Basic Poker Fundamentals of Texas Hold’em
The best way to start building a solid poker strategy is by learning basic poker fundamentals. The basic fundamentals are built around core concepts that contribute to winning money at the game. Similarly to any other game or sport, mastering the fundamentals will build “muscle memory” and make learning more advanced concepts much easier.
The first step is to gain a sound theoretical understanding of what drives profit in poker. This is because without knowing where the money comes from, it’s virtually impossible to gain the necessary perspective that allows for optimized learning. That is where the fundamentals come into play which will be the focus of the rest of this guide.
What You Will Learn
Once you understand the basic rules of Texas Hold’em gameplay, which we discussed in the first installment of this beginner’s guide, it’s time to dive into actually building a profitable strategy to employ at Pkv Games online tables.
Invariably, any successful long-term poker strategy contains several ubiquitous elements. Attempting to play poker without at least a rudimentary grasp of these components will impair your progress. Some elements may be somewhat difficult to understand at first or even appear unpleasant to master.
I tell you this in the spirit of full disclosure, not to dishearten or demoralize you. On the contrary, I want you to know that having a full theoretical understanding of poker should empower you. Few will take the time to master all of the concepts necessary to achieve the object of the game, which gives anyone that takes the time to do so an edge over their opponents.
Here is what this article will cover:
- The Object of the Game
- Expected Value
- Pot Odds
- The Fundamentals of Poker
- Where the Money Comes From
The Object of the Game
Being proficient at poker is much more than just learning about when to bet, raise, or call. In fact, those are just the tools we use to carry out the tactics of gameplay. Before you can know how to successfully employ those tactics, you must first have a game plan, or strategy, that gives you the best chance of performing actions that achieve your ultimate goal: to win money.
All actions should be made with winning in mind. If an action does not win money, you consider another action. If there is no profitable action, you simply fold. How do we know if an action is profitable? By analyzing the expected value.
Expected value, or EV, refers to the net won or lost on average for each and every poker decision you make. The individual result of one poker hand is not important. All that matters is whether a specific decision will show a profit or loss were the situation to be played out over an infinite number of occasions. If a particular decision or action shows a net long-term gain, it is profitable (+EV). If the action shows a deficit, it is -EV or a “leak.” As you might have guessed, a leak is any action that loses over the long term.
It’s All About the Long Haul
What I am talking about here is a focus on the long term. Instead of worrying about whether a particular decision will or will not win or lose the current hand, your focus should be on choosing actions that lead to the best long-term monetary outcome. That’s how professional poker players think, and you should as well.
Sometimes there is more than one profitable outcome. Often, there is no profitable action or the situation is so unclear that it’s virtually impossible to know whether the play will be profitable or not. In the case of the latter, it’s typically best to check and/or fold and move on to a more clear spot. As you gain experience, unclear spots will become fewer and farther between.
How To Break Down Profit or Loss
In poker, there are two ways of profiting. Either you win at showdown by making the best hand, or you win when everyone folds to your bet or raise. Respectively, these are called Showdown (SD) earnings and non-showdown earnings. The sum or difference between these two types of income, minus the rake, determines whether a particular hand or action is +EV or not.