15 BEST strategies that will improve your online Texas Holdem Tournament play.
Online Texas Holdem tournament strategies are all over the web, here I lay out the basics and in laymen terms 15 of the strategies I use to place in the money in most of the tournaments I play.
Online Texas Holdem has become a mainstay in recent years due to the popularity of the World Series of Poker and other similar televised events. I will share with you 15 strategies that will help improve your odds of placing higher than you have been. Take a look below at each of these online Texas Holdem Poker strategies and you may improve your game play.
I play a lot of poker online. Probably too much but it is something I enjoy. These are strategies that I employ and they help me regularly place in the money. So, let’s get down to it.
1. Play free tournaments first
If you are a beginner this is key, it will also help you get a feel for the website. Learn the table setup and where the bet, call, and check buttons are.
Players in a free Holdem Tournament typically play looser than in a paid tournament but it is always a smart move to play free when just joining a website.
Later in this blog I talk about labeling your opponents. I do not label people when playing free tournaments because they play too loose and have nothing to lose. In turn, they play differently in paid tournaments. If you plan on playing only free tournaments then label away.
2. Avoid Distractions
Choose a time and place when you are not likely to be disturbed during play. Depending on the number of players in the tournament, it may last for a few hours but could go longer. I have played online Holdem tournaments that have gone over 6 hours. Make sure you have the time to commit. Nothing is worse than playing a tournament, making it deep into the crowd, and having to leave because you did not plan right.
3. Don't get a PUI
Avoid drinking alcohol when playing in your tournaments. There are a few reasons behind this and the first one is obvious; it clouds your judgment.
An article from Alcohol.org states “Alcohol also decreases some of the activity of the prefrontal cortex. This part of the brain is what helps you to think clearly and rationally, and it is involved in your decision-making abilities. When you drink, alcohol makes it harder for the prefrontal cortex to work as it should, disrupting decision-making and rational thought. In this way, alcohol prompts you to act without thinking about your actions.”
If you act without thinking in online Texas Holdem tournaments, you are bound to lose the hand and the tournament.
An unseen and often overlooked effect of drinking alcohol while playing is a tournament is having to go to the bathroom. Most tournaments have scheduled breaks on the hour, every hour. If you have to “go” you may be squirming in your seat or even worse, running to the restroom and missing a premium set of cards.
Bottom line, laying off the alcohol while playing will improve your gameplay.
4. Know where the bubble is
The bubble is a term used in Texas Holdem tournaments that describes the next person to be eliminated and will not make the payouts but everyone else will. If you enter a tournament with 1000 players and the top 99 get paid then the bubble is 100.
It is important to know where the bubble is so you can avoid fatal decisions. I find when the bubble is getting closer, many of the players start to tighten up. When tightening up, some of the short stacks begin shoving all in attempting to eliminate a shorter stack so they can make the cut.
I watch my position in the tournaments, play very closely and always know where the bubble is.
This is one of the best online Texas Holdem tournament strategies.
5. Take Advantage of "dead" players
Recently, I played a tournament which required registering days prior. When the tournament started, I was put on a 9 handed table which included 7 dead players and one live player. I eliminated the live player quickly, then pushed a small raise every hand and took all the chips of the dead 7 players.
How it works: When people register for a tournament, days or even weeks before the start time, they tend to forget about it. The website starts everyone that has registered, even if the person is not logged in. After the first round of betting, all players not logged in will have their ante and blinds forced in. If you are in position and realize the players are “dead”, a small raise will automatically take the blinds. If there are any antes on the table, the raise will award these to you, also.
Be careful! You should only raise the minimum if you are employing this strategy, because if a “dead” person remembers about the tournament and logs in they may call that small raise. This has happened to me a few times but only costs a fraction of all the blinds I had already stolen from them. Raise small and pay attention.