Texas Hold’em has been considered the ‘Cadillac of Poker Games’ for years. It was relatively unknown outside of the circle of professional poker players (and those who aspire to join them) until the 1990’s when it blew up. A confluence of media coverage of the World Series of Poker, online poker rooms and the ‘World Poker Tour’ TV series took Texas Hold’em from virtual obscurity to massive mainstream popularity. Now when a new player says that he wants to start playing poker odds are that he’s referring to Texas Hold’em.

Texas Hold’em is a fairly easy game to understand and start playing but there’s definitely a ‘learning curve’ from novice status to capable player. The game is such that more so than other poker variants it’s easy to make very fundamental mistakes. It’s like jazz–there’s a lot of improvisation involved but no amount of ‘improv’ can help you if you can’t play. Here’s some very basic concepts for beginning players–this won’t make you an expert but it will get you off to a good start in learning the game.

Top 3 Online Casinos

Top three poker rooms


100% up to


Players Accepted


200% up to


Players Accepted


100% up to


Players Accepted



This is one of the most common mistakes beginners make in every form of poker but it is especially so in Texas Hold’em due to the large number of ‘community cards’ on the board. New players see pros on TV pulling big wins out of their rear end with weak hands and a bit of moxie–it looks almost too easy but it’s exceedingly difficult to do effectively. Even pros emphasize the importance of betting out ‘bad hands’. In fact, most of the time that you see a pro poker player ‘overplay’ a weak hand it’s out of desperation–he might be down to his last few chips and decide that throwing a ‘Hail Mary’ is a better tactical decision than sitting there and getting beaten by increasing blinds. We’ll spend a lot of time talking about opening hand strategy but the important thing for a beginner to remember is a) you should try not to play weak hands and b) beginners have a tendency to think that their hands are stronger than they really are.


This isn’t a bad concept in any form of poker but it’s essential in Texas Hold’em. Most of your card analysis, table analysis and strategizing should be done pre-flop. Pro poker players often emphasize that you shouldn’t see the flop unless you know *exactly* what you plan to do with the cards. In other words, don’t see the flop just to ‘find out what happens’. Assess your situation and plan your strategy *before* the flop.


There are advantages to playing with better players from time to time. They force you to play your best and (hopefully) you learn something from the experience. This should not be conflated with playing “over your head” financially. Like the old saying goes “scared money doesn’t win.”


This sounds like it should be self evident–it isn’t. Beginning players have a tendency to focus only on the cards in their hands. To some extent, that’s understandable as it’s hard to ‘assess and strategize’ when you’re a novice. It’s still a mistake and something you should work to correct as soon as possible. Good poker players pay attention to everything–their position, the cards on the table, their opponents, etc. As you improve all of these components will play a part in your betting decisions.