playing poker

Not All forms of Poker Have Benefited Equally

While it is true that more people than ever are playing poker today, not all of the many forms of the game have benefited equally from its popularity explosion.   In fact, you could argue that poker’s growth has in reality been specific to only one form of the game- Texas hold’em*.

  Everyone seems to want to play hold’em today, whether it’s the no-limit version seen on television and played primarily in tournaments, or the limit version that constitutes most of the games in public cardrooms and on the Internet.  Even many “Saturday night” types of players, who for years have enjoyed their creative kitchen-table forms of poker, now are switching to hold’em.

The Golden Age of Hold’em

 This is truly the Golden Age of Hold’em.  If there is one form of poker to learn or to specialize in, it’s hold’em.  Not only will you find more games to choose from, but the players in these tend to be less knowledgeable and experienced than those in other forms of poker, like seven card stud.  Simply put, hold’em games should be easier to beat than other games just because that’s what everyone is playing.

  In poker, your results over time are based on the quality of your play relative to your opposition.  This explains why a player may be able to win at the games at a particular limit, but not at a higher limit – the quality of opposition tends to increase as you progress in limits (although this is not always true).  With the huge influx of new hold’em players, you will be playing against a large number of inexperienced, less-skilled players.  Thus, hold’em games often are very lucrative.
  Being capable of making money at hold’em assumes, of course, that you play better than your opponents.  Unfortunately, this won’t happen overnight, and although it is certainly possible to walk into a cardroom, sit right down, and win on your very first session, it’s just not very likely.  The large amount of short –term luck in poker makes it possible for anyone to be a winner on any particular day, but if you plan on playing more than once it’s not a bad idea to know what you’re doing.