Texas Hold Em is the game these days, it’s played on all those TV poker shows, in the big tournaments like the World Series of Poker, online and in the casinos. It’s even being played in European and Asian casinos where poker was unheard of less than a decade ago.

The key to winning or at least surviving at Texas Hold Em is to learn a few of the basic strategies used in the game. The best way obviously to learn these strategies is to play a lot of Texas Hold Em. Understanding these strategies can help you stay alive in Hold Em games and set you on the road to victory.

The first and most important skill anyone who wants to win at Texas Hold Em needs to master is the art of taking your time. This means to go slow, don’t bet on every hand, don’t go for broke every time you have a good hand. Instead, sit back and watch the table, watch the cards and most of all watch the other players.

The great poker players of the past became great because they learned how to read other players. To spot patterns of behavior, they learned how to do this by observing the game. By sitting back and watching and only playing aggressively when they had a good hand to back up their bluffs.

Folding and sitting out a hand is the best way to observe your opponents and their behavior. You get a ringside seat to their action, and a chance to watch and to learn about them. Sitting out a number of hands will enable you to take measure of the other players so you’ll know them when you make your move.

The best poker player in the world can’t do a thing if s/he doesn’t have any money to bet with. This means that you should watch your money like a hawk. Keep careful tabs on your chips and count them regularly. Only bet aggressively when you have a lot of money to loose.

Don’t be afraid to fold, no amount of skill or ability at bluffing can make up for a bad or weak hand. If your hand is bad, don’t be afraid to fold. Remember, a new hand is going to be dealt in a few minutes and there are always plenty of other poker games starting.

Finally, watch out for crooked games, if you think something’s fishy or somebody’s winning too much, drop out of that game and find another one. There are lots of crooks and card cheats out there and they’re counting on you to stay in the game so they can get your money.