Chapter 4: Texas Hold ‘Em Strategies

In the online casino world, there are few card games that have been subject to more theory, psychoanalysis, wargaming, and strategy building than online Texas Hold ‘Em poker. Unlike many other casino games, such as blackjack or roulette, Texas Hold ‘Em relies heavily on the abilities of the player, rather than purely relying on luck.

While you have no control over the cards you are dealt, you certainly have control over when to bet, play, and raise. You also have the ability to influence the actions of your fellow casino players, as they will closely be watching your own bluffing and betting strategy when deciding whether or not to pursue the jackpot.

Whether you’re a Texas Hold ‘Em pro or are just starting out, a strategy is something that can constantly be learned and improved upon. If you’re a newbie looking to get to grips with the basics and learn the essential building blocks of a winning poker strategy, you’ve come to the right place. Read this essential guide to Texas Hold ‘Em strategies to learn more. 

What you’ll find on this Page

When to Bet

when to bet in poker

When you step up to the poker gaming table, knowing when exactly to place a bet and to raise is essential. There will be times when it is definitely in your best interests not to do so. Here are some of the Texas Hold ‘Em betting strategies you should get acquainted with before you play. 

Value Betting

Put simply, this is betting with the hopes that you have the best hand at the table – and in the hope that your opponent will call despite having a worse hand than you. This type of betting usually happens later on in the game, after the flop. It involves a calculated consideration of the range of possible hands your opponent could hold, and concluding that you are most likely to have the highest-value hand.

Bluff Betting

As you might have guessed, bluff betting is betting when you have a strong feeling that your hand will not be the strongest hand in the showdown. It is betting under the assumption that your opponent will not call your bet, and will instead fold as they will assume that the reason you have placed a bet is that you have a stronger hand. This strategy requires a high level of bluffing skills.

Protection Betting

This is essentially betting just to shore up your position as the player with (hopefully) the strongest hand. It is placing a bet purely for the reason of denying your fellow players a free card that could be used to strengthen their own hands at your expense. It is betting to protect your current hand against any draws. 

Intel Betting

When playing for poker jackpots, many professional pokers say that intel betting is a tried-and-tested strategy that works. However, it does not come without its risks. With intel betting, you are betting with the sole intention of trying to get more information out of your opponents, to see how they will react, and if they will fold or not. However, if you place a bet for the purposes of gathering intel and your opponent responds by calling, then you may learn nothing of any value. 

Block Betting

This is when you bet with the intention of setting the stakes and the overall atmosphere of the game. It can only really be done if you are the first to act and is only advised if you have either a weak hand or you are unsure whether your hand is any good. Block betting usually involves betting a smaller amount in the hopes that you have ‘blocked’ someone else from raising the stakes by betting a larger amount. 

Betting to Gain Initiative

This is an aggressive form of betting that is essentially another style of bluffing. It is a way to aggressively get the ball rolling from the outset of a round to force your fellow players to either try and construct a strong hand or bluff their way out of the situation. It is a betting strategy that allows you to gain momentum over other players when it is done correctly and does not rely solely on the strength of your own hand. 

When to Bluff

As you already know, bluffing is an integral part of any poker strategy. Whether you are playing at a land-based casino, online casino, or even a live casino, all of the following bluffs can help you gain an edge over your opponents. 

When The Stakes Are Higher

This is a time-honoured piece of bluffing wisdom that any seasoned poker player will tell you. There is, put simply, no point in bluffing when the stakes are low and the pot is minuscule. Your fellow players will be all too happy to call your bluffs at this stage in the game, which risks undermining your entire strategy. Bluffing is most effective when there is an element of pressure. That’s why you should only switch to a bluffing strategy when the stakes are higher.

When There Are Fewer Players Left

When you are bluffing, you are bluffing against every single person who is sat at the poker table. If there are lots of people still in the game, it becomes more difficult to maintain a convincing bluff that can fool everyone. In addition, the more players there are in a hand, the higher the likelihood is that someone has or is able to construct a winner. Only start bluffing in the later stages of the game, where there are few players left.

When You Haven’t Already Been Caught Bluffing

If you have just been caught bluffing, regardless of whether your bluff was successful, you should hold off on bluffing for a little while. Your opponents will remember that you have been bluffing and will be more likely to correctly figure out the next time you are doing it. Of course, you can also use this to your advantage, but it is best not to bluff immediately after you have been caught doing so. 

When Your Opponent Has a Tell

In any game of Texas Hold ‘Em, success can be determined by your ability to read the emotions of other players. Professional poker players emphasize the importance of being able to identify a ‘tell’ in your opponents or a sign that they themselves are bluffing or have a winning or losing hand. If you can correctly identify a poker tell, then you can exploit this by bluffing yourself and playing into their own sense of security or insecurity. 

When Your Opponent is Overfolding

This is a common Texas Hold ‘Em strategy rule. If your opponents are constantly calling your bets, do not bluff. However, if your opponent is overfolding, then you should lean into your bluffing as it is likely you will be able to take advantage of their skittishness. Bluffing is all about projecting confidence, and there is no better time to do so than when you have an opponent who can’t stick it out. 

When Your Bankroll is Right

As mentioned, bluffing successfully requires strong confidence. If you have nearly used up your bankroll and cannot afford to lose a bluff, then you are less likely to be able to confidently bluff your way to the jackpot. If you have plenty of your bankroll left and can afford to raise the stakes, then you are in a good position to bluff convincingly. 

When to Fold 

when to fold in poker

Equally important in both land-based and casino online poker is knowing when it is time to fold. Sometimes it is the smarter, braver strategy to fold at the right time and save your chips for a more opportune moment. Here are some tips on when exactly it is time to fold in Texas Hold ‘Em. 

Folding Before the Flop 

You might think that folding before the flop, when the first community cards have been revealed and it feels like everything is up for grabs, might seem a little wasteful. However, there are some situations where a pre-flop fold is the best course of action.

Some seasoned players advise folding all but the strongest possible starting hands as a way of both bluffing to opponents and maximizing your potential jackpot winnings. Some guides even say you should fold 90% of your pre-flop hands, but this is definitely not necessary.

Folding before the flop is more of a bluffing strategy than anything else, and will not have any bearing on the strength of yours or your opponent’s future hands. 

The ‘Hero Fold’

The hero fold is when you fold on the final play of a hand when the river has been revealed and the showdown is about to commence. It is choosing to fold when your opponents have made all of the plays that they could possibly make and you are convinced that your hand is not strong enough to win the round. This is a common folding strategy that could shore up your bankroll for future rounds.

Identifying When an Opponent Has a Stronger Hand

As with all elements of casino Texas Hold ‘Em, knowing when to fold means knowing how to correctly assess the odds that your opponent has a better hand. It means looking at the community cards and figuring out the potential hands that an opponent could have while comparing these with your own hand. It means being able to correctly identify a tell and being adept at spotting a bluff. If you are convinced that your opponent has a stronger hand and will call your bet, it is probably time to fold. 

Essential Texas Hold ‘Em Poker Strategy Terms 

In casinos, there are many different terms that are used to describe different types of Texas Hold ‘Em strategy, as well as different playing styles. Here are some of the most commonly used terms. 

Limping

To limp in Texas Hold ‘Em is to continuously bet the absolute bare minimum that is needed to stay in a hand. It can be used as a bluffing strategy, indicating to other players that you don’t have the strongest hand and are therefore unwilling to take risks. It is more common as a strategy among beginner players, but if you are willing to call any raise then it could be a useful tactic.

The Rock

This is a type of playing style in which someone only plays a few hands, rarely bets, and hardly ever raises. It is a good strategy if you are at a poker table with a lot of aggressive players, as they will do all of the betting and bluffing without you having to take any big risks. 

The Calling Station

This is a type of player who players virtually every starting hand but is reluctant to call or to raise. It is a passive style of poker strategy that again relies on taking advantage of aggressive players. 

The TAG (Tight Aggressive)

This is a type of player who plays a few, but not all hands. A TAG strategy also means a lot of raising and betting, but hardly ever calling the bets of other players. This is why players who adhere to this strategy are described as ‘tight’. It is a style of play that reduces risk and depends largely on having either a strong hand or being able to force an opponent to fold. 

The LAG (Loose-Aggressive)

This is a type of poker strategy that describes someone who plays virtually every hand, frequently bets and raises, but only occasionally calls bets. It is a very risky strategy, but the payoffs can be huge as it is difficult to read a LAG player and this style of play can make opponents incorrectly assume that you are always bluffing, lulling them into a false sense of security. 

The Nit

A nit is more of a description of a common type of poker player, one that does not take any risks and tends to fold a lot. If a nit is willing to play a hand and to call a bet, there is a good chance they have a strong hand. 

The Maniac

The opposite of a nit. A loose and aggressive player who will try to own the momentum and intimidate opponents by playing, betting, raising, and calling almost 100% of the time. Sometimes this works in their favour, but maniacs rarely win in the long-run. 

Now that you know everything there is to know about Texas Hold ‘Em strategy, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. At our live casino, you can play live Texas Hold ‘Em in real-time against real dealers and players from around the world.