online poker

Playing a better pre-flop strategy in no limit Texas hold'em cash games

Every building needs a firm foundation and the firm foundation of a poker hand is to play well before the flop. This applies to all forms of online poker whether it is Texas hold'em, Omaha or tournament poker. In short then good pre-flop play is the bedrock of any poker strategy.

There are several key rules to adhere to when you play no limit online poker before the flop and the first is to be very mindful of your position. This means be careful escalating the pot when out of position irrespective of whatever hand you hold. Even aces can get into a whole heap of trouble when out of position. In no way am I saying that you should never raise in early position with premium hands in no limit Texas hold'em, just that you need to be very careful when you do.

Call raises with hands that match up

If there has been a raise from early position in no limit Texas hold'em then you need to be careful with what hands you call raises with. In fact as part of a solid online poker strategy then calling any raise rather than re-raising has two clear strategic advantages. Firstly you are using your position as a weapon post flop and if you have a hand like A-Js and your opponent raised with say Qc-Qd then they will surely bet if an ace flops. So you can use your position to extract value from a weaker hand and you are not escalating the pot with the worst hand.

A hand like Q-Q has around 68% equity against the 32% equity of the A-Js when run hot and cold but in online poker and especially no limit Texas hold'em then these equity calculations are often misleading. When the player with the Q-Q hand makes it say 3.5bb to go with a 200bb stack then they are only raising 1.75% of their total stack size. If you on the other hand also have a 200bb stack then 1.75% of your stack is nothing compared to the other potential 98.25% that could effectively go into the pot from the flop onwards. If the flop came something like A-10-4 then your opponent will certainly bet out to see where they are and you will call.

Most players as part of their online poker strategy will probably go into pot control and possibly check the turn on which you can check it back. If they check the river or make a small blocking bet then you can call again and extract more value from a weaker hand.

Allow your opponent to suffer from your superior position

When you call with decent hands rather than re-raise then you allow your superior position to win money from you in other ways without it costing you too much money. Your opponent will have to bet blindly into an opponent who could have out flopped them. Also if they check and you bet then they cannot possibly know that you are not betting simply because they have checked and because they have appeared weak. So in online poker and especially online no limit Texas hold'em then calling raises can very often be a very good poker strategy and one that you should consider adding to your arsenal of tactics.