From my archives
Holdem with blinds $1/$2: which strategy you should use?
by Ronald Norris
No-Limit Texas Holdem with blinds $1/$2 is the most popular poker game
For sure there will be many unskillful players who are ready to give you their money. You just need to know how to play properly No-Limit Texas Holdem with blinds $1/$2. Believe me, it is not so difficult to start winning money. Just spend more time to read useful articles and apply your knowledge to the practice.
As I said this type of poker is the most popular. Minimal buy-in is $40 and maximal buy-in is $200. $1/$2 blinds are the smallest in Texas Holdem poker you can play at casinos. Therefore it is a low risk affordable game.
Your typical opponent
During playing No-Limit Texas Holdem you will meet different opponents: 60-years old accurate players, beginners, maniacs, aggressive rivals and youngsters with sunglasses thinking that they are cool and look very professional. Some of your opponents will be very skilful, but most will be just beginners without proper Texas Holdem poker skills. They will depend only on their own cards without assessing the concrete situation. Such simple thinking guarantees you winnings.
They won’t notice that you fold dozens of hands and now you place a big bet. They can think this way “I have got pocket jacks, so, I can re-raise any bet!”. Such Texas Holdem players are your main victim. And they are the source of your profits. They have got two weaknesses. First if that they call too often before the flop. And the second is that they do not want to fold and you can bring them to the very end of a hand. Poker pros call such opponents fishes.
Beginners complain very often that it is impossible to win much playing against fishes because they only call and do not raise as often as aggressive players. But this statement doesn’t make a sense! It is totally wrong. Players who call often are ATM machines of poker! They are willing to give their money to anybody who is patient enough. Patience is the key to success. Never forget this rule!
Your ideal strategy for No-Limit Texas Holdem with $1/$2 blinds
Play tight, wait for the best pocket pair or very strong cards and place a bet! So, as you can see I do not advice you anything supernatural. It is just an ABC’s of poker! Wait for best cards and play, do not loose concentration and profits will come to you. Weak players won’t surprise you with their decisions. They call in most cases . Therefore just let them do their job. Do not bluff too often. As I said your opponents tend to call therefore bluff is not an effective tool. You should better focus on using value bets when you have good pocket cards.
When you play tight before the flop it helps you to make decisions after the flop. Play good cards before the flop and you will have the same strong cards after the flop and it will be extremely simple to finish the hand with positive results. That ‘ s all ! Avoid playing weak cards. You will have to face difficult moments after the flop if you have started with weak cards. And it will affect your confidence. Once again, just be patient!
Your goal is to have best pair with a strong kicker or good drawing hand at the flop. You should not repeat actions of your opponents. Follow tight Texas Holdem poker style and focus on playing hands. It is better not to play so often but to win every time you play. So, quality is more important than quantity.
No-Limit Texas Holdem with blinds $1/$2: a few words about the cards you should have to win
Last time I told you about No-Limit Texas Holdem with blinds $1/$2. You might remember that this type of poker is the most popular one. You can find it almost in all casinos. Therefore it is very useful to learn how to play No-Limit
Texas Holdem with blinds $1/$2 effectively.
Previously I gave you some information about the game and described the most suitable strategy. So, now we will continue our conversation about No-Limit Texas Holdem. I will tell you what cards you need to have to play with blinds $1/$2
Strong pocket pairs (AA – TT)
These hands are ready to use! One strong hand is enough to win in most cases. Therefore if you decide to play this hand you should start to raise. But be careful if somebody raised before you. Your opponent might have better cards than you. At the same time if you hold pocket aces, kings, queens of jacks you should re-raise your opponents. At least before the flop. Of course, pocket aces do not guarantee you win. Therefore always analyze possible combinations of your opponents.
And if the flop brings you third card and you have three of a kind you should definitely place bets. Your typical opponent will call your bet and his mistakes will allow you to win money.
Good cards with potential value (A-K – A-J, K-Q)
Good cards with a potential value can easily transform into a top pair with a strong kicker. And when you play against a typical opponent, strong kicker can make a difference.
For example, if you have got KQ and the flop brings you King you can start to raise all the time. Let’s say, if your opponent has got K9 he will call your bets. So, you won’t have any difficult decisions, just play your game and wait until the kicker earns you money.
Experts advice to raise before the flop if you have good cards with potential value. But this statement can be applied only to situations when nobody raised before you. And of course you have better chances to outclass just one opponent than several of them. Keep in mind this simple mathematics.
Speculative hands do not bring win without help from the flop, turn or river. It is very rare that high card ace or king can win a hand. But at the same time if the luck plays on your side and you receive help from the flop, turn or river you can win a good pot. And of course, ideally speculative hands transform into three of a kind, straight, full-house or flush. If you are lucky enough to build such combination you are ready to bet all your money. And you do not really have to care about the actions of your opponent.
Such cards are called speculative because they need to be strengthened. These cards separately do not have a value. Ideally you want to see the flop without paying for it when you have speculative hands. Speculative hands can bring you positive results if you are the last person to play at the table. Therefore if there are many opponents after you try to avoid adding much money to the pot.