Avoid Common Mistakes in Casino Hold'em With Basic Principles

Published on: November 5, 2014 

If you're going to play casino hold'em, then you probably want to boost your chances of winning by playing as well as possible. There's one main decision you have to make in this game, and it's based on an evaluation of your hole cards and the board. What we want to do here is give you some basic principles to think about when it comes to how to play this game and what it takes to play really well overall in terms of tracking your play and making adjustments to your strategy as a whole.

First thing's first: If you are folding more than about 20 to 25 percent of starting hands, then you're folding entirely too much and losing a lot of value. On the other hand, if you're folding less than 15-20 percent, then you're not folding enough, and you're playing a lot of hands that shouldn't be played. To track this, keep a pen and paper with you when you play or use a text file on your computer. Track how many hands you fold and how many you call over a few sessions and then take a look at your percentages. This will help you to hone in on the right strategies in the long run.

For a good starting point, consider that the dealer has to have at least a pair of fours to qualify. If the dealer doesn't qualify, then you win a payout based on the value of your hand regardless of if you have the best hand, so this means that you have to realize that starting hands worse than a pair of fours have more value than you would typically think. This is especially true if the hand has a number of ways to improve.

Here's a good example. Suppose you have KcQc on a board of Jc 9s 3d. Note that there's a lower chance of the dealer qualifying right off the bat because there's a three on the board that pairing wouldn't help him to qualify (the same could be said for a two). You have two ways to make a high pair along with a gutshot straight draw (hits on any ten) and a backdoor flush draw. Along these lines, this is a very easy call. If you had 6d4c on the same board, then you should probably fold since you have little chance of catching anything worthwhile.

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