Ignore this Texas Hold’em preflop checklist at your own risk

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Posted on: May 25, 2020 5:58 pm EDT

Each hand has to be properly evaluated from the start in order to maximize the potential return

Compared to all the possibilities that a poker hand offers once the flop is presented, the preflop action should be quite simple when playing Texas Hold’em Poker. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, though, and it also requires a good strategy or at least a good plan. During preflop action, this checklist of what to consider can keep your mind focused on the right information to make the best possible decision: fold, limp-behind, or attack with a big raise.

As usual, the position at the poker table is crucial to make decisions. Being in position after the flop gives you an opportunity to control the money that goes to the pot in a given street. When not in position, you have to be more selective of the hands that you do participate in – it is not the same to be out of position with AA pocket cards than with a bad-rated hand – especially when there are many players in the hand.

Another good practice is to spot the weakest player once you have played the first ten hands and then determine if you have strong edges on. Focusing on those weak players helps you foresee if a pot will continue with only two players or multiplayer or if it will be a no-go. Stay away from the common mistake of assuming, which is the worst thing you can do. It is a mistake to think that you are better than everyone at the table.

Another item on that checklist is aggression. This is a good strategy that can create discomfort among the opponents and quickly put you in the lead. As it is done mostly with the intention to steal pots, it might not seem very valuable to fight for 1.5 big blinds, but those extra wins add up at the end of the session – moreover if you are doing so with cards that would have folded otherwise.