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Texas Hold'em Poker

Updated on December 8, 2017

I’ve played this game online almost every day for close to 20 years. After about 15 minutes, it gets a little boring so I don’t play long but I can still find myself in front of the computer up to a few times a day depending on what I have been doing.

There are many free versions where no real money is used except for the chips you will buy when your busted or as in my case with Face book’s Texas Holdem Poker Pro, you get 20 or 30 thousand free chips everyday even if your winning. This keeps you coming back for more play but it won’t be long before your busted again and find yourself buying anywhere from 12 million to a few billion chips from six dollars to 200 dollars a pop.

Over the years I’ve probably bought about 300 dollars worth of chips usually the smallest amount for 6 dollars giving me a stack average of 15 million or so. This amount of chips can last quite a while or disappear in ten minutes. By now I’m pretty good at the game so a six dollar entertainment investment is a pretty cheap deal considering a box of buttered popcorn in a movie theater will cost you more than that.

I’ve watched all the pros on You Tube playing for millions in real money and I have to admit, those guys are unbelievable in their knowledge of the game and their sheer stone cold nerve. Professional real money games are infinitely different from playing four guys online where you have about 15 seconds to make your bet, check or fold. Online you have virtually no time to think and almost no knowledge of your opponents play habits. In both cases, if your going to win more often than not, you must know your opponent and you must have a lot more time than 15 seconds to analyze the hand. If you play a while online, you may get a few tips from your opponents as to their bluffing and betting habits but you must study each hands results even if you fold on the flop. You can believe the pros spend a lot of time studying each other over the months and years.

Here are a few things I have noticed playing online people.

1…A lot of times say a player has 3 million and bets 2 million on a hand and looses, he will quite often bet his last million on the very next hand before the flop regardless of what he has in hole cards, probably because he’s mad, frustrated, or just looking to get lucky.

2…Always keep an eye out for a straight. At first glance you might have a crappy looking hand but a straight may be right around the corner.

3…The human mind can only concentrate on one thing at a time and while your playing, if you think about something else, even for a couple seconds, your probably going to loose because you didn’t see something coming that other players might have or you didn’t even see your own possible straight or flush. I’ve checked a thousand times when I already had a flush or even a full boat. Concentration is the key and that goes for the buttons you press on you phone of desktop as well. It’s real easy to see a huge bet when you’ve got nothing but you check your mouse button anyway. Mistakes like that can break you.

4…So you’ve got a pair or two pair that looks like a winner. Always check how big your hole card kicker is. A low card will often get you beat by someone with the same hand but a higher kicker.

5…The same thing applies to a full house, flush or straight. Your opponent may have aces while you got kings. You might think you have a winning hand but do you?

6…You may get on a table and get 20 hands with nothing better than a pair of threes. That’s when it becomes the most boring game on the planet, especially if there is a lot of players you have to wait for before it’s your turn again.

7…Never get in a game with all your chips on the table. I would say, no more than a third of your stack. You’ll probably loose it all if you do. And never play with anyone that has tons more chips than you do. He can afford to loose and wait you out until your chips are sitting in front of your opponent.

8…You can find charts on You Tube on how much to bet, how and when to bluff, and what your odds are for every hand there is. The more of this math you can remember the better but it’s very difficult to remember all that stuff especially when you’ve only got 15 seconds to make a decision.

9…Personally, I almost never raise when dealt my hole cards. Even if they’re aces or kings, a lowly two pair will clean your clock in the endgame.

10…Lastly, Don’t play this insidious game at all. Most of the time it’s boring as hell unless you’re winning and even if you win big, your going to loose it back and then some sooner or later. Take up chess, it’s a fantastic game that is 100% up to you weather you win or loose. I hate to loose at any game I play, but after 15 or 20 years of playing holdem, I know I’m going to loose in the long run just like 99% of everyone else that plays. Look at it like you would as if playing a slot machine at a casino. Have a set amount of money in mind your willing to loose and quit when you do, OR, if you win big, again, quit and never look back.

By the way, this used to be a mans game. Off hand I would say 35% of the online poker players are girls probably puffing cigars and sipping a few fingers of straight up scotch. What has this world come too? I don’t mind loosing all my chips but to a girl? And some of them are absolutely gorgeous. It’s not fair, you’re used to opening her car doors, buying her dinners and laying down your coat on a wet street so she can keep her feet dry. How can you take all her chips away? There has to be some sort of physiological negative working against you and don’t think for a second she won’t clean your clock given the chance.

Sometimes even the house will beat you. Lets say you have a winning two pair of tens and three’s. The river turns up a pair of fours showing tens and fours, so much for your winning hand. This game is extremely complicated and things happen all the time you won’t believe. Sometimes you will win until you believe your really getting good at it but don’t be fooled, sooner or later you’ll be betting bigger and bigger and bluffing more and more then for the following twenty hands all you’ll get is a lowly pair or nothing at all. That’s when it all comes crashing down and you will wind up busted AGAIN

Phil Harris...Decades ago...

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