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KNOW THE DIFFERENCE! No-limit tournament play is taking off like wildfire online and offline so it’s becoming increasingly important to really grasp the way it differs from cash games. In a tournament you cannot afford to lose the chips you are issued at the outset. If you do, you’re out.
1) Don’t be afraid to raise often with marginal hands but immediately switch to caution if you find yourself called. In tournament play you need a better hand to call than to raise as the object is to stay in the game at all costs. If your initial aggression doesn’t pay off don’t go betting all the way to the river on a mid- strength hand.
2) At the outset of a no-limit tournament: play tight. Let the cards you are dealt decide your action. If it’s less than a premium hand, don’t risk your capped chip stack. This is the opposite of what you would do if you were playing for cash.
3) During the first few rounds steer clear of all-in, fifty- fifty confrontations. Remember your stack is capped. If you whittle it down early on and then land four aces in the later stages you won’t have the funding to bet value out of your premium hand. The best strategy is a tight, careful build up of your stack so that when you land that “nut” hand deep into the competition (maybe a straight or a flush) you have the chips to unload and really capitalise.
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FREQUENTLY ASKED POKER QUESTIONS Q: What does it mean to get a free card on a more expensive street? A: Okay! Imagine you are last to act with Queen-Jack in the hole. The flop is four-nine-ten of different suits and you have a trio of opponents. The first player to act bets and is called by the others. You raise. If the fourth card (the turn) isn’t the King or the eight you need for your two possible straights, your decision to raise may open the door for you to see the fifth card (the river) for “free”, providing the bettor and the callers all check the turn card. Thus the river is a better “street” than the “turn” (which precedes it) and by your raise tactic it can be said you’re in with a good chance of seeing it for free. (Street is a term usually applied to Stud but it makes the same point with Texas Hold’em in this context) Fourth street is the “turn” and fifth street is the “river”.