How many times have you played Texas Hold’em online only to come in just under the money? Are you playing for fun or to make money? Usually it’s both, but the fun can get sucked right out of the game if you never end up in the money. “Double or Nothing” tables have changed the way you play Texas Hold’em online. You no longer have to come in first or second to walk away with more money than you sat down with. At a Double or Nothing table five out of the ten players will come in “first” and double their buy-in.
Since the object at a double or nothing table is not so much how to play your cards, but more of money management, I won’t go into how to play any particular hand. Instead I’ll concentrate on how to handle your betting. You don’t need to come in first to win at this table, you just need to stay in the game. It becomes more important to stay ahead of the blinds and antes and stay out of trouble than it is to get the best hand. You have to keep your ego in check and be prepared to fold a hand you might be tempted to play at a standard cash game or in a tournament.
First, let’s look at the round of betting before the flop. If you are in an early position it’s best to fold a hand, even if you think it’s playable. In later positions how you bet will depend on what happens in front of you. If someone bets ahead of you and you have a good hand, just call them, as long as it’s not more than three times the big blind. Someone has already decided they have a hand that’s good enough to play and you want to get into the hand as cheaply as possible.
Second, if no one has bet before you, bet three times the big blind. Chances are everyone behind you will fold or simply call. Never just call the big blind and let him get into the hand by checking. Force him to make a decision. The big blind probably won’t have a hand and will fold to your bet. This is especially important if you are the small blind. If you just call the big blind you are letting him play for free and possibly hit on the flop.
After the flop, keep pushing. Make everyone think that your great hand before the flop just turned into a monster. If they didn’t hit on the flop, they will give it up to you, but if you slow down they might stay in with a draw. Don’t give them the opportunity to get any free cards.
The most important thing to remember at a double or nothing table is that you just need to stay in the game and not to take any unnecessary chances. Get into the hand as cheaply as you can and then get aggressive. You don’t have to win any big pots or take anyone else out yourself. Just stay in the game and let the other players take the risks to push people out of the game.