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Questions to Ask Yourself before You Play Texas Hold’em

Part of the Texas Hold’em For Dummies Cheat Sheet

Whether you’re playing Texas Hold’em for fun or money — make that whether you’re playing for high stakes or low stakes — make sure you’re in a position mentally, physically, and financially to enjoy the game and make the most of your chances. Ask yourself these questions before you sit down to a game:

  • What is the purpose of my playing this session? Whether it’s to learn more, win money, or just hang with friends for a good time, make sure you know why you’re there and that you’re doing everything you can to accomplish that goal.

  • If I were to play an opponent who’s exactly the same as a well-rested, un-stressed version of me, would that person have an advantage? If the answer is “yes,” hold off on playing until you’re in a better psychological and physical state.

  • Can my bankroll handle this level of play? If not, play a lower level.

  • Are there any distractions in my life that I need to get rid of before I play? Pay your rent, walk your dog, call your significant other — whatever it is, get it out of your head so you can focus.

  • Do I know if the house I’m playing in has any bonuses for players such as bad beat jackpots, high hands, free food and/or drinks for players, or freeroll tournaments? If not, ask a floorperson before you start playing and find out about the details of how you can qualify.

  • Is there an aggressive person at the table I’ll be playing at? If so, try to get yourself seated to his left so you see the raises before your action and not after.

  • What do I know about the people sitting at the table? Whatever it is, use it to your advantage.

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