Tight Texas Holdem Game

A very tight texas game can be profitable unless the game has no ante and/or blinds. The profit does not come from stealing the blinds before the flop but rather mostly come from stealing on the flop and on fourth street. In an extremely tight holdem game you should bet against one rival when you flop little or nothing. But however, when you are against many rivals and have flop nothing, the correct way to play is to just check on the flop - especially if you are in an early position - and see whether your rival bet. If they bet, then you should fold. And if they don't bet, you should in that case try to steal the pot on fourth street except perhaps if an over card falls.

Remember that most of your profits from these extremely tight holdem games mainly come from your bluffs. You can't likely do much better than break even on your legitimate hands as your average starting hands will be worse than your rivals' starting hands. (You want to play as many holdem hands as you can in a texas holdem game like this to give maximum bluffing opportunities.) Remember that if you are in a game where your rivals are tough as well as very extremely tight, then you should just forget about that texas holdem game. The holdem strategy will fail as your rival will always trap you into bluffing by checking good hands. Just let the world champions win the holdem game.

Playing Against a Live Straddle

When someone decides to "gamble" sometimes he will put up what is known as "live straddle." Especially the player just to the left of the big blind will post an additional blind that is twice the size of the big blind. For example, in a $10-$20 hold'em game the live straddle would be $20. Such type of play is not recommended. On the contrary, some important holdem strategy changes are required when one of your rivals posts a straddle.

Notice that it is now fairly impossible to steal the blind. Consider the $10-$20 hold'em game with a straddle. Suppose you bring it in for $30. It is a rare player who will post a $20 blind and then not call for just $10 more. Most players who post a straddle will call for an additional $20, regardless of what they hold. (Remember they came to gamble.)

This means that you should raise only with legitimate raising hands. Semi-steal plays before the flop, which are important to winning hod'em game, will not work in this situation. Furthermore, you might not want to make the pot so large that it becomes correct to draw to gut shots, bottom pairs and so on. It is usually correct to raise less often with big pairs and big suited cards than it would be if there were no live straddle.

Also be careful that your implied poker odds will not be as good, as it will cost you more to play compared to what you can expect to win. Therefore you should call with fewer hands. Thus you should throw away your holdem hand like


unless you are in a last position.

Notice that we have just suggested that you play tighter against a live straddle, even though there is more money in the pot. Let's take a simple example. Suppose you are playing in a $10-$20 hold'em game where there are not only the standard $5 and $10 blind, but also straddles of $20, $30 and $40. Precisely, if you played only the "nuts" (or much stronger hands) in this game when you were not in one of the bigger blinds, you would be a winner. This is only because of the big overlay that you would be getting when he did enter the pot. However, if you played tight in a standard holdem game, you would not be in enough pots to show a profit.

Continue with: Spread Holdem Limit Games