No Limit Hold'em Strategy - Creating a Story

One of the more interesting components of Texas holdíem is the psychological component. Youíre not just playing against what cards opponents are carrying, the size of their stacks and their position on the board, youíre playing against the story their telling with each move. A savvy Texas holdíem player will be objective about the bets heís laying down, knowing full well what this bet is conveying to other players. This is true no matter what type of game you participate in, high-stake cash games as well as Texas holdem freerolls. You have to do the same as well.

You have to both tell your own story as well as be aware that other players are doing a little storytelling of their own. Thatís the game, both reading and writing stories. The way to do this yourself is to mix and match your betting technique. Some betting styles are easy to read, while some are much more confusing, which is what youíre after.

Take one of the most obvious betting strategies. An online holdem player hangs around waiting for that perfect hand, playing tight and passive, until, Wham! Heís suddenly betting the house. Itís pretty obvious whatís happening here. The player has been waiting for a good hand and is now jumping at the chance. A good opponent will recognize this and not take the bait. Itís obvious heís holding a strong hand, possibly a monster, so why bother going any further?

On the other hand, if you mix and match your betting strategy, opponents wonít have a clear idea about what youíre holding. This means playing a little looser with your cards, taking a bluff deep, even betting a fair amount on poor poker hands. This means that when you finally do land an unbeatable hand, or at least a very good hand, your opponent will take you for a sucker. Heíll think, ďIím going to raise him because he tends to go deep with poor cards.Ē He fell for your storyline and youíre able to take the pot.

One of the great things about Texas holdem online and live is that each table has its own storyline: players with different personalities and betting strategies. This also means that you may need to adjust your own tells. Just because a scenario worked the day before it doesnít mean it will work every time out. Itís a good idea to take some notes on the competition. Youíre bound to see the same players crop up time and again, so you should have a reference about a particular playerís style. Itís always good to know if a player bluffs often, plays tight, etc.

Creating a story really means setting a story that is not easily readable. If it was easy to read, you couldnít ever take control of the pot. Like a good book or movie, you have to keep them guessing. If they know why youíve made a bet, youíll be at a significant disadvantage.

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