Gus Hansen has had one of the best poker accounts ever. In his latest book, The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’Em, he has included a number of very useful poker principles you can use to improve your game, along with a few interesting stories about poker players past.
The first principle established in the book is to play aggressively. Gus makes a number of accusations against weak players, such as calling stations and playing too aggressively. bonus25k He likens this to a chess game: you’re not going to play well if you never rush your pieces forward. You must play a decent number of starting hands, and you must mix your play up. In poker, players tend to give away information about their hands by playing too aggressively.
The second principle established in The Illustrated Guide to Texas Hold’Em is to pick your starting hands carefully. You want to pick hands that will increase your chances of winning, rather than hands that will leave you with a lot of trouble. The guide suggests nine different types of starting hands. Hand selection is very important, because good starting hands can make or break a game.
Hand selection is a subject that is easy to get lost in. That’s because of the number of possible combinations that can occur in a given hand. You have to remember that the combinations are unlikely to be completely random, and random hands usually don’t come in sequences. There are just too many factors to consider, and too many chances for something to go wrong.
When you’re playing Texas Hold’Em, you want to concentrate on the other players, the cards on the table, and the cards in your hand. bonus25k The guide suggests nine different types of thinking in picking your starting hands. Some things to consider are hands that are soft, like two-pair or better, or medium pairs like nine, eight, seven, six, or five-pair. These hands are best if you stay in the game, because they offer a good probability of winning.
The guide also recommends that you stay in the game when you have middle or bottom pair, or an ace-King combination. Bottom pair is a bad idea, because your set is so low and there’s too much chance that someone else could have a better set. Middle pair is also risky, because if you’re not in the hand, someone else probably has a better set. And ace-King is the best hand you can have, because it’s the highest pair and you can count on your set to hold up.
Gus Hansen is an interesting character. He’s very much into the psychology of poker and he’ll analyze opponents and their hand histories and make interesting observations. You’ll come to expect some rather biting comments in your poker playing from Gus Hansen as well. Probably the one rule in poker that Gus never breaks is that he doesn’t like to admit a mistake or take responsibility for his mistakes. That’s good advice for your poker game, nonetheless.
The Illustrated guide to Texas Hold’Em is a fairly comprehensive guide about all aspects of poker, including strategy, rules, concepts, concepts for betting, and the art of folding. It’s also recommend that you get a copy of the guide if owning it will help you to improve your game more than anything else.