The Best Texas Hold em Strategy: Taking Notes


One tool that is available to internet poker players that I think many people fail to take advantage of, is the ability to take notes on your opponent. In a live game, you have to remember how your opponents played certain cards in certain situations. If you don’t have a great memory for detail or if you are not paying attention, you will not get a great read on the other players at your table. By contrast, online poker gives you the opportunity to write things down and refer to them later, thereby sparing those without great memories. This is an excellent tool that you should be taking advantage of if you want to play your best poker.

Pretty much every poker site these days offers the ability to take notes, Full Tilt, PokerStars, Bodog, etc. Some are easier to use than others and some display the notes you have made in different ways. If you are not familiar with how to take notes on your chosen site, then you should make that a priority. It is usually the matter of a right click on the players name whom you wish to make a note about (Full Tilt) or something to that effect. If you are having trouble figuring out how to do it, just search your site for a tutorial on this subject or if that fails to yield anything, just shoot them an email. Most of the bigger sites are very good at responding to questions from their players. Don’t feel like you are asking a stupid question, this is what site support is there for.

The important thing is, once you have made a note, there will be a display icon beside that player’s user name from now on. This is an incredibly handy feature because if that information is no help to you during the current tournament or cash game you are playing in, it may come in handy at a later date when you run up against this player again. Remember, poker is a game of incomplete information, so the more information you have, the better off you will be and the bigger advantage you will have over the other players at your table.

So, what do you write in your notes? Well, I will put down anything I can think of that may be of interest either now or later. Obviously whether or not some guy is a jerk is not real relevant, but, betting patterns, how they play certain card combinations, (when they have had to show a hand) whether they seem to call too much, if they tend to fold to re-raises, if they will make position plays, anything that may be relevant. Even if it seems like a small detail now, if could become more important later.

Does a player call too much? What kind of pre-flop raises do they make? Do they over-bet strong hands? Do they tend to try and trap with big hands? The best time to make notes is during hands you are not involved in. You can then give your undivided attention to watching the action around you and getting a leg up on everyone else.

Again, this is a chance to have a greater amount of information than your opponents do, don’t miss out on the opportunity to better your game. You will become a more effective player immediately and it could even save you at a later date, to already know the tendencies of a certain player.

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