ARTICLES 2 + 2

Getting into Small Stakes Online 6-max NLHE (nextgenneo)........................................3 My 5k post (fees)...........................................................................................................13 Basic theory – expected value (matrix).........................................................................27 A FRAMEWORK FOR POKER STUDY (learnedfromtv)..........................................31 What matters, What doesn't (cbloom)............................................................................36 6 Max fundamentals for SSNL players (Tien)...............................................................38 Tien's Article on Mentality, Image, and changing gears (Tien)....................................41 Almost there with Success and Failure (Gigabet)..........................................................44 Thoughts on Running bad for UNL guys (ssdex)..........................................................47 Do things for a reason (ofishstix)...................................................................................49 Evolving (MTG)............................................................................................................50 Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (AJFenix)......................................................52 How to use Poker Tracker (Pokey)................................................................................56 SOME THOUGHTS ON GAME SELECTION (fiksdal).............................................59 How to Put It All Together and be a Winning Player (MikeyPatriot)...........................62 Advice from a MHNL'er (whitelime’s).........................................................................64 UNL YOU ARE WEAK TIGHT (Pokey).....................................................................71 Working on your game (kom)........................................................................................74 The Basics: session review & " Deconstruction" (matrix)............................................77 THE EVOLUTION OF A POKER PLAYER (aejones)...............................................79 BETTING THE TURN vs BETTING THE RIVER (Reguin)......................................84 Crushing Short Stacks (Cry Me A River)......................................................................87 My Pooh-Bah post (C/R vs. b/3b) (Dan Bitel)..............................................................97 Small PP's - Moving beyond set mining (AZplaya)......................................................99 Where the !*$# is Valuetown?? (pokey).....................................................................101 Playing OOP (epdaws).................................................................................................118 LOOSE AGGRESSIVE PLAY (BalugaWhale)..........................................................122 You Should Open Limp......... (RichC.).......................................................................124 Suited Connectors, Implied Odds, and You (goofyballer)..........................................126 Reraised Blind Battles and Bluffing with Marginal Hands (sam h)............................130 3-betting light (Dan Bitel)............................................................................................134 Preflop 4betting (Theory) (tannenj).............................................................................137 Blind stealing (Pokey)..................................................................................................147 Taking stealing the blinds to next level (Dan Bitel)....................................................152 TILT and PSYCHOLOGY...........................................................................................154 The psychology of TILT (DaycareInferno).................................................................154 TILT and R.A.A. (Pjo336)...........................................................................................156 My Take On Tilt (beavens)..........................................................................................159 Variance, Tilt, Ego, and SSNL (lmw)..........................................................................162 EVERYTHING ABOUT CONTINUATION BET.....................................................164 Continuation betting – PART I (MYNAMEIZGREG)...............................................164 C-BETTING (The Machine)........................................................................................166 CONTINUATION BET ARTICLE (FreakDaddy).....................................................169 WHY AM-I C-BETTING AGAIN ? (biblio-san).......................................................173 Some thoughts on continuation bet sizing (Panthro)...................................................177 DOUBLE BARRELING (orange)...............................................................................184

GET IT IN (poincaraux)..............................................................................................186 PLAYING JUNK FROM LATE POSITION (tannenj)...............................................189 HAND RANGES, READS AND NOTES....................................................................201 READS (djoyce003)....................................................................................................201 HAND READING / BET SIZING (carnivalhobo)......................................................205 AN UNBELIEVABLY LONG GUIDE TO HAND READING (Pokey)...................209 Taking Notes & Making Reads Article (I) (FreakDaddy)...........................................217 Taking Notes & Making Reads Article (II) (FreakDaddy)..........................................227 HAND RANGES (Mercman572)................................................................................232 RANGES (supwithbates).............................................................................................234 The thought process during a hand (Nogastira) ......................................................................................................................................236 .....................................................................................................................................239 Profiling opponents using PAH (sh58)........................................................................240 SOME GOOD TO KNOW PAHUD STUFF (Nick Royale).......................................244 BLUFFING.....................................................................................................................248 Bluffing assay (ThePortuguee)....................................................................................248

Getting into Small Stakes Online 6-max NLHE (nextgenneo)
Disclaimer: This is something I wrote for a friend who wanted to get into poker and I’ve decided to share it with the general populous. This is designed for uNL 6max and a lot of the concepts may not apply to higher stakes games against opponents thinking on higher levels. There could be plain wrong information, in here so question everything, in turn you will gain better understandings of fundamentals and maybe even help me overlook something I've forgot. I am not claiming that preflop 6max is "chart based" or a few simple rules will make you a winning player but for someone starting out I think the concepts here are good starting points. Take everything in this for face value. Some of the stuff might be fairly trivial however it never hurts to think about fundamentals. I don't claim to be the best in the world but I know I am a proven winner at MSNL so that counts for something. I've worked up from $300 on $25NL so I've put my time in on lower stakes and no the grind it is, however it’s got to be done. Introduction When it comes to NLHE, this is the fundamental theory: You're opponent has a range of hands, some are better and some are worse. Your goal is to maximize your profit from the worst hands whilst minimizing your losses from better hands and so, make the most money against their range. As the hand goes on and more betting decisions have been made, your opponents range is narrowed so at no point in the hand do you have to "find out where you are". This is a common misconception. Consider a hand where you have 99 oop in a 3bet pot on an 8 high board (without the lead). If you c/r the flop to find out where you are, your average opponent will fold all the range you beat (over cards, small pairs) and stack off against the opponents range of QQAA. The fundamental theorem has been violated by trying to "find out where you are" on the flop. Instead if you check called and check/raised the turn all in this would allow an opponent to double barrel a hand such as AK, over commit with pairs or check behind giving us free information to narrow the opponents range and profit more. This is how you should be thinking during your hands. Do not allow your opponent to make easy and perfect decisions against your hand by playing it poorly. Also if you want to play poker for fun then enjoy it, try and improve; whatever. But if you want to move up and make serious money you need to approach it from a different angle. When you have a bad session, instead of thinking “oh crap I lost 6 buy ins from bad beats”, think “how could I have saved myself I buy in or two”, “how could I have made more money than I did on so and so hand” etc. Until you are the best player in the world and playing every hand perfectly there is always room for improvement. Take responsibility for your play, and stop using variance as a scape goat. Stats are very important but not the end all of being a winning player. TAG stats are at minimum 15/13/3 and can range all the way up to 25/20/4 where its vpip/pfr/af. Try and aim for 16/14/4. The spread is also really important and it is vital to have your pfr close

to your vpip whilst learning, so I suggest you play a mainly raise / fold strategy preflop. The better you get and the more comfortable you feel postflop, the more you can cold call preflop and this spread can get wider. Its also very important to not play too many tables whilst you learn. This is a mistake a lot of people make and even I still do sometimes. Playing loads of tables means you need to be comfortable making 95% of decisions with little thought (autopilot) so until you are really experienced this isn’t going to be the case. First bit of advice is to play no more than 4 tables until you are a solid winner. Post flop is going to be a lot about thinking during hands and will come from reading, thinking, watching videos and mostly experience. Learning is key to playing good poker, its a lot of work but the monetary reward later and satisfaction in being truly good at something is a reward in itself. I really hope you read this and take something out of it, I wish someone handed all of this to me on a platter when I was coming up!

Recommend Stats for HUD I definitely recommend playing with a HUD. The stats that are a MUST are preflop raise, vpip, number of hands. Aggression frequencies / factors. Fold / raise / call continuation bet. Attempt to steal blinds and fold SB/BB to steal. Preflop Chart First thing to do with preflop is a general hand chart. This is a style that was successful for me. You need to keep in mind preflop that different table conditions and your image on each table can vastly shift these ranges. As you gain a clear understanding of how these factors should change your ranges then you can move away from this rigid form of play. Raises should always be 4 x the big blind + 1 big blind for every limper e.g If two guys limp and you are on the button with AK in .05-.10c game you should make it .60c. Open raise the following hands (open raise means if no-one has raised or limped). These positions are dependent on how far from the button you are so if its less than six handed then change accordingly. Early Position UTG (3 from button) 22 + AJo + ATs – AKs TJs, QJs, KQs KQo, AKo 56s – T9s (consider raising from time to time, especially if there are weaker players in the blinds) UTG + 1 (2 from button) 22 + ATo + A2s + TJs, QJs, KQs, KJs QJo, KJo, KQo, AKo 56s – T9s (consider raising from time to time, especially if there are weaker players in the blinds) Late Position Something interesting from a theory perspective, if you look at the small blinds fold SB to steal stat and the big blinds fold BB to steal stat, if they multiply to be > 0.7 and you assume every time they don’t fold you never win the hand then theoretically you can

KJs. KQs. Q9s. KTs. KTs. KJo. K9s. 98s. QTs. KQo. AKo 56s – T9s Button The majority of your money comes from the button. T9s. TJs. KQo. QJs. AKo Big Blind when it folds around and someone completes (same as CO) 22 + A9o + A8s + T8s.7 number can be lowered further. 98s. If you consider you make money with these hands then this 0. KJs. K9s. QTo. QJo. QJs. Small blind when it folds to you (pretty much same as UTG+1) 22 + A8o + A2s + TJs. Q9s. AKo . KQs. KJo. 22+ Any Ax o / Ax s Kx suited Any suited connector 54s or better Any one gapper 68s or better Any two gapper T7s or better Any connector 89o or better J8s +. J9o+ Q8s +. CO (1 from button) 22 + A8o + A2s + T8s. QJo. KJo. 30-40% of my profits come from the button so you want to abuse it. QJs. KQo. KTo. Q9o+ K9o + Blinds This is the area I struggle with the most and when you’re starting out I recommend playing a very tight range in the blinds. QTo. QTs. KTo. J9s TJo. KJs QJo. T9s. TJs. KQs. J9s TJo.raise any two profitably.

First off don’t fall into the. Suited connectors are good to be calling raises with however when you are playing deep i.Big blind when there are a few limpers 99+ (sometimes raise with lower pockets if the table is fishy) AQo + KQs + AKo Suited connectors Suited connectors are generally over-rated by a lot of players and are very tough hands to play. . If someone is raising a lot of hands from position then you can reraise them occasionally with suited connectors but this has a lot to do with metagame and table image which is a little too advance for this but some food for thought. The big blind can be tricky but I prefer to check my option most of the time and see a flop. Hands like 96o are garbage and should never be completed! You will have to play the rest of the hand out of position and unless you flop the absolute stone cold nuts your gonna get in a lot of trouble and be throwing money away. They are for most experienced players including myself. Playing from the blinds When you are starting out the blinds are going to be the trickiest spot to play from. Also they are good to open according to my opening guide above.e 150bb + with someone but don’t get carried away. They are also good to 3bet. Every now it is alright to call with 78s if the raiser is a bad player (as in he has 40+ vpip and is spewy). its only ½ big blind to complete trap. Play as tight as you possibly can from the small blind but with pocket pairs you probably want to be raising when there are limpers. I wouldn’t be calling raises with suited connectors even from position because people over-estimate implied odds all the time and they can get tough to play post flop.

This is so you can:    Punish their limp and pick up the free money You build a pot so if you hit your set its going to be easier to get their stack in. However. you prob don’t want to raise to 0. For instance: In a . Generally if your raise is going to be more than 10% of their stack then don’t make the raise.10 stack. It is generally a mistake to isolate them with weak connector type hands. A player that limp/folds a ton means you can isolate him with any ace and even hands like Q7s / 78s. limpers are and will be a part of the games for the foreseeable future. By always raising you’re making yourself harder to play against. and limp/raising AA and limp/raising bluffs to balance your ranges. These are very general rules for how I beat micro stakes and as you get better with these you will gain a feel for hands and situations and be able to change these ranges depending on opponents. Limpers Having said that about limping. It will also add another level of complexity to your game that is unnecessary. including strong ones. its not good enough to play so fold. Limping also leads to people playing less than optimal hands. and always gaining the positive expectation of putting yourself in a position to steal the blinds. By doing this you will be putting money in with the worst hand a lot of the time and not enough fold equity pre or post. If its not good enough for a raise.05c-. To exploit these players mistake you need to be isolating (raising) there limps with a fairly wide range. If you are always limping behind with pockets its going to be obvious against thinking opponents Reasons to just limp behind with pockets are if their stack is not a full 100bb. Pockets if there are limpers in front You want to raise any pocket pairs as standard if they are full stacked. Also players that limp/call and then fold lots of flops to c-bets are good candidates to isolate very wide.4c because the implied odds are cut short due to his 8 . keeping your ranges balanced without the bigger headache.10c game someone open limps UTG with a $2. For instance if you limp 22-55 UTG then you will have to start limping other hands. still make the raise. I can’t stress enough though you want to play tight from all positions other than CO and Button and loosen up from those spots but still play aggressive! Limping Limping in 6 handed NLHE cash games is always going to be a mistake. your image on the table and how the table has been playing.Preflop Concepts Position As you can see from this guide position is everything. Deception. It is also good to watch there play and get an idea if they limp/call or limp/fold a lot. be weary of players who limp/call a lot and rarely fold to c-bets. However if one person who limps has a large stack and another is short. It is onto you in the CO with 44.

10c game you make it 0. its onto you.40c from UTG+1 with 33.40c from UTG+1 with 33. its onto you. Whereas if someone with 55vpip raises I would have no problems calling 10% off with 22 because you will often win unimproved and generally they will continue with any piece of the board so its going to be very easy to play a big pot with them. a very tight player with 15vpip raises to $1.g 3 In a . you do want to make it 50c to go always with any pocket.small stack and he is going to be much more willing to just stick it in with any draw / pair on the flop which will lead you to some tough decisions and often folding the best hand. E. E. a very tight player with 15vpip raises to $1. and you are also slightly deeper so you have better implied odds.05-.20 from the button.40c from UTG with 33.05-. You are $14 deep here I’d be inclined to call because you are in position so it will be easier to put money in. It is onto you in the CO with 44.00 from the button.05-. You want to look at poker ace hud stats though in making the decision. You are $10 deep here I’d be inclined to call because even thought it is tight his range is a big pocket pair enough of the time that you can be confident the majority of the time you hit a set you will be good. Also. a solid player with 20vpip raises to $1.g 1 In a . Hope you see the point of calling raises for set value. E.10c game you make it 0.10c game someone open limps UTG with an $11 stack (you cover). This is all very important as pocket pairs are where most of your money comes from when you play tight aggressive 6max.40c from UTG with 33.00 from the button. E. If someone with a 20 vpip raises I wouldn’t want to call more than 5% of my stack off because they are good enough to not pay you off all the time. If someone raises and you have a pocket pair. Calling raises and re-raises with pocket pairs This is a very general rule which applies to all of small stakes but won’t work in mid stakes and beyond. This changes drastically in mid limits because people’s 3betting ranges are much wider but I feel this can be used almost perfectly against micro / small stakes players.10c game you make it 0. There’s lots of literature on this in the sticky section of 2p2. in a . a solid player with 20vpip raises to $1. its onto you. The higher the vpip the more you can call profitably pre looking to hit a set because generally this means they are poor players who will stack of lightly. if you are facing a large raise or reraise you want to call off less of your stack out of position than in position.05-. You are also out of position.g 4 In a . 9 . You are $10 deep here I’d be inclined to fold because they are probably re-raising you wide enough that you would need a setup flop to stack them and this will happen too infrequently. call if it is 5-10% of your stack.10c game you make it 0. However. You are $5 deep here I’d be inclined to fold because you don’t have the proper implied odds.20 from the big blind.g 2 In a .05c-. its onto you. Reasons for this are you will flop a set about 1 in 10 times and if you assume you will win their stack you have the implied odds.

When you are considering entering a raised pot you should look at their preflop raise stat. 3-betting “light” is a very hard style to play against and most people on microstakes think that when some1 reraises they have AA/KK so your c-bets don’t have to be as big because they are going to get A LOT of respect. If you feel the hand isn’t good enough for a reraise then dump it! Something very important which I forgot to mention is when someone raises look at what position they are raising from and if there are limpers in front. The smaller their stack size the less you can bet is what I find. 10 . If some1 raises 2% of flops you prob just want to call with TT and play for set value and fold KQ because their range is so strong but if someone raises 18% of hands you should be reraising KQ and TT often against them because you are ahead of their range. The fishier the opponent the less you want to c-bet completely missed hands. Bare in mind that poker ace statistics like agro factors are only useful when u have 100+ hands but vpip is generally a good indicator from 30-40 hands on. If you think they could have a wide range then 3-bet more liberally.5. the wider the range of hands you can reraise with is. Continuation bets Heads up when you’ve raised preflop you want to be c-betting 60-70% of flops.Important concept: Something else to consider is their raise and aggression statistic. I would consider a large raise % to be anything >17 and a high aggression factor anything > 3. However I don’t recommend 3-betting too light at these stakes because there is no real need and when you are starting your poker career its best to keep it simple. Board texture comes a lot into this but there are lots of great threads about this which I will try to link to some other time. Out of position I recommend when your reraise should be 4 times and in position you can get away with raising 3 times because its going to be easier to play the hand. thus 66% of the time your opponent will have missed and be unable to continue. If someone has a large raise % or is very aggressive then if it’s a tight call from implied odds perspective then you might want to dump it because they could be reraising you light with AQ/AJ type hands and you would need the perfect flop to stack them (A3x if u hold 33) whereas if they hardly raise their range is drastically cut down and contains big pockets a lot of the time so you don’t need that “perfect flop”. I generally try to keep my continuation bets the same size. This is to do with the overall concept that your opponent will only hit the flop 1 in 3 times. If they have a full 100bb then I will raise 3-4times their raise. This can give you a lot of information on their hand but only take into this account if they seem to be a good player (because only good players widen their range in position). A brief note on 3betting When I played micro stakes entering a raised pot I pretty much never flat call a raise out of position ever! So if I have KQ in the blinds or AJ in the blinds and some raises I am either folding or raising. between 2/3rd and ¾ pot depending on stack sizes. Into multiple opponents you can get away with betting ½ pot occasionally but I don’t really recommend it. Anything less than 2/3 rd pot most of the time gets no respect. The higher it is.

not the whole table! 11 . Also when you bet into multiple opponents you get more respect (generally).When I’ve missed a flop or hit a flop I always like to continuation bet to disguise my hands well and build a pot (when I have something). The best way to get money in the pot when you have a strong hand is to bet it out. Boards like Q88 with a pair are usually good to be c-betting too. Boards like: KJT with two diamonds are not good to be continuation betting 22 because so much of the range has hit this board you prob just spewing money away. Obv by multiple opponents I mean 2ish. Boards like: KQ7 with two spades have hit a lot of the range but are still good to c-bet against tighter opponents because if u bet 2/3rd pot as a c-bet you need to win it a little less than 50% of the time for it to be profitable which it should be. Into multiple opponents you want to be c-betting less on boards like the KQ7 but its still good to c-bet great textured boards like K26. Especially on lower stakes games your edge comes from people playing dominated / bad hands and not being able to fold them when they hit or paying too much for their draws so value bet your hands to hell! But for a quick example on board texture: Boards like: K26 rainbow are GREAT to c-bet any hand because its really hard for the opponent to have hit this board with a lot of his hands.

Try not to over-estimate implied odds or suited connectors as it will cost you in the long run! In future I will write articles on: • 3betting and playing against 3betting • Double barreling • Check raising continuation bets (both for value and as bluffs) Keep in mind this is all written quickly and off the top of my head. This is just a start. There may be mistakes in here but using a system like this and lots of experience I was able to cruise through micro stakes.Summary Things that I have just touched on and need A LOT more depth are c-bets. Wield position like a hammer because it really is the most important concept in NLHE. Don’t get out of line and avoid marginal situations. 3betting. metagame. Practice and thinking about this game / posting hands / asking questions is the real fun and learning process. 12 . I suggest tight and aggressive. table image and all that jazz. Good luck.

Mentality A. Raising F. Raising F. Health B. Flop A. History 7. but here's what I have thus far written of an ebook on the topic of beating uNL-MSNL online 6max. betsizing B. Unraised pots 5. Timing C. Upswings E. Unraised pots 4. Raising F. Session Length F. Game analysis C. Multitabling Preface 13 . River A. BB 3. CO D. Preface 2. Double Barreling B. I tried to write an ebook a little more than a month ago but about half way through I realized how much I hate writing and how lazy I was so I finished about half of it. Enjoy=D (sry if it doesn't read well I haven't had anyone proofread it) Table of Contents: (this is what the book would look like if I wrote the whole thing. c/ring C.My 5k post (fees) Hey guys. BTN E. Since then not much has changed (=P) still pretty lazy and rarely get around to making truly great strat posts. Psychology A. Preflop: A. Maybe if this thread gets positive feedback I'll finish it. I started out here at 2p2 sometime last Feb at uNL as a pretty terrible strategy poster. UTG B. Floating D. Cbetting B. Triple barreling B. Floating D. but this post will be an exception. Downswings D. Unraised pots 6. I got up to floating=/) 1. SB F. c/ring C. MP C. Floating D. c/ring C. Turn A.

bluffing less often (including semibluffs) and value betting thinly with 1 pair type hands. turn. and too tight short stackers to your left. Generally you want players with full stacks to the right of you. Avoid winners. river. Also players that play something like 25/10 (meaning they are limping/calling WAY too much preflop) will do as well • Stack sizes. Your hand ranges in general should adjust and be contrary to the way the game is playing. forcing them is not necessary. anything above 40 VPIP is gravy. As described in the second feature for good game selection you want loose players to your right and tight players to your left. • As a general guideline it is better to play at a table with a bunch of loose passive/weak tight type players than a table with someone who players 80% of their hands and 4 other solid TAGs. as your opponents make mistakes. 14 .This book will cover small stakes online 6 max ring games. though other situations will be discussed. Do not make the mistake that every 20/17 multitabling tag is tight AND good. 18/15. Loose players will search for an excuse to call. Agaisnt Loose/bad players you generally want to play straight forward tight solid poker. generally players with VPIP’s higher than 28. Again this isn’t essential but its something to think about when switching/selecting seats. You want to have position on players that you cover. 20/18. This means that if the game is loose (meaning there are a lot of bad players. • Losing/breakeven regulars. • Position and hands played. Your superior strategy will make it profitable to sit in a game with these players and exploit them. 20/18. 17/12 than a table with a 70/30. as you will find more fold equity. so feel free to sit. preflop. whereas a tight player will look for an excuse to fold. as it is +EV. Its going to be easier to play against several bad/mediocre opponents that 1 very bad opponent and 4 good ones. its just something to think about. as well as changing games. as they will make mistakes for you. In a perfect world you would play with 3 full stacks with VPIPs over 40 to your right. Agaisnt Tight/good players you generally want to mix up your play and play a trickier or deceptive style. Table selection When Table selecting you want to look for the following things: • Players that play too many hands. In these instances you should semibluff and bluff more . Poker is simple. flop. 25/14. 23/20. The focus of this book will be the progression of a hand or. Feel free to play with a regular that you have as a loser or marginal winner in your database. You should also play less starting hands. 20/12. At the same time you want players with short stacks to your left. just don’t search them out or make a habit of it unless they are really bad. For example I prefer a table with a: 40/10. Agiasnt these types of players you want to lean towards a looser pre-flop strategy and a solid postflop strategy. On the flip side if the game is tighter you should loosen up your starting range (incorporating hands such as 65s UTG as discussed previously) to exploit the your opponents tendency to fold. 30/20. as short stackers that have position on you are +EV for you. All hands will be assumed to be 6 handed. but this will rarely ever happen. for example a player that plays 32/5/1 is a weak bad player) you should be playing a tighter more solid game. you profit. but 30 is too many hands as well. Your strategy should involve you playing 4 tables or less and really focusing on your opponents and developing very strong reads.

etc) KQo KQs KJs+ (KJs and AQs[which was already covered]) (meaning suited 1 gappers)` This will account for 13% of hands and is a conservative but very solid and profitable preflop raising range. cut off (CO) and the button (BTN). 109s. Always try to make poker easy to play. calling ranges and 3betting preflop (3B) aka preflop reraise. Stack Sizes: You should also adjust your raising range based on stack sizes. however it is uncommon to encounter one of these players anywhere below 3/6NL. These hands have a lot of potential and will less often put you into situations where you have weak 1 pair hands out of position. the small blind (SB) and big blind (BB). In this scenario you should avoid hands like 22-66 and 98s. Your UTG raising range should be the tightest of the four non-blind positions. because you can make 1 pair type hands and extract value from players calling with weaker top pair hands or second pair hands. QJs. and instead substitute in hands like KJo. Your UTG range can adjust based on the game quality you are in. because against these players you again are simply looking for a top pair type hand to get it in against (These 40bb stack players will generally be very bad and play poorly postflop getting it in with a wide range that doesn’t include many top pair type hands) Though it should be made clear in the higher MSNL and HSNL (medium and high stakes games) there are players who play a very tight and solid short stack game that are more difficult to play against. AQo. AJs. Tight Games: Include hands such as 65s+ or A5s. A10o. Adjusting: Loose games: Add hands like KJo or A10o. A9s. middle position (MP).Preflop: This chapter is going to demonstrate preflop strategy and will focus on raising ranges. For instance say you are UTG and there are two or three players with say 40BB stack sizes (or less). It also means you have two players to act that are out of position relative to you. J10s. The reason we typically avoid these type of hands in tight games is because we will frequently show up with second best 1 pair hands out of position (OOP) and will put us in tough spots and to lots of decisions. These hands widen you range against likely better players and make you a more difficult and tricky opponent. Under the Gun (UTG) Being under the gun means that you have three players to act that hold position on you. assuming full stacks and a mix of tags/lag fish (players that play too many hands without purpose)/and loose passive (fish that check call and are easy to extract value from): Range: 22+ (all pairs) A10s+ (meaning A10s. Lets take a look at a standard preflop UTG range. AKo) (o meaning offsuit) 98s+ (meaning 98s. AKs) (s meaning suited) AJo+ (meaning AJo. AQs. Middle Position (MP) 15 . QJo.

because this is where their raising range is likely the tightest (ignoring when they are in the blinds). You need to be very cautious when 3betting an UTG opener. and light 3bet 20%. Again lets exam a standard preflop MP range. You have to be careful about isolating in this position because there are two players with position on you that understand you can isolate these players with a wide range. Middle position is very similar to UTG. playing 40% or more of his hands. two players to act behind you (CO and BTN) who have position on you. however the ratio of light 3bet to value 3bet should be weighted heavily towards value. whether it be limp folding. you will incorporate a few more hands. For the most part in a looser game you want to keep things closer to the vest. or to cbets/double barrels) however if you have one or two tight aggressive opponents behind you that will exploit your extended range you should err on the side of folding to avoid marginal situations. isolate that limper. 3betting: In general you should be 3betting far more in position that OOP. assuming full stacks and a mix of tags/lag fish (players that play too many hands without purpose)/and loose passive (fish that check call and are easy to extract value from): 22+ (all pairs) A9s+ A10o+ 98s+ KQo/KJo/KQs/ KJs/K10s This accounts for about 15% of total hands. sure go for it. In the event that these players are in the blinds or you game selected well and you aren’t at a table with opponents that go after you. as its potential is very small. Just like UTG this range can be manipulated based on the game quality. Light 3bets are certainly profitable. Tight Games: These games you can open up more from this position. include. It is ok to try and add a hand like J9s to your range here for the purpose of isolating a weak player (by weak I mean folding too much. The only person you can 3bet in MP is UTG. so just simply raise less hands in this position. Just like UTG you can still profitably raise 98s and 109s. Use your image/table history to determine the optimal raising opportunity. Lets say for numbers sake we value 3bet an UTG opener 80% of the time. Adjusting: Loose games: You generally want to avoid things like A9o.Being in Middle Position means that you will have one player to act in front of you (UTG) whom you have position on. For example maybe you only raise these hands roughly half the time you are dealt them. and two players to act behind you (SB and BB) that you have position on. First lets assign our 3bet range: Value: AKo/s AQo/s(situational) 16 . just do it less frequently. 65s+ A8s. you need to keep in mind that peoples limping range UTG is as tight as it will get for them (even though it could be wide). however all the same principals apply. A5s Q10s Isolating: Pending a very weak player.

You generally want to 3bet an UTG opener with 56-109s or Axs because with the SC’s you will generally avoid second best hands and have tremendous flop potential. The top 8% of hands looks like the following: 88+.but 4-10 are all fine as well) 22-77 KQo AJo It will generally be more profitable to call with small pairs preflop (as I will outline in post flop chapters) however they can certainly make their way into a light 3bet category every once and a while.KQo The equity of these hands against this range are: AQ (all combinations) 48% AJs 41% JJ 54% 1010 50% KQs 38% Whereas: AA 85% KK 72% QQ 63% AK 56% Light 3bet hands: 56s-QJs Axs (x should = 5 most often.AJs+. As stacks get shorter this scenario you should avoid hands like 22-66 and 98s. Anyway back to examining when to 3bet. QJo. A player that plays 14/12 and raises UTG probably raises the top 8% of hands.KQs. it just means you shouldn’t do it every time and that you should be more inclined to do it in position. We said we wanted to use an 80/20 ratio. you want to 3bet him once with 56s. as you will be able to flop gutshot+FD+over type hands. because against these players you again are simply looking for a top pair type hand to get it in against (These 40bb stack players will generally be very bad and play poorly postflop getting it in with a wide range that doesn’t include many top pair type hands) Though it should be made clear in the higher MSNL and HSNL (medium and high stakes games) there are players who play a very tight and solid short stack game that are more difficult to play against. Stack Sizes: Just like UTG you should also adjust your raising range based on stack sizes. 80 value. and instead substitute in hands like KJo. however it is uncommon to 17 . and the Axs hands will block combinations of AA and AK (which will help avoid him 4betting you) and also have tremendous flop potential. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t 3bet them.AJo+. 20 bluffs. This means for every 4 times you 3bet an UTG opener with something like AK or AA. A9s. Avoid all other hands as they will form second `best hands often and get you in marginal spots.AJs(situational) KQs (situational) AA KK QQ JJ(situational) 1010(situational) When I say situational I mean that it is possible that 3betting with these hands is marginal to the point where you are not clearly ahead of their range. A10o.

This compounded with dealing with a player limp-calling UTG is problematic because it is very possible you will be three way to the flop. This position is where you will start isolating weak players that limp. In a tight game you can raise anything and most decisions will be easy. though you have seen him do it. and with K4s in LP).1BB per hand. In a loose game you run the risk of playing a lot of pots with marginal hands and (despite being IP) losing money. Lets get to our range: 22+ (all pairs) A5s+ A9o+ 65s+ J10o+ Q10o+ K10o/K9s 108s+ (suited one gapers) Q9s+ (suited two gapers) Roughly 23% of total hands. As you become better post flop you will have the capacity to raise more and more hands from position to isolate limpers. We also know that he folds to 50% of cbets.5BB’s (big blinds). The button is of very little concern. so this is something to consider. and 3betting players to keep the pressure on. Lets imagine the following scenario: You are in the CO with K9s. not short ones. The button is a mediocre TAG playing 18/15 and doesn’t have a penchant for 3betting light IP. What’s your play? Fold ->[Although the player UTG is bad and limps a wide range we can be sure he’s at the top of his limping range UTG and is aware of the significance of position.] Let’s examine another situation: 18 . There is a much bigger transition in our range from MP to CO. You have a hand with some potential. or two big blinds) you will notice that you earn . Loose games: Believe it or not but playing from the CO in loose games is more tricky than tight when it comes to isolating. UTG who plays 38/10 limps (you’ve seen this player limp UTG with KQo. Cut Off This is where poker will become more interesting. The blinds are two half stacks playing 30-35% of their hands.encounter one of these players anywhere below 3/6NL. That means that stealing blinds earns you 15 times the average profit per hand. Without flopping sometime strong it will be hard to play against these players as they will regularly be out of line. This player is on the passive side and folds to cbets 50% of the time. but first we have to examine situations where we should and should not isolate a player. however implied odds come from deep stacks. The idea here is to steal blinds and isolate limpers. Beginning to understand why it’s so important and profitable? Lets focus on adjusting. The cut off is the first position considered late position and is a spot where you will more often than not. second only to the button. as it is suited. and likely less when his range is strong (which it is due to him being UTG). If you beat a game for 5 PTBB (poker tracker big bets. The second biggest concern of the hand is the shorties in the blinds. but we know he’ll reraise us with AQ+ and 1010+ and on rare occasion with a bluff. If you successfully steal someone’s blind you have earned 1. as will be shown in our hand selection. They play way too many hands and don’t care about position. The cut off is one of your most profitable positions. be in position.

We don’t want the button to come along. but if he does we still can represent something cbetting the flop. but focus on each facet of the hand and how one hand can be a more profitable raise than the other. Raise ->[ You definitely want to raise to isolate the player in MP who is definitely weak tight. also we’d rather have 65s in a multiway pot. It may seem somewhat counter intuitive and as if I was contradicting myself. The button is a 20/10 weaktight player. unless you are 100bb+ with that player. The TAG who 3bets too much is kind of problematic. with a fold to cbet of 66%. etc. but you have full stacks and position. and the blinds are also on the somewhat tight side. so we definitely don’t mind if he comes in. Your button raising range can be very wide or very tight. though its close between raising and folding. You are in the CO with A9o. and we also have major flop potential if the flop comes our way. combined with a hand with major potential is a very profitable situation. We will have position on this guy with amazing implied odds. instead of 65s. and has between 140 and 180BB’s. The other great feature of this hand is the weak player in the blinds who we cover. but that was only because we we’re afraid that UTG would also come along with a hand that might dominate us. MP limps. The button is a tight player. 3bet. so should your isolating range. This range is very tentative. but less OOP. It is very possible to raise 50% of your hands on the button. isolate and cold call than any other position. His fold to cbet is on the low end as far as weak tight goes. he has a full stack and plays 25/12. Lets focus on a scenario where it would be preferable to isolate with K9s/K10o/A9o. You will play loosest on the button. if need be. profitably.] If a player calls too much after the flop you want to lean towards raising something like K9s. he has between 75 and 100BB’s and plays 4050/5-15. The blinds have one good winning TAG who 3bets too much OOP and one donk who plays big pots with marginal hands too often. and visca versa] Button: Button is the most fun and interesting position to be in. through detailed explanation and examples. it can be widened and 19 . so it supports raising a Kx hand that can make strong pairs. This player folds to cbet 70%+ of the time. it really is all about the game you are in. maybe playing as many as 35% of hands. FWIW I’d rather raise 65s in the first scenario. if they are in fact profitable at all. There are more opertunities to raise. as opposed to k9s with much less potential postflop. [As his fold to cbet increase.You are in the CO with 65s. In the first scenario we didn’t raise K9s due to short stacks. and you cover. Lets get into the range: 22+ A8o+ K9o Q9o+ (offsuit 2 gapper) J9o+(offsuit 1 gapper) 98o+ 54s+ 64s+ 96s+ 106s+ K8s A2s+ This entire book is going to try to teach you how to make decisions by yourself. MP limps. General against these guys you can milk them with strong pairs/draws. but this is a situation where once and a while we can call and bluff some flops.

The other hands will put you to decisions in loose games. Stack sizes: Like most things as stack sizes grow so does opening range and your strategy. it’s okay to make it 5bbs+1 for each limper. you are OTB with 57s. these types of hands are hit or miss. which makes it easy on us b/c if we are weak we can give up our hand with ease. So lets say a 40/20/1 limps in MP. In the event that people are loose by will limp-fold with a decent frequency you can use almost the entire range. and medium offsuit cards (though. I am far more inclined to isolate a weak tight player with a marginal hand. this means that on the button you can profitably raise just about any two suited cards. etc) If you prefer some hands and dislike others that’s fine. it lets us select when we want to play big pots with opponents. than a loose/passive player. A8A9o. earlier analysis should provide examples of how certain hands are easier to play/more profitable than others in certain situations. just the bottom of the range (64s-86s. your core range should always be raised). If for the most part you can isolate the one donk who is limp-calling lean towards a K9s or a J9o. Same thing if you want to open into Looser blinds. Anything you would raise from MP you can open or even isolate OTB. and even if they do make it to the flop we will have position. and KQ type hands from early position. 106s-Q9s. they will c/f the flop or try and play a big hand with these. In loose games where there are a lot of limp-calls you want to avoid things like 64s or 98o. raise maybe a tight CO range and raise it bigger. In the event that the BB plays 40% of his hands and the SB 20 . maybe cut out 2% of hands or so. I just said “. I think for the most part tight players are going to limp strictly small pairs. Take this into account. As the game gets tighter and there’s less limping or people limp-fold or play weakly you can really open up. avoid 64s type hands. I am far more inclined to isolate a weak tight player with a marginal hand. than a loose/passive player. The idea here is that players will just willingly give up 90% of their hands. suited connectors.tightened by as much as 15% based on your table. The most important factor when opening the button is the blinds tightness. and embrace K8s or A9o. Most TAGs (tight-aggressive player) will be very tight OOP. Tighter Games: These are far more interesting. In the event people are limp-calling or there are frequently multi-way flops (3 or more players) you need to really cut it down. As stack sizes shrink. and I can also cbet/extract with 1 or no pair type hands. you can raise the entire range plus more with marginal hands because you will have position and an unlikely holding that has tremendous potential and will often be a disguised hand. probably 90BB+ in this situation (effective stacks).” In the event I am deep (200BB+) this equation changes and I would Instead rather play with a loose/passive type because I know that all my twopair+ type hands can really get paid off by these guys. in these games people will tend not to notice or care. A2-4s. as they are the bread and butter of the bottom of your range. You should focus on trying to raise when a loose player limps and there are tight players to act behind you (all of these situations are talking about marginal hands. Looser games: The button is so complicated that I want to give you some very straightforward guidelines and let you come to your own conclusions as to whether or not a button raise is profitable. 54s-76s. any ace. these less than anything). The blinds are a nit and a 29/14 that folds BB to steal often (this is a statistic you should be using) You can for sure profitably raise your 75s. he has about 110BB’s and you cover.

If a player is good and willing to 4b bluff or c/r a flop with a draw or complete air. 3betting: Here your range is also the widest. idea or strategy in this book can be manipulated to exploit your opponent.is a 20/18 tag. avoid 65s and lean towards AJo. anything with texture like this. The first scenario is the easiest to understand and grasp. Consider all these things when making your decision.e. which worries me. the CO is when our opponents range is the widest.e. FWIW if someone folds 90% of cbets I’ll isolate them VERY loose. just focus on every factor. in these spots I’ll check very strong hands like 99 on 922 flop or something of this nature. There are three instances where I do not cbet against these players: A. but let’s say the limp folds to 90% of cbets. each one unique. Let’s focus on situations to profitably cbet: 1. not OOP). it allows you to win a wealth of small pots and makes you difficult to play against if executed correctly. thus exploiting him and making you money. or 22 on 1098) B. you should raise this hand less often. i. When 3betting you must first consider position. you just have to analyze his play and come to conclusions about how he plays. 98s on 552. and then come up with a solution (to raise or fold). continue to exploit his weak play and keep the pressure on. Cbetting Continuation betting is one of the most important elements of your strategy. He makes you want to raise this hand less often. except against these players. ratio. real poker at a table online is completely different from table to table. that makes you more inclined to raise. Understand that these situations are fictional. The second thing (but most important thing) is the % of hands this player raises. so for every 3 value 3bets. Another situation I would check would be something like AK or AA 21 . for example the loose player in the BB. I have a note that says when I do not cbet they go bluff crazy. (FWIW never check 99 on something like 974cc. cbetting 98s on 552 is generally something you want to avoid doing. If a player keeps folding to 3bets or c/f’s every missed flop continue to pound on him. unless the blinds are two loose shorties or something of this nature. you can cbet basically your entire range profitably. however players that raise way too much. Almost any range. avoid bluffing so much and lean towards more value 3bets. say a 38/26. This equation changes against more adept opponents that will really play back at you and go after you preflop or after the flop. The third part of the equation is history. almost regardless of other players in the hand. It also makes you harder to play against and helps your made hands get paid off by weak holdings) Flop Play: A. here you c/r this player with air to exploit him cbetting so often with marginal holdings. They are short and my hand has very little potential. but until an opponent shows a willingness to combat our strategy. these players will frequently see the flop with you and you want to show up with a strong pair type hand. you throw in two bluffs. When cbetting you want to have some hope for your hand. (i. any opponent with a high fold to cbet (70% or higher). and the position we 3bet this player the most. This was discussed in an earlier street. but the general idea is that the more raises this player makes the more we can 3bet. You want to 3bet on the button far more than any position (go after people in position. then figure out how to exploit it (a simple example of this is someone who 3bets 80%+ of hands. even if they do go bluff crazy when you check flops). principal. Here you probably want your ratio to be 3:2.

for the most part these loose/bad players will not be stacking off with marginal 1pair in this particularly type of situation) you will be able to profitably double or triple barrel. There are situations I don’t mind a c/c or a vbet with like A10+ or something. and A4. Lets assume they fold to cbet 50% or less of the time. Pending some read that this player will never ever fold TP (which is uncommon for the games you’ll play in. If this is the case I probably fire a river barrel. Even against two opponents I would cbet the vast major of Ace and King high boards (pending stack sizes and notes). Anyway when thinking about theory/strategy of approaching these call-too-many cbet type players. or a draw”. the simple answer is to tighten your range (which widens/tightens based on stacksizes. K22. some loose guy calls OOP. Other WA/WB situations include like 1010 on Q77. don’t forget) and simply c/f the flop. I have QQ on K52r (Or any second pair type hand where you are in a WA (way ahead)/WB (way behind) situation. so for instance say we raise in EP (early position) and cbet a AQ4 (two flush or rainbow) and get instantly called by a player playing somewhere between 30-45% of his hands and folds to very few cbets (as described earlier). I don’t mind cbetting AJ here because him having a better hand is rarely. 44. bet all flops with any FD). 2. Also say I’m like BvB with AK on 332 (I’m SB) against one of these guys. or A2 on AK6. so say the board is like 1099. FD=flush draw) so you have some equity. this bet size will terrify them. Also if you have the opportunity to bet something like $99 or $199 on the river or something I suggest it. In this situation I would most love to have a gutshot or FD myself (against these players I’ll put a lot of pressure on with FD’s. however is calling range is MUCH wider) put the pressure on. whether to raise or just smooth call. it will be him genuinely weak trying to figure out whether to call or fold. and if he has some under pair his equity sucks. a lot of information can be drawn on timing) he’s basically telling you “My range here is some A7 type hand. By instantly calling (btw this is something you should focus on avoiding.on K52. For the most part I’m not going to indulge in any complicated triple barrel spots. This can never be a big hand (or very rarely) because if he does have AQ or 44 (and in some instances A4). One of my favorite indicators for a good double/triple barrel spots is the SNAP flop call. he would at least have to think momentarily about his action. Now lets focus on loose/bad players that are calling way too many cbets (calling way too much in general). but that doesn’t mean I check when I do hit. if they are going to snap call your flop bet and have a range that is for the most part on the weak side (in this instance the strong hands he could have are AQ. K94 (rainbow. Anyway the point is put the pressure on. as players will view your range weighted towards these types of hands (and coincidently they will not have these types of hands very often) and will give you extraordinary amount of credit. however anything more than two I wouldn’t get fancy. but on occasion you are missing value by not double or triple barreling these types of players. and pending a read c/c or c/f turn (your default is fold until he proves that he will put you on AK in this types of situations and try to take you off of it) 22 . C. where by checking you can get value from like 77 (on this board) on later streets. I will probably c/c this board. Don’t be surprised if he takes a while to call the turn. Against these players you have to be more cautious and give things up more easily. Before I go forward I want to interject and mention that: You generally want to be cbetting almost every single Ace or King high board. if hes a particularly weak player this will rarely be him trying to disguise his very strong hand inducing a triple. This is somewhat contrary to what I’ve been describing about how to play against these types of players (being very close to the vest).

peachy c/r’d the flop. or if he has something really weird like KQ or 77 I have the equity/the best hand (however this is a small factor in my thought process). you will never run into a situation at anywhere below $1000 where this is even remotely necessary. against these guys you want to be more cautious about cbetting marginally. It’s going to be very unlikely that he will ever call will a worse hand. TAGs. semibluffs. The flop is AK5r and he checks. but nothing about this makes sense or is any sort of standard. just less frequently).3. You probably won’t have a ton of history with TAGs (when it comes to cbetting and stuff) because your game selection should for the most part allow you to avoid these guys (you aren’t trying to avoid them. and we will occasionally be c/r’d off the best hand and we will miss value from something like KQ or 88(if its suited I will on occasion still check it back. however we think we’re bluffing with the best hand) I 3bet to $76 and he folded quickly. These will generally be your toughest opponents (even if they are bad TAGs). Peachy had AK and Krantz had KQ. simple right=D). Anyway I discourage calling because then you are in a very marginal OOP spot and you don’t have the initiative in the hand. I remember recently watching a hand with Krantz and Peachykeen where peachy raised UTG and Krantz called in MP. or I might just check it down depending if my opponent does or does not have the capacity to call with worse. second pairs and bluffs). which for the purpose of most MSNL games and lower is OK. Out of position you generally want to just bet your entire range (made hands. fwiw if something like a K or A peels on the 23 . What I mean when I say I want to polarize my range is that say I raise A2cc OTB and the BB (TAG) calls. Ok. I’ll probably just vbet the river. if its low give up more and if its high go after them more. but instead their range is weighted to small pairs and suited connectors (FWIW a pair has a 1 in 9 chance of flopping a set). but we want to exploit everyone we play. I cbet $8 (4 BB’s). IP I mix it up a lot and check tons of flops back. so this isn’t really a possibility. (FWIW its ok to c/f like AK on 765 or something. Anyway I raised 98s from the SB and he called in the BB. and krantz shoved. if he had any king it doesn’t really make sense because we didn’t have enough history for me to get it in with anything worse than a strong king. Agaisnt these guys I’ll cbet just about every ace and king high flop. The flop was rainbow so he can’t be semi-bluffing anything but a 76. because their preflop calling range is rarely going to contain TP. For the most part your opponents here will not). If the turn is something like a King or 5 I will probably check it again because nothing about this board has really changed and it will still be difficult to extract. so our analysis was very likely correct as we ran into the majority of his range in this spot (bluffs). but fundamentally against tough opponents is bad because its exploitable if they figure out what your doing. The flop came K74r. particularly when I’m marginal (this is called polarizing your range. The flop came K85r. which makes your hand have less value intrinsically (Initiative simply means that you were the last person to bet/raise). which states that a 3bet on a dry board is always a bluff. and in this situations it kind of is. He definitely love to go after me and my cbets. and fish are simply more exploitable and more profitable). so out of position just cbet your range. unless its like they flatted AJ or KQ or something. So the simple answer Is that it is profitable to 3b/fold in this situation given the information (this is the yeti-theorem . I remember playing against a player at FTP 200 who played something like 21/18 and played me tough/tricky. now lets get to the fun stuff. now I did like the fact that I had 98 because if he does have 67 I have the best hand and a blocker. Anyway In this situation my opponent is likely bluffing because his range contains very few made hands. There is clearly a lot more here than meets the eye and a ton of history. so we’ve talked about weak-tight and loose-passive type of players and what our cbet tendencies should be. This is a very suspicious line from him. Also keep diligent notes about how they react to cbets so that you can adjust accordingly. he raised to $32. these are the types of players where we like to mix up our play and throw in curve balls from time to time. against your better/more thinking opponents simply cbetting will not be enough. this is a great situation to check it back. and the only made hand he reps is 55 and far less often 88. I would probably play QQ the same way. just look at their fold to cbet. There is danger here. In position it becomes more interesting. Anyway this is a great spot to check it back and maybe fire the turn. we would rather exploit them.

you should c/r this spot. potentially a backdoor flush draw. Lets look at c/r situations: (For these situations lets assume we’re up against a LP TAG opener who plays somewhere between 23/18 and 20/15. you check. and because our opponent will also have a tough time having a hand strong enough to continue with on this flop. as their cbet % decreases so should your c/r frequency. an overcard. put him to the test and make him adjust or just get run over. Check-Raising: Let’s now focus on the flop check-raise. if he gave up the first time. The flop comes 732r. whoever called preflop comes along. so lets assume we are just vaguely familiar with how he plays and we have his stats. the PFR cbet. 2. You have a history of check-raising dry boards against a decent-good opponent and he has reason to believe you are doing it with air frequently. fold to 3bet. Both of this scenario’s require us to have some sort of read or note on an opponent. Assume same type of villain. For the most part you have probably already cultivated an aggressive image by 3-betting your opponents. (FWIW it’s a c/r. however this will generally be unlikely and in the event that he does we should have a little bit of equity. Against very tough player you will occasionally be river c/r’d with a range of trips/bluffs. do it again. we obviously don’t want to put our money in with ace high 24 . really anything greater than 70% and you can for sure do it fairly often. You want to avoid check-raising these spots. and it appears as though you have to have a huge hand because you just c/r’d a particularly dry board into two players. Since we probably will peel (check/call) a hand like A10 or 88 (pending history. Anyway the point is when you flop a monster on a dry board start by check-calling. but this is very uncommon amongst even good players at these stakes. with strong hands because you are polarizing your range between air/sets and it will be difficult to get paid. This was mentioned in example one but now lets say we have QJss or 76ss on 1053r (one spade). So say for example you have been really going after a guy preflop and decide not to squeeze so you overcall something like A5s. Be more and more inclined to make these sort of bluff c/r’s against players that cbet a lot. For the most part when we check raise it will mean that we have defended our blinds. as you build history you could c/r something like TP on this board for value) we want to simply c/c our entire range (of course not bluffs. so we c/r with a monster to balance our range. Say we flatcall with something like 33 from a CO open. and go from there. The flop comes 1053r. and two overcards. you have assumably backdoor flush outs. You have a reason to believe that the villain is bad and spewy and will always put in way too much money with a TP or overpair type hand. The risk you run is the overcaller having a set on this board. Not to mention a ton of FE. This is not a good spot to check raise unless one of the following two conditions are met: A. History also plays a roll. so now lets suppose you slow it down and coldcall preflop. so he might make a marginal call down. especially if you play your hand fast. and a gutshot. it is a good idea to go after your opponents without history in these spots because they will have to be very spewy to continue with most of their cbetting range and worst case scenario you develop an image that you like to c/r bluff which we can later exploit by c/ring with big hands). this is a great check-raise spot because we have backdoor draws or a gutshot. it’s probably a good idea to fire away a c/r with something like QJss on this board because you have backdoor straight draws. B.turn or river you should be more inclined to bet because its unlikely he’s checking trips and its very likely he thinks you don’t have trips either. If he has seen you do it and is inclined to not give credit then change gears and just c/f and let him have it. 1. Also you should see an increase in success of these types of plays in multiway pots.

but on boards with draws and texture we should opt to play our hands quickly. leaning towards folding. and probably c/c most big hands. Our opponent is a normal TAG and cbets. Anyway lets suppose MP or CO opens and we call IP with QJss. Lets say on average he opens 20% of hands from these positions (combined. lets say your opponent cbets 8bb’s into 10bb’s. In this situation we instead want to play our hand quickly and c/r (as discussed previously. he probably has like 109 or 99 or something.98s. He will generally be c/ring or c/fing this spot. big hands should be slowplayed on dry boards).JTo There are a lot of 1pair or no pair hands in there. rather than draws. but keep in mind that depending upon the opponent you should likely weight your range towards made hand. so if this is the top of his range we can certainly peel. a deuce or 6 or 4. for the first scenario lets assume your opponent cbets 6bb’s into 8bb’s. If we never floated people could just simply cbet every flop and give up because he knew he wasn’t good on the turn and would make us very easy to play against.KTs+. 3. and since they have none and we are way ahead we want to get the money in now. he checks. or to hopefully reshove a worse made h and. call or fold. and there is likely a more optimal way to play your draw (FWIW big draws should likely be played for a c/r.ATo+. you should c/r to 30bb’s with your entire range (this is to keep it consistent and avoid giving away something on bet sizing). Again if he checks we have no option but to bet and hope he c/r’s for us to shove over. These are rough numbers. Float: 1. This means all of our floats will be done in position. In 25 .T8s+. if he check/calls who knows.A8s+. This is also a fairly conservative estimate. for example 98dd on 762dd. more from CO and less from MP).QTo +. Ok now lets suppose we hit our gin card. say we have 87 or 55 on 965dd. you should c/r to 18bb’s with everything. Lets first focus on floating with over cards. and at this point I would probably just put in a medium sized raise. Lets see what his range looks like at best in relation to this board: 22+.87s. What we do by floating is calling with a marginal type of hands with the intention of winning the hand on later streets. in which case exploit this by c/ring draws and stone bluffs. Now lets imagine we flop a made hand on a drawy board. The flop comes 1084r (with or without a spade). So lets say we call his cbet and the turn is a brick. I would likely make it 40bb’s to entice him to come along with something like JJ or QQ. as you will likely be getting money in behind/flipping most of the time. We want to balance each range and raising certain situations simply isn’t a good idea because our opponents will realize we raise bluff too often and we are basically giving him a free pass to 3bet bluff us. or do so with a marginal hand. 9. whatever. whereas 109dd should be played for a c/c on 742dd [unless your opponent folds to c/rs more than most. our opponents will be far more incline to play their 1 pair/big draw type hands fast to maximize fold equity.Q9s+. but I would probably just give up unless you are sure he has some under pair. If he bets again it is probably because he has a strong hand. which he will likely do with a big part of his range. its just –ev. These boards should on occasion also be c/r’d with draws. so say he cbets 15bb’s into 22 or so on the turn. Also by raising certain situations we give away the opportunity of a free card to make our hand. First of all we will never float OOP.and a gutshot) As far as bet sizes go. it’s way too tricky and complicated.J9s+. in which case bet the turn and river (FWIW you should do this with made hands like A10 as well to valuetown him). Now we execute our float and bet 60-75% of pot. When someone cbets and you are in position you can raise. someone calls. just keep it somewhere within this range and you should be fine. unless you’ve really been going after him and you suspect he is sick of you]).KTo+. In the second scenario.

In this spot if he bets again you should just call. if he thinks you are peeling the flop light (this requires a read. you generally want to mix it up. don’t do this blindly) then you can peel another street. just call again and figure out what to on the river UI. but never 3 UI without a read. though if he gives you a pass like betting half pot on the river. Now lets suppose we hit a Q or J. fold 50%. since we know our opponents will cbet a ton of A and K high boards we should certainly throw in floats. but raising is probably a good default. just like when we were going to bet the turn if we missed we bet with made hands. and without a read as to his double barreling tendencies calling is likely best because if god forbid we do hit we can definitely get paid off on the river. you will likely have to fold unless the player is unusually out of line (to a triple barrel. if not flush draw as well. if I had to assign a frequency I would say raise 15%. and however realize that on later streets you need to bluff-represent the flush to make this profitable. some players will check call something like 10x or 99 on this board (which is bad) and we should certainly be looking to value town these guys. Now lets say we have 109s in this situation and the board is A72r or K85r. 26 . Let’s now suppose he checks. FWIW this hand with these flops is another good spot to bluffraise IP. in these situations we have at least a back door straight draw.the event that I know my opponent is spewy or will make loose triple barrels calling is best. look it up and figure out what he’s doing). definitely raise this situation. either way if checked to on the turn bet it 100% of the time (that’s why you floated right?). I don’t think either is preferential. I should mention that despite this board is rainbow you can also float something with like a flush draw. and if he has this one pair hand its probable that he will want to go with it after making TPTK. FWIW raising isn’t a bad play. It is more tricky and should be played around with a little. Fold if c/r’d pending a phenomenal read. and if he bets into you again just call if you pickup a draw. float 35%. in the event that he is doubling representing this card we still can take the pot away on the river if he checks. If he’s super aggressive. and he bets. 2. try not to get crazy with this because it is a bit higher variance but it’s certainly a good play if you can become comfortable representing the flush on later streets. Lets now suppose we hit something like the A or K of spades. however it is high variance. so let’s say for example the flop comes 10d8c3d. you can still float this board. If you make middle pair and he bets again it depends on him.

3838 % 08.Basic theory – expected value (matrix) edited to fix glaring typo in 2nd example and to clear up AA v KK example . Villain tables K K (disregarding how good the play is in this hand) what is the EV of calling knowing we are against specifically K K ?) If we punch those numbers into Pokerstove we get this output.38% 00.is commonly referrred to as EV.00% { AcAs } we can see here that if this hand goes to showdown (as it is going to) that Hero will win on average ~92% of the time.6162 % 91. Board: 9c 3d 6h Dead: equity (%) win (%) tie (%) Hand 1: 08. Poker is a game in which skill will beat luck every time assuming that you play for long enough. here is a simple example Hero(100BB) has A A and raises preflop to 4xBB from the CO. It's important to note that EV and actual results can vary massivley over any short term period.. While it's true that any two cards preflop can win any given individual hand and that luck is a large part of this game if you hold any aspirations whatsoever to beat Poker overany significant amount of time/hands you must learn to make +EV plays and not make -EV plays. from here on in positive Expected Value is +EV and negative Expected Value is -EV. Villain(100BB) calls from the BB and both see a HU flop of 9 3 6 Villain tells us he has black Kings (he's not lying) and then raises all-in and Hero calls. e.00% { KcKs } Hand 2: 91. This play is +EV and has an EV of 168BB *every* time you make it.and loses 1600BB the 8 times he loses the hand.g.62% 00. there are ~200BB at stake so Hero wins 18400BB the 92 times his AA holds up . EV is simply what you expect to make on average with any particular play. if we actually ran the hand above 100 times you might win all 100 times - 27 .edits are in italics (matrix128) Expected Value . so if we run this hand 100 times Hero ought to expect win 92 times and lose 8 times. Total net win of 168BB/hand.

Poker Stars No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $0.95 Hero: $25.Main pot: $53.8.25 6 players Stack sizes: UTG: $27. 4 players) Hero bets $1.8 . BB raises to $3.9.8) River: 9 ($53.15 BB: $27. 2 folds.it's the flop action I am interested in here. BB raises all-in $24. This is a real hand from my database. 1 player + 1 all-in .after playing an infinite amount of hands these two numers will be identical . Everytime you make this play you "earn" 168BB and the more times you repeat this the closer your actual real results will get to the "perfect average" of winning 92% of the time. The closer your total number of hands gets to infinity the closer your actual results will get to this theoretical figure. UTG folds.and conversely everytime you get chips in when you are a favourite in a hand you are winning money. So in theory every time you make a -EV play and get chips in when you are an underdog you a "losing money" regardless of the actual results of the hand .8.does this mean the EV has changed? or you might be unlucky and lose 25 times in 100 does this mean the play is now less EV? . Button calls.8) Results: Final pot: $53.65 CO: $28. Button calls.Button folds. What hand does BB have here? is my hand strong enough to call his allin? and how do we work out the EV of this play?? 28 . Flop: J 2 5 ($1. Turn: 9 ($53.Main pot: $53.10/$0. in our simple example above we knew villains exact hand before calling so we don't have to put him on a range (which affects the EV of our play) in practice we never know what particular hand we are against when we make our decisions.95 Button: $23. Hero calls.80 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is SB with 2 2 UTG calls. Lets look at a more complicated example.and the more hands you play the closer these two numbers will get to each other.85 UTG+1: $24. Once you have played enough hands (an infinite amount) your total actual results will equal the sum of all of the total EV of the plays you have made. Hero calls.no EV remains 168BB per hand. Hero raises to $8. 1 player + 1 all-in . If you added up all the "Sklansky Bucks" (theoretical EV money) you made in the long run and compared this amount to your actual winrate . In real life we don't know what sepcific hand we are facing at the point in time where we make a decision. BB checks.

In this particular case his range is wide because there was no preflop raise.00% { 2d2s } Hand 2: 21. I play using the general rule that I should never fold a flopped set for ~100BB. 55. Do You See Why? Ultimately it is EV that will decide what your true winrate is.2845 % 21. J5s. I have no way of knowing what hand he has and certainly don't have time at the table to put the numbers into Pokerstove so we just make an educated guess. The very very best players at poker don't care about variance and try to make every single +EV play that they can (this is the main reason why they are such big winners) Variance is simply how much your actual results can vary from the statistical EV results in the short term.KJ. AJs. and what cards come on the Turn or on the River don't matter either (as the decision is already made by then) if I make this play everytime it is +EV and in the long run I expect to win ~170BB everytime I make this play.J2. It's the reason that a 20x buyin roll is recommended. 52s.52. J2o. So that you don't go broke in the short term making +EV plays that you lose in the short term because the real results vary from the Expected results. as long as my range is accurate. J5o.28% 00. whether BB shows me JJ for top set or A 8 for a busted flush draw I still "gain" ~70BB everytime I make the play. 52o } (T7ss is included in this range to represent a bluff) and the numbers say that on this wide range of hands my play is +EV and that calling his all-in here means that vs that range I expect to win ~79% of the time. But have I made a +EV play and will this earn me money in the long run??? Lets put his range and my hand into pokerstove and see. Variance is neither good or bad .but that he isn't playing any other hand apart from the ones in this range in this fashion.and the bigger bankroll you have to absorb variance the more you ought to be willing to risk on a marginal +EV play. If you don't you are losing money in the long run.. you can't beat it. Board: Jc 2h 5h Dead: equity (%) win (%) tie (%) Hand 1: 78. 29 . or he might be bluffing. Against most of these hands I am a favourite. AJo. AJ. sometimes he has 55 and we are a huge underdog. he might also have JJ-KK.if we re-run this hand 1000 times say sometimes he has AA and we are a huge favourite. Whenever you determine at the table that a play is +EV you should make it EVERY time. Also we are not saying htat he will always play every hand in this range exactly this way . Ts7s.J5. But you shouldn't. Closely tied in with EV is variance .7155 % 78.00% { JJ+. As this play costs me 100BB to make I make a profit everytime here of 70BB. So I happily call his all-in.a lot of people misunderstand what variance is and try to avoid it. AhKh. or get around it in the long run eventually your total real results will match your expected results.72% 00. Ax . The actual results don't matter.The answer is to put BB on a range of hands . The reason being that no matter the flop if we can get all the money in on the flop we are almost always a favourite to win the hand at the showdown vs our opponents range of hands. J2s. and against some of them I am an underdog..

If most of the losiung sessions you have are +EV you are paying well and eventually real results will catch up with your EV results and you will be a long term winner.though in the short term real results will vary lots and you stand a great chance of losing this particular bet if you can afford it (have a large enough bankroll) you should bet as much as you can on this 51% shot. run the numbers into pokerstove and see how much you made in EV. 51% of 200BB is more than 51% of 20BB . As a final thought here is an exercise you can try when you next get a big losing session. the more money you stake on this play the more you stand to win in the long run.Lets say you determine that a play is +EV and you'll win 51% of the time. so despite losing now in the short term you can be happy that in the long run you're still winning 30 . Review all the hands in the session and for each hand you play work out a range of hands for each villain. I do this sometimes and often find out that I had a +EV session that in real results lost me lots of real money.

That said. I call it a framework for poker study. Introduction Recently I have put some thought into strategies for studying poker. however. Core Ideas There are three core ideas with which I assume everyone is familiar – the concepts of pot equity and Expected Value (EV). so you have a claim of some part of the pot.” Pot equity and EV are functions of basic probability and govern every action in a poker game. where I have spent more time lately. complete with game theoretic opponents who do a. acknowledges that poker is actually a game of incomplete information. in particular NLHE. we work with incomplete information. Sklansky’s Fundamental Theorem of Poker. and what I will call “hand range calculus. The FTOP formalizes how to maximize your return in the special case of complete information. y%. and c x%. Your hand has some % chance of winning the pot. the FTOP is still the final theoretical measure of what is profitable or unprofitable action. from thinking about the structure of that giant math problem and how it could be solved if it were solvable. I'm posting it in MTT. thus poker skill is a combination of the ability to make best decisions within the context of “hand range calculus” and the ability to read your opponents’ ranges better than they read yours. It is frequently said that there are too many variables involved in the play of a hand for anything resembling a formulaic. and agree that in even the simplest cases (short-stack push/fold calculations. there is a significant margin for error in the final result which is due to necessarily imprecise assumptions about an opponent’s ranges. where 31 .A FRAMEWORK FOR POKER STUDY (learnedfromtv) Below is an essay I've written for my Carpal Tunnel post. Because in every case. b. Every bet you make is an investment. the pot contains some amount of money. and attempts to define best actions in terms of maximizing expectation versus the range of possible hands your opponent could have. In practice. both you and your opponent have a specific hand. It's long (> 2500 words for a 2500th post. every time you make a bet that maximizes expectation versus your opponent’s actual hand. I think we are accustomed to thinking about these factors in the context of whatever particular hand we are playing or analyzing. I think a lot can be learned from thinking about poker hands in terms of their component variables. and z% of the time. which is the form most analyses take on these forums. So even if a poker hand is one giant math problem. “Hand range calculus”. This essay is my attempt to categorize and analyze those components. because I think that one good approach to getting better is to spend time away from the table focused on these component variables one at a time. you should bet when your expected return from the bet is larger than the cost of the bet. in light of the range of hands it is likely he thinks you have. you win. component-by-component analysis to be practical. Situational Factors We all know that the proper play of a hand and the correct read on an opponent’s range depends on a lot of situational factors. for example). every time your opponent fails to maximize his expectation given your actual hand. I agree with this. where I spent most of my time since joining 2p2. you win. and in MSNL. in order to be better prepared to think through all of the relevant information when faced with decisions at the table. I guess). it’s an unsolvable problem.

and the rare two pair. All of these factors are interrelated. betting patterns. Raiser is going to rep the K a lot. what percentage of the time should you expect an honest opponent to bet into you? How much more frequently than honest does he have to bet before you can exploit him by representing the ace? There’s a whole game theory problem right here. So CO and Button preflop raising ranges are much wider. combo draws. How often should an “honest” raiser bet the flop. but questions like “how often should the preflop raiser bet the ace”. table image because it is obviously so important. as it is already built into every thought any of us has about the game. now K-high. Position The most familiar. Now there are lots of draws. Now there are only 5 cards that could have hit the board. pot size in relation to stack size (there are two others I’m not going to cover but that I want to mention – table image. sets. how often should he get called. Not only does someone in position have fewer people left to act and more information on that particular round. Onward. Imagine a heads up raised pot with a dry ace-high flop. but now if you get action that looks like a set. the Button is more likely to bet than the guy in the middle. board texture. I don’t think much more needs to be said about this. if you check the flop first to act in a three way pot. this will be long enough as is). Maybe another time. the monsters are in plain sight. and bet sizing.many relatively small factors accumulate to a read and a decision. Hand ranges automatically widen with better position. Pocket pairs are stronger. on this simple board where the only hands people “should” have to continue are TPTK-TPGK. and they all blend into each other. thousands. the kind with straight draws (T85 or 974). How many flop textures are there? Dozens. What does a bet mean on this flop? How different is that from what a bet means on an A-high flop? How often does someone betting this flop have no pair? Compare a raiser betting this flop to the A-high flop – how often should he bet. The framework for study that I suggest in this essay (and which I am following myself) is to separate the most important situational factors and analyze them individually. they and their out-of-position opponents have the knowledge that the player with position on this round will have position on future rounds. What percentage of the time does one of the two players have an ace? How often can one of them beat AK? How often does someone bet this flop with less than an ace? If you are called the raise and are in position. You’ve probably played hundreds of hands that fit this description. like J88. by what hands. independent of any other knowledge. Axy rainbow. or whatever. and easiest to understand situational factor is position. pocket pairs. If position was all I had to talk about. this essay wouldn’t be very useful. raised? Raised pot again. or JJ8. allowing for bluffing as long as it isn’t done too frequently? How frequently is that? Paired board. What about a medium two-tone flop. A 20/12 is 7/5 UTG and 40/25 on the button. instead of 9. still sets. there are always sets.to maximize EV versus an opponent’s range and know his range better than he knows yours. and might make clearer what I’m getting at with the “isolating situational factors” idea. how easy or hard is it to push someone off a mediocre hand? Etc. but by isolating them I hope to get a better sense of the role each plays in the core goal we're all seeking . and bet sizing because I find it interesting. Same questions how often should this flop be bet. etc. etc. but have it less often than he has the A on the A-high flop. maybe. and “how fast should JJ play on a T85 two tone board” are things that are partly determined simply by 32 . Board Texture This one is more interesting. betting frequencies. and in-position bettors on the postflop streets usually have wider ranges. most analyzed. it might be a draw instead. The factors I want to talk about are position. hundreds even.

Raiser bets. What I suggest is that thinking about these patterns and the frequency with which they occur is instructive. bet/call. call. Pot Size/Stack Size Dynamic 100xBB stacks. It’s easiest to categorize headsup pots this way. checked to raiser. Etc. Or bet/call. and no frequency mumbo-jumbo changes that. the patterns that occur most frequently are also the patterns that match the most frequently occurring situations (weak to moderately strong hands building and contesting a small to medium-sized pot). Or bet/raise/call. caller bets. But contrast: Same 100xBB stacks. Betting Patterns Because NLHE is a game where you can bet any amount at any time. Some patterns are more common than others. here I’m referring to the frequency with which individuals bet. Are there optimal frequencies for all of these? Maybe. turn goes check/check. he calls (he 33 . In fact. Or. perfectly-playing opponent sense. all with appropriate bluffs mixed in. OOP bets. check-raise. it could feel like there are a ton of ways to build a pot. Or. fold. One. bet/fold. He calls and you see a flop with 9 BB in the pot. which is easiest to get away with if done quietly. we set these frequencies to exploit specific opponents. Raisy McRaiser raises in front of you. like what % of the time should a preflop raiser bet the flop (or optimal frequencies for any action sequence). There are big meta-theory questions here. raiser folds. you should follow up when it hits on the turn (whether you have it or not). raiser folds. or that opponent) bet the turn after having bet the flop and being called? What % do I bet three streets in a row? What % do I bet two streets then check/fold? What % of the time do I check-raise the flop. You have two cards and raise. If the draw hits. check/check. raiser in position. He does this with 20% of his hands and he never limps. this can be very difficult. then some of the time. and bet the river 10% of the time the turn is called and 20% of the time the turn checks through. Two. so maybe in theory we should bet the flop 75% of the time we raise. Limpy McLimper limps in front of you. He does this with 20% of his hands and he never raises. then bet the turn? Do I ever check-raise the flop. the board often changes from flop to turn and turn to river. then check the turn? How often do I call three barrels? How often do I follow up my turn bet with a river bet? Clearly. raiser folds. in a game-theoretic. for two reasons. but I think analyzing these questions in general can help us understand how to do that. and raise. raiser OOP. raiser bets. You reraise with the same two cards. call. especially among decent players. check/bet/fold. How strong a hand do you need to play for 100BB? For 50? For 25? Too broad a question? Dependent on too many other factors? Yes. and you know 100% that your opponent was drawing. you should check/fold. In practice. call. but patterns repeat themselves in multiway pots also. sort of. But since some of the time you should bet the flop with that obvious draw and some of the time your opponent is calling without it. of course. bet/call. These are the things you start thinking about when you think about action frequencies. checked to the raiser. Especially against good players. but I am more talking about things like “what % of the time do I (or this opponent. check/check. the majority of profit comes from creating large pots with big hands. Pots grow exponentially. Betting Frequencies Under “betting patterns” I was talking about an observer’s view of all participants in a hand. Think about how often a hand plays out like this: preflop raise. the same patterns repeat themselves over and over. bet the turn 25% of the times we’re called and 50% of the time the flop checks through. Or. Raiser checks.the kinds and number of hands that can like a given flop. bet/call.

Go broke with AA against Limpy. look at the stack sizes. With more to fight for. there are plenty of other factors that I didn’t discuss. like table image. Now how strong do you have to be to play for it all? What size pot should you play. about how ranges and betting frequencies change in vs out of position. on average. but it plays its role too. so ranges change and more aggressive play is rewarded.” you have to consider -the range the raiser raises from that position -how likely the particular flop is to have hit that range (AQ5? T85? 522?) -what betting pattern is most likely to create a large pot without tipping anyone off that you want a large pot -how likely the raiser is bet the flop if checked to. Obviously. But on every flop. you call in the BB with 55. probably not. pot/stack dynamic is always present because of increasing blinds and variance in the size of opponent’s stacks. I find the 30-40xBB range particularly interesting. what various bet sizes mean. how often he’ll give up the lead if you show flop aggression. against Raisy. The point is not that there is a formula for proper size pot with xx on flop abc in terms of preflop pot size “AA is worth 3x preflop pot size”. This generates a cat-and-mouse game where you have to accompany the raising hands you do plan to go broke with hands you don’t plan to go broke with in order to deny implied odds to speculative hands. simple example. and reraised pots. but callers with speculative hands still have odds to call and try to outflop (also because allin reraises are too overaggressive in this stage and easily exploitable). because it is a time when raisers with one pair have a hard time folding. Sure. 27 BB in the pot. how often the raiser will follow up on the turn with a marginal hand. There may be times to fold a set in a reraised pot and times to felt middle pair in a limped pot. you have to adjust with them in reraised pots. and so on. with one pair? With a big draw? The only difference is that the pot is a bigger percentage of the stack. people’s ranges for postflop actions necessarily should change toward being more aggressive. a significant shift in pot size/stack size ratio happens when antes are introduced.. in MTT’s. that general idea has to be adjusted based on all of the other situational factors. Someone raises UTG+1. If your opponents don’t make this adjustment. Clearly. where stacks are usually 100x and there aren't antes. raise if bet into. All this theory in practice A short. and have some general idea of what kind of hands should be willing to play for how much. how likely the other caller is to be trapped with a marginal hand. about the amount of strength different betting patterns represent. in MTT's. If they do make this adjustment. then play aggressively. raised pots.calls raises as often as Limpy). Clearly there isn’t. Before you say “lead” or “check. how easily you 34 . and you become vulnerable to preflop reraises. this dynamic shows up more in the differences between limped pots. about how to play versus different betting frequencies. In cash games. There is more to fight for. you’re usually a fish. how sure you are that you're ahead (or behind). Also. -what the stack sizes are and how likely your opponents are to have a hand that is willing to play a large pot. Button calls. let them fold too much. The flop contains a 5. All I am arguing in this essay is you will be better prepared to make the best decisions if you have thought independently about how different board textures play. you should be able to look at the pot size. exploit them – reraise a lot. But do too much of this. etc. etc.

how likely you are to end up paying off a second best hand if someone catches you. or even close. 35 . but this is what I’m thinking about right now. how vulnerable your hand is to the type of hands that are willing to play with you. and that some of the many of you who are better than me will take the time to comment.can improve. I don’t pretend this covers everything it could cover. I hope this is useful/thought-provoking to some of you.

This isn't just bluffing. Whatever it takes for you to be a winner. I've almost reached 100k hands at about 8 PTBB/100. play hands. Don't make the fish's mistakes correct. you can make their mistakes into good plays. read the forum. so I know what it's like to be a breakeven/losing player and where win rate really comes from. You punish them by usually having better hands and charging them to see flops. strategy is probably not your problem.you get in the groove and can keep it up.not value betting top pair on the river against a calling station is a form of spew. trying to get lucky on the flop. You turn them into experts if you pay them off when they hit. work on your game. Secondly.I gaurantee that "spewing" in one way or another is a big part of it. most of the things you need to be a winner are NOT strategy. and you need to adjust properly.just throwing away money. I never made a "Poob" and I'm coming up on my Carpal Tunnel so I figured I better get this in first. Maybe we can tilt a bit and try to play through it. For example : Fish UTG raises A 6 to 2 BB You reraise K K to 12 BB folds to Fish who calls Flop 6 6 7 Fish checks You bet pot Fish pushes all in You call!!!! 36 . not being super-aggressive like you think you should be. taking breaks. If you really review your sessions you'll find hands where you just threw away a lot of money. If you don't. 2. etc. that's not true. Once you start playing your C game. Most fishies have very high VPIP's. When you bluff a calling station. What doesn't (cbloom) Well. I've struggled with questioning my game. we can be on our B or C game and still be profitable. it's folding decent hands to tiny bets. Yes. The fact is. my win rate would be a lot better if not for some stretches where I was way off my "A" game. you get used to that and before long you find you're playing your C game all the time.What matters. These terrible players will do odd things. The first thing is to remember that the goal : being a profitable player. Playing vanilla good poker and eliminating major "spew" will make a huge impact on your win rate. folding monster hands because you imagine he has the nuts. do that. Furthermore. You should be playing most of your hands against terrible players if you're using good game & seat selection. It's better to just take a break when you're not on your A game and try to only play in that state. Anybody who's struggling with their game . I thought I'd drop some thoughts on what really matters in being a winning player. One of the traps I think we all fall into is thinking that the fish are so bad. not doing what you're "supposed to". Poker is not easy. downswings. you had an almost gauranteed big bet you could've made and you didn't. get practice. being on your "A" game is like a habit . but assuming you've got the basics (and trust me. Being on your "A" game. 3. not making fancy moves. Not "spewing" . any monkey can get the basics). Note that "spew" can be subtle . Beating the rake is hard and you probably can't do it on your C game. you've turned the fish into a better player than you. What Matters : 1.

"Tough" Decisions. Maybe you complete T7o in the SB. maybe you're 30% vpip.it doesn't matter! If it's truly a tough decision. that means the EV of the choices is nearly the same! Yes. It's almost never bad to just be a wuss in these spots unless you do that too much. On the other hand. maybe folding T9o in the SB is a small leak.Oh no! you made the fishes -EV style of chasing flops into a profitable style. Little details about your play. but that's not really a problem unless someone starts trying to do it. 2. but if you're thinking about the range of hands it was actually EV neutral. these could be slightly +EV or slightly -EV. Again. Marginal situations. Maybe you reraise a lot preflop. fix your big leaks and play solid) 37 . it's very easy to make a big mistake in a marginal situation. If you're playing a hand and you hit a really really tough spot and you just can't figure out what's the best move . You'll see these some times when you post a hand and good/respected posters disagree about the best move. 3. but the fact is. Don't complete hands in the SB because you think you should if you're not comfortable playing them postflop. Yes. What Doesn't : 1. You could fold almost every one of them and it wouldn't hurt your win rate that much. These sort of "tough" decisions are fun to analyze because they're very close and complicated. they have almost zero effect on whether you're a big winner. (synopsis for the tl. maybe you don't. but it's a very small EV difference. but it's a tiny tiny leak and not worth worrying about.dr crowd : stop worrying about trivial details that don't affect your win rate much. Maybe you're 15% vpip. Maybe there is in fact one move that's better than others. You will run into lots and lots of marginal situations. in which case you can try to trap them. but the fact is they have almost zero effect on your win rate. What you should not do is play in a way you're not comfortable with. and that will hurt your win rate a lot!! This is sort of like a reverse implied odds situation. A lot of people are scared of being "weak" or "easy to run over". you might lose a huge pot because you made the wrong decision in this particular case. maybe you don't.

even any Axo if folded to them. and a HUGE variety of high cards. I would also like to make a note here that you should almost never open limp. they will bluff you more and ship more money your way. A10o and better. 38 . That is why if you open up pokertracker and a large enough sample size. Continuation betting with nothing often takes the pot down. Open limping is just gross. I play 22/18 and consider myself TAG. 3) Flopping sets / monsters in unraised pots is basically a crap pot. There is quite a lack of information on how to properly play 6 max TAG and I am mostly appalled at how the lower stakes players are completely missing out on the fundamentals. Raise rather than limp. It is up to YOU to decide whether or not people get to enter a pot cheaply or not. For all you poker tracker statiticians out there. they are playing a raised pot out of position and you have the advantage. Don't do it with suited connectors or whatnot. I can check behind for a free card. The reason you MUST do this is because: 1) you steal the blinds if they all fold 2) if they call you. positional preflop play and image. and 600NL (when the games were fishy). why let them play out of position hands for cheap? Abuse the [censored] out of the button and CO. I have decided to give something back to community that I have received so much from. or draw. When you are on the button and CO. http://www. And hell. Open limping in 6 max is a very very big sin. This post will merely cover the basics of 6 max. This comes from a player that played primarily (only) 6max 200NL. every single Axs.org/?578669 Another positional hand. That includes KJo.pokerhand. This play is better than calling his flop bet. If he doesn’t have an A.org/?578668 One example of why you need to raise. every single suited connector. Take down the blinds and move on to next hand. 400NL. QJo. you will see that the button and CO is the most profitable position to play in.pokerhand. DO NOT OPEN LIMP. Hands that a true TAG will raise with if folded to them on the button / CO is: 22 -> AA. True tags understand this concept and abuse the [censored] out of the button. If he calls my raise. he folds to my raise. 4) People are more likely to go broke on raised pots than unraised pots. Open raise. http://www. consider yourself the gatekeeper. Being last to act simply gives you a world of advantage over your opponents. It is a no brainer to why position is so important in NL. First thing I want to mention is position and the button. Hell. and not quite on advanced play. meaning every single pocket pair. Would I have stacked him in an unraised pot? Most likely not.6 Max fundamentals for SSNL players (Tien) Some 6max Fundamentals Now that I have decided to walk away from poker and pursue other ambitions. One of the hardest things I had to learn was the fundamentals of 6 max and how to play like a proper TAG for medium stakes.

Example: UTG limps, folds to you on the CO, you have 22. What do you do? Answer: RAISE. How much to raise, 4-5x BB is good. Example 2: UTG limps, MP limps, you hold 22 on the button. What do you do? Answer: RAISE THAT [censored] UP If they call, you will take it down often enough with a continuation bet to make it profitable. And BTW, continuation bet 75-90% of the time. They will most likely fold a hand that didn’t hit. So now that you understand basic fundamental button and CO play. It is time to figure out how to play UTG and MP. UTG: You want to play real damn tight, fold suited connectors, fold high cards, fold Axs hands. But continue to raise pocket pairs in ANY POSITION. Pocket pairs have the ability to flop such powerful monsters that you just can’t fold them in any position. Raising pocket pairs is so mandatory. Assume 100BB stacks. You raise 44 in MP and get reraised. You call and flop comes 346, 2410, 410J, 345. You are stacking KK AA 100% of the time. Don’t limp either. It is so transparent when a weaktight (who thinks he is a TAG) limps UTG, and calls you raise. He has small pocket pair or suited connector 99% of the time. Continue to raise AJo and better. Folding QKo and KJo, as well as QJo is not bad play at all. These hands are pretty garbage out of position. MP: You can still fold the QKo, KJo, or QJo, but start loosening up your standards. Start mixing up raising or folding those Axs hands, suited connectors. Blinds: You want to play real tight in the blinds. Calling too many raises out of position is just a death trap. You don’t want to build big pots with marginal holdings in the blinds. Fold suited connectors, Axs, call with pocket pairs obviously. But just because you are playing tight in the blinds doesn’t mean you are a big sissy either. Facing a button raise or an MP raise, if you hold hands like AK, AQ, JJ, 1010, RERAISE. It’s much much better to reraise these hands in the blinds that many SSNL players normally just call with. Reraising these hands start to become advanced play so be careful. New players trying these things out often lose stacks because they are out of position and are bad post flop players. Example: You are in BB or SB with AK, AQ, JJ. UTG limps, MP limp, button limps. What do you do? Answer: RAISE THAT [censored] UP. Raise it up to 6-7 even 8x bb depending on players. Take down the pot without even seeing a flop is better than checking and playing a multiway un raised pot. http://www.pokerhand.org/?578721

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Raising all these hands allows you to play raised pots against players that have no idea of positional or image. You will stack them more often than not. And don’t sissy up on continuation bets. Bet 75-90% of the time no matter board texture. Only if 2 people call you and u completely missed the flop can you decide to check and give up on the pot. Example: You have A8s on the button, UTG limps, you raise 5x BB and get called by BB and UTG. Flop comes 48Q rainbow. BET 100% of the time if checked to you. That covers the BASICS of positional preflop play. Combo Draws Another thing which I think is standard to most people but may not, is combo draws. Hands where you have say 13-15 outs on the flop should be taken to the felt. http://www.pokerhand.org/?578686 Here is an example of properly playing a combo draw. Same goes with open ended straight and flush draws. Play these hands strong and very fast. There is a ton of fold equity as well as getting money in being a 50/50 if they do decide to take their hand to the felt with you. Best case scenario for the hand I played above is that everyone folds. Making them fold in spots like this is what makes playing combo draws this way profitable. You don’t profit by them calling a 50/50 shot. You profit making them fold. I wanted to talk more about 2nd barrels, increasing range of reraising hands preflop, and pot control, but that is a bit more advanced than the basics and maybe I’ll write something later on. In conclusion. Don’t make dramatically changes to your game. Start implementing one concept at a time. Don’t start raising 6-7% more hands just because I told you. Start one different hand at a time and slowly make changes. I hope this helps the struggling low stakes player out there. If you keep these strategies and tactics in mind, it will definitely improve your play.

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Tien's Article on Mentality, Image, and changing gears (Tien)
Ok, This is a follow up article to the last one I wrote: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showfl...part=1&vc=1 I finally got around to writing this and will probably be the last one I write before I disappear from the online poker world altogether. Although I think this article should have been written before the first one, since I will talk a lot about mentality which I feel is the most important thing a player needs to develop first. I will mix up image in here somewhere too. First though I would like to rant about a couple of things first before I really start. Starting players hoping that they will make something out of this game really need to ask themselves a question. How badly do you really want it? What it takes to continuously go from level to level in poker is an insane desire to continuously challenge yourself and improve. You won’t go anywhere thinking how you play right now is sufficient for whatever stakes. IMPROVE YOURSELF. There is a huge growing army of 12 tabling hudbots continuously grinding away. Some of them are improving, some of them are not. If you belong in the category of players who don’t improve than you will be left in the dust. The games ARE getting tougher for those who are NOT continuously improving. 1.5 years ago, I don’t think I even heard of multitabling TAGs playing at 25/22 at Mid stakes with insane relentless post flop aggression. Now, if you visit the mid stakes forums, it’s the norm. Ok, so the first thing you need to change is your mentality. And by surfing these forums, I can guess there are thousands of winning players who need a total mentality re-haul. You may ask, but Tien, they are winning, what’s wrong with them? My Answer: They still complain, whine and bitch about irrelevant things. They still get angry and emotional when a doofus fish sucks them out when they are a 85% favourite. They get frustrated and cry out to people who don’t even care saying how badly they are taking it. It doesn’t make any [censored] sense whatsoever to complain about getting sucked out. And if you are running bad, guess what, I DON’T [censored] CARE. Poker player who needs a total mentality re-haul: “OMG MY AA JUST LOST TO 44 ALLIN PREFLOP 134993024 TIMES TODAY, IM DOWN 15 BUYINS, OMG I CANT TAKE IT ANYMORE” My answer: “I don’t care” Poker player who doesn’t need mentality re-haul, this time he is thinking to himself whenever the following happens: Loses AA vs KK allin pre 3423432 times. “Whatever I don’t give a [censored]” Loses a bunch of coinflips on monster draws. “Whatever I don’t give a [censored]” Loses a whole bunch of buyins. “It’s about time these weaksauce [censored] win something from me”

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You need to be cool and remain calm. Your reaction to winning a 200 BB pot should be the same as the reaction to losing a 200BB pot. Next time you complain to someone. Remember that deep down what they are really thinking is “I don’t care”. Complaining serves no purpose whatsoever and should be completely and 100% erased from your character. Getting sucked out and going on downswings is the nature of the beast. It can’t happen any other way. How does complaining or whining help you improve? It doesn’t. It makes you a worse player. You can’t win if you don’t get sucked out. You can’t improve if you never go on downswings. You can’t succeed if you never fail. Mentality change goes beyond complaining / whining / bitching. If you want to change yourself from a weak tight player to an aggressive player (Notice TAG and LAG both have the words aggressive in it) you need to change your mentality first. No matter how hard you try to change something, if you don’t program it into your head, YOU WILL NOT CHANGE. You need to start to think aggressive every time you sit down in your sessions. Think about opportunities to raise and re-raise and win pots. You need to have that image of a player who is constantly raising and re-raising and instilling FEAR into the other players. Don’t make sissy as hell bets and raises either. Every time you bet or raise, bet and raise like you mean it. 2/3, to ¾ pot size bets to build big pots to stack people or make them fold. Again, for the mid stakes players nowadays, this is the NORM. For a lot of you starting players out there, there is an entirely new concept that you NEED TO LEARN AND IMPLEMENT. I don’t want to get so much into post flop because that subject is really complex, but I’ll give a couple of examples. 1) You raise 10Js on the button and some weaktight fish who limps before calls. Board comes 48K rainbow and he donk bets into you meakly. Raise the [censored] out of him! 2) You raise A5s in middle position and flop comes 3s4sQx. You lead out and bet and get miniraised or raised. RERAISE. You have 12 outs here and plenty of fold equity, ALLLIN. 3) You have 98s and raise in the button and some guy calls. Flop comes 7810 rainbow. He leads into you. RAISE THAT [censored] UP. Results in these hands don’t matter nor should you care if you lose being 40% dog or whatever. You played these using concepts of fold equity properly. These are just a couple of examples of what kind of an aggressive mentality you need to have. Don’t take these examples in stone every single time, but the mentality behind these examples is what you need. Once you change your mentality into the one proper for poker, many many postflop decisions will become easy to you. I guarantee that. On towards Image. So what image do you really need? As mentioned before you need an image of a player that the table is afraid to play against. And at small stakes NL, there are a bunch of weak tight players waiting to be afraid of you. So go out there and instill fear into them! Play

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solid positional aggressive poker. Look for spots to raise and re-raise in position holding draws, marginal hands, etc etc. Achieving that image cannot be done unless you yourself believe inside you possess that image. What you think about yourself inside reflects a lot on how people think about you. Again, this goes back to your mentality. This type of image will also get you a lot of action too. You are in there building pots and people will give you action in return. You don’t care about that because if you play solid positional poker, you will have the advantage. People will also give you their respect and fold to your bluffs or semi-bluffs. Don’t show down a losing hand. But once your image has been shot to [censored]. You’ve been caught bluffing or people see you have been playing a lot of big pots lately and are starting to play back at you. It is time to tighten up a bit. You can slow down on the cont bets if you feel these guys will look you up with any 2 cards. You can also raise less in MP and UTG with marginal hands. Once you feel you have been playing tight enough and showing a lot of aggression but also showing down big hands, you can then again loosen up and become more aggressive with marginal hands / bluffs. That is changing gears. Reacting to your table dynamics and how you think people are observing you. In conclusion, this article again covers the BASICS of what I have been talking about. Continue to go out there, post hands, discuss hands, observe hands. That’s what it takes to improve. And when you are done a session or whatever. Review your hands, post them, analyze, observe etc etc etc. Lots of players are doing that right now, and they are improving. Bah, I can review this a couple of times and make a better article but I’m really too lazy. The most important point in this article is your mentality. I can’t stress that enough. An aggressive mentality towards poker will continue to open countless opportunities, doors and $$ in the world of poker. Some important reads: http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showflat.php? Cat=0&Number=5615820&an=0&page=0&vc=1 http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/showfl...amp;o=&vc=1

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Quote: I am beginning to realize that most people don't have the psychological fortitude or spiritual perspective to manage the vicissitudes of this game. I also believe that of the very small number of professional poker players who have been successful for more than a few years. to think that. or lackthereof. it just seems impossible for me to believe that someone else can understand). I believe that there are many pros who will fail once they begin to experience average luck. then you therefore must be a loser. that most won't finish. This statement is truer than anyone can know(even though I think most of you do know. The sooner you can get that into your head and really believe it. some just direct their energies in different directions. I rarely respond to posts. Our labels for winners and losers simply identify individuals who play the same game a different way. doesn't make that person a "loser. Just because one person doesn't achieve the same goal that I strive for. most of them are actually quite lucky. and so the downward spiral begins. and frankly. There are no successful people. because most of the time I am the dissenter. or rather. The difference between a winner and a loser is that the latter thinks they do not deserve it. it is a large task indeed to sort them out as real. Success and failure are just ideas created by society to improperly judge others against ourselves." so to speak(the very beginning). I should say that there are no failures and everyone is a success. The trick is recognizing these negative ideas. What he says about winners and losers though. A choice to change the way you think about results.php? Cat=&Number=1822484&page=1&view=collapsed&sb=5&o=14&fpart=1 When I read Irieguys post I wasn't planning on responding. using these words. but travelling in the wrong direction. Stop thinking in terms of winning as good and losing as bad. Let me start with the words success and failure.twoplustwo. As I started reading the responses I soon felt obligated to respond." Here is the link http://forumserver. All of those negative ideas must be eliminated from your mind.Almost there with Success and Failure (Gigabet) This post is in response to Irieguys Post "The Difference Between Success and Failure. I really believe that everyone has the "psychological fortitude" to manage the vicissitudes of the game. Quote: Everybody will eventually run worse than they thought was possible. the sooner you will start to have a real understanding of the game. since there are so many and so commonplace in our society. is setting yourself up for a long ardurous journey. or you will not perform to your potential. These are words that mean such different things to each individual that to use them to label your accomplishments. will keep you from attaining a more complete game.com/showthreaded. or just ideas created by the masses. The wording he uses in the text lets me know where he is at on the "path." Everyone is the same. it isn't good for my long term financial situation. and everyone has the same potential. There are no winners or losers. The two concepts should be 44 . It is simply a choice. is to let yourself be affected by negative variance. If you are not in the positive for the day. He is so close.

When God "blessed" man with shame. Turning your noise filter up will work for a time. That is what we are trying to achieve when we label a person as a failure. It takes alot of time and effort to do this. ask my brother(ship_it_tome) how upset I get when he is at my house. struggling. I think I'm beginning to learn it myself. Eventually they become the "professionals" in whatever walk of life they choose. Anyone can read a persons 45 . You have to be able to eliminate all of these ideas. you can read their hand. not the cards in your hand. and you do a little betting here and there. Once you train yourself to be completely judgement free. that doesn't mean just noticing their presence. I have come to realize that it is much better to acknowledge the negative or angry thoughts as they arrive. we have all of these predisposed ideas of who a person is based on ideas that have been placed in our heads by our society. failure became a real entity we had to deal with. when they approach. Quote: I think you can learn how to avoid this trap of psychological betrayal.. Throughout my life I have been around alot of people that most would classify as "failures" and not one of them seemed any different than myself. The problem is. as I am sure you all have muttered them at one time or another. are the same people that do not give up. Believe me. and once you know what they have in their hand. no matter how bad things seem to be running. You get 2 cards. either concretely or intuitively. and everything that has been blocked comes pouring out at once. the game becomes a cakewalk. If you know a person well enough." We get along very well. which creates the very worst tilt imaginable. The people who come to realize these negative labels aren't real. playing. actually talk to your mind and announce their arrival. but you cannot eliminate what you do not recognize. but eventually it builds and seeps through at one time or another." they begin to suspect that they may "fail" and rather than become susceptible to the shame that comes with "failure" they decide to quit. The problem comes to life when a person starts their downswing. why do so many people have so much trouble ending up ahead of where they started? The real game is about people.SO HOW DOES ALL THIS REALLY RELATE TO POKER? The game that most of us play is really very simple. I have been there many times. for hours on end. it will eventually stop creating them in the first place. Best 5 card hand wins. 5 cards come up. but I get very irate with him when he utters those deadly words. OK.. and then identify the reasons behind them. You have to find your own way to deal with these thoughts that have been brainwashed into your mind for your whole life.grouped in your mind exactly the same. which we classify as "losing. it takes practice to monitor your thoughts. As your mind comes to realize how trivial and meaningless these thoughts are. They stop because they fear things that aren't even real. It involves turning your noise filter all the way up. but the long term results will be well worth it. I try very hard not to allow any negativity in my life. Identifying every negative thought as it creeps into your mind is a start.. you will become a more complete player. With a game this simple. we are attaching shame to A meaningless act. and finally says "I can't win.

every single hand. open up the hand history file. watch him play.hand based on his actions and seeing common tendencies. and the losing hand is mucked. Every time there is a showdown. 6000 hands a day on average. for every table that you are playing at. Try and eight table while doing this exercise. This is what it takes. it isn't some spiritual science. Try and figure out what he is thinking. he has to be thinking something. they are just the cards coming out randomly. Practice trusting yourself. a beginning player will commonly bet small when on a draw. and than bet pot the next? They are certainly experienced enough to know not to bet the same pattern for the same types of hands. Put yourself in his spot. then you can ignore the "sng" formula and really start to play. not just the ones you are involved in. Bad beats are no longer bad beats. There is a strong possibility that I am the most active player in the world. with no predisposed judgements of the other players. even if it means your tournament is over if you are wrong. ie. and bet big when he has a made hand. and then when you know what he has. just watching and learning. Imagine. So how can you figure out what they have? Well. Believe me. What is really important is learning the thousands of languages that different people speak through their actions at the table.) I call this an exercise. If you think he is on second pair. for every player at the table. you will be wrong enough in the beginning to doubt yourself. Gigabet 46 .. then bet your whole stack(unless of course you have a better hand than second pair. evening themselves out over time. Put effort into every single hand that is played out at your table. Use your bets to pull information from your opponent. This is how you become a real player. and I can honestly say that this is something that I do on nearly every hand. but don't let that stop you. Post flop is where the real game is at. what kind of hand would you have if you were betting like that? Now do this for every hand for every player that is in the hand. which is unlikely since players like us can rarely beat bottom pair). get to know him. What about more experienced players? What does it mean when they bet 2/3s of the pot one time. and see what he had. it is listening and learning without prejudice. Go through the hand again and see if you can figure out why he willingly showed down a losing hand(something that should rarely be done. but will not fold unless you bet your whole stack. trust your judgement 100%. and it is fun to play. but this should be done on every single hand that is played out at any of your tables for the rest of your poker career.

You will shove b/c you know you have the right equity. I'm to lazy to link ama's pooh bah post. Lots of players can beat levels way above the one they are playing. But it is hard to deal with when you think you have/take ownership to $15k sitting in a poker account and then 3 weeks later there isn't anything there because your busto. you should. I feel better about it. much more so than I already am. The point of this post is to understand that you should be emotionally "numb" to the limits you choose to play. times where I wasn't sure if I could beat nl10. So I will always have multiple 5 buyin downswings per month and a really good month won't include a 10 downer. not just beat +EV. but when I find myself venting over beats and not being "numb" towards the results I come back to my haven which is nl50 at stars. even if I moved up to 100nl. I have a lot of "unnecessary variance" in my game. I ran 4bb/100. Most of us have been there. The reason I prefer to play lower and overrolled has a lot to do with the emotional side of poker. Just because you have 30-40 buyins for a level doesn't mean you should feel obligated to play it. I am pretty sure there is no other 50nl reg that plays as overrolled as I do. the downswings emotionally effect me too much and prone me to tilt. and not be scared to pull the trigger just because you've missed 9 of your last 10 combo draws. Being emotionally -ev can often overcome even the greatest edge in cards for the shorterm. but they are emotionally -ev at those levels because they can't become "numb" to the instant results. Running bad at higher limits. 47 . I know at the beginning of my poker career when I was in school I could care less about the money at first. and they find themselves in the utter state of busto. So. A really bad month will probably have a downswing much larger than this. 10 buyin downswing happen people. or are just on life-tilt in general. which is also a poor result. Over 100k hands you can expect 2 or 3 of these type of downswings. Tilt during this time becomes way worse then normal.Thoughts on Running bad for UNL guys (ssdex) I browse through posts really often in the brew and in general where I see people who have 10 buyin downswings and are ready to quit poker. I just say you should be numb. If you don't have a lifestyle that relies on poker for $ then I think you can emotionally move up much faster. The next 100k will go better. I think it is possible to avoid these moments in your poker career. but take small shots. then you will be emotionally numb to these swings. not big ones. I have written before on my uber nitty strategy of bankroll management. Ive also been running at 2bb/100 at nl100 over the last 20k. If you are playing at levels where you are "numb". Learn from others mistakes! This post was inspired by my last 100k hands which were my worse ever at nl50. but if you havent read it. You will understand your moves are +EV and you have been playing good just running poorly. but after review. much less nl100. when I am having good months or I feel like I am really keen on my game. But if you are playing where you belong (this in my opinion has nothing to do with your bankroll). You should play at levels you can emotionally beat. here is my 2 cents. I would still probably be the most overrolled reg there. There have been times during my poker career during my worse downers where I considered the fact that I had just run good over hundreds of thousands of hands and was not indeed a winner. which is kind of cancerous and had several very bad downswings (1 20 and 1 25 buyin downsing). Often bad enough to bring us close to busto and crush our confidence in poker. I play nl100 nl200 and even nl400 from time to time. Taking shots is obv ok. It won't matter if your on a 15 buyin downswing or you've played 20k hands at breakeven. He calls it "connecting". It is really hard when you first begin poker to understand the concept of "variance".

.. connect! 48 . I'll move up when i'm "numb" at those levels again. Happy reading and good luck at the tables.. great pooh bah post ama..maybe like the 400k before that.. I am in no hurry to move up permanently. hope this post is helpful..... and i'm ok with that now. in his words. i'm just not there yet.

I decided to take a nap and . It will help prevent you from making terrible. I’ll take half your action. In terms of advice. You will constantly be analyzing your play and improving. This is when I learned that limping the button is fine. others were terrible wrong. After he finished up his sesh. He was already up 600k on the day and was about to cal it a night. I hadn’t 3bet preflop in a while so I decided to do it with something marginal like J9o. That day. but not exactly epiphany-type stuff. Though I broke even that day. Though I don’t remember the exact hand. we went out to take care of some things. why would you want to bloat the pot with marginal hands like 45s? Limp and outplay your opponent postflop. In addition to poker. ofishstix 49 . He told me: Always have a good reason for everything you do Don’t 3bet for the sole reason you haven’t done so in a while. Doing so will make you play more actively/not in autopilot mode. turned out to be his famous million-dollar-day. though. “They’re all sports betters who like gambling. Good luck. find a fish.5% of his session. In the car he was telling me how soft the heads up games on Prima were. I’ve learned and forgotten a bunch of ideas and concepts. Good advice. I still ended up being down 4k because I lost one 200bb and two 400bb coin flips. 5/10 full ring. Sit at 5/10. It’s much harder to make a poor decision when you think through it first. the lesson helped me make plenty over the last 10 months. and 5/10 HU. I woke up a few hours later and durrrr was up 400k which covered my debt. In this time.” I three tabled 3/6 6 max. Some things my friends and I learned/reasoned out were right. there is one piece that is so important I’ll never forget it… I got to durrrr’s house around midnight when he was playing some 200/400 PLO. If you’re going to get called anyway. in fact. durrrr asked me why I did that and I told him that I hadn’t 3bet in a while so I thought it would be a good time. and spewy plays because you’re not just acting on a whim. Don’t bluff raise the flop just because you haven’t done that lately. tilty. this lesson can be applied to everything. you’re consciously reasoning through your options. Now owing him 2k. You must reason out every move you make. I remember the lesson it prompted.Do things for a reason (ofishstix) It has been a little over four years since I started playing poker and about three years since I’ve done so online. and they never stop reloading. Despite the great advice. He was helping me out with the HU match as I had never played HU NL outside of SNGs.

and examine the ways we can all get better. the angry newb. and figuring out how their hand fares against those ranges." The confuzzled understand basic strategy but get confused and puzzled by anything but the most simple of situations. This stage usually finds posters responding to many many posts (usually authoratatively and usually correctly) because while they are helping answer the question the poster is asking they are also helping themselves become more comfortable assigning ranges and doing complicated EV calculations. (for example open pushing with roughly 10BBs). they have found math. and the interested newb. "if you want to gamble then call" or. However. should I just call so I can get away if an A flops. a small number of confuzzleds strive to understand the "rules" (they understand that "rules" should be in quotes) and the leads them to progress. The angry newb posts so that he can crow about how his decision is right and berate those who disagree with him (even though it is clear to most that the angry newb is clearly a worse player than the ones he berates). He (or in much rarer cases she) posts a situation so that the better posters on the forum can tell him what to do in the given situation. You often see phrases like. Generally they enter into the forum asking a pretty simple question like "UTG with 6BBs and AKo. In order to progress further." or. The majority of players stall here because again they do not make the effort to understand the thinking and reasoning that dictates these rules. that is. The interested newb posts the same type of threads. They begin reading and posting and get bombarded with concepts they are not prepared to deal with. "if you want to play for first call. if you want to make the money then folding is ok. Unlike the angry newb he doesnt assume he is right. raise.Evolving (MTG) The quality of posts in this forum has been incredibly bad recenty. Specifically they begin assigning hand ranges. Step 2: The Confuzlleds Generally speaking this stage occurs when a newb sticks with it. If a poster makes it to this point they are more than likely a winning player which makes it oh so tempting to stall and not continue on to. 50 . and unlike the passive newb he is seeking to understand how to make decisions. but becomes involved in debate in an attempt to understand the advice he receives. and that they stem from the math. push.. Players games have improved from when they were newbs. They have grasped that the "rules" are just a shorthand way to deal with frequent situations. not how to play only the hand he posted. They have made the first leap. but generally they remain break even players at best. should I stop n go. and often incorrectly. often without rhyme or reason. "I'm in the CO with 15BBs and an MP player raises. Step 1: The Newb The newb has just stumbled onto this site. The passive newb posts a hand to be told what to do." Most confuzzled players games consist of trying to apply rules they read about to situations they are confronted with. however. or just fold it.. instead they just try to use them. inspired by this I thought I'd examine the stages a poster goes through. So. Step 3: Leapers If a poster progresses this far they are on their way. Then there is the interested newb who is much rarer than the other 2." The newb comes in 3 distinct brands. both the angry newb and the passive newb must first transform themselves into the interested newb." or "Restealing with QQ... Thus they end up making posts like "KK and 8 BBs. Thye know poker basics like simple preflop hand selection and basic pot odds. There is the passive newb. The rest of poker is still a mystery.

Step 4: Poker Players If you make it here. and persuing those avenues is interesting and rewarding. They think about how to play their hand in relation to all the other hands they play. Still. Its a shame that so many posters here have their games stuck in neutral because its brought the forum to a grinding halt. Often they have no time for the simple decisions. They are focused on playing poker instead of just an individual hand. quit being comfortable with where you are and start trying to improve your game. which sucks for the rest of the forum. You main focus is no longer individual decisions but rather lines (the series of decisions you make in a hand looked at collectively). By focusing on how to play the hand as a whole these posters learn how to make better postflop decisions and often it leads to them leaving the forum in favor of cash games as for the first time they may be equipped for it. Often when responding to basic questions these posters leave out explicit calculations because it has become so second nature that they can intuit the correct action without having to do the math out (this can occasionally make them a little hard to distinguish from the cunfuzzled). No matter how good we are there's always a way to get better. Step 5: Meta The elite. 51 . my advice to everybody is stop being lazy. A poster who reaches this level is clearly a very good tournament player (although might still be a very middle of the road cash game player) and its easy for them to think they have nothing left to learn. So. There are always ways to get better. or decision. the math has become 2nd nature (even the most complicated of it). more than anything else this category stands as a reminder to us all that there is a level to which we can improve.

Just as the solid grinder is preying on the fish to pay off his big hand. When you are on the SB facing a button raise or even button facing a CO raise. 1) Reraising Preflop Many midstakes players have a very tight reraising range. calling may be +EV in some of those situations but many don't even consider the +EV situation a reraise would set up for them and how much greater that EV would be than that of calling (the same thing often applies in many spots as far as raising vs overlimping. As these solid players move up. you overrepresent your hand and force them to make a hand. As far as calling. A lot of players seem to be stuck in a mode. given how well defined their hands tend to be in certain spots. You are also going to be missing the majority of the time. They will reraise their big hands. the 30/20 in the 10/20 Party game is preying on the solid grinder's leaks. With more deceptive hands your actual implied odds to call the LP preflop raise are generally very poor. they are still unwilling to open their game up whether they recognize it or not. you will often be unsure of your hand if you are facing a lot of pressure in certain spots. and even though they may have somewhat adjusted to the different dynamic of this game. and even though their decision to call may be +EV. with clunkier hands like KQ/AJ you will often be folding the best hand when you miss (which will be most of the time). Your hand carries reverse implied odds. These same players are content to just call preflop with certain hands. and I figured it might benefit players on here if I shared a little of what I learned and observed. By reraising you gain momentum. both decreasing the implied odds of your opponents calling and trying to crack your big hand. and also have much bigger leaks themselves. and even though their range is so slim. as LP's raising ranges tend to be very wide. and even when you do get a favorable top pair flop. what do you accomplish cold calling a raise with the majority of your hands? Sure. and if you get called you will often have another +EV situation postflop. they still make far more money on these hands than they should be making. and some interesting points were brought up from which I learned quite a bit. You likely have a +EV situation right there preflop. they encounter more players that are capable of exploiting their leaks and that also possess fewer themselves. They have gotten to midstakes playing a particular way. and your reraising range obviously increases. midstakes are (hopefully) only a gateway for you. where both may be +EV but raising may be a much better option). and really not that big of a deal to them at this point in time as far as the games they are playing in go) and still be winning players or even be doing very well. or getting forced off of your more marginal hands (which will often be the best hand) by 52 . In certain spots calling may even be your worst option. The higher up in stakes you go. and it is whom I am directing this post towards. they don't even consider their third option. I don't think people realize how crazy the dynamic at a game like the 10/20 6max on party can be. even disregarding your actual hand. simply because the vast majority of their opponents are not exploiting their leaks. and after all. These players may have pretty big leaks in their game (that may very well be unknown to them. getting you ready for the next level. which is to reraise.Opening Up Your Eyes and Your Game (AJFenix) Recently I have had some interesting discussions with a few regulars. I will touch on this game dynamic within the next few parts. and/or its simply hard for them to do certain things differently as it has all become routine. the more observant players you encounter. and increasing your action on your big hands as observant players will realize that you are capable of reraising light. This generalization encompasses a lot of solid midstakes players. whatever that mode may be.

I am not advocating players to fire the second barrel without considering all of the important factors. They make use of him from time to time. They are awesome post-flop players. someone might actually put 2 and 2 together (!!!) and realize//exploit the fact that you don't have anything on the flop a good amount of the time you are betting. he is going to be much less inclined to contest pots against you with weak holdings. even though everyone is fully expecting you to bet at almost any flop with any hand you came in raising with. but future implications are there as well. and you simply give up on the turn the majority of the time when you get called on the flop and you don't have anything. you may chock it up as donk-on-donk violence. 2) Firing the Second Barrel Everyone knows and loves the continuation bet. You will see full stacks go in with relative garbage. One other thing that they are very good at doing is spotting and setting up profitable situations preflop. and firing again will be lightning money on fire in many spots (as their hand will already be well defined as unfavorable for you after their flop call in a particular spot and/or the situation is not a profitable one for other reasons). I believe 4 of the top 5 have close to 30/20 stats. when the hand may have just went down between the 2 biggest winners in that game. That being said. and you are further bettering your overall situation. the second barrel. And believe me. To be even more specific.aggressive players. In both cases you also lack initiative. and of course their profits do as well. If you didn't know any better. I am simply pointing out that this is a very common spot in which players are passing up on clearly profitable situations and are really hurting themselves in the long run. and betting at a lot of flops. but far less than they should. and have absolutely no problem reraising/rereraising light. Not only is the situation itself +EV. and also leads to you getting more overall information in various subsequent situations and reading hands better. The reraising ranges of some of these top players are astounding. This also leads to forcing your opponents into making mistakes. And they aren't the only ones you will see this kind of action from. and their analysis of situations is dead-on the majority of the time. there really isn't a decision to be made as far as what your play should be. The continuation bet is a transparent play that tends to work often enough on its own merit. Their preflop game is so much different than what the average midstakes player is used to that it can really be amazing. Now your continuation bets are going to be getting more respect from this player. Far fewer people fully appreciate the value of his big brother. These players are squeezing each other left and right. If you would be giving up the pot by checking. you are begging him to keep running you over and you are throwing money away if you yourself are coming in light and then playing bad postflop. Going back to the discussion of higher stakes games. Their variance shoots up. the top high stakes players are generally firing that second barrel at a drastically higher rate than the solid regulars at 53 . They can become much stronger players by utilizing these situations. When your opponent realizes that he has to expect a turn bet from you a high percent of the time and you aren't just giving up whenever he calls you and you don't have a very good hand. Just about all of the biggest winners in the 10/20 game on Party have a very "opened up" game. If you are raising a fairly wide range of hands. Over and over and over and over. You have to ask yourself what you are really accomplishing by calling with some these hands. but you realize that firing the turn will probably get him to fold often enough to be +EV disregarding any outs you may or may not have. fireworks do fly when they are at the table together. Everything leads to you making more money. either. though. and one is an amazing 47/29. but the number of +EV situations they are involved in does too. If you run into a player that is playing back at you light.

Swings are inevitable over the long run.mid stakes. Now 10 buyin downswings are not only a possibility. They simply play very well postflop. If you asked me a couple months ago whether I could have a 10 buyin downswing playing my normal game without any real tilt in there. As I have been pointing out. More than one very good player has been known to run at almost breakeven for 100k hands. Poker is very good at painting an illusion because of how deceptive and subtle variance in poker can be. The second barrel is really just the tip of the iceberg. I also want to add that I am 54 . though. and hopefully those players that aren't trying to ride a rollercoaster both emotionally and bankroll-wise have a slightly better grasp of the capabilities of variance. Some people are perfectly fine with giving themselves a small cushion. and adjusting according to what you are willing to accept. but most people do have a "regular" limit for them where they put in the bulk of their hands. helps some people become more willing to open their game up and attempt changing their thinking a little and getting better. That can seriously be devastating to that person. and have no problem hopping up and down in limits at a crazy pace on the whim of their latest upswing or downswing. the biggest winner in one particular game was apparently recorded as to having TWO 25 buyin downswings last month alone. some people do not give themselves enough cushion because they do not realize that a big downswing near the beginning of their move up is very well within the realm of possibility. You can't really argue with that. You should gradually move up. and be willing to play multiple levels as your bankroll allows whenever you spot a good game. and they think that if they drop 5 buyins at 5/10NL it will prove to them that they are not ready for that level. but they are expected/inevitable. and gets crunched for 10 buyins. and playing very well postflop indicates that they are good at spotting +EV situations. they can lose far more than that and still have evidence of absolutely nothing if they do not analyze their situation properly. 3) Giving Yourself a Bigger Cushion I have observed the bankroll discussions on this forum and have a few comments on the subject. But if your goal is a nice steady ride up the money hill with a few bumps that aren't going to wreck your ride in more ways than one. A 2p2 regular who is a consistent winner at 5/10NL moves up to 10/20 with 30-40 buyins. Some posters have said that your "move up" shouldn't be a big event. as its really going to be necessary if they want to continue moving up in stakes and doing well in the higher games. I really doubt I could foresee it happening. The players who were moving up from 100NL to 200NL and from 200NL to 400NL very quickly as soon as they attained 25 buyins for the next level probably have never experienced a decent sized downswing. and there isn't any hesitation. 4) Conclusion Hopefully this post helps people realize whats in store for them at the higher limits. If you like the rollercoaster thats up to you and its your choice. which the turn brings very often. Swings become exponentially more violent as you move up and your winrate drops. This is obvious and everyone thinks they realize this. and how many small things go into running bad and running good that you do not pay attention to. Others give themselves a small cushion without knowing what can possibly happen. That isn't to say they are just brainlessly firing away. What it comes down to is realizing what goes into variance and what it is capable of. as are long breakeven stretches. then you may want to consider giving yourself a bigger cushion. but people don't fully grasp it. although some spots are so clear that it really doesn't require much thought. To give a point of reference. When they make the next level their "regular" game.

nowhere near the skill/experience level of some of the players discussed here at this point in time. 55 . I am simply relaying my thoughts and observations.

but it doesn't belong in the software forum. 2. This should be an exceedingly profitable thing to do when you try it. Put $ In Pot.) Now click on "Filters. Not a week goes by that someone doesn't ask if they are playing the game right. and you can be a consistently winning player at SSNL with a VPIP of 30%. from every position on the table. it should be a function of your level of looseness. I'm going to try to give you a rough guide for the things you can do to check on your game. If you multiply this number by 100. This shows every time you've tried to steal the blinds." and then click on "Filters. Put $ In Pot" click on "Put 56 . (Personally. you have a hole in your game when it comes to blind stealing. I'm happy with the situation." again. and other people may disagree with me strongly. That shows your per-hand winrate on blind steals. they include a dozen numbers from Poker Tracker and hope that the old-timers on SSNL can fix all their holes." If you get a number smaller than 0.. If you're trying to steal the blinds less than 20% of the time. In that post. aggression is a relative term. open up your ring game statistics and go to the "position stats" page. and how the attempt turned out for you. it's to teach people how they can use the Poker Tracker data to find flaws in their game. Under "Blind Status" click on "Either Blind. These are all just my opinion. To test this. this is not the way to approach it. Do you have sufficient preflop aggression? To answer this question. You should see that VPIP steadily dropping the farther you get from the button.How to use Poker Tracker (Pokey) This is a how-to post. See. but if my Button VPIP is at least 50% larger than my UTG VPIP.. tab. you need to work on your strategy. How's my stealing? To check on your performance when trying a blind steal. they're all subject to interpretation. divide the "PF Raise %" by the "Vol. Are you positionally aware? Positional awareness means that you understand Ed Miller's comment when he said: Quote: Total all the dollars you've ever bet playing poker. but these strike me as some things you can check on that are frequent flaws in the small-stakes player's game. go to the General Info. 4. The best way to play is usually player-specific. While it's true that Poker Tracker can help find problems. I like mine to be over 30%. if it's not." Now under "Vol. If it's much less than that and you have a decent sample size." and under "Chance to Steal Blinds" click "Chance to Steal & Raised.5. go to the Position Stats and look down the list of VPIP from Button to UTG. 3. it should be at least double your "PTBB/100" average winrate.. I'd love to see my button VPIP at double my UTG VPIP. you're not aggressive enough out of that position. For each position other than the small blind. My general guideline is that you should raise at least half the hands you play." Select OK and look at the numbers. You can be a consistently winning player at SSNL with a VPIP of 12%. Click on "Turn Filter Off. you're leaving lots of money on the table.. The large majority of those dollars should have been bet from late position. Under "Totals" see the "BB/Hand" statistic. but I'm very aggressive in these situations. Only a small percentage of your total handle should have been bet from up front. Defending the blinds. but only if you are sufficiently aggressive. To Steal Blinds" I'd like to see that number at LEAST 20%. Where it says "Att. 1.

Change “Hands With Between…Players Seeing The Flop” to “3 to 10 players. If you click on "Filters. Of the times you cold-called. I don’t really have a good suggestion as to how high your VPIP or PFR should be. Some people have this number higher still. if it’s not. and you’re playing them well postflop.375. I’d expect every one of these lines to be positive. you’re leaving money on the table. villain is passive post-flop. As a result. you'd lose less money by always folding rather than doing what you're doing. but not when you were the preflop raiser). that means you're making back some of your blinds when you try to defend against a steal. If your "BB/Hand" is larger than that. Good explanations: the raise was very small. unless you play at highly unusual tables. villain and I are both extremely deep-stacked. Also. Multiway pots. In the “Filters…” change “Vol.” This will show you how you’ve done when you didn’t raise preflop. If either of these numbers is lower than -0. Look over individual hands where you lose lots of money and see if you played too timidly early in the hand. If you have any glaringly negative numbers. villain is incredibly aggressive preflop. Heads-up play.” When you hit OK.” Is it still positive? If so. Under “Hands With Between…Players Seeing The Flop” change the range from “0 to 10 players” to “2 to 2 players. and I don’t have a problem with that. it may indicate bad play. See how you’ve done in these situations. but the hand was heads-up on the flop (this includes pure limping and when someone ELSE raised preflop. your BB/hand should be positive. unraised pot. Click on “Turn Filter Off.” Hit “OK” and see what comes up." again and go under "Steal Attempted Against Your Blind" and click on "Steal Attempted. you should have almost no entries to view. Clear the filter and go back under filters. rather than raise or fold. Is this number positive? If not. A "BB/Hand" of about -0. if not 1/2. Put $ In Pot” to “Cold-Called. Review the hand histories. it could be an indicator that you have trouble when you are not the aggressor preflop.” This will show you how you generally play and perform with pocket pairs. then you typically win back some of your blind money when you put money into the pot from the blinds. or if you routinely forced weaker hands out when you should have been milking them for profits. your Total PFR% with these hands should be rather high -. I’d be surprised to see this number below 85%. However.. 7. if you can’t come up with a really good reason why you thought it better to cold-call." This shows you if you're bleeding money out of the blinds. If you have enough hands. if you’re not playing them almost all the time.375. I had position on villain. Under “Filters…” change “Type of Hole Cards” to “Suited Connectors. 6. Again. Your Total VPIP with these should be EXTREMELY high. Also. go back and select “No Raise” under “Pre-flop Raise. you’re selecting good times to play/limp multiway pots. and reasonably significantly so." After you click "OK" you'll now see how you did when you chose to defend against a blind steal. you should be able to come up with a specific explanation for why you did so in each and every one of them. go back to “Filters…” and under “Pre-flop Raise” select “No Raise.” This shows you how you do in multiway pots. Remember: these hands play best in a multiway. you need to rethink your suited connector strategy.. If things look OK. but a flop was dealt. 5. especially AA-88. Under “Filters…” change the “Type of Hole Cards” to “Pairs. Pocket pairs. If things look good.Money In. look at the hands where you won to see if you played too timidly. 8. the magic number is for your "BB/Hand" to be bigger than -0.375 would indicate that you were no better off putting money into the pot than if you had folded. Suited connectors. This shows you how you’ve done when you were heads-up preflop. especially without padding in the pot. you’re probably not playing your suited connectors well.at least 1/3 of your VPIP. but some people play them religiously. That's all you can really hope for.” then click on “Filters…” again. or as a steal move. Pocket pairs make extremely powerful hands that are extremely well-hidden. especially at short-handed tables. my suited 57 . or if you went too far unimproved in the face of resistance.” I’m much less likely to play suited connectors than pocket pairs.

I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever cold-call with suited connectors. The goal of the check-raise is to remind your opponents that just because you checked does NOT mean that you don’t have a hand. Clear the filter and then go back into it. If you are check raising much more than 2% of the time. post them up (one at a time. Filter for cold-calling and see if you had good reasons for doing so. Check-raising. 58 . Typically. Scroll down. If you don’t bet. there are several cold-callers in front of me. Some people never check-raise. Change “Type of Hole Cards” to “Off-Suited Connectors.” Your VPIP for these hands should be noticeably smaller than your VPIP for suited connectors. or on the turn when OOP against a flop bettor/raiser who was clearly not on a draw (uncoordinated flop). Scroll down a bit farther to “Aggression Factor. 9. which gives you a large aggression factor. you’re probably giving up too soon on your good hands. Select the “More Detail…” button above the “Filters…” button. only if you have a good reason why you CANNOT raise or fold should you call.” This shows your likelihood of continuation betting. As a result. you need a good reason NOT to raise the flop. keeping in mind that the reasons need to be even stronger than for suited connectors. rather. Typically. If it’s not. Unsuited connectors. You should always be looking to see if you can raise or fold. open the discussion up to see if 2+2ers agree or disagree. the total should be at least 40%.” Your total aggression factor should be at LEAST 2. and straightforward play would probably be more profitable for you. and why you think this hand might indicate the problem. If you add Bet and Raise. Tell us the problem you are worried you might have. 0.5% would be acceptable. you’re being entirely too tricky for a SSNL table. Your default play here should be to fold weak suited connectors and reraise strong ones. 10. Continuation betting should be your default play. I personally like to check-raise at least once in awhile. No-limit is not a game where you can call frequently and turn a profit. If you raised preflop. calling should be an infrequent occurrence in your play. The pot is already decent-sized. Remember: people who cold-call a preflop bet are often in fit-or-fold mode. of course). There is a section marked “First Action on Flop After A Pre-flop Raise. Postflop aggression. I check-raise on the flop when OOP against a preflop raiser. However. Clear the filter. and that will cost you money in the long run. others check-raise infrequently. and there’s no reason to give some donk a free look at a turn card that could sink you. the only person who can truly do a “check-up” on your playing style and ability is YOU. circumstances need to be very specific for a check-raise to be appropriate. Check your winrate and make sure it’s positive.connectors are particularly strong. I’m saying you shouldn’t AUTOMATICALLY do so. Notice how much more in-depth it is than just glancing at a few VPIP numbers. 1% would be fine. All of this is just an introduction to the kinds of self-analysis you can/should do with Poker Tracker statistics. if in your searching you find hands that indicate you may have a flaw in your poker reasoning. etc. Then. 11. As always. you don’t give them a chance to fold.

But is this given? Not necessarily. So how do you find the typical loose/passive fish that go to showdown a lot? At 10NL for instance. The reasoning behind this tactic is obvious. So it’s probably gonna take something like 10-15 minutes from when you register to when you actually get a seat. most of the tables are gonna be filled with them. But even there you would like to find the very juiciest tables. Let’s say you have a 6-handed 50NL game with $10 as the average pot size. there aren’t usually any free seats at the table with the highest average pot. and build big pots with them. However. but personally. with perhaps even 2 or more 70/8/1-ish types. even if they are kind of tight. then those pots. only to eventually sit down on it to find a bunch of 17/13 tight aggressive players sitting around folding preflop. this is usually the case. but even at 10NL. what is your favorite kind of fish? Different people might have a different answer to this question. Clearly this kind of table is also beatable if you adapt. There are of course a lot of fish on 50NL too. bluffing several streets with air/a marginal hand. if in one hand BTN pick up KK while BB has AA (they’ll probably get it all-in preflop or on the flop). Also. I’d definitely recommend considering what kind of tables you chose to sit down at.SOME THOUGHTS ON GAME SELECTION (fiksdal) Game selection is something every serious poker player should have in his mind when he starts a session. you probably like to have the loose/passive kind of fish. it could simply be a result of variance. This is where game selection gets even more important. For instance. Game selection gets more important the higher in stakes you get. is that they aren’t gonna pay off your big hands. 2. Most of the time there are even a couple of people on the waiting list already. At 50NL for instance. I definitely prefer the loose passive kind of opponent. First of all. but it is not where the highest possible winrate can be achieved. This is a pretty low number. passive and nitty opponents that will be easier to run over. the fish who were putting all that money in the pots might already have been stacked by one of the more solid players at the table! Several times have I waited for a seat at the juiciest game. is something you aren’t gonna be doing. if you are a loose aggressive player who get a lot of your profitable situations from fold equity. the fewer will the true fish be. at the tables where the pots are big. you’d perhaps prefer tight. and I have had mixed experiences with it. who will usually have good cards when we decide to play those big pots. and the logic assumption about the players at it. This is good for us. Problems with this strategy: 1. As a result of other people using the same strategy. good players know how to value bet their strong hands. by your side. the higher you get up in stakes. I’d like 59 . Big pot size doesn’t necessarily mean bad players. but they are rarer. The POT SIZE strategy A lot of people start their session by putting themselves on the waiting list for the games with the currently highest average pot sizes. For instance. Different kinds of players prefer different types of opponents. Obviously what kind of table you are at and which opponents you are facing. and then in the next time to deep-stacked players both flop a set. every table will have at least a couple of TAGs on it. By that time. For serious uNL players. who calls down a lot. If you are a tight aggressive player who usually have the goods when you play big pots. the players seem willing to usually put a lot of money in the pot. and thus the average pot size is gonna be huge no matter how skilled the players are. because pretty much no matter what kind of micro stakes table you are at. is gonna be crucial for your expected win. Personally I have used this game selection strategy a lot. Ask yourself.

out of fear of CO going away if he raises. CO calls 1bb. there would have been at least a raise preflop in this hand.5bb.5 player doesn’t bet that river. call preflop raises all the time and rarely use aggression himself but rather call. Now only on the preflop round have we seen an example of bad players who you’d love to sit with. 3 players) BB checks. call. BTN checks (lol) Now both players decided to slow-play their flopped sets. CO notices the pot being tiny. let’s look at another hand where both the involved players are fish with similar stats to the villain in the other hand: CO: 130bbs: 8 8 BTN: 130bbs: 9 9 Preflop: (1.5bb. BTN however. the 70/6/0. If at least one of these players was a TAG. Flop: 6 8 A (8. River: 7 (24. He missed his OESDFD (something that makes most players frustrated). We get the ability to decide when the money goes in against them. However. Hero bets 8bb. 6 players) UTG folds. CO checks.5]: 9 7 Preflop: (1. So he checks. SB folds. The advantages of facing these kinds of opponents are obvious. BB calls 8bb. Their passive nature has just prevented them to build a lot of big pots.5bb. BTN calls 2bb. decides to keep slow-playing. 3 players) BB checks. 2 players) BB checks. 60 . Hero raises to 4bb. Turn: K (24. call.) Such small pots make a surprisingly big difference in your final result. and is (correctly) trying to get some money into it. CO bets 2bb. For instance. 2 players) BB checks. MP folds.5bb. He just wants to see that showdown. but still they don’t create big pots. It is however an extremely common play by loose/passive fish. and he saw us showing weakness by checking behind on the turn.5bb. BB checks. So most of the time they are gonna put out that bluff. and we get to check behind and take down that 24bb pot.5bb. SB folds. BB folds. Hero checks. BB calls 3bb. maybe even a 3bet. 6 players) UTG folds. Flop: 9 8 2 (3. after all he has a pair (and we all know how these players overvalue their hands). Turn: 4 (3. MP folds. 2 players) Now this is a spot where a lot of villains will usually put out a bluff. BTN folds. A table with a small average pot size.5bb.him to play a lot of hands. which is of course a felony on this board and these stacks. BTN calls 1bb. and they aren’t even the aggressive type who bluffs us off the best hand from time to time. may very well be filled with that kind of loose passive fish. Example hand: Hero (CO): 100bb: T T Fish (BB): 70bb [70/6/0. taking the pot away from us.

In a scared fashion he puts out a small value/blocking bet. However. CO sees the card completing the draws. Someone who will build big pots: YOU. They usually buy-in for like 20-50bb (a very good sign). What kind of players do you think is gonna sit down with me? Do you think the other decent TAGs who play multiple tables are gonna sit down and play heads up with another regular? Very unlikely. and the average stats of my table are amazingly often along the lines of 50/10/1 when I use this strategy. he will be able to control pot sizes against them. BTN calls 4bb. but such hands go down between passive fish all the time. If this hand had been going on between two TAGs. if a good.5bb. 2 players) CO bets 4bb. just calls! The final pot size is 15.River: 7 (7. I encourage you all to use this table selection technique the next time you start a session. They usually call down too much. the final pot size would by all likeliness have been 260bbs. Players at it could be very willing to put money in the pot with medium hands. It usually doesn’t take long before I have 5 sweet loose/passive fish sitting with me. Then the fish double up through each other and I get to play with them 100bbs deep. and if the aggressive player picks up a bunch of hands that qualify to value bet multiple streets with. How do you find the tables with this kind of opponents? Personally. and start limping all over the place. uNL. aggressive player sits down at a table full of these opponents. and a low one doesn’t always mean good ones. and sit down at them. So a high average pot size doesn’t always mean bad players.5bb. BTN who is also afraid of the draws. there is a strategy I have been using more and more lately. All they need is someone to make bets that they can call. Most of the time the people that come to me are total fish. When I start a session I open a couple of empty tables. This is why the tables with the low average pot sizes might not always be that bad at all. pots involving the calling stations and him could get rather large. An incredibly small pot considering the monsters the players had. 61 .

2) Bankroll management . 1) Passion . But these are some things I've noticed in my playing experiences that I think are important to my success. those who are truly passionate about what they're doing are the most successful.Poker is a game. I'm not going to try and tell you I know it all. 10 or 12 PTBB/100 hands. 62 . It may not be optimal (and I may get flamed for suggesting it). Like I said before. You can beat it with a good understanding of the fundamentals. 4) Participate on the board! . Slowly. Once you get the basics down. they aren't kidding. You COULD beat the game that bad. started lurking 2+2/SSNL. read SSNL. Sign up for a session review (I highly recommend this). Doing these things help build the fundamentals which make everything else such a breeze. If you're scared of getting it all in and being sucked out. I read any book I couldn't get my hands on. but it can't be said enough.especially when you first start out. and most importantly started to manage my bankroll responsibly. However. etc. the easier decisions will come to you at the table. Even when I became a consistently marginally winning player (3-4/100). The marginal EV you gain playing the hand isn't worth the risk if you'll get stacked a bunch when you hit top pair. If you don't mind going bust and reloading. I certainly don't. I figured the big winners were liars or luckboxes. Since then. but don't want to call. I started out playing in an unorganized. I've made an effort to improve at all times rather than assume I know how to play because I've read Super/System. The more you challenge yourself to critically think about the game. This doesn't mean you have to play 8 hours a day or be thinking about poker 24/7 away from the table. blindless home game and donating my paychecks online. Reply in other hands. the advanced stuff starts to come to you piece by piece. Like most professions though. Fold QJo on the button if everyone has limped to you and you don't want to raise. but when you enter a pot. Michael Jordan didn't get to his level by shooting free throws on the weekends. you will save yourself money and frustration by keeping yourself out of them. These people were/are passionate about what they were/are doing.I'm sure this sounds like a broken record to those of you who read this forum with any regularity. But it does mean you should constantly be looking for ways to improve and never accept complacency . I couldn't believe that some people were beating the game for 8. you're potentially risking your whole stack. I'm trying to learn all the time.Post hands. Bill Gates didn't become successful by writing software in his free time. If you are playing at a level you are uncomfortable at. It's comparable to a musician playing scales over and over or a basketball player taking jump shot after jump shot. by all means play as high as you can afford. you're probably playing far too high. the more able you will be to handle marginal situations. I got the itch to play again. but surely (and switching to six max) I started to see my winrate improve. as other posters have made note of.The more experience you acquire. 3) Marginal situations . I understood where these people were coming from. Do something. they aren't that important! If you have a hard time in marginal situations. This can definitely add a BB to your winrate. When people say you should post hands. evaluate your play in PT. When I first started reading here. After a 9 month hiatus from the game for personal reasons (moving/not having a home game/dating someone I spent a majority of my time with).How to Put It All Together and be a Winning Player (MikeyPatriot) My poker career has been a long journey. I should start by saying this: it isn't easy. it will be very hard to be successful.

Sure. etc. 63 . politics. AIM me at MikeyPatriot.I don't know how many times I started my own downswing by getting to cocky. but (and this goes with point 3) that doesn't mean we should be putting ourselves into super marginal positions. Finding Two Plus Two kickstarted all of it. These are the things that have led me to becoming a winning player. life. we want to play as many hands against the fish as much as we can. if anyone would like to discuss hands. Just the fact that you are here is a great start.5) Stay humble . poker. Keep learning and don't be afraid to make mistakes! Also. Playing ATo from UTG is trouble for most everyone. Don't let an upswing twist your head into thinking otherwise.

I don't post often in MHNL because at that level. 1) Isolate against the fish VERY FREQUENTLY I see this mistake made very often. Mix up the bet amount so no one can read your hand. This is very bad. If you get HU with the fish. lets say VPIP over 50 limps. If I forget. AJ. If you bet the full pot every time.. KQ. if he does start raising and playing back at you. even if does call once in a while. AQ. use some common sense. he will have to fold LESS than 50% or you show an automatic profit. However. I normally play 5/10 NL and higher.etc. J9s. you won't be able to isolate that effectively. the closer you are to the button. Sit to the left of the loose player. KT. KJ. JT. AK. and one very 64 . If this is the case. You should pound on them. There is one situation where you should not isolate. Naturally. I've actually heard it debated whether you would rather sit to the left of a very loose player or the TAG so to avoid him having position on you. Axs. AT. Think about it from a game theory perspective. 9Ts. he is bad. someone send me a PM. 1 very loose player.. You should be looking to sit to the direct left of the very loose players. Bet your monsters and bet your crap. If the flop is A55 rainbow. but a general rule is 3. However. It's not even close. A donkey. Since most HE hands miss more than 50% of flops. unless the fish can adjust to your strategy. The amount you raise can vary. you will show an automatic profit.Start Isolating. and he checks the flop. If you have a 6 handed table with 3 average players.5BB + 1 per limper (pot size raise). but way more. Our 2+2'er limps behind. Let me put an end to this debate.Advice from a MHNL'er (whitelime’s) (PART I) Hi. I have gained some knowledge from 2+2 and would like to repay by helping out some Small Stakes players. you should be betting almost 100% of the time. a half pot bet probably makes the same hands fold as a pot bet. so you should be able to outplay him. Furthermore. Q9s. I will try to post one solid piece of advice for SS play each week. Attack them relentlessly. This is if you have someone who is VERY loose in calling raises to your left.. QJ. Many other posters hold back their thought processes to a certain degree as well. the more frequently you should be isolating. Bottom Line . Your bet amount should vary between 1/2 the pot and the full pot. K9s. Additionally.. Your range of hands for raising the weak limper with position on him should include AT LEAST the following and probably more if you play halfway decent postflop: AA-77. you will have a hand once in a while so he'll have to be calling/raising not just 50% of the time. some of the advanced concepts and thought processes are better left unsaid since some people still don't understand them. QT..

some of the advanced concepts and thought processes are better left unsaid since some people still don't understand them. The reasons for this should be obvious. I'm not saying to get rid of this line completely. but postflop slowplaying is usually much worse. Factor in that he will often incorrectly put money in the pot postflop as a big underdog and slowplaying becomes very incorrect. There is a second minor reason to slowplay preflop and this is for deception purposes. however. I normally play 5/10 NL and higher. I don't post often in MHNL because at that level. I will try to post one solid piece of advice for SS play each week. 65 . Against most thinking players. suited connector) Call raiser's flop bet when you hit your monster. I'll try to think of another important concept for next week. This. 2) VERY VERY rarely is slowplaying correct This goes not only for postflop play. Enjoy! (PART II) Hi. Every time you smooth call a raise preflop with AA or KK There is one common condition smooth calling preflop is correct. I call the following "The Idiot's Monster" Call Preflop with a drawing hand (pocket pair. First I'll discuss the simpler preflop play. is the most overrated reason at almost any limit. Preflop slowplaying is bad. but will fold to a reraise preflop. make sure you do it against an opponent whose PFR is small enough to the point where you know the range of hands you are trapping. you'll only end up trapping yourself when he shows you a 45 which you could've either pushed out preflop. If I forget. or forced to make an incorrect call preflop. but preflop play as well. Raise the turn small (whether it's minraise or raise f/ $200 to $500). however. Value bet the river. you will not take their stack this way against an overpair. Note that just being recklessly aggressive postflop is not enough to warrant a smooth call. Many other posters hold back their thought processes to a certain degree as well. If he is willing to call a pot size reraise preflop. However. However. pick your spots. I would estimate your BB/100 will be DRAMATICALLY higher sitting to the left of the loose player with the TAG to your left. This is against a player who is recklessly aggressive postflop.solid TAG and you have to sandwhich yourself between the TAG and the loose player. If you smooth call a loose raiser and see a Q44 flop. This is because it takes a ridiculous number of table hours against a particular opponent to deduce that he will NEVER slowplay AA/KK. If you still like to slowplay your AA/KK. someone send me a PM. he has very slim implied odds regardless of his holding. I have gained some knowledge from 2+2 and would like to repay by helping out some Small Stakes players.

Check-calling is pretty bad. I stated that check-raising and leading are both good options. You have 77 OOP against a preflop raiser. J. I'm going to use a simple example to illustrate this point. Don't plan on taking half his stack. This assures that you disguise your quads. The correct play in this situation is not only to bet the turn. Flop: ($105) K. SB (poster) calls $30. Here is another example from a hand that I played recently: Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em. 5.. $ BB (6 max. Any heart. However. Reasons slowplaying is bad: 1) Fastplaying is deceptive. 2) Fastplaying builds pots.75) Preflop: Hero is UTG with 6. Go for it all. River: ($595) A (2 players) SB checks. It allows your opponent to play a small pot in a hand where he is either way ahead or way behind.12) CO ($992) Button ($704. Think about how many turn cards could potentially kill your action. most thinking players will never see what hit them when you fastplay yours. BB folds. Betting it also disguises your hand and most probably stacks Villain if he holds Kx. When you flop a set and sense that your opponent has an overpair.. You heard right.3 could result in your opponent not willing to go to the felt with his overpair. He will never fold his TPGK. Check-raising and leading out are both acceptable options. This one should be obvious.35) SB ($769. He probably isn't folding unless. This example illustrates how much can go wrong when you try to slowplay. T. The reason check-raising is equally good is because your opponent will often make a continuation bet when he misses which you would not gain if you lead. 6. The flop comes T74 with a heart flush draw. Turn: ($245) 6 (2 players) SB checks. Checking the turn is 100% wrong. slowplaying is not (against thinking players). BB calls $25. SB calls $175. 6 (3 players) SB checks. You want the maximum amount going in on every street. You check call the flop. 4) Your opponent doesn't bet! In the previous 77 example. Hero raises to $35. Hero bets $175. I forgot that an A could hit the river and potentially kill my action. use this line (raising the flop is still superior) and value bet him into submission.against some loose calling station whose entire thought process is "he bets more so he has a better hand". but to bet all-in. you should be wary of the fact that any time you check 66 . However. 3 folds. get 95%+'s opponent's stacks all-in with Kx. BB checks. Hero bets $70.6. 6 handed) converter BB ($949) Hero ($1342) MP ($286. SB calls $70. 3) a scare card hits. You don't want streets checked when you have a very strong hand. Because the overwhelming majority of players online slowplay their very strong hands. SB posts a blind of $5. pound him. and prevent a scare card (Ace) from killing your action on the river. Hero ??? So many players will check the turn.

The important thing is that you have the thought process to recognize when those situations arise and why slowplaying is more profitable than fastplaying in those situations. chances are there might be 4 or 5 tables out of 100 that you are unable to sustain a positive winrate.intending to trap. How quickly on average does he go broke? 30 hands? 50 hands? 70 hands? If you are on his table. Think about the times where you sat down with a fish on your table playing 70-100% of his hands. if you are a good player. wrong and right. the important thing you should be taking in from this is the thought process involved in making decisions. Disclaimer: Don't take what I write as black and white. However. losing players. you should leave your computer on and datamine. there is a big difference between winning 2BB/100 on a certain table as opposed to 15BB/100. think about how important game selection is. I've been busy lately. (PART III) Hi. your opponent may check also.. Sure there are times when you should be slowplaying. Anyone opposed to this? Enjoy. but a bunch of you bombarded me w/ PM's so here goes: The first two posts focused specifically on poker strategy while this one will deal with profitability. Rather. the decision is whether to slowplay or not. he is a fish.. There is a wide range of styles with which people can play 67 . obviously you have to know what a good game is. sometimes you won't. For my third post next week. they are my opinions. the bottom line is. this may average out to around 9-12BB's. If we take a conservative estimate and say he lasts 70 hands. When you aren't playing. Here are a few specific ways to improve your profitability (roughly in order of importance) 1) Game Selection: This is by far the most important thing you can do to improve your winrate. 2) Identifying Fish If you are to exercise good game selection. Sorry it took me so long to get this one out. the easiest way to do it is to use PokerTracker and an add-on which superimposes everyone's stats onto the table. and the regular. If you follow most of the following advice. If your game selection consists solely of putting yourself on the waitlists of the tables with the biggest avg pots/highest% to the flop. Whether I state them as absolutes or not. but it is more of a profitability discussion. on average you will take x% of that player's stack. Since most of you are probably multitablers. I have an idea. rather than a pure strategy discussion. I don't think there are many doubters to the fact that game selection is important so I won't spend much more time on it. Be warned that you shouldn't automatically assume that because a certain player's VPIP is over 30. x will be around 30%. Within a few days you can easily recognize the regular. your game selection sucks. In this case. However. At small stakes. However. let's move on to how you go about picking good games. First. winning players.. that's a ridiculous 9-12BB/HR raise on your winrate. Depending on how much he bought in for. sometimes you'll be the one taking his stack.

there's no guarantee that he will even go broke with an overpair or top pair. Instead. Now. However. Standard starting stacks. You should be seeing a flop here every single time. you can be pretty sure that he is a losing player. 3) Play more hands with the fish and less with the sharks This should be obvious. a solid player's opening range is going to be such that every time you flop your set. Here is another example. my winrate was significantly higher than what i was earning at full ring. Sure this tells you he sucks. TAKE NOTES. how else can you increase the number of hands you play against him. This isn't because I improved my postflop play that quickly but rather because there are more fish on the 6 MAX tables. The next way to identify the fish is to observe how they play particular hands. that you have to plan on getting 50 big blinds worth of his stack in the middle just to BREAK EVEN on your small pocket pair. Now you know not to bluff him. Chances are that a player with a VPIP of 50 is much more likely to be a loser than a player with a VPIP of 15.profitably. you are playing the numbers game. you need to learn how to take advantage of them. Very bad player minraises UTG. Once you are able to identify the fish. Maybe a scare card hits on the turn to kill your action. write "calling station". he will not necessarily have a strong enough hand to pay you off. 68 . Here's an example. The bottom line is that speculative hands fluctuate in value depending on the player you are playing them against. there are 50/20's who are winning players at 5/10NL and 10/20NL. You have 55 in the SB. 4) Learn to play short-handed This is probably one of the biggest fears of a lot of small stakes full ring players. Remember. Playing 46s profitably against a very bad player in this situation should be pretty easy if you know what his leaks are and how to properly exploit them. I was scared to death of SH play. Solid player raises 4-5x from middle position. For example. like most things. Now you know to just check-call him down to the river. and ways for you to exploit that. You have 46s on the button. and I am now playing more hands against each fish. When you see someone check-call the KQ4 flop OOP w/ A7o. but it is amazing how many players play on complete auto-pilot and disregard for who they are playing the hand against. A lot of players will call and take a flop to try and flop a set.. All folds around to you. don't write "donkey" as your note. Next. Say he raises KQ and the flop comes J75. but what good is that if you are unsure of how to exploit it. It's important that you note specifics of how the weak player plays. Maybe he reads your hand well and can get away quickly. I'd have to play postflop and not just win exclusively on the strength of solid starting hands. because this player is good. Now you know that you should just check-call him down with your top pair type hand. no draws. Or write "doesn't extract proper value from strong hands". I know when I first started out. I can honestly say that after 2 or 3 days of playing 6 MAX. Other than widening your range of hands you will play against a weak player. this is incorrect for a number of reasons. One caller. Or write "fires three barrels with overcards". However. Standard stack sizes.. First of all. However. Believe it or not. You aren't going to win much off him.

6) Psychology How psychology applies to poker is something a lot of people don't properly understand. However. The reasons for this are fairly obvious. The bottom line is that because that player is so bad. you should be playing 4-5 times as many hands against the weaker player. This is especially the case when you have just sat down at the table. or the players who play poorly. If a seat to the direct left of a loose. Turn is a 2. However. The point of this example is that your table image can greatly influence certain decisions. 5) Seat Selection Issues It is often argued whether it is better to sit to the left of the players who play well. given your table image. You reraise AQo from the big blind and he folds. You should very seriously consider making an abnormal size raise. Even if once in a while you have to play a hand out of position against a tough player. but now when you raise. You can't open JTo anymore because the loose player will call. if possible. One of the important aspects of any hand is how your opponent perceives you. This is what is going to happen. maybe you should consider reraising him 20 times the blind. every time you are in a pot against the player you are trying to play as many pots with as possible. In this situation. it might be very profitable for you to fire a second barrel as your opponent probably thinks you only fire 2nd barrels with legit hands. You'll have to control your continuation betting because that player is probably a calling station. Call. you are out of position. Who wants to play a 4 handed pot out of position with hands like that? Furthermore. The fewer the number of players. Think about it. Here is an example: Say you've been making a lot of continuation bets after PF raises. You raise xy. the more potential the game has for profitability. He opens from the cutoff. Bet. Very next hand you are dealt AA. and this will entice others after him to follow. Most players don't have the thought process required to deduce the real reason you are reraising so much and will think your a nutjob 69 . You are going to have to significantly tighten up your preflop raising. One caller. you don't risk getting 4 callers behind you.I think that every player takes a progression throughout their poker careers from full ring to 6 max. Flop comes 982. Not only are you now able to isolate against that player at will. the game will still be profitable. Now what happens if you aren't able to move to the left of the weaker player. The overwhelmingly correct answer is the players who play poorly. weak player opens up. CHANGE YOUR SEAT. Check. Let's say you are to his direct right. Let's say an average player opens from the button. you should definitely look for another table where you can get more favorable seating. One of the reasons it's so difficult to comment on HU NL hands is because a lot of that depends on the previous hands that you've played with the opponent. this usually involves how you've been playing for the past 40-50 hands. If he raises 4 times the blind. Unless you have a long history with the opponent. sometimes if you don't have a piece you might give up. and C/F turns when you miss. to 3 handed and HU play.

I'm too tired to proofread this. You are very likely to be put all-in preflop. If you have ideas on what you would like me to discuss. A hand like TT or JJ will have trouble dealing with this much pressure. The reason is that he won't give you as much credit for a strong hand since you are reraising him two times in a row. however this time you hold a hand like TT or JJ.and go broke with a mediocore hand. In this case. This is all I can think of at the moment but I'll try to add something next week. lemme know and I'll try to address it. so if something doesn't make sense. Enjoy. or get raised on the flop. you should almost always just call his preflop raise. 70 . Similar situation. feel free to PM them to me.

$0.10) 2 (2 Players) BB bets $5.6 Players .55 UTG: $10.25 Blinds . Well.00. You give your opponents too much credit for hands and too much credit for hand-reading. Unfortunately.5% of responders) Between 50% and 75% of the time: 18 (45% of responders) More than 75% of the time: 5 (12. ---------I then asked you how often villain calls the bluff.00.UNL YOU ARE WEAK TIGHT (Pokey) A little over a year ago I tested SSNL and found out that they were weak-tight.10/$0. I had my sneaky moderator-accomplice make another post. I like to call it "Psychic Villain Syndrome.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .55.. The results as of right now: Less than 25% of the time: 6 (15% of responders) Between 25% and 50% of the time: 11 (27.80 CO: $48.. It should look reasonably similar to you: ---------- 71 .60 BB: $22.10) 9 8 5 (2 Players) BB checks.5% of responders) After that thread died down. Hero bets $14.00 River: ($16.00.00 Turn: ($6. weak-tight means you have MUBS: (M)onsters (U)nder the (B)ed (S)yndrome. Why do I accuse uNL of being weak-tight? Well." where you feel like your opponents can see into your soul.00 Flop: ($2. What does weak-tight mean? In a nutshell. this month I tested uNL and found out that we're still weak-tight as a group. because I tricked you into telling me that you were. I gave you this thread where hero flops air: ---------Poker Stars . Hero raises to $1. You know what? They really can't. They're just as lost as we are. First. BB calls $1.30 BTN: $10. Hero bets $2. BB calls $2.00 Hero (MP): $29. Hero calls $5.10) 3 (2 Players) BB checks. 3 folds.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $28.35 Preflop: Hero is dealt J T (6 Players) UTG folds. when we give them credit for being paranormally perceptive poker players we shoot ourselves in the foot. failing to make +EV moves because we fear that our plays will be obvious (no matter how far from the truth that might be)..

55 UTG: $10. The river and river action are identical. then bluff-pushing will be extremely +EV for us.10) 3 (2 Players) BB checks.80 CO: $48.55. but this will vary from villain to villain. The turn and turn action are identical. The flop and flop action are identical. unknown villain calls MUCH more often when we've got nothing than he would when we've got the nuts. You've mistakenly assumed that an identical.00. then the next time you have the 72 .35 Preflop: Hero is dealt 7 6 (6 Players) UTG folds.. it cannot be correct. I honestly don't know where the truth lies.2% of responders) Bummer -.00.00 River: ($16. but at LEAST one of them MUST be. even though every possible factor in the hand is otherwise identical. is the very definition of weak-tight.30 BTN: $10. and you told us: Less than 25% of the time: 7 (29.25 Blinds .$0. Hero bets $14. my friends. but in the same situation when we've got the nuts we bet small because we KNOW that villain won't call a big bet.00 Hero (MP): $29. then pushing with the nuts will be extremely +EV for us. Hero calls $5. IF our villain will call our bluff-pushes too often for bluff-pushing to be profitable.10/$0. and the formula will change as you move up in stakes. but it's how we think as a group. How do we beat this weak-tight curse? Let's assume that we err on the side of overestimating our folding equity.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .00 Turn: ($6. the main consequence is that we make incorrect plays because we give our opponents too much credit.00.. I'm not saying that both of these statements are wrong. What are the consequences of being weak-tight? Well. BB calls $2.10) 2 (2 Players) BB bets $5.if one doesn't work. ---------NOTE WELL: stacks are the same. That. The ONLY DIFFERENCE is that instead of air we've got the immortal nuts.7% of responders) More than 75% of the time: 1 (4. We then asked you how often THIS river bet gets called. Hero bets $2. pushing for value is usually +EV and pushing as a bluff is usually -EV. Only empirical evidence and reads will tell us which answer is correct for a particular villain. This makes no logical sense..(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $28. BB calls $1.00 Flop: ($2. 3 folds.6 Players .you're weak-tight. but believing that NEITHER pushing the nuts for value NOR pushing air as a bluff will be +EV cannot be correct -.Poker Stars .2% of responders) Between 25% and 50% of the time: 12 (50% of responders) Between 50% and 75% of the time: 4 (16. IF our villain dumps most of his hands to a river push. We bluff too little because we're just SURE that villain is calling. the other will. On the other hand.60 BB: $22. Hero raises to $1. My pure and uneducated guess is that at uNL.10) 9 8 5 (2 Players) BB checks. If that's the case.

nuts on the river. This adjustment will reduce our predicted folding equity when we have the nuts. Give it a try for a couple days and see how it works for you. If your answer is yes then decide how large a bet you could make with air and still have it be +EV. 73 . at all stages of development. It might over-reduce it. I point it out because it's an EXTRAORDINARILY common problem for poker players in general. rather. but it's probably a move in the right direction. I don't point this out to insult you or try to make you feel stupid. ask yourself "if I had air. and bet that much. Let's try to get around our psychological stumbling blocks and start making rational decisions instead. then push. reduce that amount by a couple BBs. would pushing be +EV?" If your answer is no.

spent alot of time reading posts across unl-HSNL. knew how to c-bet etc but still had some pretty big holes in my game.. 74 . First we begin with my first ~150k hands which can only be described as mediocre. got some coaching and did some sweat sessions with friends. So I signed up for cardrunners.. I was tight preflop. vaguely aware of position.Working on your game (kom) I decided to post what is most of my 50nl "career" because I thought it might be useful for some players. As you can see I was pretty much the typical "tagfish". The results are my last ~100k hands.

Working on stopping this has brought my showdown numbers into the range which I think is about right for a taggy style. 3. I never used to adjust my play if my image wasn't so great. The one thing I will say 75 . If you have been caught stealing with trash/double-barrelling with air etc. ie cbetting.I think the things I learned in the second batch of hands are: 1. c-bet less and wait for a good spot to use your bad image to get paid off. check raising flush draws etc. 4. whatever pot odds" calls on the river when it was obviously -EV. 2. However. One good tip here is to include your net $won/lost in your HUD.Variance In the brew etc people are always moaning about tiny swings over tiny samples. Showdown Comparing the 2nd sample to the first you can see that i went to showdown less and won more often when I got there. Alot of players have gotten flop aggression down. I find it can be a decent indicator of how you are viewed by the table.Table image Be aware of your image at the table! My default is to c-bet ~100% of the time and look to aggressively take down pots with or without a hand. Looking at the two stats samples you can see in the 2nd one my turn aggression is significantly higher and I think that has been one of my biggest improvements. Turn aggression is important. Man up and play the hands and don't talk about variance until you've played at least 50-100k hands. "meh. Look to make river folds!! Too many times I used to make alot of very bad. then ADJUST!! Tighten up a bit from late position. If early in a session I showdown premium hands and establish a tight image then this becomes very successful as I can abuse this image to steal and rob lots of small-medium pots. Work on identifying profitable places to fire again on the turn (Scare cards against habitual floaters etc) and it will pay dividends. but alot of uNl players are not aggressive enough on the turn. and even then probably don't talk about it.

take heart. Although even with a >6 winrate I still experienced a ~13 buy in downswing while playing my A game.is it is quite obvious that the 2nd graph has far less variance than the first due to the significantly higher ptbb/100. In conclusion. Those of you struggling as breakeven/small winners like I was. You are on the right track and with some small adjustments you can join me in beating the uNL games at a good clip and getting ready to take shots at the higher games. whilst I still have alot to learn I feel I've at least grasped the fundamentals of playing good ABC tag poker. 76 .

Here are some handy steps that help me after I play a session to get a handle on how well I am playing . This takes you 15-20 mins after you're done playing for a 90 min 4table session or thereabouts. We make less FTOP "mistakes" than the rest of the opposition thats it. Often times I find myself playing on autopilot . I think this is a one way ticket to breakevensville.for the most part they make the right plays most of the time hey nobodies perfect right. ii) Open poker stove . Sound like you? A lot of mediocre players play like this . iii) MAKE A NOTE! .and move onto the next big hand. You should end up with a notepad file that looks like.and in what spots I really need to work on and improve. All we ought to really care about is whether we made goot decisions or not and think after a sesh "woot I made some great +EV moves today ++ Sklansky bucks for me" or "man I really sucked calling there and sucking out for 300bb" But if you play a bunch of tables you don't have nearly enough time to review how +/your EV was for the big decisions you made that session. i) Open up notepad or use pen/paper or something .The Basics: session review & " Deconstruction" (matrix) Poker .they know the basics they know what plays are goot and what are not .what bad stuff you did and trying to not repeat the bad stuff again and versa vice. How do we make $ playing poker?? We make more with our good hands and lose less with our bad hands than the other players we play against. It's *very* hard to get out of the "woot I won x buyins today I rule" or the "Holy sheet I ran so bad I am down $x" mentality when you finish a session. If you got all-in pf AAvKK and stuff ignore those .I look through the players that are sitting choose what tables I want to play and off I go. An hour or two later I finish up happy that I ran goot or mad that I lost monies and I go do something else..open up the tracker s/w and filter it to show the big pots you just played. Session 5th Nov .I get the poker fired up I open up 3279874574305790428590480 tables . Punch the hand into the stove take your time and put the villain on a range and check your equity vs that range.just focus mostly on the hands where you had to think a little.Party $50NL 77 .how do you play yours? are you a TAG a LAG a sLAG a nit ? However you play and whoever you play against one often overlooked part of paying goot is reviewing the hands you play afterwards and looking to see what good decisions you made ..replay the big hands you wanna look at in the replayer and pause the action when you had to make a decision.

villain plays v tight from E/MP .what size of raise is need to get value .we ought to use these more. Save these then once a week look back through your cliffnotes and see if the same spots come up often . Which leads me onto "Deconstruction" Basicaly taking other peoples games apart . I write up a huge pile of notes on this villain and either import them directly to the poker s/w or I notepad them and copy/paste them in later when I see them again.OK play. Once a week I sit for an hour .instead of keeping out of their way get under their skin.pick out a villain I play against often that I have a LOT of hands on and I look at what moves they make . figure them out and be better armed next time you play them. ii) called a b/3b all-in OOP vs TAG on flop w TPGK.or to get a fold.he is often semi-bluffing.but can't continue with whiffed OC's . 78 . etc. Good call .folded to shove .and looking for ways to possibly exploit their weaknesses. V had naked fd. iii) .how they lost the big pots they played how often they fold to a re-raise . We all maintain large databases of opponents play . Some villain giving you trouble at the table? ..get into the habit of writing down why you did x in y situation and I find it helps me to think better at the table and overall make less FTOP "mistakes".i) raised a 19/16 MP TAGs "CB" with air on rags flop ..

It worked. (would also appreciate if someone who visit SSNL would link it there. but fairly important ones nonetheless. Through these books. or how to squeeze out an extra bet with two pair playing 3-6 limit. He was one of the few people 3 or 4 years ago that actually went through some thought process fairly publicly. You learned about pot odds. no one else was folding enough. there are specific channels to go about educating yourself on it. This essay is designed to describe a successful way to go about educating yourself about this game (a ‘method’ that many of you will be able to identify with). and I benefited greatly from knowing how he thought. I remembered that was a question that is asked in most “wells. and I was able to find the points in time in which I really had epiphanies. if you want to surpass the fgators’ of the world. if you’re reading this. Basic concepts.THE EVOLUTION OF A POKER PLAYER (aejones) Disclaimer and qualifier: I have played well over one million hands of online poker. Clearly. You might have won some money in home games or online. I’ve decided that I’ll take the time to answer it comprehensively. thanks) The Evolution of a Poker Player by aejones Poker is discovered differently by many individuals.” I was asked more than once in mine. you learned to play tight. where the only person who can beat the rake in that game is Jerry Yang. you need to learn to think outside of it. Although there are a variety of ways to go about discovering the game. I’d appreciate it if HSNL people read it and expounded upon it (and the future. and what you can expect in the future. including dreams of wanting to become the next half-witted accountant from Tennessee with a weight problem to make seven figures. You realize that other people have cards too! What if you could figure out what they have? A novel 79 . This book was in all likelihood terrible (with the exception of Super System). The goal of this ‘essay’ is to expedite the education process of all those who read it indirectly. After many of you found poker and decided you wanted to get better at it. I believe that if/when I play with DN. so by folding a lot and only playing strong hands. Milestone #1: Poker is not played inside of a box. For me. you picked up a poker book at your local bookstore. These kinds of things will help the average railbird. I’ll have a huge advantage recalling his thought process from hands I read over and over back in the day (without him knowing the information I’m using). but nevertheless an integral part of your poker career.it seemed fairly simple enough. Thus. Daniel Negreanu was my most important teacher before I was any good at poker. but it’s not nearly enough to win online. or even tournaments. I’ve just recently started to reflect on my career in poker. you’ve received it a specific way. or read excerpts by Phil Hellmuth or Daniel Negreanu from their websites. and might even assist you to winning low stakes NL online.most notably) and if SSNL and MSNL people would ask questions related to this thread that others could help them answer. the pitfalls to avoid along that path. since I haven’t made a serious post in MSNL in a very long time. and almost that many this year alone. and right now jman is doing a great well in HSNL in which people are asking him the same question. you would have an advantage. To this day.this is my Christmas present. you searched Google for poker articles. Around this time you start thinking about things other than your cards. Tight was right. If you really got more hungry. you reach the first milestone in your poker career.

with a friend having some of my action (probably a quarter). You learn to play draws super fast.a TAGfish. I think cts and jman had fairly instant successs at higher stakes. and you should try to cater to the way they play (tight in loose games. have this epiphany. You make this transition over and over again. You learn about Gabe’s girlfriend Shania. and after about 50 hands I was looking at my PAHUD and it said this 80 . perhaps. You get aggressive. I’m not sure at what point I came to understand that you could play “straightforward” and be extremely successful. The man burned nearly a million dollars. loose in tight games) instead of imposing your impressive will of folding in an already nitty game. There are other examples about players who left here to success. Usually a shot goes wrong or you just start experiencing extreme variance. Milestone #2: Playing the hand in the fanciest manner does not necessarily equate to making the most money. It is at this moment that Grimmstar shot off from the standard evolution of a poker player. This was by far the most difficult concept for me to understand. and then value highly again. get tight. Second and third level thinking come into the picture. A note about discovering LAG play. true story. People change their ideal style based on what is sexy at the time. If you are fortunate enough to run good at 25-50 and continue to ask questions. When you’re tight and losing. and hopefully. get loose. Hell. or splashing around with bottom pairs and draws when no one is folding second pair on any street for any bet. Oftentimes.anytime you can get it in with more outs than you have fingers on one hand. but wise enough to learn along the way.then you’re clearly smart enough to ‘learn on the fly’ and discover other milestones in your poker career as they come. Downswings from playing too fancy and getting your ass handed to you by regulars will lead to low confidence. terrible high stakes player. The human brain is constantly conditioning itself to be results oriented and doubt anything that doesn’t work at the moment. you blame it on the loose leaks. you are brought into a whole new world of poker. get loose. I’ll just be like ‘fold equity. and eventually settle on something that fits their personality. which in time you will learn to de-value. you’ve done alright! Hello fold equity! Anytime I go all in. We’ll likely revisit this transition later in our poker careers. and became a terrible. stunted his growth in poker. get tight. the period before this next milestone is characterized by a great humbling at the poker tables. we all see how bad people play against Poly Baller. Everything looks and tastes different than it did before. fold equity’it’s a chant to the poker gods. indeed. I spent the greater part of a year worrying about how loose and aggressive I could play. They were lucky enough to move up and run good. You realize your image can effect others into making awful plays. running 50 buy ins below expectation in back to back months. specifically. When you’re loose and losing. and you get excited about poker. He moved straight up from this first milestone.concept. you’re looking to fillet a different kind of fish. I guess I could think of a few examples… I remember one time I was taking a shot at 25-50 on about a 50k roll. and be open to moving down anytime you hit a bad run. and checking the size of my dick every time I showed a bluff. fold equity.I can do anything as long as I balance! You likely overvalue balance. I was playing straightforward. When you learn the nuances of playing loose and aggressive and the effects of your image on the table. you complain about not getting enough action. This is around the time most of us learn how to play LAG as well. get tight. It all causes you to retool your game.for instance. and one that many players have not come into contact with yet. study game theory. Suddenly. You realize there are all sorts of player types.

and he said this guy is the BEST 25-50 player on the internet. you will learn that not everyone on 2+2 is good at poker. that was a bit harsh. You will realize that quantity does not equal quality and that high post counts are more a function of boredom than wisdom. you’ve likely been humbled many.but that’s okay. easy to 3-bet pre. and maybe you don’t agree with someone like Jason Strasser on a hand. Perhaps when you make your first sick ace high call down (or in Gabe’s case. Okay. no offense. It was the most concise way to say this: At some point in your career you will be humbled. Most of you are standard 19/17 TAGs and your only ‘battle’ with regs are “zomg.turn check raises. obvious aggression. lots of c-bets and obvious second barrels. Most of us come from different backgrounds and therefore employ different thought processes. Backdoor aggression is basically tricky stuff. while I had been using entirely too much of it for most of my poker career. In general. Regardless.” I call horse****. backdoor aggression. etc. you will have real battles with other regulars. Eventually. A lot of you write posts in MSNL that say “Tough battle vs. many times. is by far the most important in any players career. leading the turn without initiative. If you all haven’t graduated from the whole “2+2 says I should be super tricky in agro” stage of your careers.an ace peeled the river. This is where you try to find your niche. and although they are inevitably related.player was like 15/12 preflop… I won’t mention who it was (not a 2+2er) but I asked one of my friends who played high stakes. once you learn about stats like WWSF and just general dogfights for flops that you know you both missed. They’re easy to float. reg with history. THAT is a hand with history. they are not a direct product of each other. (re: upfront vs. hopefully you found this past section very insightful. it’s super standard without real history. however. Most of you haven’t seen history. or you bluff (or 3-bet bluff) the river for the first time successfully. Upfront aggression is basically betting with the lead. river check raises. so at this point in your poker career you gain a great deal 81 . their upfront aggression is strong. If you reach this stage. All great players are not made the same. but he still called!” In most of these cases. your first king or queen high call down). You realize that you also have a valid opinion. Most of what you guys play is just crappy. There are. easy to bluff-raise. Milestone #3: The realization that TheWorstPlayer is awful at poker. spots where you should gain extreme confidence. THAT is a hand with history. How can he be the best playing 15/12? That baffled me. but I just realized that it might not be standard lingo on here. not everyone can play the same. neither does durrrr! Point being. but their backdoor aggression is pedestrian. The next milestone. Guy bet-calls AQ high on the river.before the second milestone). Around here you will learn a very valuable lesson that aggression post flop is not the same as aggression preflop. however. and then a flop c-bet is as far as they go aggression-wise. As soon as I learned how you could play relatively straightforward and just add some tricks up your sleeve (when you image warrants you getting away with it) I instantly became a better player. however. Some players have absolutely no backdoor aggression. Some people like to LAG it up pre. Times when the heavens open up to you and you are being spoken to by the poker gods’ themselves. I’ve been using these terms with friends of mine for a while now. one time he called me down with third pair. I remember Ansky and irockhoes played a hand months ago where they got it on 4-bet on the flop with KQ on J high dry.

of confidence. alternatively. I’ve been trying to surpass this milestone for 3 years. you have to realize it for yourself) Once you realize everyone sucks. perhaps. this can be a strong learning experience. increase their exercise regiment. spend more time with their family.most. it can be confidence-shattering enough to induce people to quit the game. The fact is that this website. Here is where you will decrease the number of tables you play and increase your reads on the regulars in the game. In fact. I was humbled by players that were better than me (at the time. we cry together at ddubious. We all know that. we spend all of the time that we used to on athletics and our family sitting in front of a computer and reading a stupid website with ingenious posters like aejones. I know you sat in freshman composition class. you need to have a strong self-confidence to survive it. who are very bad. the better decisions you will make. may never ‘conquer’ this stage.he must be good! If you can get past those three statements. there are winning 10-20 and 25-50 players. but game select like a 100-200 player. if you get to this stage too quickly. The more endorphins you can release through exercise or sex or something. Mostly. your chances of succeeding in poker will increase exponentially. Many use this milestone to better their social life. This is the moment when you realize that there is a certain burnout point in the game. The final Milestone is one that I’ve only recently come to discover. and in order to achieve maximum success you need to play quality hands. I know you skipped your 8am chemistry class because you were up until 6am getting unstuck.he must be good! You see Phil Hellmuth’s bracelets. you’ll start to see it everywhere. During nearly this entire maturation process. A truer statement could have never been written.he must be good! You see Dario Mineri’s Sharkscope. these forums. I know if you ever took the time to learn equity calcs that you sat in the back of algebra and figured out how much fold equity you needed preflop to 4-bet shove Ax in a bvb battle. Milestone #4: There’s more to life than poker. Most will find MSNL grinding to be satisfying enough. They do most things as good as a 3-6 player. Get past the internet. they feel like a fraternity. get past the 45/12 on your right. maybe your opinion is well received. most of us who strive to ‘be the best’ were obsessed to some degree. not a minimum quantity. and still) by posting in HSNL. in fact. Maybe these guys aren’t that good! You see certain players playing a lot of hours high stakes. 82 . The fact is that many of us live unhealthy. Only by doing so will you ever improve your poker game. If you don’t. (note: reading this does not mean you’ve passed the third milestone. did not read the assigned chapters the previous night. Maybe you start posting in HSNL more regularly. regulars. and this year. this month. This is the milestone around most people in MSNL struggle. If you have thick skin and an open mind. Seeing is believing. and improve your life. I didn’t have experience.we laugh together at reef. but I had ambition. and did math problems with win rates and tried to figure out how much money you were going to make this week.

We will repeat this cycle many times until we reach a happy medium. We will repeat this process over and over again. The best have found their niche.In summary. doubt ourselves. the best understand their place in the poker universe. because it will be wrong. We will change styles again. rightfully so. because again we will be wrong. rightfully so. We will second guess this medium. many of us will cycle between loose-aggressive and straightforward. 83 .

This makes him extremely vulnerable to thin value bets on the river as well as to river bluffs. it is better to bluff on the turn than the river. he basically turns his hand faceup as a weakish made hand. So even when considering being CRed we prefer to bet the river with this type of hand. though. you would prefer to check the turn and bet the river. Now I want to examine Shania here. I'm not getting into when you should bluff. I think that in this case. An important consideration. The postflop action was that Hero continuation bet on a dry board with one face card and two unconnected low cards and got called by villain. However. By doing so we lose the ability to multistreet bet. luckily. we should lose about the same amount of money overall. assuming villain keeps checking to us. Villain then checked a blank turn. Essentially all I've said here is that it is harder to call 1 bet on the turn than 1 bet on the river (if the turn was checked). which on such a drawless board means we only have to consider one more thing. is that by checking the turn we are less likely to be CRed off the best hand. it is harder for us to call a turn CR than a river CR for. we might save some money from bluffing if we checked the turn and villain bet out on the river. Basically. So for the above mentioned reasons. so we lose nothing. it is easier for villain to call the river imo.BETTING THE TURN vs BETTING THE RIVER (Reguin) This has been under discussion recently in a number of threads. I only do this so we have room to manoeuvre. in that you want it to be easy for villain to call. Anyways. and villain called from the BB. Both have slightly deep 150bb stacks. I know that that is kind of vague. The other factor is that if we have the nuts we are almost always betting the turn. of course. and better to bet your middling made hands on the river than the turn. So I will consider only those times where villain is simply check/calling us down with a weak made hand. I say less likely instead of impossible because if villain decent then he should often go for a CR on river (given the dry board) if he missed it on the turn. the river with two types of hands: middling made hands that you would like to value bet once more with. with this type of hand we don't want to do that anyways. Not always. I feel that it is better to bluff the turn than the river. It is harder for villain to call the turn than the river with a weakish made hand because villain knows that by calling here. Obviously this is different than the best hand possible. once again. That involves shania though. in that we might not want to get our stack in with the nuts 84 . the opposite of the bluff applies. so I think bluffing the turn is more effective. but on such a dry board villain will often go for a CR again on river if he missed it on the turn. Then I'd like to see how Shania fits into all of this. we don't have to worry about another street. assume that decision has been made). the nuts. To keep it simple. By this I mean hands that we are happy to bet all 3 streets with. even if this is true. Actually. but I'd prefer to keep it abstract. everything I discuss assumes Hero is the preflop raiser from the CO after it was folded to him. the deepness of the stacks won't be much of an issue since I am mostly discussing times when villain check/calls us down. We can assume that villain likely has a weakish made hand. we will get into that later. What about your middling made hands? Well. all based on how easy it is for villain to call. things he doesn't have to worry about if he is just calling a river bet. Why? Well. Now lets look at our turn options. is it better to bet the turn or to check it? We do not need to consider the case where villain is going for a CR because if he is. the reasons mentioned above. I want to examine if we should prefer betting on the turn vs. and so I don't consider our EV much different between a turn bet and a river bet if villain wanted to CR us. and bluffs (obviously by bluffs I mean air that you have decided you would like to bluff with. and I'd like to write my ideas about this down so that its clearer to me and so I can get some feedback on it. but the majority of the time. If we are bluffing.

He cannot just randomly choose when to call down because it is not a nut-or-air situation. for example. all you have to do is adjust your bluffing % (even while keeping a constant valuebetting hand range) in order to make profit off your opponent. Thus I don't see the point to balancing our game by betting middling made hands on the turn. I keep saying 'almost' because there will be those times when the river improves our hand. is it exploitable. and we are in fact betting a very strong hand on the river after checking the turn. This allows a villain who knows what your valuebetting range is to play optimally. If we don't balance this. Thus he can correctly assume that all of his middling made hands are of equal value in that situation. as we would lose too much value. It should be obvious that we prefer to bet the nuts on the turn than to check it. but I think we do need to bluff the river sometimes or else villain will simply play perfect poker. it is faceup as a middling hand. So mixing up the 'optimal' betting pattern for bluffs and middling hands.so described if we get CRed on the turn. Now the usually downside to turning your hand faceup 85 . Lets examine the exploitablility of only betting middling hands on the river and never on the turn. we have have turned our hand face up as a valuebet once we bet the river. we are valuebetting and don't want villain to play perfectly. we can say that it is optimal to bluff and bet the nuts on the turn. and so I will ignore it. say we bet in an 'optimal' pattern. The real problem with this 'optimal' betting pattern seems to be that our hand is faceup as air/middling hand once we check the turn. However. If. of course that depends on the game/villain. so he has to wait for certain stronger hands. Once we got here. we are betting 'optimally' without balance. we mix it up. by not mixing up our game on the river. then he can arbitrarily choose what hands will make up this X%. thats the term I'm using. But he is still calling the theoretically correct X %. he would then correctly recognise the turn bet as a nuts or air situation. I can't tell you what that % is. So if the above assumptions are true. Fine. by balancing our game we dictated the villain's actions and forced him to do something. we have to bluff sometimes for the exact same reason we have to bluff sometimes in spots where we have the nuts. the value of the ability to mutistreet bet is enormous with this kind of hand and outweighs other considerations. then it becomes correct for him to call down with only the stronger part of his range. because we should not be doing that too often. So the nuts. and it is correct for villain to call say X% of the time on the turn. should we balance this out? That is my main question here. like a bluff. instead of the 'optimal' way. the reason I took the time to write all this down. however. Now we have to ask. and/or betting weakish made hands on the turn for value and then checking behind on the river. Then villain knows almost exactly what kind of hand we have when we check the turn and bet the river. right? (the top X% of his range) So we aren't gaining any real equity. What does this accomplish? Well. how do we balance this out? Or perhaps most importantly. if you throw in some bluffs. the villain will be forced to make up his X% from the top part of his range. Ok. But the problem. Now I want to examine balancing our game by sometimes checking the turn and bluffing the river. This only happens a fairly small percent of the time though. because we almost never have the nuts and aren't bluffing here. In terms of balancing I want to first consider bluffing more on the river instead of the turn (not talking about 3 barreling here). But where is the gained equity? I can't find it. Anyways. should be betting the turn. obviously. is that villains adapt. Anyways. but does that actually give him an equity edge? If we mix it up and bet some of our own middling hands on the turn. and should we choose to bet the river. and to what degree? I will examine checking the nuts behind on the turn later. What can villan do to us if we bet that way? Well. and to valuebet middling hands on the river. If. simple as that. While the arguments of being easier for villain to call on the river than the turn still apply.

I also know that there are a lot more Shania issues that I haven't touched. the only option you have in terms of not turning your hand faceup is to check the nuts on the turn sometimes. However. it is easy for villain to valuebet thinly against you. So you have to ask. compare this to a situation when your hand is faceup by check/calling the flop and checking the turn OOP. and you are vulnerable to bluffs. That's a very big difference. I won't be able to respond right away as I'll be away most of teh day but I'll check back in later. simply because it hurts you much less here. And of course. so please feel free to point them out. it is much less of a problem if you do it on the river than on the turn. This isn't so much a post intending to educate as it is my looking for comments and criticism on my thoughts. and am very interested to hear your thoughts on this. So while there are obvious downsides to turning your hand faceup. Here the downside to turning your hand faceup is much more extreme. Anyways. is it worth it to lose all that value of multistreet betting with the nuts in order to keep your hand a mystery on the river? I think you have to balance this spot much less than you would in other situations on poker. 86 . he has only 1. because this is how I see it and want to know that I am not making some wrong base assumption that is hurting me without my knowing it.applies. villain has 2 streets to bluff or valuebet you. In this spot. where you turn your hand faceup on eariler streets. I hope that wasn't too rambling. Anyways.

There are a couple things you need to keep in mind. Your only recourse is to learn to beat the short stacks. The thing is. However this advantage is often only one of perception. And any time you stack him it's a knife in the gut. at most. And they're just as devastating when used against a short stack as when used by one. Do this sometimes with big pairs too to put the fear if god in him. then avoid or neutralize those strengths and exploit their weaknesses. What would normally be small pots become medium sized pots. So even though you may not have odds to call against a short stacker's raise. Any chip you take from a short stack hurts him worse than the chip he takes from you. Even more so because short stacks don't ever get to win 100BB pots to make up for those losses. Short stacks generally only play. Short stacks are successful because they have no difficult decisions on later streets. In such a squeeze. think of this. call him anyway and then open push flop with ATC and see what happens. Advantages to Short stacking Fold equity and Gap concept Only have to play preflop and flop. So all those moves you hate? Pushing over your preflop raise? Donk-pushing flop? Well you can do those too. Consider this an early PoohBah post. Dealing with short stacks is higher variance than dealing with big stacks. The only real advantage a short stack has over a full stack is the ability to squeeze two full stacks against each other and force full stacks to fold for fear of other full stacks. The way to beat any enemy is to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. When you are head's up against a 20BB short stack. the other full stack is likely to be as afraid of you as you are of him. Like the weather. 2 streets. This is the thread where you learn not only how to deal with them. These two factors mean you tactics against short stacks may be radically different from your tactics against full stacks. there is no reason you can't do this too. All the whining in the world is not going to change a structure that is VERY profitable to the poker sites. no worries about what to do against scare cards etc on later streets 87 .Crushing Short Stacks (Cry Me A River) I should hit 5K posts sometime in the next couple weeks. If you take nothing else away from this post. but how to crush them. you ALSO have a 20BB stack. Any time you get him to fold after he's put a third of his stack in it's a smack in the mouth. everyone talks about short stackers but nobody does anything about them. So you should usually concentrate on the short stack. they rely on fold equity and abuse full stacks who are loathe to take a coin-flip or get it in as a dog even when pot odds dictate they should. If you do not have the bankroll or the stomach to deal with this you need to find another game.

bad short stackers are the nuts with stats like 40/20/4 who are looking for any excuse to gamble and get their stack in. These guys are basically free money. there are seldom absolutes. they are still very bad. 3) Raise. particularly short stacks around 20BB should be calling raises almost never. raise. Fortunately These kinds of short stacks are in the minority. These three different types of short stacks require slightly different approaches to play against and exploit. short stacks. something like 12/6/2. They are: 1) Know your shorties. These are the guys who don't abuse their fold equity. These are the guys who sit in with 20BB and call preflop raises with 44. they will try to set mine or call raises with suited connectors without anything resembling implied odds and then fold flop. You can spot the bad tight short stackers because the make bad plays. I am going to group short stackers into three basic types.If the short stack has a big pair QQ/KK/AA and the player raising preflop is likely to fold 88 . In particular. Know when you have to get it in with the worst of it. However. Essentially. Not all short stacks play the same. Know your shorties Obviously everything is on a continuum. Bad Short Stackers Tight. Differentiating between the good short stackers and the bad tight short stackers can take a little more time. These guys are generally sitting with short stacks NOT because they know how to play short but because they're either scared money or short rolled. raise. however. Loose. There are a few situations where calling preflop raises with a short stack is a good idea and I'll outline a couple here so you can spot them: . And even so. they can be VERY high variance. Spotting the loose/bad short stackers is generally quite easy just from their stats. the price of playing poker MUST go up. bad short stackers are the short stackers with reasonable preflop stats. However. To exploit shorties. The ones who have a clue and put you to tough decisions.Opponents seldom have odds to chase draws Full stacks who hate shorties and play badly against them Disadvantages/mistakes from short stacking No implied odds Low ceiling to the amount won with monsters Need to push with a wide range to be profitable Short stacking is a limited game plan with no depth that tends to rely on mathematics and tight opponents who fold too much High variance From this I have derived three keys to victory against short stacks. 2) Effective stacks and pot odds. Tight. you can make their life just as difficult by putting THEM to the tough decisions. Bad Short Stackers Loose. The Good Short Stackers Good short stackers are the guys you hate.

he may take into consideration whether or not you fold too much to short stack pushes. you cbet and short stack checkraises all in. If the short stack is of the loose. So his range here is going to be somewhat dependent on your raising range and position. If you see a short stack calling raises outside of these parameters then you're likely dealing with a bad short stack. you cbet flop and short stack pushes all in. It's important to know which type of short stack you are dealing with since it helps determine their hand ranges and how best to implement the other parts of our plan. button) and/or you're an aggressive raiser his pushing range will be much wider than if you are a nitty player. Effective stacks and pot odds This is really the meat of the equation. In addition. For the purposes of the math that follows.If the preflop raiser is weak-tight and likely to fold flop too much then the short stack can call and push flop with a wide range and make a lot of profit from these bad folds. He isn't good enough to take full advantage of his fold equity and he's waiting for a hand that gives him a good chance to double up. we will stick to 88+/AT+ The tight. There are three very common situations you face all the time against short stacks. If you are having a hard time against short stacks. Larger short stacks don't usually push preflop like this and if they do you should probably treat them like full stacks. Some will do this with any pair. Everybody else folds. So the question is.to a 3bet/push the short stack may be wise to just call a preflop raise and try to get it in on the flop. . So a reasonable range here is JJ+/AQ+. You need to adjust your reads according to the situation. Situation 1) In this situation. However. Something like 88+/AT+ is not unreasonable. We need to do that first. you are almost certainly folding too much. bad short stacker actually has the tightest range here. OR You raise preflop.e. you raise preflop. short stack calls. Do you call or fold? 2) Short stack limps. The good short stacker is the toughest to put on a range. He's not looking to re-steal. I will use these three ranges to give you an idea of 89 . They are: 1) You raise preflop. If you're in a position where your raising range is wide (i. keep in mind that their range may be almost as wide as the loose short stacker or as tight as the bad/tight short stacker. what do we call with here? This all depends on the range we can put the short stack on. we are going to assign good short stackers a range here of TT+/AJ+. However. short stack pushes all-in. some are pushing KQ or KJ here as well. you raise preflop. or at least a short stack who is not playing optimally. 3) Short stack limps. bad variety his range is very wide. This is because he's good enough to try and abuse his fold equity.. short stack calls and pushes flop. the short stack usually has 20BB to 30BB.

This often isn't the case.49% equity vs range AJ has 31. call 33+/AJ+. how small a stack does villain need to have to make calling with 22/AQ/76s break-even in those situations above where it is otherwise a fold? 90 .8% equity vs range If short stack has a range of TT+/AJ+ AK has 54. So. You need a hand which has 38. this assumes villain has a stack size of exactly 20BB.19% equity vs range AQ has 42.79% equity vs range 99 has 40.where you stand in a variety of scenarios. In addition. The pot is 25. You raise 4BB.11% equity vs range AQ has 33.186 equity vs range AT has 31. call 55+/AK+. Against the tightest range.36% equity vs range 22 has 38.07% equity vs range JJ has 42.39% equity vs range If short stack has a range of JJ+/AQ+ AK has 50. However. the dead money in the pot dictates your calling range. Everyone else folds. Short Stack pushes.93% equity vs range 33 has 39. Against the loosest range.86% equity vs range 44 has 39. Against the medium range.11% equity vs range 99 has 39.5BB and you need to call 16BB.26% equity vs range AJ has 39.28% equity vs range 76s has 32.25% equity vs range 55 has 39.745% equity vs range TT has 40.61% equity vs range 88 has 41. Scenario 1A) Short stack has 20BB and is not in the blind. If short stack has a range of 88+/AT+ AK has 55.87% equity vs range 22 has 38.75% equity vs range 76s has 33.55% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even.88% equity vs range 44 has 39. call 22+/AQ+.41% equity vs range 33 has 38.83% equity vs range 55 has 39.044% equity vs range 44 has 38.63% equity vs range 99 has 45.54% equity vs range AQ has 47.18% equity vs range TT has 43.32% equity vs range 66 has 39.772% equity vs range As you can see you're going to be getting it in behind the short stack's range quite a bit.525% equity vs range 76s has 32.

Short Stack pushes. But not a lot. Scenario 1B) Short stack has 30BB and is not in the blind.If villain has an 18BB stack. Scenario 1D) Short stack has 30BB and is in the big blind. You need a hand which has 42% equity against short stack's range to make a call breakeven.92% equity. Villain's stack actually has to get down around 10-11BB for the equity value to shift enough to make 22/AQ/76s calls in these situations. call 99+/AQ+.5BB and you need to call 11BB. Everyone else folds. call 55+/AK+. As you can see pot odds are such that you need a much tighter calling range.5BB and you need to call 16BB. The pot is 34. Everyone else folds.5BB and you need to call 14BB. The pot is 35. So at 30BB in or out of the blinds can be ignored unless it affects the short stack's range (i. Against the medium range. Against the medium range. Break-even is 37. Break-even is 34. big blind will have a wider push range against an open raise 91 . Short Stack pushes.33% equity. Scenario 1C) Short stack has 20BB and is in the big blind. You need a hand which has 39. You raise 4BB. Against the tightest range.5% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even.5BB and you need to call 26BB.. You raise 4BB. Against the tightest range. Against the loosest range. You raise 4BB. You need a hand which has 42. the pot is 20. the pot is 23. So the fact that the short stack is in the big blind does mean your pot odds are not as good and you need to tighten up your calling range a little. call 44+/AQ+.e. The pot is 24. call 55+/AJ+. call JJ+/AK+. call TT+/AQ+. If villain has an 15BB stack. As you can see. due to the larger stack size the fact villain is in the blind doesn't make much difference.98% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even. Against the loosest range.5BB and you need to call 26BB. Short Stack pushes. Everyone else folds.

If one of these guys pushes they usually have at least TP or a big draw.00 { 6c6d } Pocket pair vs bigger pair Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 08. short stack calls and pushes flop. Villain pushes 15BB.00 { 7c7d } Hand 1: 91. Bad. I'm going to assume it goes without saying that you are calling the push with TP or better and any good draws. Bad. I can't list all of them. They are unaware of fold equity. Obviously there are hundreds of possible scenarios here.04% 00.30% 238 3. You need 36.14% equity in this pot to make this call. And if there are any mitigating circumstances.from the button than a raise UTG) The thing to take away from this is that calling these pushes is never far wrong. Overcards vs pocket pair: Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 24.35% 00. You need to call 15BB to win a 26. And this is assuming fairly tight pushes.38% 00. you know sometimes these guys are pushing with 76s themselves. All the better if he can push you off pots. but he also wants to exploit his fold equity by making you fold the better hand. loose short stacks and good short stacks have a huge pushing range here. They're check/folding any flops that miss them.00 { AcKd } Hand 1: 75. tight short stacks actually have the tightest range here by far. though for different reasons.384% 08. particularly other limpers or other players calling your raise. you raise preflop to 5BB.62% 00.00% 83 0. On the flop. But here are some things to keep in mind.30% 746 3.343% 24.5BB. the pot is 11. some of the close folds (like AJ or 76s) can quickly become calls.657% 75.00 { Tc9d } 92 . Situation 2) In this situation. short stack limps. So let's examine some standard situations to see how much equity you typically have.616% 91.00% 907 0. The loose short stack can't wait to get his stack in and gamble. The point is that you're probably making a mistake by folding too much and NOT by calling too much.5BB pot. The good short stack has a hand sometimes.

00% 2219 0.81% 05.091% 39. 98s. 98o } Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 58. particularly if your raising range is wide (i.e.50 { 7c7d } Hand 1: 41. his range is going to be similar to the loose short stacker. KJo+.971% 58. pushing range on this flop and our equity in these hands looks something like: Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 49. 98o } Board: 2c 9s 5d equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 59. 98o } Against a good short stacker it comes down to figuring out what he's calling raises with. So we will try to assign some appropriate flop push ranges: Loose short stacks will call preflop with a very wide range and push anything that hits their hand or if they think flop did not hit you.52% 05. ATo+. I'm going to eliminate big pairs under the assumption they would have been raised preflop. ATs+.29% 00. However against loose short stacks and good short stacks their range is usually much wider. Against a loose short stack. 93 . Tc9d.50 { TT-22. 98s.55% 95434 895.50 { TT-22.146% 43.42% 00. Tc9d. If he's going for a steal. KJo+. they may call with a wide range if they think you are likely to fold preflop to their push. KJs+.85% 00. ATo+.34% 64436 7558.24% 89201 357. If he's not stealing then you can expect him to push TP or better like the bad/tight short stacker and you should be prepared to get out of his way. ATs+. T9s.854% 45.55% 66125 895.286% 25..714% 74. J9s.00 { T9s } These look pretty bleak. KJs+. but usually it should be. J9s. T9s.50 { TT-22. Against bad.00% 751 0.24% 59574 357.50 { Ac5c } Hand 1: 40.909% 59. J9o.029% 40. He should be calling raises very rarely unless he thinks he can push-steal against you on the flop. T9s. Good short stacks have a much narrower calling range preflop. ATo+. They know not to try and set mine.00 { Ac5c } Hand 1: 74. Tc9d. This may not always be the case. However. KJo+. J9s. ATs+. J9o. KJs+. but only if the short stack has EXACTLY those hands. from the button).34% 62017 7558. J9o.67% 00. tight short stacks we can often take them at their word and just fold.71% 00.50 { AcKd } Hand 1: 50.Middle pair with overcard vs top pair Board: 2c 9s 5d equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 25. 98s.48% 00.

This can work just as well against the short stacker as it does for him.5BB. Short stack then pushes his last 15BB. 94 . If short stack starts with 40BB On the flop. Short stack then pushes 25BB.You need to try and track what the good short stacker is doing.. Or push over his preflop raise. You need 37.92% equity to call which you will have with a very wide range of hands. you need better equity to call his flop push.5BB pot. You need to call 35BB to win a 46.5BB. say you cbet 7.65% equity to call. This situation almost becomes trivial against a 20BB stack. Short stack then pushes 35BB. Put HIM to the tough decision for all his chips. OR You raise preflop. if the pot on the flop is 9. Against a 30BB stack. If the pot on the flop is 9.5BB. If he's playing tight against raises then you have to be prepared to fold marginal hands.5BB pot. You need 42. The last thing to consider here is that even head's up.94% equity to call. If you KNOW he's going to push over you and you don't have a hand that can call him then don't cbet. say you cbet 7.5BB.. you cbet flop and short stack pushes all in.5BB. Villain pushes 35BB.23% equity to call. you should do this sometimes when you DO have a hand you want to felt. In fact. If he's calling raises with a fairly wide ranges and trying to steal on flops then you need to call him down lightly. Situation 3) Short stack limps. You need to call 25BB in a 42BB pot. You need 40. If short stack starts with 30BB On the flop. The other big thing to keep in mind on flops is turning the tables on the short stacker. the pot is 11. You need to call 25BB to win a 36.. So he can't put you on a hand in these situations and sometimes HE has to fold the best hand. You need 40. say you cbet 7. Either take the free card or let him bet and then YOU push over him and let him decide if he has enough equity. the pot is 11. you cbet and short stack checkraises all in.5BB.5BB. You only need 31. Against a 40BB stack. You need to call 15BB in a 32BB pot.3% equity to call. keep in mind that you after still have plenty of equity against the short stack's range. you don't HAVE to cbet against the short stack. You need to call 35BB in a 52BB pot.5BB. So while you should be tightening up your calling range slightly. As the short stack's stack gets bigger. Call his preflop raise and then push flop. Villain pushes 25BB. you raise preflop. if the pot on the flop is 9. short stack calls.

Finally, when it comes to your preflop raising, keep in mind what, if any short stacks are in the hand (or left to act behind you) and whether they're likely to push on you either preflop or on the flop. If they are, then you may want to consider tightening up your range and not raising hands like 76s. Rather only raise hands that you will be able to get all-in on a wide variety of flops. Or if you do still raise 76s, try to do so in situations where you're likely to have good odds postflop even if the short stack pushes. For example, multi-way with several players calling the raise. In this case, also consider raising a smaller amount that your usual 4BB+1 to juice the pot rather than isolate. Raise, raise, raise Short stacks do not want to call raises unless they're planning to push-steal a lot of flops. The worst thing you can do to a short stacker is raise his limps, raise his blinds and 3bet his raises. Remember, he has no or very bad implied odds. And in raised pots he shouldn't have much fold equity against you. This is the worst possible situation for him to be in. You want to raise a short stack as much as you possibly can. Yes this will lead to high variance situations when he comes over the top, however you usually know when you have the best of it. For example, if a good short stacker overlimps from late position, you know he almost always does not have much of a hand or he would raise. So you need to raise. This forces him to fold 33 or 76s because he doesn't have odds to call and try to outflop you. Unless he's going to try push-steal flop. But his range is already well defined. So you know that on the flop you're going to have good equity to call his push. And if he realizes you're playing him tough this way he doubly can't afford to call because he no longer has the benefit of fold equity on the flop. So he needs to fold to your raise; calling becomes a big mistake. If he open raises, 3bet him liberally. His choice here becomes one of folding or pushing. He knows he has little fold equity against you and he can't afford to put in half his stack and fold flop very often. This becomes a very difficult situation for a short stack particularly if you keep 3betting him and raising his limps. You do not want to let short stacks see too many cheap flops. You also do not want to give them the opportunity to be the aggressor and exploit the gap concept and their fold equity. Raise them. Put them all-in before they put you all in. Leveling Keep in mind that several posters here short stack some time or all the time (also lurkers!). If they are aware that you will have read this post they may start adjusting their ranges against you. For example, if they think you've started folding AQ against their preflop pushes, they may start pushing with a MUCH wider ranger to exploit your propensity to fold. On the other hand, if they see you widening your range against them they may tighten up. Against the bad short stackers you really don't have to worry. But watch out for the good ones making adjustments to your game. Final Words Good short stackers are difficult to play against. OTOH, bad short stackers of both the loose and tight variety are very transparent and often amount to free money, particularly if you are willing to play them tough. If you can learn to play well against the bad short stackers they will more than make up for the good ones. What's more, the good short stackers are not unbeatable either. You just need to start playing them as short stacks NOT as big stacks who sit out the turn and river.

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A lot of it is putting yourself in very marginal positions, but, the short stacks make a lot of profit getting people to fold too much. The only way to combat that is to not fold when you have decent equity, ensuring that they share in these tough spots. This can lead to very good things for you from a meta-standpoint if short stack alters his play so as to avoid you and not try to push you off hands very often. Thus taking away all the advantage that comes from short stacking.

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My Pooh-Bah post (C/R vs. b/3b) (Dan Bitel)
OK, I know it’s time for me to make my Pooh-Bah post, but my problem is, that I’m not good at these long posts, and I don’t really have a good, original idea what to post about, so I’m going to write a short piece on C/R vs. b/3b with both monsters and combo draws. Firstly though, I want to point out a general fact that is a lot of the time overlooked on this forum. Every1 (including me and a lot of the well respected posters) on this board keep harping on about playing combo draws and monsters the same way. We justify saying that by spouting the words “shania”, “metagame” or “game theory” usually. However, it’s quite obvious, that with the 2 hands we are looking for 2 different things. When we have a monster, we want to get paid off, and when we have a combo draw, we want folding equity. Against a very good opponent (one that is better than us or as good as us), then playing your draws/big hands the same way is the line that achieves optimal +EV. However, against a donk, this is not true. For instance, vs. a calling station that will always stack off with TP, what’s the point getting all in on the flop with 12-15 outs when you know he will call, when instead you could draw with good odds and stack him when you hit, b/c he’s that bad. Similarly, vs. a nit, there’s no point bet/3betting all in with a set on a dry board, b/c you’re letting him fold his overpair. OK, now that I’ve got that out of the way, let me tell you about some of the considerations when deciding whether to b/3b or C/R: Stack Sizes (in relation to the pot): This is really important. There’s nothing worse than C/R a board with a combo draw, only to get called, have a lot of money behind on the turn, and the turn bricks. You’re aim it normally to get AI on the flop with both a combo draw and a monster, so if unsure, it’s best to take the line that that gets you all in with the most ease. Eg. You have $20 behind and the pot is $10, then a C/R is the best option, as it gives your opponent a chance to cbet/bluff and your C/R will easily be all in. If however you have $95 behind and the pot is $17, then a bet/3bet is better. Lead for $17 and then after even a minraise, you’re 3bet all in, is a PSB. The other reason that stack sizes are important, is to figure out the FE you have on a draw. Obviously, the shorter stacked the opponent is, the less FE you’re going to have Dead Money: This again is VERY important and a point overlooked regularly. You want to take the line that traps the most dead money in the pot. E.g. Let’s say that UTG raises, and gets 3 callers, you call in the SB with a suited connector, BB fold. You flop an OESFD. If you lead out, and the PFR raises, then the 3 callers inbetween will all fold. If, however, you check, the PFR bets, then hopefully a few of the players inbetween will call with a draw/weak TP or whatever, and when you then C/R, you trap all of their money in the pot. The opposite of this is also true. I.e. you call the button’s raise in the SB and 3 others also call it, then it’s best to lead out, as you trap the most dead money in the pot that way. Image/Reads: Imagine the PFR is a LAG who cbets a lot, but gives up UI on the turn. Then obviously, a bet/3bet line is inferior to the C/R, as you lose his potential cbet. If however, the PFR is

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very agro and can raise semi-weak leads with air/weak made hands, then the bet/3bet line is superior as we trap more of opponent’s money in the pot. As well as our read on our opponent being important, our own image is important. If for instance, we have been seen to C/R big with a monster hand before, then it might be best to C/R big next time with a combo draw, as we’ll have a lot of FE. Also, the tighter our image, the weaker our draw can be that we’re either C/R or bet/3betting as we’ll have more FE. If however, we have a very loose image, then its best to stick to very strong draws, as we will get looked up more often. Lastly, as I’ve already stated above, our read on villain is important as to how many draws we can play fast. If villain is a nit, then we can play a lot of draws fast, if he is a calling station, then very few. The Turn One of the biggest problems with a bet/3bet line, is if our opponent doesn’t oblige, and he just flat calls our lead. Here, reads are VERY important. If you think he is the type to just call on the flop with TP, then there’s little point making a big bet on the turn getting him to fold it, as it’s very likely he won’t. It is instead better to bet an amount that prices you in, or maybe just check/call. If however, you think that you’re opponent is floating you on the flop, then it might be best (albeit very high variance) to C/R the turn. C/R with other hands I see so many posts on this board that say “Well I flopped TP, but with a weak kicker, so I checked. He then bet, which I think could be a cbet, so C/R him to find out where I stand”. IMO this is a terrible (and expensive) reason to C/R. A much better line is to just lead the flop, or if you want to snap off the cbet, then call, and lead a blank turn. While this line is quite transparent at higher levels, it is VERY VERY effective at SSNL. Lastly, I’d like to introduce you to the dbitel rule of check-raising: “By default, never C/R, only C/R if you have a very good reason to do so”

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Small PP's - Moving beyond set mining (AZplaya)
In my transition from a full ring nit to a decent(not quite good) 6m player, I have found it necessary to add a bit of versatility to the way I play small PP's(22-66). In full ring, if we call a raise with a hand like 55, we are usually in set or fold mode, unless we hit a flop like 234. However, playing 6m, I have found it necessary to mix up my play with small PP's in order to add to their effectiveness. The following are some examples of plays I have been making that I feel can add BB's/100 if used correctly. There are, IMO, four very important items to analyze when deciding to make a play with a small PP. These are flop texture, type of opponent, your image, and position. Flop texture: Their are 4 types of flops I am looking for when I call a raise with a small PP - Paired boards, monotone flops, ragged flops, and flopping a set. Paired boards - Take a look at the following hand: Party Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $0.50/$1 6 players Converter Stack sizes: UTG: $96.50 UTG+1: $36.75 CO: $119.69 Button: $46.62 Hero: $103 BB: $109.04 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is SB with 4 4 UTG folds, UTG+1 calls, CO raises to $4, Button folds, Hero calls, BB folds, UTG+1 calls. Flop: Q Q 9 ($13, 3 players) Hero bets $7, 2 folds. Uncalled bets: $7 returned to Hero. Results: Final pot: $13 This is a play I make fairly often with small PP's. A paired flop is a great situation to take a stab at the pot. We all know that a flop misses our opponents about 60% of the time, and on a paired flop, that percentage is far higher. A hand like 88 on a QQ9 flop will have a very tough time continuing when faced with calling a bet. Obviously, unpaired high cards are folding this flop as well. Even an overpair will get nervous when lead into on a flop like this. These are the types of flops that either hit our opponents very hard, or completely miss them. Monotone boards - If I call a raise with 33 from the BB and the flop comes down J95 all 's, I will often lead out into the preflop raiser. Unless the player has a flopped flush(very unlikely) or has a big heart, they will have a hard time calling my bet. This is especially good on a board that is monotone with all low cards, as it is unlikely to have given the preflop raiser a big pair or a set.

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and the important thing here is that we lead out with a big hand. I have been most sucessful with these plays when I have been fairly card dead. it is important to occasionally fire a second barrel in spots like these to avoid becoming to predictable. Your image: IMO. Example. etc. I limp UTG with 55. and will be more inclined to play sherrif. If your opponent will call down with 99 on a board of KK7. If your observant opponents have seen you slowplaying your big hands. This is also not a good play against calling stations. and have been showing down the goods. We are looking for players who find two good cards. and all fold to me and I call. If the flop comes down 269r. I will often lead out. and fold if they don't. Finally: My final bit of advice is to not get carried away with plays like these. I would suggest giving up on the turn unless your hand has improved significantly. I will do this occasionally because often times my opponent is on whiffed overs. Therefore. 100 . If you have position. continue if they hit the flop. set. Position: This is one of the few situations in poker when I think it is better to be OOP. don't try these moves. these plays are better suited for a TAG image. The way you make money against players who only raise top 5 hands pre flop is to flop a set and stack their overpairs. I consider a ragged board to be a rainbow flop of uncooridated cards all less than 10. not to try and take pots away from them. Type of opponent: This play works best against vanilla. If a player calls your flop bet. if you play TAG but have had a good run of cards and have been active in alot of pots. you can lead into the pre-flop raiser and put them to a difficult decision. This is also not a good play against players with a very narrow PF raising range. These plays become a much more expensive and high variance proposition if you are required to raise a c-bet as opposed to leading into a pre-flop raiser. as most players think a LAG is bluffing. I think they are much easier/lower risk to attempt when OOP. The type of opponents we are looking for are players who have a fairly wide pre flop raising range.Ragged boards . If your opponent only raises QQ+ pre-flop. a LP player raises. the above plays won't work. Flopping a set . straightforward players.Obviously our best case scenario when calling a raise with a small PP. Also. Though the board is far less scary than the above situations. If you are OOP. Our bets will pack considerably more punch when our opponents have seen us bet our flopped flush. you will usually be facing a c-bet. but still deserves discussion. It is better to wait for monsters and value bet against calling stations.This type of board is less desirable than the above two situations. That said. raise preflop. and who play very straight-forward post flop. have been playing in very few pots. then don't try this play. Also. This is not a good play to try against tricky players who like to slowplay or float. your opponents are more likley to start looking you up. I don't usually go beyond the flop with plays like these. LAG's will have a difficult time making these moves. A key component to the effectiveness of these moves is that they are fairly uncommon. If you are making these plays quite frequently. Bluffing them off the best hand is not possible in most situations. don't try this play.

but common spots that we should always be betting. at which point you can snap off a bluff or two (or three. He PM'ed me the following: Quote: I believe that my biggest "leak" is in losing value on the turn or river though. Could you a handful of examples where a river bet might be appropriate. 1. This one is obvious -. I think this is an outstanding question.betting for value should happen less often against multiple opponents than heads-up. When neither #1 nor #2 applies. When your hand needs protection. but it's as good as we can get. top pair weak kicker. 4. everybody -. If you bet into a maniac. To better disguise your hand. or four).betting for value should happen less often when your opponent is tight. 2. there are a few good times to bet the turn: 1. and it's the kind of question that all uNLers should be asking themselves regularly.if your opponent is tight he's not going to call without something. but TOGETHER they make betting +EV.Where the !*$# is Valuetown?? (pokey) Sorry for my extended hiatus from the forums. 6.. The past few weeks I've been dipping my feet back in the soup. The strength required to consider a hand "strong enough" is going to go up as the number of opponents rises. Let's look at these one at a time. and I think I'm finally ready to go back to it. So. 101 . he's likely to release and move on to the next hand. 3. When your opponent is likely enough to fold. the reality is that most of them look so aggressive because they're always either betting . You can thank z28dreams for this one: it was his suggestion.real life came nipping at my heels a few months ago and I wound up giving up poker playing and poker writing for a bit. he's far more likely to bet it for you. and when you get called you're less likely to be ahead. or FOLDING. When your hand is strong enough. When should I bet the turn? As a general rule. "Strong enough" is going to be opponent-specific. When your hand is strong enough. While we think of aggro-monkeys as always wanting to get involved in huge pots. A few things to consider: . simply because the odds of some sneaky lil' monster increases with the number of opponents out there. If you check into him. without further ado. Rather than just dribbling back into the forums. but I'm never sure where I should be betting. . When you are in position and want the option of a free showdown. Could this be any more vague? Probably not. . Examples might be mid-pocket pairs on low boards (99-TT). but a typical USNL player might miss it? I'm not talking razor-thin value bets. or strong hands that end up facing a 3-flush/paired/straight-completing board. I figured I'd come back with another PSA.betting for value should happen less often when your opponent is aggressive. let's try and find a roadmap to Valuetown. 5..

betting for value should happen more often when your opponents are likely to be drawing. (SIDE NOTE: against this type of opponent.it's unlikely that anybody has an ace (the flop was checked through). good players often fold too often." because raises often shut down your opponents.betting for value should happen more often against bad players. Before you build a pot. and force them to fold on the turn.) . One more point: "raising for value" is harder than "betting for value. especially at uNL levels. against this sort of opponent. so you're very likely to get called by weaker hands. While bad players call too often. don't understand when to fold. followed by a turn bet is EXTREMELY SCARY for most players. Now if the board were 9872 with two hearts.nobody is going to see you coming. The preflop raise / flop bet / turn check / river value bet can be a very potent combination if used sparingly and if used against the right type of semithinking opponent. you've got more chances of getting a call from someone fishing for a hand. since they will either try to bluff the river or check/call your "obvious bluff" on the river. . Make use of that. and don't understand when they are beaten. Typically bad players are calling stations and "good" players are weak-tight.folding equity is stronger if you've shown strength earlier in the hand. that's for sure. Make him suffer for being too loose. but when your hand beats villain's range. but against a calling station you're WAY ahead of his range. If you check-called your 88 on a board of Q74 with two hearts.betting for value should happen less often when you want a small pot.. this is going to be opponent-specific and board-specific. Again. If you know your opponent is the kind of person who never folds suited cards.folding equity is stronger when the turn could have logically improved your hand. 2. Charge them for the lesson. a "second barrel" often has ridiculously high folding equity. . adding far less to the pot than if you'd let them keep firing. especially ones who "understand" continuation betting. what the hell is your opponent going to call with? Nothing that makes you happy. With JJ on a Q942 rainbow board. you want a small pot if you have a weaker hand. A bet here is going to have some solid folding equity -. You've got A7 on a board of J732 rainbow. checking behind on the turn with a good hand is often extremely profitable. followed by a flop bet. You'll often find players who "test" the preflop raiser to see if he'll keep firing on the turn. consider betting when that K hits on the turn. A preflop raise. value betting should happen not only when you are sure your hand is best.betting for value should happen more often against calling stations. . When your opponent is likely enough to fold. because if two stacks go into the middle and you've got TPTK you've usually made a mistake. Some important points: .. especially against the kind of opponent who doesn't bet draws (you know which ones I mean). the flop comes A72..betting for value should happen less often when the board is dry.betting for value should happen more often when your hand is subtle. and that second seven is going to put the fear of trips in your opponents. . .folding equity is stronger with better players.. . In short. make sure you WANT a big pot. If you raised 54s UTG and the flop comes 876 rainbow. Generally speaking.folding equity is stronger when a scare card falls. Say you were in the big blind. Just be sure you can fold if the third card falls. Bad players don't understand hand values. start shooting -. and the turn is another 7. go ahead and value bet any pair on a two-suited board. either causing them to fold and stop spitting money into your pot or causing them to check-call. you checked through. . Not only was it an unlikely card to have improved 102 . you don't want to build a pot against a tough and clever opponent.

Don't even try.anybody. . He's never folding his set. but it's also going to get hands like 88-KK to fold quite often.) .folding equity is weaker in a multi-way pot. Don't pretend that the board pairing deuces helped your hand when you've got naked overs. your push will be a big enough bet to put the fear of jeebus into your opponent. Be realistic. You check. and the turn was a 3. Don't rely exclusively on folding equity here unless you've got a good reason to do so. . (Not necessarily your best play.just strongly consider checking behind on the river if your opponent calls this turn bet. Example: You've got 6 call. you've still got twelve outs to a very likely winner. because you're out of position and unlikely to get called by a hand that you beat if you manage to hit your flush.) Turn: 9 You check.folding equity is stronger when the board matches your "likely holding. He's never folding the straight. SB folds. but TOGETHER they make betting +EV. the COMBINATION of these two bumps the play into +EV territory. If he calls. Also. But together. though -." People typically assume the blinds have crappy random low cards and people typically assume that the preflop raiser has AK or a strong pocket pair. so you can't just smooth-call and hope to get lucky on the river. you 9 SB checks.folding equity is weaker when your opponents are calling statiosn -. Folding is an option.. your opponent doesn't NECESSARILY like his hand right now! If you push. if you KNEW your opponent would call 100% of the time and be ahead. SB calls. and that's always a nice situation. people aren't going to believe that you've got a 3. Smooth-calling for flush value is pretty weak.(this might be a good time to value bet your pocket pair 99+. Flop: A 7 5 in the big blind. He's never folding the flush. Likewise if you KNEW your opponent would win 100% of the time at showdown. the flop was 765. Let's say that your opponent either has an ace (70% of the time). You don't have enough folding equity to be +EV (you think your opponent probably has a good hand). However. If he folds. The pot equity isn't here and the implied odds are pretty poor.enough said. but that's a risk you've got to take sometimes. . 103 . things change around quite a bit. though: if you were the preflop raiser. but you've got lots of outs to a very likely winner. pushing is -EV (your folding equity alone doesn't make this a +EV move). Aces will often still call you down. sometimes villain will fold the best hand (value for you) and sometimes villain will lose the hand when he calls (value for you). and don't pretend that the KQJT board matches your big blind -..folding equity is non-existent if your opponent's hand is strong. Often. Button folds. CO (TAG) raises to 3xBB. and that means you'll win money some of the time. a big pocket pair (20% of the time). 3. pushing is -EV (your hand strength alone doesn't make this a +EV move). You should consider pushing. Now. When neither #1 nor #2 applies." You don't have a strong enough hand to warrant a bet (usually you're on the draw). CO bets 8xBB. First off. here. You call. but let's say this is what you do for the example. or junk (10% of the time). button calls. CO bets 20xBB. This is commonly called "semi-bluffing..you're not going to get folds. you walk away with a 48 BB pot with nothing but potential and guts. the two sources of value make the play +EV.

pushing can be TIMID: you know your opponent will fold. you can win at showdown if you are called. you're not protecting anything against anything -. The flop comes A K 7 rainbow.When your opponent likes to bluff. you bet 6xBB (ooooh. you go for the safe win. be more likely to protect your vulnerable hands. so getting an opponent to fold when you're OOP is often a good thing. sucker him in!). 4. Unlikely as this may be. 25*(50) = 12. Let's say your opponent folds 25% of the time. For instance: say you've got black aces and the board is J T 6 5 and your opponent is loose and 104 .3 BBs. If your opponent never folds. If you've got 99 and the board is now 8 5 4 3 . your opponent folds. the EV would be 0.75*(-13.Here you're risking about 80 BBs on the push -. many hands could destroy you on the river.You must have outs. When your hand needs protection. your opponent calls.When you are ahead. This happens 75% of the time. Note: if you always lost when you got to showdown.bet for value or check behind with an unusual read. the EV would be -13.25*(50) = -47.You must have some folding equity. so the total EV here is 0. The turn is Q putting two hearts on the board.When the board is extremely draw-heavy.When you are out of position. and rather than trying to extract value while you're WAY ahead. "I protected my hand from the draw!" The reality is that "protection" is an excuse for timid play. You raised preflop 4xBB with KK. EV from pushing is +2. "Whew!" you say. you're still ahead -. And yes. Here's when your hand needs protection: . .3 BBs. but many. It is only because of the combination of some folding equity AND some showdown equity that this move is +EV.3) = -10 BBs. you'll win ~120 BBs about 1/3rd of the time and lose 80 BBs the other 2/3rds of the time. Your opponent checks. Likewise. .75*(-80) + 0.5 BBs. . This reason to bet is misused more than any other. If you get called. You don't want to fold the best hand. EV from fold equity: 50 BBs. . here? JT? Do you really think JT is folding here?? Or maybe you think your opponent was calling you with J 7 and just improved his hand to a superdraw.if your opponent folds. if you were always called when you pushed. What hand are you afraid of. you push for 90 BBs. here. This happens 25% of the time. With outs. you can't be semibluffing. you've got a reason to protect. the following must all be true: . so the total EV here is . If you've got AA and the board is 8754 rainbow.5 BBs. These last two combine in some pretty spectacularly ugly ways at times.make him pay for his draw! Don't chicken out just because your hand isn't the absolute nuts. here. For semi-bluffs to work.5 BBs. EV from push equity: 1/3*(+120) + 2/3*(-80) = -13. you win ~50 BBs.

losing very little to Ax or overpairs. Luckily. because you've got no idea what's going on. when the river card comes. hoping to get a cheaper showdown. you're going to have to call his river bet out of fear that it's a bluff. these folks are relatively rare. So what do you do? You bet the turn -. 8. After all. It also makes you look committed. you bet 9xBB. Don't go nuts with your protection bets: after all.aggressive. . To better disguise your hand. Q.to protect your hand. but that makes calling -EV for him. 6. When you are in position and want the option of a free showdown. but you have no idea which ones are the magic ones. you cry. you'll very often get a chance to check behind and see how the cards look. calling the preflop and flop bets and check-raising the turn means you can safely let your hand go.HARD -. Don't try this move on tricky-trappy opponents -.don't automatically slowplay the turn with stronger hands and automatically bet weaker hands on the turn. or you'll be obvious enough that you'll induce a ton of turn bluff check-raises that you won't like. and pot control into one reason.You charge the heart draw to see another card. Also. so you raise 4xBB preflop. You know that your opponent is likely to have somewhere between zero and 15 outs. 5. or a 2. or a 4. decreasing the likelihood that villain chooses this hand to get all tricky with a bluff. You get to set your own price for the showdown. Doing so reduces his implied odds if he hits and charges him a big price for hunting. any red card could complete a flush. you DO have the best hand -. Feel free to bet the pot. or an overcard. K. SB calls. here. In a sense. remember? Make a bet that your opponent can talk himself into calling. In other words. The turn comes with a black 2 and SB checks. any J. this reason combines protection.You get more value from a stray 7 (or 4!) that happens to be overly optimistic. tricky and bluff-happy. What do you do when the river card is a heart. You'll hate it. 7. SB and BB call. Damn near every card in the deck is a scare card for you: villain could complete a straight with any 2. or another A. checking behind on the turn can be the better move.literally! -. bet your strong hands on the turn but ALSO bet the weaker stuff on the turn sometimes. You've got 88. 6. 105 . we're trying to win MONEY. However! If you bet the turn. Of course. bluffing. look at all the good things that happen: . or a 7. 4. T. Even if you are called on the turn. and SB bets into you? Well. not POTS. 3. or A. The flop comes A74 with two hearts. What to do? Many uNL'ers will check here.they love to smooth-call flop bets with monsters and then check-raise the turn. especially if you're making this kind of play with very few outs to improve (like a pocket pair). Here's another good one that uNL'ers often forget.You might fold out 88-KK. this could create some very tough decisions for you on the river. 9. The blinds check. and winning unusually much from weaker hands and draws.any card in the deck is a potential scare card on the river. Also. or 5 could give villain trips. Given your opponent's style. . BB folds.that's what you're protecting. getting them to finally believe that you have an ace. particularly if you've got outs to improve (even if it's only a few outs). or something that looks totally blank. Make sure that your betting strategy is internally consistent and well-disguised -. Against these opponents. Against the typical opponent. That means that -.

but this bet will not be all-in. most people either bluff the river WAY too much (spewing cash left and right since their opponents know not to fold) or WAY too little (never betting unless they are fairly sure they are ahead. "Value bluffing. How do you decide if a river bluff is a good investment? First off. getting involved in very few hands. let's go through them one-by-one. we should bluff rivers more against good players than against bad players. bluff rivers more when your table image is tight and strong. bad players cannot see beyond their own cards. Rather. Semibluffs want folds. However. but if they are done properly they can be extremely profitable. the goal is to make your river payoff much larger if you are lucky enough to hit your gin card. the idea is that checking the turn would give away too much information about your holdings. Good players can see that they are beaten. disguise bets want calls. The river is 3 and your opponent bets. Many people would consider this a variety of semi-bluffing.it's an expensive habit. feel free to check behind and lose a smaller pot rather than a bigger one. At the river.your opponent checks to you and calls your bet. if your turn bet is a continuation of previous aggression you will have the added benefit of folding equity to make your move more +EV. Secondly. betting strongly. ---------When should I bet the river? For river bets. The turn is 4 and your opponent check-calls your bet. bluff rivers more when your betting tells a logical story that means you've got a good hand. he's not folding -. and flashing nothing but the nuts. You're air-tight play has earned you mountains of folding equity. 2. If a bad player likes his hand. Third. and therefore rarely getting called by nonmonster hands). and save your money for when you get a hand. If your table image is crap. The most obvious example is when you're OOP with a flush draw -check/calling the turn and leading a river flush card is equivalent to renting billboard space to announce your hand to your opponents. The flop comes KT8 with two hearts -. However. Getting your opponent to fold when he has the best hand. if you've been mixing it up left and right. 1. and if you were caught betting with air a few times (especially against THIS opponent!). and the purpose of this bet is not to fold your opponent. Also.understand this. Getting your opponent to fold when he has the best hand. Getting your opponent to call when he has the worst hand. cash in by bluffing more freely at the river. Don't bluff the calling stations -. and makes it more likely that you get paid off handsomely when your ship does come in. leading out on the turn makes it much sneakier if and when you hit on the river. but the intent is very different here: should your opponent choose to fold on the turn you wouldn't be too upset.Here. If you don't have the best hand then your only hope of leaving with the cash is to convince your opponent to fold. feel free to throw your weight around a bit on the river. River bluffs take lots of courage. things are a bit simpler: now. you either have the best hand or you don't. your folding equity is floating in the toilet right next to it -. He's telling a consistent story: "I've 106 . Unfortunately. Your opponent limp-calls preflop. 3." Once again. your value comes from only three sources: 1. If you've been showing down monsters for the past hour.it doesn't much matter what you say about your holding.

The flop comes 876 rainbow. Against these folks. Know this. though. . I've still got a flush draw . Some general hints: . If you've got AA on a 107 .that sort of thing. Don't pretend that the river 3 made your straight when the board is now JT653 -. A weak-tight nit is not going to pay off a pot-sized river bet without a strong hand. This is especially true if this particular opponent has caught us stealing recently.Bet bigger if your opponent sees too many showdowns. Some ultra-tight nits cannot ever fold after raising preflop -. but still separate enough to warrant mentioning. Against a good opponent or a watchful one. Finally.. and avoid bluffing them. our opponent checks and we. . How do we maximize value when we think our hand is best? We pick our bet size carefully. We've got a dilemma: the bigger our bet. and checked the turn.. Alternatively. . and a savvy opponent is going to call with his T6o and piss us off as he rakes the pot.. Use it. play it to the bone -.. even if your opponent's actual holding is 9 7 . Our opponent checks and we check behind. But against an idiot you can bet big with a big hand and small with a small hand and suffer no negative consequences. I've got a flush draw .got a speculative hand . So if you raised preflop. Feel free to make large bets -. possibly a king (on an aceless board) -.Bet bigger if you're "on tilt. Ah. You've got the nuts -. he knows we don't have a straight. One of the greatest difficulties in poker is deciding on bet sizing.nobody is going to believe you.the absolute. bet a river scare card: an ace. it's just not credible. some maniacally aggressive LAGs will release a hand the moment they face pressure. the bigger our payoff when we get called but the less likely our opponent is to call us. This is related to the first point. If we've been playing crappy poker. bluff rivers more when you've got a read that your opponent knows how to find the "fold" button.Bet bigger when our table image sucks. and our opponent will call more often than usual. Our hand screams of missed overcards. 2.bet? What strong holding is actually consistent with this betting strategy? Our opponent knows we're not doing this with an overpair. bet the flop. we tell an INCONSISTENT story: we raise preflop. now you've got to figure out how to get paid. This is a useful number to have in your HUD for this reason alone. He calls. or if we've not shown down any winners lately. just be sure you behave yourself when a smart player is in the pot. Too often.Bet smaller if your opponent couldn't possibly have a big hand. Feel free to make these kinds of plays against the hopeless goobers sitting at your table." I put "on tilt" in quotes because I'm assuming you're NOT on tilt (we're beyond emotional play.it'll look desperate and scared. but the answer is obvious: "because you only make that play with air. Getting your opponent to call when he has the worst hand. our opponent checks and we bet. right? ) No. a third suited card. I'll bet my 3PNK is good!" . Conversely.. .. or if we've been unlucky enough to get caught stealing a few times. don't pretend you were limped preflop and were check-calling all the way with AK. our table image will look bad. what I mean here is that you can bet bigger if your play will *look* like a tilt play to your opponent. and you'll be paid off because "he's tilting off another stack. river raises or check-raises are often the most profitable play you can make. The river is a 3. make sure you give him enough odds to talk himself into a crying call. fight against them. and he knows we don't have a 7." Make sure that your bets make sense. unburnished nuts! Now what? Well. "How can you call with that crap??" we scream.. The last hand your nut flush lost to a rivered full house? You're on tilt. you can't get away with sizing your bets based on your hands.they play so few hands that they are simply incapable of letting go of a hand once they've got one. baby! If you're lucky enough to catch pocket rockets this hand.nobody's going to believe it. the art of poker. I've got a flush!" This is the kind of bet that has TONS of folding equity.Bet smaller if your opponent is timid. The turn is another 7..Bet bigger if your opponent is bad and/or unobservant.

but is +EV as a combination of the two. He calls with a better hand 2/3*(75%) = 50% of the time. Here you win 1xPot. part value bet"? Well. that person is a liar. Best case.Bet smaller if your opponent likes to raise or check-raise weakness. value bluffing is probably the least understood. He's not a "good LAG. It's what good players say to freak out their opponents." That small river bet can induce a maniac to come over the top with a bluff raise. he's a "semi-thinking LAG. Your opponent's range is quite wide. It's the river equivalent of a semi-bluff: a bet that is not +EV as a bluff. Here you lose 1xPot.7% of the time. the combination of these two scenarios leads to the interesting (though unusual) situation of the value bluff. making this a winning strategy. The current board is AJ974 with no flushes.083xPot. smart enough to try to put you on a hand. hoping to drag down a big'un. either.. Note that this strategy doesn't work as a bluff -. you'll know their range. REALLY important concept: your opponent isn't holding a hand. Rather. because it's a really." A while back. Here you win 2xPot. you simply can't get away with betting much under normal circumstances. If you bet the pot. there's a 1/3rd chance he'll fold a better hand than yours and also a 1/3rd chance he'll call with a worse hand than yours. He calls with a worse hand 1/3*(25%) = 8. Some opponents LOVE to push people off their hands on the river. How can you possibly have a situation at the river where your bet is "part bluff. Anybody who says he can size up an opponent -.5th-level thinker" to represent a player who thinks about your hand but always puts you on AK. The truth is that unless an opponent is woefully straightforward in playing style. Your net is 0.3% of the time. Really.5*(-1) = +0. but amateurish enough to do a really bad job of it. . too: your opponent can't identify your exact holding. Of course. this works the other way around.and identify his exact hand holding . putting you on an overly narrow hand range and sticking to it despite any evidence to the contrary. but you think there's an 75% chance you're beaten. but beginning hand readers will often do something very similar to this.board of AAQ72. do whatever it takes to induce a bluff. Let's say that your opponent is an ultra-loose but not completely stupid player. stare him in the soul -." because they don't exist at uNL (or SSNL. It was a joke. let's say this is the kind of opponent you have: loose enough that you can't predict his holdings all that well. I'll repeat that.417*(+1) + 0. At the river. This is especially true if the "obvious draw" misses on the river. because your opponent isn't holding a hand. (Note that many of these hints work the other way around for sizing bluffs." Of all the ideas in this post. for that matter). 3/4ths-pot flop.villain only folds 1/3rd of the time. someone coined the phrase "1. "Value bluffing. 1/2-pot river. 1/2-pot turn. So. well. you won't know their exact holding. How does this work out? He folds 1/3*(75%) + 2/3*(25%) = 41.look him in the eye. A common betting pattern that might do this at uNL is "raise preflop. Make a small bet and be happy that you got paid off at all. he's holding a range. and you're risking the pot on the bluff (you lay 1-to-1 odds on a bet that's 2-to-1 against you 108 . you've got second pair. is not +EV as a value bet.. You have QJo and you attempted a steal.) 3.083*(+2) + 0. Now. if that's the case. he's holding a range.

(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) 109 . he would have easily folded his unimproved 65o. Here are some Valuetown examples from my $100NL play. Full Tilt Poker .6 Players . River: ($171. BB calls $3.1 All-In) Pot Size: $171. Pokey raises to $4.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . Full Tilt Poker .50/$1 Blinds . 4 average aggression. but +EV as a combination of the two.00.50 MP: $34. Note also that this strategy doesn't work as a value bet -.00 Three-betting is SUCH a strong move that I don't want to scare him off yet. He's bleeding money in every direction and he won't last long.95) By getting the money in while villain still had a draw.00.95 Uncalled bet of $7. -EV as a value bet. I take the risk of a check-raise.90) Q (2 Players . He doesn't disappoint me.$0. Note that he didn't even have the proper odds to call my raise. Get the money in while they still have potential. and he quickly calls off the rest of his stack with a cruddy draw.90 ($3 Rake) BB had 6 5 Pokey had A (Queen Jack high) and LOST (-$85. Pokey raises to $79.95 UTG: $46.00 Flop: ($8) J 8 4 (2 Players) Pokey bets $5. I stacked him.villain's hand beats yours 75% of the time.00.70 CO: $85.winning). Turn: ($28) 3 (2 Players) Pokey checks.25 BTN: $45.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Pokey (SB): $100.35 Villain is horrible: 66/11 preflop.00. Potential is great for a good player but extremely expensive for a bad one.50/$1 Blinds .00. ---------Sneaky hands can bet harder.00 BB: $85. the bet is -EV as a bluff. BB calls all-in for $43. Villain's sloppy hand-reading combined with villain's unidentifiable hand makes this a fuzzy enough betting area to be +EV.6 Players .No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . BB raises to $10. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (6 Players) 4 folds.95) A (a pair of Aces) and WON (+$82. If I'd waited until the river to try and take his money. In other words.05 returned to Pokey Given his aggression factor. Pokey calls $5. but you're only getting twice your money when you win (you're getting 2-to-1 odds on a 3-to-1 longshot).$0. BB bets $28.

River: ($121) 3 (2 Players) SB checks.SB: $142. SB calls $0.05 BTN: $38.00.05 110 . The smallish turn raise followed by the tiny river bet are both easy for villain to convince himself to call. Full Tilt Poker . I bet strong and get a minraise.00) This hand shows a good multi-street strategy that intends to make it very easy for villain to put all his money in the middle. I make the obligatory all-in bet and villain makes the obligatory crying call. I might as well see a free flop with my speculative hand.00 ($3 Rake) SB had 8 2 (two pair.50 Villain here runs 47/15 preflop and 2. but that leaves villain with a crying call on nearly any river.00 No way does an aggressive opponent check through with a runner-runner flush.00. and I stack him with my straight. A turn push is quite aggressive. MP folds. Note that even though straights and flushes have hit the board.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $68. Preflop: Pokey is dealt 6 5 (6 Players) UTG calls $1.50/$1 Blinds .00.00.00 Bingo! I hit my hand. Pokey calls $4.00 Pokey (BB): $100.00. Eights and Twos) and LOST (-$100.00) Pokey had 6 5 (a straight. I can nearly call on pot odds.50. Villain bets hard and I have the absolute nuts -. that's a hand. villain feels obligated to pay off the 1/3rd-pot bet (all-in) on the river with only two pair.00. Pokey checks Plenty of padding from limpers.50 CO: $45. but smooth-calling the turn leaves too much behind to have a reasonable way of getting it all in on the river. throwing in a more-than-pot-sized raise. and definitely on implied odds since I'm in position.00 Double-gutter. Pokey bets all-in for $41.10 MP: $58.00. Pokey raises to $50. 3 folds. SB calls $41.4 postflop. CO calls $1.I make a raise that villain can easily call.90 BB: $42. SB calls $29.95 CO: $28. BTN calls $1. redux. Turn: ($21) 7 (2 Players) SB bets $21. ---------Sneaky hands can bet harder.00 UTG: $35. Pokey bets $4.$0. Flop: ($5) 2 8 4 (5 Players) SB checks.00.65 Pokey (UTG): $98. Pot Size: $203.5 Players . SB raises to $8.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . Eight high) and WON (+$100.

Sneaky hands have the potential to win bigger pots than obvious hands.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Pokey (SB): $99.00 I'm not afraid of the draw anymore. I push. this seems +EV to me. I offer a 2/3rdspot bet.3 average aggression postflop.90 Uncalled bet of $0. BB checks.6 Players . River: ($42) 8 (2 Players) SB bets $6.BTN: $72. CO folds.00 UTG: $109. Full Tilt Poker . Since I was going to lose the bluffs anyways. Pokey calls $1. Pot Size: $141.10 CO: $134. Pokey bets $12.00. If villain shows interest and you know you've got him dead-to-rights.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .$0. woo! Flop: ($8) 4 Q 2 (4 Players) SB checks. running 29/9 preflop and with a 2.00 BB: $100. BB folds GREAT flop.00 Villain is mediocre-to-bad. SB raises to $2. BB calls $1. Preflop: Pokey is dealt 2 2 (5 Players) Pokey calls $1. SB calls $12. I decide to bet for value and to try to build a pot (hoping for callers) and it works. Villain comes along for the ride.00.00.00. BTN folds.90) 2 (a full house. or make some weak-assed minraise.00.00 111 . Either he's got a Q and he's drawing nearly dead or he's got hearts and he's drawing totally dead.10 returned to Pokey Thank goodness for position: we river the third heart and villain makes a pansy-sized bet.80 ($3 Rake) SB had Q J Pokey had 2 (a flush. ---------Protecting your hand. Queen high) and LOST (-$68. CO calls $1. SB calls all-in for $43. Given that the preflop raiser just checked.00. SB calls $5.00 Deuces never loses.00. Rather than smooth-call my near-nuts.00. but that I get called by the flushes.90) Lessons here: let villains draw if they're drawing dead (or nearly so). Villain pays me off with his heart flush. CO calls $1.10 MP: $67. so rather than try to price him out.00. knowing that I lose the three-pair hands and bluffs.00.50/$1 Blinds . go for the freakin' jugular. Pokey bets $5. Twos full of Fours) and WON (+$69.10 BTN: $155. Either way. Turn: ($18) 4 (2 Players) SB checks. I'm happy. Pokey raises to $50.

6 Players . 3. SB: $106..00. and I don't want to be looking over my shoulder if the river comes with a diamond or spade.00.45 Pokey (BB): $169. CO calls $1.$0. I don't want to deal with a river decision. Full Tilt Poker .00 returned to Pokey This board just became *way* too drawy to allow any cheap cards. I smooth-call to see a turn. Flop: ($20) 2 4 7 (3 Players) Pokey checks.00 I wasn't c-betting into these two very often. Pokey raises all-in to $81.00. MP calls $1. With a relatively blank board. 2 folds Uncalled bet of $48.00 Super-premium hand. villain is running 40/17 with a postflop aggression of almost 11. 112 .50) 2 9 7 (2 Players) Pokey bets $15. BTN calls $1.00. BTN calls $6. instead he minraises. Pokey calls $15. MP folds.Both CO and Button are extremely loose and extremely aggro. SB folds.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . I smooth-call.00 ($3 Rake) Read this hand as an example of showing weakness to induce bets. not to mention a 2.50/$1 Blinds . With this many scare cards.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Over a short sample. I guess they trusted me more than they trusted each other. I just put all my money in the middle after the bet.00. BTN raises to $30. Pokey raises to $6.15 Preflop: Pokey is dealt J J (6 Players) UTG folds. hoping for a bet. snapping off multiple bluffs. or 9. knowing your opponents.00 I bet my overpair expecting villain to fold. Pokey raises to $7.00.00.00 Flop: ($15. ---------Protecting your hand. so I figured that with BOTH of them in the hand I had room to get trappy.00. BTN calls $1. Pokey calls $12. I check. BTN calls $5. Turn: ($56) 9 (3 Players) Pokey checks. so I charge 'em to see. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (6 Players) UTG calls $1.25 UTG: $102. intending to check-raise a safe turn. CO calls $5. and protecting your hand. CO folds. and they oblige. BTN calls $33.. To my great surprise. MP folds. CO bets $33.25 MP: $157. BOTH villains fold for the relatively small additional bet.00.00. CO bets $12. 2 folds.00. redux. BTN calls $12.00.05 CO: $100. Pot Size: $155. 7..00.00 BTN: $461. 4.00.00.

Turn: ($75.50) 3 (2 Players) Pokey checks, BTN bets $45.00, Pokey raises all-in to $132.25, BTN folds Uncalled bet of $87.25 returned to Pokey The good news is that I still have an overpair. The bad news is that the board is ridiculously drawy now. I check, knowing that this opponent simply cannot resist the opportunity to push me off my hand. After he makes his bet, however, I am unwilling to see a river card -- with well over half the deck as scare cards, I can't trust myself to make the right decision there. Instead, I put it all in the middle, expecting an improper call from any solid draw or strong 9, and a fold from everything else. Villain folds, and I snap off a large turn bluff, picking up a big pot uncontested. Pot Size: $165.50 ($3 Rake) On a less wet board I might have gone for a smaller check-raise to gain value; as it stands, I need to protect my hand from an increasingly unpleasant board. This is the kind of opponent who puts monsters under my bed; knowing that, I bet all-in to prevent an extremely expensive FTOP mistake on the river. ---------Protecting your hand, part III. Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.50/$1 Blinds - 6 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $148.05 BB: $101.80 Pokey (UTG): $145.40 MP: $78.10 CO: $207.80 BTN: $238.60 Villain in this hand has good stats, if a bit on the nitty side: 19/13 preflop with a 2.5 average aggression postflop. We don't tangle much, but sometimes it's inevitable. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (6 Players) Pokey raises to $4.00, MP folds, CO calls $4.00, 2 folds, BB calls $3.00 Obvious. Flop: ($12.50) K 2 Q (3 Players) BB checks, Pokey bets $9.00, CO folds, BB calls $9.00 Value bet hoping for a call from a good K. Turn: ($30.50) 2 (2 Players) BB bets $22.00, Pokey raises all-in to $132.40, BB calls all-in for $66.80 Uncalled bet of $0.00 returned to Pokey A very important turn: that 2 just counterfeited KQ and almost surely didn't help villain in any case (good news). There are now two flush draws on the board (bad news). Villain has bet into me, indicating something strongish (bad news). My hand is quite strong despite that (good news). If villain is drawing he's only got one more card for a suckout (good news). I make a pot-sized reraise to end this farce: villain is likely to fold here, but if he calls he'll still be behind most of the time.

113

River: ($208.10) 8

(2 Players - 2 All-In)

Pot Size: $208.10 ($3 Rake) BB had T K (a flush, King high) and WON (+$103.30) Pokey had A A (two pair, Aces and Twos) and LOST (-$101.80) Villain calls and sucks out on the river, but when the money went in he was far behind. I lost the hand, but I won the Sklansky bucks: my play was superior to his. After all, when the money went in the pot I had a slightly greater than 77% chance of winning the whole thing. Bad luck but good play -- hey, that's just poker. ---------Even if you're ahead, sometimes it's -EV to bet. Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.50/$1 Blinds - 6 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $100.85 BB: $47.20 Pokey (UTG): $149.65 MP: $106.50 CO: $42.35 BTN: $83.50 SB is a maniac: 87/50 preflop, 1.6 average aggro postflop. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A J (6 Players) Pokey raises to $4.00, 3 folds, SB calls $3.50, BB folds Flop: ($9) J A 4 (2 Players) SB checks, Pokey bets $6.00, SB calls $6.00 Pure value bet, hoping villain plays back. He doesn't. Turn: ($21) 2 (2 Players) SB checks, Pokey bets $10.00, SB calls $10.00 Weak bet to induce a raise. He doesn't. This is worrisome: when an aggressive player slows down, it's time to get frightened. River: ($41) T (2 Players) SB bets $20.00, Pokey calls $20.00 The inevitable scare card hits and villain bets it. Villain wins at showdown about 36% of the time, so the odds are strong that this is just a bluff. That means my hand is best more than 50% of the time. Despite this, I cannot profitably raise -- villain will almost never fold a better hand and almost never call with a worse hand, so even though I am ahead more than half the time, if I bet it will be -EV, winning me the same amount of money most of the time and losing me more on those unusual occasions when I'm behind. Pot Size: $81.00 ($3 Rake) SB had 4 T (two pair, Tens and Fours) and LOST (-$40.00)

114

Pokey had A

J

(two pair, Aces and Jacks) and WON (+$38.00)

Moral of the story: aggression is good as a general rule, but being overly and blindly aggressive is -EV. Only bet when there's profit in it. ---------Checking to induce a bluff from an aggressive opponent. Opponent is 42.4/10.6/1.6, steals 16% of the time and LOVES to float flops. Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.50/$1 Blinds - 5 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $114.60 Pokey (BB): $183.55 UTG: $329.40 CO: $100.85 BTN: $160.20 Preflop: Pokey is dealt A Q (5 Players) 2 folds, BTN raises to $3.50, SB folds, Pokey raises to $15.00, BTN calls $11.50 With a premium hand I mix it up by reraising instead of calling, trying to get the upper hand. Flop: ($30.50) A T 5 (2 Players) Pokey bets $25.00, BTN calls $25.00 Standard continuation bet, combined with a standard float from villain. Turn: ($80.50) 9 (2 Players) Pokey checks, BTN bets all-in for $120.20, Pokey calls $120.20 I "show weakness" and villain fires all-in. I was surprised to see just how strong his hand actually was. River: ($320.90) 3 (2 Players - 1 All-In)

Pot Size: $320.90 ($3 Rake) BTN had A J (a pair of Aces) and LOST (-$160.20) Pokey had A Q (a pair of Aces) and WON (+$157.70) This hand shows another example of NOT betting to maximize pot size. It also shows the importance of knowing what story your betting line is telling -- in this case, I spoke of weakness to induce a bluff, so I had to call the resulting bet. ---------Not telling a consistent story. Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.50/$1 Blinds - 5 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $191.95

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Pokey (BB): $144.45 UTG: $444.30 CO: $43.40 BTN: $87.40 I've been struggling on the table, and I've recently lost some big hands. Villain is superbad: 68/9 preflop, went to showdown 37% of the time and won there 39% of the time. He's sloppy and lucky, and he's got money I want. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (5 Players) UTG calls $1.00, CO calls $1.00, 2 folds, Pokey raises to $5.00, UTG calls $4.00, CO folds Time to use my lousy table image. Flop: ($11.50) 8 9 5 (2 Players) Pokey bets $8.00, UTG calls $8.00 I hope he pays off my c-bet; he does. Turn: ($27.50) T (2 Players) Pokey bets $23.00, UTG calls $23.00 Nothing has changed; I make a big bet to try and get some money in the pot. Villain calls. River: ($73.50) A (2 Players) Pokey bets all-in for $108.45, UTG calls $108.45 River time. Keep in mind that villian is *BAD* -- he's looking for a reason to call, not a reason to fold. So I give him one. My river bet is too big, and that looks very fishy. Villain KNOWS I don't have a flush because there's no way I could play a flush draw this way (in actuality, I definitely could, but like I said: villain is bad). Villain decides I must be making a desperation bluff with air, and talks himself into a heroic call. Pot Size: $290.40 ($3 Rake) UTG had J T (a pair of Tens) and LOST (-$144.45) Pokey had A A (three of a kind, Aces) and WON (+$142.95) I told an inconsistent story and villain got levelled into paying off an extra buyin on the river. ---------Know they enemy. Full Tilt Poker - No Limit Hold'em Cash Game - $0.50/$1 Blinds - 6 Players - (LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Pokey (SB): $148.05 BB: $104.15 UTG: $39.00 MP: $259.05 CO: $77.25 BTN: $31.75 Villain hasn't been around long, but he's terrible AND he's on tilt. He just lost a big pot

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and someone at the table is taunting him for it (not me, of course). Villain runs 45/3 preflop and 2 average aggression. He's a target. Preflop: Pokey is dealt 7 Q (6 Players) UTG folds, MP calls $1.00, CO calls $1.00, BTN folds, Pokey calls $0.50, BB checks Speculative hand, low price, lots of padding. I complete. Flop: ($4) 9 3 Q (4 Players) Pokey bets $2.00, BB folds, MP calls $2.00, CO calls $2.00 Flop gives me a mediocre hand. I bet weakly to try and pick up the pot and get two callers. Hmmmm. Turn: ($10) J (3 Players) Pokey bets $6.00, MP calls $6.00, CO calls $6.00 Now I've got a flush draw thrown into the mix. I make another weak bet and get two callers again. I'm liking my pot odds and implied odds. River: ($28) A (3 Players) Pokey bets all-in for $139.05, MP folds, CO calls all-in for $68.25 Uncalled bet of $0.00 returned to Pokey If my hand wasn't good before, it's DEFINITELY good now. Given that villains have been calling all along, I'm hoping someone just backed into two pair with their Ax hand. No stronger flush makes any sense, and my hand is wickedly-well disguised. Rather than try and get both to pay off a small bet, I go for the gusto and shove. MP escapes but CO pays off my massive overbet. Pot Size: $164.50 ($3 Rake) CO had Q T (a pair of Queens) and LOST (-$77.25) Pokey had 7 Q (a flush, Ace high) and WON (+$84.25) Again, I tell an inconsistent story, again I overbet to disguise my hand, again villain calls because of emotional reasons, and again my sneaky hand collects me a huge pot. Now, I'm not saying that overbets are always the best choice, but if you OCCASIONALLY mix them into your lineup -- particularly when your betting is highly inconsistent -- you can get a big payout from the right enemy.

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but you will eventually be able to ascertain the times in which they are simply trying to intimidate you based on position. Flop comes A 8 3 and you lead for 3/4 pot. and mucking your hand now is not a bankroll killer by any means. Sit out for a few hands at your other tables. If you do. Party Poker in particular is very generous about revealing a player’s hand at showdown. Most importantly. Having said this. The bulk should come from LP. He might certainly be wielding his position like a weapon. you are playing too many hands out of position. and it is likely costing you money. Watch how he handles position in future hands. Take a look at your winnings and total hand investments. it will benefit you to carefully watch their play as often as you can. and you are both new to the table. Think of position like many of us thought of hooking up back in college. in which the highest EV line is to muck a reasonably strong hand when you are out of position. Occasionally. Let’s say you raise A K UTG and get one caller. though. I guess this analogy stops at busting: you’ll always bust. not a tough TAG or a good LAG who 118 . Some of the best reads you can develop will come from studying these hands. There are ways to make this easier on you. If you notice a big pot that happened a hand or two ago while you were devoting your attention elsewhere. It will be much easier to develop reads and handle your positional disadvantage as a session goes on. you have to let her get on top. playing big pots OOP early in a session is generally a bad idea because you haven’t had the time to develop reads and a feel for the rhythm of the table. But you will quickly be playing for your stack to find out if he flopped a set on you." But I’m only doing this against a maniac. you’ll run into players who like to raise less often than Clear Channel likes to raise salaries in a union negotiation. you’ll always get what you want.Introduction We are operating under the assumption that everyone knows the following: You ought to be playing many more hands from LP than from EP. this does not go for every opponent. If you are dealing with aggressive postflop players who have a positional advantage over you. use that information to make detailed notes. You want to end up on top of the hot girl at the party. and circumstances.Playing OOP (epdaws) Playing Out of Position -. she’ll enjoy the position more. Anyway. but that doesn’t mean you can’t get what you want. Players who like to multi-table often make the mistake of only paying attention to hands in which they are involved. and it takes forever to reload. pull up the hand history if you can. sometimes the best advice is the simple "leave and wait for a better seat. But before we get there… There will be hands. Villain comes over the top for a PSR. Again. You have no read on this player. If there is a balance. It’s the tougher players who will challenge you. you must also be comfortable trusting your reads and your feel for flop textures. do your best to pay attention to similar situations even when you are not in the hand. as many strong players do. Make a note of his play. and you’ll usually finish ahead of her. moving on… Reads are Essential: Study Hands You Don't Play To be comfortable playing out of position.

along with changing the table dynamic that had previously convinced him I could be run over. I don't expect everyone to agree with the range. Likes to raise flop Cbets. and we were Flop came J 5 4 . We’re trying to improve our play against the strongest opponents and 119 . and I made it $58. I would have had to do it with no information about this player and I would have been simply hoping I was not up against a set. I’ll adjust and there are multiple lines I can take to win pots from him. Eventually I won’t mind if a strong. and I opened for $4. Is 25% a huge number? It is not. He raised to $18. Keep in mind that had I attempted this play early on. checking out hands. I also considered my own tendencies and my proclivity to use position like a hammer on a stubborn nail. and making my best guess. he can not call a re-raise with much of his range. I don’t use the number without a lot of hands or a solid read on a player. and I fold. because by re-raising. or a semi-bluff into the equation a lot more often. a play he had used on me on my second orbit of the session. The 25% Rule I tend to make an assumption about players that I am not sure is perfectly accurate. I am telling him that I have a monster pair. but I the concept has worked for me. I decided it was. and I led for $6. I immediately made a note of the hand. He seemed to think for a while and folded. I would also assert that this number is going to rise based on the stakes you play. I wanted badly to call him and force him to show me a set. and more likely to float or fold. Seems to understand position and has pushed me out of several pots after I raised preflop. most players tend to play their cards based on the strength of their hand. I thought it was possible I was behind to a JT suited. Here is an example from a hand that happened last weekend. In other words. much more likely that he had an unimproved pair.knows what position is. but he might very well have been playing it up. Again. a float. He called on the Button. there is at least a 25% chance that any aggression he shows against me in a heads-up pot is based solely on his positional advantage. I would guess it’s much lower. Recalling my long-ago days of 25NL. I could have been behind a set or two pair." I was in MP with A Q heads up to the flop. TP or air than a big hand like a set or overpair. I had the following notes on a player who is 21/12/3 in 500 hands: "Strong player. this is quite a nebulous number and concept. and he has position on me. but it brings a bluff. he pushes. Worth watching some more. or float and raise turn. only occasionally an overpair. and often enough an unimproved PP. AJ kind of hand. but he seemed to be raising with TP just as often. . similar to Harrington’s 10% chance of a bluff concept: If I have a strong enough sample size against an opponent I respect. How did I come to that number? I spent a lot of time combing through the PT database. It’s pretty darn straightforward. but I try to keep it in mind when I make a reasonably strong hand against a solid opponent who has position on me. because at SSNL. It is this. overall. I want to beat those players at their own game. as I felt this opponent was perhaps less likely to raise my flop Cbet. He would certainly make this play with a set. capable of making good laydowns. aggressive player thinks he can float and bully me. We were both reasonably deep. with effective stacks $175. but it has seemed to help me. If he beats that. But my reraise knocks out his drawing hands and folds out many hands that beat me. but I have backed down each time.

This is assuming the flop is at least somewhat innocuous. A Default Line for Handling AA or KK vs. I was convinced he would only min-raise for value with a set. So here’s how I handle it: Every time I see a player min-raise a flop Cbet. maligned as the minraise is. If they push I fold and make a note that I believe they’ll min-raise sets. but of course that’s dependent on the read and opponent. but thankfully most opponents at SSNL won’t just call there with a set. It’s a bounty of information. cause that makes it very difficult for me on the turn. I will make note of it. it’s helpful to know how opponents play their monsters. he bet $30. I still tend to think that the majority. There are also times when I will muck AA or KK on the flop to one raise. I’ve run into opponents who will min-raise a Cbet with top pair or an unimproved PP. instead I let him draw cheaply and I fell for the trap on the river. Having a note on what a min-raise means is one of the most helpful pieces of info you can have in this game at this level. I was dealt A K and made my standard raise. and he min-raised to $12. He seemed solid. He showed 9 8 for a straight. and I’ve run into plenty of players who use it to float or shut down their opponent. They’ll push. Handling Min-Raises: They Don't Always Mean Sets Here’s a hand that I butchered like an overweight cow on Hamburger Day that indicates the power of raising in position. If they fold. If I lead for 6 and get raised to 12. Resistance Playing AA or KK against resistance when you are OOP can be dreadfully difficult – harder than a group of teen boys at a Scarlett Johannson photo shoot. I’m making it 35. and the flop comes K 8 3 or even T 8 3 . Turn was a total brick. of flop min-raises indicate a set. and he checked. I checked. I’m gone.prepare our game for higher stakes. River was the T . the 2 . Their best play with a set is to call. If I’m raised with normal or deep stacks. or at least the plurality. Flop came A 7 6 . Even seemingly solid players – and I’ve seen plenty of 2p2ers do this – min-raise their set on the flop because they want to build a pot and get value. and a call/fold will be reads-based. One of 2p2’s best posters. and if I get min-raised. The min-raise froze me on the flop. If I get raised again on the turn. but they don’t want to lose their opponent. shared some of his thoughts on handling this spot and I’ve built them into my default line. I’m coming over the top. However. I’ll call and lead the turn for 2/3 pot. Does it get expensive sometimes? Yes. but I didn't have much history with him. perfect. Foxwoods Fiend. I led for $6. My opponent’s action is then going to tell me a lot. I think folding to every raise when OOP is giving away too much value. It’s amazing how effective it can be against us. I checked. But you’ll be surprised how often you can take the pot and when you get pushed. I called but feared a set immediately. If I get called I have to check the river. I’ll make my Cbet. But let’s say I raise A K in EP and get one caller. I note that they’ll try to take away the pot with a min-bet and will back down to further aggression. If that player shows his hand down. one caller. 120 . Many players know that a min-raise is regarded with dread because of what it represents. and I called. I’ve come to find out that it can mean something else.

Trust your reads. So do yourself a favor and play the bulk of your hands in position. 121 . Not generally much fun. But don’t roll over dead just because you have to act first. Use check/raises occasionally. unless you’re into that kind of thing. It just takes some adjustments to get your opponents off balance. Lots of teeth.Conclusions Being OOP bites like a vindictive girlfriend who finds out you’ve been cheating. and then they’ll be dreading playing any pots with you at all.

first let's deal with pf. I don't know about you guys. and value on the river. If people start calling pf raises en masse. It applies somewhat to being in MP-LP in FR. Knowing when to/when not to c-bet will help your winrate a lot. stealing blinds with any A. Lastly. So. it may not. I want them in my stack. playing passively against a maniac is right sometimes.. With no image and playing a TAG game. but I want to be that guy people play passively against. and now you always have the cards. This depends on two factors very heavily-Board Texture and Number of Villains. thinking pot control on the turn. even considering the previous statement. Pokey can't count to 1600. I raise a lot pf (in 6max about 25% of my hands.. Aggression wins money.. Many people advocate folding here. know when to go TAG. wrong. However. or reraising you.. caveat. into a pf raiser?? No! Rarely. Lets say I've been hammering on a villain all game. Another reason I'm consantly raising and stabbing is that it helps me get paid off when I hit the flop hard. villains will play back eventually. I know a lot of you are interested in loosening up your game. your top pair is still not good. Villain c/r for 32bb. I'd check often vs. How much higher is up to you--and up to your read of a villain. The flop comes down T 8 3 Villain checks... its time to stop raising 56s UTG and look for value from your big pairs. I hope this was somewhat of a brief outline.LOOSE AGGRESSIVE PLAY (BalugaWhale) (forgive spelling mistakes. Villain calls in the BB. I don't care if there are 20bb's in pf or 2bb. stupid football) Note: This applies to 6max far more than FR. You will be amazed how many times you are shown J 8 here. I do this because I am aiming to win the pot. as it stands. I am more frightened if I lead and am smoothcalled. because I decide when the money goes in and when it doesn't. important caveat--> when you are raised on the turn. if ever. Plus. 2 opponents if it was K87 two-tone and I held AQ. But.. I call the c/r and play poker on the next two streets. but everytime I see a flop and there are chips in the pot. folding may be the correct play here. Sure. and most suited Q's. Playing LAG gets a table worked up. Playing tight pf is rarely.Know when not to c-bet. I lead for the pot ( 9 bb). What hand would villain play like this? Very few that beat you from the average villain!! Do you think your average SSNL player c/r a set/2pair on the flop. maybe more haha). It's important to know what to do-. The point is this: when people are willing to play back at you with less. I open from the CO with A T . and I'd like some money in there to win. It makes life easier for me.. You'll still get the action. any K. raising gives me the ability to take down the pot when we both have nothing on the flop.. I'm not convinced it helps that much in a world where villains think about their own cards and not yours.. period. However. I might c-bet into 3 weak opponents if the flop was 842r. I am wearing a cast on one hand. I try to avoid situations like the one above without a read.and this means knowing your villain. or when I first sit down. 122 . you can value your average hands higher. but then again. It's not as long as Pokey's. I want them..

often the answer for me is double barrel bluffing. 123 ..Only an idiot bluffs a man he knows will call him!! Disclaimer..the word is still out as to whether or not I'm good at poker. Put money in the pot. One more quick thing to highlight. use it against the right opponents. It is a powerful weapon. 4) Read the table so you know when to slow down and tighten up.your opponents are likely to play back with less than you're used to. people start floating you. Remember. So don't take any of this too seriously. scoop it to your side.So heres a brief outline 1) Attack. Its not hard to notice. pf and the flop.As you raise more pf and c-bet the flop constantly. 2) Know when to c-bet and when not to. 3) Be strong when you connect...

It tends to leave money on the table when you hit big. they feel that they got a chance to get away cheap while still playing a flop. It was checked to the river when i finally bet $20 and he called and said "Show me your aces" So.. i flopped quads. I figure that I cost myself $100 by limping that hand. on to Open Limping: I feel this is one of the biggest leaks in a players game. My friend had KK. Awesome... I will limp behind someone if I know I can stack them when I hit big. When they miss. Flop is AAJ. you should make a c-bet. Hero is in MP1 with about $150 behind.. I limped in for $2.. IMO. What do I mean by this? I'll give you an example from a 1/2 NL Live game from a while back. so yes. My friend (who also happens to be MP2) raises to $10 Button calls.. Turn x.. This is just one example. Open limping will cost you money in the long run. Back to me. This is a very hard concept for many players to grasp. but yet they want to see a flop. I left A LOT of chips on the table that should have been shipped to me by getting it all in PF. you immediately take control of the pot until either everyone folds. This was a regular game that I played in about 3 days a week. there are many many more like it.. in this very hand... I more than likely get to reraise all-in. But. I reraise to $30.. (RichC... Either way. When called. calls or raises you.. Open limping is a pure chip spew. to clarify. MP2 thinks and finally calls but I can tell he knows what I have.) . If you raise. open limping is when you are the first one to enter a pot and just limp in. river x.You Should Open Limp. just evaluate the flop and determine if your opponent hit his hand. An example or two: (assume full stacks for both examples at 50nl) You are UTG with 9 7 and raise to $2..75 124 .00 One caller and the blinds fold (not taking out the rake) pot is $4.. (I know this is bigger stacks than many uNL players are used to. you dont have to hit your hand. Back to my intial point.NOT!!! First. but we all know that this is about as micro as it gets live) It folds to me and I have AA. Button folds. this is bad for business. so you are therefore losing value.. had I just made a standard raise to maybe $8 in this case.. Limping behind someone is a different strategey all together. Many do not want to raise SCs UTG. so they limp in. and many more like it.

You dont have to play the LAGtard game that I do to never open limp. Flop is 744 You just flopped a monster. one of the biggest live pots I have ever seen (and won for that matter) came up. ~Rich and raise to $2. Now. one spade. 2 folds and then the other two both call. my KK>QQ>JJ and your hero wins about $800. your hand isnt the nuts and you make it pricey for an over pair to draw out against you that 5% of the time that they do. arent there ever times that you should be open limping? So glad you asked.00 This is a fairly standard value bet and you will usually take down the pot. but IMO.Flop is 7Q6r. felt like every hand actually. I had been playing a fairly aggressive game and had been getting reraised all night long. but refer back to my first example and how I left a lot of money on the table and you will find it is still better to raise and then reraise them to get it all in PF. I just say to hell with and push. Sorry slight brag at the end there. Also. but I hope I have provided you with some decent examples of why you shouldnt be open limping. lead out for $3. I had managed to build up to about $400 despite have gotten played back at all damn night when this hand. We all flip. I had them covered. Why would you bet this monster you ask? Easy. Wrong. Lead out for $3 again. I also won a tournament about 7 hours later. Middle pair for you. Hand 2: Again. think about if you had just limped in with those hands. odds are that you are leaving chips in your opponents stack that rightfully belong to you.00 125 . I'll leave you with this example from the same 1/2 NL Live game. Now. TAGs should not be open limping either. When someone is constantly raising and reraising you. Both examples are hands very similar to hands I have played. you are UTG with 7 4 One call and the blinds fold. then open limping a big hand is fine IMO. YES there are. these type of situations occur more in tournaments than in cash games. you ask. One more caller. Our natural tendency is to check raise or check call here. folds back to me and I am just sick but I'm not good enough to fold KK PF. no one in their right mind can put you on 74s and will believe that you missed this flop and a good aggressive opponent will try to take this away from you with A high or and over pair like 99. I am UTG and raise to $10 with KK 2 callers and then the expected reraise to $90.

since a set is a near-invincible hand and you still have to improve with these draws. I also encourage math-head-types to check my math to make sure I didn't mess anything up.84% Two pair: 2% Trips: 1. Flush: 0. and You (goofyballer) A recent thread about using the 5/10 rule to call preflop raises with PPs and suited connectors got me thinking about the kind of implied odds required to call preflop raises with SCs. Your average equity on the flop with these made hands and combo draws against an overpair is 66% (the made hands go from 75%-99%. and that's where things get complicated. 20 outer (OESD + FD + pair): 0. There are two kinds of hands you can flop with SCs: Good made hands (most of which can be made by calling with ATC. I'm going to attempt to solve that problem (but I still need some help!). made hands.450% 13 outer (Pair + straight draw): 1. First. people tend to arbitrarily use things like the 5/10 rule.077% 17 outer (Gutshot + FD + pair): 0.664% -----------------------Total: 6. 17:1) However. even though I've never seen any mathematical description of the kind of odds you need to call these raises.. most of the time you will be flopping draws instead of big hands with SCs. or 1 in 8 (very close to how often you will flop a set with an overpair).6% (1 in 18 times.9% (1 in 14 times. Implied Odds.153% 15 outer (OESD + flush draw): 1. you'll have a relatively "big hand" on the flop 12. or getting AI on the flop is +EV when you take some fold equity (and thus taking down dead money) into account.424% 14 outer (Pair + flush draw): 1.147% 12 outer (Gutshot + flush draw): 2.35% Full house: 0. compare this with sets. and leave the tl. you can't say that you also need about 7:1 odds to call with a suited connector. stolen off some page I googled: Odds of flopping. I'll list the conclusions first. COMBO DRAWS Odds of flopping..09% Quads: 0. either you are a favorite against an overpair.01% Straight: 1. where your equity is generally 90+%. REGULAR DRAWS 126 .. Combining these big draws with good made hands.Suited Connectors..dr math for the bottom for those of you that want to peruse it.5% of the time. which of course we don't do) and draws. However. 13:1) These draws are all hands that can be played profitably after the flop. the combo draws range from 45%-65%).31% ------Total: 5. Let's separate this into two categories: combo draws and regular draws.

Combo draws All examples assume you have 6c5c. 6. 17:1 chance) of flopping a good made hand . a question from me to all you math-heads: How do you combine these preflop odds with the odds of hitting your hand postflop to figure out the implied odds required to call with SCs preflop? If you don't like numbers. So. with two clubs each. 7(6/5)4. These draws improve to a flush or straight on the river about 1 time in 3. 8(6/5)4.5:1) These are your standard draws. you'll have your standard old OESD or FD which requires playing some poker. you can catch ultradeceptive flops of 973 with two clubs or 842 with two clubs.e.5. what follows is how I calculated everything.. tl. it will most frequently be one of these..2% 8 outer (straight draw): 8. Not very high. you will flop a hand you can continue with on the flop 25% of the time (1 in 4). The odds of hitting each of those flops are 12/50 * 8/49 * 4/48.0% ----------------Total: 13. (6/5)42. 8c 7c 6/5x: 2/50 * 1/49 * 5/48 * 3 = .5 times. +EV to shove it in). OESD + flush draw (15 outs): You need a flop of 87x. 6.you have a 5. when you flop a hand with which you can continue. 13:1) chance of flopping a strong (12+ outs) combo draw . (6/5)43. (6/5)32 with two clubs. or 43x with two clubs.153%. there are four flops that give you a straight (789.6% (1 in 18. the other half. 347. 127 . 9c 8c 6/5x: 2/50 * 1/49 * 5/48 * 3 = . only half of the time will these hands be immediately profitable (i. 234). However.31%.2% (1 in 7.0255% Multiply by 3 to get odds for all three flops = 0.5:1) chance of flopping a standard OESD or FD Adding these all together. Summary .00255% Multiply by 6 to get odds for all six flops = 0. multiply that by 4 flops.dr math Made hands: I calculated the odds of flopping a straight myself.07653%. 74x. 478. for example. 7(6/5)3.you have a ~7% (1 in 14. 9 outer (flush draw): 5. and you get 1. OESD + flush draw + pair (20 outs ZOMG): You need a flop of 87(6/5). Gutshot + flush draw + pair (17 outs): You need a flop of 98(6/5).you have a ~13% chance (1 in 7. skip the rest of the post.Odds of flopping. with 65s. in addition. 97(6/5).

where x does not complete a flush or straight and does not pair your hand: 87x: 7c 8c x = 2/50 * 1/49 * 27/48 * 3 = 0. total odds of flopping a combo draw = 0.408% Multiply by 3 for all three flops = 1. 0.332% 973: 9c 7c 3x = 2/50 * 1/49 * 3/48 * 3 = 0.0918% Total odds of flopping 15-outer: 1. Odds of flopping 87x (where x does not pair your hand and does not complete a straight): 8/50 * 4/49 * 34/48 * 3 = 02. subtract 0.424% (15 outs) + 1.45% (14 outs) + 1.153% 7x 8c xc = 3/50 * 1/49 * 10/48 * 6 = 0. 73x.07653 to get 1.07653% (20 outs) + 0.224% Since we already counted pair + FD + OESD.07653 and 0.68% Since we already counted pair + FD + OESD and pair + FD + gutshot. (6/5)43 8/50 * 4/49 * 5/48 * 3 = 0.94% Subtract 0. there's 87x.442% for the times it makes an OESFD (which we already counted) = 2.45% Pair + straight draw (13 outs): using 65s.498% Multiply by 3 for the odds of 87x/74x/43x: 7. and 842.664% (12 outs) = 6. 7(6/5)4.153% (17 outs) + 1. 84x. Same calculation as OESD + flush draw.915% = 1 in 14 times (13:1) Regular draws OESD (8 outs): There are five flops you can catch an OESD with: using 65s as an example.494% Odds of flopping 973: 12/50 * 8/49 * 4/48 = 0.138% 7c 8x xc = 1/50 * 3/49 * 10/48 * 6 = 0.424% Pair + flush draw (14 outs): Two clubs and one of your hole cards: 6/50 * 11/49 * 10/48 * 3 = 1. 74x. 42x.444% per flop * 6 flops = 2. 97x. possible flops are 87(6/5).558% 128 .664% So.33% Multiply by 2 for the odds of 973/842: 0.65% Subtract 0. 43x.147% (13 outs) + 2.153% Total = 0. subtract 0.0459% *2 for 842 = 0.0918 since we already counted double gutshot + FD: = 0.147% Gutshot + flush draw (12 outs): You need a flop of 98x. 973.444% Total for all 3 flops = 1. 32x (where each flop has two clubs).Odds of flopping 87x with two clubs.0153% *3 for 9c 7x 3c/9x 7c 3c = 0.153 to get 1.

5 * 97.05% (OESD) + 5.5 * 74.424 and 2.661 since we already counted the times where the flush draw gives you an OESD.78 + 0. 65.71 + 1.5 * 50.5:1).175% non-combo flush draws.26% Subtract 1.26 + 1.01 / 12.556 (0.5 * 45.84 / 12.077 / 12.175% (flush) = 13.717 129 .225% (1 in 7.677 + 1.414 + 0. I calculated the average equity of made hands/combo draws against overpairs by taking the weighted average of each: 0.5 * 56.Total odds of flopping non-combo OESD = 8.55 + 1.35 / 12.424 / 12.077 / 12.899 + 1. So.5 * 87.31 / 12.17 + 2 / 12.09 / 12.556% = equity of 6s5s on 9s8s6x board against AcAd) + .5 * 47.664 / 12.5.5 * 91.5 * 96. your total chances of flopping a standard 8 or 9 out draw are 8.153 / 12. and you get 5.78 + 0.5 * 99.05% Flush draw (9 outs): Two clubs + a blank that does not complete a flush or pair your hand: 11/50 * 10/49 * 33/48 * 3 = 9.5 * 65.86 + 2.5 * 57.5 = %age of time you flop oesfd+pair.45 / 12. 6.147 / 12.

So we have 22. (These ranges and labels may not be accurate for many games but it captures to some degree three different ideal-typical players as far as 3-betting.Reraised Blind Battles and Bluffing with Marginal Hands (sam h) Hi. Since most 100 and 200NL opponents are nits when it comes to 3-betting preflop. 130 . we also want to know the EV of calling given certain scenarios. The rest of this post is going to look at the equity of bluffing on a relatively dry flop while manipulating three variables: (a) your hand – AK or 55 for simplicity’s sake (b) your opponents preflop 3-betting range and (c) your opponents range for calling a bluff if you raise. this seems like one of the issues that SSNL players need to figure out in order to move up. Is raising crazy here? Well how often did he actually hit that flop hard? Let’s look at results for three preflop ranges with updated probabilities based on the flop cards. You Missed. which is obviously 0 EV. I have gotten a lot from lurking around here and in MSNL the last month or so. And with 3-betting frequencies increasing so much as stakes rise. and you call. Two simple observations to start: (a) Your opponent’s preflop range changes things dramatically but (b) generally speaking opponents will frequently have very little on a board like this. There was a recent post where players were wondering about calling 3-bets after raising in position. So let’s look at a situation (Stacks=100 units) in which you raise the button 3. The flop comes down pretty dry. and the opponont of course c-bets. like TT+ AK+ because intuitively I am pretty sure you don’t want to challenge this player post-flop with marginal holdings). the BB bumps to 11 units. leaving you with a marginal holding.5 units in the pot going to the flop. Obviously.5). and so thought I would try to "give back" by sharing some calculations and thoughts that I have been working on. I think many of us realize that we can’t call these bets if we are going to play weakly after the flop (only continue with a set or on really favorable boards) but the question of when to continue or bluff with marginal hands is tricky. But those spots are still important against the more agro preflop players. but How Often Did Your Opponent? So let’s imagine the flop comes down T73r and your opponent makes a standard continuation bet of 16 units (into 22.5 units. the SB folds. I am a lapsed limit player trying to get back into poker and trying to get serious about learning NL. but this post is so long just with bluffing that I will save that and maybe do it later if this post seems interesting to enough other posters. Hopefully I will have some dedication and be around the forum relatively frequently for a while. especially about examining a lot of the math underlying various situations. these situations are only applicable selectively. I did not include a simulation for a total nit. These equities can be then compared to folding.

While AK is a hand that we would always be continuing to the flop with in these situations. have adopted fairly laggy preflop styles but are not calling a push light here in the BB as a default play and have trouble figuring out when that’s necessary. But what if you raise? The EV of raising is going to depend on how much you are risking. Another interesting conclusion from this is how dramatically the EV of plays changes based on seemingly small adjustments to ranges.I think the gut reaction of many players is to fold your whiffed overcards here for sure on the T73r flop and sometimes also your small pairs. which is awkward. an obvious implication/generalization is that other high-card hands become more playable if we can identify which flops to profitably bluff raise. In some sense. in trying to improve and imitate the styles of known high-limit winners.5) + (x)(111. A pot sized raise be a total risk of 70. and your pot equity (PE) against his calling range.5 units. So perhaps a fairly powerful general conclusion can be drawn from this specific circumstance: Take Home Point #1 – Some of the most “surprisingly exploitable” players at SSNL are those who. Your equity for each situation is going to be the sum of your FE and PE. Wow! As long as the player is loose enough preflop but needs TPTK or better to stack off. changing gears is about establishing an image 131 . Pushing Has to be Crazy. Against this type of player. which amounts to (1-x)(38. and the only difference between the strong and medium calling ranges of these players is a willingness to stack off with 99 or 88. you can profit immensely by running them over on the right dry flops. Right? Let’s assume that you have AdKh and push and look at each of the preflop raising profiles based on whether they would call this push with only a very strong hand (first column in table above) or also a medium strength hand (second column in table above). I think that a lot of “good” SSNL players.5y + 89(1-y)). the difference in EV between being up against a SLAG/strong range versus a TAG/medium range is 23 units! This may say something interesting about the notion of “changing gears. This should expand your preflop calling range if you’re really going to capitalize on these opportunities. But if you push here. we have to discount the chance that he has an ace or a king in his hand so the probability of calling in each situation is slightly different although not very different than the probabilities in the table above). Using pokerstove to get your PE if called by his range.” Let’s pretend we’re the BB for a second. his calling range and thus your fold equity (FE). So let’s look at the equity of a couple different bluffs – first a push for 89 units and then a small raise to 45 units. have let their preflop aggression outpace their ability to counter post-flop aggression. where x is the probability he calls and y is the probability you win against his range when called. The only difference between the SLAG and the TAG preflop is a willingness to three-bet with AJ or KQs. including myself. pushing is just printing money when compared to folding. here is your EV in units under those circumstances. (Note that now that we have AdKh.

But is pushing necessarily the best idea? Small raises are often derided but may be pretty effective in SSNL games. Because if a SLAG/strong changes gears to a TAG/medium. For instance. These calcs assume AK. then pushing may still be profitable. Take Home Point #2: If your opponent is a thinking one and has likely become suspicious of your bluffing in these situations. having AK versus 55 only matters in so far as it slightly changes the probabilities of his holdings. consider not the strength of your hand currently but its equity against your opponents calling range. you have a small pair like 55? Is raising still better than folding? Things are not quite as rosy if you hold an underpair. overcards can constitute a semi-semi-bluff. but as long as we are relatively sure that he won’t call a push with 99 or 88 then it is hard for us to make a big mistake. pushing into the nittier preflop three betters is going to be a big mistake even if they are never calling light. But notice how much it hurts if your assumptions are wrong. What About Underpairs? So lets get back to the main discussion. your opponent may be less likely to fold to this raise with a medium strength hand (and will not always push over.) Behold the power of the donk raise! Of course. Are Small Raises Really Donk-Like? Ok. but I think the table above does show how profitable it can be in some situations for the BB to shift gears and trap. then a must-capitalize +EV opportunity can quickly become a big –EV mistake. If you know with high probability your opponents’ 3-betting and push-calling ranges. with AK we may not have a great grasp of the villain’s 3-betting range. Basically. Moving to an iterated situation or one in which you are trying to mix strategies against a range obviously involves a lot more than the simple model presented here. But I do think many SSNL players at least will fold hands like 88 or 99 here 132 . instead of overcards like AKo. since your equity against his calling range decreases dramatically – the draw value of AKo is much preferable to having a pair. but that’s the simulation). With 55. with you then folding to that push. Take Home Point #3: If you are going to attempt to run the opponent over.for your opponent of the “state of the world” being a given cell of the table above and then adjusting your play to make a different cell the de facto reality. Let’s consider a situation where you raise to 40 units and your opponent will still fold all the hands he folded to a push but will push all the hands he previously called. so bluff raising dry flops looks like something that needs to be added to the arsenal in some situations. What if. then you need to track any changes in his 3-betting tendencies and be careful. What does your equity look like now? (Since you are folding to the push if it comes.

Take Home Point #4 – Don’t discount the power of the small bluff raise. then a small raise on dry flops can be devastating. against the looser preflop 3-betters. feeling that calling commits them to the pot and being unsure what to do on the turn if they call and don’t improve. T83. 133 . Ok. Ks.for 24 more units. the T73r flop is pretty generalizable to other flops with three relatively low cards. no flush draw. and few straight draws. Also notice that. it probably makes sense to think of a T73ss flop to play roughly similar to the T73r one examined here. since raising the FD in our position is so typical. I don’t see why 962. Even J high flops are pretty similar for players with the tighter ranges. so it shouldn’t affect the strength of his hand that much. so that got way too long. then the donk raise in this spot is almost always better than folding no matter what you have. The major caveat I would add (other than the very real possibility that my math is wrong) is that naturally our overall strategy involves mixing our range and so looking at just one isolated situation should be taken with a grain of salt. the small raise is a winning play no matter what unless they are willing to expand their repushing range even more. Therefore. What About Other Flops? For the ranges examined here. but that the opponent is significantly more likely to be calling with a range that includes medium-strength hands. Also. The small raise also obviously has the advantage of lower variance. etc would be much different. since they won’t have many more jacks than tens. flops with flush draws that are low may also play differently. Hope this provides some fodder for discussion. But we would assume that opponents are going to call raises lighter if there is a flush draw. If you are up against that type of player. and Qs are a different beast. If you can find a player that will still fold medium strength hands to a small raise or is loose enough with preflop three-bets. The chances of your opponent having the draw are actually very slim. Flops with As. 755.

it REALLY REALLY affects the way villains view you. or even a 60/5 preflop type. The reasons for this is that normally you either have air as you're 3-betting light and so we dont have to take it down as often if we bet less. Good players realise exactly what you were doing. Although a 70/50 player will raise too lightly. he'll also be 134 . Its a term used here to describe preflop (although can also describe post flop). 3-betting light means that you do it with some weaker hands as well. so they will think nothing of it. OR we have a very good hand. And bad players don't fold TP+ anyway. most players when they start to play poker to a decentish level tend to only reraise (3-bet) very strong hands preflop. Not to mention that people are still too scared to play their sets mega fast a lot of the time anyway. they call preflop b/c they think they have implied odds and they try and get a good flop with their 78s or their 22. I guess. NOT more. OK. The typed you want to go for are the 30/20 types. if the guy who raised is a 11/3 preflop type. it make you look like a maniac. So an example is if UTG raises to 4BB and I then in UTG+1 reraise to 12BB. what is the "light" part about? Well. and due to pot/stack size ratio. BUT they still have no idea how to respond. When you showdown 79s after 3betting preflop. that would be a 3bet. in rr pots. They start to call you down a lot lighter (so obv you have to readjust your frequencies) Now onto the cbet=$$$ point. with what hands and in what position? I can't stress how important reads are when 3-betting light. like AQ. we can get AI very easily by not betting all that much. Why do we 3-bet light? Theres a few reasons here. you have AK. 78s etc etc. All sorts of trash.3-betting light (Dan Bitel) What is 3-betting light? Firstly. right? BUT. but this is really a bit of BS. And it is basically just a reraise. 66. Something like QQ+ and sometimes AK and that's about it. Every1 puts you on AA all of a sudden. things work differently. So. Theres not point 3betting light. Important note on cbeting in reraised pots: DO NOT BET AS MUCH AS YOU WOULD DO IN A NORMAL POT! Your cbets in reraised pots should be between 1/2 pot and 2/3 pot. or even the 22/17 TAGs. next. gutshots etc. You know how when you raise preflop and cbet the flop normally. I'm sure every1 says that pushing a combo draw is so good because now you can play your sets the same way and get looked up light. you get looked up by bottom pair. after all. BUT when you 3bet light. Now I'm sorry. Who to 3-bet light. But they c/f the flop all the time unless they flop a set or 2pair or whatever. The main 2 though are for image/shania/metagame and b/c cbets = $$$$$$. You firstly need to know how light some1 is raising. we have to establish what a 3-bet is.

Maybe drop down a level if you're a bit scared. and had finally tilted him: Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 6 players Converter Stack sizes: UTG: $214. like AQ. Anything Else? One of the keys to 3-betting light is playing well is rr pots. but is SOOO important. And if you need some help on hands in rr pots. when you have position. KQs etc. or PM a few to some1 you respect.calling raises to light and not folding to cbets. So 78s. Also. 2 folds. Instead I will post a few hands that I won BECAUSE I 3bet light. I really recomment that you just have a go and practice makes perfect. Position is also quite important. 3bet these guys. SB calls. 33 etc. This needs reads. 2 players) 135 . But the beuaty of 3betting light is that we make most our money when every1 folds preflop or when they fold to a cbet on the flop. who I had been 3betting light the whole time. You need to understand pot control and your image well. so theres littly point me posting those. hands that have good showdown value.55 Button: $343. SB calls. feel free to post hands you won or lost: This guy is a 23/16 TAG. Flop: 5 T 8 ($87. This is mainly common sence. Hero raises to $38.30 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with T J UTG calls. Also. The hands you should be 3betting with are ones that CAN win you a big pot. Also. try to get a read on what their calling ranges of 3bets are and how they play postflop after calling. and I's sure they'll help you out __________________________________________________ Here is where we are supposed to put example hands. If they 4bet light and c/r bluff a lot of flops with a good frequency.10 SB: $147 Hero: $484.90 UTG+1: $142 CO: $218. Remeber that people raise way looser on the button that UTG etc. dont 3bet lighgt these guys. you can check behind some flops for pot control etc. 2 folds. Button raises to $9. If they call a lot preflop and play fit or fold postflop. just pots them. so he's not a good person to 3bet light. But all.

This one is also vs a 22/16 type TAG. Hero raises to $18. he's screwed. if I have a badish hand.90 Button: $59.7 returned to Hero. This is a classic example of some1 playing badly in rr pots.10 SB: $198 Hero: $201.70 Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is BB with A A 2 folds. Uncalled bets: $3. SB calls. 1 player + 1 all-in .7 Hero showed Ad As SB mucks Jh Tc 136 . Results: Final pot: $399.Main pot: $305) Results: Final pot: $305 SB showed 9d 8d Hero showed Th Jh Note quite how bad his preflop call is. Hero bets $65. 3 players) SB checks. SB calls. I can still flop better than him and if he doesnt hit the flop (he only hits 1 in 3 times) he's folding to my cbet. SB calls.7. SB calls all-in $90. Hero bets $25.SB checks. 3 players) SB checks. Hero is all-in $93.Main pot: $305) River: K ($305. Sure I have AA here. SB calls all-in $109. SB raises to $6. but if I wasn't rr 56s and 22 all day. 1 player + 1 all-in . River: 2 ($216. Hero bets $109. If I have a big hand. I think even a 2p2er. Turn: 6 ($86. 3 players) SB checks. Turn: 2 ($305. Flop: T 4 7 ($36. I doubt he would play his hand the same way: Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 5 players Converter Stack sizes: UTG: $42 CO: $254.

3) Throw in some light 4bets. Two reasons (no order): 1.a level known for a distinct spike in aggression. some brief AIM conversations with this guy. he’s 3betting with a wide range. but for the purpose of this article I’ll advocate an aggressive preflop strategy and assume that A) many villains 3bet light. QQ. and it’s a key component of this article. it’s helpful to have the light 4bet in your arsenal. This can be useful. Even out of position. At 400 NL. If something like that could exist.a few weeks ago. poker wouldn’t be the fascinating game that has captivated the majority of this forum. it can make sense to mix in some speculative calls with the knowledge that A) you’ll hit sometimes and B) you can check-raise a bunch of flops profitably to throw the villain off guard. especially if you’re in position. You have a few options: 1) Leave the table. We play to make money. and a curiosity I’ve noticed I have about preflop play since I started datamining and dabbling with 400 NL -. there’s a significant increase in preflop aggression from the 1/2 games to the 2/4 games. The situation follows: A) the villain knows you’re a TAG (or a LAG) and are opening with a pretty wide range. 2) Open up your calling range. As a bluff: As I touched on. There are times when it makes sense to just call a 3bet with hands like AA and KK. and my experience at the level is relatively limited. this article assumes that villains 3bet light. most villains don’t 3bet very light. we also play to have fun and to improve. AK. and C) to balance light 4betting. and at times. Why 4bet? It’s fairly simple. Say you’re sitting with a 26/22 LAGTAG and he’s 3betting the crap out of your open raises. especially if A) they suspect you’re raising light from late position or B) they have position on you. end all on preflop 4betting. especially preflop -. Rather. especially if he has position on you. it can be pretty tough to make money. so it often makes sense to stay at the table -.especially if there are one or two weak players sitting. you might like my Pooh-Bah Post. you might disagree. However. at 200 NL. the play is generally to 4bet for value. If A) you think you have the best hand and B) the villain has 3bet and you think it’s likely that he’ll call or shove over the top of your 4bet with a worse hand. you want to 4bet for value with AA and KK. I’ve found that some TAGs 3bet very light/frequently. Too many of us play poker with our egos. and I’ve been guilty of doing so myself. At the very least. most TAGs 3bet light. This is what I’ve been setting up for. B) to counter this. If you have played 400 NL. If you read this post and think you got something out of it. 2. and C) being 4bet with the bulk of the hands with which he’s 3betting is going to put the villain in some very tough spots. This is often a reasonable approach. 137 . really. and if the light 3bettor is competent postflop. The following discussion isn’t meant to be a be all. I hope this post provides some food for thought about why to 4bet and helps some of SSNL with regard to how to think about villains’ ranges and how they should affect preflop decisions.Preflop 4betting (Theory) (tannenj) This post was inspired by this thread. This is a personal observation. etc. however. In reality. For value: Not much explanation necessary. B) as a result.

how they should affect these players’ 5betting ranges. a villain will be less likely to 3bet after he notices that you’re willing to 4bet his 3bets. things get fuzzy. When you 4bet light. 3) Nit will 5bet all in with AA and KK and fold everything else (note: you might be thinking. though. half the combinations of ATs. 4) Conservative TAG will 5bet all in with the above two hands plus AKs. and half the combinations of 87s (and fold all other hands). Much more often. When things get fuzzy. and more often than not. Against some villains. “If this guy is a nit. and half the combinations of TT (and fold all other hands). half the combinations of 88. when betting and raising for value. even if some of them seem contrived. Easy stuff. he’ll shove. 5) Aggressive TAG will 5bet all in with the above hands plus AQs. don’t worry about 3bets. these things will rarely be exactly the case. if they continue with the hand. This is a theory article. why are you 4betting his 3bets light?” The response is. I hope the following calculations illustrate some of the reasoning behind small preflop 4bets: What follow are some assumptions I made for the purpose of my PokerStoving. Obviously. 6) LAG will 5bet all in with the above hands plus AJs. because A) at this point. it’s just a name I’m giving him to differentiate his 5betting range. and hopefully someone will do this if it’s decided that the initial investigation is worthwhile. As I explained. 138 . Show me some math: When I decided to write this article.” you’re right. The issue is that poker is a game of math. you can’t know what hand he has (unless you’re Phil Hellmuth and have world class “reading ability”). 4betting light is major +EV. they’ll 5bet all in.just go with the assumptions. you give up expected value. and as a bluff. much of the importance of the move is rooted in metagame. they’re just four ranges that start out tight and gradually increase in scope.but really. really): for value. there are two reasons for the preflop 4bet (or any bet or raise. Unfortunately. And when he shoves. and in general. With that said. and B) obviously. JJ. it dictates your decisions in this game if your goal is to play soundly. however. it’s tough to run into trouble. There’s little rhyme or reason to them. 4bet bluffing preflop is trickier. the purpose I had in mind was to explore the small 4bet. the lower will be your win rate. The first one is easy. The more expected value you give up. and QQ (and fold all other hands). the number of ranges with which the following calculations can be performed is essentially infinite. There’s this stuff called pot odds. It’s very bad for your raises to be constantly 3bet. When you make a mistake. For the purpose of this article. the other two combinations of TT. you’re being laid major odds.”). 99. your 4bets should have a ton of fold equity (perhaps not after the villain realizes what’s happening. For the purpose of this article. “Whatever. AKo. Adding a broader range of ranges (ugh) to this analysis definitely has some merit. he won’t always fold. you’re hoping the other guy folds. 2) players won’t call your preflop 4bet.If a villain is 3betting light. it becomes more likely that you’ll make a mistake. -. you shouldn’t be doing light 4betting against bad players). At the risk of stating the (very) obvious. I suppose there will be times when he’ll call (especially if he’s bad -. if you think they seem “random. I came up with these ranges in the span of a few minutes. it’s theory. ‘Nit’ doesn’t mean he doesn’t 3bet light. but at least for the first session or two). 1) effective stacks are always 100 big blinds. etc.

AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. or 2.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 68.First.496% 22. You’re getting 278:125. Two folds to Nit on the button.06. or 2. Turning TT into a bluff by 4betting isn’t necessarily a poor play. You open to $7. and your hand is still a pretty big dog against the group of hands with which they’ll be pushing. $125 to win a pot of $278.144% 30. and you only have about 22. You open to $7. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button.00 { QQ+. You’re priced in to call with only about 31% equity. you’ll get stacked more than twice as often as you’ll suck out.5%. 100/3. You’re getting 278:125.20% 63532548 168354. however.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. Even TT is a dog against the widest of the villains’ 5betting ranges. Two folds to Nit on the button. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. a value raise. but calling is correct because folding would be a slight mathematical error. Note that none of these 4bets are for value. Nit makes a pot 3bet 139 . The good news is that your 65s has more equity against their ranges. You’re UTG with 65s.30% 00.22:1. Nit 5bets all in.504% 77.22% 72010208 515570.06% equity or more to call. Pot Odds: Same as above. you’ve decided to turn your hand into a bluff. The best hand you hold in the following scenarios is TT.20% 18321336 168354. The bad news is that they’ll 5bet shove on your 65s more often. TT does have solid equity against the range of LAG. so when you 4bet with this hand. You open to $7. You’re UTG with TT. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 22. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 31. but it’s important to realize what’s occurring. You make a pot 4bet to $75. You make a pot 4bet to $75. Since you’re priced in to call all in after making a pot 4bet with 65s against the range of Conservative TAG.22:1. so folding against them becomes a significantly bigger mistake. each one is a bluff. Pot Odds: You have to call $125 to win a pot of $278.92% 00.22% 159831996 515570. let’s look at some scenarios in which you 4bet pot.29% 00. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You’re UTG with 65s. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. it is not.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 77. You need 31. You can fold the hand without making a mistake. and you have it almost exactly. You need a little over 31% equity to call.63% 00. you’ll be priced in with the same hand after the same action against both Aggressive TAG and LAG as well. These guys have wider 5bet shoving ranges. You need a little over 31% equity to call.22 = 31. AKs.856% 68.

Nit 5bets all in.17% 00.to $24. TT is generally a much better hand than 65s. It’s notable that even against LAG.75% 00. you’ll also have to call against the remaining two fictional players. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 11. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. You need more than 31% equity to call and only have about 19%. since you’re priced in against this guy. Two folds to Nit on the button.20% 221421192 693396.943% 80. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. You’re getting 278:125. Like in the first scenario. You’re UTG with TT.21% 00.486% 11. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 19.86% 00.00 { QQ+. or 2.06% equity or more to call. Pot Odds: You need 31. You’re UTG with KQo.587% 63.413% 36.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. You open to $7. your TT is a slight dog (about 45. You’re UTG with KQo. You need 31.39% 00. You make a pot 4bet to $75. but Nit’s range is so narrow that TT actually performs worse than 65s against the hands Nit could be holding.20% 23252328 242334. You open to $7.00 { TT } Hand 1: 80. Nit 5bets all in.5/55.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 88.15% 00.514% 88.34% 163058412 628650. You open to $7. You make a pot 4bet to $75. AKs.057% 18. Pot Odds: You need 31. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 36. 36.34% 20613120 628650.06% equity or more to call. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.06% equity or more to call.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. You make a pot 4bet to $75.5).22:1. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. Pot Odds: Still $125 to win a pot of $278. 140 .20% 126502032 693396. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. so you can pitch it without making a mathematical error.20% 99548892 242334.00 { TT } Hand 1: 63.4% is enough equity that you should be calling.

82% 00. Your hands will remain the same. TdTs.35% 351420780 3937734.35% 750276744 3937734. You’re UTG with KQo.62% 00. You open to $7.33% 00. and you’re only getting about 21%.249% 72. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button. so 141 .06% equity or more to call.027% 31.751% 20.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 67.06% equity or more to call. You make a pot 4bet to $75. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. let’s look at some similar scenarios. TcTs. ThTs. AhTh. 8d8s.26% 00.973% 67. Pot Odds: You need 31. you’re still not getting enough equity against the range you’re facing. AQs+.43% 194732364 3147627. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 32. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.00 { QQ+.06% equity or more to call. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 26. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. in the following hands.Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You need a bit more than 31% equity to call. as will the villains’ ranges. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes.249% 78.49% 99910656 2423022. You’re UTG with KQo. AsTs. Two folds to LAG on the button.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 79. and when you do call. 8c8s. AJs+.25 times the villain’s 3bet ($54) instead of 4betting pot.00 { JJ+. However.76% 00.00 { 99+. AKs. You open to $7. Such a 4bet risks less money while still denying villains the odds to set mine against you and to call with speculative hands. Pot Odds: You need 31. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. you make a small 4bet to 2.67% 00. You make a pot 4bet to $75. you’re a big dog. LAG 5bets all in. it makes calling a 5bet shove less attractive from a pot odds perspective.49% 388386852 2423022. This range is wide enough that you have to call. You make a pot 4bet to $75. Aggressive TAG 5bets all in.751% 26. Now. In addition. Pot Odds: You need 31. 8h8s.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 73. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.43% 538687710 3147627. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 20.

You need a little over 36% equity to call.504% 77. You’re getting 257:146. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. When you make the small 4bet. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 77.20% 63532548 168354. Note that when you 4bet pot. Pot Odds: You have to call $146 to win a pot of $257.76:1.00 { QQ+. THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE CASE! For the purpose of this article.23% equity or more to call.30% 00. You open to $7.5%. If I were to assume that the villains’ 5betting ranges change when you decrease the size of your 4bet. You open to $7. You’re getting 257:146. AKs.496% 22. or 1.you won’t be mathematically obligated to call shoves as often after making a light 4bet.22% 159831996 515570.856% 68.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 68. You make a small 4bet to $54.144% 30. Important note: you might be thinking. assume that a small 4bet has the same fold equity as a big 4bet.22% 72010208 515570. Pot Odds: Same as above. 142 . You make a small 4bet to $54.20% 18321336 168354. and you only have a bit more than 31%. you can fold to the shove without making a mistake. You need 36.63% 00. you were mathematically forced to call off your stack after the 4bet bluff with this hand.29% 00.76 = 36. the examples would become extremely lengthy and complicated. You open to $7. You can fold the hand without making a mistake. 100/2. You’re getting 257:146. Pot Odds: Same as above. or 1. You’re UTG with 65s. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.92% 00.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. Two folds to Nit on the button. though. $146 to win a pot of $257. You’re UTG with 65s. You need a little over 36% equity to call.76:1. IT IS NOT THE CASE. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. “Fair enough. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 31. and you only have about 22. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. Nit 5bets all in. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. For the purpose of this article. You make a small 4bet to $54. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button.” IN REALITY. but a small 4bet doesn’t have the same fold equity as a 4bet to pot. You’re UTG with 65s. $146 to win a pot of $257. or 1.23 Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 22.76:1.

so clearly you’re not priced in now that your pot odds have become less favorable. You weren’t priced in to call against this guy even after making a pot 4bet. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 19.23% equity or more to call. You’re getting 257:146. your equity has dropped slightly despite the fact that the range you’re facing has widened. Even against LAG’s range.943% 80. You open to $7.You need 36. 8h8s.368% 29.20% 99548892 242334.31% 322728794 1400403. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. You make a small 4bet to $54.00 { JJ+.22% 95998006 721187.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 69. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You open to $7.82% 00. You’re UTG with 65s.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No.045% 29.76:1 and need 36. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.23% equity or more to call.23% equity or more to call.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 70.632% 70.057% 18. 8h7h. 8s7s. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 29. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No.76:1 and need 36. Pot Odds: Same as above.31% 133367872 1400403. Two folds to Nit on the button. ThTs. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1.955% 69. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 30.23% equity or more to call. $146 to win a pot of $257. You’re UTG with TT.20% 23252328 242334.00 { 99+. In fact.73% 00. Two folds to LAG on the button. TdTs. Nit 5bets all in. you can fold 65s to the shove after 4betting. LAG 5bets all in. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. You need 36. TcTs.22% 224472772 721187. You still don’t have enough equity to call. You open to $7.76:1.00 { TT } Hand 1: 80. You make a small 4bet to $54.86% 00. 143 . AQs+.06% 00. 8d8s. Pot Odds: You’re getting1.75% 00. You’re UTG with TT. You make a small 4bet to $54.33% 00. or 1. AhTh. AsTs. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. AJs+. 8c8s.

249% 78.23% equity or more to call.76% 00. You make a small 4bet to $54. the decision wasn’t a close one.76:1 and need 36.17% 00.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 88. You make a small 4bet to $54. You open to $7.Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 36.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No way.00 { QQ+.49% 99910656 2423022.21% 00. You make a small 4bet to $54.39% 00.587% 63.23% equity or more to call.486% 11. folding would only be a very minor mistake because the small 4bet leads to much less favorable pot odds on a call.26% 00. You need more than three times the equity you have before calling becomes the right play. but that then. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1. Two folds to Nit on the button. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes.413% 36.23% equity or more to call. You’re UTG with KQo.34% 20613120 628650.49% 388386852 2423022. Note that TT also became a call against this guy when you were 4betting pot. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.20% 126502032 693396. Aggressive TAG 5bets all in. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. However. AKs.00 { TT } Hand 1: 63. Nit 5bets all in. Math dictates that with TT. Equity: 144 . You’re UTG with KQo. you’ll be priced in against Aggressive TAG and LAG too).20% 221421192 693396. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24.514% 88. and it’s still not close. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 79. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 11. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 20.76:1 and need 36. the four villains’ 5bets should be dealt with the same way despite the difference in 4bet size (since you’re priced in against Conservative TAG. AKs.751% 20. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button.76:1 and need 36. You open to $7.00 { QQ+. You’re UTG with KQo. barely. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1.15% 00.34% 163058412 628650. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You open to $7.

8h8s. Two folds to LAG on the button. Being mathematically forced to call off most of your stack is bad when you know you are a significant dog in the pot. decreasing the size of your 4bet changed nothing with regard to the correctness of calling a 5bet shove against the given ranges. but you had to call against the other three (though against Conservative TAG -. you were able to fold to shoves from the first three players.51% 00. The same was the case when you decreased the size of your 4bet with the tens: folding was correct against Nit. but you were priced in to call against the other three players.equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 26. TcTs.36% 740938512 3972930. with 65s and KQo. However.the player with the next narrowest range -the decision to call in this spot was extremely close). 8d8s.8 < 36. When you 4bet bluffed small with 65s. you were priced in to call three times out of four when making a 4bet to pot. 8c8s. You’re UTG with KQo. you were able to fold against all four players’ shoves without making a mathematical mistake. You make a small 4bet to $54.23% equity or more to call. you were priced in zero times out of four.865% 32. the small suited connector. The results were especially drastic with 65s. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Nope. 26.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 67. you were able to fold to a shove from Nit.2.82% 00. but you were priced in to call against LAG. Decreasing the size of a 4bet makes this process 145 . when holding the other two hands. When holding TT. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. AJs+. but you had to call against the other three.43% 538687710 3147627. 8h7h. LAG 5bets all in.751% 26.36% 360688620 3972930. though. you were able to correctly fold against all four players. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1. You open to $7. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. ThTs. TdTs.76:1 and need 36. When you made a small 4bet.249% 72. meanwhile. Analysis When you 4bet pot with 65s. However. Being able to 4bet bluff with the knowledge that you can fold to a 5bet all in is a nice luxury.00 { 99+.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 73. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 32. AQs+. When you 4bet pot with KQo. Even against this guy you can fold and avoid getting all in preflop as a 67/33 dog. When you 4bet pot with pocket tens. when you made your 4bet bluff smaller with this hand. With this hand.135% 66. you were able to fold to Nit’s shove.00 { JJ+.78% 00.33% 00. the smaller 4bet provided you with increased leverage. decreasing the size of your 4bet made it possible to correctly fold to 5bet shoves in spots where you would’ve had to call if your 4bet were bigger. 8s7s.43% 194732364 3147627.

Note that it’s important to make both small 4bets and 4bet pushes with both hands that are marginal and hands that are powerful. you adjust. especially at 200 NL. Won’t villains adjust to my small 4bets? Probably not. according to this article. But yes. smart villains should notice eventually and begin to shove over your 4bets with a wider range. 146 . How much fold equity (if any)? Tough to say. it’s impossible to prove that fold equity is the same regardless of 4betting size. If I had some way of knowing that light 3betters react the same way to small 4bets as to pot 4bets. If they adjust.possible. I’ll probably begin to replace pot 4bets with a combination of small 4bets and 4bet shoves. 4betting pot would be inferior to both 4betting small and to 4bet shoving. in my opinion. does it never make sense to 4bet pot? It never makes sense to 4bet pot according to the assumptions in this article. perhaps at the expense of some fold equity. However. With the information I have. if you’re pulling this crap often with junk. So. I’d eliminate the pot 4bet from my arsenal because if this were the case. 4betting small with premium hands is a good adjustment and is important for balance.

and I always will. I stole blinds when I played tournaments.10 PTBB/hand: that’s 110 PTBB/100. or perhaps just an “image move” to help get paid off on your big hands. if somebody hadn't changed my title. To those of you who consider blind stealing an insignificant part of the no-limit poker game. The more frequently you try to steal the blinds. AK.8% chance with two players left to act. Furthermore.“Good Hand. The good news is that the odds of your remaining opponents having a decent hand are slim – there are only two or three players left to act. I’ve attempted to steal the blinds a whopping 38. I’ve maintained a healthy win rate of 1. So. .500 hands. I’ve always stolen blinds. .” AA-TT. . and despite that. I’m reasonably good at it.3% chance with three players left to act. you’re hoping NOT to get to a showdown.9% chance with three players left to act.6% chance with two players left to act. The odds none of the remaining players have “good” hands are as follows: . That means that for the frequent blind thief. any suited. think again – blind stealing can be an extremely valuable part of your poker arsenal.” AA-99. In the last 17. I'd be a Pooh-Bah now. I steal blinds when I play no-limit hold’em. Despite the fact that I’ve only attempted a blind steal one time every five orbits. KQ: 87. If your blind steals are a standard 4xBB. any two broadway: 67.“Above Average Hand.8% chance with two players left to act.Blind stealing (Pokey) Well. Note what this means: the “looser” your remaining opponents. the harder it will be to successfully steal the blinds preflop. and 77. I haven’t had quite as much time to think about it the second time around.4% chance with two players left to act.” all Great Hands plus 88.“Super Premium Hand.6% chance with three players left to act.” AA-JJ.“Premium Hand. Blind steals rely heavily on folding equity. heartless. Pokey’s Rules for Blind Theft: 1. the weaker the average hand you’ll have when you attempt a steal. what’s the approach? The answer is that it’s quite easy. now that I’ve got your attention. Due to some…er. it’s wildly successful. then you 147 .31% of the time – that works out to be 313 steal attempts out of 817 opportunities. and 91. AK: 94. and 86.3% chance with three players left to act. let’s turn to the issue at hand: how do you steal the blinds successfully? What’s the formula. I stole blinds when I played limit hold’em. . those steal attempts have generated over 30% of my total profits at the no-limit poker tables. Like I said: done right.“Great Hand.1% chance with two players left to act. but I’ve decided to address an important and often-misunderstood topic in small-stakes no-limit poker: blind stealing. “irrational exuberance” on my part. I’ll admit it: I’m a ruthless. habitual blind thief. any pair. and 82.” any pair. . and 16% chance with three players left to act. I steal blinds when I’m playing my 16/9 full-ring TAG game and I steal blinds when I’m playing my 35/20 6-max LAG game. blind stealing is a VERY important contributor to your overall win rate. I’ve stolen blinds from my eight-year-old cousin and from an 85-year-old great-grandmother.5% chance with two players left to act. what’s the method. Know yourself and know your target.“Very Good Hand.3% chance with three players left to act. I’m forced to make a SECOND Pooh-bah post. Over those 313 blind-steal attempts.” any ace. AQ: 90. and 55. AQ. and they have random hands. hopeless. any two broadway: 29. AJ: 84. AK. helpless.

if our opponents are likely to fold 72. any pair. As an example. we’ve got a few things going for us: namely.1% of the time. any two broadway cards. Of course. you have a valuable hand often enough to make this a highly profitable hand for you. what are the odds that by the flop our opponent’s hand is at least strong enough to beat unimproved pocket deuces? . I recommend stealing much more often than that. aggression. aggression. . . how often our opponent will improve and still fold. .4% of possible holdings. so you need to remain aware of both your table image and your opponent’s play style.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 73% of the time. and any suited connector down to 87s. the hand range your opponent will consider worthy of a preflop call will expand as you attempt steals more frequently.3%. even if you never win a hand when you don’t win preflop. However. we’re typically behind. This will be the case when we are relentless with our steal attempts and our opponents are conservative with their calls. For people who steal infrequently (say. that we have played the hand aggressively so far and that we will have position on this and every remaining street in the hand. Most opponents crumble quickly against steady aggression.7% of the time. but we’re balancing competing issues: how often our opponent will improve. However.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 56. 20% of the time or less). Consider that even if our opponent is playing as incredibly tight. and doing so will show an instant profit even before the flop. I don’t recommend stealing “only” 20% of the time. and any two broadway cards make up 20.If our opponent is playing “Premium Hands. any king. we need to apply that steady aggression. . While this sounds like a recipe for bankruptcy. As complicated as this all sounds.will wager 4xBB to win 1. So against players who will only play “very good hands” versus a steal attempt. you should be stealing with literally any two cards from either BB or CO. this is not a tragedy – it’s an opportunity. to successfully steal blinds.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 40. and if not.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 64% of the time.5xBB. Let’s assume that when we’re called. Now we get into the art of blind stealing: how large should our flop bet be? We want to make sure our flop bet is at the same size whether we’ve flopped well or not. if your opponent folds. how often our opponent will improve and we’ll improve more.If our opponent is only playing “Super Premium Hands. So. the chances that on the flop you have 148 . any ace.7% of the time. my steal rate of 38. all suited aces. you will be stealing with reasonably solid hands yourself: collectively.If our opponent is playing “Great Hands. The flop is going to improve our hand about one time in three. we need to do so CAREFULLY so as to make sure that our attempts are profitable. it’s actually not bad at all. . When you get called preflop.If our opponent is playing “Good Hands. Aggression. meaning that your hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 47.If our opponent is playing “Above Average Hands. how often we will have a strong hand.6% of the time. Since 3 out of 11 is 27. how often we’ll improve but our opponent will improve more.3% corresponds roughly to stealing with “any pair. we win immediately. etc.” If that’s your steal range. great. some of his hand range will include unpaired preflop hands like AK. your flop bets should be sizeable. The odds that your hand is worth pursuing is therefore significant enough to warrant a full pot-sized continuation bet from you. so if you immediately win 3 times out of 11 you will show an immediate preflop profit.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 59. 2.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 49% of the time. Given that you are only attempting a steal 20% of the time.4% of the time.If our opponent is playing “Very Good Hands.

EV = 0. and (b) only call the flop with a hand that can beat 22 (when they fold. lowering the value of your flop bets. the answer is to bet a smaller quantity on the flop. 27% of the time they fold on the flop.326*0. a 2/3-pot sized bet only needs to win 40% of the time to be immediately profitable.9% of the time they fold on the flop. EV = 0.599)*(+2.092*0. thus. we lose every time.8% of the time they fold preflop. I do want to point out a few simple points that might make help you in your blind-stealing adventures: 1. especially against the loosest of our opponents. the less profitable your blind-stealing will prove to be in terms of folding equity.5) = +0. 59. If we consider only the tightest and loosest opponents. This should prove FAR from true. we see this: .75) + (0.Good Hands: 67. Also. A safe bet is that we will win at LEAST 1/3 of the time when our flop bet is called.Premium Hands: 90. Note well two points.73)*(-5. we win 2.75) + (0.17 PTBB.75) + (0.Super Premium Hands: 94. raising the value of your PREFLOP bets.5 PTBBs).75) + (0.45 PTBB. and when they fold. this assumes that our opponent is calling EVERY time he has a hand that is at least as strong as a pair of deuces.51)*(+2. however: first.49)*(-5.705*0. EV = 0. Notice what this means: if your opponent plays very tightly against your preflop raise.08 PTBB.75) + (0.75) + (0. we’ve already had two chances to win the pot: one if our opponent folds to the preflop bet and one if our opponent folds to the flop bet. This assumes our betting is 2 PTBB preflop and 3. At this stage of the hand.at least a pair will be noticeably lower (something like 42. After the flop. the odds that he CALLS your preflop bet go DOWN.908*(+0.75 PTBBs).674*(+0. we lose 5.Above Average Hands: 29. From here on in. assuming they will (a) fold preflop if their hand is outside of the specified range (winning 0. your opponents are more afraid of you than you are of 149 .059*0.5) = +0. . the opponent holding 22 on a board of AKQ is assumed to call our continuation bet.941*(+0. Skipping ahead to the loosest players: .75 PTBBs.5) = +0.295*(+0. and that safely makes all of these calculations +EV. there is too much “art” in the play to be easily categorized in a summary like this. Much like bears in the woods. Once again. 51% of the time they fold on the flop.4% of the time they fold preflop.326*0.8%). easy and simple rules must be thrown out the window. .5% of the time they fold preflop. the odds that he has a decent hand on the flop go up. The answer is not to bet less often on the flop. Consider the value of a steal attempt from the big blind against the various opponents. our EV calculations have thus far assumed that whenever we have not won with the flop bet.64)*(-5. EV = 0.51 PTBB.36)*(+2.705*0.75) + (0.092*0.401)*(-5. this demonstrates a bizarre truism: the less likely your opponent is to fold. rather.5 PTBB on the flop.059*0. While a pot-sized bet needs to win 50% of the time to be immediately profitable.5) = -0.1% of the time they fold preflop.27)*(+2. However.75) + (0. 36% of the time they fold on the flop.

your opponent won’t believe you. 3. If your opponent gets aggressive. Not only does it boost the shania of all your weak junk by elevating your folding equity. understand your table image. Not only will you stack him. Don’t! With any luck. We’re often worried that because our opponent played back at us the last time we tried to steal. making him think that I just turned trips. and without hesitation. the turn king. or the turn blank if you think your opponent is running scared. here. 4. Our opponents don’t adjust NEARLY as much as we think they do. and your opponent will usually offer you a free card on the turn. There is no shame in folding your blind steal attempt. TRUST him. understand that your opponents are getting pissed off at you. Why not take advantage of the fear? Instead of playing for my 2-to-1 draw. If a scare card hits on the turn and your opponent checks to you again. If you’ve got a good draw. but give your opponents a tiny chance to catch their breaths between steals. though – I’ve often fired another barrel with a hand like Tc9c when the board looked like QcJd4s4c. Now he’s got 92o. Don’t bother seeing what the flop brings – there’s no profit in it. we need to tighten up considerably. Not only did that turn card 4c improve my hand by giving me nine more outs. the turn flush card. After you’ve folded preflop three or four times in a row. Similarly. but it also gets paid off much more frequently than it would if you were only nut-peddling. Fold immediately. feel free to take it. This is another place where knowing your enemy helps. Don’t. 5. One strength of this strategy is that you’ll often have good draws on the flop. and STILL win 1/3 of the time at showdown (usually for even more money. DO NOT SLOWPLAY. they DO adjust. you’ve screwed up big-time. If the flop comes A83r and your opponent bets the pot. Give it a shot – you may find it more lucrative than you ever imagined it could be. Blind stealing is decidedly a “small pot game” strategy. and keep hitting him. Your entire strategy here is a bluff that depends entirely on your playing your monsters and your junk identically. feel free to fold your KQo. since my opponent won’t see my straight or flush coming). fire that second (third?) barrel! Don’t be afraid to bet the turn ace. feel OBLIGATED to do so. 2. Don’t ALWAYS take it. and I hope this gave you some additional insight into the ins and outs of blind stealing. This is your hand – you’ve raised preflop and bet the flop. but you’ll also get even more respect the next time you play fast on a board of A55…only this time you’ll have 98s…. the turn straight card. and understand that your folding equity falls every additional time you win a pot without showing your cards. Given that your opponent has exhibited NO aggression at this point. Just because you got reraised preflop the last time you tried to steal doesn’t mean that they’ve got your number. You’re SCARY. I can bet immediately and win the pot a significant chunk of the time. or check-raises big. In fact. There’s always the temptation when you have AA preflop and catch A55 on the flop to suddenly change gears. I cannot emphasize this enough. if you are stealing with total garbage (86s or some such) and someone reraises. You are not a slave to your cards. GET OUT. you can go back to stealing and bullying. Take free cards if they are beneficial to you. and will call all-in with QQ unimproved. Know your image! While players don’t adjust very well or very far or very effectively. and he does NOT have a pair of balls. To those of you who read this entire thread. the turn pair. if you are risking your stack on a blind steal. SB had AA when he fought back. Don’t get discouraged if your steals fail. 150 . your folding equity remains solid. more likely. but it also scared the doody out of my opponent. Use that ruthlessly.them. Hit him again. I thank the both of you. fold your 98s in the CO this time. If you’ve picked up the pot with preflop bets and flop bets the last four hands in a row.Fast play of big hands is CRUCIAL to the success of this strategy. 6.

Sorry about that.Geez. 151 . but this one was longer than Ghandi. I've made some lengthy posts in the past.

IMO. you should do it with your normal blind stealing range. which as we've already discussed is $$$$$$. I know that a lot of good players/respected posters do this already and some don't like it at all. they won't continue after your flop cbet very often. what should you normally do? Well folding certainly doesn't look too bad. So even if you do get called. Next. its a VERY good thing. this means that on the BB . lets think about what will happen after we make this play a few times. but sometimes more if conditions allow 152 . Kxs. the blinds are at such a disadvantage. low PP etc etc. NLTH is a badly structured game in the way that when you play without antes. Thats over 100PTBB/100. Now considering that a good TAG player will normally only play about 20% of their hands. 6) Our oppponents are plays sub-optimally by open limping. OK. 2) It's scary the amount of times that I've seen people limp/fold preflop.Taking stealing the blinds to next level (Dan Bitel) Secondly. is this a good thing or a bad thing? I think in a way. either you're at a table of mega mega unobservant fish and you just keep raking in the money from their limps. what I'm about to write is not for every1. Unlike blind stealing. Axs.. Well. that they normally wouldn't put in. What do I think you should do? RAISE THAT [censored]!!! Reasons: 1) now. 2) They will be raising more and will be out of their comfort zone. and they realise what you're doing and they stop limping. what hands should you be doing this with? After how many limpers? After what sort of limpers. 4) When we take it down preflop. so lets say you're on the button and MP limps to you. This means they will usually make even bigger mistakes than usual as they try to adjust Next. we are punishing that mistake. No.. so SC. Normally. we now win 2. you don't HAVE to do this to play optimal poker. even from CO. Well. It kinda baffles me realy!! What kind of hand can they have? 3) What do you opponents limp with? This is a very important consideration.. of limpers: normally 1 or 2. You have K 2 . they have to post their blind without even seeing their hand. we'll catch you yet 5) We'll get paid off more on our big hands. either trash/SC/PP. so you can steal the blinds more. they're losing 4BB every 5 hands.freakdaddy. now that a hell of a lot of $$$$!!!! The reason for this is in a way. I'm sure that for most of you it's bigger than 60 PTBB/100. OK.. what you have to realise is quite how +EV blind stealing is. so it's less likely the blinds will see it as that and play back at you. unsuited connectors. yourblind steal doen't even look like a blind steal. Or maybe you're sitting at a table of just mega unobservant fish. Check you BB/100 when blind stealing in PT.5BB. These hands miss the flop very often. So by raising. It means 1) they will be folding more. suited 1 gappers. We've got a poor hand after all.

eihter preflop or 2 cbets.The type of limpers: the ones that like to fold. Lastly. you'll find that you open up your game tooo much and start raising poor hands OOP too and get into trouble. playing a huge range of hands from the button after 0 or 1 (and even 2 limpers). so you need to make sure your reasing skills are goot. the problems with this: 1) If you do this too often. raising them all and then from all other positions just play pairs/big aces/KQ is a simpleish but very profitable strategy 153 . 2) watch out for LRR 3) You'll be put in a lot more marginal situations post-flop. IMO.

understanding a problem.TILT and PSYCHOLOGY The psychology of TILT (DaycareInferno) I have been giving a lot of thought today to what factors separate highly tilt-prone players from those players that struggle with tilt less often. that psychologist would probably come to the conclusion that he/she was compulsive. also. Logic does not override peoples' hard-coded responses and urges. If you are very prone to tilt. Having a mantra. If you missed an easy layup at the buzzer of a high school state championship basketball game. would you jump up and yell "Yay! Let's all go to McDonald's!"? Probably not. so how do we go about managing the problem? Well. this can be very hard to do. and your mother approached you and told you that it was okay. Guess what. and displayed strong tendencies of any combination of various personality disorders that you can think of. whether they're tilt monkies or not. While there have been many attempts. These are the moments that bring to light the levels of anger within a person. or a picture on the ready for when you're thinking irrationally just isn't going to cut it. An old lady in front of you in line at the grocery store insists on sifting through change for 5 minutes in order to pay an exact amount. Fear can override them. It will lose its effect. When it comes to poker related behaviours. If a person that has problems with tilt control were to go to a psychologist. and I wish that I could at least help them start down the right road towards managing this problem. both by amateurs and seasoned professionals. First let me say that there are big differences between recognizing a problem. think about how someone that you know well. In order to use rational thinking to help manage your problems." and never pick up another cigarette again? Probably not. The fact of the matter is that these tendencies are very common among all poker players. If you are not very prone to tilt. and is every prone to tilt would react in the following situations: Your favorite football team throws an interception in the last minute of a close game that is returned for a game winning score by the opposing team. I guess you're right. because they lack a certain fundamental understanding of human behaviour. though? That same psychologist is going to draw similar conclusions about a high percentage of poker players that aren't as tilt prone. just like an ill conceived New Year's resolution. or a cliche. to help people with this particular problem. You get cut off in traffic. and not just look at the end effect. because a lot of friends of mine are severely inhibited by tilt. Things just don't work that way. Ok. most of these attempts that I have seen are somewhat misguided. but for the most part. its simply a matter of anger levels and how conditioned an individual is to managing their anger. what is it then that separates players with regards to tilt? Well. egomaniacal. So. Conflicting responses and urges can override them. This is my attempt. and managing a problem. for the most part. I often feel bad. and that it's just a game. you must work hard to condition yourself while you are thinking rationally. because there are so many unique factors in play. first we should understand the problem. think about how you would react in the following situations. would you say "Golly. pops. If your old man told you that you should stop smoking cigarettes because they are bad for you. addiction prone. and the 154 . logic isn't much help in the now.

If you're the type that just boils on the inside. then it would greatly benefit you to seek professional help. but its something you would like to work on. not just for the sake of your poker career. As nice as it would be to be able to condition your behavior by taping some fortune cookie [censored] onto the side of your monitor. as opposed to sitting on your couch and eating potato chips. If your anger is causing you major problems in your life. just like lifting weights for a day isn't going to make you any stronger physically. but it won't help you much in poker. and so a lot of them will probably come off as fairly cheesy. and be prepared to actually spend some time and effort on it. If your problem isn't severe. Try to keep in mind that while the end result of your problem may surface on an imaginary card table. Don't think that you're going to be okay. start researching. is that although a marginal ammount of self control will suffice in those situations. though. but its everyone to a certain extent. get on google. nonetheless. Final Thought: Watch more Kung Fu 155 . What can you do? Well. there are plenty of free resources available that can provide you with a foundation for that work. Its not that hard to improvise a little bit and put your research into a context that makes more sense for you. There is no one that doesn't get mad. I'll warn you ahead of time. and tend to lose it at the poker table as well. If you're serious about looking into effective ways of managing your anger. you're going to have a real uphill battle with poker.people that lose it in any of these situations. or in poker. in life. Your approach might keep you from getting punched at Aldi's. The easiest way to assess the severity of your problem. just because you're not the type to lash out in those sorts of situations. instead of looking for a quick fix. you'll come to find out that in the long run. Something else that should be added to that. that anger is still there. and maybe it is. If you're the guy that screams at your television when your team loses. You might be reading this and thinking "Oh my god! That's so me!". tend to lose it in all of these situations. like the guy from "Falling Down". that does not mean that people that spend a lot of time around imaginary card tables are the most qualified to help you with that problem. just like with anything else. is by the consequences of your actions. these type of solutions aren't really any more effective than a rabbit's foot. though. Most online resources for these types of things really aren't very well geared towards younger age groups. its not going to do you much good when you're involved in something as intense as a game of poker. I can tell you right now that it will do you no good if you do not continue to work. though. you shouldn't go off the deep end just yet.

people will not KNOW they are actively tilting. However they dont realize it. we are all humans and prone to such emotions.A. you WILL NOT WIN if you continue to let tilt run thru your game. (Pjo336) know there have been many posts on tilt and cures etc.A. Recognition This is perhaps the hardest thing about tilt. and then there are players who "know" this and basically ignore it. R. 156 . your game will develop 10-fold.A. Recognition 2. the fact that alot of the time. and fix it. emotion will kill you in this game.A. Alleviation 3.A. (hope i didnt lose anyone) So how can you come to realize it? Well. and alot of times I see people doing things that i know they know they shouldn't be doing. Adjustment Each portion is important. i thought i would throw in my thoughts and ideas on what I have learned on the topic. but as a once chronic tilter. and if followed. The process I developed in terms of tilt is called R. what is tilt first off? I would define it as a state of mind a player enters that causes them to deviate from ANY play they would make normally with sound reasoning. Im not proud of this lol. i am pretty well versed in tilt. to a play of pure emotion.A. There are players who know this. Lets face it. 1. and as much as the 12 tabling hudbots want to believe. 1. I think its fairly safe to say. I sweat people a ton.TILT and R. The fact is simple. Im here to help the latter.

but I promise you. Take a walk. Nothing makes a cold hand streak stick out more than tilt. on the phone or aim. but also adds to your ptbb/100. If it seems to be bothering you especially today YOU MAY JUST BE ON TILT. An hour. "I never win flips" [censored] you dont. Eventually youll have a solid list of "What to avoid" while playing. a player. take a five minute break. Its science. When you get rattled. but its more or less finding what you can do to avoid ANYTHING that will hurt you. It adds 5 minutes to your time. 3. go thru the session and find what caused it.Common tilt thoughts: "This [censored] has min raised my cbet far too many times" Yes. By 1100 i was usually going batshit insane. STOP. annoying as hell. pm me. but even health state. I tilted off a very sizeable roll in about a 157 . life isnt all about poker. Less tables. Take a break. quit tilting. Next time you have found yourself tilting. there are a few quick things you can do to calm yourself. but if you are for for any reason in a spot where you need to continue (i. ill help you out! Personally I light up a scented candle and reflect on finding my center. a tournament). #1. it gets easier. This is emotion getting involved and is deviating you from playing optimally "Come on gimme a hand" Patience child. Write it down and remember it. because everyone is different. Alleviation This step is of course coming down off of tilt. Even talk to someone. w/e. Nothing is harder than the first time you leave a 60/4 monkey sitting on your right with 5 buy ins. then play another 500. whether its 5 hours or 5 days later. you play less optimally and become part of the "force it" crowd. This will not only improve the quality of you emotional state. Excercise. Pretty simple: Have a smoke if you smoke. Hell I cant handle 8 without tilting. whether it was a beat. but people fall into a trap of getting MORE into the game when they are urked. STFU noob. You would be surprised how much taking 10 seconds to breath and focus on something else would really help. Dropping 2 bis then noticing you still have 32 bis left is much easier to handle then realizing you were never really rolled for this level in the first place. flop an oesd and check call half your stack. hell [censored] someone ferociously. Endorphins and what not people. There are 2 different forms of alleviation.Long term: This of course means one thing. The fact is. Play 500. Recognition is the hardest part of this process. A year. Not all of us can handle 2 hour sessions at 12 tables. Shorten it up. THE GAME WILL ALWAYS BE THERE. Shorter sessions !!! I used to sit and play till i reached 1500 hands. put on a soothing song. Hell im on this site way too much. get a soda. about poker or not. wash your face with warm water or draw a warm bath and play in it. but worry more about his stats and reads. WHY? Leave the table until you are settled. #2-Short Term: I recommend trying to avoid this. and lets not forget.e. stop!. DO NOT CONTINUE PLAYING. This is more important than you will know. Sufficient Br. Most of us have the advantage here in the micros of knowing there will ALWAYS be fish to feed us sharks. BUT YOUR "A" GAME WILL NOT. Dont do this. This ones pretty obvious as well. A month.Adjustment Finding what caused your tilt can help. 2. even by 1 and im sure youd be surprised at the somewhat calmer pace calming you. Do SOMETHING to get your blood flowing a few times a week. or your gf bitching at you. pump some iron. Lessen it up. You start playing against the 60/4 with 89 offsuit.

whether poker related or not. Id love to hear thoughts on the topic.week of nonstop tilting. dealing with tilt is just like sex. Everything about tilt and its elements are pretty individual. Don't force anything! If your not in the mood to play today. If you lose either. how you alleviate it. and I have come back stronger than ever. Try filling in on a piece of paper one day how you recognize your tilt. I PROMISE! And remember. the secret to success is passion and patience. and how you can adjust to avoid needing alleviation. I took a 4 month hiatus from poker. ill start. so in reality. Well I hope this rambling helped someone out so I can say only 99. Stop playing for a day and pick up a book. but this does not make YOU a professional. its up to you to find how it all pertains to your play and your emotions. there's always tomorrow. you are screwed. You can watch 100 people do it. (I recommend Take Me to the River by Peter Alson as a non-strat poker book). tl:dr 158 .9% of my posts are worthless. It WILL help your game 100%. Guess what guys.

You flop top set with KK on a board of K58 rainbow. You push . "XXXX you. Gets to our friend. And then it comes .My Take On Tilt (beavens) Tilt. What happened??? One event sparked a total change in momentum of your entire session. If you've played poker for any amount of time you've experienced it. pal. Not this time. turn or river. and also briefly talk about ways to cope with and prevent tilting in general. You tilted. Turn card: 7 Ha. You want back the money you rightfully earned and Senior Donk took from you with his insane luck. You happily 3bet all-in and raise your fist triumphantly in the air as your push gets called.reraise. It is like the 4th of July in your head. Steaming. you XXXXing donkey XXXXX" is typed out into the chat box with such anger that the desk shakes with every keystroke. fold. 159 . who now has taken you for 200BBs.still steaming. Revenge is the only thing on your mind right. You get restless and frustrated by not receiving one playable hand. You scream. I wanted to make this (obscenely long) post about the two different kinds of tilt: Loser's Tilt and Winner's Tilt. Your mouse winces each time you click Fold Fold Fold. Table-Monkey . River card: 6 SHIP IT! But wait . get raised by an obvious table-monkey. You rebuy. All you see is the AA flipped over and another 100BBs being shipped over to Senior Donk. You don't even remember the flop. You lead.you get AJs in the cutoff. You yell.why are all the checks being pushed to the monkey??? The table-monkey flips over his K9 for the runner-runner straight. and your poor mouse doesn't even know what it's in for. Fuming. Pissed off at how this moron could go all-in with TPBK and a backdoor straight draw. and cheer. RAISE! Fold. You already picture yourself stacking those chips (or virtual chips) in a huge pyramid. couldn't have helped the monkey. Instacall. WTF? No way.

AJs. I'm up big . obviously. As SSNL players. The second form of tilt (that I didn't even THINK of until it was brought to my attention) is Winner's Tilt. your stack starts to dwindle. We do this by: opening up your preflop standards too much. then hopefully you will not flip out when you drop few buy-ins to bad beats.just get your mind off the game. the better off your game will be. so I would love if some of the Psych regs could come in and shed some light on how to get in the proper mindset for poker. but not to somehow rationalize making -EV decisions. you set yourself up for more future losses. Now that we've looked at the two different forms of tilt. reviewing their plays for the session.Loser's Tilt. dbtiels. you were behind the whole time anyways). right?".which I personally would hate. and the villain catches a miracle card(s). For others. Next thing you know you're up 150BBs and life is g00t. right??? No. Picture this You are on a heater and playing well. You're getting hands and they are hitting hard. is the most obvious one we've all dealt with . This part is more psychological. by making these poor decisions and losing these "small" pots you’re basically burning money. right? All is good. raising/calling raises with marginal hands. You are an overwhelming favorite in a hand. For a lot of people. "How can you tilt when you're winning??". I think we've all been in those situations are know them pretty well. So if you don't hit (don't worry. read a book. Otherwise we'd be sitting at tables full of 4_2's. You may think. etc . There are infinite ways to cope or deal with tilt. taking a break from poker altogether for a little while is the only way. Watch some TV. The sooner you can learn to roll with the punches. Then winner's tilt comes into play but the scary thing about winner's tilt is that you don't even realize it! You find yourself playing marginal hands and pushing even the thinnest of edges because in your mind you're thinking. not the war.both of which pave the path of you misplaying a future hand. and in doing so. or reading their poker books help. quarks. etc. 160 . we thrive on these people sucking out on us. Getting a deep stack should allow you some opening up of your game. the bad beats won't matter and that you'll come out on top more times than not. This brings me to preventing tilt from happening in the first place. If you provide yourself a nice cushion to soften out the variance. My practical suggestion for preventing tilt is being properly bankrolled. as it is the nature of the beast. hang with friends. "Hey. I'm running hot anyways. it involves doing something OTHER than playing poker. I've personally found that when I've got a nice BR for the level I'm playing on. It's a numbers game! You get your money in as the favorite and overall you WILL make money. let's look at way to cope/deal with tilt and ways to prevent tilting in the first place. I believe it depends on the person as to what calms them down the best. The main goal in dealing with tilt is realizing that in the long run. But it doesn't faze you! You're still having a winning session. play some video games. are anger and disgust . You feel a need to win that money back as soon as possible. You laugh at the meager plebs and look down on them from your mountain of chips. not keeping position/stats/reads in mind during a hand. Everyone goes through the swings. This happens when an event takes place like listed above. go outside. Common reactions.I can afford to make this call. . and becoming way too aggressive. posting/reading on 2p2. Your goal should be to be able to shrug off bad beats because you know that the short run is just the battle. In almost all cases.First.

If you don't get anything from this thread. Well. 161 . I hope that no one follows my lead and blows their entire BR in one night by tilting your face off and jumping into a game that you are severely underrolled for. I hope this wasn't TOO long and it provided something helpful.my tilting has dropped dramatically.

As 2+2ers. and Ego all play huge roles in the length and destructiveness of our downswings. Variance. You may have heard the interview with Chip Reese this week. We see our opponent’s mistakes and do our best to manipulate them.Variance. are very closely related IMO. the 10-1 shots. we make up a small percentage of the SSNL player pool who considers themselves serious students of the game of poker. The less of your self worth you derive from poker the better player you will be. or whatever. and learn from others mistakes and we are better poker players for it. As there are only two of these three factors we can control. Not matter how big our edge is. In this interview Chip mentioned that he felt like playing to long when they are losing was one of the biggest mistakes he sees his opponents make. It is important that we separate our self worth from the results of our poker sessions. If you are a professional player. Tilt. 162 . There is nothing you can do about it. Tilt. parents. It also can lead to us playing longer than we should when we are losing. We know we are better. I hope if you’ve read this far. . The bottom line is the 4-1 shots. Everyone plays better when they are winning and everyone plays worse when they are losing. The problem is we know it. Ego. I am not posting this to bore the forum with tales of one outers or runner runner disasters. find other hobbies that you enjoy. so that they may be able to cope with there own inevitable downswing better. share ideas. I believe that most of us feel like we are one of the better players at the table when we sit down. Sometimes they all hit in a short amount of time. you are setting yourself up for one hell of a emotional rollercoaster ride. and the 45-1 shots. students. so we ignore the warning signs of tilt in the hopes of stacking a bad opponent.” I find myself in the middle of such a time now. If you let poker determine you happiness. If you are a causal player keep other aspects of your life at a higher priority than poker. I don’t intend to spend much time on variance. I don’t really have any more to say on the subject now. The other two factors. We all need something outside of poker that we can be proud of and enjoy. Before we can become truly great players we must learn to be able to quit behind and play longer when we are winning. When we lose it’s usually because someone got lucky. We should all strive to be good friends. tilt and ego. Find something stable that brings you happiness. We get impatient and try and force the issue when what we really need to be doing is waiting for the right spot. we will never be able to win everyday. Knowing we have an edge against our opponents makes losing to them all the more painful. we would be much better off playing for 6 hours when we are playing well and controlling the table than when we are stuck and trying to get even. When we win we pat ourselves on the back and feel good about the time we have put into improving our game. all have to hit sometime. IMO ego is the main reason players get stuck. There has been several posts written on the subject by far superior players than myself. You successfully manipulated your opponent into making a huge mistake and that is all you can hope for. and SSNL (lmw) As a famous STT poster once said. “ there will come a time when you will run worse than you ever thought possible. If any of you listen to The Circuit. He also said that it was one of the hardest things for him to over come early in his career. We study hands. Learn to be happy when you get your money in with way the best of it and lose. If we normally play 2 hours a day but sometimes play 6 hours. We work at getting better with every post we make. but to hopefully allow some of the newer players a chance to learn from my downswing.

that you have found some food for thought in this post. Hopefully when I return the pendulum will swing the other way. take my girlfriend out. but if not. I have to if I ever want to be a true professional. I can only hope you got something out of reading it. and help an old lady cross the street. 163 . I got a lot out of writing it. read a book. I’m going to take a break from poker for a couple of days. hopefully I’ll be able to take it in stride.

and bet your made hands as well. and you have 65h. this is a good guy to represent scare cards on the turn with. 3way. stats become less important. so I guess we need a strategy for those situations too…. Essentially. “Find a flop for me not to continuation bet. However. you’re going to have to concede some pots to him on the flop by check/folding. Of course. and dynamics becomes weighted more. Ok.” As a default. and sometimes firing out two barrels if you think you’ll be called by something like a ten. there are a few numbers considered when continuation betting. Of course. let’s assume you are OOP and get called. or sometimes bluff raise you. if he is playing differently today. or want to have a dick measuring contest with you because their girlfriend just broke up with them because they lost that contest with her. this will set you up for a check/raise on the flop with a real hand or bluff. proceed with caution. have 3 outs to the nuts. *NOTE* Do not depend on these stats as the be all end all. Note that this player has NOT started playing back at you. or fire the turn 100% if he is OOP. you’ve just sat at a table vs a table of unknowns. I resort to the bet if I can win strategy outlined in the opening paragraph. This is the guys who calls around 50% of the time or greater. Flop comes 9JKs. If I have some gutshot.EVERYTHING ABOUT CONTINUATION BET Continuation betting – PART I (MYNAMEIZGREG) In this article. and 4+ players. so eventually he doesn’t always bet this flop when checked to. bet it. The normal player. or backdoor draw. these quick examples are merely defaults. raise continuation bet %. Now. Until you know he has adjusted his game by calling thin/semibluff or bluff raising the flop. You will have to start firing out at a few turns here. Those numbers are: call continuation bet %. etc. bet out. You hold 65s on a 8c9c2s? Monster backdoor draws. The annoying ass “LOL I have two cards I call” player. and yes that means betting KJc on an AhTh3s board. after all. or getting a piece. I like to call it. you will have reliable stats. Yes. Fire away. But. Sometimes. This is your average tag. Heads up vs the weak-tight-OMFG-he-must-have-flopped-the-nuts-to-bet-atthat-flop. I will split continuation betting into categories of: heads up on the flop. Just be sure to balance by betting out here. Without getting more into further streets. But alas. I will discuss the types of players that fall into various categories based on their stats. you can give up. For organization purposes. When he raises or calls. Of course. or average player who generally calls or raises with a hand. they work well. Heads up. For this player. poker is rarely an unknown in an unknown situation. try to get to showdown and figure out what the hell this guy is doing. over a bunch of hands. or Qs9x. Poker players may play in different moods on different days. The only thing I will say about a specific situation in this paragraph is a quick synopsis of a monotone flop. This is the guy who folds to continuation bets 70-80%+ of the time. let’s hit it up. this guy is going 164 . Once you observe your opponent and he seems to be in synch with his normal game play. but will sometimes call you down thin. There are a few stats I care about. If he starts to call you thin (b/c you check through the turn and river and he shows down MP on the flop). you can bet your draws as well. if you have a shot of winning the hand. as I moved up through the ranks. So. I will attempt to discuss the intricacies of continuation betting. Bet out. You do. Now. or hate you because you just rocked them on some other table. disregard the stats and go with how he is playing today. Honestly. that means betting out AA on an A63 rainbow. and fold continuation bet %. start firing the turn and river more often.

The tool for combating these guys is to let them outplay you. go for it). HE’LL talk himself into a call. and is generally a weak play. you have the option of checking behind. 165 . You might be ahead but you might not be. your image. calling or raising). Also. Check/raise with good and bad hands. you still should be betting these hands much of the time because check/calling doesn’t really get you a lot of information. allowing you to play closer to perfectly. The a) station is easily dealt with by value betting him to death. This would be QT on a TK3r flop. However. they are less likely to play back at you. Basically. However. You tricky [censored]. However. Of course. Remember. whether you have air or a monster (I for one am not really a fan of showing bluffs. if you just showed down a bluff or something happened when it looked like you were full of [censored]. and how your hand and position affects what you do. but also check behind on the flop with them. or a set. note that the normal player who just lots a few big pots. This is the 2p2er who wants to stroke his ego. until you figure out what exactly he is doing. that your aggression is going to cause them to make mistakes. if they want to outplay you. The last thing to take into consideration is your image. You are somewhat forced to call the turn if your opponents fires. because it is pretty specific to the opponent. Additionally. a strong hand. But. OOP. or KTs on a AK8 flop. and evaluate the river depending on the specific situation. because we’re gonna be firing at them all day long. It might be a good time to check/fold. and you can represent having a busted draw there too. the game is essentially over. Marginal hands are tricky to play. Don’t check to these guys if you have a hand. Next time we will talk about multiway pots. or seems generally tilty will also fit into this category. or a monster (slowplaying). The big thing not to forget is the importance of mixing up your play. Betting the flop and check/raising the turn is a sick move against these guys. and there actions will define their hands more easily. and your image is of betting into every single flop. because your opponent will give you less credit. He is the calling station. so you are losing a LOT of value by check/calling to see if he bets his busted draw when you are sitting there with aces on a Q high board. these are the guys that might take one off with 88 on a 29Q board. That means three streets with TPTK or TPGK. I guess feel free to ask questions and I will do my best to answer. Note that checking behind with marginal hands will be balanced by the times you check behind with air. while in position. once you make that note that he called your two street bluff with 63 on a 68JK board. and marginal hands. So. The normal player will also fit into this category after you’ve pounded him with continuation bets the last 30 minutes. when your draws hits. but if you decide it is +EV to do so. Continuation bet monsters and air. This is the lag who wants to outplay you. as that flop hit a lot of hands and your image isn’t that great. that in a nutshell is continuation betting heads up. considering not betting the next flop. two pair. this is a great time to pound the flop if you hit. The more difficult version of these players is the b) floaty type. Remember. Start to double barrel these guys. however. they are going to have to call down with middle pair for their stack. or with a hand like 9T.to win some money from you at the beginning. or checking. and the table dynamics (ie 15 pages). The board is really drawy. I will not get into the specifics of when to bet monsters or not. This is the idiot who has a 33% calling/folding/raising ratio when faced with a continuation bet. Check/call and lead the turn. When players see you are capable to have a wide range of hands even doing any action (betting. while you will turn their aggression into a mistake. The strategy against these people depends on what subset they are.

Most of this post may be trivial to most but it may be helpful to some. it is unlikely that he holds 53 for an openender and there are no flush draws out. In our AK example our job is to get villain to fold. We still hold AKo in the CO and he is still in the BB. let alone made a hand strong enough to call us down with. no less. This way we save money when we actually are behind. #2 reason is more of a semi bluff in which we are representing a hand which is stronger then ours really is. We likely are still ahead of his holdings so here we are betting for protection and value. How much should my continuation bet be??? That question depends on a few different factors. If any further action is pursued then we can readjust our read and make the appropriate play. or 22. We only need to bet an amount that we feel is enough to "get the job done". Our bet sizing does not need to be full pot here. All continuation bets should be no less then 1/2 PSB to no more then full pot. #1 reason is to protect what is most likely the best hand at this point. In a heads up pot any random hand will miss the flop 2/3 of the time. If our villain is drawing to a flush or straight we want him to pay the most he possibly will while doing it unprofitably. On a flop like this it is very drawless against this villain. If we feel that 1/2-3/4 PSB is the right amount then that is the amount we should bet. So if we continuation bet at all of the pots we raise we should win at least 2/3 of them just because the other person hasnt made a hand. In the CO we hold AKo. We would always come out for a C-Bet in this spot when checked to. 44. This board has become draw heavy as there are POSSIBLE flush draws and straight draws on board.C-BETTING (The Machine) One thing when I first started playing poker that I noticed I did not have a good grasp on was betting. so we came in for our 4xBB + 1 for one limper and we were called by the BB only. particularly continuation betting. 166 .5. his 18% range is much wider then these 3 hands and we are ahead of almost all of them. I will try to go through a few different examples to describe my meaning. (For simplicity's sake im negating the fact that villains possible QJ are also live outs against our AK here). By making a PSB villain loses the most when he does not outdraw us and he was willing to put more money in post flop because how the flop had helped him. (this example will come into play more in a later example) Well I just read all this crap about why I should bet and this part was supposed to be about how much I should bet. Now lets take the same villain and change our flop around. or even just a good reminder to most Why continuation bet??? Well that answer is easy. Now our villains 18% has become much larger in possible holdings that can outdraw us. If he is willing to call a PSB on the flop with an OESD then we need to make a PSB. For the time being I would like to keep our post flop to heads up play. Lets assume our villain in this example plays a semi TAG game at 18/6/1. Well its standard to PFR 4xBB + 1 for each limper. no more. If we say the flop is 10 9 4 now we have a different situation to face. Well I felt that getting that part out of the way was very relevant to how much we should bet. It is very unlikely that this flop has helped our vilain unless he has 99. The flop comes 9 4 2 .

if we have our previous semi TAG villain it is very likely that this flop has helped him in a big way and we need to get our hand to show down as cheaply as possible so we would not want to continuation bet here. Aside from this aspect my main reason to keep C-betting (which I fail to do sometimes 167 . We do not want to be C-betting in a few different spots. This is actually the beauty in a continuation bet (to be discussed later). Sometiems your villain will hit a flop and check raise you. Against this opponent we need to C-bet when we actually make a hand and have him pay us off with many worse hands. I play a semi LAG stayle and love raising SC's so what to do on the flop when I miss? A continuation bet is also a stone cold bluff as much as it can be a semi bluff or a bet for value against a worse hand. #1 We do not want to be C-betting OOP in multiway pots. C-betting becomes espically important with SC's when we flop our draws. A continuation bet is a small bluff and from time to time they will get picked off.Well I followed your advice but every continuation bet I make gets check raised or called and we check down This is ok. Why semibluff the donks with an OESD or FD with when you know they’ll call with their TP and better kicker? IMO an A on the flop means that FE can quickly approach 0. Should I stop C-betting for a few hands? The answer here may be yes for some reasons such as an incorrect perception of a player. We have now bought ourselves a free card on the turn should we need it to complete a draw we may have flopped." This quote in our context I'm not only applying to a semi bluffing hand such as a FD or OESD. When up against a calling station we do not need to C-bet bluff because he will be calling us down. Is there a time when I shouldn't be C-Betting YES. It is then your decision to step back and play poker with AK on the 942r board. We still have a villain left to act behind us and we have no idea where they stand with this flop because they have no acted yet. Opponent dependent and note dependent I will sometimes not C-bet against this villain. #3 A good quote from jjb108 "This is an important point to remember…the average donk plays Axo. The semi-bluff in this situation can be –EV IMO. We represented that we had a big hand preflop when we raised so most of the time (again opponent dependent) if I am raising SC's preflop I will be betting them on the flop. Well it seems my C-bets keep getting called and i havent been improving. Villain will most likely check his weak ace to us for fear of being outkicked/FPS with top pair. #2 We hold a hand such as AA and the flop is KQJ. Say we raise 67 4xBB from the button and are called by BB. If villain holds a weak Ace and we flop a flush draw and lead for a 1/2-3/4 PSB on a A 10 2 and are called(say we are playing 25NL) The pot was 2$ on the flop and now between 4-5$ on the turn. Go with your feel. If we have notes on a villain that says plays any ace from any position in raised or unraised pots then our KQ which we raised from MP should be wary when this villain calls and an ace flops.

We need to keep C-betting to set our self up for later hands. Villain 3 times in a row picked off my AKo C-bet on a Q72r flop. This here is a double edged sword also. Reason 1: When we were betting before with AK high it may become very suspicious to some villains if we decide to check behind on a flop where we were checked to when we flop a monster hand. as well as flop texture and size up the appropriate bet. The pot gets big and hopefully said villain who thinks we are donkey of the year pays us off with a nice big 100BB's Reason 2: If we are unknown to villain and we C-bet with a flopped set or TPTK and get to showdown. The same is true when we actually flop a big hand. By this time he has me pegged as a bluffer. THIS IS THE BEST PART!! This way in the future our C-bets when we have nothing but air will be getting much more respect because of the hands that we have been leading out with! There are so many different reasons for C-betting given certain hands. We need to look at our villain. the whole table sees that we are leading out with powerful hands and not trying to slowplay them. Against the same Semi TAG villain from the previous examples. There are obviously circumstances where it would be wrong to C-bet that I have not mentioned here but anyone who would like to add some or add some other ideas about C-betting that I did not touch upon please feel free. With AK on the same board we are betting for protection since our hand is most likely the best but could easily be outdrawn. and I hope you all do!!! 168 . with AA on a 942r board we are betting for value since its alomst certain we have the best hand. When done correctly you can C-bet your way from one level to the next.when Im running bad) is to set up for later hands. We need to keep portraying the image we have set up with them and bet into the pot. When we come in for a raise with a PP and flop a set and lead out when checked to it is very likely that said villain will be paying us off from the perception we have given him about us.

This article is going to look at how to maximize your continuation bets by examining pre-flop situations. you are again keeping your opponents guessing. and opponent player types. in order to make your continuation bets as successful as possible. When continuation bets are used successfully. then you need to be successful 41% of the time. and build an effective pot when you do connect. then you need to be successful 51% of the time. they can become a marginal. You will however have to adjust these percentages depending upon your own style of play (See “The type of player you are” at the end of the article). The primary goal of solid continuation bet play should be to win your missed flops with continuation bets 50% of the time or more.CONTINUATION BET ARTICLE (FreakDaddy) Continuation bets are exactly what the name implies. are important components in achieving better than break even numbers with your continuation bets. If you do this effectively enough. For example. Also. and ¾ of the pot the remaining ~15% of the time. you want to choose the minimum size you think will win you the pot with the least amount of risk. betting sizes. The proper use of pre-flop raises. or continue to build a pot when ahead. Unfortunately most opponents that are paying attention at all will soon catch on to your varying bet size. or even money losing play. and at the same time maximize your profits. while tilting the odds in your favor. This will create a randomizing effect that will be very difficult for your opponents to pick up. win only 35% of your continuation bets and still be profitable with them. if you bet the full size of the pot ~85% of the time when you connect. So the best way to combat this is to use two very similar bet sizes for your continuation bluff bets. here are the 3 common continuation bet sizes: (½ the pot) If the Pot is 12BB and you make a continuation bet of only 6BB then you need to be successful only 34% of the time. when you miss the flop. flop textures. Then you could bet the full pot size when you connect with the flop and get called over 50% of the time. as long as you make your continuation bet sizes small enough to provide for a higher failure rate. The net result will look as follows simluate 100x: 20% of the time don't bet/30% of the time bet 3/4 pot/50% bet the full pot Your opponent calls -N/A. Let’s also assume that you NEVER improve after continuation betting. When continuation bets are used incorrectly. and ¾ of the pot the remaining ~30% of the time. which is a fairly rough and approximate representation of small stakes No-limit Holdem. betting sizes. they are an important money making weapon of the solid poker player. and win the pot over 50% of the time. bet the full size of the pot ~50% of the time. At small stakes No-limit Holdem the most optimal play is to vary your continuation bet sizes between ¾ of the pot and the full size of the pot./You lose 120 BB /You lose 300 169 . and vary between them depending upon the flop texture and the types of opponents you face. you can vary your bet sizes to provide you with slightly better odds when you do miss. (¾ of the pot)If the pot is 12BB and you make a continuation bet of 8BB. You can however. typically by beginners who over use the concept. When determining the appropriate continuation bet size when you miss. Let’s also say that the pot size is 12BB and we simulate this 100 times. (Full pot size)If the pot is 12BB and you make a continuation bet of 12BB. while remaining intimidating at the same time. and balance. and folds the other half of the time. you are keeping your opponents guessing. designed to win the pot if the pre-flop raiser missed the flop. In a perfect world you could bet ¼ of the pot when you miss. For example. So let’s take a rough example of this and say that your opponent calls half of the time. if you don’t bet at all ~20% of the time. They are a continuation of pre-flop aggression.

but don’t get out of line if you suspect that the rock has hit a good flop. but they will typically give tight/aggressive opponents the benefit of the doubt more often than other players. but that we vary our bets in order to provide us the best possible odds considering the given flop and hole cards that we hold. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 12 / PFR =<3 / AGR =< 1 / WTSD =< 16 The Jackal – This player plays a few too many hands. When you achieve effective balance.5 / WTSD =< 15 The Rock – The Rock is very similar to the mouse in that they play very few pots. we should be able to net enough because we’ve kept our opponents off balance and guessing. This is one of the primary reasons that continuation bets are so effective. try and lure him in by beating weak and inviting him to come along. or he doesn’t have a strong hand while facing aggression. and sometimes our opponent will fold on the turn. you will typically win the pot. you’ll win it uncontested more often against the mouse than any other player type. or does he really have a hand? While it is true that a lot of online opponents don’t pay particular attention because they’re watching T. When we do connect. go ahead and take a stab at the pot. and when he does he is almost always holding a premium hand. if you encounter any 170 ./You win 180 BB /You win 300 Your opponent bets. or have a very small pocket pair. For if it is called and you missed. and will sometimes call raises with non-premium hands. Yet they are nearly as timid as the mouse.Your opponent folds -N/A. We’re not concerned necessarily that they are always paying attention. When you miss the flop. you’re still achieving the same goal. so if you continue to apply pressure. When you do connect. You want to identify these players and use the continuation bet against them as often as possible. This is the second best player type to continuation bet against. or they’re playing multiple tables at the same time. Jackals like to have fun and be involved in a lot of pots. If you’ve been playing a solid around game. These common player types are as follows: The Mouse – The mouse plays a fairly weak/tight style of play. They differ only slightly in that they will sometimes call with their pocket pairs if they suspect you are betting into them with air. Again. but not enough that we’re worried that non-descript boards hit him hard. is he just continuation betting again. And that’s just when we don’t connect with the flop. and they hold a marginal hand. fold unless you have a strong hand. You’ll have to look hard to notice the mouse because you’d almost swear he doesn’t exist. and we’ve mixed in our continuation bets effectively. they may not be able to continue if you apply the correct amount of pressure. Test them. So the next time you do connect with a big hand on the flop and bet. you should actually become ambivalent as to whether your continuation bet is called or not. One of the primary keys to effective continuation betting is BALANCE. your opponents have to guess. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 12 / PFR =<3 / AGR =< . If your opponent doesn’t hold a pocket pair. go ahead and continuation bet into him at a high rate. If the mouse does bet into you. He likes to try and sneak into flops cheap. He will almost never continue if the flop doesn’t hit him. an effective balancing strategy doesn’t care. Good Players to Continuation Bet Against There are some types of players that are better to continuation bet against than others. but also give them respect of they show too much resistance. Apply pressure to them as much as possible.You /check/fold = 0 N/A N/A NET RESULT YOU WIN : 60 BB Let’s also remember that sometimes we will improve. He doesn’t enter many pots. Keep in mind also that 70% of flops are missed by our opponents.V.

Don’t be too afraid of chasing them off though. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 65 / PFR =<12 / AGR =< 10 / WTSD =< 24 The Gambler – The gambler is fairly similar to the maniac. Make sure you have a very good read on this opponent before you commit too many chips to the pot with missed over cards. unlike the maniac. and play a little bit of a rope a dope strategy. 171 . Both the maniac and the gambler will be easy to spot. I’d recommend not continuation betting against the maniac for he’s likely to call or raise you with any two. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 26 / PFR =<4 / AGR =< 1 / WTSD =< 20 The School Teacher – These opponents play a fairly straight forward ABC style of poker that is quite predictable. or they’re informing the table about how a hand should have been played. Even check-raises on the turn don’t faze the maniac very often. The maniac knows little about calling. He’ll be involved in a lot of pots. Here are a few of those player types: The Maniac – A true maniac needs no introduction. and when they do get ready to release your hand. yet they will fold to further aggression on the turn. You could employ a similar rop-a-dope strategy of checking your hands to him and letting him do the betting for you. or in the off chance their ace high may be the best hand. This doesn’t mean that you won’t ever continuation bet against them. Against these opponents you just have to wait for premium hands. or raising. and then be prepared to fire the second bullet. You can wait for better spots against these guys. He will however gamble and take shots at gut-shot draws. then you should definitely slam on the breaks. except he won’t be raising as many pots. pay attention to players who call too many flop bets. as they’ll be involved in a lot of pots. The first is the fairly passive player that just likes to call and hope he pairs his king or ace on the turn. If you do continuation bet. It will take awhile to spot these guys. make sure you have some good outs. They will raise when they have a solid hand. Don’t attempt fire a second bullet until you get more comfortable with flop textures and turn play. but when you do it’s best to bet into them. The main distinction between the gambler and the maniac is that the gambler will fold a little more often when he knows he’s beat. You can usually spot them because they’re typically making comments about how (bad) others play. If he just calls. They’ll typically call your flop bet in hopes that you’ll give up on the turn. will check behind sometimes. When you do happen to come across a big hand with the gambler it’s best to bet your hand strong. but will readily fold to a second bet. and overplay his second pair. These opponents typically come in two different player types that you have to be aware of. and going too far with mediocre hands. Thus the most optimal play is to bet into him and hope to be raised. and you’ll have little difficulty spotting him at the table. If however he has any chance to outdraw you. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 40 / PFR =<5 / AGR =< 1 / WTSD =< 22 Players NOT to Continuation Bet Against While there are several types of players you want to continuation bet. The other is usually a bit more of an aggressive opponent that typically will call because they don’t believe your flop bet. but not much more beyond that. and he won’t be quite as aggressive. raising. They usually won’t continue on the flop unless they have top pair or better. but fold to turn bets. you’ll just have to apply much more discretion. he will often take that chance. He’s usually either raising. raising quite often before the flop. Apply pressure and test them as often as possible. there are others that you don’t want to continuation bet against as often. Either way. That doesn’t mean you should just them run you over of course. unless of course yours is very good. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 20 / PFR =<5 / AGR =< 1 / WTSD =< 22 The Look-up Artist – These opponents are great for your chip stack. and they do little in terms of applying pressure.resistance then step on the breaks. but the gambler. These players typically understand the basics.

then you suddenly pick up AK again and raise. 172 . but you must also be aware of how you think the table perceives your style of play. I hope you turbo toss your hands into the muck. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 50 / PFR =<1 / AGR =<. EX: You may be a somewhat conservative player who raises around 5% of his starting hands. You may even just check and give up the pot. and bet them all the way to the river. They’ll be the person at the table calling and chasing every gut-shot. and don’t raise that much before the flop. as you’ll likely night chase them loose. don’t just blindly adjust your continuation bet frequency based upon your playing style that YOU actually play. and you may loose most of your chips trying to push them off of a hand. Calling stations don’t bluff. but make sure the flop is fairly draw-less if you do. then make sure to say thank you. The calling station will gladly call any bet you put in front of him. If you’ve been raising a whole lot. you don’t want to bet into someone who will with any two. If you play a fairly conservative style. Typical Stats: VP$IP =< 50 / PFR =<10 / AGR =<7 / WTSD =< 24 The Calling Station – Hopefully this should be an obvious one. I would highly recommend almost never continuation betting your missed flops into calling stations. how often you’ve raised. The calling station is of course easy to spot. Just wait for good hands that connect.You can continuation bet against the gambler a little more often then the maniac. Always be aware of your current play and how others may perceive you. and not showing any cards. If you miss the flop. then let’s say a gambler type person who raises before the flop a lot. It doesn’t matter if you’ve just been playing your normal game or not. so don’t do it on a bluff. Make sure that it fits how you’ve been currently playing at a given table. Take into account the number of times you’ve been involved in recent pots. but let’s say you’ve just had a recent run of great cards. don’t go crazy if you miss the flop. or any small piece of the flop. and the types of hands that you’ve showdown. Also. the number times you’ve gone to showdown. A lot of raising by one particular player begins to build a tension at the table that someone eventually attempts to snap. then your continuation bluff bets will likely get more respect. and if they do. flush draw or one outer they can find. Not only must you be aware of the types of opponents you are facing. based on your current “table image”. They hardly ever raise.25 / WTSD =< 24 The Type of Player You Are How often you continuation bet is also very dependent upon your own personal playing style. Below is a small table with suggested adjustments to make with your continuation bets. it only matters how others “think” you are playing.

it makes for easy decisions. move on. in which case decisions are also usually easy. you should be thinking of how to extract the most value from it vs. To reduce the complexity of the decision trees involved. and big overpairs. Bad players might check-raise with hands that they really shouldn't check/raise with. or complete air. and a potsize of approximately 7-10BB. Part of it is that. they won the pot. let's (for the moment) assume 100 BB stacks. and good players can be tricky)." I was definately one of those posters. conventional wisdom is that the pre-flop aggressor should always C-bet in a heads-up pot. I think there are a couple of reasons this is popular. There have been a lot of "When should I c-bet?" threads. players get a lot more tricky (note that this is a separate attribute than "good": bad players can be tricky. the best way to get value from it is to bet it. worse hands. AK on an A97 flop. But the range of hands players will play aggressively changes as you move up. I think there are a few factors to think about when you are deciding whether to C-bet your hand in a heads-up pot. indeed.WHY AM-I C-BETTING AGAIN ? (biblio-san) TL. With strong hands. I couple of things have changed my mind about C-betting. Raise. the fact that many Cbets with made hands win the pot convinces many players that their bet was. First. Epdaws. we should by now know that it's rarely that simple. for 173 . DR. 1) The value of your hand 2) Whether or not you opened in a steal position 3) Whether or not being check-raised will present you with a difficult decision 4) Whether or not betting presents your opponent with an easy decision. Orange. Second. They check-raise more. and your move that is wrong 90% of the time just won the pot because this is one of those other 10% holdings. until we get to a big hand/big pot situation. or betting will make your opponents turn/river decisions easy 5) Your position 6) Whether or not the pot is re-raised 1) The value of your hand First. others I am shamefully forgetting). 3-ways? Sometimes. Maybe you just got lucky. and with a wider variety of hands. and good players will tend to balance it out more by check-raising monsters. a draw (weak or strong). and a lot of these concepts are stolen directly from Green Plastic videos and other good posters on these boards (True. Made Hands Every time you have a made hand. Maybe you could have won a bigger pot. After all. Debitel. In some cases you may decide that this isn't very feasible (always trying to showdown 22 unimproved on any board is probably not a great idea). or TPNK. To be honest. I almost think each of these 6 points could deserve its own thread In SSNL. the correct move. right? But on this forum. the standard answer was "Heads-up? Always. scoop pot or fold to C/R. as you rise in stakes. in position. and I can recall that in many of them. C-bet. semi-bluffs. let's consider whether you have a made hand. like underpairs. or middle pair. I'd greatly appreciate if we can get some discussion on these topics going.

you won't get a lot of action except from the nut flush or full houses. but important points are that the if your draw is not to the nuts. there are some strong hands that you should really check (at least some of the time). However. and if your draw is not to the nuts. in genaral.example. This might mean they are more likely to call you lightly (so you can get more value from moderate-hands) or it may mean that they are more likely to c/r lightly (making it hard to gain value from weak/moderate hands by 174 . you should be aware of the possibility of making your opponent sometimes fold a better draw by firing two (or sometimes three!) barrels. Sets on just about any flop. and open-ended straight draws on two-tone flops (again. Examples of weak non-nut draws that you should be inclined to bet are: bare overcards (these are sometimes the best hand. like the nut flush draw with two overcards. it was almost always a hand that you were a 2 or 3:1 favorite over. gutshot straight draws (if you can pick up the pot a good percentage of the time. you probably won't get a lot of action). unless players are very loose). especially if you have position. there are some worse hands that might call a flop bet (67. you won't hit it very often. and I will not repeat all of it. the value of winning the pot outright becomes much greater than simply hitting your draw. especially if those tendencies are identical to when he holds hands that you are behind. you should be more inclined to bet. potting the flop is a pretty good way to make just about any one-pair hand without an Ace fold. but if you are called. can make you more inclined to bet. or open-ended-straight-flush draws. depending on your opponent. or is very weak. With medium strength hands. or have some reason to believe that a delayed bluff will be more successful. this makes up for winning big pots the rare times you hit. you might lose a lot of money if you hit (or gain very little from worse hands). Complete Air Unless you are giving up on the pot entirely. With these holdings. I think you should just about always C-bet with complete air -. If you have KK on the same flop (yes. any diamond draw). the best way to get value from these hands is to check the flop. You would also. if you hit on a flush card. If you have AK on an A72 rainbow flop. With non-nut draws. Draws There's a very good section on playing draws in Miller and Sklansky's NLHTaP. low flush draws on paired boards (if you hit. Whether or not you bet a medium-strength hand should depend on the board texture and your opponent's tendencies with the range of hands that you are ahead of. or pair+flushdraw combos (although if your "pair" is the Ace. of course. you are essentially on a 6-out draw).it's one of the reasons raising a wide variety of hands pre-flop is profitable at all. 2) Did you open in steal position? Players will give you less credit for a hand. this is a strong hand). be inclined to bet very strong draws. yes. But. because if your draw is very weak. but especially A-high and drawy flops. 88 on a 459 board with two diamonds. For example. which. the best way to get value is never very obvious. because you just don't hit very often). then you should be more inclined to check because it is often the best made hand and is not vulnerable to the flush draw for obvious reasons). Obviously. An additional problem is that many of those "worse hands" will not just call your flop bet but will raise (see point 3). Many times. if your opponent folds to this bet. and there are also many turn cards that you will not want to see. you have the same problem.

4) Are you making it easy for Joe Tag or Mac Donkey to play this hand? Let's go back to the A72 rainbow flop. You're making it pretty easy for both players to play this flop if you pot it. Unless you are holding complete air or a set. your opponents range for calling you preflop is wider when you steal from the CO and Button. This is because the villain will sometimes be semi-bluffing. They'll probably just fold anything less than an Ace here. the naked flush draw. It's much harder to extract value from medium strength hands (and easier to be bluffed off of them). you can safely value bet. most draws has gone way up. whether you welcome a C/r. resist the temptation to slowplay if you hit your 2-outer on the turn. I'm much more inclined to bet out of position than in position with my made hands. and his perception of your hand range. as they are way ahead of villain's non-Ace holdings. especially if you have position (almost regardless of what made hand you hold). you are probably doing on the same board. but other made hands (like 99-KK and weak Aces) that really don't want to make things that easy for Villain. depending on how the player plays with his hand range. and he is pretty unlikely to put you on a set given the flop action. In general. and will sometimes be betting an Ace. and the value of simply winning the pot goes way up in comparison to the value of extracting another bet from worse hands. players very rarely try to c/r twice. your hand is still often best (because your opponent will be bluffing a good % of the time. that's not so hot. So if it is checked to you on the turn. How about K K ? Notice that all those hands have very strong equity vs. 5) Are you in position? All things considered. Note that in many cases. or "value betting" a weaker hand thanks to the weakness you showed on the flop). For one. most Aces. By the way. in a heads-up pot.betting). but you will have to fold because you might be crushed. but notice how very often your equity vs. if you check a hand like KK on the above flop. Again. they generally don't c/r bluff the turn with naked draws (most players would bluff by betting after the turn was checked through). If you hold A 7 board and get check-raised. and you can usually fold to a c/r without feeling the least bit bad about it. and in both cases he will very likely call a big raise. 6) Is this a re-raised pot? 175 . and if they do. There are certain made hands (33-55 being the prime examples) that benefit greatly from a flop like this. should influence your decisions on whether to C-bet. the turn action changes things greatly. this is making things too easy for them. 3) How much does getting check-raised suck? If you have 3 3 on an A 3 6 a little jig in front of your monitor. you really don't want to be put in positions where your hand is probably the best hand. but the A7 hand and especially the KK hand suck vs. If it is bet to you on the turn. Also. etc.

but not so hot if you hold KK on a QJx flop. or AA on 743 flop.You shouldn't always bet in a re-raised pot. If you have a monster. And often in re-raised pots. the pot is big enough to get the money in on 3 streets. your bets are only going to be called by a very narrow range of hands. which is fine if you hold air. 176 . or if you have a set. or QQ on an A72 flop.

The obvious drawback to using this tactic is that you become very exploitable to observant opponents. risking a large amount just seems silly when you can bet smaller and achieve the same result. this approach would be almost flawless and poker would be much easier if our bets somehow didn’t represent the actual strength of our hand. So how much do we bet? What factors should we consider before sizing our bets? In this article I plan on discussing some of the more common methodologies regarding sizing your continuation bets and some of the advantages and disadvantages that accompany the various tactics. and have pots stolen from you when you show weakness with small(er) bets. I’d like to focus explicitly on bet sizing strategies and the rationales behind why we may find it optimal to utilize a specific approach over another. you want to minimize your losses and play a small pot. Mistakes that maximize our expectation. you’re going to lose the most when your opponent calls with a hand that’s better than yours. 177 . On the one hand. and the largest amount you think your opponents will call when you have a strong hand. etc. that is. Big mistakes. if you always bet too much. and you’ll wonder why you always get raised when you have nothing and always get folds when you flop the nuts. types of villains or flops to cbet. you’re allowing your opponents to play perfectly against you. Methodology #2: Vary your bet sizing based on the texture of the board The general idea being to vary your bet sizing based on the texture of the board(duh) – bigger bets on more coordinated boards and smaller bets on less coordinated or dry boards. as they’ll soon realize that your bet sizing represents the exact strength of your hand. By telegraphing the strength of your hand with the size of your bet. Lack of balance. and will interpret your smaller bets as weakness and raise you off your hand. Rather. you want to maximize your winnings and play a big pot. On the flip side. On the other hand. you’re offering your opponent correct pot odds to continue with drawing hands and suck out on you. Note that this article will not cover the “ifs” and “when’s” to continuation bet. Since the texture of the flop impacts the shape of the hand distributions. This write-up is simply an attempt to get people thinking as to why they’re betting a precise amount and the implications related with the size of their bets in different situations. when you always bet too little. and when you have a weak hand. Methodology #1: Sizing your bets based on the strength of your hand Seems straightforward enough. I’ll leave that for another time. hands that the board ‘hits’ are much greater on coordinated boards than on dry boards. villains who don’t show aggression against weak bets without a hand. A solid villain will correctly fold his marginal holding facing your pot sized bet. we want our bet sizes to encourage our opponents to make mistakes against us. or what conditions make a bet +EV or –EV. Theoretically. It’s also worth noting that I don’t consider any one strategy to be any more or less favorable than any other. Disadvantages: Against good/observant villains you lose action on your big hands. Obviously. When you have a strong hand.Some thoughts on continuation bet sizing (Panthro) Most 2+2’ers are familiar with the 4xBB + BB/limper preflop betsizing methodology. Works best against: Weaker villains. So you bet as the smallest amount your opponents will let you get away with when you’re bluffing. villains who call preflop raises to play fit or fold. but what about post flop? Do we always bet the pot? Min bet? Shove? On one hand. or float with the intention of taking the pot away it away on a later street. you’re losing a ton of value when you make a small bet when your opponent would have called a much larger bet.

Y (6 Players) 4 folds. Disadvantages: Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands and vice-versa. BB folds Flop: ($9) 8 4 9 (2 Players) SB checks. Hero bets $8 Works best against: all villains.50 Example 2: a middling drawy board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. and some bet sizes we may decide to fire into each pot. when we make large bets on drawy boards with strong hands.5. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. SB calls $3. Lets look at 3 examples: a dry board. the semi-bluff can difficult to defend against with marginal one pair type hands.5. On draw heavy boards that hit a wide range of hands. BB folds Flop: ($9) 9 Q J (2 Players) SB checks.5. and we’d much prefer our opponents to play passively against us. Hero raises to $4. you effectively disguise your hand to your opponents. SB calls $3. Hero raises to $4. Hero bets $5. Hero raises to $4. we can make larger bets (~2/3rds to the full size of the pot) to deny drawing hands proper odds to continue that a smaller bet may not have. a somewhat coordinated board. Also. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. After all. Hero bets $7 Example 3: a very drawy board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. we can bet a smaller amount (~½ to 2/3rds of the pot) that will often achieve the same result as a larger bet with less risk.we make our bets larger on drawy boards and smaller on dry boards Since dry boards miss most hands. but is more liable to flat call a larger bet sensing strength. we’re anticipating getting a lot of money in the middle before the river when many drawing hands in our opponents range become worthless. Example 1: a dry board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. SB calls $3. and a very coordinated board. BB folds Flop: ($9) A 2 8 (2 Players) SB checks. It is also worth mentioning that by using a bet size methodology that advocates using consistent bet sizes relative to the texture of the board and not your hole cards. Methodology #3: Adjusting your bet sizing based on the depth of the stacks 178 . This strategy is very advantageous against the type of villain who will raise smaller continuation bets with drawing hands sensing weakness.

Hero bets $27. A really really basic example: Hero (BTN): $121 SB: $200 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. Hero bets $9. River: ($81) Q (2 Players) SB checks. Not always optimal/feasible with deeper stacks. if we assume 100BB effective stacks. Works best against: all villains. stack sizes can help us extrapolate an optimal percentage of the pot to bet. we want to get as much money as possible in the middle to maximize our winnings. Also. Hero bets $81 and is all-in Lastly. Flop: ($9) 8 5 J (2 Players) SB checks. so betting 100% of the pot on all three streets should get our stack all in by the river. One of the most important aspects of stack sizes in NLHE is how they affect implied odds. SB calls. as building big pots against aggressive opponents who will check-raise with air and draws and try to push you off your hand can get expensive. When we adjust our bet sizing based on the effective stack sizes. Hero raises to $4. Turn: ($27) 3 (2 Players) SB checks. Against weaker/passive players. SB calls.relative to the size of the pot Without divulging into too much theory. BB folds In this example. SB calls $3. Since the pots are bigger. Also. playing big 179 . Methodology #4: Always bet the pot Many UB/FT’ers religiously use the “bet pot” button to size their bets. I should point out that ponicaraux made a cool write-up entitled Get it in where he mentions similar concepts. you again completely disguise your hand to your opponents. The drawback of this approach is that consistently building large pots results in very high variance.5. and a larger percentage of the pot when the pot is small. and you can set yourself up for larger bets on later streets with strong hands. you will often find yourself facing difficult situations with medium strength hands. By making the same sized bets relative to the size of the pot. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. The whole idea of geometric growth (credit “The Mathematics of Poker”) is essentially betting a consistent percentage of the pot on each street to get our effective stack ‘all in’ comfortably by the river. Weak-tight players will give up easier against you knowing they’ll be facing large pot sized bets on every street. it does make a lot of sense why we would prefer to bet a smaller percentage of the pot when the pot is large. the pot is $9 and the effective stack sizes are $117 (13 times the size of the pot). especially for a LAG who is playing a high number of marginal holdings. It should seem obvious that when we flop a monster. we can reduce our opponents implied odds to call bets on early streets with inferior hands in hopes of drawing to a better hand. a concept critical to success in NLHE. both from a practical and mathematical standpoint. always betting the pot seems optimal because you build bigger pots when you’re the aggressor. Disadvantages: Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands.

but the actions you may want your opponents to take 180 . Some opponents will interpret your overbet as weakness or a bluff and call down with a marginal hand. as every pot you play in as the aggressor will be of the same size (number of opponents is relevant here). you can take a stab at more pots while risking a smaller amount of chips. or in blind battles where opponents always think an aggressive player is FOS and trying to buy the pot. Most of the same disadvantages associated with the aforementioned bet pot methodology are apparent in this theorem. villains who don’t like to fold. Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands. I’ve had some success using this strategy after losing a large pot when my opponents perceive me to be on tilt. villains who like to make hero calls and pick off bluffs. calling stations. chasers. Methodology #6: Overbetting the pot Making a large overbet doesn’t have to work all that often for it to be a profitable play. Works best against: all villains Disadvantages: Higher variance.pots regardless of hand strength reduces your ability to utilize pot control. With a smaller continuation bet size than the ‘bet pot’ advocacy. Disadvantages: Bigger bets may lose action when a smaller bet would not have. Works best against: Weak players. Methodology #5: Always bet x% of the pot. it can be very difficult/impossible for opponents to deduce the strength of your hand if you’re always making the same size bet whether you’ve hit the flop or not. and the so called ‘chasers’ who won’t fold any kind of draw on any street. Works best against: all villains. Disadvantages: Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands and vice-versa. soah and a few other HSNL/MSNL 2+2’ers The idea being to adjust your bets to manipulate your opponents into playing not only the pot size of your choosing. Methodology #7: Adjust your bet sizing on the objective you’re trying to achieve -. Using this strategy extracts maximum value from ‘calling stations’ who won’t fold with any piece of the board. Lastly. by always betting pot you’re risking a lot to win a little when you’re bluffing. You can extract a large amount of chips before the river when missed draws become worthless and induce river bluffs from villains who have missed their draws and find themselves pot committed.credit Ray Zee. where x is some fixed predefined number I’ll refer to this as the multitabelers theorem because many 2+2’ers use a bet pot script to handle their bet sizing. They usually have it set up to bet some arbitrary percentage based on the current size of the pot (often in the neighborhood of 60% to 100% depending on preference). As with the previous methodology. Balancing overbetting strong made hands with weaker hands/bluffs can be difficult and/or suboptimal.

maybe.50) 8 3 Hero bets $5. we make a bet of size A because we want our opponent to take action X. Or bet larger to force your opponents to fold.against you. Sometimes you want to bet smaller when OOP to price yourself into seeing cheap cards. On to the next meeting… Hand 2: (same villain) Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt A . Nevertheless. In response our opponent may instead decide to take action Y because they interpret our bet of size A much differently than a bet of size B.50) 8 3 A (2 Players) Hero bets $5. we view the button as an aggressive villain who is capable of making a move. J Q . BTN calls $4. In our short history. BTN calls $4. As an example. Still with me? OK. and maybe he wasn’t. it is something to keep in mind. Maybe the button was planning on making a play regardless of our bet size. we decide to make slightly over half pot size continuation bet expecting the button to fold all worst hands and call or raise all better hands. We open UTG open get called by the 20/10 button. 2 folds. T (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. With a dry Ace high flop. So what have learned from this hand? The actions taken by this particular villain may or may not have been prejudiced by the size of our bet. or to induce a raise. Flop: ($9. despite the fact that we anticipated this opponent to be much less likely to take action Y over action X if we made a bet of value A instead of value B.50) 5 K T (2 Players) 181 . we might choose to make smaller ½ pot bets when you want action or want to induce a raise. or at the very least force them into a difficult decision as to whether or not they should continue with the hand.50… A (2 Players) We’ll play the role of hero. The disadvantage of any complex bet sizing methodology is that our opponents may or may not construe the information we had hoped to associate with our bet sizes as we have intended. Could the button have interpreted our ~½ pot sized bet as weakness? Would a 2/3rds or near pot sized bet be more sufficient in representing a strong hand? Would the button be less likely to make a play facing a larger bet? In the actual hand hero folded. Say for example. 2 folds Flop: ($9. 2 folds. or to pick up the pot with minimal risk. BTN raises $20 Easy fold right? Well. the on collected the pot and exposed his hole cards.50. 2 folds Flop: ($9. Hand 1: Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt T . a 18/14 thinking TAG who uses a highly varied bet sizing methodology. enough theory mumbo jumbo. let’s look at a really simple example where we might be able to manipulate our opponents into taking specific actions against us by varying our bet sizes. and bet the pot when you don’t want action or want to discourage opponents from making plays or calling down lightly. Q (6 Players) Hero raises to $4.

we have a read that this villain may have interpreted our smaller continuation bet as weakness. 2 folds. p57). we can now make the same small continuation bet we made back in hand 1 in an attempt to induce either a call from a weak hand or a bluff raise. but rather. BTN raises $20. Maybe the button decided to fold in this hand given he recently made a play against us. in a game with no absolutes. that with this simple illustration we’ve only begun to scratch the surface in realizing how powerful a highly varied bet sizing methodology can be. Do note. or maybe he had a timing tell and felt we were stronger in this hand than in the previous one. The next time we flop a strong hand we might make a larger bet. Flop: ($9.50. Flop: ($9. NLHETAP. Turn: ($49. Hero raises all-in. our static strategy won’t work forever on this particular villain. We now have a stronger suspicion that this villain may perceive our smaller continuation bets as weakness and larger continuation bets as strength. and yet still be able to manipulate them into doing what you want them to do. Now again. 7 (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. Requires constant adaptation. BTN calls all-in. We’re not necessarily always trying to deceive our opponents with our bet sizes. Button mucks K T and hero collects the pot. we still plan on experimenting with our newly gained information in an effort to size our bets to incite specific responses against this opponent in the future. Disadvantages: By varying our bet sizes based on a specific set of objectives. Ship it. Hand 3: (same villain) Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt 7 . BTN bets $38. Hero calls $14.Hero bets $8… In this hand. so we adjust by making a larger bet with a hand that we don’t necessarily want action with. and we intend to exploit our read by manipulating our opponent into making a mistake. (2 Players) The button folds and hero collects the pot.50) 7 J Hero bets $5. 182 . this may or may not be the case. Now obviously. BTN folds.50) 5 K T Hero bets $8. Miller. Works bets against: villains who we have a very good read on. so we’ll need to make continuous adjustments. However. The idea is to adjust better than your opponent does. betting an amount that maximizes our expectation which is the size of our opponent’s possible mistake times the chance he will make that mistake (Sklansky.50.50… 2 (2 Players) Using previous history and our read on villain.50) K (2 Players) Hero checks. 2 folds Flop: ($9. BTN calls $4.50) 7 J 2 (2 Players) Hero bets $5. or make a smaller bet when we’re bluffing. we may face difficult decisions on later streets as opponents reactions may or may not be influenced by the size of our bets.

number of opponents. adjusting your bet sizing based on position. 183 . such as adjusting bet sizing based on your opponents estimated hand ranges. etc. history. Feel free to add any thoughts/criticisms.There are some things I haven’t covered that are worth noting. your image.

-When applied correctly to certain players. and one that CAN be used for value too (ie. This is a very standard double barreling line used against all opponents. On Double Barreling: This is a concept not widely used in uNL or even SSNL. You get a TAG caller on the button. BB calls. Your raise A K to 4xbb. (10bb)Flop: T 6 6 You bet 6bb. we gain more action to when we DO actually have a hand. bluff raising the double barrel because you know the opponent would double on this board nearly everytime. calling much wider. we either dictate the action and set ourselves odds in which we would not have received (when double barreling draws) and enable ourselves another chance at winning the pot other than improving. Firing two barrels. This is pretty much the standard double barrel line. -Along with that. he calls 184 . he folds. A villain should be much stronger if your betting (and repping) that paint card (and should fear a river bet if he calls). You bet. where the aggression is much higher and more frequent than those games that we play. It is a very common play in MSNL+. Some examples of double barreling: (Assume all situations are 100BBs/6max). our hand is NOT always the nuts/strong hand. You bet. all else fold. The purposes can be very manyfrom pure bluffing against a suspected float or semi-bluffing with a nice draw. all else fold. BB calls Turn: A/K/paint BB checks. The first and very standard one: You open xx in the CO. We bet because the paint changed the board and therefore hand values. But for now. Just thought I'd write a little something.DOUBLE BARRELING (orange) Hey guys. What is Double Barreling? Double Barreling is exactly that. Flop: T 2 9 BB checks. As you move in limits. the double barrel is effective. this is still a nice play. etc). It can be an effective play used in many different manners. this common knowledge can be exploited (ie. having AK on that such board and betting the turn). Our ranges are wider and therefore harder to read. When double barreling: -We mix our ranges so that when we bet the turn after raising PF/betting the flop.

one thing I forgot. bet sizing/etc).(22bb)2 You bet 15bb. one that your opponent may not have given you. Flop: T 2 4 You bet. If he's determined and willing to go far with this hand. Another instance in which it might be nice to double with a draw is when you pick up a draw on the turn. In CR. You also enable yourself another chance to win the pot other than improving (as stated earlier. There are many more instances in which double barreling is effective. Betting the turn makes river play GENERALLY pretty easy. Button calls.many times. these are just a few. simply because you are representing a ton of strength. and also the definition of a semi-bluff). Notes: This is a common line used most against TAGgy regulars. Think for yourself on some other spots and share them. and he folds. you would be double barreling with AK and the like in this spot. all else fold. it goes along with the semibluffing thing. we generally fold out better hands against a very predictable range. If your opponent is one that will fold to aggression. you can c/f. GP states that K high boards are excellent ones to double barrel on. you can triple barrel at times. Mixing your strong hands with draws is an essential skill that evolves into 5th level thinking in the HSNL games (ie. Try exchanging A 7 with AK/a set/QJ and you still may very well be double barreling. (10bbs)Flop: 4 T K You bet 8bb. He calls. You open 6 7 someone calls. As of PF/flop action. As stated earlier.(probably the best selection for those in uNL). By double barreling. your hand range is widened . we can generally narrow TAG's hand range to a pp or some float. why is he betting? He must be strong" #3: You raise A 7 . forgot to add this little snipit (edit). Sorry. The TAG should be thinking "he knows that the turn changed nothing. 185 . This play is often used against more competent players as donkeys will continue to call with 77 and other marginal hands. He is an unknown player. he calls Turn: 8 You should bet Again. (26bb)Turn: 2 You bet 17bb There are a few reasons why double barreling on these boards is nice. You set your own price for a draw.

call the turn 80% of the time. normal stacks. seeing the turn with $25 in the pot and $87. there's a *huge* difference between those two lines. $55 in our stack when we see the river. hero flops the nuts and wants to get all the money in. Let's see how he stacks up (ha!!!) against the two lines. that villain has donk-certified calling hand against you. but I thought the EV calculations in the middle were pretty enlightening. The bigger the pot is. One bet per street. betting $17 on the turn and ending up at the river with $70 in our stack and $60 in the pot. Flop: ($10. hero raises in position pre-flop I play a lot of hands that are effectively like this. UTG calls. The basic idea is that.50 in our stacks. He'll probably call reasonable-sized bets. It's still probably too long-winded for many people to actually read it. 2/3-pot has us betting $7. so please give me some feedback. We'll analyze things 186 .50 on the flop. everyone else folds. we want to think about lines that will get as much of our stack in the middle as possible.GET IT IN (poincaraux) [Note: I started writing this up. but be less likely to call an overbet. I wrote this up on the fly. 2 players. let's say it's $100NL. 6-max and this happens: Preflop: UTG limps. and we're asking villain to put in a little more than 1/2-pot on the river.  Against the 3/4. let's say he'll always call the flop. Let's think about two standard lines: One villain.  pot-pot gives us $30 in the pot and $85 in our stack on the turn and $90 in the pot. 3/4-pot. Let's say. the easier it is for the villain to make a crying call. Hero raises to $4. if there's money left to bet on the river. I think the standard 2+2 lines are pot-it-all-the-waybaby and 3/4-on-the-flop-2/3-on-the-turn. The two hands that made me think about this were hands where Hero had Ace-rag suited and flopped the nut flush. Cliff's notes: bet more] In another thread yesterday. stacks $95). like TPTK. but not enough. but only call the river overbet 50% of the time. and I think about it sometimes during the hands. I've thought about this before.  How much are they worth So. 4_2_it said Quote: When you flop a monster the first thing you should do is look at stack sizes and figure out what size bets on each street gets everything in the middle. Ideally. What are the lines? If there's only one bet per street. and then got busy.2/3 line. To make the numbers easy. when we flop a monster. for instance. we want the pot to be bigger than our stack. and hadn't really thought so explicitly about this stuff before.

Just so that you don't have to work it out on the fly. you can get 13x the pre-flop money in.5. and we'll get $85 in. If it's going to go 3/4. if there's $10 in the pot on the flop. this means that I'm much more likely to go pot-pot on scary boards. Intuitively. and we'll get about $130 of your stack in. Then. 3/4.5*(30 + 55) = $62. etc. pot-pot-pot bets will be bets of $10. if it's going to go pot-pot-pot. unless you think that villain is savvy enough to make some real adjustments based on the various lines you take. Pots grow exponentially. it's quite possible that. 2/3. So. 1/2. With big hands. $30 and $90. like 50% of the time. $30 and we'll get $54 in.0*(10 + 7.2/3 line.5*(70)) = $59. let's say he'll always call the flop. Similarly.from the flop on. Why am I focusing on smaller bets on the river? Well. In practice. We want to set things up so that.  For the pot-pot line. we can run into a lot of situations where the villain has a good draw. 1/2 isn't good enough. It turns out that he only has to call 46% of the time on the turn for the lines to have the same EV. A lot of that transfers pretty easily when you start thinking about b3b. this concept gets more important. So. so betting just a little more early on can make a big difference later on. so you can get about 5x the pre-flop money in that way. The key is to think "if I bet this much. or because I don't want villains drawing to it. Then again. if we have full stacks and want to get it in. $30. in situations like this. More than one bet per street When we flop a monster. $45. those extra bets are usually on the flop. you won't be able to make sizeable bets on all streets.0*(10 + 10) + 0. cr. our EV is 1. because it makes it that much easier to get more value on the later streets. you should be betting quite a bit when you have a great hand." 187 . $17. you can see that the villain will have to be a *lot* more likely to fold to the pot-pot line before we start using the 3/4.5x the pre-flop money in. he'll have an OK hand with a draw that missed on the river. though? Let's say he folds the turn a lot. With shorter stacks. That's 1/3 more money than we were making with the smaller bets. it's likely that we can get more than one bet in per street. I usually try to squeeze out as much value as I possibly can on the early streets. the bets will be $7. What if he's a more typical calling-station kind of guy and calls more like 70% of the time on the turn? Then our EV is $80. the bets will be $10. If it's going to go pot-pot-1/2pot. either because I have the scary hand.5. 2/3. so you can get 8. that 1/2-pot bet is a lot of money. As stacks get deeper. he'll always call the river if he gets there because there's so much money in the pot. Then our EV is 1.5) + 0. the pot will be that much on the next street and the stack sizes will be blah blah. What's our EV if he'll fold the turn more often. I want most of the money in before then so that he can make a crying call. The key is thinking ahead on the early streets. In that situation.8*(17 + 0. That is. when the villain decides he'll call a 1/2-pot bet on the river.

when you're playing against someone who has a 2x stack. (We'll often want to bet less on the river. Q . you'll put in $50 on the turn and $150 on the river. Hero raises to $1. getting $220 of your stack in. it will look like Flop: ($2. BB calls $0.50) CO ($9.HERO? (2 players) So. Hero raises to $4. making it pretty hard to get the rest in. BB calls $1. you might get $20 in on the flop. though. BB calls $10. Just for fun. Hmmn . hero ends up with $30 in his stack and $20 in the pot. So.81) MP ($30. and villain was pretty likely to think he was getting pushed around. BB calls $3.75.10) 7 (2 players) BB checks. and it goes bet-raise on the flop.10) 9 . Hero bets to $10.10. pot-call after that. Hero raises to $2. In this specific case. Q .62) SB ($41. River: ($20. though).10) Preflop: Hero is Button with A . T (2 players) BB bets $1.97.10) J BB checks.10) 7 (2 players) BB bets $3. Turn: ($10. that sounds like the hand from the post I referred to earlier: Quote: UTG ($26. T (2 players) BB bets $1. there was some history. BB calls $3. so a push from the hero got a stubborn call..03.If there's $10 in the pot. Flop: ($2. it's important to raise early on to set things up to get the stacks in later on. SB posts a blind of $0. If it goes pot-call.10) 9 . 1 fold. Turn: ($6. even if villain goes into check-call mode. 188 .75) Hero ($38. Now.49) BB ($47. 3 folds. And we see the river with $30 in the pot and $23 in our stack. 2 . Hero raises to $7. let's see how this would have played out with bigger bets: If hero makes about a pot-sized raise on the flop.

If. Pokey covered all the details (and more) in his thread. anything connected. you have to be willing to raise 25. 30. the more these players are relinquishing their blinds. Table image/metagame (this is less important than the above two reasons. obviously. this is not a new concept for SSNL. Stronger players might realize you’re positionally aware. 35 percent of the time that you’re on the button. The gist of it is that stealing blinds = $$$. the SB is a nit who folds his blind to steals every time. Position is a HUGE advantage. Position makes it profitable to play many more hands: If. and the 189 . My attempt to steal blinds percentage: 31. This is one of many reasons to upgrade if you’re using GameTime Plus. Note how sharply the numbers jump from MP to CO. the better. I’m sure many good players can provide numbers higher than these. but still worthy of a mention in my opinion): When weak players see you show down 75o after raising preflop from the button. BTN: 30/27. you’re gonna have to raise some absolute junk. Use PT stats: If you’re on the button. From late position. strong players are MUCH less common than weak players. it’s profitable to play X% of hands UTG at a 6max game. Why Do It? In order of importance: 1. CO: 22/20. but this doesn’t necessarily mean I won’t steal if I expect to be called. because PT only registers a blind steal attempt if there are no limpers to you). in theory. but that’s an issue that probably deserves its own thread. and C) at SSNL. any two cards. if you check PokerTracker. When To Do It? 1. It is notable that you can only get these statistics in your hud if you have Poker Ace Hud. To steal the blinds: There’s little reason for me to elaborate much on this. neither of you will have hands. and from CO to BTN. MP: 11/11. and if conditions are right. 3. guess what? In general. you’ll see that your PTBB/100 skyrockets when you attempt to steal the blinds. the percentages are even higher. then it will be profitable to play X+Y% (Y>0) of the hands you’re dealt on the button. and you’ll have position after the flop comes. they’ll think you’re a fish and give you action the next time you raise aces UTG. If you want to raise 30 percent of your hands from the button. If you want to steal the blinds 25. I’ll often raise with anything suited. 35 percent of the hands you’re dealt from this position (actually. 30. I’m on the button. say. The last five numbers used to be even higher when I was playing a higher variance style.PLAYING JUNK FROM LATE POSITION (tannenj) My current VPIP/PFR stats: UTG: 11/11. Winning players generally make most of their money from late position (cutoff and button). B) if they suspect you’re playing a bunch of junk from late position and decide to tangle with you without hands. In general. use the statistics “Folds BB to steal” and “Folds SB to steal” to evaluate the preflop tendencies of the players in the blinds. but A) sometimes you’ll get aces on the button. 2.

of course) with any two cards. but this article is theoretical in nature. the bottom line is that it’s not difficult to find “excuses” to play more hands if you’re a thinking player and will have position throughout the hand. bet. If a scare card hits. of course. set. Slowplaying can be a reasonable option once in a while when A) you have the board crippled and your hand is beastly enough to let the villain catch up without having to worry about being outdrawn. trips. quads. and neither of the tags in the blinds likes to fold to steals. etc. and also in a way that I think proceeds from least interesting to most interesting: 1. so start building the pot.bb is a 65/1/1 fish who A) rarely folds his blind and B) rarely folds postflop. you’ll want to slow down sometimes. I could spend time coming up with more examples. and you get the blinds. and that stacks are always 100 BBs. Use non-statistical reads: Maybe you’re on the button. it’s profitable to raise (and continuation bet. Poker at its core is about playing big pots with big hands. but you’ll also want to look at the percentage of time the button calls a preflop raise. Bet. For simplification. boat. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not 190 . or B) the villain is a thinking player and you want to throw him a curveball for shania’s sake. This is obviously unrealistic. big draw): You lucked out with your junk. if the player on the button is constantly calling raises preflop and has a reasonable postflop game. In the past. that the villain won’t 3bet preflop. In a case like this. and fabricated hands designed to illustrate the written principles. straight. Playing junk from late position is easy when you pop it up preflop. and it’s time to get the villain’s monies. But in general. How To Play With Your Junk After The Flop WARNING: NOT EVEN CLOSE TO SAFE FOR WORK But seriously. But sometimes you’ll get a caller or two. everyone folds. You hit the flop hard (two pair. this is read-dependent. You have a big hand. I’ll assume that there’s one villain per hand. but tend to shut down if they miss postflop. I’ll raise to isolate the fish with almost any two cards. overpairs. and the players in the blinds tend to defend their blinds by calling preflop. If you’re in the CO. royal flush. bet is usually the play here. I’ve been guilty of not paying enough attention to this statistic. Note that I ordered the three categories in this list in a way that I think proceeds from easiest to hardest to play. that he won’t donkbet the flop. but both of them have a tendency to overvalue top pair. flush. when I came up with the idea for this post. 2. What follows is a list of the situations in which you’ll find yourself when you raise from late position with a not-so-great hand and get called. it makes sense to cut down on the junk you’re playing from the CO. I’ll be much more likely to raise with junk in a spot like this than with 100bb stacks against players in the blinds whom I respect. you flopped huge and want to get some money in the pot. Maybe effective stats are deep. I intended for this section to be the meat of it. you’ll still want to glance at the percentage of time the blinds fold to steals.

BB calls $13 One caller. SB folds. BB folds Bet size is preference. The board has two diamonds. Hero calls $18 When the board is drawless. Hero raises to $7. I tend to continuation bet a bit smaller. Flop: 5 A 4 ($15. Hero bets $11. Flop: 6 J 6 ($15. You don’t have to do it every time. 2 players) 191 . he raised. BB calls $5 Blinds. River: 6 ($111. Turn: J ($41. Hero bets $35. Since there’s no need to protect anymore. 2 players) BB checks. though. Turn: T ($73. really. CO folds. You’re not afraid of being outdrawn (he has two outs at most). It’s possible that he has something like A6. BB calls $35 Same logic as above. 2 players) BB checks. Hero bets $78. SB folds. metagame. Yum. and I didn’t provide a read on the villain. position. CO folds. but when you raise preflop with a 6 in your hand and flop trips with it. That’s about the best flop you can ask for. MP folds. so call and let him think continue to think his AJ is the best hand or fire another barrel with air. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 8 6 ($3. you’re not folding the hand when the stacks are this size. 2 players) BB checks. Our hand is vulnerable. I like a bet of close to the pot because the board is drawy. BB raises to $29. it’s reasonable to make a smaller bet. BB calls $5 Everyone folded to you. 6 players) UTG folds. 2 players) BB checks. Hero bets $13. so bombs away. but at this point it’s almost always the best hand. but this is a good spot to try to pick up the blinds.MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 5 4 ($3. I have shoved in these spots before. so there’s no reason to slowplay. Hero raises to $7. 6 players) UTG folds. etc. MP folds.

If you get raised. but the villain is 192 . $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: T 7 ($3. Betting is good because it disguises your hand. to go too far with top pair. he won’t call a turn bet. the better the villain. it’s more of a “feel” thing than a science. straight. which is a favorite over any hand except a set (and even against a set. of course. flush. If you get called and hit on the turn.but shoving is a bit safer and perfectly reasonable. but it’s unwise to worry about that. quads. I can see just calling anyway -and I’d do it fairly often.? A “big draw. CO folds. so he there’s a small possibility that he has some outs now. Sidenote -. You want to throw out on a continuation bet on the flop because you have an equity advantage over the villain’s range and you want to build the pot. but how about an open-ended straight draw. If you get called and miss on the turn. you’re shoving. both betting and checking are reasonable. This is heavily dependent on reads and flow. Our read indicates that checking is probably better than betting in this spot. BB folds The turn was another diamond and provided air like KQ and AQ with straight draws. Hero checks.” Everyone knows what the terms two pair. He plays at about 25/9/1. but the phrase “big draw” is somewhat ambiguous. etc. SB folds. a gutshot and two overcards. 6 players) UTG folds. Hero bets $13. Hero shoves. BB calls $5 See above. trips.” for the purpose of this article. Turn: Q ($41. is just a draw that you’re willing to felt on the flop. 2 players) BB checks. This is the case because a good player will generally raise a wet flop like this with a big hand. especially with the right read -. set. It’s possible that the villain has you in bad shape with something like K J . boat. 2 players) BB checks.it’s important at this point to clarify what I meant above when I used the phrase “big draw. and our hand no longer has an equity advantage over a pair. Flop: 2 9 8 ($15. in my opinion. you’re making another big bet. BB calls $13 You flopped an open-ended straight flush draw. etc. and has a tendency to call big bets with draws.BB bets $60. MP folds. a flush draw. it has about 42% equity). and royal flush mean. the better an option betting becomes. you should think of your hand as an absolute monster.5. and if a good player doesn’t have a big hand. Read: The villain in the following hand is a level one thinker with no handreading skills. Hero raises to $7. We’re not confident that the villain will fold to a bet. An OESFD will always be a big draw.

MP folds. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter 193 . River: K ($41. but if he’s not folding and you have a minute chance of improving to a real hand. Hero bets $30. and to continue at times on the turn (and I don’t make a habit of three-barreling. BB calls $5 See above. the best play is often just passing up on a continuation bet and shutting down.5 or so. though. you’re willing to reraise all in with it after he check-raises your continuation bet. Checking does carry the disadvantage of making it impossible to stack the villain if we hit on the river. BB raises to $40. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 7 9 ($3. He’s a solid player. Hero bets $11. You missed the flop entirely (no pair. say 17/13/3. and the only way to win the pot is to bet. Hero shoves. but sometimes it’s +EV with the right board and the right read). putting more money in the pot might as well be burning it. and has respect for your play. 2. Hero raises to $7. The play in this spot is generally to make a pure bluff on the flop. It might feel strange to raise preflop with a garbage hand and then not even bet the flop. He plays solid. You have at least eight outs no matter what the villain is holding and against a hand like AQ. BB folds I’m calling this a “big draw” and including it in the first category of hands because against this villain. 2 players) BB checks. very little drawing potential): Your hand is more or less hopeless at this point. Read: The villain in the following hand is very aggressive postflop and likes to raise your continuation bets with a wide variety of hands. 6 players) UTG folds. SB folds. BB calls $30 Time to value bet. but you’ve played a ton of hands with him and never seen him make a move or a “tricky” play postflop. The villain’s range is very wide. you’re less than a 2:1 dog. and he’ll fold often enough to the shove for it to be a good play.only thinking on one level and will probably pay off a river bet if you hit anyway. CO folds. but rarely in poker are there flawless plays. Against the 65/1/1 type I described at the beginning of the post. 2 players) BB checks. Flop: 6 Q 8 ($15. Read: The villain in the following hand is a straightforward tag.

You want to bet based on the texture of the flop and not on the strength of your hand. but this is a thinking player’s turn bet. position. Flop: A Q 5 ($15. You know the big blind has a tendency to pay off. which is a good thing in this spot. SB folds. 2 players) BB checks. The villain most likely won’t continue to draw against us with these pot odds. and there’s a good chance he’ll fold a queen. but that’s hardly a good draw. Flop: K Q 3 ($15. which more or less means he has a king. maybe even the weaker kings in his range. implied odds. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: J 8 ($3. Hero bets $13.Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 7 6 ($3. Read: The villain in the following hand has folded to 7 of 11 continuation bets thus far. JT. and B) most of his range will fold to a turn bet. so you make the same bet as you made with the monster hand on the drawy flop above. CO folds. MP folds. 6 players) UTG folds. CO folds. He calls. 2 players) BB checks. Turn: 2 ($41. Hero raises to $7. BB calls $5 I’m raising suited connectors in this spot almost every time. 6 players) UTG folds. suited cards. Betting here is a solid option. BB calls $5 Blinds. or diamonds. and if you flop big. you might get rewarded with a stack. SB folds. BB folds The turn is a brick. BB calls $11 194 . The club provides our hand with a runner flush draw. Not a play I’d make every time. BB calls $13 Bad flop. Hero bets $11. which is fairly high. MP folds. Hero bets $35. etc. a queen. Hero raises to $7. but aside from that seems like a donk and Poker Ace Hud shows that he has gone to showdown 28 percent of the time. because A) the villain is straightforward enough that we can assign him a fairly tight range. 2 players) BB checks. Raising will steal the blinds pretty often.

We still don’t have a pair. but raising is good anyway because it’s +EV to isolate this dude with pretty much any two cards. Now is a good time to give up. MP folds. The only reason to consider betting now is if you think queen-high is good enough for value. River: T ($15. even against this villain. but even that’s illogical because you won’t get three streets of value out of even the biggest fish with a high card hand.He’s folded more than half the time to continuation bets. and raising is just asking for it. 2 players) BB checks. BB calls $5 You know the big blind is probably calling preflop. Flop: 2 K 4 ($15. so theoretically even a full pot cbet should show a profit. especially with position. 2 players) BB bets $24. You bet a little over two thirds of the pot because the flop is pretty dry and again. consistency is a good thing. Hero checks He’s not folding. If you’d flopped top pair (either the queen or the T) you’d be betting this flop with a plan to get three streets of value. 2 players) BB checks. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: Q T ($3. BB calls $12 195 . He has folded to continuation bets only two times out of 15 and gone to showdown 53 percent of the hands he’s played. just pitch the hand. Hero folds J-high is good almost never in this spot. so we can’t semibluff either. Hero bets $12. Hero raises to $7. As Taylor Caby would say. so there’s little reason to bet. Turn: 3 ($15. Turn: 5 ($37. Read: The villain in the following hand is the 65/1/1 megafish described earlier. Hero checks See flop analysis. 2 players) BB checks. River: 2 ($37. 6 players) UTG folds. SB folds. Hero checks The continuation bet didn’t work. CO folds. the runner flush draw we flopped was eliminated by the turn card. and we don’t even have an ace. 2 players) BB checks. and our read is that this villain likes to go to showdown.

three outs to two pair). It’s not a certainty that your hand is best. you’re generally not betting for value. Hero raises to $7. and ensures that you won’t get raised off your hand and that it gets a chance to improve to trips or two pair. but it’s a reasonable option at times because it guarantees that you won’t get raised off a hand that has something like six outs. even a hand as good as an open-ended straight draw or a flush draw. Bets in spots like these are semibluffs. this can mean overcards. at least you’ve inflated the pot for your five outer (two outs to trips. 2 players) 196 . B) Bet.Time to take this noob to valuetown. a gutshot and an overcard. MP folds. You might have the best hand at this point. but that doesn’t mean the continuation bet was for value.depending on your read of the villain and your feel for the situation. the villain calls. 6 players) UTG folds. but with the knowledge that your hand has some outs if you get called. because it’s going to be pretty tough to bet all three streets with this hand unimproved and see a showdown. CO folds.it keeps the pot small. A check behind with a mediocre draw like a gutshot and overcards is somewhat tricky. BB calls $13 You flop middle pair and elect to semibluff with it. It doesn’t make much sense to bet your jack for value at this point. but if that doesn’t occur. BB calls $5 This hand is some serious junk. 2 players) BB checks. If you have a weak pair. If you flop middle pair and elect to continuation bet. 3. etc. low top pair. Hero bets $13. Turn: 3 ($41. This category is interesting because it’s the only one of the three in which there are usually two reasonable ways to play the flop and the turn: A) Check behind. SB folds. middle pair. Flop: J 3 Q ($15. but you’re losing major value if you check behind against this guy. but it is reasonable to open with it once in a while from the button. Unfortunately. You got a piece of the flop (bottom pair. A check behind with a hand like middle pair is a “value check” -. You bet $13 because the board is drawy. A “mediocre draw” is any draw that you’re not willing to felt on the flop -. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: J 4 ($3. If you have a draw that you’re planning to fold to a raise on the flop. you are betting and hoping the villain folds. your hand might be good but can’t stand to play a big pot. ten outs. a mediocre draw): I left this for last because I think it’s the most discussable situation. induces bluffs. Your goal is to take down the pot.

BB checks, Hero checks You decide not to continue the semibluff this time. If the villain can read hands, he’ll know that you don’t have a good made hand now, but in this hand the villain is unknown. If the river bricks and the villain makes a reasonable bet, you have little choice but to fold. River: Q ($41, 2 players) BB bets $30, Hero folds The villain could be betting missed spades or air, but it’s probably more likely that he has a queen or a better jack than we have. I’ll try to pick villains off in these spots in the right situation, but the standard play after semibluffing, checking through a blank turn, and missing on the river is folding if the villain makes a river bet. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: J 4 ($3, 6 players) UTG folds, MP folds, CO folds, Hero raises to $7, SB folds, BB calls $5 You have the same hand and elect to raise it again; you’re going to play the flop differently this time, though. Flop: J 3 Q ($15, 2 players) BB checks, Hero checks Oh my, a very similar flop. Last time, you tried semibluffing with your flopped middle pair, which was perfectly reasonable. This time, you’re going to check behind and try to see a cheap showdown. I tend to be more likely to try this with dryer flops. I changed this flop slightly from the last hand -- this flop was rainbow, the last one was two-tone -but I’m capable of semibluffing on a dry flop and checking behind on a wet flop, etc. It’s also better to check behind with a pair of jacks or queens than with a pair of fours or fives, of course, because overcards are scare cards when your hand is just one pair. Turn: 3 ($15, 2 players) BB checks, Hero checks This is a good turn card. There’s still not much of a reason to bet, because you’re not getting more than one street of value out of this hand. If the river doesn’t scare us and the villain checks again, it’s time to think about betting. If the villain bets the river, you have little choice but to call since you induced a bluff. River: Q ($15, 2 players) BB bets $9, Hero calls $9. There’s a chance the villain has you beat, but I’m not folding after the way we played the hand. There’s no reason to raise the river (save for very high level thinking against a

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villain with whom you have a lot of history), so calling is the only option in this spot. Read: Villain is nitty and bad. He runs at 9/5/4; when he calls a raise preflop, it usually means he has a pocket pair. If he flops an overpair, he’s generally felting it. He likes to check-raise continuation bets big with small overpairs, unaware that against good players, this turns his hands into bluffs. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 4 5 ($3, 6 players) UTG folds, MP folds, CO folds, Hero raises to $7, SB folds, BB calls $5 Your hand sucks, but the BB is the perfect player to blind steal against because he’ll usually fold his hand, and if he doesn’t, you have implied odds out the wazoo. Flop: 6 7 2 ($15, 2 players) BB checks, Hero checks You flop an open-ended straight draw on a rainbow board, but the villain’s range consists mostly of overpairs and sets. Given the provided read, the villain will check-raise if you continuation bet. PokerStove says your hand only has a 29.26 percent chance to win against the range of JJ-66 and 22, so if you get check-raised big by the villain, you can’t shove and you won’t have the odds to continue with the hand. You decide to check behind and ensure that you get to see a free card, knowing that there’s a good chance of stacking the villain you peel off a 3 or an 8. In addition, if you miss on the turn and the villain bets, you can call the bet knowing that you generally have the implied odds to continue. Turn: 9 ($15, 2 players) BB bets $12, Hero calls $12 The turn doesn’t complete your draw, but it’s a low enough card that the villain can still have an overpair with JJ or TT (I’m assuming he would’ve reraised preflop with QQ+), and he could have a set with 99, 77, 66, or 22. Calling is a slam dunk against this villain. River: 9 ($39, 2 players) BB bets $44, Hero folds You have close to the nut low, and judging by the villain’s tendencies and his overbet, there’s a good chance he just filled up. It’s possible the he just has an overpair, but our read is that he won’t fold that to a shove anyway, and in this case he might even be right to felt it if you pushed because a river push would make your line strange as hell. Just fold this time and stack him when you have a real hand. Read: Villain is loose preflop and likes to call raises out of position with hands like QJ, KT, etc. He’ll fold to a continuation bet if he misses the flop, though; thus far, Poker Ace Hud indicates that he’s folded to 13 of 16 continuation bets.

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$1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 4 5 ($3, 6 players) UTG folds, MP folds, CO folds, Hero raises to $7, SB folds, BB calls $5 Against a BB like this, you can probably raise profitably and then continuation bet with any two cards. This analysis ignores the SB, of course, but for the purpose of this article, the SB doesn’t exist. Flop: 6 7 2 ($15, 2 players) BB checks, Hero bets $13, BB folds The flop is the same as in the last hand, but the villain is different. Whereas a checkraise loomed against the last villain and implied odds were plentiful if you checked behind, this villain will probably fold to a continuation bet (and a hand like KT or QJ is about even money against our draw at this point), and it’s tough to say how much money we’ll make if we check behind and make our hand. If the villain makes a big raise, we probably won’t continue, but that’s an unlikely scenario. Against this villain, the play is to continuation bet and try to take the pot down. Read: Villain is a 44/18/5 lagfish who loves to attack weakness. He folds fairly often to shows of strength -- in fact, he has folded to five of seven continuation bets so far -- but you have seen him fire three barrels with air when he thinks he can steal pots. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: J 9 ($3, 6 players) UTG folds, MP folds, CO folds, Hero raises to $7, SB folds, BB calls $5 From the button, this hand is an auto-raise for me. Flop: J 8 3 ($15, 2 players) BB checks, Hero checks You flop top pair and check behind. The flop has two spades and any Q, K or A is a bad card for you, but given your read, checking behind is the play. If the villain fires the turn,

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you’re calling 100 percent of the time regardless of the turn card. The river is trickier if he bets again, but it’s important to keep your read in mind. Turn: 4 ($15, 2 players) BB bets $14, Hero calls $14 The turn was an undercard and didn’t scare you. As expected, the villain bet out. This is an easy call against this villain, and there’s little reason to raise. River: K ($43, 2 players) BB bets $23, Hero calls The king is a bad card because you no longer have top pair. The villain leads for $23 into a pot of $43, giving you 66:23 odds (a little less than 3:1). It’s possible that the villain hit the river, but you reason that your hand will be good more than 25 percent of the time against his range. This is good reasoning against a villain like this one -- if he’d bet the pot on the river, you’d have a harder decision, but with pot odds this generous, the river bet is a pretty easy call.

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HAND RANGES, READS AND NOTES
READS (djoyce003)
I posted this in another thread started by Fallen Hero, but after posting my original thoughts, i've developed a few others that I think are worthy of including, and therefore should be included....thus I'm copying my original and adding to it. Sorry if this causes you to read it twice. First rule of reads - You have to apply any reads you have to the context and history of the hand....does it make sense what the villain is doing? Example from the other day. I pick up queens in the BB. 4 limps to me, including the SB. I raise it 8xbb. Folds to SB (who is TAG). SB goes all in for 50bb's. Does that make sense? Could he have possibly gone for a limp-reraise with AA or KK here with only the BB left to act who is OOP for the rest of the hand? The answer is clearly no. He put me on the squeeze play and assumed I had garbage. I didn't, I called, and I stacked his completely dominated QJ. Whenever an opponent makes a play, does it make sense in the context of the hand. A few really valuable reads to have on villains. Valuable read 1 - villains that overplay TPTK One of my villain's notes is "plays TPTK like the nuts, even with it's TP of 9's. Raised and called all in with A9 on a 7889 threeflush board." I've used that read to stack a particular villain at least 4 times. However, this has to done in the context of the hand. Conversely if you have a read that a loose passive opponent can't fold top pair, and the flop comes 7 high and he'd raised preflop with a relatively narrow raising range, you know he's not going crazy with TPTK...you know he's got an overpair. Valuable read 2 - Plays way too agressively when there is a flush draw on the board. These villains are great to flop big hands against in position because you never even have to bet or raise because you know they don't have the draw either. Example, you have pocket 7's in position. Villain raises, you call. Flop comes XX7 with 2 spades. Villain pots it, you call. Turn - blank, villain pushes, you call and stack his AA that he overplayed due to the draw-heavy board. Valuable Read 3 - total donkey calling station One of the best reads known to man. Do not semi-bluff these guys, do not threebet all in with a coin flip hand because they'll call, and you are only 50/50....try to catch your hand because they will call once you catch it too. They can't fold TP even on a straigthening flushing board. Value bet, value bet, value bet. I called a $20 turn bet against one of these guys into a $10 pot with a flush draw last week on a TJQK board. Rivered the flush, push overbet for $250 and he called with the ace hi straight. Valueable read 4 - minbets draws

201

If he calls he's probably got the draw and that lets you play the river perfectly. Example from above 982 though. If a villain makes a weak c-bet into me I'll generally raise if I think he'll fold right on the flop.makes it easier to put him on 9T or 56 and lets you know by his action if he's hit. Some villains will typically minraise either small pockets.. and they have 89. even though TT+ kills them... You bet with Jacks and they call.think you might be behind to 98 so you flat call. Also. which you represent.minraises small pockets/SC's/suited aces preflop. then they go ahead and call your big raise. which is why they bet small. Against a lot of these villains if you threebet the flop big you are likely to get raised all in and are then faced with a tough decision.can't fold right. Valuable read 6 . I generally like to call their flop raise. you reraise. Villain leads into you with a minbet on a draw heavy board knowing you'll raise. Same thing on connected flops like A78. and now villain checks. you bet and get raised. Valuable read 5 ... Turn 9.you bet they raise. and fold if any draws come home. 202 .. and then disappoint them by donking a PSB on a blank turn. A good way to determine if villains got a monster or not is to flat call his flop raise when OOP and donk into him on the turn. but lots of villains will minraise at least one of these. Valuable Read 10 . I really have no idea what they are thinking.. They minbet into you and try to draw cheap.. or a set on a 852 board or something similar.You've all seen these guys....they don't usually minraise all three. Flop comes 228. Valuable read 7 . he'll probably call.minbet-threebets monsters These are great too because they let you get away cheap. it's generally a big hand. and now the threebets all in with a set..can't read boards and tell when he's counterfeited. Turn comes a 2.. Punish these guys. If he raises you again. You oblige. and villain has top 2..plays ALL draws agressively A read that an opponent plays big draws agressively doesn't really help you much other than including the big draw in his range when he's raising on a draw heavy board.his bad play is why you are here.you easily dump your hand (provided you have this read). A read that an opponent will play ANY draw agressively is however. Good LAGS typically realize this but still can't fold.. They don't realize your 2 pair beats them. makes big c-bets with hands that connected These villains are really easy to float against with nothing. the converse "smart enough to know he just got counterfeited" These villains are great.. Start valuebetting.they know they can't pay full price to draw.... If you start getting action with a big hand on a ragged board or a board like 55K.. Villain doesn't realize he could have potted it and gotten a much bigger raise out of you but hey.makes weak C-bets with whiffed hands. Valueable read 8 . It can save you money a lot of the time. or sc's or suited aces preflop. or punish with big hands.or you can PUNISH them on a 55K board when you've got KK because you KNOW they've got A5. this destroys their odds and eliminates tough decisions on your part as very few of them have the guts to go all in at that point. Any ragged 2 flush board with him raising makes it easier to include the draw and not a set as his likely holdings. This is a great read to have.now you've got him. you can generally figure they've got the trips with top kicker. but then they call a raise anyway. or wait until the turn to raise as that's always more scary and almost always gets a fold...

Not as many will call on the turn. Marginal but sometimes valuable timing tells Assuming a villain normally acts in a certain period of time.. then either goes for the checkraise when it hits (or donk bets it. If a villain raised on the flop and then a flush card falls.. We as a group typically consider that a weak bet. Also beware of the full pot size bet or slight overbet if you checked the turn behind after a draw hit. beware.. because you know you'll get one.Does not consider pot size when determining the strength of a bet Some villains associate the size of the bet in relation to the stakes as a strong bet. depends on villain) Lots of villains (myself included) will call smallish PSB's on the flop with draws. The most common one is the delayed call or bet. but in reality it's strength. This makes him easy to play against because if he reraises you. If it's against a multi-tabling tag it's not as reliable as he could be acting on another table. rather than the size of the bet in relation to the pot.Conversely. If a villain is capable of bluffing the river with missed draws and things of that nature. I know I can safely fold and won't try to float because I know he's got a hand. Valuable Read 12 .but if the villain doesn't. you know your AK is good on an a K hi flop.Villain reraises light and flatcalls with truly big hands.Absent reads I'm typically very reluctant to call large river bets with good. After enough of these you can start limping and not expect a raise. The ones that will call large turn bets are truly great buddies for life and worth following around. You must make a PS turn bet. slow way down when the draw hits and consider folding. disappoint them by not letting them get the checkraise in. Villains typically just don't bet rivers huge without the nuts or near nuts. Valuable read 13 . because AA isn't in his reraise range.villain ALWAYS raises in the BB if it's a headsup blind battle and the SB completes. When you get called by one of these guys on the flop on a draw heavy board. I found a TAG villain that religously reraises with marginal hands (AJ for example) but NEVER reraises with AA/KK.. And second you KNOW he's raising so you limp with TT+ and punish him when he does. if the villain makes a PSB and I have nothing. They are thinking that you'll associate their long thought period with weakness. Conversely. This read is subject to a villain that is only single-tabling though. I've gotten burned by this lately with things like K high flushes facing pushes and losing to the nut flush. Valuable Read 14 . I can't tell you how many times I've seen this and it's been the flush. For example. This is why it's so critical that you always make your cbets a standard size. punish these donkies. Other Ramblings . then calling is 203 . sometimes something outside of that normal range can give you a tell. but not unbeatable hands. This read makes you money in a number of ways. This almost always signifies a whiffed turn-checkraise that the villain is trying to make up for. I generally insta-fold TP with this read and i'm almost always right.some villains think their $10 bet into a $50 pot is strong because it's a big bet for $50NL. screw pot control. and that villain takes an inordinately long period to act after the card hits. things like that. Valuable read 11 . etc. First you know not to complete with hands you want to play OOP to a raise. The other great thing about these guys if that they'll almost always go for a checkraise when they complete their draw. it's almost a certainty that he hit the flush.Calls pot-size bets on draws on the flop AND turn.

standard. 204 . but I have to have a read to make me do this and it has to be a very good read.

practice. Work on developing your reads. One of the biggest cues I use to read hands online is bet sizing. as I feel they go hand in hand. make the call. aren’t often betting out with draws. This has all been pretty vague. When you are watching a high stakes game. Sometimes you just know when a guy is leading into you with a flopped set and you can make a great fold with an overpair. Preflop The small raise from EP: A typical LP player opens in EP for just over the minimum. if your opponent has a vpip under 20 he just isn’t going to have 94 if he limps behind limpers or cold calls a raise. This 205 . he isn’t going to have 33 or AT. this creates accountability. What basic elements of pt stats should you be looking at when deciding hand ranges for opponents? VPIP This is the most basic. But I’m getting ahead of myself here. and is intended as more of a primer for some of the uNL people and maybe some of the limit converts. I’ve only really been around about 8 months and didn’t play seriously for many of those first months. and small-medium pocket pairs. PFR This one is pretty clear too. put people on hands all the time. people with low AF (total post flop). At the request of lorez I am discussing hand reading and bet sizing. Secondly. say lower than 2. I didn’t write a Pooh-Bah post for several reasons. and lots of them. Make notes. A lot of hand reading is based on what I would call feel. these shouldn’t be included in his hand range later. “lead into pfr and bet 3 streets with TPWK”. mostly I am lazy. if a x/6/x player raises from UTG in a 9 handed game. “bluff raise river with missed draw”. Similarly these players aren’t going to bluff missed draws as often so if there was a FD on the flop. I am currently playing 200NL with occasional shots at 400. Axs. AF Now this is where it gets more complicated. or making elaborate semi-bluffs. but after gradually spending more time on 2p2 and getting the courage to post here I’ve developed into a poker player (I have the FTP jersey to prove it !). Whenever you see someone play a hand differently than their PT stats or perception of them as a player would lead you to believe. practice. If you put your opponent on a draw and then he makes a PSB on the river. Most likely he is limping with suited connectors. I will frequently say out loud the hand I think my opponent has. When a passive player raises the turn your TPTK is often no good (see: Baluga Theorem). Some samples: “donkbet with air”. make a note. Practice.HAND READING / BET SIZING (carnivalhobo) Bet sizing and hand ranges in Small Stakes NL First I’d like to just say how much I’ve learned about poker from this forum and hope to be able to give something back to the group of people and community that has helped me makes money and exercise my brain. but I’ll try to keep this basic enough for all levels of uNL and up. What you can do at the table. actively attempt to put people on hands. or just in between hands at other tables. As soon as these decisions start influencing your bankroll you suddenly become much more excited about the proposition of being right about what your opponent has. you have to put faith in your reads. its not wise to assume that a missed draw is a big part of villain’s range when he pots the river.

call and re-evaluate the turn. On the flop I have 2 overs and a gutshot to the nuts. something like QQ or JJ where the villain doesn’t want to play postflop. If you were going to make a cbet. I think in shorthanded games especially. These hands tend to be even weaker than those by people who make larger donkbets including small PPs and naked draws. Our raises: As you can see. the average player’s range widens to something like TT+ AQ+ at some of the more aggressive 200nl 6max games. then make a note. with a 15% WtSD (sample size is 300 hands). some will pull this maneuver with KK. a good range for minraises preflop is 22-99. in some cases significantly. He makes a standard. and even AK hoping to take it down then. then go ahead and re-raise them and you’ll often find yourself winning the pot preflop. but be weary and don’t put more bets in postflop “just to make sure”. and don’t try to 3bet these guys light. a simply pfr size helps us narrow down our opponents hand range. Use this to your advantage. For example. AA. or build a big pot so they don’t have to worry about folding. or if it’s a good hand. Now we get more information about our opponent’s hand. Donkbets: This is when a guy calls your pfr OOP and the leads into you on the flop. These are “pot sweeteners” just juicing up the size of the pot with a hand they want to play. suited one gaps. so I don’t feel comfortable making generalizations) most villains aren’t 3betting without QQ+. start 3betting with a wider range yourself. especially as you get to . if not a bit small. The villain in the following hand is 16/8/24. A2s-A9s. but as far as I can tell. If the flop is draw heavy you can either raise. He had been playing solid aggressive poker. and maybe AK. control the pot and just call. they aren’t going anywhere. yes 24 aggression. No set. or let a blank roll off and bomb the turn. so stack them with every set. then just call. Use the 5/10 rule judiciously. make a good sized raise. The turn is a total blank and he fires again. The more taggy your opponent the more often they will be leading sets and big draws they want to b/3bai with. cbet I decide to call with position looking to bluff the turn or make the best hand. Use this to your advantage and see a flop too if your hand is reasonable. If a typical player leads into you on a Q72r flop and you have AQ. and I feel like he can fold due to his low WtSD.is nearly always a monster. Minbets: In general treat these as checks.5/1 and 1/2). some community cards to work with. I decide to call with AQ preflop because I have position and I also suspect that he is raising limpers from LP with a wide range. The 8xbb+raise: This is a scared monster. This is precisely why we use the 4xBB +1/limper formula to make preflop raises (a PSR is fine too. 34s-JTs. I suspect that he will fire a second barrel fairly liberally as his turn AF is 6. try a resteal the next time that tag that has a name like BustoYOU tries to steal your blind. If the flop is QsTs8o then consider raising to price out a draw. at 50nl when most people aren’t yet 3betting without the goods. as this is the most common spot for a 2p2 TAG to be in. no bet is the way to go here. I could go on and talk about every type of betting situation and what I think of various betsizes. If you see someone lead into you with a hand like TPTK or another odd hand. If you hold an overpair and a TAG leads into you on a dry flop. Min-raises: This is something I make notes on to narrow a range down. In general this means a weak made hand or a draw. As you move up. 3 bets: The lower the level the tighter our opponents are here. liberating isn’t it? Flop We are finally here. you should be more aggressive than the average player preflop. As you move up. Would he fire again 206 . at 25nl (I never played 10. but I’d rather look at some examples of where hand reading comes into play. At the uNL levels. and then it kind of breaks down based on individuals. I’ll deal with mainly raised pots in which we are the aggressor. see a flop with a PP these guys cant fold aces ever. if you were planning to check behind. Now here is where the hand reading comes into play.

and some other random aces) I have a lot of FE against. Because of the previous hand. but he checks. UTG+1 calls. BB raises to $21. 3 folds. 2 players) BB bets $30. he would likely go for a c/r. sometimes QQ+. Hero checks. Hero calls. JT. Hero calls. Hero checks. 2 players) CO bets $75. on to the hand: I put his preflop range at AT+. 2 players) BB checks. I start to discount the chance of him having a set or AK here. I played this hand with him earlier which indicates his range preflop is widened as well as some hint to what his flop check means. Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $2/$4 Stack sizes: CO: $473 Hero: $420 Pre-flop: (9 players) Hero is Button with Q A UTG folds. Hero raises all-in $372 This next hand took place in an aggressive shorthanded game. TT. QJ. Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 Hero: $248 BB: $1070. although it’s certainly a 207 . 2 players) BB checks. playing 16/7. The reason I can assume this is my image. Flop: J 5 7 ($43. the portion of his range with which he bets (something like 88+. Turn: 5 ($106. and some sc’s. JJ. with lots of light preflop raising.5/2 with a WtSD of only 5. My image is similar at 22/18/3. Flop: 3 T J ($50. Also I suspect he is capable of making a laydown and so a hand like AA will often get mucked if I push. 22+. KJ+.here with a huge hand like 3 Jacks? Unlikely. I would have likely folded to a cbet on this board. Results: Final pot: $103 He had K Q and MHIG Now. Against this range I am still drawing live. I can’t stand a check raise and would likely check here with most hands (especially a set). Hero raises to $7. With this type of image I think his calling range is on the order of JT. 3 folds. CO raises to $20. over the 100 hands I played at this table I had been quite tight.25 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is UTG+1 with 4 4 UTG folds. Hero calls. 2 players) CO bets $28. but most importantly. AT+ KQ. Turn: 5 ($43. River: 9 ($103. Villain is a typical aggTag and plays about 23/20/3. 3 folds.8%. Hero calls.

After he checks I immediately remove a set from his range. The only hand of those I can see looking me up is AA. he would never play it that slow (he plays big hands fast like most 2p2 style tags). The turn is another low blank and he makes a bet. Turn: 3 ($57. Hero raises to $122. which means about 3 people are actually going to read it. He calls and I start to wonder what his hand is. 208 . I go with my plan and make it 122 to go. Hero raises to $9. BB raises to $27. AA. Hero calls.possibility. AK. River: T ($301. 2 players) BB checks. I think his range is something like JJ. could he actually have AK? He checks it to me on a fairly blank river card. Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 Stack sizes: Hero: $475. this sets me up for a potsized river push which is the betsizing id use with the nuts or a set here. QQ. 3 folds.90 BB: $835. BB calls. How much would I bet here with a set? I make a roughly 2/3 pot bet and this way I save some money when he has played a big hand sneakily.40 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is UTG+1 with Q J UTG calls. 2 players) BB checks. Hero bets $220 This is getting to be longer than a Pokey post. Now. Of this range I think they all fold to a river bet. Flop: 4 2 K ($57. and I think 220 and a push are the same when it comes to folding out other hands. and I cant win by checking. Hopefully it was helpful. a betsize. UTG folds. 2 players) BB bets $40. I decide to make a move on a decent turn card and check behind. Hero checks.

Unfortunately. Premiums: AA-TT. any two broadway. AK. Any two connectors: 32s-AKs. any suited connectors 32s+" 50% = "any pair. AQ.AN UNBELIEVABLY LONG GUIDE TO HAND READING (Pokey) So you've got bottom set on a three-flush board and your opponent just check-raised you all-in. KQo" 30% = "any pair." 10% = "pairs 66+. after all.6%. Total probability: 10. any suited broadway. Total probability: 14. any suited connectors 54s+. AQ. Any two broadway: Two cards. suited connectors 54+. Other players are exquisitely good at all the fundamentals but stink at hand reading and therefore struggle to consistently beat $50NL.3%. QJs" 15% = "any pair. Total probability: 14. any suited ace" 25% = "any pair.5%. any two suited cards. AK. Total probability: 2. any two broadway. remember to use the relevant range: a player who is 65/10 is looser than the 50% range when he limps but has a rather tight range if he actually raises. A2s+. any suited king. but are you really aware of what "30% of all hands dealt" actually looks like? Here are some probabilities of getting a hand in a particular preflop range: Super-premiums: AA.9%. 1.1%. Total probability: 5. Hand reading is simultaneously the most important and the most difficult thing that a poker player does. any two broadway. and make mountains of cash for their troubles. while there is a great deal of artistry in hand reading. AK. any suited broadway. your opponents work very hard to AVOID letting you know the cards in their hands. Total probability: 2. Any ace: A2o+. any suited connectors 54s+. any ace. AK.9%. Total probability: 3. What do you do? Well. So you know that your opponent who just limped has a VPIP of 30%. there is no "magic formula" for hand reading. "Maximum suited connectors": JTs-54s. Any suited ace: A2s-AKs. Unsuited ace: A2o-AKo. any broadway" 40% = "any pair. Know thy numbers. K5o+" Again. Total probability: 5. including pairs. blame the mod) to get you started. both T+. Any pocket pair: AA-22. Also realize that some players who are loose and passive will raise with SECOND-best hands like 88- 209 . AQs" or "pairs 99+. any suited king. AQ. AA. Some of the best poker players in the world ignore many (or all!) of those other "rules" in poker. KTo+.6%. here are some potential example ranges: 5% = "pairs 77+. QJo" or "any pair. To give you a VERY broad feel for what different percentages translate into.9%. AK. Total probability: 14. QQ.5%. the basics are describable. AQ.9%. any ace.sorry. any ace. the first thing you do is you put your opponent on a hand. KQs. have deadly-accurate hand reading skills. but one of the tablets broke when EMC dropped it -. any ace. However. any suited ace" 20% = "any pair. any ace. suited aces. AK. Total probability: 23. KQ. KQ. what does 30% really MEAN? We know it's loose. KK. 32o-AKo. Any two suited: literally. any king. After some thought I came up with these Five Commandments of Hand Reading (I had ten.

any king. any suited ace. suspect a trap: this is very often a strong hand that's going for a check-raise. Don't fall for it. Beware of these folks postflop.those they will slowplay to disguise their hands. These guys have crap preflop. They aren't really making a major mistake preflop.checking is just what this player does. any two broadway. it is aggressive for a player who has a VPIP of 15%.JJ. and the only way you can really take advantage of this characteristic is by stealing their blinds remorselessly (though you'll have to instafold if they catch you stealing and you don't have an honest hand). especially at uNL stakes. that's more likely to be a player who missed and is giving up. Loose players play loose. medium aggression. a tight preflop player has a VPIP under 20%. Be VERY afraid when a player is playing out of character: the passive postflop player who leads and raises almost always has a monster. Aggressive players play aggressively and passive players play passively. Know thy enemy. Together. and 54s-JTs. If we assume that villain raises with his top 20%. raise light and raise strong preflop while your hand dominates your opponent's range. All of this leads us to our second commandment: 2. Mentally split players into three groups -. Postflop aggression numbers also reveal much about a player. Categorize your opponents on three separate measures: Preflop looseness: a loose preflop player has a VPIP over 40% (I made up the number. and AQ -.there's no flop that definitely missed your enemy. When you get that same preflop bet and flop check from a player whose average aggression is 1. The ultramaniac who check/calls two streets also has a monster.high aggression. any ace. and you can fold without a worry. rather. AJ. but keep the bets small and try for pot control. you gain no information from the check -. AK. the HUD trinity (VPIP. What sort of holdings do you expect them to have? Well. T9s or worse.exploit this mistake by hammering him preflop while you're way ahead. Alternatively. Preflop aggresssion: a passive preflop player has a PFR under a quarter of their VPIP. tight players play tight. our sample range for that looks something like "any pair. Watch these folks at showdown to try and figure out how they play their really big hands. K9s or worse." But we can already refine this range some more: we know that with 20% of those hands. A leopard never changes its spots. That's not to say you should be check-calling. any two broadway. On the other hand. you discount QQ when a maniac limps. These folks won't enter into a hand unless they've got something worth pursuing. When a player with an average aggression of 8 raises preflop and then checks to you. A likely range here is going to be the difference between the two ranges. KQ. Be prepared to play with caution when you don't have a monster. villain would have raised. we should use their VPIP and their PFR to come to a conclusion. an aggressive preflop player will have a PFR over half of their VPIP. expect to be ahead and bet consistently with your made hands. When we're trying to decide a player's preflop holding. however -. K9o or worse. and is waiting to beat your brains out. and any hand you're willing to play is beating their range." That's a much easier range to play against. and here he didn't. Alternatively. but you get the general idea). our sample range for this looked something like "any pair. we know the player is willing to play with 40% of his hands." So take THOSE hands out of his current range: just like you discount 72o when a nit is in the hand.3. any suited connectors 32s+. That means that this is a floating scale: while 10% PFR is passive for a player who has a VPIP of 55%. but NOT the ultra-premiums like QQ+. Be sure to watch this 210 .4. and average aggression) tell us much about a player. or "any unsuited ace. PFR.and then adjust accordingly. His mistake is playing too many hands -. and low aggression -. Say a player has a VPIP of 40% and a PFR of 20% and they limp in front of you. When that same play comes from someone with a postflop aggression of 0.

This leads us to the third commandment: 3. and try to quickly figure out BOTH of these styles. if you are called. Another very common player is the TA/LA: always aggressive and solidly tight preflop. who goes from nit preflop to aggro-monkey postflop. If you are first to act. Then they call his raise and are shocked when they find out at showdown that he had rockets. Less common at uNL. or that an aggressive preflop player is aggressive postflop. People often make the mistake of assuming that a tight preflop player is tight postflop. however -." and those textures can be much more or much less scary. refining our original range based on their preflop play.. this opponent plays hands so infrequently that when he finds something -.. escaping for 1 BB. Now.you'd really like to know if your assumption about him raising the top 20% of his range is correct or not. Know thy board. and then postflop they play POKER. Another common player is the TP/TA. well. note that many hyperaggressive opponents will be more likely to bet out. expect people to play a different style postflop from preflop. you can often steal these pots for a reasonably small (2/3rds-pot) bet. different people respond in different ways to different board textures. Don't fall for it! It's a ruse.. They then go into aggro mode. So the rule is: postflop is a new game. Flops have different "textures. but if they hit the hand they're going to hammer every street and try to get all-in by the showdown.opponent's showdown hands. If you have a tricky opponent who raises his middle 20% and limps the top 10% and bottom 10%. any damn thing. or "float" (smooth-call on the flop with the intent of taking the pot on the turn) with either a pure bluff or a semi-bluff (draw) on these types of boards. a new game begins. but increasingly common at higher levels (and deadly-dangerous when they do it right) is the LP/TA: this player is a total calling station idiot preflop. What affects the texture of a board? Well. because their image gets them mad phat postflop action. These folks are splashing around in as many pots as they can as cheaply as they can. let's start with the flop. On a draw-heavy board. Don't mistake his typical preflop looseness with a wide range when he raises. or "monochrome" (all three cards in the same suit). beware 211 . However.that he's willing to play preflop he cannot bring himself to let it go. the bigger the hand most opponents will need to call. this idiot is 72/7. tight-aggressive postflop) and LP/LP (calling station pre and post) is only one form of opponent. my TP3K dominates his range. depending on your holdings and your opponent's range. Postflop aggression: after the flop. relying on folding equity and a better starting hand range to win money. Remember. but when they hit it will be with something sneaky-as-hell and solid-solid-solid." They stack more TAGs than you and I could ever hope to.. One huge word of warning: people often look at a player's VPIP and conclude that the player is a loose idiot. I will tell you that every combination of preflop and postflop playstyles is possible. If they miss.. "two-suited" (two of one suit and one of another). check-raise. he has roughly the same hand range as when you're raised by a 12/5. your range will be significantly wrong. and none are terribly uncommon. and you'll be in a good deal of trouble with your hand reading. betting incredibly hard and relying on unobservant TAGs to call them down lighter because "hey. They'll be folding a tremendous fraction of the time on the flop. More importantly. The more "suited" a flop is. they're out of the hand. if you are raised preflop by a 65/5. This can only be discovered by observation.ANYTHING -. The true TA/TA (tight-aggressive preflop. if a loose and aggressive player is check-calling you can expect him to have the near-nuts. He turns into a maniac postflop. but if a loose and passive player is check-calling you can expect him to have . once we're on the flop and beyond we need to use average aggression and postflop tightness to decide what a player's holdings are. Suitedness: flops can come "rainbow" (three different suits). You'll often see preflop numbers of 75/11 or 68/6 for these folks.

4%. A straight draw can become an almost unbeatable monster. if your board has three spades and you have one in your hand. At small stakes games. Much like a suited board. a connected board can often be used as a powerful bluffing or semibluffing tool. This is a REALLY good flop for attack aggressively: considering your opponent's stats. and the unlikely AA has you decimated. because your weak-but-made hand is often drawing very thin against it. Sure.that's virtually worthless since it's highly unlikely to happen and also highly unlikely to get paid in any significant way by your opponent while still being the best hand.6% and the odds that he has one spade drops to 14.75 times more likely than the made flush that has you killed. many players will play very passively with a draw. I'm usually done with the hand. there are four OTHER aces that beat you -. the player holding JTs just stacked the preflop raiser holding AK. High Card Value: your opponents love playing high cards. Two pair is already there. if your opponent actually has a second-best hand. Worse yet. you need to beware of two separate possibilities: your opponent might have two pair and your opponent might have an open-ended straight draw. When the board is connected. Say your 30/11/3 opponent raises preflop from MP and you call in position with 33. check/calling in the hopes of improving. A monochrome flop of J-T-9 is MUCH more dangerous than a monochrome flop of J-7-2. Bet and protect! Connectedness: here we're talking about how many cards to a straight the board has. Often. the odds that your opponent has two spades drops to 2. If you've hit a solid hand (say. right?) but they haven't. you've outgrown calling raises with KJo and A9o (you HAVE outgrown that. so the odds that this flop has completely missed your opponent are higher than usual. No. TPTK) DO NOT PANIC AND START CALLING! Bet out and protect against the draw that is 4.8%. Opponents love nothing more than playing aces. but it has to GET there first. Heads-up. the flop comes 7-6-5. Playing these easily-dominated hands will prove very expensive for your inattentive opponents. If an ace hits the board in a multi-way pot and I don't have AT LEAST AQ. A flop raise or a flop float can prove extremely valuable to you. Bet while your hand is best and charge him well to try and outdraw you. AK and AQ obviously have you outkicked. However. Incidentally. In this analysis I'm completely ignoring your inside straight draw -.of the flush draw! One small bit of math: let's say that the flop comes with three spades and you have none in your hand. a pair of aces with a J-or-worse kicker is going to be in oodles of trouble unless that kicker connects. you need to decide if they're likely drawing or if instead they've flopped some powerhouse hand. Then you'll proceed based on the strength of your hand in relation to the range you think is likely for your opponent. Your more aggressive opponents will bet BOTH hands strongly. and when those aces hit the board your opponents will hang on to their aces like they were made out of solid gold. so the odds that your opponent is drawing to a flush are now 5. Think about this: say you have AJ on an ace-high board. I'm saying that this flop is a good one for you because it is unlikely to have improved your opponent in any meaningful way. Always be aware of straight draws -. The odds that your single opponent flopped a made flush are 3. but they will play aggressively with two pair. two pair is the scarier event. too. Pressing back hard should win you this pot quite often WITHOUT getting to a showdown. If one other player has an ace. When someone plays back at you on a fairly connected board. 212 . When the flop comes A-K-Q.the ones that have made two pair. the raise makes overcards much more likely than usual.they're a gold-mine to the savvy poker player because so many people miss them. The next highest board card is a T.3% and the odds that he flopped a flush DRAW are 15.6 times higher than the odds that he flopped the monster. he'll be more likely to pay off a bet on a monochrome flop than he will to pay off a bet when the turn has FOUR spades (assuming he doesn't have one). what are the odds that his hand beats yours? Well. but realize this general rule: a flop that is high-card heavy is much more likely to have connected with your opposition than a flop that is high-card light. Besides.

because your opponent is not going to believe that you have the goods. but a loose opponent may continue with as little as top pair. because the looser opponents will play many kings. In short. virtually any opponent you could face has a less-than-50% chance of having an ace in this situation. consider a slowplay like a flop checkraise or even a "check/call flop. and much lower when the board has high cards. On the turn and river. A passive opponent betting into a "wet" board usually has the goods -. Also. This is a fantastic chance to steal the pot. this will be opponent-specific. However. In other words. The odds are that if you somehow create a big pot. even if you have an ace. Q's and J's are less scary as a player's high card. Paired boards are perfect for continuing preflop aggression. Now. and you can then "snap off a bluff" and win a bigger pot than you otherwise would. Worse yet. similar issues with connectedness.That means you're behind about as often as you're ahead in this situation. and that's even assuming that your opponent "only" has an ace! You throw in the other random two-pair and set hands and your hand will win at showdown less than half the time. proceed with great caution on ace-high boards. Paired Boards: usually." Your aggressive targets will fire off a continuation bet quite often. realize that most aggressive players know this. and may even bet these boards on a pure bluff. Mind you. a paired board is a cause for celebration. As a general rule. you can usually checkfold. with a PAIRED board. Here we're discussing how this particular hand has played out: who bet when and how 213 . you're even MORE likely to be behind. Why? Because with an unpaired board there are nine separate cards in the unseen deck that could give an opponent a pair. Someone willing to play KJo preflop is virtually never going to fold that hand on a J-high flop. especially suited ones. and board pairs will continue to pertain. check/raise turn. or a pair+draw. a tight opponent will continue on "wet" (highly coordinated) boards when he has a strong hand or a strong draw. but if you bet the flop they will assume you DO have one. let's move on to the next rule: 4. Obviously. that number falls to only FIVE cards. but they're unlikely to fold any hand that beats you. A standard continuation bet will win the pot a surprisingly large fraction of the time. However. don't give up when the flop comes with a high card. but keep your eyes peeled for such opportunities. suitedness. it's now almost 50% less likely that an opponent has made a hand good enough to want to continue. fold and move on to the next hand. a "combination draw" (straight and flush). You should use this against them if it is reasonable for you to do so. Know thy hand history. but VERY dangerous as a player's LOW card. high card value. to start to put this all together.these folks rarely bet their draws. Statistically speaking. most opponents will get the message and fold their aces with weak kickers. This is especially true if the board has more than ONE high card. If they play back. if you raised preflop and the board comes 884 a bet in a heads-up pot is virtually MANDATORY: your opponent will realize he's missed. too. and fold even more often than he would fold to a typical continuation bet. assume you have a pocket pair. the flop comes paired and you've got a sneaky monster. Recognize that the odds that your opponent has missed the board are highest on lowcard boards. especially if that high card is an ace. and will define the "texture" of the board. King high boards are pretty dangerous. One major exception to this rule: if you RAISED preflop. if you limped preflop and the board is AAK. An aggressive opponent can bet "wet" boards with a draw. so if you happen to be in a pot that someone else raised.

So: a check-raise on the flop usually means "I can beat ace-high. Donkbets: a "donkbet" is when someone who does NOT have the betting lead makes an unexpected bet. This is a cheaper bluff than a check-raise but it works just as often at these levels. At these stages. and until he has an aggression factor of at least 4 you shouldn't worry much about a check-raise bluff. or a fourth flush card. Another common situation is that a player flops a decent hand -. he is sending the message that his hand is unusually powerful. For instance. you should expect that the card has helped his hand out and he is now value-betting. Unexpected checks: a player who has been betting steadily in the hand suddenly starts to check. since your folding equity will be through-the-roof. he was confident enough to risk your checking behind in his quest to get more money in the pot." Check-calls: this play is highly player-specific. one obvious interpretation is that he has been bluffing and has now given up on the hand. and many aggressive players will take advantage of a turn ace or a third/fourth club.. That does not necessarily mean they are ready to fold.say top pair on a T-high board -. Against a passive calling station this means "I have two cards. or some odd-looking random card. Another general rule is that the more aggressive a player is." Check-calls are precursors to check-raises on later streets from very aggressive players. One caveat to this: check-raises on the flop are far more likely to be bluffs or weak hands than check-raises on ANY other street. These types of bets will usually mean one of three things: either your opponent was monsterously strong and slowplayed an earlier street. some players will go from betting/raising to check/calling all the way to showdown." Against a tight and moderately aggressive player this often means "I'm on a draw. trust check-raises from passive players. Similarly. even with hands like "bottom pair. They are worried about the overpair. Be aware of this. Of course. Against a medium-aggressive opponent. no kicker" because they know that their opponent will frequently have pure air. how strong his hand is remains to be seen. As a general rule.much? Start looking for betting patterns. they just precede more check-calls. People are very quick to put a player on a bluff when he check-raises. a donkbet should be interpreted as saying "that card helped me. I would say that until an opponent has an aggression factor of at least 2 you shouldn't worry much about a check-raise semi-bluff. if a player calls your flop bet but then leads on the turn. that would also be a donkbet. If you don't have a sneaky MONSTER (and I mean MONSTER with a capital *everything*) you should be folding to this raise. or he is bluffing in a situation where he thinks he can scare you off your hand. people will often take a checkraise line against a frequent c-bettor. Most players are straightforward enough that this will be the case. He knows you are betting and he doesn't care. People often ask "can I ever escape from pocket aces?" This would be one situation where escaping would be easy. or the last card just helped your opponent in some way." The more passive your opponent. if a player called your preflop raise but then leads into you on the flop. Don't expect that this means he has the nuts: I've seen passive players wake up and bet the fourth heart. this will often be a good opportunity to bet with any two cards. the more likely a check-raise is a bluff. I like pie. from very passive players. but the card has improved him. When a passive player comes alive on a third straight card. Look! Spades are pretty. or a board pair to try and steal the pot. as different people will have different patterns. and so have stopped betting. What does this mean? Well. or a pairing of the board. 214 .and then slows way down when the turn brings a K. A few general issues: Check-raises: when an opponent check-raises. very aggressive players love to donkbet on scare cards. that would be a donkbet. the more straightforward this interpretation is. Completely. I believe this event is much rarer than most people think.because it gave them two pair. On the other hand." but a check-raise on a later street usually means "I can beat YOU.." Against a highly aggressive player this often means "I have a monster and I'm going to let you bet yourself to death. On the flop. What's more.

Against others. Again. it will not matter at all. This is NOT the time to get cute with QJs or 33 -. Beware of the hyperaggressive opponent who unexpectedly checks. When you have a complete idiot who never looks past his own hand while playing the game. None of that matters. you would really need to know more about your opponent before you knew if this was a bluff or not. Recognize that your table image is now absolute CRAP. Calling against some opponents will be extremely +EV even with bottom pair. Since you've shown little or no strength the whole hand through. They doubt you. Yes. you had the goods. KQ (flopped trips). For some reason. Recent history matters more than ancient history. if each of those five went to showdown and you displayed to the table your powerhouse winners. weak = strong" philosophy to heart. Very few of your opponents 215 . In the last five straight hands you've had AA. How do we start to figure out our image? Only worry about image with second-level thinkers. against other opponents it will be -EV with anything short of a powerhouse. Be aware of this. All your opponents have seen is you betting and raising every hand. However. don't worry about image -. and 55 (flopped set). because people will begin to believe that you don't get involved with a hand unless you've got the goods. Our fifth and final commandment ties in to everything we've already discussed: 5. your hands were actually powerhouses. this is your first segue into third-level thinking. Alternatively. "what is my opponent's hand?" Third-level thinking is asking. "Image" is how the other players at the table perceive YOU. Bet-check-bet: a strange-looking but rather common three-street line is "bet the flop. Against an aggressive opponent. QQ. and they're very quickly going to get sick of your crap and start looking you up. It all depends on how attentive your particular opponent is. Against some opponents. "what is my hand?" Second-level thinking is asking." where the opponent has check/called the whole way. For some of you. Another common reasoning behind this line is that the flop bet was with nothing. watch your opponents and take notes on what their lines mean. so against your better opponents understanding your image will be important. you need to be aware of what the board looked like. Sure. the turn gave the opponent a draw. However. this will be the very most important commandment. these players have taken the "strong = weak. this river bet is often what we call a "desperation bluff. that's usually a sign that your situation is not as dire as you thought it was. your folding equity will be HIGHER than usual. and will often bet with little or nothing but immediately slowplay the moment they get a hand. when an aggressive player stops being aggressive. they feel they have strong folding equity (which is true). Of course. check behind on the turn.you'll just be wasting your time and effort. JT (flopped straight). "what does my opponent think my hand is?" Obviously third-level thinking is irrelevant against a first-level thinker. Know thy image. and they are now attacking in a last-ditch effort to scoop up the pot. bet the river. ESPECIALLY if he check/calls a scare card. and you never show your hands without being forced to do so. Watch your opponents carefully to see if the turn check usually means they are giving up or if it usually means they are trapping you. First-level thinking is asking. You won all five hands before showdown.However. If an obvious draw arrived on the end. Your cards only affect your image when you SHOW them. your starting hand selection is tight. most opponents will at least make some token effort to guess your hand. and the river either made the draw or missed.this is the time to play squeaky-clean poker as tight as you know how." The hand has no showdown value so the villain bets in the hopes that you will fold the best hand.

It's the recent history that counts. do exactly what you did the last time he saw you with the nuts. then the next time you are in a pot against that opponent and the river comes with a three-flush (not yours). and play back at you with all sorts of crap. People will remember these things. or bet 1/2 pot. Alternatively. but he WILL remember that you bluffed HIM off his hand once an hour and a half ago. If you stole a player's big blind three times in the last four orbits. their image of you will be determined by their own personal observations. so concentrate most on your actions in the last two orbits. bet 3/4ths pot! Your folding equity will be tremendous. or do something else. Your folding equity on a steal will be particularly low against HIM. A player may not remember that you bluffed Seat 3 off his hand five times in a row. and he's going to play back at you with any reasonably strong hand. Personal history matters more than table history.push all your chips in. but won't be low at all against the other players at the table.in that short period of time you will rebuild most or all of your table image and you can then go back to doing your nasty deeds. if the flush card DID help you. bet a DIFFERENT amount -. Opponents will usually assume that your lines always mean the same thing. if you've been at the table for three hours playing a 12/8 game but you've gotten involved in 10 of the last 12 hands. As a result. don't do what you did the last time he saw you with the nuts. When you want a fold. If you bet 3/4ths pot on a river scare card with the nut flush. he's going to know that. If your table image has fallen apart and your bluffs have gotten picked off several times in a row. 216 . tighten up and fold for the next two orbits -. people will think of you as a maniac.actually have Poker Tracker. People have much longer memories for hands that involved them personally. When you want a call. so remember how your last two orbits looked at the table. Most people have a relatively short memory. Conversely.

push a marginal hand.Taking Notes & Making Reads Article (I) (FreakDaddy) I haven't posted any articles on here since my Continuation Bet article quite some time ago. As always. Types of Notes to Take One of the biggest advantages of playing online for the good poker player is the amount of data and notes you can take on an opponent seemingly instantly. don't be shy. if you have any comments or suggestions. When you pay attention by taking good notes. In some cases this information can also be used to get away from a good but obvious second-best hand. you can win a lot more pots if you pay attention to how your opponent plays the game. Playing good poker is more than just playing your cards and perhaps your opponent’s cards. In online play. It will help you in getting an overall read on how your opponent is playing. Even if you never play against that particular opponent again. This always provides a lot of insight into how he thinks about the game. While it’s possible to play profitable poker without taking notes. since the others have had such popular responses. What that means is that while the cards are important. Each type of play will have an abbreviation that you can use which will help if you are multi-tabling and only have a couple of seconds to jot in a note. it will help you in understanding how to play against a similar player in the future. It’s not quite as easy to do in live play. 2. Most sites offer an area where you can click on an opponent’s name and type in some notes about that player. We’ll discuss how your reads translate into making the best play in order to maximize the value of your hand and minimize your losses. In this three-part article we’ll focus on what kind of notes to take on your opponents and how to apply these notes in order to make good reads on your opponents. Hope you enjoy. List of Abbreviations (Brief Overview) ATC (Play any two cards) – Whenever a hand goes to showdown it’s always good to note what hands your opponent was playing and from where. When you see someone play 95o from 217 . The reads you make influence the action you should take on your hand. It’s best to view taking notes on your opponents as the “work” aspect of playing profitable poker. You can expand these and/or type in the entire meaning of the play when you actually make your own notes during play. it will inevitably be more profitable to take as many notes as possible for the following reasons: 1. We’re going to begin by outlining some of the general things you should look for while playing poker. no one knows if you’re watching TV or intently watching every hand and making pages of notes. 3. and when you do this in live play people know that you are aware of that hand and how it was played. you can apply this information to sometimes win when you don’t have the best hand. When a similar situation or hand arises. It’s really about playing the opponent you’re up against. so I thought I'd share another with you. or make a bold bluff that you wouldn’t normally make against most opponents. you’ll have more information available that can help you make the best decision possible.

Not everyone. you can be pretty sure they’re a suited player. Ax (Will play any ace from anywhere) – A lot of opponents fall in love with the Ace. however. This is good to know if there’s a flush draw on board and you have a marginal hand. then you’ll want to make some generous raises on the flop when you have a hand. for example. NPR (Will raise a non-premium hand) – Some opponents will raise a non-premium hand from anywhere. because you definitely need to see a few showdowns to confirm this for sure. This just adds more insight for you as to how your opponent understands the game. It’s also important to note whether he CHECKED his flush on the end or bet it. and some will do it with air. LAF (Will lead into pre-flop raiser and fold to a raise) – Some opponents will call raises out of position with the intention of betting the flop to steal the pot.middle position. He will typically call nearly any flop bet you make but will fold to further aggression. and sometimes when you don’t have a hand. SOOT (Likes to play any two suited cards) – This is similar to FC except there are some players who also like to play any two suited cards from nearly anywhere. If you see someone playing A3 from early position or A8 to a raise. the more solid your read will be. The range which they take this to the extreme will let you know how loose and aggressive they are. or a hand like A9 out of position to a raise. will bet the turn unimproved. it will be very helpful with your flop play. LRR (Will limp re-raise big hands) – Some opponents limp re-raise every once in awhile. He could also call a large raise with A4o or even a more speculative hand like J8o. but they’re still calling large bets. Also. Some people will call large raises with Q8s thinking that they will bust you if they hit their flush. It’s also good to note if they call raises with these hands too. but folds a large percentage of the time 218 . He tends to like to see how you’ll react after he calls your first bet. Some opponents will do this with small pocket pairs. when you see someone do this.This is a very profitable opponent to play against. We love to play against these types of opponents. When you see someone calling large flop and turn bets with an obvious flush draw. you’ll want to note this. but he folds to a small river bet. you can be pretty sure he was chasing his flush. FC (Flush Chaser) – A lot of opponents love to chase flushes. The more you see this from him. you can label him as ATC. If you get a chance to make the distinction between the two. Opponents who raise a hand like KQ from late position are good to know. CRW (Calls raises with weak hands) – This opponent will call large raises. or perhaps even a re-raise with KJ or some other dominated hands. but not as loose and aggressive as someone who raises Q9s from middle position. and you can also get away from your pocket kings if this opponent is sticking around on an ace high flop because he’s not folding his weak ace. This is very good to know if you’re holding a marginal hand and your opponent is still firing. if you see an opponent calling large bets and then connecting with his flush. or J6s from middle position. then you have an Ax player. AK (Will bet turned unimproved) – Nearly everyone will bet the flop with any two cards if they raised before the flop. and some do it habitually. Anytime you see someone limp re-raise with KK or AA from EP make a note and know that it’s unlikely he is making a play if he comes back over the top of your raise. However. LA (Look-up artist) . When see opponents play K4s from early position. with QT out of position. This read will be a bit harder to make.

ATC 2 (Some grasp of hand strength) – You’ll see a lot of these players primarily in short-handed games. If they have some kind of hand strength. So you don’t normally want to bluff players in this category unless you see them folding a lot to a second bet (or third). Typically. Make the appropriate additional note. but a lot of times they will still go too far with a top pair hand. and you need to be aware of the differences between these players. These players will be very visible. When you are against ATC 2. position. this player tends to be more on the aggressive side. make sure you know what type of ATC you are facing. These players are commonly called “fish” because they’ll put in too much money with weak hands and pay off against dominated hands. We’re going to take the above abbreviated notes.5/1 NL and above at 6 max. because they tend to not believe people betting into them. and show how they’ll apply in actual hands. but they generally won’t invest too much into the pot unless they have a good hand after the flop. They’ll commonly call raises with a hand such as K6o on the button (note: this is different than CRW – see above) with the intention of either bluffing you out of the pot or nailing a big hand hoping to bust you with your large pocket pair. and that reason is usually because they believe they can bluff you out of the pot. They can also read well when they have a good second-best hand and minimize their losses. but you need to be aware that if you miss the flop. These players will play any two cards. you will sometimes see them at . want to value bet your made hands against them as they will nearly always pay off with weaker hands or dominated hands. ATC 3 (Good grasp of hand strength) – These opponents are almost non-existent at small stakes. expand them a bit more. Make your bets big and strong against these opponents. you know this opponent is just basically “fishy” (bad player). then they are getting involved in a lot of pots for a reason. ATC 1 (No grasp of hand strength) – The first group of players who play any two cards really has no solid grasp of hand strength. or bust you with their unusual T4o hand. You do. let’s look at how to use this information in a real money game. For these reasons you’ll typically run into a lot of people that are of the former two types of ATC’s described. when taking notes. however. When you are playing against an ATC 1. These players will play nearly any two cards. He is usually in a lot of pots because he is 219 . because they’ll be involved in a lot of pots. you will only see ATC 1 & 2 at small and mid stakes. or why to play certain hands in some situations and not others. This player can legitimately be called a solid LAG (loose-aggressive) player. but they also show up in full ring games. ATC (Any two Cards) Players who literally play any two cards are divided into three types of players. they may have hit it. Some will be ATC’s that have some concept of hand strength who think they are good LAG players but really they aren’t. The commonality to which you see all of these variations will depend on the stakes you are playing. So. You want to bet into them when you have a strong hand and hope they don’t believe you and make a move in the wrong spot. because they know how to read situations well and win a lot of hands even when they have the worst hand. and they may also call you down with any piece of it. You should like playing with them. Applying your abbreviated reads to situations Now that we have an idea of some of the things to look for. Playing this style requires excellent hand reading and making a lot of difficult decisions. These opponents can be more dangerous. You really don’t need to slowplay against these opponents. thinking you’re bluffing (even though you have a better kicker than they do).to a second bet. and they’ll usually be fairly aggressive.

Do you slow down? No! You should continue to bet this hand aggressively against this type of opponent. giving you the second nuts. You don’t have any other notes beyond that. You don’t however. and you call the raise. The turn comes the 6c. but our opponents don’t seem to 220 . Your opponent then mini-raises you on the flop. It was folded to you and you raised 5x the BB from MP1 with AcQc. that the suited cards only out perform their off-suit counterpart by 2% (if all the money went in). you and your opponent both started the hand with 100BB. The flop comes: 7c. FC (Flush Chaser) A lot of No-limit Texas Holdem players just love to make flushes. Give your aggressive opponent a little room to hang himself. We know. Just continue to bet into this type of opponent. just try to stay out of pots with them unless you have a good hand until you’ve developed your post-flop skill to a high level.Tc and you make a ¾ size pot bet with your nut flush draw and two overcards. but don’t get fancy and check.impatient and is an “action junkie”. EX1 In the above example. It’s very likely that he may try to represent the flush by raising your bet. There’s something about looking down at J8s that looks so much better than J8o to a lot of opponents at small and mid stakes.3d. however. A half-size pot bet will invite a possible raise-which is what you want. If you happen to be unlucky enough to see an ATC 3. The action folded to the button who called the raise and the blinds folded. and you notice that you put down that your opponent was an ATC 2. and you’ve only played eight rotations with this opponent. want to bet too aggressively in this particular situation. You look at your notes.

But they will also typically call large turn bets with their draws. and he suddenly bets or check-raises. you can be pretty sure he was chasing. it may be best to consider folding. you should fold. unless he bets a very small amount. These opponents have so fallen in love with the flush that they’ll play any two suited cards. You want to make him pay as much as possible for trying to hit his improbable hand (a player flops a flush less than . You may have an initial read of FC. or they chased with just a flush draw that likely had no overcards. and often from any position. and there’s a flush draw. don’t know that. and he’s limped in front of you. Sometimes even overbetting the pot (on flop and turn) is appropriate. EX2 Both opponents start with even stacks of 150BB 221 . When you see a person checking and calling and then check/folding the river to a bet. Make sure to always exercise caution. but that doesn’t mean that he’ll play any two suited cards. Same thing if you’re out of position and he’s been calling your bets. bet the hand hard. but good for you. If you get involved in a hand with a SOOT. such as your opponent checking and calling. and a flush draw completes on the river. but always make sure not to go too crazy. 08% of the time). Now. An example of this would be if they held 8d9d. When you have position on a SOOT with a good hand. He won’t know that you have this kind of read on them. SOOT (Like to play and two suited cards) You’ll run into these opponents a lot at small stakes. SOOT players are always fairly loose. if your opponent is checking and calling and a flush draw completes. and the board on the turn read AcTd4d2h. and you can make a note of it (I suggest putting a question mark next to the read meaning it’s not confirmed yet. and there are flush draw possibilities. don’t pay it off. he’ll continue on if he has any hope if hitting his flush. if you have a strong hand. The FC player likes to chase his flush.mind. and then later find out that the player is really more of a SOOT. so you want to maximize your advantage by getting in a nice raise before the flop. It’s bad for them. If they are calling large bets on those kinds of boards when they only have as many as nine outs. make sure you “pop” the pot pre-flop with a nice raise. so they likely won’t be bluffing you. If you are lucky enough to get to see a showdown and their cards. Most FC players will still play reasonable cards. then you can put an exclamation on their FC note because they are a definite flush chaser. which isn’t terrible on the flop. then also make a note whether they chased with a flush that had likely overcard outs. If you happen to see someone showdown a J4s from early position. you can rest assured you’ve found one of these opponents. but you suspect this to be the case). Just because you’re in a hand with a SOOT. but make sure that you make the distinction because it matters. and a flush draw comes in. Again. If you have a marginal hand. which is bad. let’s not get confused between the FC player and the SOOT player. but look for the telltale signs of a draw. bet the flop and turn harder than normal. but they’ll call large flop bets (pot-size or more) with their flush draws. doesn’t mean he absolutely has a draw. or more accurately. Don’t be afraid of chasing him away. but there are some at every buy-in level. Also if you’re involved in a hand with a SOOT.

you may consider calling. Not all opponents however will fire the second bullet with an unimproved hand. The turn now comes the 3c and the FC bets 50BB. Of course if they fire multiple bullets in nearly every pot they’re involved in.In the example. The turn comes the 7d. Noting that your important will fire multiple bullets with a non-paired hand is important. The FC against checks and you bet 25BB. The FC calls and the pot is now 83BB. trust it and go with it. a noted SOOT limps into the pot and you pick up AdQh in the Co and raise to 6BB. It’s also unlikely that he checked and called all the way with some weak hand like QJ or worse and now decided to just represent the flush and lead the river. AK (Will bet turn unimproved) Nearly all opponents who raise before the flop will follow it up with a continuation bet on the flop. When you make a read. You will save yourself. write down what the bet size was in proportion to the pot size. The flop comes as shown: 2c9hQc. The SOOT calls and the pot is now 33BB. you should let it go. you should make a note of this and most importantly. then you can be quite sure they make this play often. Since you know however that this opponent plays a lot of suited cards and he was checking and calling the entire way until the flush hit on the river. The most important thing that you can take away as a read within a short session against an opponent is how 222 . Everyone folds back to the limper who calls the raise. When you get a rare chance to see a showdown when someone bets the turn with an unimproved hand. If this were any other kind of player. and also make much more money in the long run. You should fold. but it will be rare that you’ll be able to see them showdown a hand often enough to know the rate they do this. It’s very unlikely that HE’S AWARE that you know he plays a lot of suited cards. The SOOT checks to you and you bet 10BB.

they’re strong. and different ones also on the turn. If you hit the flop hard and have position it’s best to call their flop bet and raise the turn when they bet again. but they bet a made hand for a full sized pot bet on the flop. see the opposite of this. So don’t only note that this opponent is an AK. Otherwise you can check and call out of position and check-raise the turn. Note everything you see about the differences. or lead the turn. You don’t want to invest too much with mid pair or an under pair to the board. You’ll know in this example when your opponent is betting weak. EX3 Both opponents start with even stacks of 120BB In the above example a noted AK raises to 5xBB pre-flop. you can almost ink is. So. if you see someone bet an unimproved hand on the flop for a ½ sized pot bet on the flop. if you get to see an AK opponent go to showdown with an unimproved hand. and then get to see them go to showdown with a made hand. unless you feel VERY confident in your read. this will likely be a pretty reliable betting tell. You might for example. A lot of opponents (especially at small stakes) are not very balanced in how they bet their bluffs versus their made hands. The best thing to do if you are up against an AK player is to raise the flop if you have some kind of hand modest hand. a lot of opponents don’t think to alter their play. If you get to see it more than once. Some opponents will have a very definitive pattern here.he bets his made hands versus his bluffs. they’re weak. The action folds to you in the 223 . or any other combination of betting patterns. but how they bet their hands as well (you should do this with all opponents of course. and try and relate their betting pattern to a ratio of the pot size. For example. as again. but especially true when you see opponents who are firing multiple bullets). and when they bet strong. you want to note the differences in how they bet these two hands.

CRW (Calls raises with weak hands) Against opponents who will call raises with weak hands. The AK player makes a bet of 7BB and you call the bet (pot is now 25BB). You’ll see some players that will call 6xBB-12xBB and occasionally even more with weak hands in the hopes of catching some fluke flop and busting you. we hope they do have something and will be willing to go too far with it. but that this type of opponents "double barrells" a lot. It doesn’t need to be a pot sized raise as they may call with top pair. Most importantly.. They are only somewhat aggressive because they will nearly always fold 224 . When you have a big hand and raise. you can pummel them with big bets and win a nice sized pot. Pushing is also an option here. you want to raise continually when they’re in a hand with you. Generally however there are two types of LAF’s if you are keen enough to spot them. The turn comes the 6h and your opponent makes a bet of 15BB. LAF (Will lead into pre-flop raiser and fold to a raise) These opponents aren’t very easy to spot. especially if you have position. it’s still OK (if it’s heads up) to take a stab at the pot. They tend to know that since most opponents will miss the flop a majority of the time. etc. Against an AK opponent it’s best to wait until the turn since you know they are aggressive and may fire again with nothing. and the flop comes something like: J83. and also don’t believe opponents have the hands they’re representing. Another major advantage you’ll have over this type of opponent is that they’ll commonly go too far with top pair and sometimes middle pair hands. just make sure you are aware of this type of player and know that they will have a wide range of hands that they’ll play in missed flops. doesn't mean that they have only AK.CO and you decide to call the raise with AsJs. continually try an increase the size of that raise until you can find a size that will fold them out. Everyone else folds and the flop comes: Ac9hJd. T7o. If they have position on you. That means that if you raise with AK and miss. but shut down if you’re called. pay particular attention to the hands they showdown and note how much they called with those hands. In order to make their play as unprofitable as possible. they’d rather take the initiative being out of position and see if they can take down the pot with a bet. Even top pair and top kicker is good enough to get a good sized pot formed against them. You might as well wait in case this is true so that you can pick up the extra bet. On this particular flop. Remember that because we're labeling them AK. Now is when you should raise and commit them to the pot. They tend to be somewhat on the more aggressive side generally. They are: LAF A – These opponents tend to be somewhat aggressive and like to apply the pressure to their opponents by leading into them and seeing if they can “steal” the pot from them. Against a lot of opponents it’s usually best to raise the flop so that you can easily get all the money in as soon as possible. you want to do your best to see how much they’ll call before the flop and maximize your edge by raising as much as they’ll call. There are a lot of CRW players that will limp and call large raises with weak hands like J9o. but between the two making a nice raise on the turn is the best play. If you hit a nice flop. 56o. Then do your best to stay within the range that will keep them in the hand with you. The key to this hand against this type of opponent though is waiting until the turn to raise. When you notice that a player is calling a lot of raises. It’s likely that it may have hit your opponent. You have to pay special attention (which you should be doing) to the particular dynamics of the hand that’s occurring and note why they might be making the play they’re making.

That’s why these types of opponent’s tendencies are much harder to pick up on. LAF P – These opponents tend to be a bit more passive. you should raise with nearly any two cards. and they are still involved in the pot with you. At the same time. you want to test them as see how much they really like their hand and how far they’ll be willing to go with it. Ax (Will play an ace from anywhere) There are many opponents at small and mid stakes that will play A (and any other card) from any position. but an ace flops and they give you action. Just because someone does it once or twice doesn’t make them a LAF. make a quick note of it. make sure to do your best to formulate a plan to get all the money in the middle. Ex4 Both opponents start with even stacks of 100BB 225 . or call a raise with A6o out of position. 1. Remember. if there’s an ace on the flop and you hit a nice hand like two pair or better. They’ll limp A4o from early position. but you do want to apply as much pressure as possible to these opponents. They are playing them for a reason. In only one session. Anytime that you see someone put a bet in on the flop and fold to a raise. These players you want to note for a couple of reasons. When you flop an ace with a good kicker. They’ll also tend to be “sticky” to these top pair hands if an ace flops. and that reason is primarily because they believe that if they flop top pair they’ll have the best hand. 2. opponents who play weak aces a lot tend to be in love with these hands. It will give you some insight into how they think about the game. They will fold instantly to a raise however fearing the worst of their opponent’s hands. Both of these opponents present a unique opportunity for you to pick up some extra big bets. and it will be quite obvious when that time occurs. Meaning you know this opponent is over valuing hands that really aren’t that strong. you’ll know that they’ll pay you off with a weaker kicker. Since they tend to be able to fold their weak hands. You don’t want to completely overdo this concept. you can be nearly 100% sure you’re beat. There are times however when you will be able to make this read within a session. but will take stabs at the pot with their mid pocket pairs or middle pair type hands.to a raise unless they have a big hand. If you’re in a pot with them and have a high pocket pair. This is much more of a long term read that you may have to make against a regular player. Just make sure that if you do overdo this concept that you are attempting to set them up for a raise when you have a really big hand hoping that they’ll be ripe to “take a stand” against you and re-raise. So when you have a modest hand. 3. there’s still a very good chance you have the best hand. Be aware of these opponents and make sure to steer clear of them if there’s an ace on the flop. When these players bet on the flop. so get a lot of value bets in. you may not really know for sure if someone is a LAF.

You can make a flop bet as small as 5 or 6BB and that will accomplish the task. your check on the turn indicated weakness. If your opponent leads into you on the turn. Any other sized bet will really depend on other reads you have on your opponent. you may consider calling. If it’s a pot sized bet. you should trust it. You have to consider three important things on this kind of hand. If your opponent is very aggressive. and now your opponent fires on the river I would heavily lean towards folding. and your opponent checks the turn then you should definitely check the turn. 226 . If you are called. It is possible that they are calling with some kind of small pair or draw. but the Ace is the biggest concern against this type of opponent. Third. they may take that as a sign to steal the pot on the river. then definitely fold. One. The rest of the table folds to the Ax opponent who calls the raise. If they are overly aggressive and a noted Ax. Either they’ll have the Ace and call or fold.In the example. Second. then it’s best to just fold You want to get to showdown as cheap as possible and calling the turn usually means you’ll have to call a river bet too. a noted Ax limps into the pot and you pick up the KhKd in late middle position and raise 6xBB. Your opponent checks to you. If your opponent has checked the turn and you’ve checked as well. Yet when you have a good read. It’s plausible they may call with some sort of straight draw. You should make a small stab at the pot (you don’t need to make a big bet). So you have to balance all of these things when making a decision about calling a river bet. The flop comes As7d6h. your opponent called a flop bet on a very non-descript board. it’s very likely you were out flopped against an opponent you know will call with any ace in their hand.

This is one of those reads that you need to just make a note of. There’s not much you can do but know that you may want to raise them if they bet into you on the flop (because they could have any two) or back away if they keep firing on a ragged flop. NPR (fish) – I say this opponent is a fish because they will raise a non-premium hand such as QJ. the flop texture is much wider for how hard it hit them. Against these opponents you just want to make note what hand they raise. LRR (Will limp re-raise big hands) A good portion of opponents will do this from time to time. NPR (Will raise a non-premium hand) An opponent who will raise with a wider range of hands makes it a bit more difficult to put them on a hand. These opponents will have little rhyme or reason to what they’re doing. The second identification stage will be to see if they are smart (a switch). or just plain crazy (maniac). There are typically three different types of NPR’s. but they believe that this will benefit them when they do have a real hand and can get someone to “stand up” to them with a weaker hand. This is primarily the reason you should look for situations that you can also raise some non-premium hands so that you can keep your opponents guessing (more on this in other modules). but of course. These opponents will be quite easy to spot and you need to make sure that whenever you have position and a decent hand against them that you are re-raising them. The other two will be a bit more subtle. That’s what makes this kind of play difficult to play against. You won’t run into these opponents that often at small and mid stakes. the alarm bells should be going off for you. and why it’s something you should look to incorporate in your own game. So you’ll either have to be cautious. so let’s take a look them. A3o or a similar hand out of position because they just don’t understand hand values or that usually only a better hand will call them. They may also raise some connected cards in early position. or occasionally re-raise almost any hand from the blinds. Just make note and be aware that you have an opponent that’s capable of making such a play. The thing an aggressive opponent hates most is someone who comes back over the top of them. not so smart (a fish). they are just raising because they believe this is the correct thing to do. so you’ll really have to analyze the situation and decide if the raise made sense considering the circumstance. NPR (maniac) – This opponent will just raise any two from anywhere at any given time quite excessively. what position they were in. the first thing to do is just make a note that you saw them raise a non-premium hand. and how much the raise was for. or KJ. NPR (switch) – These opponents will occasionally switch up their game and incorporate some non premium hands in profitable situations for them. if you see anyone limp re-raise from early position. OR make them pay for their weaker hands. but you will from time to time. The maniac will be noticeable pretty quickly. For example they’ll raise a hand like Q9s with the button after a couple of limpers. With any kind of NPR.Taking Notes & Making Reads Article (II) (FreakDaddy) With al the changes to the forum. I thought I should wait a couple of days before posting this. Nearly all opponents will only do this with big 227 . There are some opponents who will do this almost always though. In future hands you’ll know that that if you’re in a raised pot against these opponents. They aren’t really playing to be overly aggressive and outplay opponents.

and whether you can represent properly the hand you’re trying to represent. and then check the turn to them (if they have position). then they are thinking about the game and what you’re doing. you can make a standard continuation bet. This is particularly true of how you are sizing your flop bet. then come in for a nice pot sized check raise. EX5 – Both opponents start with even stacks of 100BB 228 . and larger with your connected hands. That’s why it’s fun to sometimes do this with a weak hand. This is sometimes also referred to as “floating” the flop. but fold to a turn bet. If you notice that an opponent will also call flop bets out of position. and know that they are prone to make this play so that you can make the appropriate play (which is fold unless you have a big hand yourself). • Secondly if you flop a big hand. If you have two pair or better you can either call their bet on the turn. You’ll have to pay attention to the opponents who are calling a LOT of flop bets. this time on the slightly larger side. If you bet on the light side with your missed hand. Just make a note. Some opponents will also mini-raise these big pairs in early position and re-raise. Obviously if opponents are looking to call a lot of bets (particularly in position) on the flop.hands. Then be prepared to fire a second bullet – but make sure that you are always thinking about how the texture of the flop fits your opponent’s hand. A lot of opponents will limp this in early position in hopes that someone will raise so they can re-raise. Primarily big pairs include QQ-AA. but try and make it on the smaller side. but they’ll fold to a second bullet (or they’ll bet when checked to them nearly always). then you know you have a difficult and thinking opponent. Thinking opponents are aware and may get a read on your play. If you happen to see someone do this without a big hand. and you’ll want to make a note of that as well. Make sure that if you’ve made these plays more than once against the same opponent that you occasionally mix up your play because they’ll obviously start to become aware of what you’re doing. then make sure one time you switch these up. or sometimes even just call and trap their opponents. or a small pocket pair yourself. make a continuation bet. A majority of LA’s will be making these plays when they have position on you. Sometimes though there are some really bad LA’s that will do this out of position with almost any two cards (usually with ace high). so they take some concerted effort to pinpoint. or if the flop texture has some probable draws or potentially could get ugly. then make sure you fire second bullets liberally when you have position. LA (Look-up artist) One of my favorite opponents to face is the look up artist. try and exploit their weakness by doing the following: • If you raise with an unpaired hand before the flop and miss the flop. They’re an opponent who will call a flop bet (usually in position) in the hopes that you will check the turn for them so they can steal the pot. Once you believe you have discovered a look up artist. These opponents will not be readily easy to spot. I’d recommend that if you only have top pair to just check and call and then take the lead on the river again by making at least a 1/3 to ½ sized pot bet.

then your opponent will have a hard time continuing unless he has a K. and you should attempt firing a second bullet in this spot. so they make the game very easy to play against them. The flop came: Kd5h9d. You made a continuation bet of 7BB and your opponent called the bet (pot now 25BB). If you’ve been playing a solid tight-aggressive game. The player in the Co. then you’re nearly always beat. Combine this with the fact you know your opponent is a noted LA. and allow you to draw out on them when they are ahead. These opponents play far too many hands without regard for position.CRW 229 . Your opponent won’t have a strong enough hand to continue most of the time.In the above example an early position limper called the big blind and you picked up AhQh and raised to 5xBB. and combine that with how they play after the flop. You know that if the loose/passive bets or raises. Most common attributes of a loose / passive: ATC – FC – SOOT . We’re going to look at these 4 basic models and analyze how and why particular player types exhibit certain playing tendencies that we’ve described throughout the article (on the pervious pages). The turn comes the 4c. and play them far too passively after the flop. because they’ll pay off a lot of second best hands. You should now fire a second bullet. a noted LA called the raise. General player type models The most general way to describe a person’s playing style is to attribute how they play before the flop. The rest of the table folded including the limper. This kind of characterization creates 4 basic player type models. This is the most profitable kind of opponent to play against of course. Loose / Passive The loose / passive player is typically called a “fish”.

but definitely bet a top pair and top kicker or better hands if it appears there’s a decent chance your opponent has some piece of the flop. Save your bluffs for opponents who have a higher ability to fold. Some opponents that you’ll face in this category will range all the way from the total lunatic maniac (who will raise with any two cards and bluff off all his chips with 6 high) to the fairly tricky loose and aggressive player that has some hand reading skills. You’ll have to quickly deduce what kind of opponent you’re up against and make the correct adjustments against them. so you need to take advantage of this by betting at every given opportunity. There’s no need to get tricky with your hand. Don’t however let this slow you down. but keep your bluff to a bare minimum. They follow this up by being very aggressive after the flop. so just bet your hand for value. At small and medium stakes. This doesn’t mean that if you hold top pair and a marginal kicker to always bet. Typically you’ll just want to sit back and set some 230 . Your overall implied odds are generally higher against this type of opponent than any other player. Sometimes you’ll run into big hands that you wouldn’t expect seeing. So look for situations where you have position and a good drawing hand. How not to play against these opponents: Don’t Bluff – Loose / passive opponents like to call. Since these types of opponents are generally the weakest and make the most mistakes after the flop. Don’t continue in the hand unless you have a very big hand yourself. drawing hands such as suited connectors go up high in value. Value bet marginal hands– Make thin value bets against the loose / passive on the river. Loose / Aggressive The loose and aggressive opponent can at times be the most difficult opponent to play against. and it can put you into situations where you’ll be making difficult decisions. Fold if they raise or bet – Since these opponents are so passive. there are very few really good loose and aggressive opponents. This doesn’t mean that you can’t occasionally semibluff. loose / passive’s commonly call down with very weak holdings. Don’t get “fancy” – Play your hands in a straight forward manner. it only makes sense that you’ll want to do your best to play the most pots against them. Implied odds are very high – Since loose / passives tend to overplay very marginal hands.How to play against these opponents: Raise pre-flop to isolate – Anytime you have position on a loose / passive you want to raise with a somewhat wider range of hands than normal in order to buy yourself position and hopefully see a flop heads up with them. They’ll call with King high and they’ll call with bottom pair without much regard for the action. re-raise and bet when appropriate. It will be completely lost on them. In any form of poker you want to continually apply the pressure to your opponents and force them into difficult decisions. Beware that because they are so passive that a lot of times when most opponents would be raising with strong hands they only call. if they show any signs of aggression they tend to have a big hand. make sure to get as much money into the pot as possible by betting or raising. while making as few difficult decisions as possible for yourself. There’s no need for deception of any fancy plays against these opponents. Since they are loose with their starting hand selection before the flop it’s hard to tell if a flop hit their hand or not. Bet and raise – If you have a strong hand.

231 .traps for the maniac and let them give you their chips. While the “trickier” player you’ll want to play back at them occasionally by applying the pressure back on them.

Table image can also affect how weak or strong an opponent perceives you in a given hand (and thus affect how wide or narrow their betting and calling range will be). and betting the river after the flop gets checked through. An example of this is betting when you flop TPTK. right? Remember though. image isn't as prevalent as we 232 . remember that although a player thinks 2nd pair is good enough to bet with. our hand can't be that good. You stand to benefit when you bet or raise hands that beat the majority of your opponents holdings at showdown (or will fold out their holdings that will beat you). it is likely that villain's range will narrow as well. 3. When your perceived range has narrowed. you're raising 1/2 the time and betting tons of flops. however. ----. When your perceived range has widened. than you simply bet or call when you have 2nd pair beat. Since a player thinks you are betting with weaker hands when you have a wide range. You want your range to be perceived as wide when you are betting for value. Use this to your advantage. acting overly strong may cause your opponent to think you are weak. and calling when the % of hands in his range that you beat is greater than the pot odds/equity you are getting. Too many times I see someone ask a player questioning his bluff "Would you play AA that way. you simply determine what hands your opponent considers to be good ones." Of course. ---.2.1. Against a level one thinker. 1. their range for calling a raise will be smaller than calling a bet or betting themselves. he will be more inclined to call with weaker hands." They think you would NEVER bet when you actually have trips.HAND RANGES (Mercman572) Plain and simple. After all. There is one caveat. 2. and by acting as they think we would if we are strong when we are actually weak. I will begin on Level One: This is when your opponent is only worrying about how strong his own hand is. Keep in mind that often even for bad players. Newbs. checking the turn. I am going to explain the dynamics of hand ranges. So when you are deciding to raise. this is likely to be the game you're playing in. There are several theorems that can be derived from this concept. Betting paired boards with trips against "Policeman. We may widen our range through several different courses of action.If they think 2nd pair or better is a "good" hand. and will try to call you down or push you off your hand. so he will call the river with worse hands than he normally would. they might not call a raise with less than top pair good kicker. First. so you must be willing to dump your stack with garbage. poker is about putting your opponent on a hand and acting accordingly. and bet/ call or raise when you beat the majority of those hands ---. and you want your range to be perceived as narrow when you are bluffing Manipulating Your Perceived Range We can deceive our opponent by acting as they believe we would if we were weak when we are actually strong. So your raising range should lessen accordingly. it only matters what they THINK your range is . Sometimes. It does not matter what your range really is at any point against these players. we always care about an opponents actual range." What they really should be asking is "Does he THINK you would play AA that way. It is important to note that different players have different schemas of what constitutes weak and strong play. it is likely that villain's range will widen too. Our opponent believes that because we have checked the turn. On the next level. an opponent is trying to put you on a hand. The most basic is playing the hand itself weakly.

Or range narrows when we have been playing tightly. you have to go to showdown alot more. When they don't fold. We bet again on the turn. so you stand to make fewer errors playing TAG. Now they are forced to think we hold either an overpair or AK (which may or may not bet true). and harder still to think they will react based on how they feel. It is very difficult to accurately assess what an opponent thinks of you. you're not really sure if they are pushing back because they think your range can't make it to showdown (like when you raise preflop and the flop comes 789 with a flush draw). So by this reasoning. When you've been playing LAG.sometimes think. We may narrow our perceived range by showing continual aggression. but that would be hard to express and think it's beyond the scope of this single post. and can beat the hands he puts us on (caveat: sometimes they only put you on AK and will call down when no A or K flops). on the other hand. is that opponents will be more likely to fold. Or you may think they caught a good hand but are just playing back. 5. ----The danger of playing TAG. The former happens rarely. Remember this! Sometimes when an opponent keeps calling when we are very strong. They call or raise. Please let me know if you think I have made an errors or have anything to add. you assume people see your range as being very wide. bet a 7 high board against a good player. I considered third level thinking. and misconstruing what our opponent thinks of us is a good way to massively leak EV. 233 . or actually have your perceived range crushed. The danger of perceived range (or image). So you must be exceptionally good to play LAG because you are at the constant risk of calling and raising more than the opponents' range would dictate. We raise preflop. and you get good hands much less frequently than bad ones. 4. it may be the case that he sees our range as very narrow. and can call with considerably fewer hands than they could on the flop. You may think they are playing back when they just caught a really good hand. so it is not a major point of concern. That's all for now.

an information raise has little value in forcing a mistake from your opponent. take the same line for 12 hands in a row and you'll find that smarter opponents will be willing to gamble a bit and call with a wider range-instead of just AA and KK. one of which is my bankroll finally exceeding my postcount. So now we move on to metagame. for example. If you lead out. Often you'll see people throw out stupid valuebets with hands like 22 unimproved on the river. I'm going to define metagame as an amalgamation of your overall playing style and the way that you are viewed by the other players at the table. you've narrowed the number of hands you beat. and the other of which is my becoming a poobah. One example of how to use this concept to your advantage would be when deciding how to play a set on the flop against an aggressive preflop raiser. As everyone knows. if you open shoved into him. This last concept is one that I think isn't stressed enough: how a villain's range of hands is defined by the way that we're playing our hand. By actually tightening the range of hands your opponent could be holding. the way the board comes out. you've defined your hand as strong in your effort to build a pot. you can put them on a range. Take an example in which you are the Big Blind. the concept behind hand reading in poker is putting your opponent on a range of hands given the line he takes. if you're playing a normal TAG game and suddenly open shove for 100BBs. For my purposes today. but instead protects you from making a larger mistake later on by forcing your opponent to define his hand. But even against bad opponents. you've profited by manipulating your opponent's range. check/raise? If you were to check/raise. I generally separate this into two different themes: the lines you take on any given hand individually. you're likely to keep your opponent on a wider range of hands going to the turn---he might even decide to bluff/raise you with air! If he then improves on the turn to a second best hand that will pay you off. This doesn't mean you can get him to fold second nuts. and requires a certain degree of adjustment to deal with it. Reading hands can sometimes be difficult at the microlimits. you eventually will force opponents to adjust by widening the range they play back at you with. check/call. However. Do you lead out. Metagame is all about creating an illusion. The major factors influencing your opponent's range are his holdings. Referring back to the example from before. discounting the possibility of a misclick you're not going to get called down lightly. they'll call with AJ+ 77+. I've decided to share some musings with my fellow uNLers. Another relevant point is "raising for information. By playing aggressively. and metagame. However. Aba20/SBRugby recently wrote an article in card player magazine on the subject that can be found here. however. that never gets called by a worse hand but that has showdown value given the way the hand was played." By definition. and his feelings on your possible holdings. even if not intended to be one. but it does mean that through deceptive play you can increase his range of hands so that his range is wide enough to include a lot of hands that are much worse. his holdings will always be defined largely by how you are playing your hand. and it's folded to the small blind 234 . and confusing opponents by playing a wide range of hands the same way. Such bets frustrate me because they are essentially a bluff. Think of it this way: Villain is a 70/0/0 loose passive station that you could say "never folds". No matter how bad your opponent is.RANGES (supwithbates) To celebrate two things. although it will generally be much wider than against a good thinking opponent (and not just because they're looser). thus saving you money in the longrun. he's mucking a lot more than 70% of his hands. but allow yourself to play more perfectly against those hands.

"Am I ever ahead here?" The better question to ask is. it makes little sense to be trying to play for stacks because you'll be behind more often than you're ahead. If you're at the bottom of that range of hands. overpairs. you should focus in these situations on keeping your opponent interested with a wide range while still protecting your hand and extracting value.who limps. this creates a very profitable situation because your opponent will call you down lightly thinking that they're ahead of your range. If you start raising a very wide range here. Because you have position throughout the hand. whether it's TPTK+. they start to question. I think that many uNLers are asking themselves the wrong questions when they evaluate a hand. most players have a range of hands that they will be willing to felt. whatever. "did I play my hand in such a way up until this point that would allow me to be ahead of this opponent now that he's playing back at me. and the disguise afforded by aggressive metagame. or to play back at you with a wider range. Instead. As a closing note. After they lose a hand where they flop top pair top kicker or an overpair or whatever and get played back at and are felted by a better hand. two pair. depends on how you play your hand and how the board comes out). the betting impetus. you will generally either force your opponent to give you more walks." Although the range varies from person to person (and again. 235 .

cause it took me some time to write it all Using your HUD This is what my HUD layout looks like.is a tight player. things that help me narrow down their handrange and other little things that make me able to play more profitable against certain people.1. I'm going to explain what all these numbers are and how you can use them. playing too many hands 16. Your hands go up in value against these players. I hope this will be usefull for some people. They will be opening suited connectors every now and then from UTG aswell and their CO and button range will be pretty wide. You can play 236 . VPIP: This is the total amount of hands people are playing. then he'll often have a strong hand PFR: This goes hand in hand with the VPIP. 35+ is often a bad player. In this example villain is 16/10/2. things I look out for. 18+ expect these players to be raising on the light side from any position. if he's in the pot. 1) preflop VPIP/PFR/AF I marked these stats the preflop stats. These are the 3 numbers you'll see when people are posting hands.The thought process during a hand (Nogastira) I'm going to explain how I go trough hands while I'm playing.

The kind of villain that likes to check to induces bluffs on the river will have a higher wtsd because he wont be betting villain out of the hand on the river. They might have completely missed aswell though when they check. They'll be checking hopeless hands. 20. taking shots at pots. 12. Someone who's playing a lot of hands will probably go to showdown less often. This is of course a key to solid handreading and making plays! CBETflop: 80+ these people will cbet too often so you should be willing to check/raise them more often with weaker holdings (bottom pair with top kicker. 2) showdown WTSD / W$SF These stats will tell you how often villain is going to showdown and how often he's picking up pots.is rather low. .. middle pair with a good backdoor draw. raises or floats c-bets. they wont see the river too often 30+ calls a bit looser on the river and you should be making thinner valuebets against them W$SF: Won money when Saw Flop This is probably best applied to TAGs and regulars since you need a big sample for it aswell and bad players with a high vpip will automatically have a lower w$sf. bluffs and semibluffs since you can't expect them to be putting in money too often. wont be really bluffing or taking shots at pots 43+ more agressive villains.. Do notice that this goes hand in hand aswell with VPIP. You should probably be leading with your big hands. you should be folding hands like KQ against these type of players because they will have you dominated more often AF: The total agression factor.) When they check its often for potcontroll with a hand like KT on a AK2 flop. VPIP has a strong effect on this one aswell. For example: someone with 21/17/3 stats is less agressive then someone with 35/32/3 stats. This number 237 . 38. 60. bets when checked to.these people play straightforward. 3) postflop CBETflop/CBETturn/CRflop These stats are usefull for narrowing down handranges postflop. Higher VPIP will resolute into a lower AF. Probably overused a bit since it doesn't say 'that' much about how agressive a player is. 3bets preflop.you can bluff these villains more often. Note: you need a large samplesize for these stats to be somewhat accurate! WTSD: Went To ShowDown. play for potcontroll more often and they might also slowplay their big hands. It also depends on the players style.these are tight raisers.hands like KQ against their raises because you won't be dominated so often. given that he cbet the flop. CBETturn: This is when villain bets the turn when checked to. People with a high AF might just be playing a raise or fold style and therefor will have a high AF. .

Here are some general guidlines when you are in the SB and someone does an attempt to steal: if ATSB is 36+: call with pocketpairs. ATSB: When a player opens for a raise from either the SB. suited broadways.is low. AQ+ (and even fold AQ if his ATSB is really low because they just dont pay attention to their position and playing AQ OOP will get you into trouble against these kind of villains) Here are some general guidlines when you are in the BB and someone does an attempt to steal: if ATSB is 36+: call with pocket pairs. Therefor you can call the flop a bit lighter and expect more free showdowns.. 6+ is high and you need to have a plan when you're cbetting on how you'll react when they do check/raise you. 4) stealing/defending ATSB/Fold bb to steal These stats are good to merge down handranges preflop and will of course be usefull post flop aswell. then it counts as an Attempt To Steal Blinds. 40+ is high. suited broadways. This of course also depends on how bad they play postflop. His range postflop will most likely be pocketpairs or suited broadways. 25. You can slowplay your big hands against them because they will be putting in more money with bad hands. You should be carefull calling the flop out of position and you need to have a plan for the turn before you make the call on the flop. Often bad players will be c/r you with TPWK hands and good players will be c/r you with all kind of draws. suited 1 gappers. suited aces. You should be playing for pot controll more often against them.is low.requires a very large samplesize. You can valuebet QQ on a K87 board because you dont expect to be raised off with draws or worse hands. CRflop: Once more a number that requires a super big sample size. 238 . AJs+. button or cutoff. It has no use to slowplay against them because by betting you give them the chance to build the pot even bigger with a c/r. You should also make notes on the type of hands they c/r you with. 3.is a loose defender and you shouldnt be stealing with trashhands. you should be c-betting more often against these players because they won't be bluffing you off with a worse hands. because just playing these hands and play fit-or-fold with them will be throwing away money) if ATSB is 20-: call with pocket pairs. suited broadways and you can still 3-bet light with weaker hands (89s/TJs/. AJ+ Fold bb To Steal: 80+ is a tight blind defender and you should be stealing more often with weaker hands. suited connectors (you do have to find yourself in a position where you know you have a skill advantage over your opponent.) if ATSB is 20-: call with pocketpairs. 70.

Peace out -Noga 239 . Hands like KQ on a Q82 rainbow flop go up in value when they reraise. FoldCB: 55. then at least my pooh-bah post was somewhat good. Every dollar counts! I hope it was usefull for someone. Hands you normally check for potcontroll should be bet for value now though. RaiseCB: 13+ is high so when you do cbet you want your range to be stronger. It also helps me to merge down their handrange and sometimes even put them on exact hands.5) response to c-bet RaiseCB / FoldCB These stats will also help on desciding weather you should cbet or not.is low and you should get worried when they raise your cbet. 8. or check to induce bluffs in correct spots. 70+ are tight on the flop and you could profitablly cbet 100% of your range on most flops.are people who play loose on the flop so you should be cbetting much less. Summary These are some general things I use on my HUD to try to find the correct line against the villain. Once you're getting good at that. When they call or raise your cbet you'll need a big hand or draw to put any more money in the pot. you can start valuebetting very thin.

I will 4bet with whatever trash I am raising straight away. that I will play with a lot. There is little point doing any detailed analysis of the game of a 70/3/2 who you have 100 hands on. his attempt to steal is 25+. or bluffcatch the river g)does he Cbet alot when you know the answers to these questions. 3betting KQ (for value) might not be such a good idea if their attempt to steal is much lower (>25) c)this is definitely the most useful one. It is fairly important to have a fairly large amount of hands on a villain before we can note any patterns. A lot of this stuff may be known to some players. well. it is very likely that he is positionally aware. it is very easy to tell. There are a lot of people at low stakes who have 35/19 vpip/PFR or something similar and you are not sure if they are good or not. and you have some reads about how the villain played certain hands. Against anyone who has a 30+ attempt to steal you can 3bet a lot of hands for value. you normally have a lot of hands on them (usually datamined). ideally above 1000. I believe. It is very important to know this so you can 3bet a bit lighter OOP. you can often tear apart a proficient TAG who doesn’t realise the information you have The main point in my post is that you can gather general tendancies by combining PAH stats. If villains call PFR % is low (6 or lower is my general rule) but their fold to steal % are also fairly low (75 or less) then they are definitely 3betting light. that there is a lot of interesting information you can gather that isn’t so obvious. The players I usually profile are regulars. a)if the fold SB/BB to steal are fairly high. and there have been many posts about how best to use them in the past. b)this is just using the attempt to steal stat. because it is incredibly easy to exploit them. but I hope there are a few bits and bobs that will help people. but in some cases you can make assumptions based on only a couple of hundred hands. or be common knowledge.Profiling opponents using PAH (sh58) Most SSNLers will use pokertracker and poker ace hud. so it is pretty much a waste of time. I will 3bet bluff a lot 240 . usually TAG’s. I can also call 3bets and shove in on tonnes of flops if there Cbet % is high. If there is a villain with less than 5 call PFR and about 70 ish fold to steal% I really attack there 3bets. Regs are the best people to profile because you will be playing with them on a frequent basis. This is useful to use if you are not sure whether you are facing a Lag or a Lagtard. Here I answer the questions purely using HUD stats. and it isn’t normally obvious at a glance what their leaks are. however. KQ for instance. using the combo stated above. both 70+. and they aren’t gonna be around very long anyway. These are the type of questions I ask myself about a player: a)is he positionally aware b)does he raise lightly in late position c)does he 3bet light out of the blinds d)does he play back at you a lot when he calls my raises e)does he doublebarell a lot after raising preflop f)does he call down light. d)if a villain is raising my Cbets more than 13-14% of the time. and is invaluable in judging how to play certain opponents.

This means you may want to raise flops against them with vulnerable holdings that can’t take much heat. you can be reasonably confident that this villain will double barell regularly. such as middle pair. I will quickly analyse the stats of a random TAG I picked out during my session this afternoon. Against a fellow TAG.and on some boards. who will try and take down more pots. A lot of aggro donks have 20% or higher and you really should not fold good hands when they raise this often. There river AF will be less than 2. there is a lot of information to be gathered that helps a lot in your battles with the regs. e)if someones turn AF is pretty high (higher than 3) and so is their Cbet frequency. For instance. there fellow good player. any higher than 80 and I start bluff raising the flop a lot. he is gonna steal a lot more against people who have high fold to steal%. So some of the stats will be more extreme then they seem. The higher it is above 40%. An important thing to note is that a lot of their moves will be aimed at you. They will play much more ABC against the bad players. Obviously you want to doublebarell or c/r the turn against these villains. he is gonna be Cbetting closer to 80 or 90%. and their go to showdown is fairly low. call PFR fairly frequently. The same goes for stealing blinds. Another sign of a villain who might play back at you is a high W$WSF. Here the key is went to showdown. Against him. If it is as high as 20% or higher. as well as a fairly low fold to Cbet % (less than 70). If there is a reasonable player who raises Cbets a lot.against them if they are not maniacs. I also will start checking behind more vulnerable hands. As you can see. he is gonna Cbet every single time. and a slightly higher turn AF then you would expect. but with floaters it is best to bet the flop with MP and TPNK. Fairly low flop AF. the more chance they are playing back at you. especially on draw heavy boards. or you can just call down lighter. Like the last point. f)there are a lot of passive river players out there. and river AF. then you can stack off a lot lighter on the flop. a high W$WSF is the sign of a double bareller. with pretty good hands they will c/c the river a lot to bluffcatch. you can obviously bluff raise the river occasionally g)here just look at the Cbet F%. So his attempt to steal being 30% really means that when you are in the blinds he is gonna be stealing 40-50% of the time. Habitual floaters are also easy to spot. 241 . Someone with a really high river aggression factor will be bet/folding a tonne of rivers with marginal holdings. a villain may Cbet 70% of the time on average. and the TAG is going to be the highest by far.

i may try and float him sometimes though. so a fairly solid player.so this guy is a 21/15/2. as he is hardly raping us. so i would be very wary if he raised my Cbet. so i wouldn't start c/r him alot when he has the betting lead. his opening range is fairly typical from a TAG. his TAF is also less than 3 so we can't expect fireworks every time we are in a pot with him. as his turn agression isn't that high. but he does have a 242 . his vpip/PFR ratio has a bit of a gap. i think his Cbet % of 69 is hard to exploit. his fold to Cbet is fairly low and so is his raise Cbet. there are some stats that will be useful when we have the betting lead. just from these 3 stats you can tell he isn't really that aggro. with a 28% attempt to steal. but i wouldn't come after him very light from the blinds. i would doublebarell him alot. so he will be calling PFR's or overlimping slightly more than a 21/18 for instance. but i think he might float a decent amount.5.

so i think he is 3betting slightly light. feel free to criticise my post. as you can start making good money off the regs as well as the fish. Basically. if they take a few notes with villains tendancies based on the HUD stats. so the ranges I mentioned are just a rough guide that seems to work for me. 243 . i wouldn't be too upset about calling a 3bet w KQ and stacking off on a K hi flop. None of this information is worked out mathematically. it will save alot of time and effort the next time you play them. as you may have forgot what you concluded about them.. or haven’t worked out yet. and adjust accordingly. but also a very slightly above average call PFR. and also add some other useful stat combo's. every player should look at all the players they play with fairly regularly and do a quick profile so they can react to the flow of the game better.very high WTSD% of 31 so i would be careful as he has some stationy tendencies as for 3betting light (the most important thing to know when you play with a TAG). There are probably tonnes of other things that I either forgot to mention.. you can just work out a lot of things just using common sense. he does have quite low fold stats of 80 and 76. for example. you guy can make up more accurate ranges if you can be bothered. but nothing too out of line. I think knowing this stuff will improve your game a lot. or at least avoid getting 3bet to death when you open on the button.

To get him started I wrote a compilation over what PA hud-stats I find most usefull and how I put them into practice. so despite of his river af being high. You look at villain's wtsd (went to showdown) and it's 36%. Consider your image. This is because he plays crappy hands. as vpip increases it becomes harder to maintain a high af. Disclaimer first: DO NOT TURN INTO A PA HUD-BOT 1. I think for most situations there are other postflop aggression stats that will be a better help. PA hud does not take the board or previous betting into consideration. I figured I might as well post it here because it might help some of you guys out. I consider vpip. Stats are just numbers. It's your job to spot these opponents. Ex: If you have a laggy image some opponents will start playing back at you light. there's no substitution for handreading. 2. 3. Looking blindly at you PA-stats will otherwise fool you. so I'm going to assume you all know what they are and how to use them.SOME GOOD TO KNOW PAHUD STUFF (Nick Royale) So I'm testing out coaching and have started by taking a uNL student. A player with a vpip of 60% combined with an af of 2 is probably very aggressive. so you give it up. crappy hands rarely make big hands and yet he manage to play these hands aggressive. Handreading is always the nuts. it's up to you to figure out. Ex: You realise villain is a habitual slowplayer. Stats should mainly be used in somewhat close situations to tilt the decision in either direction. Aggression Factor (af) – A (bet + raise)/call ratio postflop • • I don't use this stat so much actually. Important to consider. Ex: You're at the turn facing a situation you consider pretty marginal to 2nd barrel. Constantly keep taking notes. pfr and number of hands standard to have in your hud. he's not bluffing much on the river. Attempted to steal blind % (atsb) – How often villain raises first in from CO/button • Mainly shows how positional aware the opponent is and helps us figure out how light we should 3-bet him in steal situations. It will give a decent overall hint on your opponents postflop aggression though. they do not know why they look the way they do. 4. 244 .

you can get a quite good idea of what hands your opponent steals with. Since atsb is the same as pfr from CO/btn first in. Rcb is the very most underestimated stat imo. as it's obviously depending on the board and the strength of my tp. So what's a high c-bet turn frequency? It highly depends on how often villain bets the flop. Needless to say. Generally an atsb of 30%+ makes a quite frequent stealer. If someone has a cb 50%. Anyone having a fold to c-bet of 65%+ is probably a good target. Against a 20%+ I'm usually willing felt any top pair for 100bb.How often villain folds to a c-bet Raise c-bet % (rcb) – How often villain raises a c-bet • • • • Ftcb is probably the postflop stat I use the most. as his range after calling a c-bet is rather strong. there's a huuuge difference in the range you should felt vs those type of players. A 4%er usually only raises really strong hands or very. This stat is a great help. It doesn't matter if the he's playing 70/10 or 12/5. but do NOT use this as a rule-ofthumb. At the same time we should be more prone to call rather than raise the flop with our strong hands. 15%+ = red. but players having 20%+ is pretty common. my atsb is around 36-40%. Rcb is one of few postflop stats I have color coded. fd/oesd and maybe even marginal tp or gs. A 20%+er is very likely to be capable of raising air. Some players have a rcb of 4%. Of course we need to realise there's more players at the table so if the rest of the table is loose we can't isolate much anyway. meaning we'll make an immediate profit from raising any two cards vs them and c-bet the flop. Fold to c-bet % (ftcb) . Put the numbers into Poker Stove to get an idea of what those ranges includes. This is also an opponent we should be more inclined to float preflop ip. 245 . 0-15% = white. then a cbt of 50% is pretty low. A high ftcb also means we should be less inclined to 2nd barrel (and vice versa). As always. don't try to bluff a station obv). all are players that are playing incorrect from a game theory perspective.How often villain 2nd barrels • • • • If your opponents has a high cb but a low cbt it's an opponent we could float and plan to take the pot away on the turn. unless he also has a high wtsd (went to showdown) since it'sa sign he's a station. because he's more likely to play predictable postflop. VERY strong draws. to collect an extra bet on the turn. I just love to be isolate limpers that has a high ftcb. If both the cb and cbt is high we're often better off raising the flop if we want to bluff him (still.• • If a frequent stealer is also a calling station we still most often need a quality hands to re-raise anyway. If the cb stat is low we should realise he most often has a strong hand when he c-bets and thus we should not call as many c-bets. the best way to play vs stations is to play good hands and valuetown hard. You need to use your own judgement to draw conclusions. A player raising 15% of the c-bets are likely to do so with some draws/air.How often villain c-bets C-bet turn % (cbt) . C-bet % (cb) . Ex: If someone has a cb of 90%. then a cbt of 50% is high.

246 . raises effects the river af and raises aren't really relevant when it comes to bluffinducing.Went to showdown % (wtsd) – How often villain goes to sd when seeing a flop Won at showdown % (w@sd) – How often villain wins at sd • • • • If a player has a high wtsd you should valuebet a wider range and vice versa. On the flip side. A high river af could be the result of villain being a habitual slowplayer. he's likely to call you down light. a high turn af and a low wtsd is likely to be a habitual floater. If someone has a high wtsd (~32%+) and a high w@sd (~55%+) it's a sign of him running hot and he's not necessairily a callingstation. while br won't be affected as much (as a habitual slowplayer is more likely to put in a raise. thus a good target for a bluff. it's easy to mis-interpret the stats and why they look the way they do and end up spewing. he rarely calls. • A player with a low ftcb. personally I don't think that's a good idea. he's unlikely to call you down. or he gives up with his weak hand (low wtsd). It's quite straight forward. Vs a player with a high wtsd and a low ftcb you should mainly play strong hands and wait until you hit a hand and and take him to valuetown. If a player has a high wtsd you should usually just c-bet and give up. if he often goes to sd. Wtsd is a great stat. as checking isn't a part of the af ratio. It's also the stat I use when deciding whether or not to check the turn through to induce a river bluff. at least not when used to determine whether or not to induce a bluff. A floater generally calls alot of flops (low ftcb). Note that br has nothing to do with how often villain raises the river. the definition of a high af. A high w@sd means is an indicator that villain only takes relatively strong hands to sd. But beware. he tries to take the pot down on the turn with his weak hand (high turn af). maybe not even c-bet. And he rarely goes to sd because he either takes it down on the turn. Some of you might use river af instead of br. A floater either gives up or bet/raise. thus we should v-bet him with a tighter range. I also use w@sd to determine the accuracy of the wtsd-number. on the river). Combining stats: There are tons of information to be achieved by combining different stats. if villain has a low wtsd. I'm just going to give a couple of examples. That's because a player can easily get a high af despite checking behind alot. I prefer going by feel when raised on the river. Also. Bet river % (br) – How often villain bets the river • • • • Br is the best stat for knowing when to call with a bluffcatcher and when to check the river to induce a bluff imo. not a bet.

He's folding too rarely against blind steals in comparison how often he calls to not be 3-betting light vs blind steals. you can start to trust the stats more. 300 etc. As the sample size increases to 200. Passing 1000 hands you're starting to get a good idea of how your opponents play. but you need to know they might very well be way off. However there's no fixed amount of hands where you can start to trust your stats. but still there can easily be flaws in the stats.This doesn't mean the stats are completely useless. 247 . After 100 hands most of these stats just gives you a vague hint on how your opponent is playing. The sample size issue: You need to consider that most of these stats need a decent sample size to be accurate.• A player with a fold blind to steal (fbts) of 75% or less and a call pfr of 5% or less is likely to be 3-betting light from the blinds.

but also make him happy about it. but just doing that seems like something of a cop-out. Now that's brilliant. This might turn out to be a lot of incredibly standard stuff. no matter how intelligent. It should be an easy decision. When we ask ourselves "why?" I feel as if our standard response is just to accuse small stakes players (and fish in general) of being calling stations. oftentimes. even worse for you.BLUFFING Bluffing assay (ThePortuguee) Here's a sort of essay ive been playing with. as if it is obvious. and will thereby allow you to do so much mroe successfully. the ones who are famous for their bluffs." or "villain never overbets without a set or better in that spot. The ideal bluffing strategy. As if the only decision in that spot is to fold your hand--even though it is often strong. is what the greatest poker players. you're instafolding without a second thought. certain things seem obvious to us. seems to be to play a hand in such a way that the ONLY thing you can have in that spot is the winning hand. with advice received at this forum. I believe. and so you fold. you're trying to make your opponent fold a hand that's better than yours. in accordance. The first observation I make in this regard pertains to what you're trying to accomplish with a bluff. "Fold. I think that understanding this question of why. apart from being something that's interesting to do in general. so that he feels like his decision to fold is a simple." And." or "villain obviously hit his draw. becuase opponent only fourbets there with aces. then. to try to understand why your bluffs. that your opponent has effectively played a nothing hand in such a way taht not only are you folding it. Beyond this. though. Now when a player folds a strong hand. Obviously when you bluff. because now you're going to sit there thinking you did the right thing: you just folded to his "value bet. I'm interested in the theory of the bluff. are more likely to be called at smaller stakes than higher ones. It could be. and in order to do so you must obviously convince your opponent that the strength of your hand is superior to his. When we discuss hands on these forums. I have no idea how interesting its going to be to you guys. money-making play that he can forget about. do best: whether they do it consciously or intuitively. you'll do it every time feeling like a genius. The "story you tell" with your bluff should be obvious and convincing. I guess maybe Ill post it in theory later on. I think it might be worth it to consider not just how to make your opponent fold the best hand. perhaps. and this. While it's probably true." These are pieces of advice that we dispense. though. would offer a new perspective on what to cosnider while bluffing. the decisions they put you to leave you inevitably believing that you must be behind. there are a few things that have to happen 248 . and even though the vast majority of players (at least at small stakes) would not be able to fold it. but here are my thoughts: I think that understanding bluffing at its base helps to explain the concepts underlying one thing that most poker players know to be true: that bluffing is generally MUCH more effective a higher stakes than lower stakes. it doesn't really try to understand what's going on in the opponent's head.

This implies a range of holdings. as most PF raisers will bet most flops. Now this might marginally narrow your opponent's range but not much. supplementing the intuitive process of displaying generic strength in the face of perceived weakness with rational thought seems like a great way to improve the success rate of bluffs at different points. Now let's say you miss the flop and your opponent throws out a c-bet. Your opponent bets again. some opponents will be aware that you're floating. Still. but this. and potentially includes all manner of connected. here. bluffer wins pot. I'm representing what?" The answer. he sort of leaves it to you. In this way. We're actually assuming you have air. Note that your holding at this point is irrelevent. Even if he missed the flop. say the 4c. Let's say 7h 9h 3d. so let's say your hand adapts to be the antinuts no matte rwhat the board. suited cards. 77. While it is difficult. For a TAG this range is narrower and is dominated by stronger holdings. though arguably. And yes. 5) Prey folds. and assessed its strength. At this point in the discussion it probably makes sense to discuss a sample flop. and can even be successful. 33. 3) The bluffer plays his hand the way someone with his ALLEGED hand would play it. he can still have an overpair or outs to TPTK or better. is Tx8x. This is a drawy 249 . etc. Th8h. 6h8h. you dont have a whole lot more information than you did before.successfully: 1) The bluffer has put you on a hand. too. I think. you might have raised a lot of those hands. he shows some generic strength and figures that you'll make up your mind that your hand is too weak to beat what he has-whatever it may be. This might be often effective. is where we see "great calls. which is no guarantee. This element is key. I think that oftentimes peopel will read weakness at the poker table and bluff." because oftentimes a player can think through this display of "generic strength" and make a call realizing that the only thing that makes sense given the line is a bluff-since the line isn't consistent with any of the hands that would be winning. But if your opponent is a TAG. 79. because as the bluffer you're going to make up your mind what you have later. This might also offer rationale at the table not to pull the trigger and fire an expensive bullet at the wrong time. Im particularly talking about step 2. xxhearts. to greatness in the art of the bluff. Now the turn comes a blank. think. the range of hands you can credibly have narrows. he's still likely to have a strong PF hand. I will concede that it is not always a necessary step but I will discuss that in a moment. at least not in a conscious way. Now you have to be thinking "Okay. But when you flat call that flop c-bet from your villain. Say your opponent raises preflop. For a more LAGGY player the range is much wider. The process seems obvious but I don't think that's how your average player applies the concept. Now we have to figure out what we have. and realizes that the bluffer MUST HAVE the hand that beats him. Perhaps what we should be doing at any point is keeping in mind all the possible hands we can have in a given situation. 2) The bluffer has decided on what HIS HAND IS. 6x8x. and that showing strength will convince you of his own hand's strength. and you flat call from position. Bluffer doesn't know exactly what he's representing. 4) The bluffer's prey falls for the ploy. This amounts to a vague and sort of intuitive progression through steps 2-5. but he does basically think you have a hand you can fold. 99. Let's say you flat call. and waht the opponent has.

like when you c/raise AK unimproved. in many cases. c-bet a missed flop after raising. The reason is simply that most of our opponents aren't bothering to think about what our holdings might be. but you think/hope that given your line. so opponent is probably correct to fire two barrels with an overpair. you must resign 250 . The "bluffs" that are successful at smaller stakes take all this BS into account. and given the presence of draws many players can talk themselves into calling. you are generally making him fold very weak hands. A set might flat call but he. Now if the heart comes and he check/folds. it's probably time for a set to raise. and (b) your line up to that point in the hand is also consistent with a monster. without ever worrying about it again. because what it tells us about small stakes HE is that if you assess your opponent's holding to be one of even moderate strength. That's how you'd play a set right? Maybe not all the time. too. If you smooth call. but the effect is somethign substantively different than bluffing a thinknig opponent off of a good hand. you could theoretically "change" that holding later on if you think (a) you're actually behind. THEY need to be convinced of the STRENGTH of ours. or make a big turn bet in position after it's been checked to you twice. While. But.board. You dont think he has a set. but that's how a lot of people at any stakes might play a set on such a dry board. is what we need every single time we make a bluff. Your optimal play on this board might be to call and hope a draw gets there. where you flat call a flop bet then make a substantial turn raise. it just doesnt make sense for you to have anything other than a flush. what can we do? At this point. It amounts to one high card making anohter. they're more concerned with the WEAKNESS Of their own hand. then again. becuase once you call on the turn and push the river. say. and hoping you can fold your opponent's range. needs to be worried about possible draws against some opponents and the pot has been inflated quite a bit. because not only do we need to be convinced of the weakness of our opponent's hand. your opponent is folding a hand that is technically better than yours. though. Maybe a better time to try to "have" a set is on a board of 952 rainbow. and that a monster would suddenly pipe up while your actual hand should really be checking or folding. When you successfully "bluff" a small stakes player. you ACTUALLY ARE DRAWING for credibility. It's not out of the question that you'd play a draw that way. it might be hard. They don't care what we have. he can fold hands like QQ. The ability to do this convincingly. scared. Now we can take this idea (which might seem obvious I suppose) and explain why bluffing is generally less successful at lower stakes than higher stakes. a heart comes. rathern than the STRENGTH of YOURs. If you raise. This is a key distinction. So he can fold--he can even do it happily. only what they have. then he's probably doing it happily. Even if you have soething like a speculative pair or weak overpair in the hole. then make a convincing river bet if he checks. slightly better high card fold. Now that's a standard observation but taken in the context of the constant discussion about whether to bother bluffing Small Stakes players it offers something tangible in the way of an explanation. whether we're conscious of it or not. and you're assuming that you can make him check/fold if. IMO. you're representing a set or two pair. Now all that is a long way of fleshing out the point Ive been tryign to make about keeping track of your range.

but I'm trying to flesh out some of the ideas underlying what we all know to be true: that you have to adjust to the quality of player. and this is what you use to your advantage. The "brilliant" antics of mahatma and others with which many of us are so familiar simply don't have the same place in our game as they do in his. bluffing at small stakes in big pots is generally less effective. or else he would have bothered to realize that he (mahatma) MUST have the best of it (even though he actually doesn't). but precisely the opposite: becuase he hasn't really ever thought about mahatma's hand. This is a long explanation of a simple concept. At higher stakes. it becomes more likely your opponents are concerned not only with their own cards but with what yours might be in making their decisions. This is when you can start making overpairs fold. 251 . corollary to this idea.yourself to winning the pot only when you have a hand of greater strength--ie. becuase you simply MUST have a set given a certain line. Many of his most intelligent bluffs would simply be instacalled not because the individual is making a brilliant read of mahatma's hand. you're only going to win at showdown. and that.

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