There’s an old saying that it is better to be lucky than good. It seems like that would be especially true at poker and Texas Holdem. But luck, in the form of good cards, isn’t as lucky or as profitable in the hands of someone who lacks skill when it comes to betting and raising. Let’s face it, you have no control over the cards you’re dealt, only in how you play them. Anyone can win with a good hand, but being a good Texas Holdem player means knowing what to do when you’ve got a hand full of junk.
There is an art to betting; it’s a skill that depends on the “feel” of the game and the hand. Players who are constantly calculating odds and worrying about probabilities spend too much time worrying about whether or not to stay in the hand. Say you’ve got a great hand. Two Aces in the hole. Do you want to bet it hard? Usually you want to raise a strong hand pre-flop. This does a number of things. It doesn’t arouse as much suspicion later in the hand when you’re betting or raising hard, because the table knows from the get to that you have a hand you believe in. Also, most other players will think you’re holding a mid pair or suited connectors that set up a flush or straight draw. This will often pull in players with weaker hands because they think they’ve got a shot.
Using the right betting strategy can help you maximize a weak hand too. If you come on strong enough, you can chase stronger hands out of the pot. If you’re holding a mid pair or suited connectors, you can rake in the poker chipsif you hit on the flop or the turn. Remember that “if” in there. A lot of players, especially players new to Texas Holdem play weak hands as though they were destined to hit. If you get too enthusiastic about a weak hand, you can find yourself with a ton of chips in the pot, just hoping against hope that the River will be your salvation. That is no way to play winning poker.