How to Improve Your Texas Hold'em Game

Be cautious in the early rounds of a tournament.

This article is for intermediate players who want to adapt new strategies into their games. This will make your play more profitable, fun and rewarding.

For the first few rounds of a tournament you want to be cautious and watch your opponents' play. When the blinds are small, you don't need to take big risks. Only play with starting hands like AA, KK, QQ, AK, AQ. These hands should always be played aggressively. Raise 3 to 4 times the big blind. Don't get caught in an all-in situation unless you have AA or KK.

After the first few rounds, you will have a better idea how your opponents are playing; whether they are playing tight, loose or aggressive. You can now open up your game a little bit. Include starting hands of AJ, A10, JJ, 1010 and KQ. These hands are best slow-played, limping into a pot with other players. These are good drawing hands. If you flop top pair, or a straight or flush draw you can really clean up.

When you get into the middle part of the tournament you need to start stealing the blinds at least once a rotation. When you are on the button and only 3 or less players are involved, you can steal the blinds with a raise of 3 to 3.5 times the big blind. As long as you are successful more than 55% of the time, this will be a winning strategy to get you deep in the tournament. You can also steal blinds from 1 to 3 places right off the button if you have a decent starting hand, like suited connectors, small and medium pairs, and unsuited queens and kings.

When you get deep in the tournament:  When you get to the "In the Money" part of the tournament, you must become more aggressive and start stealing blinds twice every rotation. If you are a chip leader, you must raise every time you play a hand. No more limping into a pot. If you are at a chip disadvantage, start going all-in with medium pocket pairs and greater hands. If you have less than 5 times the big blind, it is important to double up in order to last longer in the tournament. You can move all-in with any suited connector of J or better. You must use well-timed aggression, change speeds and adapt to a tournament to be successful. I hope this article was helpful.


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