Texas Hold ‘em 4LMag April 13, 2015 Gambling Brought to you by Sycuan Casino by Pete Rocky 10 TIPS FOR WINNING Whether you are new to no limit Texas hold ‘em poker tournaments or more experienced, you may find these 10 tips helpful in getting you to the final table. STRATEGY TIPS 01 The biggest mistake a player makes is playing too many hands. A winning player is one who is very selective about the hands they play. You also need to be aware of your position. A hand that can be played from late position in an un-raised pot may not be able to be played from early position. You need a stronger hand to play from early position because you have more players acting after you who may raise or re-raise the pot. 02 Don’t overvalue suited cards. The biggest mistake that most novice players make is playing any two suited cards from any position. You will be dealt two suited cards about 23 percent of the time. You will only make a flush about 5.77. Simply put for every time you play two suited cards you will only make your flush about once in 16 tries. If you play low suited cards you still have to worry about a bigger flush beating you. 03 Another similar mistake that players make is putting too much value on small pocket pairs. When you have a small pocket pair you want to get into the hand as cheaply as possible and hope you flop a set. Too many players will call raises or go all in with small pocket pairs. The best you can hope for is a hand will essentially be a coin flip. This is not the type of hand you want to risk your tournament life on. 04 If the flop does not fit your hand you should fold if there is a bet in front of you. A flop fits your hand by improving it or by giving you a good draw to improve your hand or simply beat the board as it is. 05 Raise the same amount every time. Most pro players will bet three to four times the big blind when they raise. This makes it hard for anyone to pick up on the strength of their hand. When they bet the same you don’t know if they are raising with pocket aces or 2-7 off suit. 06 If the pot is raised before it is your turn to act, you will have to call the original bet and the raise. This is known as cold calling. Unless you have a very powerful hand you should not cold call any raises. You need a stronger hand to call a raise than you do to initiate one. Why waste valuable chips on a speculative hand? 07 Avoid confrontations for all of your chips. Many unskilled players have two moves during a no-limit tournament: They either fold their hand or they go all in. This strategy may work fine for awhile and win you a few pots, but it will never win you the top prize. 08 Bluff. Bluffing is a very valuable weapon to have in your poker arsenal but you should make sure you use it correctly and don’t overuse it. Never try to bluff more than two players. There will usually be someone who wants to “keep you honest.” Make sure your bluff is believable. 09 A winning player is one who initiates the action. If you are first to act rather than checking, bet. If there is a bet before you, consider raising rather than calling. You should be well aware of the complete arsenal at your disposal including check-raising, slow playing, semi-bluffing and how to gain a free card if necessary. 10 Pay attention even when you are not involved in a hand. You should always be aware of the number of players involved in the hand. Was there a raise before the flop? If so who raised and what type of hands has that person been playing? Look at the cards the other players turn over at the showdown. This is valuable information that could help you win the pot in the future. A very special thank you to About.com for the help in lending these tips to our readers. For other great advice on making the right gambling call, check out CasinoGambling.About.com. Vegas too far? Go play at Sycuan Casino – one of the largest San Diego casinos! Choose from 2,000 video & reel slots as well as video poker. If you prefer table games, there are more than 40 tables to play Blackjack, Three–Card & Four–Card Poker, Sycuan–style craps and roulette. Enjoy the fresh air of their non–smoking room, with more than 350 slot machines, 9 gaming tables, Paipa’s Surf & Turf Buffet, and a Poker Room with daily tournaments – all smoke–free!