How to Win More Cash Playing Texas Holdem (7 Strategies)

texas holdem cash

Texas Holdem is one of the few games you can play in a casino where you have a legitimate chance to be a long-term winner. Instead of fighting the house edge like when you play blackjack, craps, or roulette, in Texas Holdem, you pay a fee called rake to the house.

This means that all you need to do to show a profit is play better than the other players at the table. And you don’t even need to play better than all of them.

Here’s a list of 7 ways to win more money at Texas Holdem. Each one will help you by itself, but if you can learn to use all of them together, you’ll be well on your way to playing winning Texas Holdem.

1 – Play Fewer Hands

The biggest leak in most Texas Holdem player’s game is they play too many hands.

Poker can be boring if you have a bad run of starting hands and fold hand after hand. But winning is better than losing and if you need to be bored to win it’s a small price to pay.

Too many poker players are action junkies and feel they have to play every other hand in order to create action. But the best players understand that if they enter the pot with a better hand on average than their opponents that they have a better chance to win.

The only way to know how many hands you play is to track it. Most players don’t have any idea of how many hands they play. So start keeping track of how many hands you play, including from the blinds.

It depends on the limits where you play, but many games have 35 to 40% of the players in each hand.

Most Texas Holdem players lose in the long run. When you combine this knowledge with the fact that most players play 35 to 40% of their hands, you can see why playing fewer hands is a good idea.

Winning Texas Holdem poker players play fewer hands on average than their opponents. This makes their average starting hand better than their opponents. Mathematically, if you start a hand with a better hand than your opponent you’re going to win more often than they win.

So how many hands should you play?

It depends on the competition and the limit, but a good number to shoot for is around 20%. In some games, you might need to play 15%, and in some, you might be able to play 25%.

I’ve already mentioned that the place to start is by tracking your play. You need to track how many hands you play, roughly how many your opponents play, and your results.

In most games, your goal should be to play fewer hands than your opponents. You may find yourself in a tight game occasionally where you need to play a few more hands, but these are rare.

Start playing fewer hands and you’ll start seeing an immediate improvement in your results.

2 – Play Against Bad Players

On the surface, this technique seems like common sense, but the truth is that only a small percentage of Texas Holdem players try to locate and play only against bad players.

If you only use one technique on this page, this is the most important one. If you simply play against bad Holdem players, you’ll immediately start winning more.

To illustrate this simple technique in another way, consider two different situations.

In the first situation, you’re playing a game of Texas Holdem against eight people who’ve never played before. They barely know the rules and all play poorly.

In the second situation, you’re playing against the eight best players in the world.

When you’re in the first situation, it’s easy to win. But it’s almost impossible in the second situation.

It might seem simple, but no one looks for the worst players. Most players jump at the first available seat and never think about the competition.

You should also realize that the casino or poker room isn’t the only place to play Texas Holdem. You can recruit players to a private game or look for opportunities to join a private game filled with bad players.

3 – Always Pay Attention

It’s easy to lose focus on the game, especially when you aren’t involved in the hand.

But if you always pay attention, you can learn how your opponents play and see the mistakes they make. You can use this information in future hand to maximize your wins and minimize your losses.

If you can determine which players chase long shot draws and won’t fold on the river you can manipulate situations to be more profitable.

As you track your play as I suggested in the first section, watch your opponents and figure out which one played too many hands. This will help you put them on a range of hands when you’re in a hand against them.

You also have a better chance to catch dealer mistakes and see if anyone is trying to cheat. This is particularly important in private games because there’s always a chance that one or more players are cheating by themselves or working together.

4 – Use Pot Odds

Pot odds are one of the things that sound scary about Texas Holdem. Many players are scared or resistant of math, so they don’t think they can learn how to compute and use pot odds.

But it’s easy to learn about pot odds, and once you do, it helps you figure out which hands to continue with and which hand needs to be folded.

The first thing you need to learn is about odds and how they’re computed and used in Texas Holdem.

The game uses a standard 52 card deck, so it makes it easy to figure out the odds of certain things happening.

Here’s an example:

If you have the ace of hearts, king of hearts, jack or hearts, and ten of hearts you know that the deck has only one card, the queen of hearts, which can complete a royal flush. If you’ve only seen the four cards you have the deck has 48 cards in it, and one of them is the queen of hearts.

This means that one out of 48 times from a shuffled deck you’ll get the queen of hearts for your next card.

Of course when you play Texas Holdem you get to see your hole cards and the cards that have been placed on the board in the community cards.

So let’s say your hole cards are the ace and king of hearts and the flop was the jack of hearts, ten of hearts and the six of diamonds. The turn was the two of clubs.

Now you know the value of six cards; your hole cards and the four community cards. This means the chances of the queen of hearts landing on the river are one out of 46 cards. In other words, if you played this exact same situation 46 times, one of those times you’ll get the queen of hearts on average.

This specific example doesn’t come up often in Texas Holdem, but it illustrates how you need to start looking at things when you play.

To continue with this example, you also know if any of the other three queens hits on the river you’ll have an ace-high straight. And you also know that if one of the other eight hearts lands on the river, you’ll have an ace high flush.

This means that you have 13 cards, the queen of hearts, any other queen, or any other heart, that will give you a winning or strong hand.

Realize that if the six of hearts or two of hearts hits on the river, it completes your flush, but it also pairs the board. Any time the board pairs there’s a chance someone has a full house, which beats your flush.

So now the chances of you improving on the river are 13 out of 46. These are the odds that you’re going to hit a card you need. It also means that 13 cards help you and 33 cards probably don’t.

You might have a small chance to win if the river is an ace, king, jack, or ten, but most of the time this won’t improve your hand enough to win.

You can use the same type of calculation to determine your chances to improve at any point in the hand.

Where this ties into pot odd is when you need to determine whether or not you should call a bet to see the rest of the hand. If the amount you need to call compared to the amount in the pot versus the odds of hitting your hand you should call. If it isn’t you should fold.

This is what pot odds mean.

Here’s an example:

Continuing with the previous example, you have 13 cards which you think will win the hand and 33 that probably won’t. The pot has $500 in it and your opponent bets $200. Should you call or fold?

The pot now has $700 in it, and you have to call $200. You need to compare this as a ratio against the ratio of your chances to win.

This is easy to do. Divide the number of cards that don’t help you by the number of cards that do. 33 divided by 13 is 2.54. Then divide the amount in the pot by the amount you need to call. 700 divided by 22 is 3.5.

If the pot ratio is higher than the chance of hitting your hand you should call. If it’s lower, you should fold.

In this case, the pot ration is 3.5, and the ratio of hitting your hand is 2.54, so a call is profitable in the long run.

You can see why this works by running the exact same situation 46 times. To make the call 46 times, your total investment is $9,200. The 33 times you don’t improve your hand you lose your money. But the 13 times that you improve you get back your $200 call and the $700 pot, for a total of $11,700.

$11,700 minus $9,200 is a profit of $2,500.

If you divide this by the 46 times you get an average or expected profit of $54.35 per hand. This means that every time you play this exact situation a call is worth $54.35.

It takes a little while to get used to determining pot odds on the fly, but the good news is you don’t have to determine them exactly to get a good idea of the correct play. You can also memorize common pot odd situations to help you play faster.

Here’s a table with odds for common situations.

Outs and exampleOn turnOn riverTurn and river combined
15 outs. Four to a flush and open end straight draw2.13 to 12.07 to 1.85 to 1
9 outs. Four to a flush draw4.22 to 14.11 to 11.86 to 1
8 outs. Open end straight draw4.88 to 14.75 to 12.17 to 1
4 outs. Inside straight draw10.75 to 110.5 to 15.06 to 1
3 outs. Hitting top pair14.67 to 114.33 to 17 to 1

5 – Use Positive Expectation and Expected Value

In the last section, I discussed pot odds and how to use them. In part of that I showed you how to determine how much a situation was worth per hand, or time you played it.

If you want to be a winning Texas Holdem player you need to find and create as many situations that have a positive expectation or positive expected value and avoid negative expectation situations.

At the heart of this is learning about pot odds, but not every situation at the Holdem table comes down to pot odds. But they all have either a negative or positive expectation.

Expectation starts with your starting hand. The reason you want to play fewer hands is that when you start with a better hand than your opponent you win more often than you lose. This is a positive expectation.

Here’s a list of example hands that have positive expectation:

Your starting handYour opponent’s starting hand
A 10K Q
9 95 5
A K suitedA K
10 99 8

It’s not always easy to determine if a situation has a positive or negative expectation, but as you gain experience and learn more about your opponents, you get better at figuring it out.

Expectation is a long-term situation, and in the short term, anything can happen. In the example, in the last section you win on average over $54 each time you play, but you still lose 33 out of 46 times.

If you enter the pot with20% of your hands and are playing against an opponent, who enters the pot with 35% of their hands over time you’re going to win more hands against them than they win. But sometimes they’ll still have a better starting hand than you.

6 – Use Your Position

Poor Texas Holdem players ignore their position relative to the dealer button and winning players are always aware of their position.

You should play most of your hands from late position and only your strongest starting hands from early position.

From late position, your opponents are forced to act before you, so you have more information when you have to play. The extra information even if it’s just the fact that they checked is valuable and helps you make better decisions.

When you play weak hands out of position, it costs you money in the long run. In other words, playing weak hands out of position is a negative expectation play.

I mentioned that the most important technique on this page was playing against bad players and using it alone will improve your results. Understanding and using position is the second most important tip on this page, yet it’s ignored by most players.

Don’t make the mistake of ignoring your position. Watch what the losing players do and then don’t do the same thing. They play too many hands, ignore position, and don’t try to play against bad players.

7 – Play Lower Limits

Would you rather win $30 per hour or $10 per hour?

The answer is $30 an hour, yet many decent Texas Holdem players are too proud or stubborn to let themselves win more. They think that just because they can beat a certain limit that they can’t play at a lower limit, even if it means they can win more.

This doesn’t make sense when you read it or think about it, but this is exactly what you do when you don’t consider how much you’re winning at your current limit and compare it to what you can win at a lower limit.

Here’s an example:

If you play 20 / 40 limit Texas Holdem and win $10 an hour you’re beating the game. But if you can win $20 an hour playing 10 / 20 you should play 10 / 20.

Track your play and your results and find the most profitable limit for your game. The lower limits usually have worse players, so it’s often more profitable to step down a limit.


Winning Texas Holdem is simple. Play fewer hands, play against bad opponents, use position, use pot odds, and use expectation and you’ll quickly start winning. The 7 ways to win more money at Texas Holdem on this page are all you need to be a winning player

Petko Stoyanov
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About Petko Stoyanov
My name is Petko Stoyanov, and I've been a gambling writer for more than ten years. I guess that was the natural path for me since I've loved soccer and card games for as long as I can remember! I have a long and fairly successful history with English Premier League betting and online poker, but I follow many other sports. I watch all big European soccer leagues, basketball, football, and tennis regularly, and I keep an eye on snooker, volleyball, and major UFC events.