Basic No Limit Texas Holdem Tournament Tips

Basic No Limit Texas Holdem Tournament Tips
by Jason Green of

Here are a few tips you can use when playing in a Texas Holdem poker tournament, which can be used by beginners and experts alike, in order to be successful.

One of the biggest mistakes that beginners make is playing to many of their hands. A good player will be selective about the hands that they decide to play. It is also important that you know your table position. A late position hand in a pot that has not been raised may not be one that can be played if you are in a beginning position at the table. You will have to have a strong hand if you make the decision to act from an early position, as more players will act after you and they may raise or re-raise.

Never put too much value on suited cards. One of the major mistakes that beginners make is playing suited cards, no matter where they are on the table. 2 suited cards will be dealt to you 23% of the time and to make a flush the percentage drops to 5.77%. Basically, every time you play a hand with suited cards you will hit the flush only 1/16 times. It is even more dangerous if you decide to play low suited cards, as other people may have a higher flush than you.

Much like the mistake above many beginners overvalue small pocket pairs. Sure, they look great but you have to be careful. If you are dealt a small pocket pair you do not want to spend a lot to stay in the hand, as you want to see the flop to see if you hit trips. A lot of players bet big or even go all in when they have small pocket pairs. Two words: BIG MISTAKE! The chances of you hitting the trips are not good, but the chances that another player will out draw you are good. You do not want to lose a lot of chips or even be eliminated from the tournament by making stupid big bets on a small pocket pair.

Another tip is to raise the same chip amount every time. Many professional poker players will bet 3 to 4 times the blinds when they raise. What this does is make it difficult for their opponents to pick up how strong their hand is. When betting the same amount your opponents will not know if you are raising with the Bullets or a 3-8 off suit.

If it is before your turn to act and the pot has already been raised you may call the primary bet and then raise. This is called “cold calling.” Unless it is the case where you have a killer hand you should not make any cold calls on raises. You will have to have a stronger hand to make a call on a raise than to make a raise.

Try to stay away from situations that will cost you all of your chips, unless you know you have the nuts. A lot of beginners have only 2 moves when they play in a no limit tournament, which are fold or go all in. This may be ok for a while and it can take a few pots, but it will very rarely be a good strategy for winning a tournament.

Bluffing is good to use in tournament play, but you have to make sure you bluff at the right time and do not over-bluff. You should never ever try to bluff more than 2 players. There will, in many cases, be an opponent that will want to keep you honest. You have to be sure that you opponents will believe your bluff. Over-bluffing will only make players call you more often.

A successful tournament player will be the one that will initiate action. If you are the first to act, you may want to bet instead of checking, unless you have pure slop. You need to know all the moves you have such as check-raising, slow-play, semi-bluffing, and seeing a free card.

Even if you fold a hand be aware of your opponents. See how many opponents are still in the hand and check out what their actions are. Check to see if there was a pre-flop raise, if there was one who raised? You should also check the other hands that the person that has been raising has been playing. Check out the other cards that your opponents turn over when there is a showdown. This is all information that can be used later on, which may help you win some pots.