Texas Holdem is all about hands. favourites and not so favourites. It’s a game of position, odds and outs. The idea is, if you have a better hand than your opponent, you win.
But hands also mean something to your opponents. You’ll see raisers and reasers snicking up weaker hands for their opponents. The idea is sneakily you can take up position with a strong enough hand and if your opponents have less-than-great hands they’ll either fold or play for a while, hoping to hit something.
It’s a Pokerlegenda strategy worth learning. You can also watch how other players do it, especially when you’re playing live. You can see why some people raise and reraise with powerful hands, why others like to limp in, why some like to call-flop. analyse.
But there is one powerful variable in the way everyone plays. That’s the amount of hands they’ve played. If you watch players play more than one or two tables at a time, you can see that very few players have not brought at least two decent hands to the table. So what’s the secret? The consistent winning players are disciplined. They know not to play hands unless they know they have a very favourable chance of winning.
They don’t play a lot of hands. #2 suited cards are obviously a nice hand, but go ignored. In general, in position, if no one reraises and the SB doesn’t call, then its OK to call with junk. The absolute strictest discipline wins the most tournaments. This is the guiding light for the free-roll freeroll players. Be selective. In general, its better to wait for a good hand than a bad one.
So if you want to survive and win, the first key is to be more selective. its obvious though that this is a difficult concept for many players to wrap their brains around, but if you adopt this strategy you will survive and win longer term.
Pocket pairs are your bread and butter. You should look to raise pockets with any hands weaker than QQ or JJ. Ideally you want cards in your widest possible range. Do not limp in with pocket 4’s or 5’s. For an extra tip, if you have a caller, you should bet the flop. Your call alone is enough to call with any two cards and win a lot more. Its rare but it does happen.
So a word of caution. This is not a game to play every hand. You need time to read your opponents well enough and set your mind to making the right decisions. But a word of reassurance. The thing about the free-rolls, cash and tournaments is that they are a perfect environment for learning and perfecting your skills.
You can not do this in tournaments. You are bound by the rules of the tournaments, quite literally, to the last man standing. But in free-rolls you are playing another game. You can play longer, you can take a lot more chances and as a result you will win more.
Tournaments are good for that strategic play and that building of your skills and weaknesses. But I’m sure you agree that anything for nothing is a bargain. The best possible deal is not a tournament, but an extremely good game in itself.