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Texas Holdem Poker

For a solid pre-flop strategy, you need to carefully consider all factors involved in it before you start betting when you get two eights in the pocket.

The factors that you should consider are the number of players, how aggressive or passive the players at the table are, your bankroll, your position, and how much risk you are willing to take. Let us consider all the factors one by one.

Number of players

When the game involves 10 players, it makes much more sense for you to think that someone else has a strong hand in the pocket than in a short-handed game. Also, in larger games, you'll need to be more cautious. The reason being that the chances of someone's pre-flop hand fitting the flop will be much better. You would agree that more competition simply means stiffer competition.

How aggressive the players are?

Suppose that several hands you've been playing with a few people, and you noticed that a player is raising every hand pre-flop, you would ideally like to play tighter. You would let the guy win the blinds but try to nail him to the wall when you have a solid hand in the pocket pre-flop.


If you have $1000 at a $1/$2 table, you can take the high-risk, high-payout bets. On the other hand, you would like to play extremely carefully if you have only $2 left. You would select one hand to bet on and hope to get as many players involved as possible for a larger pot. You'll want to be all-in before the flop is dealt.


People in early position have the ability to influence the size of the pot much less than those in late position. Hence, those who act later are in less fear of financial obligation or loss because they play the "gambling hands" or the weaker hands. This holds true especially for pre-flop.

Ability to tolerate risk

You may want to play more or less aggressively pre-flop depending on your playing style. You will find a lot of players, especially when they are in late position, shooting for larger pots when they don't mind a greater chance for losing a few hands and will want to raise pre-flop. Pre-flop, some players will be grinding out a winning hand here or there by being as selective as possible. It depends a lot on how you perceive the players around you and your own style of play.

If you were risk averse, you would want hands that have high card value, or the ability to be the best hand (the nuts). You'll want to seriously consider playing high value cards (queens, kings and aces), suited (drawing for a flush) and connected (drawing for a straight) cards, and obviously, always play high pocket pairs (queens or better).

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