There are various strategies that can be used to your advantage when playing Texas Holdem. Let’s go over some of the categories for low-limit Texas Holdem in Your Poker Guide, and some Texas Holdem Strategies for each that you can make work for you. Let’s look at Big Pairs, Draws, and Milking Hands and how to strategize for each of them. If you are unfamiliar with this game please read our Texas Holdem rules article for information on how to set the game up and play.
Texas Holdem Strategy: Big Pairs
A Big Pair is just what the name implies, a top ranking pair or an over pair that is worth its salt. For example, a big pair may be a QQ when the flop is a K63, or a Big Pair may be an AQ if the flop is AK6. During Texas Holdem, people with lesser hands are trying desperately to beat you, so you must make it as costly as possible to draw you out. Some people may be trying to draw you out legitimately, others are just bluffing, but either way, if you have a Big Pairs hand, you should ride it through. If you receive a big pair like AA or KK before the flop, you want to raise in order to lower the amount of people that stay in. Winning with Big Pairs is easiest to accomplish if you are playing against fewer people.
Texas Holdem Strategy: Draws
A draw hand is considered to be one that still needs improvement. You may run into legitimate draws such as opened ended straights, small pairs, flush, and more. You may have an open ended straight where you might hit and complete the straight, as is the case with TJQ or similar hands. A good example of a hand like this would also being having a KQ and the flop is JT4. You could hit with either a 9 or an A to get your straight. These are draw hands because they will require a hit to win. The more players that are in the hand with a draw hand, the more profitable the hand will be.
Texas Holdem Strategy: Milk Hands
A milking hand is a hand that you would love to get hold of often, but they are rarer than top pairs or draw hands. A milking hand is a hand that has two pair or better, or the nuts, as it’s called. When you have a milking hand your strategy is to extract as much money as possible from the players in the hand. With this hand, you want to try to hide your excitement and give away nothing about what you hold. This will help to keep as many players in the game as possible for maximum winnings. With a milking hand, your strategy will include slow play, which means that you do not want to raise until the later betting round where bets may double. Disguise your hand as much as possible to maximize the bets that other players will make on their (likely) lesser hands.
Texas Holdem Strategy: Starting Hands
There’s no exact written rule that helps those wishing to learn Texas Holdem strategy select the best starting hands. Your premium starting hands are always AA, KK, QQ, JJ, and AK, etc., because they fall under Big Pairs. As you gain more experience playing Texas Holdem AQ, KQ, KJ, and etc., are also quality hands that you should stick with and make a late position raise. All other starting hands are middle hands that you don’t want to use to make a call but hope to build on before learning how to fold or muck.