Texas Hold'em

How many hands do you have to play in Texas Hold’em in order not to lose?

November 12, 2018 | frank | Leave a comment

The main reason for losing poker is that the player plays too many hands. To explain, it’s enough to know a little math.

According to statistics, the player with the best starting hand wins more often than everyone else. This conclusion is made on the basis of long observations, and should be taken seriously. If you get good cards at the beginning of the game more often than your opponents, the probability of winning in the future increases.
Of course, there is a chance that you will have to play too few hands, but this does not create problems.
In a sense, players in online poker rooms can be called addicts who get high from the process itself. They want to bet and fight for the victory. They enjoy not only victory, but also participation. Lucky players can suppress the desire for action and redirect it to achieve victory.
It would seem that winning should be the main goal, but the actions of many players suggest that this is not the case. If you want to win, play fewer hands.

How to find out how many hands you need to play?
First of all, calculate how much you are currently playing. The only way to do this is to track your gaming trends. It should be understood how many hands you played, how your position at the table influenced the result. Profit in late position may be greater than in middle or early, so the percentage of hands played will start from small values ​​and gradually increase as your position improves.
It is dangerous to assign yourself the minimum percentage of hands that must necessarily play, because each game is unique. It’s not that Hold’em is different from Omaha (and there really are differences). Not a single limit game in Texas Hold’em is like another – they are all different from each other.
The same goes for games and no-limit hold’em, and pot-limit Omaha, and so on. Thoughtlessly following any advice is dangerous, but there are strategies that can be followed. Having defined the percentage ratio and the results as the situation improves, you will understand what you should strive for.
Most participants in full games in Texas Hold’em, where the table is from 8 to 10 people, 30-40% of the hands play. This includes the blinds. In Omaha, the situation is slightly different – 35-50%.
The beginning of the path to winning is to stop repeating the actions of other players. After all, most people lose, and this fact is obvious.
The first step is to try to reduce the number of your starting hands to at least 25%. And most of them need to play from late position. It is advisable to play no more than 5% of the hands from early position. It’s about playing smaller starting hands, and you need to understand why you lose profits by playing too many hands.
When you play out of position, you have to act earlier than your opponents on this hand. They may put additional pressure on you and have more information than you. You also lose the opportunity to take a free card by making a check after a check for other players, when you have a draw, and it could be improved.
Therefore, being out of position with good hands, you just need to invest in the bank. Kings and aces give good odds in any position, but an ace with a jack is in most cases too weak to play from an early position.

It’s time to go to specific calculations.
Having achieved a reduction in your starting hands to 25%, you must strive to reach 20% or less. By tracking the results of the game, you will notice an increase in revenue. This will go on and on, as you have less flops.
At some point, as the number of hands decreases to a certain percentage, the profit will begin to decline. Sensing when this happens, you need to determine what percentage to stick with. Usually it is 18-20%, but you should track everything yourself.
The above information is mainly related to Texas Hold’em. The percentages are valid for limit and no limit games and depend on how you can play after the flop.
Some are able to play more hands in a no-limit game, because they manage to avoid bad hands after the flop and bring the winnings to the maximum. But for most people this does not work out well, so the number of starting hands must be limited.
If you are playing Omaha or Omaha Hi Lo, the number of hands may be less, and they will also make a profit. Of course, if you are a strong player after the flop, you can play a few more hands, but in many pot-limit games there is a profit with 15% of starting hands or less.
Omaha players often think they can play more starting hands, because they have twice as many cards than hold’em, but in fact the opposite is true. 4 cards must work together, otherwise they will weaken.
When playing Pot Limit Omaha, you need to strive first to 20%, and then to 15%. The same goes for Limit Omaha, but it’s closer to Limit Hold’em than Pot-Limit Omaha.
The number of hands can be increased if you play at the tables 6-max or with a small number of players, but it is important to stop in time. Even at such tables, you need to start the game with 30% of starting hands or less.

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