Texas Hold’em Tournament Poker Tips

Below are some basic tips to consider when playing Texas Hold’em online.

Be patient – One problem that befalls many Texas Hold’em tournament players is that they get impatient as the blinds increase. In order to be successful in tournament play, you must have the discipline to wait for a solid hand.

Phil Ivy is considered one of the best Texas Hold'em Tournament players.
Phil Ivy is considered one of the best Texas Hold’em Tournament players.


Let players eliminate themselves- The goal in a poker tournament is to outlast the other players. Let your opponents eliminate themselves. Too often people build an early chip lead only to watch it dwindle as a result of making loose calls. If you are in good shape, don’t be afraid to sit out or play tight.

Take risks early- If you plan to take risks, do it early. The lower blinds mean you can afford to see more flops and make looser calls than normal.

Sit out a round when you join a new table- You will be moved several times during a tournament. Each time you are moved take at least one round to get a feel for the table. Learn each player’s game before getting caught in a hand and not having any idea of how your opponent plays.

Watch for traps- Often, players will trap more in a tournament than in a cash game. Be careful when making a bet with a dangerous board, even if you plan to fold if you get raised. These small mistakes will eat away your chips quickly as a tournament progresses. Recognize the possibility of a trap and try to make a smaller bet to entice your opponent to reveal more information about their hand.

Don’t be afraid to go all in- When you’re playing in any No Limit Texas Hold’em tournament, chances are that you’ll have to go all-in at least once. The key is to not fear going all in, but to recognize when you have the best hand before pushing your chips in.

Avoid pushing all-in on a draw hand- Going all-in should be reserved for instances when you a rather certain that you have the best hand. In order to go all-in with any sort of draw hand, you must be getting tremendous pot odds, or be running low on chips. Be absolutely certain that if you do hit your hand, it will be good enough to win.

Try to steal blinds- If you’re in a late position do not be afraid to make a play for the blinds. For every blind you steal, it’s like not having to post one the next time around. You can buy time while you wait for a big hand.

Be a bully- If you see someone is low on chips don’t be afraid to push him or her around. Make them uncomfortable and force them to go all-in. It is a great way to win small pots if you are facing someone who has a substantially fewer chips than you.

Latter rounds- If you have a decent amount of chips you should play extremely tight in the later rounds. This is when lower stacked players will be looking to move all-in and chip leaders will only be playing the “nuts”. Your starting cards become extremely important because it is very likely that every hand will result in someone going all in. Adjust your game accordingly. Even if you’re not where you want to be as far as chip count, be extremely patient and wait for a strong hand.

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