5 Advanced Texas Hold'em Tips for Beginners (2024)

5 Advanced Texas Hold'em Tips for Beginners

This article was written by blackrain79.com contributor Fran Ferlan.

If you want to quickly improve your poker game, there’s plenty of material available these days.

However, most of the tips you’ll find online these days are either too basic, or way too technical and complicated to be useful.

So if you've already have mastered the basic poker fundamentals, finding the advanced stuff can often be a challenge.

In this article, you will find 5 advanced poker tips for players who have learned the basics, but want to take their game to the next level.

There’s a lot to cover in this one, so let’s get right into it!

1. Steal More Blinds For Easy Profit

One of the easiest ways to quickly boost your winrate is to steal more blinds. In no-limit hold’em, you won’t always get the luxury of having a strong starting hand. 

This means you need to find ways to win the pot even when the cards aren't falling your way.

And one of the best ways to do so is learn how to steal the blinds effectively.

At its core, poker is all about blinds stealing. 

Without the blinds, the players would simply fold all their hands until they get dealt a premium hand. The blinds stimulate the action, and give players something to fight for.

Blind stealing means open-raising from the late position (meaning the cutoff, the button, or the small blind) with the intention of getting your opponents to fold and taking down the pot preflop.

One of the cornerstones of a successful tight and aggressive (TAG) strategy is only playing strong hands, and playing most of them in position.

This means that you can play more hands in later position, and less hands in earlier position.

That’s because you will often have a positional advantage post flop, so you can profitably play more hands.

When you are playing on the button in particular, you will ALWAYS play in position post flop. This is why the button will be your most profitable position by far. 

Chances are, you’d be surprised by how much more you earn on the button compared to other table positions.

So how do you go about stealing more blinds?

You simply open-raise more hands in the late position.

This includes a lot of “mediocre” hands you probably couldn’t open-raise profitably from earlier table positions.

Remember, the goal of the blind stealing is to get your opponent to fold and to win the pot outright, so your hand strength is often irrelevant.

When blind stealing, your table position, as well as the playing tendencies of your opponents often matter more than your hole cards.

A lot of players, especially at the lower stakes, don’t defend their blinds nearly as often as they should.

For example, it’s not uncommon to find players that fold 8, or even 9 times out of 10 to blind stealing attempts.

Against these players, your hand strength is practically irrelevant. If someone is expected to fold 9 out of 10 times, you can attempt to steal their blinds with two napkins in your hand.

Take this with a grain of salt, of course. You don’t want to open-raise totally unplayable junk hands like 94s or J3o.

But you can still open-raise quite a wide range, especially if you’re playing on the button.

Example hands you can blind steal with:




These hands can spell trouble for you if you flat call with them preflop. But if you are open-raising in position, it’s an entirely different story.

That’s because you have other factors working in your favour, namely your position and the initiative (provided your opponents don’t 3-bet you).

A 3-bet preflop is a re-raise against another player’s open-raise.

If you encounter a 3-bet when you’re blinds stealing, you should just fold most of the time, since a lot of hands you’ll be stealing with can’t stand the pressure of a 3-bet.

So if your opponents are aggressive 3-bettors, you should be more selective with your blind stealing attempts.

The best targets for blind stealing are tight and passive opponents who won’t be putting up much of a fight.

I discuss this in much more detail in my latest video featuring the bluffing technique that has skyrocketed my profits lately.

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2. 3-Bet Bluff Against Stealing Attempts

You won’t always have the luxury of playing in position. 

Playing out of position will put you at a disadvantage throughout the hand, but it doesn’t mean you should avoid playing out of position altogether.

For example, if you constantly fold when you are playing in the blinds, more observant players will notice it and start stealing your blinds with impunity.

This means you need to occasionally defend your blinds so you let them know that you won’t just roll over, and they’ll have to think twice before stealing your blinds.

One of the best ways to do this is to add light 3-bet to your arsenal.

A light 3-bet (or a 3-bet bluff) is a re-raise against another player’s open raise made with the intention of getting the open-raiser to fold.

This is different from a value 3-bet when you are betting with the intention of getting action from weaker hands.

So the goal of a light 3-bet is to get your opponents to fold and win the pot outright.

5 Advanced Texas Hold'em Tips for Beginners

This can be a very effective strategy for multiple reasons.

As mentioned, decent tight and aggressive players will play a lot more hands from late positions as opposed to earlier positions.

This means that they’re open-raising range from later positions will be quite weaker than their open-raising range from earlier positions.

And a lot of the hands in that range can’t stand the pressure of a 3-bet.

So if you see a player that’s incessantly trying to steal your blinds, you can play right back at them with a 3-bet.

More often than not, this will be enough to dissuade them from trying to steal your blinds with impunity.

You’re letting them know that if they want to get involved in a pot with you, it’s going to cost them.

As for the starting hands you can light 3-bet with, you want to choose hands that have some sort of playability post flop in case your 3-bet bluff gets called.

Some hands you can 3-bet bluff with are suited Aces, suited Kings, and suited connectors.

These hands have decent playability post flop, and have the ability to make monster combinations, namely straights and flushes.

Suited Aces in particular are excellent light 3-betting candidates for a few reasons.

First of all, they have an insane nuts potential.

The nuts refers to the strongest hand possible combination on a given board. 

With suited Aces, you are always drawing to the strongest possible straight, which means you don’t have to worry about the reverse implied odds.

Implied odds refer to the amount of money you can potentially earn on future streets if your draw completes. 

Reverse implied odds refer to the amount of money you can lose if your draw completes, but your opponent ends up having an even stronger hand.

With other suited hands, there’s always a possibility of your opponent having a stronger flush than you, but suited Aces don’t have that problem.

Another reason suited Aces are great 3-bet bluffing hands is their blocker power.

A blocker is a card in your hand that reduces the number of strong combinations in your opponent's range, meaning it’s less likely for them to have a strong hand.

For example, if you hold an Ace, it’s less likely for your opponent to have a strong hand like pocket Aces, Ace-King, Ace-Queen and so on.

This means that your opponents are more likely to fold to your light 3-bet, which is actually your primary goal.

As for the 3-bet sizing to choose, this will depend largely on the type of your opponent you are up against, as well as the open-raise size.

But as a general rule, you should aim for a size that’s 4 times the open-raise size if you are playing out of position.

If you are playing in position, the standard 3-bet size is 3 times the size of the open-raise.

Check out my ultimate 3-betting guide for a much deeper dive on this by the way.

Advanced Texas Hold'em Example Hand #1

You are dealt A4 in the big blind. 

A tight and aggressive player open-raises to 2.5x from the CO (cutoff).

You: ???

You should 3-bet to 10x.

This is a textbook spot where you can attempt a light 3-bet and try to win the pot outright.

Your opponent is open-raising from the cutoff, and based on the player type, they’re likely to have quite a wide range here.

You have a great speculative hand that can make both the nuts flush and a straight. It also has blocker power, meaning it’s less likely for your opponent to have strong Ax hands in their range.

Since you are playing out of position, a good 3-bet size is 4 times the open-raise, so 10 BB total.

Even if your 3-bet gets called, you still have a ton of hand equity to fall back on post flop. 

You will have the initiative, so you can make a standard c-bet on most flops, be it for value of as a bluff.

The reason to choose a bigger bet size when playing out of position is to offset your opponent’s positional advantage. 

You are letting them know that if they want to play in position against you, they are going to have to pay a premium.

For more information about preflop bet sizing, check out my ultimate preflop guide.

3. Advanced Texas Hold'em Tip: Squeeze More Preflop

Another advanced Texas Holdem poker strategy you can add to your preflop arsenal is the squeeze.

A squeeze is a great way to make yourself more difficult to play against and pick up a few pots uncontested preflop.

A squeeze is a 3-bet preflop when there has been an open-raise and one or more callers before you.

If there has only been an open-raiser before you and you 3-bet, this would not be considered a squeeze.

In order for your 3-bet to be considered a squeeze, there has to be at least one caller of the open-raise.

It’s called a squeeze because:

A) your opponents are “squeezed” between two other players, which puts them at an awkward position and

B) you are trying to “squeeze out” the dead money preflop.

This means that the squeeze is essentially a light 3-bet, because you are trying to get your opponents to fold preflop.

Of course, you can 3-bet squeeze for value as well, if you happen to have a strong value hand.

But in this context, we’ll focus on squeezing as a bluff.

If you are trying to get your opponents to fold, you need to attack weak and loose ranges, and avoid 3-betting when your opponent’s ranges are stronger.

A squeeze is more complex than a standard 3-bet against an open-raiser, because now you have to consider both the open-raiser’s range, as well as the range of the players who flat call.

Since you need to attack weak ranges, it’s often a good idea to attempt a squeeze play from the blinds.

There are a few reasons for this.

Number one, your opponent’s ranges will be looser from the late positions at the table. 

For example, it’s better to attack an open-raise from the button than under the gun (the first table position) because the latter will have a much stronger range.

The same goes for the ranges of the preflop callers.

The second reason to squeeze from the blinds is because you’re getting a better price on a 3-bet, since you’ve already committed one big blind to the pot (or half if you’re playing in the small blind).

And finally, by 3-betting in the blinds, you’re offsetting your positional disadvantage. If you play out of position, it’s better to see the flop as a preflop aggressor, rather than the preflop caller.

Advanced Texas Hold'em Example Hand #2

You are dealt KT in the BB. 

A tight and aggressive player open-raises to 2.5x from the BU (button).

A recreational player calls from the SB (small blind).

You: ???

You should 3-bet squeeze to 10 BB.

This is a good spot for a 3-bet squeeze. 

In this spot, the open-raiser’s range is likely to be quite wide, and a lot of the hands in this range won’t stand the pressure of a 3-bet.

You also have a direct position on the recreational player in the small blind. If the open-raiser folds and the small blind calls, you will play a heads-up pot in position with a recreational player.

Playing against a single opponent (preferably a fish) in position as the preflop aggressor is just about the most profitable money-making spot in no-limit hold’em, period.

As for the 3-bet size, going for 4 times the open-raise size should do the trick. 

By making a bigger 3-bet, you’re offsetting your positional disadvantage and make it more cost prohibitive for the open-raiser to get involved in the pot with you.

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4. Advanced Texas Holdem Strategy: Master the Light C-Bet

We’ve already discussed why being the preflop aggressor is more profitable than being the preflop caller.

One of the reasons for this is that you have the opportunity to make a continuation bet on the flop (or a c-bet for short).

C-bets are usually profitable, and you should be inclined to make a c-bet on most flops unless there’s a good reason not to.

If you have a strong value hand on the flop, you can continue the aggression and keep building up the pot while your hand is ahead of your opponent’s range.

However, you won’t have a made hand on the flop most of the time.

In no-limit hold’em, hands miss the flop completely two out of three times.

This means you won’t be able to bet for value on most flops.

However, this doesn’t mean you should skip the flop c-bet altogether.

Enter the light c-bet.

A light c-bet is a c-bet made with the intention of getting your opponents to fold.

This is the opposite of a value c-bet where your goal is to get called by weaker hands.

Since strong value hands are hard to come by in no-limit hold’em, knowing when and how to fire a light c-bet is absolutely crucial for your long term success in this game.

Studying the c-bet is important because these situations come around fairly frequently.

As a general rule, you should make a c-bet on the flop unless there’s a specific reason not to.

Even if you don’t have a strong hand on the flop, a c-bet can still be profitable because you have the range advantage.

A preflop aggressor has the range advantage, meaning they theoretically have more strong hands in their range than the preflop caller.

In other words, the preflop aggressor’s range is uncapped, whereas the preflop caller’s range is capped, meaning there’s an upper limit of their potential hand strength.

For example, if you open-raise and your opponent flat calls preflop, their range is capped, because they would have made a 3-bet if they had strong hands like pocket Aces, pocket Kings, Ace-King and so on.

On the other hand, your range is uncapped, so you can theoretically have all of these strong hands in your range.

Having the range advantage means you can credibly represent strong hands on the flop, which makes it more likely for your opponent to fold to your c-bet if they don’t have a strong hand themselves.

For example:

If you open-raise preflop, and you get called by one player, and the flop is:


This board favours your perceived range more than your opponents’. Remember, your opponent is unlikely to have strong hands like Ace-King or Ace-Queen because their range is capped.

So even if you have a weak or mediocre hand on this flop, you can still make a light c-bet and get your opponent to fold fairly frequently.

Advanced Texas Hold'em Example Hand #3

You are dealt AQin the CO (cutoff). 

You open-raise to 3 BB.

Villain calls from the SB (small blind).

Pot: 7 BB

Flop: J52

Villain checks. 

You: ???

You should c-bet 3.5 BB.

In this spot, a c-bet is all but mandatory. You missed the flop, but you can still make a c-bet with a fairly high frequency.

First of all, the board is fairly dry, meaning your opponent could have missed the flop just as easily as you.

Secondly, you will have plenty of equity even if you get called. You still have two overcards, as well as a backdoor straight draw.

A backdoor draw means you need both turn AND river cards to improve your hand.

You’re also playing in position, so you’ll be able to keep applying the pressure on your opponent on future streets, regardless of whether or not your hand actually improves.

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5. Float More in Position

Another advanced strategy you can easily incorporate in your arsenal is floating in position.

Floating in position means calling a bet with a mediocre or weak hand with the intention of taking down the flop on future streets, usually with a bluff.

For example, you call a flop c-bet, then bet the turn when your opponent checks to you.

The idea is that your opponent will basically give up their hand on later streets, which you can exploit by firing back a simple bet at them when they show a sign of weakness like checking.

Most decent players already know that you should fire a flop c-bet with a fairly high frequency, but a great number of players don’t follow through with their aggression on future streets.

In other words, a lot of players will simply give up their hand on the turn if they don’t have a strong hand by then.

And since it’s actually quite hard to make a strong hand in no-limit hold’em, it’s often the case that a player won’t fire a second barrel on the turn and simply give up the hand.

If you bet the turn after you’ve made a flop c-bet, this is known as a double barrel. 

Check out my article on everything you need to know about double barreling for more info.

Floating can be a very effective strategy, but it doesn’t mean you should just call the flop c-bet with just about any hand in hopes of taking down the pot on later streets.

5 Advanced Texas Hold'em Tips for Beginners

You should only do so if it’s reasonable to assume that your opponent is likely to give up the hand at some point.

If your opponent is very aggressive and is likely to keep barreling on the turn and river, floating won’t be as effective.

So you want to be on the lookout for players who tend to be “turn honest”.

A turn honest player is a player that plays the turn fairly straightforwardly, meaning they only bet the turn if they have a strong hand.

If you’re using a hand tracking software like PokerTracker 4, you can identify these players by checking their flop and turn c-betting frequencies.

If you see a large gap between their flop c-bet and turn c-bet percentage, that player is likely turn honest.

You should look for a gap that’s bigger than 20% over a significant sample size.

For example, if a player c-bets the flop 60% of the time, but c-bets the turn only 40% of the time, they’re likely playing the turn in a straightforward manner.

It’s worth noting, however, that it takes a decent sample size of hands for these stats to be reliable, so you shouldn’t jump to any conclusions until you have a decent enough sample size.

For a turn c-bet stat to be reliable, you would need a sample size of 500 hands at the bare minimum.

Also, the players who c-bet the flop more frequently will have more opportunities to c-bet the turn as well. 

Conversely, a player who doesn’t c-bet as often won’t have as many opportunities for a turn c-bet, so this is also something worth considering.

As for the hands you should float with, you should select hands that have at least some sort of equity to fall back on.

This way, you’re giving yourself more than one way to win the hand. You can either take down the pot with a bluff, or you can get lucky and improve your hand on future streets.

Of course, if you have a ton of equity and/or a strong made or drawing hand, you can raise the flop instead of just flat calling.

As a general rule, the stronger your draw, the more aggressively you can play it.

Advanced Texas Hold'em Example Hand #4

You are dealt 76 on the BU (button). 

A tight and aggressive player open-raises to 3x from the CO (cutoff).

You call.

Pot: 7.5 BB

Flop: K93

Villain bets 3.5 BB.

You: ???

You should call.

This is a great spot for a float. Your hand strength isn’t great, but other factors are working in your favour so you don’t necessarily need to give up the hand right away.

Let’s break down the action street by street.

Preflop you have a standard with a decent speculative hand. You are playing on the button, so you will play the rest of the hand in position, which is always great for your expected value (or EV for short).

Your opponent open-raises from the cutoff. 

Based on the player type, they aren’t likely to open-raise any nonsense hands, but their range is relatively loose since they are open-raising from the late position.

The flop isn’t anything to get too excited about, but it doesn’t mean you should give up the hand altogether.

The board texture is fairly dry, so your opponent could have missed the flop just as easily as you. 

They fire a standard c-bet, but if they check to you on the turn, you can try to take down the pot with a simple half-pot bet.

In this case, your hand strength (or lack thereof) isn’t important. 

You are exploiting a potential weakness in your opponent’s game, so your hand strength isn’t your primary concern.

Speaking of your hand strength, you are not drawing completely dead. You have a backdoor flush and straight draw, so a lot of turn cards can improve your hand equity.

5 Advanced Texas Hold'em Tips for Beginners - Summary

To sum up, here are 5 advanced poker tips to quickly take your game to the next level.

1. Steal more blinds

Stealing blinds is one of the easiest ways to quickly improve your winrate. You can do it by simply open-raising more hands in later positions (namely the cutoff and the button). 

When you’re stealing the blinds, your hand strength is not as important as the playing tendencies of the players in the blinds. 

If the players give up their blinds with a high frequency, you can steal their blinds with two napkins in your hand.

2. 3-bet bluff

Another way to quickly boost your winrate is to play back at players who steal your own blinds too often. 

Most hands in the blind stealing range can’t stand the pressure of a 3-bet, so you easily pick up a few pots preflop by light 3-betting against stealing attempts.

3. Squeeze preflop

A squeeze is a variation of a 3-bet where there are one or more callers of the open-raise. 

It’s a very effective play especially against loose and weak ranges, and it’s a great way to make yourself more difficult to play against.

4. Master the light c-bet

You won’t have a strong made hand on the flop most of the time, so mastering a light c-bet is crucial for your long term profitability. 

C-bets are usually profitable, and you should be inclined to make one unless there’s a good reason not to.

5. Float in position

Floating is a great way to pick up a few pots even without a particularly strong hand. When your opponent fails to make a turn or river c-bet, it’s often a good sign they’re ready to give up the hand.

When your opponents checks to you, you can often take down the pot with a simple half-pot bet.

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Advanced Texas Hold'em Tips for Beginners