Texas Hold'em is one of the most popular skill-based card games. Poker is a game of dominance. Most players play with one goal in mind: Win as much money as possible and our Texas Hold’em tips will help you do just that. If you play poker, a "fish" is a term you do not want to be associated with. Why? Because nobody wants to see, their bankrolls shrink while playing at a table with good players.
Like in any sport or game, there will always be a visible difference between the strong and the weak. In poker, the fish are the weak players. A fish is likely to be someone who does not have much experience and makes ill-advised plays, which makes them prone to losing pots, thus placing them at the bottom of the poker food chain.
Then come to the whales or the larger-scale versions of fish, which are not very strong but are wealthy, which makes them a favourite among the good players as they see it as an opportunity to win some serious money. And at the top of the food chain are the poker sharks. These are the winners. Poker sharks are highly skilled and aggressive players, who take advantage of the inexperience of the other fishes/whales. There are timeless Texas Hold'em tips you will come across online.
Fearing none and feared by all, a poker shark is what we all aspire to be. After some research we have come up with the top ten Texas Hold'em poker tips that can help you swim with the big boys.
1) Unpredictability and risk
The first and most important Texas Hold'em tip is unpredictability. While fishes can only play if they have good poker hands or tend to fold otherwise, poker sharks like to keep their options open. They strike the right balance between value hands and bluffs, which makes it difficult for the other players to predict if they have good hands or not. Bluffing involves risk, but that is what separates the best from the rest. As Mark Zuckerberg famously said, "The biggest risk is not taking any risk."
2) Observe and pay attention
Most players often pay too much attention to themselves. Worrying too much about what you have and what you don't will always be used against you by the poker sharks. Always keep an eye on how the players react to raises, how often they bet out with a big hand or do they like to check and raise, and you may end up spotting the fish. Poker Sharks soak up every bit of information and use it against their opponents in future hands.
3) Emotional control
Very often in poker, players tend to let their emotions get to their heads after they have suffered a substantial loss. It is not only a signal to the other players, but it can also cloud your judgement. Always remember that poker is a long-term battle and what happens in one hand is of little meaning. If you want to be a poker shark, control your emotions. So, keep your poker face on and trust yourself.
4) Be aggressive
A very important Texas Hold'em tip. Poker is often termed as a skill-based mind game. Never miss the chance to eat your opponent when you smell the opportunity. Playing with aggression can often trouble the mind of fishes or passive players, who tend to fold if they are in a tough spot or if they believe they do not have the best possible poker hand. Playing aggressively will always keep the opponent guessing as it allows you to win the pot before the showdown. Use your opponent’s emotions to your advantage. A poker shark is always the predator.
5) Review troubled hands
In order to improve, you need to analyse and review your mistakes. Irrespective of whether you are a shark or a fish, you cannot always make the right move. There will be times when you will be in a tough spot and end up losing. Mark those hands for review and try to determine what would have been the best course of action. Learn from your mistakes. Do this frequently, and it will help you with your decision-making and with the sixth strategy (next).
6) Learn to adapt
With more and more experience and analysis, you will learn to adapt to different situations. As mentioned earlier, poker is a long-term battle. There will be a lot of momentum shifts during the poker game. Poker Sharks take this all into account and adapt to situations. They will take advantage when the opponent is tilting, and they are playing tight. They know how to change the game in their favour. Re-evaluate the opponents after every hand and counter them effectively, making sure you are always one step ahead.
7) Do not be afraid to fold
Poker Sharks are desensitised to money. One common mistake by players is that they stay in the poker hand just because they have already added to the pot. Throwing more money won't win you the pot. The money you have already put is not yours anymore, and you can't get it back just by playing a hand to the end. Fold and concentrate on the next hand. The hunger is not for the money but for the game (i.e. you end up winning all the money).
8) Study on and off the table
Every game evolves with time, and so does poker. Yes, you do gain experience and improve the more you play, but with new strategies being discovered, if you want to be one of the best in the game, you need to focus even when you are away from the table. Watch training videos, discuss with like-minded players, read poker books. Sharks are always looking to improve their game and maximise their potential. Do not be afraid to try new strategies. With some tinkering and variation, you may end up with something of your own.
9) Starting hand ranges
Poker Sharks regularly evaluate their position on the table. Experienced players base their starting hand ranges strategy around the effect of position. When you are out of position, play fewer hands and more hands when you are on the button. The button is the dealer's position and is considered the most favourable as you will be the last to act in any round of betting that occurs after the flop, which gives you time to analyse the moves made by your opponents and make the right decision.
10) Look for Bad Poker Players
A well known Texas Hold'em tip in online poker. When the biggest fish on your table leaves and a really strong player sits down, it may be time to look for other tables. Poker Sharks are always looking for weak players. Yes, you do get better when you play with better players but as mentioned earlier in the introduction, poker sharks have one goal in mind: Win as much money as possible. After all, it is the weak and wild amateurs that will increase your profits. Look for games with more fishes and whales, join in the middle and use their confusion to your advantage. Sharks are sneaky and opportunistic too.
With these Texas Hold'em pro tips, you will have a fair idea on the Poker Shark traits needed. Read and instil some of these qualities, and you will be a shark in the making. Gain some experience and try out some new-found strategies at Spartan and play some online poker games with some exciting players, not necessarily fishes.