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Why is NLHE so difficult to crack for many?

No limit Texas Hold’em is one of the most difficult games to master for many novice and intermediate players for one very simple reason. This is essentially because hold’em is a two card game unlike the four that you have to work with in games like Omaha. So what are the ramifications of playing poker with only two starting cards in your hand? Well it is to do with the frequency of occasions where both you and your opponents hit the flop. In the games that I play in at 888poker.com then I see bluffs and re-bluffs all the time.

Essentially then this is because of the fact that in heads up pots especially that both you and your opponents both know and understand that the other player is not likely to have hit the flop or to have hit it hard. When you know the basic mathematics of hold’em and that an unpaired starting hand will only make a pair one time in three on average then the pot is often won by the player who shows the most aggression. So often then the best games to play in with regard to running multiple successful bluffs are games where your opponents have a fair level of poker knowledge but are not top players.

When you are running multiple barrel bluffs in poker then you essentially do not want two types of player opposing you. The first is the novice who tends to call down weakly either because they overvalue their hand or because they simply like being in action. I have seen many a player attempt this and lose their buy in when their opponent simply called them down and tilt soon followed in many instances.

However you don’t want a really sophisticated player on the other side of the fence either because sophisticated players will soon deduce that you are raising and then betting every street and that players who exhibit these betting patterns tend to only do so with polarised ranges. So these guys will call you down for two reasons, firstly because they have read your bluff and secondly because they have the adequate bankroll to do so.

Carl Sampson is an online poker player and poker ambassador for 888poker

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