Maximizing your Texas Holdem profits is not necessarily as easy as you might think. A lot of people, for example, tend to get excited when they have the nuts (best possible hand) during a game of Holdem. Just because you have, let’s say, the nut flush, though, doesn’t automatically mean you’re going to play your cards right.
Many people, for example, go all-in when they have the best poker hand. It might win you the existing pot to do that, but, it may not get other players to bet into you. If you want to really maximize your winning potential, you can’t just all in. You have to think about a lot of things, first. Let’s look at three of those things.
The image that you project at the poker table can directly influence how you should play a winning Texas Holdem hand. Basically, if you seem to put your chips in the pot with any cards at all, you may want to go all-in when you have a good hand. That’s because the other players will think that you’re, once again, bluffing or being reckless with your chips. That may cause them to call your all-in bet and you will maximize your winnings.
Of course, you could be projecting the opposite image at the table. A tight player, which is one who doesn’t risk their chips unless they have a decent hand, is going to be expected to act a certain way when they catch a hand. If you are usually a tight player and you suddenly go all-in on a hand, people are going to automatically assume you have the best hand. You’re better off making a small bet and hoping your opponents call or raise you. You might not get anyone to go all in, but you’ll earn more chips than if you went all in and everyone folded to you.
How good or bad your hand has the potential to be should also dictate how you play it. Let’s say, for example, that you have the nut hand after the flop, but you could be beaten if certain cards come on the turn or the river. In that case, you may actually want to go all-in, in order to get everyone to fold and win chips while you can. If someone does call you, you still have a decent chance of winning.
Alternatively, you might flop such a great hand that you have no or a very low chance of losing, even on the turn or the river. For example, maybe you had a pocket pair of 8’s and flopped quads (two more 8’s, for a total of 4). If the other flopped card was, say, a 7, you would be about ninety-nine percent to win, since, even if the opponent came up with quad 7’s, your quad 8’s would beat them. In a case like that, you actually want the hand to get all the way to the river. You want to milk your opponents for as many chips as you can. So, you should slow play the hand. That is, you should check, call, or make small bets, not go all in. Going all-in might scare people off the pot and cause you to lose chips. When the river card comes, you can probably go all in much less conspicuously.
Finally, when you play Texas Hold’Em, and, really, any poker game at all, another major thing to consider is how much money is already in the pot. So, if you want to keep people in the pot with you, don’t make a huge overbet. It’s a great technique for buying the occasional blinds if you have bad cards, but not a great technique for maximizing your earnings when you have a winning poker hand.