Debunking 7 Common Myths About Texas Hold’em

By in Poker on
7 Minute Read

Texas Hold’em is among the most popular casino games in the world and regarded as the most well-known variation of poker. That popularity is due to the game’s simplicity, unpredictability, and sheer entertainment value.

As is the case with most casino games, myths about Hold’em are rampant and spread like wildfire. Many misconceptions relate to how the game’s supposed to be played and what it takes to be a smart player.

These misconceptions tend to influence newer players who don’t know better. Unfortunately, they can be disastrous to their formative experiences and early playing days.

If these pieces of fiction transform into fact, they can lead to poor gambling habits that are hard to break.

For this reason, it’s best to dispel any fallacies associated with the game of Texas Hold’em. Here are seven common myths about Texas Hold’em that desperately need to be debunked.

1 ‒ You Need Deep Pockets to Play

The conversation about how much money someone should gamble with is tired and infuriating.

Some people opt to approach this concept with a pretentious and flippant mindset. In their minds, if a gambler isn’t gambling with the high rollers, there’s little point in playing.

The fact remains that there isn’t a correct amount of money someone should set aside for gambling.

A bankroll can be as large or small as you want it to be. As long as you’re comfortable with the amount in question, no one has the right to dismiss your gambling aspirations.

Sure, you might happen across some arrogant bettors along the way, but their criticism and opinions mean next to nothing.

For whatever reason, I’ve discovered this mindset is more common among poker players. It seems like every gambler has an opinion about their competitor’s bankrolls.

This might come from the idea that poker players should always buy in for the table max. While that is a true statement, it doesn’t specify how much the maximum amount is.

2 ‒ You Shouldn’t Show Emotion at the Table

Players who lack experience can tend to emulate individual poker players and model their game after theirs.

A steely demeanor, unflappable disposition, and complete emotional stasis make for a paradigm of a poker player in their eyes. That idea is often reinforced by the types of personalities seen at the final table of many high-profile poker tournaments.

While it’s always best to keep your emotions in check, the idea that you have to maintain complete emotional balance isn’t accurate.

Texas Hold'em

Masking emotions might be an effective tactic for some players. Often, those players have personalities that fit that style of play. They are even-keeled, introverted, and even sullen to anyone who doesn’t truly know them.

But maintaining complete emotional composure can be challenging if it’s a break from your normal state of being. Someone bubbly and sociable will likely find it next to impossible to keep a straight face the entire game.

Other players might pick up on this and even exploit noticeable cracks in your composure and style of play. If being stoic at the table is a challenge, it’s not ideal to attempt to force that tactic into your arsenal.

3 ‒ Avoid Letting Competitors Buy the Pot

Sometimes, winning a hand of poker can come down to which player possesses more bravado—at least that’s what it might seem like at the moment.

Certain situations that occur at a poker table can be contentious. When two players remain in a hand, and both could be classified as bold, even cocky, the pot can grow exponentially.

What goes into these types of hands is simple to explain and hard to look away from. In some sense, it’s just a very expensive game of chicken where both players are attempting to impose their will.

At some point, it might not even matter if their hand is all that good; it’s a question of pride more than anything.

Certain parts of the world glamorize this style of poker play. They’re convinced it’s better to display an alpha’s energy than that of a submissive, conservative player.

This mindset and playing style aren’t ones that will lead to success. It might work for specific players, but the likelihood of it working for you is slim.

Some situations indeed call for you to stand your ground and not let other players buy the pot. But if you’re playing next to other decent gamblers, this ploy of hyper-aggression will ultimately be ineffective.

4 ‒ You Should Make Quick Work of Novices

Some people believe that playing Hold’em with beginners is as easy as shooting fish in a barrel.

Once a fellow player’s inexperience is exposed, many gamblers think it’s appropriate to go in for the kill and snag their bankroll. Pulling off this maneuver in one fell swoop is much more demanding than you might think.

Texas Hold’em is a game that demands skill from its top players. But like many other forms of gambling, the results are heavily influenced by luck.

Some days, the most skilled player at a table will fall to the least experienced who is on the receiving end of good fortune. Due to the game’s unpredictability, dispatching a beginner all at once isn’t a wise decision.

Even if a player of a higher caliber is convinced their hand is superior, one card could be the difference between a massive swing in your bankroll.

Instead of being overly aggressive, taking down a competitor should be done over time to avoid disastrous outcomes.

5 ‒ Only Foolish Players Bluff

Bluffing can be an effective strategy for skilled players who know how and when to execute a bluff.

But the practice has a bad reputation because it’s obvious when bad players attempt to do it. Additionally, if someone calls a bluff, it can lead to an early departure from the table.

Playing Poker

I advise beginners to avoid bluffing when they’re first starting to play Hold’em. Relying on bluffs to win isn’t a long-term solution to cover up players’ gaps in their game.

Once the level of competition is raised, better players will likely catch on to the ploy. After advancing past the beginner stage of a gambling career, it’s worth working bluffing into a repertoire.

In my opinion, the best way to get good at bluffing is to test out your skills during games with low stakes. It’s not advisable to risk a significant amount of money on moves you’re not comfortable executing.

6 ‒ Aggressive Play Is Always Preferable to Passive Play

There are several different strategic approaches to Texas Hold’em, with varying rates of success.

Most poker players’ style of play falls into one of two categories: aggressive and passive. The categories are self-explanatory, and each one can be an effective way to manage a game of Hold’em.

Aggressive players are typically held in high regard, while passive players are not. However, some players can masterfully execute a passive strategic approach to the game.

While it’s hard to argue against the benefits of playing tight-aggressive, promoting it as the only viable option is unnecessary.

During a gambler’s development, it’s challenging to assert dominance at a table. One misstep can ruin your credibility and make any future power plays seem less threatening.

The most effective method is one that you can execute with some degree of success.

7 ‒ Hold’em Will Eat Beginners Alive

There’s a long-standing misconception that poker tables are no place for beginners. This proliferation of this idea is likely due to several reasons:

  • Poker can be challenging for novices.
  • Playing against other gamblers instead of the casino can be daunting.
  • Poker rooms in casinos exude a vibe of exclusivity.
  • Some Hold’em players aren’t open to playing with beginners.
  • Table etiquette and game play is more technical or subjective than other games.

Deciding to avoid playing Hold’em for any of the reasons listed above isn’t necessary. But there are ways you can make the process easier for yourself and others.

When learning how to play the game, consult the internet and any competent players you know. Before putting money on any games, play casual rounds with friends or practice with online Texas Hold’em.

By doing this, you’ll gain comfort at the table and get a feel for a typical game of Hold’em.


Hopefully, after reading this article, most of the common myths revolving around the game of Texas Hold’em have been put to rest.
Hold’em tables aren’t reserved for aggressive, emotionless players with deep pockets. Anyone can play with a style and strategy that suits their personality and works for them.

Skilled players should make a point to take advantage of lesser players, but be careful when attempting to dispatch a player in a timely manner.

Just because someone is inexperienced, it doesn’t mean that they will roll over. Additionally, a poker table is no place to be overconfident.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for since early 2016. ...

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