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The five decision factors during the course of a poker hand
Poker is a game of skill, with many card games you rely totally on the luck of the draw, find out all you need to know about the poker game

Poker Rule Variations

Your cards
-Betting in poker means you wager that, at showdown,your hand will be ranked the highest. Unless you believe that to be alikely possibility, you should not bet. Statistically, in a ten-handedgame, you will only have the highest hand 10% of the time. Knowingwhen it is your time to have the best hand is of course the difficulty.When you have a strong hand, bet aggressively and force theother players to chase you. It is rarely correct to slow-play; that is,not bet a strong hand. If you don’t have a strong hand, fold. In poker,money saved is the same as money won, and staying out of the 90%of the hands you are destined to lose is as important as being in thehands you win.

Your position
- is an extremely important factor in Hold’em since it isa fixed-position game. When you are in an early position (close tothe blind) you have no way of knowing how large the pot will be atthe end of a betting round, and how many players will be contestingit. To compensate for this disadvantage, you need to play strongercards than you would from later positions.

The number of players
- contesting a pot determines the kinds ofhands that are playable. The irony is that you can play weaker startingcards when many players contest the pot, but you must have astronger final hand at showdown. A high pair is a strong favorite towin against one or two opponents, but if ten players enter the hand,someone is likely to beat a high pair with a flush or a straight. Conversely,drawing hands (weak initial cards that may give you a flushor straight) are playable agairist a large field since the final pot willbe large, but drawing hands are seldom worth playing for small potsagainst one or two players.

Pot odds
- are the costs of staying in the hand compared to the potsize. In each betting round, you decide if the amount of money it willcost you to finish the round is worth the size of the pot being contested.The cost to play can range from nothing (if everyone checks)to three large bets (if there is a lot of raising late in the game). Likeany sound investment decision, riskier plays must have greater rewardsfor success.

Opponents’ playing styles
-During the hands that you don’t enter,observe the playing style of each player and of the group as a whole.Does a certain player only bet when he has good cards or does he betwith anything? Does a player buy-in for a small amount of moneyand carefully guard it, or does she buy new chips from the dealerfrequently? For the table as a whole, are showdowns frequent or rare?A big mistake beginning poker players make is playing only theircards and not considering how other people are playing theirs. Youropponents’ actions are a source of information that must be used.

Over the course of a hand, some of these factors become moreimportant than others. Early in the hand, your position, the initialstrength of your cards and the potential number of opposing playersare the most important factors. Later in the hand, pot odds and theplaying styles of the remaining players are more important. Whatfollows is a detailed discussion of these five factors.

Remember to pay attention to these factors and you will win more them you will loose!

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