Texas Holdem Poker Tournament Strategy – Starting Hands

Welcome to the fifth in my Texas Holdem Poker Strategy Series, focusing on no limit Texas Holdem poker tournament play and associated strategies. In this article, we’ll examine starting hand decisions.

It may seem obvious, but deciding which starting hands to play, and which ones to skip playing, is one of the most important Texas Holdem poker decisions you’ll make. Deciding which starting hands to play begins by accounting for several factors:

* Starting Hand “groups” (Sklansky made some good suggestions in his classic “Theory of Poker” book by David Sklansky)

* Your table position

* Number of players at the table

* Chip position

Sklansky originally proposed some Texas Holdem poker starting hand groups, which turned out to be very useful as general guidelines. Below you’ll find a “modified” (enhanced) version of the Sklansky starting hands table. I adapted the original Sklansky tables, which were “too tight” and rigid for my liking, into a more playable approach that are used in the Poker Sidekick poker odds calculator. Here’s the key to these starting hands:

Groups 1 to 8: These are essentially the same scale as Sklansky originally proposed, although some hands have been shifted around to improve playability and there is no group 9.

Group 30: These are now “questionable” hands, hands that should be played rarely, but can be reasonably played occasionally in order to mix things up and keep your opponents off balance. Loose players will play these a bit more often, tight players will rarely play them, experienced players will open with them only occasionally and randomly.

The table below is the exact set of starting hands that Poker Sidekick uses when it calculates starting poker hands. If you use Poker Sidekick, it will tell you which group each starting hand is in (if you can’t remember them), along with estimating the “relative strength” of each starting hand. You can just print this article and use it as a starting hand reference.

Group 1: AA, KK, AKs

Group 2: QQ, JJ, AK, AQs, AJs, KQs

Group 3: TT, AQ, ATs, KJs, QJs, JTs

Group 4: 99, 88, AJ, AT, KQ, KTs, QTs, J9s, T9s, 98s

Group 5: 77, 66, A9s, A5s-A2s, K9s, KJ, KT, QJ, QT, Q9s, JT, QJ, T8s, 97s, 87s, 76s, 65s

Group 6: 55, 44, 33, 22, K9, J9, 86s

Group 7: T9, 98, 85s

Group 8: Q9, J8, T8, 87, 76, 65

Group 30: A9s-A6s, A8-A2, K8-K2, K8-K2s, J8s, J7s, T7, 96s, 75s, 74s, 64s, 54s, 53s, 43s, 42s, 32s, 32

All other hands not shown (virtually unplayable).

So, those are the enhanced Sklasky Texas Holdem poker starting hand tables.

The later your position at the table (dealer is latest position, small blind is earliest), the more starting hands you should play. If you’re on the dealer button, with a full table, play groups 1 through 6. If you’re in middle position, reduce play to groups 1 through 3 (tight) and 4 (loose). In early position, reduce play to groups 1 (tight) or 1 through 2 (loose). Of course, in the big blind, you get what you get.

As the number of players drops into the 5 to 7 range, I recommend tightening up overall and playing far fewer, premium hands from the better positions (groups 1 – 2). This is a great time to forget about chasing flush and straight draws, which puts you at risk and wastes chips.

As the number of players drops to 4, it’s time to open up and play far more hands (groups 1 – 5), but carefully. At this stage, you’re close to being in the money in a Texas Holdem poker tournament, so be extra careful. I’ll often just protect my blinds, steal occasionally, and try to let the smaller stacks get blinded or knocked out (putting me into the money). If I’m one of the small stacks, well, then I’m forced to pick the best hand I can get and go all-in and hope to double-up.

When the play is down to 3, it’s time to avoid engaging with big stacks and hang on to see if we can land 2nd place, heads-up. I tend to tighten up a bit here, playing very similar to when there’s just 3 players (avoiding confrontation unless I’m holding a pair or an Ace or a King, if possible).

Once you’re heads-up, well, that’s a topic for a completely different article, but in general, it’s time to become extraordinarily aggressive, raise a lot, and become “pushy”.

In tournaments, it’s always important to keep track of your chips stack size relative to the blinds and everyone else’s stacks. If you’re short on chips, then play far fewer hands (tigher), and when you do get a good hand, extract as many chips as you can with it. If you’re the big stack, well, you should avoid unnecessary confrontation, but use your big stack position to push everyone around and steal blinds occasionally as well – without risking too many chips in the process (the other players will be trying to use you to double-up, so be careful).

Well, that’s a quick overview of an improved set of starting hands and some general rules for adjusting starting hand play based upon game conditions throughout the tournament.

Until next time, best of luck to you at the Texas Holdem poker tables!


Kingdom Hearts II Cheat Codes

Sora’s Ultima Weapon

Sora’s Ultima Weapon is obtained through item synthesis. Once you have obtained seven Orichalcum+s and the other ingredients, you will be able to synthesize it if you have an Energy Crystal. Note: You must be at least a level 2 Moogle to use energy items (for example, shards, stones, gems, and crystals). The items required are as follows:

Ultimate Recipe

Go to the mansion in Twilight Town. This is towards the end of the game when you go with Sora. Once the machine is up and running to go to Roxas’s Twilight Town, do not enter it. Instead, go through the other room where you went to fight Axel with Roxas at the start of the game. Then, go into the next room with the hallway with the pods where Goofy and Donald were found. There are a few chests in there; the Ultimate Recipe is the in the chest next to Donald and Goofy’s pod.

Seven Orichalcum+

1. Clear Atlantica.

2. Clear 100 Acre Wood.

3. Find the chest in The World That Never Was at the Brink Of Despair just before you go into the castle. There will be a big chest next to the save point. This is not the Orichalcum+. Turn around at this location and follow the short path across from the save point with the Orichalcum+ chest.

4. Clear Goddess Of Fate Cup in the Underworld Coliseum.

5. Chest in Twilight Town, in Sunset Terrace where you went earlier in the game for the Seven Wonders. Jump on top of the train and you will see a chest on the roof of the big building (the one closest to to the sunset station).

6. Chest in Space Paranoids during the second visit there, just before you fight Commander Sark and the MCP.

7. Collect all Material in the game and give it to the Synthesis Moogle. He will give you an Orichalcum+. You need every single Material (shards, stones, gems, and crystals, including a regular Orichalcum).

Other ingredients

Energy Crystal: Required to halve the amount of Orichalcum+s you need. Dropped by Bookmasters in Radiant Gardens (Hollow Bastion) near Merlin’s house. These are the characters that float with green hats and books.

Twilight and Dense Crystals: Nobodies on Naught’s Skyway. Go to naught’s skyway just after the Hall Of Empty Melodies. Fight the Nobodies there and they will drop Twilight and Dense items.

Serenity Crystals: You can get these from the Moogles for giving them complete sets of Materials.

Mythril Crystals: Found in random item chests.

Gummi Ship bonuses

Berserk mode: Reach Metal Level 30.

Gummi Ship Level 2: Successfully complete Level 1 with “S”, “A”, or “B” ranks.

Gummi Ship Level 3: Successfully complete Level 1 and 2 with “S”, “A”, or “B” ranks.

Special Models: Get an “S” rank in the Gummi Ship missions.

Synthesis Moogle bonus items

Give the following items to the Synthesis Moogle to get the corresponding bonus item:

AP Boost: Give all Mythril Materials

AP Boost: Five 25 types of Material

Defense Boost: Give all Bright Materials

Elixer: Five one type of Material

Free Development: Give 5 types of Material

Free Development 2: Give 20 types of Material

High Drive Recovery: Give 10 types of Material

Megalizer: Give 15 types of Material

Serenity Shard: Give a total amount of 50 or more Materials

Serenity Shard 2: Give a total amount of 100 or more Materials

Donald’s enemy items

Nobody Lance: Kill the flying Nobodies that carry spears until you get the Nobody Lance. This is best done in the Beast’s Castle.

Shaman’s Relic: Go to the Pride Lands, then go to Wildebeest Valley. Equip Lucky Lucky to all your party members, then kill the Shamans until you get the Shaman’s Relic.

Goofy’s enemy items

Akashic Record: Kill the book-wielding Heartless in Radiant Garden (Hollow Bastion) until you get the Akashic Record.

Heartless Shield: Go to Port Royal and kill all the enemies until you get the Heartless Shield.

Nobody Guard: Find and kill the Gambling Nobodies until you get the Nobody Guard. Note: This may take some time.

Authentic Review Of The Aero Guys Skill Stop Slot Machine

Poker games are becoming popular day by day among the people. Poker lovers should try several poker games to increase their poker related knowledge. Aero Guys Skill Stop Machine is one type of useful poker machine.

This slot machine has oodles of features to lure the customer. No installation is required since 110 volt is always ready in the machine. For that reason, players do not need to think on installation process and able to play the game with great deal of concentration.

This machine can be controlled and accessed by a single key located in the Aero Guys Skill Stop machine, while anybody are able to reset the whole game by turning a single key or switch whenever stuck with the operations. Company authorities have tried their best to design Aero Guys Skill Stop Machine so that it can be more showrooms specific and companies can be more profitable.

Company developers have installed custom-made labels in every machine. For this installation procedure, nowadays customers can easily increase or decrease the sound volume as well as locate the switch power in a short time.

While gamers are trying the game, they have to throw 1, 2, or maximum 3 coins. It is applicable for both older and newer machines. Players can get unlimited entertainment with the help of LCD screen, which is located in this particular slot machine. These machines are able to receive only token and cannot be changed to take coins.

Companies provide a strong cabinet with each Aero Guys Skill Stop Machine so that the machine can be protected from several scratches and accidental damages. These machines are inspired from Japanese casino machines especially Pachislo poker machines. “Pachislo” is one of the most popular poker machines of Japan.

These slot machines are almost similar like Pachislo. Animated display or video screens are located in the machine by which players can get to see the token numbers. If players think that Aero Guys Skill Stop Machine is unable to recreate the same casino environment in their house, they are mistaken.

These machines give complete casino atmosphere in the house so that players do not need to go outside the house. Besides, company authorities provide users manual and catalog with each slot machine by which players can acquire adequate knowledge on this game and machine operate system.

Even after reading the guideline, if players are not able to grab huge information on these slot machines, they do not need to worry. They provide toll free number for their customers. If novice players and customers have any queries in their mind, they can easily dial to the toll free numbers.

They do not have to pay the call charges. Customers can also E-mail to the company authorities. This machine can add oodles of glamour to customer’s home décor and known as a great entertainer. If readers are planning to buy the machine, they are taking right decisions.

Dragon Gal Skill Stop Machine – An Unbiased Review

Dragon Gal Skill Stop Machine is one type of Poker machine. Usually, people use try this game from house. The specialty of this game is that the players do not need to go outdoor to play this game. This slot machine is refurbished from factory and the main advantage of this type of slot machine is that no installation is required to start this game.

Users are not expected to face any kind of trouble while playing on this machine. Plugs of this slot machine can be easily put into the walls of the house. Before starting the game with the help of Dragon Gal Skill Stop Machine, it is necessary for players to understand every detailed about this game and each function of this particular machine..

This machine provides the users various automatic key functions. Users can change the odds to press reset or key button. The entire necessary operating manual is offered along with steady technical support. This machine is user-friendly, although sometimes, users getting into trouble due to insufficient knowledge and function of the machine. They do not need to worry, since companies also help their customers through telephone support.

During the game, players can easily increase or decrease the machine volume and locate reset button power. While starting this game, players have to use 1,2, or 3 coins at a time. However, contemporary Dragon Gal Skill Stop Machines are a little bit different from older machines. Players can put a maximum of 3 coins, but not more than that. It is because, the staking procedure of this newer machine is something different and it is unable to carry more than 3 coins due to its up-dated operating system.

Users have to put tokens only because these machines cannot be quickly able to divert so that it can easily accept coins. During manufacture procedure of this machine, developers always try to add something innovative, so that customers are attracted towards this machine and they eventually buy it. They provides video screens or animated display. Animation work of this machine is wonderful.

Apart from all the above facilities, users would get the advantage of using full sound and light during this game. Usually, casinos provide high quality light and sound system. However, the machine would let the palyers get the feel of casino sitting at their home. If it is impossible for novice players to understand the functioning of the machine quickly, machine authorities provide various catalogs and user guide for them.

The users do not need to worry even if the manual falls short fo clarifying things out. They also provide their customers toll-free numbers. Users can call these numbers and call the executives for free. Customer care always helps their clients by answering different types of queries. Besides, if there is any machine-related problem, users can call the company and company authorities change their products within 7 days.