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There are many factors that a Texas Holdem player must learn to consider pre flop. These factors include the size of the table, the aggressiveness of your opponents, your chip stack, and your position at the table. First of all, look around and take a quick assessment of how many people there are at the table. If it’s a full-table with close to 10 players, it is likely that one of them has a strong pre flop hand. At smaller handed tables, the likelihood that a strong hand has been dealt is less. At bigger tables, there is also more of a chance that someone’s pre flop hand will make a stronger hand once the flop is dealt. Where there is more competition, there is also stiffer competition.

Pre Flop Tactics

After a few hands with players, you should be able to tell which ones are aggressive players. If you’ve observed that an opponent is raising pre flop on every hand, you’ll have to tighten up your own pre flop game. Just sit back, let him take the blinds, and take them back when you’ve got a strong hand pre flop.

You should also pay some attention to your bankroll, not too much though because that can be harmful to your game, psychologically. Don’t count it, just check it. If you are short stacked, you should play very carefully, selecting one hand to play, and hoping that as many players as possible will take the bait, resulting in a larger pot. Then, go all-in pre flop. If you are holding a larger chip stack, it’s okay to take the bigger risks and bet larger amounts that will yield bigger payouts.

Position and Bets

Also, your position at the table matters. If you are in late position, you will have more influence on pot size, more so than if you were in early position, and this is even more accurate pre flop. By the way, early position is the three seats left of the big blind. Middle position is the next three players, and late position is the remaining players.

Obviously, your hole hands will also play a big part in what move to make pre flop. A pair of Aces is your best bet, but you won’t get that hand every time, so suited or connected cards would be a better hand to bet on. Pre flop calculating is a skill that will take hundreds of played hands to get the knack for, but the point is to determine how well your hand will rank against your opponents possible hands. Pre flop hand calculators are one way to speed up your understanding of pre flop odds.

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