Many a wise man or woman have said that Poker is an easy game, it’s gets kind of annoying to hear doesn’t it after the 10th+ deposit into your poker account.
Well I’m hear to tell you that in its core Poker is actually fairly simple but specifically Texas Hold’em. What I’ll show you in this article is a very simple points system which will ensure that you play a nice and tight game of Texas Hold’em. Please bare in mind that this strategy is intended for fairly low stakes ring games i.e NOT for tournaments although it could easily be adapted to fit almost any Poker variant.
It works by assigning points to the various cards in a deck as follows:
- Ace – 16 points
- King – 14 points
- Queen – 13 points
- Jack – 12 points
- 10 – 11 points
- All the other cards are given a points value corresponding to their number, i.e 5 is 5 points etc.
- If your two "hole" cards are of the same suit then that is an extra 4 points to your total.
- Additionally you get awarded an extra 10 points for any pair so 2 Kings would give you 38 points (14×2 + 10).
- If the two cards are one after the other, e.g 7,8 then give yourself 3 extra points.
- If seperated by 2, e.g 8,10 then add an extra 2 points to the total
- And if the two cards are separated by 3 then you can give yourself 1 point.
The next thing to understand is your position on the poker table, for the sake of this strategy I will assume you are playing on a longhand table which means there are 10 players in total, as opposed to shorthand with 6 people. This table of 10 players can be split into three zones, or positions. The first three seats to the left of the "Big Blind" form the Early position, the next three seats are in the middle position and the other 4 seats are referred to as the late position.
The strategy is as simple as this: For you to play your hand you need to have a certain number of points, these are as follows:
- If you are sitting in the early position you should have at least 30 points to play your hand.
- In the middle position you should have a points total of 27.
- If you are sitting in the more comfortable late position then 25 points should be enough for you to enter the hand.
The points totals above assume that no one has raised the big blind, if they have then you should always assume they have good cards, it is a very dangerous strategy to think someone is bluffing and play your weakish hand against what you think might be their weak hand! In any case this strategy says that for you to play against someone who has raised then you would need an extra 4 points in each position, i.e 34 in Early, 31 in Middle and 29 in late positions.
If you follow this strategy on beginner to intermediate tables then it will give you a good start and over time you can start to add more sophistication to your play like trying to trap other players and occasionally trying a bluff but stick to this system until you are comfortable and winning money rather than constantly giving it to the other players.