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Becoming a Consistent Winner at Online Low-Limit Texas Hold 'Em
Start with Small Stakes and Play Tight, Tight, and More Tight
Begin playing with small stakes. This might seem obvious to most but my experience has shown me two things. One, many players start small, say .25/.50 limit Hold 'Em, but then lose patience or even worse, go on TILT, and rapidly increase the stakes they play well before they can concretely determine their win rate, or more likely, loss-rate. I recommend players to start at a level they consider small, but large enough to make them care about the results. If a player is a millionaire (lucky them), playing .25/.50 limit Hold 'Em simply may not interest them enough to concentrate and apply the proper strategies to learn the game properly. However, for those of us less fortunate, games as low as .25/.50 are available and provide good mediums to tune your skills at Texas Hold 'Em. For most people, something between .25/.50 and $1/$2 should provide a good starting point.
Also, I do not recommend beginners to tune their game at free chip tables. Although these tables are good places to learn the rules of the game and practice reading the board, these tables typically play significantly looser than real money games, even low stakes real money games. It is not uncommon to see 5 or more players in a showdown with raises all the way through. This is nearly unheard of in a money game. Although loose games are occasionally found in money games, they are the exception, and should not be used as a baseline for assessing a player's game as a beginner.
Play Tight, Tight, and More Tight
Poker pros continually promote tight, aggressive play as the key to success at Texas Hold 'Em. I agree with this completely. However, tight play becomes even more important for a player still learning to become profitable. Tight play reduces the number of tough decisions a player will have to make. More importantly, it will keep the player out of many 2nd place hands. Dominated hands, such as A6, put you in a very difficult situation when an ace flops. An experienced player may be able to play these hands profitably, but for an inexperienced player, the best advice is to limit such situation by playing extremely tight and avoiding these situations as much as possible. The Texas Help 'Em guide is one resource that can assist you in playing tight while learning low-limit Texas Hold 'Em (available at www.TexasHelpEm.com). If you decide this guide is not for you, I strongly recommend you find the guide that is so you can jumpstart your ascent towards profitability. As you climb the experience curve and improve at judging your opponents relative hand strengths, you can explore loosening up your play. However, this opens the door to many more advanced concepts. I do not believe these concepts should be explored by a beginning player until after you have proven to be a profitable, tight, low-limit Hold 'Em player. You have to learn to walk before you learn to run.
For additional keys to transforming yourself into a consistent winner at online low-limit Texas Hold 'Em, please visit my website at www.TexasHelpEm.com.
Texas Help 'Em - An Online Player's Guide to Low-Limit Texas Hold 'Em
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