players acting in later position, because you will act before them. It means that you must be very careful in choosing your starting hand. Before the Flop the most profitable position is the dealers position. In this position you will have more information than the other players at the table so you can play more hands when sitting on the button.
Before the Flop, the number of your opponents is also very important when deciding which hand to play. If many of your opponents see the flop there is very good chance for you to play small pairs. Remember that all mean hands increase in value when there are many players in the pot. Opposite, with few Texas Holdem players at the table, all big cards increase in value. Before the Flop the pot odds become higher when there are more Texas Holdem players in the pot.
The most common and probably the biggest mistake almost all Texas Holdem players make before the Flop is playing bad hands. In Texas Holdem poker there are community cards in the game and in most cases the best starting hand finishes as the best final hand. So before the Flop always think carefully which hand to play and which hand to fold.