There are now a great many books available on Texas Hold’em. These books range from very basic information on how the game is played and general strategies to very sophisticated publications that detail complex strategies and odds calculations from pre-flop through to the river.
For beginners and recreational players, one of the first things to develop is an understanding for the strength or your starting hand. This refers to the two cards you are dealt at the start of each game. These are generally referred to as your ‘hole cards’. There are a range of strategies recommended with regards to starting hands, most segmenting your starting hand options into 4 to 10 groupings.
With 52 cards in a deck of cards, there are 1326 possible combinations you can be dealt as hole cards. Remembering this many combinations can be daunting for the beginner or novice player. However, you can consolidate the definition of hole cards to ‘pairs’, ‘suited’ and ‘not suited’ and reduce the possible starting hands to 169 possible combinations CMD368.
The final variable is the number of players sitting at the Texas Hold’em poker table. This can range from 2 players to 10 players.
How do I now best determine the strength on my starting hand? There are online, software-based poker calculators, charts, and hand-held poker calculators available. The best device I have found for beginners and novice players is the Texas Hold’em Pre-Flop Winning Odds Poker Calculator by Delphin Trading. The product is small (the size of a playing card), easy-to-use and inexpensive. The best benefit is it is portable and convenient to use at the poker table (where allowed) or beside you at your computer. You just enter your two cards, press ‘suited’ or ‘not suited’ (if not already a pair) and enter the number of players at the table. The poker calculator will quickly give you your ranking out of 169 and the percentage odds of winning.
I have found most online software and expensive poker calculators complicated, difficult to use, and often they assume you know what the other players hold. I have also found there are charts and cards sets with odds charts printed individually by ‘number of players’ at the table. Again, these can be difficult to read and you need to carry with you 9 separate chart cards everywhere you go to play. The Texas Hold’em Pre-Flop Odds Poker Calculator from Delphin Trading packages all the functionality into a small, innovative device.
You can begin to build your personal strategy regarding starting hands by knowing the hand rankings. Most new players will look to play the top ten to twenty hands, and most often raise pre-flop with the top ten. As a player becomes more experienced, hands in the top 40 rankings will be played in a variety of ways pre-flop. Your strategy will consider your position (where you are sitting relative to the dealer ‘button’), whether there has already been a raise and whether you are looking to limp in, call a raise, or re-raise.
Texas Hold’em is a fun and challenging game. There are many great books on the subject worth reading to gain an understanding of the fundamentals, terminology and strategies.