All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Playing The Percentage
Game In Poker

Why poker newbies must make
the percentages work in their favour!

Playing The Percentage Game in Poker - ALLTHEACES - Sept 11, 2005

...Plus, the poker strategy of slow playing!

The best advice to anyone starting to play online poker for the first time is to concentrate on one type of game. We would always recommend Texas Hold 'Em over all the other variations of poker.

There are a few compelling reasons for this but the major one is mathematical. For the cost of just one round of betting you are able to observe seventy one percent of the cards with the potential to make up your hand of five cards. This is easy to figure out. At the outset you are dealt two hole cards and after the first round of betting (the flop) you get another three cards to choose from in the make up of your hand. In pure maths terms you've receive five of the seven cards you are going to see in total (seventy one percent  of them) and you've only paid once.

These facts may be the single biggest reason why Texas Hold 'Em is so amazingly popular. The same facts also serve to magnify the critical importance of pre-flop betting. What you decide pre-flop determines your strategy for the hand. If you have Ace-King or a strong pair, then bet or even raise pre-flop. If you don't have strong hole cards proceed with caution unless your tactic is to try and pull off a convincing bluff. This may not be wise if you are absolute beginner. Better to let the quality of the cards dictate your betting at the outset until you get in the groove.

Seating position in relation to the dealer is extremely important when playing Hold 'Em for the first time. The closer you are to the dealer's right, the later you will be required to make a betting decision. This gives you an edge by allowing you more information from the players ahead of you, prior to your turn to act. It's the best of all worlds so try to engineer that situation when you select a table to join.

The other reason that Texas Hold 'Em is such absorbing fun are the many different elements that need to be taken into account. One of the main considerations when starting out is the decision to join a full table or a short-handed table.

A full table will normally have ten player seated playing online and a short-handed game refers to games with six or less players. Again, at the outset of your playing career, we would recommend joining short-handed games. The simple reason is that with fewer opponents it becomes easier to assess the relative strength of your hand against the opposition. This becomes more obvious as you get involved in your first few short-handed games.


Some of you will have