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Texas Holdem Play

Shorthand Texas Holdem Limit Tips

A short hand poker game involves a table of no more than six players or below. Mastering such games is critical to achieving success in online poker rooms. An understanding of short hand play can even be a help for action following the flop in a long hand game and certainly for higher limit games which are almost always played short hand.

Table selection is always a vital part of playing poker. I would recommend rather than wasting your dollars on a library of mostly irrelevant poker books risk a few dollars going up against some higher limit players. Practice is the best way to learn. When looking for the right game avoid tables with a high frequency of raising and folding. You want to find passive players as controlled aggression is the most important factor at shorthand Texas Holdem limit. They will generally slowly ease themselves into a game at least pre flop.

With pre flop starting hands the key point to remember is that all hand value is relative to the table and is generally common sense. If a round sees a lot of action namely raising from a generally passive table I would fold if holding anything less than AA, AK KK, QQ, JJ. However it rings true they could be trying to scare you off so you really have to think hard about your past experience of your opponents before entering the pot. I would generally call with any high pair; AK, AQ, AJ, KQ, KJ, JQ, A10 and would certainly raise on an unraised flop including with a J10.

If you have raised with one of the above and been matched with a raise firstly consider who that raiser is from previous experience. If he has bluffed in the past I would be confident enough to re raise with any pair above A9 as you will most likely be winning on the flop and may want to consider isolating him with a middle pair like 77 or 66. However if previous hands have generally been played tight then only play with the high pairs mentioned above.

Small pairs and suited connectors are only really useful for long handed games where there will be multi way pots. Generally I would fold small pairs early and raise on the button if all the other players have folded. If the other players are not aggressive and there are more than four still sat at the table it may be possible to call, limp, your way through a game to a multi way pot.

Rule of thumb of the flop is, once made, to always bet a hand especially when a top pair or better. If you get raised and you feel more confident than not I would re raise. It is likely your opponent is attempting to buy a free card on the turn or is trying to raise for value in your eyes with a weak hand. Although if you dont hold a high pair you need to carefully assess your hands relationship to the board. For example if you hold A9 and the board is 10,9,3 then it is more unlikely that another player will hold a 10 particularly if they have been calling. If someone then raises I would call. Whilst if your pair is made from the lowest possible pair using a board card your chances aren’t high and I would fold on the flop.

The flop is always the best time to bluff when you are the pre flop raiser. If your opponent checks and you are holding two higher value cards bet. He probably is not holding anything either and you could go on to scare him off and ultimately steal pot.

You refer to a bluff as a semi bluff when you bet a hand had not yet completed with high odds. An example is if you were to hold two high value cards of the same suit and there are two cards of the same suit on the board. This kind of play should always be bet upon. It is worth the risk as you could steal the pot.

It is possible to bet in other situations than those above however not on anything other than a low limit table. If the flop is checked and a high value card comes and hits the board and others again check, occasionally I would bet as most likely the others won’t be holding much. This can sometimes get you into trouble however with an experienced player who will play down a winning hand to entice novices into some wild and dangerous play.


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