Making Safe Decisions in No-Limit Texas Holdem

Texas Holdem, especially the no-limit type, involves a lot of risks. Making decisions during a game is often difficult, especially when we think about the odds of losing, which is often more certain than winning odds. But there is a way of lessening risks in no-limit Texas Holdem.

Before making decisions there is a tool available to us to, sort of, "test the waters" at the table before plunging in with a no-limit Texas Holdem decision. We place a considerable bet to test how other players would react to it. As they react we get valuable information about their hands.

Deciding without any idea of what other players hold in hand is a high-risk business in poker. It is a precarious investment with absolutely no assurance of any return. We should never make decisions like that, especially in no-limit Texas Holdem. Thus, always apply "test bets" now and then to see how other players fair in the game so far.

Test bets in no-limit Texas Holdem are substantial bets we place as a raise or re-raise, or as bets pre-flop or post flop. Through these bets we flex our Holdem muscles to show opponents how strong we think our hand is. In fact, even if our hand isn't that strong, we should make test bets - not to bluff - but to ascertain the strength and weakness of opponents at a given time.

For instance, we make a big raise pre-flop and someone re-raises it, we quickly see who has the stronger hand at the table. We can then decide safely what move to make - continue to play the no-limit Texas Holdem bout or fold. The investment of making a raise pre-flop did us two services: it made us look good in the game and revealed our true chances at the table.

Other players prefer to just call, especially when they have intermediate hands or when the flop is useless to them. When we do this we give away a lot of information to everyone at the table about our hand strength. Also, we add to the pot but gain no information about our opponents. Information is everything in no-limit Texas Holdem.

However, to get information, we have to buy it. This is what test bets are for. We put in a considerable sum, big enough to make players react, to get some information. When players re-raise, call, check, or fold, such are valuable information to help us see our situation clearly and decide wisely in no-limit Texas Holdem.