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

QJo. Small blind when it folds to you (pretty much same as UTG+1) 22 + A8o + A2s + TJs. KJo. QJs. AKo Big Blind when it folds around and someone completes (same as CO) 22 + A9o + A8s + T8s. T9s. KQs. TJs. CO (1 from button) 22 + A8o + A2s + T8s. KTs. J9s TJo. J9o+ Q8s +. AKo . KTs. QJo. If you consider you make money with these hands then this 0. Q9s. KQo. QTs. KQs. QTo. KQo. KJo. 98s. KJo. 30-40% of my profits come from the button so you want to abuse it. T9s. KJs. K9s. KJs. TJs. 98s. AKo 56s – T9s Button The majority of your money comes from the button. QJs.raise any two profitably. K9s. QTo. KJs QJo. Q9s. J9s TJo. 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 +. 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.7 number can be lowered further. KQo. QJs. KQs. KTo. QTs.

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. They are for most experienced players including myself. 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. Suited connectors are good to be calling raises with however when you are playing deep i. 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. 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). They are also good to 3bet. Playing from the blinds When you are starting out the blinds are going to be the trickiest spot to play from. its only ½ big blind to complete trap. First off don’t fall into the.e 150bb + with someone but don’t get carried away. Also they are good to open according to my opening guide above.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. 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.

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. For instance: In a . limpers are and will be a part of the games for the foreseeable future. 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. keeping your ranges balanced without the bigger headache. It is generally a mistake to isolate them with weak connector type hands. you prob don’t want to raise to 0. However if one person who limps has a large stack and another is short. A player that limp/folds a ton means you can isolate him with any ace and even hands like Q7s / 78s. It is also good to watch there play and get an idea if they limp/call or limp/fold a lot. For instance if you limp 22-55 UTG then you will have to start limping other hands.10c game someone open limps UTG with a $2. 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. Also players that limp/call and then fold lots of flops to c-bets are good candidates to isolate very wide. If its not good enough for a raise. Generally if your raise is going to be more than 10% of their stack then don’t make the raise.10 stack.05c-. 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. still make the raise. 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. Pockets if there are limpers in front You want to raise any pocket pairs as standard if they are full stacked.4c because the implied odds are cut short due to his 8 . be weary of players who limp/call a lot and rarely fold to c-bets. It is onto you in the CO with 44. However. It will also add another level of complexity to your game that is unnecessary. and limp/raising AA and limp/raising bluffs to balance your ranges. Deception. 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. Limpers Having said that about limping. By always raising you’re making yourself harder to play against. To exploit these players mistake you need to be isolating (raising) there limps with a fairly wide range.Preflop Concepts Position As you can see from this guide position is everything. your image on the table and how the table has been playing.

00 from the button.20 from the big blind.05-. if you are facing a large raise or reraise you want to call off less of your stack out of position than in position.40c from UTG with 33. call if it is 5-10% of your stack. This is all very important as pocket pairs are where most of your money comes from when you play tight aggressive 6max. and you are also slightly deeper so you have better implied odds. 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. 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. However.10c game you make it 0. You are also out of position.g 1 In a .10c game someone open limps UTG with an $11 stack (you cover).00 from the button. in a .g 4 In a .05-. It is onto you in the CO with 44.10c game you make it 0.g 2 In a .05c-.40c from UTG+1 with 33.20 from the button. its onto you. 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. 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.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.05-. a solid player with 20vpip raises to $1. a very tight player with 15vpip raises to $1. its onto you. 9 . its onto you. Also. you do want to make it 50c to go always with any pocket. 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.40c from UTG with 33. its onto you. Hope you see the point of calling raises for set value.10c game you make it 0. You are $5 deep here I’d be inclined to fold because you don’t have the proper implied odds. E. 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. a very tight player with 15vpip raises to $1. There’s lots of literature on this in the sticky section of 2p2. a solid player with 20vpip raises to $1. 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.40c from UTG+1 with 33. E.05-.10c game you make it 0. E.g 3 In a . 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.

Continuation bets Heads up when you’ve raised preflop you want to be c-betting 60-70% of flops. 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. 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”.Important concept: Something else to consider is their raise and aggression statistic. 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.5. 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. This is to do with the overall concept that your opponent will only hit the flop 1 in 3 times. The higher it is. between 2/3rd and ¾ pot depending on stack sizes. Anything less than 2/3 rd pot most of the time gets no respect. 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. 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. The fishier the opponent the less you want to c-bet completely missed hands. The smaller their stack size the less you can bet is what I find. When you are considering entering a raised pot you should look at their preflop raise stat. I generally try to keep my continuation bets the same size. thus 66% of the time your opponent will have missed and be unable to continue. 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 think they could have a wide range then 3-bet more liberally. 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. I would consider a large raise % to be anything >17 and a high aggression factor anything > 3. 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). Into multiple opponents you can get away with betting ½ pot occasionally but I don’t really recommend it. 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. the wider the range of hands you can reraise with is.

Also when you bet into multiple opponents you get more respect (generally). 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. The best way to get money in the pot when you have a strong hand is to bet it out. Obv by multiple opponents I mean 2ish. Boards like Q88 with a pair are usually good to be c-betting too. not the whole table! 11 . 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.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).

12 . Good luck. There may be mistakes in here but using a system like this and lots of experience I was able to cruise through micro stakes. table image and all that jazz.Summary Things that I have just touched on and need A LOT more depth are c-bets. 3betting. Practice and thinking about this game / posting hands / asking questions is the real fun and learning process. I suggest tight and aggressive. metagame. 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. Don’t get out of line and avoid marginal situations. This is just a start. Wield position like a hammer because it really is the most important concept in NLHE.

Cbetting B. Preflop: A. 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. betsizing B. Double Barreling B. Unraised pots 4. Multitabling Preface 13 . Psychology A. MP C. Health B. Raising F. Floating D. but here's what I have thus far written of an ebook on the topic of beating uNL-MSNL online 6max.My 5k post (fees) Hey guys. I started out here at 2p2 sometime last Feb at uNL as a pretty terrible strategy poster. but this post will be an exception. Raising F. c/ring C. Mentality A. I got up to floating=/) 1. Triple barreling B. Maybe if this thread gets positive feedback I'll finish it. c/ring C. BB 3. Floating D. Unraised pots 5. Preface 2. Timing C. UTG B. Raising F. 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. BTN E. Since then not much has changed (=P) still pretty lazy and rarely get around to making truly great strat posts. Session Length F. Game analysis C. History 7. Floating D. River A. CO D. Unraised pots 6. Turn A. Upswings E. Flop A. c/ring C. Downswings D. SB F.

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

These hands widen you range against likely better players and make you a more difficult and tricky opponent. Your UTG range can adjust based on the game quality you are in. 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. calling ranges and 3betting preflop (3B) aka preflop reraise. AKs) (s meaning suited) AJo+ (meaning AJo. For instance say you are UTG and there are two or three players with say 40BB stack sizes (or less). A9s. AQs. It also means you have two players to act that are out of position relative to you. 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. and instead substitute in hands like KJo. Your UTG raising range should be the tightest of the four non-blind positions. the small blind (SB) and big blind (BB). Always try to make poker easy to play. QJs. In this scenario you should avoid hands like 22-66 and 98s. however it is uncommon to encounter one of these players anywhere below 3/6NL. AJs. AKo) (o meaning offsuit) 98s+ (meaning 98s. middle position (MP). cut off (CO) and the button (BTN). 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. because you can make 1 pair type hands and extract value from players calling with weaker top pair hands or second pair hands. Lets take a look at a standard preflop UTG range. Adjusting: Loose games: Add hands like KJo or A10o. A10o. 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. J10s. Tight Games: Include hands such as 65s+ or A5s. AQo.Preflop: This chapter is going to demonstrate preflop strategy and will focus on raising ranges. QJo. 109s. Stack Sizes: You should also adjust your raising range based on stack sizes. 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. Middle Position (MP) 15 . Under the Gun (UTG) Being under the gun means that you have three players to act that hold position on you.

two players to act behind you (CO and BTN) who have position on you. Middle position is very similar to UTG. and two players to act behind you (SB and BB) that you have position on. however all the same principals apply. 3betting: In general you should be 3betting far more in position that OOP. 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. For the most part in a looser game you want to keep things closer to the vest. Light 3bets are certainly profitable. isolate that limper. sure go for it. because this is where their raising range is likely the tightest (ignoring when they are in the blinds). Use your image/table history to determine the optimal raising opportunity. 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. whether it be limp folding. 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. include. playing 40% or more of his hands. and light 3bet 20%. Just like UTG you can still profitably raise 98s and 109s. just do it less frequently. Lets say for numbers sake we value 3bet an UTG opener 80% of the time. Just like UTG this range can be manipulated based on the game quality. Adjusting: Loose games: You generally want to avoid things like A9o. 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. Tight Games: These games you can open up more from this position. For example maybe you only raise these hands roughly half the time you are dealt them. The only person you can 3bet in MP is UTG. however the ratio of light 3bet to value 3bet should be weighted heavily towards value. as its potential is very small. First lets assign our 3bet range: Value: AKo/s AQo/s(situational) 16 . 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). 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. A5s Q10s Isolating: Pending a very weak player. so just simply raise less hands in this position. you will incorporate a few more hands. Again lets exam a standard preflop MP range. You need to be very cautious when 3betting an UTG opener.Being in Middle Position means that you will have one player to act in front of you (UTG) whom you have position on.

KQs. as you will be able to flop gutshot+FD+over type hands. and instead substitute in hands like KJo. A player that plays 14/12 and raises UTG probably raises the top 8% of hands. We said we wanted to use an 80/20 ratio. Anyway back to examining when to 3bet.AJo+. A10o.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. however it is uncommon to 17 . As stacks get shorter this scenario you should avoid hands like 22-66 and 98s. This means for every 4 times you 3bet an UTG opener with something like AK or AA. 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. A9s. and the Axs hands will block combinations of AA and AK (which will help avoid him 4betting you) and also have tremendous flop potential. The top 8% of hands looks like the following: 88+. it just means you shouldn’t do it every time and that you should be more inclined to do it in position. 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. Stack Sizes: Just like UTG you should also adjust your raising range based on stack sizes. you want to 3bet him once with 56s.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. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t 3bet them.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. 20 bluffs. QJo. 80 value.AJs+. Avoid all other hands as they will form second `best hands often and get you in marginal spots.

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

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

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

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

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

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

fold to 3bet. The risk you run is the overcaller having a set on this board. For the most part you have probably already cultivated an aggressive image by 3-betting your opponents. you have assumably backdoor flush outs. so now lets suppose you slow it down and coldcall preflop. 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. Anyway the point is when you flop a monster on a dry board start by check-calling. do it again. this is a great check-raise spot because we have backdoor draws or a gutshot. 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 PFR cbet. Assume same type of villain. 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. so he might make a marginal call down. You want to avoid check-raising these spots. 2. Check-Raising: Let’s now focus on the flop check-raise. 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). we obviously don’t want to put our money in with ace high 24 . 1. an overcard. 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. so we c/r with a monster to balance our range. potentially a backdoor flush draw. if he gave up the first time. you check. and two overcards. as their cbet % decreases so should your c/r frequency. and go from there. So say for example you have been really going after a guy preflop and decide not to squeeze so you overcall something like A5s. This was mentioned in example one but now lets say we have QJss or 76ss on 1053r (one spade).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. but this is very uncommon amongst even good players at these stakes. 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. 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. so lets assume we are just vaguely familiar with how he plays and we have his stats. and because our opponent will also have a tough time having a hand strong enough to continue with on this flop. Say we flatcall with something like 33 from a CO open. especially if you play your hand fast. The flop comes 732r. with strong hands because you are polarizing your range between air/sets and it will be difficult to get paid. Both of this scenario’s require us to have some sort of read or note on an opponent. 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. put him to the test and make him adjust or just get run over. and a gutshot. Against very tough player you will occasionally be river c/r’d with a range of trips/bluffs. you should c/r this spot. B. (FWIW it’s a c/r. really anything greater than 70% and you can for sure do it fairly often. Since we probably will peel (check/call) a hand like A10 or 88 (pending history. Also you should see an increase in success of these types of plays in multiway pots. however this will generally be unlikely and in the event that he does we should have a little bit of equity. Not to mention a ton of FE. The flop comes 1053r. 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. History also plays a roll. whoever called preflop comes along. This is not a good spot to check raise unless one of the following two conditions are met: A.

for the first scenario lets assume your opponent cbets 6bb’s into 8bb’s. so say he cbets 15bb’s into 22 or so on the turn. Float: 1.ATo+.A8s+. whatever. leaning towards folding. 9. someone calls. in which case exploit this by c/ring draws and stone bluffs. Also by raising certain situations we give away the opportunity of a free card to make our hand. if he check/calls who knows.QTo +. He will generally be c/ring or c/fing this spot.JTo There are a lot of 1pair or no pair hands in there.Q9s+. a deuce or 6 or 4. it’s way too tricky and complicated. This means all of our floats will be done in position. and there is likely a more optimal way to play your draw (FWIW big draws should likely be played for a c/r. our opponents will be far more incline to play their 1 pair/big draw type hands fast to maximize fold equity. just keep it somewhere within this range and you should be fine. So lets say we call his cbet and the turn is a brick. but I would probably just give up unless you are sure he has some under pair. Our opponent is a normal TAG and cbets. Again if he checks we have no option but to bet and hope he c/r’s for us to shove over. but keep in mind that depending upon the opponent you should likely weight your range towards made hand. Anyway lets suppose MP or CO opens and we call IP with QJss. Lets see what his range looks like at best in relation to this board: 22+. say we have 87 or 55 on 965dd.J9s+. If he bets again it is probably because he has a strong hand. in which case bet the turn and river (FWIW you should do this with made hands like A10 as well to valuetown him). Ok now lets suppose we hit our gin card. Lets say on average he opens 20% of hands from these positions (combined.and a gutshot) As far as bet sizes go. but on boards with draws and texture we should opt to play our hands quickly.87s. big hands should be slowplayed on dry boards). you should c/r to 18bb’s with everything. Now we execute our float and bet 60-75% of pot. more from CO and less from MP). rather than draws. whereas 109dd should be played for a c/c on 742dd [unless your opponent folds to c/rs more than most. he checks. Now lets imagine we flop a made hand on a drawy board. or do so with a marginal hand.T8s+. or to hopefully reshove a worse made h and.KTs+. for example 98dd on 762dd. Lets first focus on floating with over cards. he probably has like 109 or 99 or something. This is also a fairly conservative estimate. These are rough numbers. which he will likely do with a big part of his range. and since they have none and we are way ahead we want to get the money in now. and at this point I would probably just put in a medium sized raise. call or fold. unless you’ve really been going after him and you suspect he is sick of you]). and probably c/c most big hands. 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. In 25 . What we do by floating is calling with a marginal type of hands with the intention of winning the hand on later streets. First of all we will never float OOP. lets say your opponent cbets 8bb’s into 10bb’s. In the second scenario. 3. its just –ev. When someone cbets and you are in position you can raise. 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.98s. 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). In this situation we instead want to play our hand quickly and c/r (as discussed previously. These boards should on occasion also be c/r’d with draws.KTo+. The flop comes 1084r (with or without a spade). 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. so if this is the top of his range we can certainly peel.

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

. 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. 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.edits are in italics (matrix128) Expected Value . from here on in positive Expected Value is +EV and negative Expected Value is -EV. e.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. 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. EV is simply what you expect to make on average with any particular play.g.Basic theory – expected value (matrix) edited to fix glaring typo in 2nd example and to clear up AA v KK example . so if we run this hand 100 times Hero ought to expect win 92 times and lose 8 times.6162 % 91.and loses 1600BB the 8 times he loses the commonly referrred to as EV.3838 % 08.00% { KcKs } Hand 2: 91.38% 00. Board: 9c 3d 6h Dead: equity (%) win (%) tie (%) Hand 1: 08. Total net win of 168BB/hand.62% 00. 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. there are ~200BB at stake so Hero wins 18400BB the 92 times his AA holds up . if we actually ran the hand above 100 times you might win all 100 times - 27 . This play is +EV and has an EV of 168BB *every* time you make it. Poker is a game in which skill will beat luck every time assuming that you play for long enough.

and the more hands you play the closer these two numbers will get to each other. Hero raises to $8. 2 folds. Button calls. In real life we don't know what sepcific hand we are facing at the point in time where we make a decision. 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 .95 Hero: $25. The closer your total number of hands gets to infinity the closer your actual results will get to this theoretical figure.8 .15 BB: $27. BB raises all-in $24.9. 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.Main pot: $53. 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 .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? . 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 .80 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is SB with 2 2 UTG calls. Poker Stars No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $0. 1 player + 1 all-in . BB checks. UTG folds. 4 players) Hero bets $1. Flop: J 2 5 ($1.65 CO: $28.10/$0. Button calls.Main pot: $53.8) River: 9 ($53. Hero calls. Hero calls.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.25 6 players Stack sizes: UTG: $27. 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.8. Turn: 9 ($53.and conversely everytime you get chips in when you are a favourite in a hand you are winning money. BB raises to $'s the flop action I am interested in here.Button folds. Lets look at a more complicated example.8) Results: Final pot: $53.85 UTG+1: $24.95 Button: $23.8. This is a real hand from my EV remains 168BB per hand.

In this particular case his range is wide because there was no preflop raise. sometimes he has 55 and we are a huge underdog. But you shouldn't. 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.The answer is to put BB on a range of hands . you can't beat it. J5o. as long as my range is accurate. 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. or he might be bluffing.if we re-run this hand 1000 times say sometimes he has AA and we are a huge favourite.but that he isn't playing any other hand apart from the ones in this range in this fashion. Also we are not saying htat he will always play every hand in this range exactly this way .J5. 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. J2o. AhKh. J2s.7155 % 78.. Ax .J2.72% 00.52. Board: Jc 2h 5h Dead: equity (%) win (%) tie (%) Hand 1: 78. It's the reason that a 20x buyin roll is recommended. 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. AJs. Do You See Why? Ultimately it is EV that will decide what your true winrate is. 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.and the bigger bankroll you have to absorb variance the more you ought to be willing to risk on a marginal +EV play. Ts7s. or get around it in the long run eventually your total real results will match your expected results.00% { JJ+. 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. and against some of them I am an underdog. Variance is neither good or bad .2845 % 21. AJ. J5s. 55. he might also have JJ-KK.28% 00. 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. Whenever you determine at the table that a play is +EV you should make it EVERY time. 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. I play using the general rule that I should never fold a flopped set for ~100BB.. As this play costs me 100BB to make I make a profit everytime here of 70BB. If you don't you are losing money in the long run.00% { 2d2s } Hand 2: 21. 29 . So I happily call his all-in. The actual results don't matter.KJ. Against most of these hands I am a favourite.a lot of people misunderstand what variance is and try to avoid it. 52s. AJo. Closely tied in with EV is variance .

I do this sometimes and often find out that I had a +EV session that in real results lost me lots of real money. 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.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. 51% of 200BB is more than 51% of 20BB .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 . run the numbers into pokerstove and see how much you made in EV. Review all the hands in the session and for each hand you play work out a range of hands for each villain. 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.

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

the Button is more likely to bet than the guy in the middle. Board Texture This one is more interesting. still sets. 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. Raiser is going to rep the K a lot. Pocket pairs are stronger. Not only does someone in position have fewer people left to act and more information on that particular round. combo draws. and “how fast should JJ play on a T85 two tone board” are things that are partly determined simply by 32 . How many flop textures are there? Dozens. Maybe another time. it might be a draw instead. independent of any other knowledge. but by isolating them I hope to get a better sense of the role each plays in the core goal we're all seeking . the monsters are in plain sight. What about a medium two-tone flop. etc. All of these factors are interrelated. Axy rainbow. this essay wouldn’t be very useful. how often should he get called. Hand ranges automatically widen with better position. betting patterns. 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. they and their out-of-position opponents have the knowledge that the player with position on this round will have position on future rounds. there are always sets. but now if you get action that looks like a set. pocket pairs. how easy or hard is it to push someone off a mediocre hand? Etc. I don’t think much more needs to be said about this. by what hands. Now there are lots of draws. 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. Now there are only 5 cards that could have hit the board. and might make clearer what I’m getting at with the “isolating situational factors” idea. thousands. betting frequencies. Onward. as it is already built into every thought any of us has about the game. but have it less often than he has the A on the A-high flop. and the rare two pair. instead of 9. sets. the kind with straight draws (T85 or 974). if you check the flop first to act in a three way pot. Imagine a heads up raised pot with a dry ace-high flop. 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. So CO and Button preflop raising ranges are much wider. this will be long enough as is). The factors I want to talk about are position. A 20/12 is 7/5 UTG and 40/25 on the button. or JJ8. like J88. maybe. If position was all I had to talk about. 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. and they all blend into each other. and bet sizing because I find it interesting. but questions like “how often should the preflop raiser bet the ace”. etc. Position The most familiar. You’ve probably played hundreds of hands that fit this maximize EV versus an opponent’s range and know his range better than he knows yours. raised? Raised pot again.many relatively small factors accumulate to a read and a decision. Same questions how often should this flop be bet. or whatever. most analyzed. allowing for bluffing as long as it isn’t done too frequently? How frequently is that? Paired board. table image because it is obviously so important. and in-position bettors on the postflop streets usually have wider ranges. and bet sizing. hundreds even. and easiest to understand situational factor is position. How often should an “honest” raiser bet the flop. now K-high. board texture. on this simple board where the only hands people “should” have to continue are TPTK-TPGK.

There are big meta-theory questions here. all with appropriate bluffs mixed in. turn goes check/check. Or. we set these frequencies to exploit specific opponents. 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. you should follow up when it hits on the turn (whether you have it or not). Two. which is easiest to get away with if done quietly. check/check. call. like what % of the time should a preflop raiser bet the flop (or optimal frequencies for any action sequence). but I am more talking about things like “what % of the time do I (or this opponent. Think about how often a hand plays out like this: preflop raise. you should check/fold. Are there optimal frequencies for all of these? Maybe. Betting Patterns Because NLHE is a game where you can bet any amount at any time. and you know 100% that your opponent was drawing. bet/call. the majority of profit comes from creating large pots with big hands. One. check/bet/fold. check-raise. perfectly-playing opponent sense. call. Betting Frequencies Under “betting patterns” I was talking about an observer’s view of all participants in a hand. Or. especially among decent players. You reraise with the same two cards. He does this with 20% of his hands and he never raises. raiser bets. but I think analyzing these questions in general can help us understand how to do that. Especially against good players. Pots grow exponentially. These are the things you start thinking about when you think about action frequencies. Raiser checks. bet/fold. raiser folds. raiser folds. 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. He does this with 20% of his hands and he never limps. Or bet/call. OOP bets. 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. But contrast: Same 100xBB stacks. What I suggest is that thinking about these patterns and the frequency with which they occur is instructive. check/check. this can be very difficult. it could feel like there are a ton of ways to build a pot. bet the turn 25% of the times we’re called and 50% of the time the flop checks through. then bet the turn? Do I ever check-raise the flop. 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. Raisy McRaiser raises in front of you. checked to raiser. the board often changes from flop to turn and turn to river. then some of the time. checked to the raiser. bet/call. Or. raiser in position. In practice. but patterns repeat themselves in multiway pots also. for two reasons. of course. caller bets. so maybe in theory we should bet the flop 75% of the time we raise. raiser folds. and no frequency mumbo-jumbo changes that. Etc. Raiser bets. call. sort of.the kinds and number of hands that can like a given flop. Or bet/raise/call. He calls and you see a flop with 9 BB in the pot. he calls (he 33 . In fact. and raise. Limpy McLimper limps in front of you. and bet the river 10% of the time the turn is called and 20% of the time the turn checks through. in a game-theoretic. It’s easiest to categorize headsup pots this way. raiser OOP. Pot Size/Stack Size Dynamic 100xBB stacks. bet/call. the same patterns repeat themselves over and over. 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). here I’m referring to the frequency with which individuals bet. Some patterns are more common than others. You have two cards and raise. fold. If the draw hits.

then play aggressively. people’s ranges for postflop actions necessarily should change toward being more aggressive. I find the 30-40xBB range particularly interesting. so ranges change and more aggressive play is rewarded. etc. about how to play versus different betting frequencies. 27 BB in the pot. raised pots. on average. you’re usually a fish. a significant shift in pot size/stack size ratio happens when antes are introduced. 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”. how likely the other caller is to be trapped with a marginal hand. 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. probably not. with one pair? With a big draw? The only difference is that the pot is a bigger percentage of the stack. Clearly. All this theory in practice A short. there are plenty of other factors that I didn’t discuss. exploit them – reraise a lot.. where stacks are usually 100x and there aren't antes. pot/stack dynamic is always present because of increasing blinds and variance in the size of opponent’s stacks. But do too much of this. raise if bet into. in MTT's. -what the stack sizes are and how likely your opponents are to have a hand that is willing to play a large pot. 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. But on every flop. how often he’ll give up the lead if you show flop aggression. Obviously. against Raisy. about the amount of strength different betting patterns represent. you should be able to look at the pot size. If they do make this adjustment. how sure you are that you're ahead (or behind).” 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. Go broke with AA against Limpy. The flop contains a 5. like table image. in MTT’s. this dynamic shows up more in the differences between limped pots. about how ranges and betting frequencies change in vs out of position. because it is a time when raisers with one pair have a hard time folding. There is more to fight for. and so on. Before you say “lead” or “check. look at the stack sizes. There may be times to fold a set in a reraised pot and times to felt middle pair in a limped pot. that general idea has to be adjusted based on all of the other situational factors. Clearly there isn’t. Also. and reraised pots. With more to fight for. simple example. In cash games. and have some general idea of what kind of hands should be willing to play for how much. how often the raiser will follow up on the turn with a marginal hand. let them fold too much. you call in the BB with 55. Button calls. Someone raises UTG+1. what various bet sizes mean. you have to adjust with them in reraised pots. Now how strong do you have to be to play for it all? What size pot should you play. but it plays its role too. how easily you 34 . etc. and you become vulnerable to preflop reraises. Sure. 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).calls raises as often as Limpy). If your opponents don’t make this adjustment.

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

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

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

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

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.


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. 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.


Tien's Article on Mentality, Image, and changing gears (Tien)
Ok, This is a follow up article to the last one I wrote: 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”


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


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: Cat=0&Number=5615820&an=0&page=0&vc=1;o=&vc=1


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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). There are always ways to get better. Step 5: Meta The elite. 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. No matter how good we are there's always a way to get better. quit being comfortable with where you are and start trying to improve your game. which sucks for the rest of the forum. So. They are focused on playing poker instead of just an individual hand. They think about how to play their hand in relation to all the other hands they play. Still. and persuing those avenues is interesting and rewarding. 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. my advice to everybody is stop being lazy. Often they have no time for the simple decisions. or decision. more than anything else this category stands as a reminder to us all that there is a level to which we can improve. 51 .Step 4: Poker Players If you make it here. the math has become 2nd nature (even the most complicated of it). Its a shame that so many posters here have their games stuck in neutral because its brought the forum to a grinding halt.

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

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

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. 4) Conclusion Hopefully this post helps people realize whats in store for them at the higher limits.mid stakes. What it comes down to is realizing what goes into variance and what it is capable of. helps some people become more willing to open their game up and attempt changing their thinking a little and getting better. Swings become exponentially more violent as you move up and your winrate drops. and how many small things go into running bad and running good that you do not pay attention to. although some spots are so clear that it really doesn't require much thought. I really doubt I could foresee it happening. Swings are inevitable over the long run. and gets crunched for 10 buyins. More than one very good player has been known to run at almost breakeven for 100k hands. though. the biggest winner in one particular game was apparently recorded as to having TWO 25 buyin downswings last month alone. 3) Giving Yourself a Bigger Cushion I have observed the bankroll discussions on this forum and have a few comments on the subject. You can't really argue with that. and be willing to play multiple levels as your bankroll allows whenever you spot a good game. 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. 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 they think that if they drop 5 buyins at 5/10NL it will prove to them that they are not ready for that level. This is obvious and everyone thinks they realize this. but they are expected/inevitable. If you like the rollercoaster thats up to you and its your choice. Others give themselves a small cushion without knowing what can possibly happen. but most people do have a "regular" limit for them where they put in the bulk of their hands. A 2p2 regular who is a consistent winner at 5/10NL moves up to 10/20 with 30-40 buyins. The second barrel is really just the tip of the iceberg. they can lose far more than that and still have evidence of absolutely nothing if they do not analyze their situation properly. 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. but people don't fully grasp it. Now 10 buyin downswings are not only a possibility. That isn't to say they are just brainlessly firing away. as are long breakeven stretches. That can seriously be devastating to that person. To give a point of reference. When they make the next level their "regular" game. and there isn't any hesitation. as its really going to be necessary if they want to continue moving up in stakes and doing well in the higher games. then you may want to consider giving yourself a bigger cushion. You should gradually move up. As I have been pointing out. which the turn brings very often. and playing very well postflop indicates that they are good at spotting +EV situations. Some people are perfectly fine with giving themselves a small cushion. 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. and adjusting according to what you are willing to accept. Poker is very good at painting an illusion because of how deceptive and subtle variance in poker can be. Some posters have said that your "move up" shouldn't be a big event. I also want to add that I am 54 . They simply play very well postflop. and have no problem hopping up and down in limits at a crazy pace on the whim of their latest upswing or downswing.

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

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

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

As a result. If you don’t bet. Scroll down. Change “Type of Hole Cards” to “Off-Suited Connectors. Unsuited connectors. and there’s no reason to give some donk a free look at a turn card that could sink you. 58 . All of this is just an introduction to the kinds of self-analysis you can/should do with Poker Tracker statistics. I check-raise on the flop when OOP against a preflop raiser. circumstances need to be very specific for a check-raise to be appropriate. 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. Continuation betting should be your default play. of course). Typically.5% would be acceptable. 10. 1% would be fine. rather. you’re being entirely too tricky for a SSNL table. As always. and straightforward play would probably be more profitable for you. etc. Then. keeping in mind that the reasons need to be even stronger than for suited connectors. I personally like to check-raise at least once in awhile. only if you have a good reason why you CANNOT raise or fold should you call. Select the “More Detail…” button above the “Filters…” button. open the discussion up to see if 2+2ers agree or disagree. you’re probably giving up too soon on your good hands. Postflop aggression. Typically. Tell us the problem you are worried you might have. if in your searching you find hands that indicate you may have a flaw in your poker reasoning.connectors are particularly strong. the only person who can truly do a “check-up” on your playing style and ability is YOU. If you raised preflop. there are several cold-callers in front of me. which gives you a large aggression factor. the total should be at least 40%. There is a section marked “First Action on Flop After A Pre-flop Raise. 11.” This shows your likelihood of continuation betting. Filter for cold-calling and see if you had good reasons for doing so. Remember: people who cold-call a preflop bet are often in fit-or-fold mode. post them up (one at a time. However. Your default play here should be to fold weak suited connectors and reraise strong ones. and why you think this hand might indicate the problem. you need a good reason NOT to raise the flop. you don’t give them a chance to fold.” Your total aggression factor should be at LEAST 2. Check-raising. calling should be an infrequent occurrence in your play. Scroll down a bit farther to “Aggression Factor. others check-raise infrequently. No-limit is not a game where you can call frequently and turn a profit. If it’s not. or on the turn when OOP against a flop bettor/raiser who was clearly not on a draw (uncoordinated flop). 9. Notice how much more in-depth it is than just glancing at a few VPIP numbers. Clear the filter and then go back into it. 0. If you add Bet and Raise.” Your VPIP for these hands should be noticeably smaller than your VPIP for suited connectors. If you are check raising much more than 2% of the time. Some people never check-raise. Clear the filter. Check your winrate and make sure it’s positive. I’m not saying you shouldn’t ever cold-call with suited connectors. You should always be looking to see if you can raise or fold. and that will cost you money in the long run. The pot is already decent-sized. I’m saying you shouldn’t AUTOMATICALLY do so.

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

2 players) BB checks. 2 players) Now this is a spot where a lot of villains will usually put out a bluff. BB folds. Example hand: Hero (CO): 100bb: T T Fish (BB): 70bb [70/6/0. Their passive nature has just prevented them to build a lot of big pots. 6 players) UTG folds. MP folds. may very well be filled with that kind of loose passive fish.5bb. He missed his OESDFD (something that makes most players frustrated). call preflop raises all the time and rarely use aggression himself but rather call. 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: (1.5]: 9 7 Preflop: (1. The advantages of facing these kinds of opponents are obvious. and he saw us showing weakness by checking behind on the turn. maybe even a 3bet.5bb. MP folds. BTN folds. If at least one of these players was a TAG. So most of the time they are gonna put out that bluff. which is of course a felony on this board and these stacks. BTN checks (lol) Now both players decided to slow-play their flopped sets.5 player doesn’t bet that river. Flop: 6 8 A (8. Turn: K (24. and is (correctly) trying to get some money into it.5bb. Hero checks. 2 players) BB checks. For instance. BTN calls 1bb. CO calls 1bb. He just wants to see that showdown. out of fear of CO going away if he raises.5bb. Flop: 9 8 2 (3. Turn: 4 (3.5bb. River: 7 (24. and they aren’t even the aggressive type who bluffs us off the best hand from time to time. call. CO notices the pot being tiny.5bb. SB folds. 3 players) BB checks. So he checks. However. A table with a small average pot size. 6 players) UTG folds. Hero bets 8bb. and we get to check behind and take down that 24bb pot. BB checks. BB calls 3bb. but still they don’t create big pots. BTN calls 2bb. Hero raises to 4bb. 60 . 3 players) BB checks. Now only on the preflop round have we seen an example of bad players who you’d love to sit with. CO bets 2bb. decides to keep slow-playing. the 70/6/0. there would have been at least a raise preflop in this hand. taking the pot away from us. CO checks. We get the ability to decide when the money goes in against them. after all he has a pair (and we all know how these players overvalue their hands).5bb. SB folds. BB calls 8bb.him to play a lot of hands. call. It is however an extremely common play by loose/passive fish.) Such small pots make a surprisingly big difference in your final result. BTN however.

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

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

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

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

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

BB calls $25. Flop: ($105) K.12) CO ($992) Button ($704. Here is another example from a hand that I played recently: Party Poker No-Limit Hold'em. pound him. The flop comes T74 with a heart flush draw. BB folds. get 95%+'s opponent's stacks all-in with Kx. He probably isn't folding unless. Hero raises to $35.. You don't want streets checked when you have a very strong hand. $ BB (6 max. SB (poster) calls $30. SB calls $175. This one should be obvious. The correct play in this situation is not only to bet the turn.35) SB ($769.6. 6. I'm going to use a simple example to illustrate this point. use this line (raising the flop is still superior) and value bet him into submission. Hero bets $70. Check-calling is pretty bad. most thinking players will never see what hit them when you fastplay yours. 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. It allows your opponent to play a small pot in a hand where he is either way ahead or way behind. Reasons slowplaying is bad: 1) Fastplaying is deceptive. 5. You heard right. 3 folds. I stated that check-raising and leading are both good options. you should be wary of the fact that any time you check 66 . Because the overwhelming majority of players online slowplay their very strong hands. J. 2) Fastplaying builds pots. T. This example illustrates how much can go wrong when you try to slowplay. Hero ??? So many players will check the turn. You check call the flop. Checking the turn is 100% wrong. You have 77 OOP against a preflop raiser. Hero bets $175. 6 (3 players) SB checks. SB calls $70. Check-raising and leading out are both acceptable options. 6 handed) converter BB ($949) Hero ($1342) MP ($286.against some loose calling station whose entire thought process is "he bets more so he has a better hand". River: ($595) A (2 players) SB checks. BB checks. This assures that you disguise your quads. When you flop a set and sense that your opponent has an overpair. You want the maximum amount going in on every street. However. 3) a scare card hits. I forgot that an A could hit the river and potentially kill my action. Think about how many turn cards could potentially kill your action. Go for it all.75) Preflop: Hero is UTG with 6. but to bet all-in. 4) Your opponent doesn't bet! In the previous 77 example. and prevent a scare card (Ace) from killing your action on the river. slowplaying is not (against thinking players). He will never fold his TPGK. However. SB posts a blind of $5. Don't plan on taking half his stack.3 could result in your opponent not willing to go to the felt with his overpair. Turn: ($245) 6 (2 players) SB checks. Betting it also disguises your hand and most probably stacks Villain if he holds Kx. Any heart..

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

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

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

You are very likely to be put all-in preflop. 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. In this case. you should almost always just call his preflop raise. so if something doesn't make sense. 70 . I'm too tired to proofread this. or get raised on the flop. Enjoy. Similar situation.and go broke with a mediocore hand. This is all I can think of at the moment but I'll try to add something next week. however this time you hold a hand like TT or JJ. feel free to PM them to me. 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. lemme know and I'll try to address it.

30 BTN: $10. Hero calls $5.55 UTG: $10. I gave you this thread where hero flops air: ---------Poker Stars . You know what? They really can't.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $28. this month I tested uNL and found out that we're still weak-tight as a group. Hero raises to $1. 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.$0. because I tricked you into telling me that you were. ---------I then asked you how often villain calls the bluff.5% of responders) Between 50% and 75% of the time: 18 (45% of responders) More than 75% of the time: 5 (12.00 Hero (MP): $29.80 CO: $48. Hero bets $14.5% of responders) After that thread died down. It should look reasonably similar to you: ---------- 71 .25 Blinds .00.10) 9 8 5 (2 Players) BB checks. Hero bets $2. Why do I accuse uNL of being weak-tight? Well.00. weak-tight means you have MUBS: (M)onsters (U)nder the (B)ed (S)yndrome. BB calls $2.UNL YOU ARE WEAK TIGHT (Pokey) A little over a year ago I tested SSNL and found out that they were weak-tight.10) 2 (2 Players) BB bets $5. 3 folds. Well.60 BB: $22.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .10/$0. They're just as lost as we are. BB calls $1.10) 3 (2 Players) BB checks.. First.6 Players . What does weak-tight mean? In a nutshell.00 Turn: ($6. I like to call it "Psychic Villain Syndrome.55. when we give them credit for being paranormally perceptive poker players we shoot ourselves in the foot...00. failing to make +EV moves because we fear that our plays will be obvious (no matter how far from the truth that might be). Unfortunately." where you feel like your opponents can see into your soul. You give your opponents too much credit for hands and too much credit for hand-reading.00 River: ($16.35 Preflop: Hero is dealt J T (6 Players) UTG folds.00 Flop: ($2. I had my sneaky moderator-accomplice make another post.

Hero raises to $1.00. Hero bets $14.00 Turn: ($6. then pushing with the nuts will be extremely +EV for us.2% of responders) Bummer -. The river and river action are identical. even though every possible factor in the hand is otherwise identical.00 Flop: ($2. but at LEAST one of them MUST be...00 Hero (MP): $29. On the other hand. ---------NOTE WELL: stacks are the same.6 Players . Hero calls $5. pushing for value is usually +EV and pushing as a bluff is usually -EV. the main consequence is that we make incorrect plays because we give our opponents too much credit. BB calls $1. What are the consequences of being weak-tight? Well.25 Blinds . 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. Only empirical evidence and reads will tell us which answer is correct for a particular villain. That.00 River: ($16.10) 9 8 5 (2 Players) BB checks.2% of responders) Between 25% and 50% of the time: 12 (50% of responders) Between 50% and 75% of the time: 4 (16. it cannot be correct.00. Hero bets $2. The turn and turn action are identical. then bluff-pushing will be extremely +EV for us. then the next time you have the 72 . We bluff too little because we're just SURE that villain is calling.55 UTG: $10.55.10) 2 (2 Players) BB bets $5. I honestly don't know where the truth lies. You've mistakenly assumed that an identical. IF our villain dumps most of his hands to a river push.60 BB: $22.7% of responders) More than 75% of the time: 1 (4.35 Preflop: Hero is dealt 7 6 (6 Players) UTG folds.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .Poker Stars . My pure and uneducated guess is that at uNL. How do we beat this weak-tight curse? Let's assume that we err on the side of overestimating our folding equity. We then asked you how often THIS river bet gets called. 3 folds. my friends. BB calls $2. I'm not saying that both of these statements are wrong.if one doesn't work. but it's how we think as a group.30 BTN: $10.00. and the formula will change as you move up in stakes. and you told us: Less than 25% of the time: 7 (29. If that's the case. The ONLY DIFFERENCE is that instead of air we've got the immortal nuts. IF our villain will call our bluff-pushes too often for bluff-pushing to be profitable.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $28. but this will vary from villain to villain. but believing that NEITHER pushing the nuts for value NOR pushing air as a bluff will be +EV cannot be correct're weak-tight. unknown villain calls MUCH more often when we've got nothing than he would when we've got the nuts. the other will.10/$0.$0. is the very definition of weak-tight.80 CO: $48.10) 3 (2 Players) BB checks.. The flop and flop action are identical. This makes no logical sense.

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

got some coaching and did some sweat sessions with friends.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. 74 . vaguely aware of position. knew how to c-bet etc but still had some pretty big holes in my game.. spent alot of time reading posts across unl-HSNL. The results are my last ~100k hands. I was tight preflop.. First we begin with my first ~150k hands which can only be described as mediocre. So I signed up for cardrunners. As you can see I was pretty much the typical "tagfish".

2. 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. Working on stopping this has brought my showdown numbers into the range which I think is about right for a taggy style. whatever pot odds" calls on the river when it was obviously -EV. One good tip here is to include your net $won/lost in your HUD. The one thing I will say 75 . Man up and play the hands and don't talk about variance until you've played at least 50-100k hands. 4. then ADJUST!! Tighten up a bit from late position. and even then probably don't talk about it. "meh. Turn aggression is important. c-bet less and wait for a good spot to use your bad image to get paid off. I never used to adjust my play if my image wasn't so great.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. Alot of players have gotten flop aggression down.Variance In the brew etc people are always moaning about tiny swings over tiny samples. However. If you have been caught stealing with trash/double-barrelling with air etc. but alot of uNl players are not aggressive enough on the turn.I think the things I learned in the second batch of hands are: 1. check raising flush draws etc. ie cbetting. 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. Look to make river folds!! Too many times I used to make alot of very bad. I find it can be a decent indicator of how you are viewed by the table. 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. 3. Work on identifying profitable places to fire again on the turn (Scare cards against habitual floaters etc) and it will pay dividends.

Although even with a >6 winrate I still experienced a ~13 buy in downswing while playing my A game. take heart. Those of you struggling as breakeven/small winners like I was. In it is quite obvious that the 2nd graph has far less variance than the first due to the significantly higher ptbb/100. whilst I still have alot to learn I feel I've at least grasped the fundamentals of playing good ABC tag poker. 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. 76 .

The Basics: session review & " Deconstruction" (matrix) Poker . We make less FTOP "mistakes" than the rest of the opposition thats it. Session 5th Nov . Sound like you? A lot of mediocre players play like this . iii) MAKE A NOTE! .and in what spots I really need to work on and improve. 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.I look through the players that are sitting choose what tables I want to play and off I go. i) Open up notepad or use pen/paper or something . I think this is a one way ticket to breakevensville. 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. Often times I find myself playing on autopilot . ii) Open poker stove .and move onto the next big hand.just focus mostly on the hands where you had to think a little.Party $50NL 77 . You should end up with a notepad file that looks like.for the most part they make the right plays most of the time hey nobodies perfect right. Here are some handy steps that help me after I play a session to get a handle on how well I am playing . 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. This takes you 15-20 mins after you're done playing for a 90 min 4table session or thereabouts. If you got all-in pf AAvKK and stuff ignore those . 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..I get the poker fired up I open up 3279874574305790428590480 tables .what bad stuff you did and trying to not repeat the bad stuff again and versa 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 . Punch the hand into the stove take your time and put the villain on a range and check your equity vs that range.replay the big hands you wanna look at in the replayer and pause the action when you had to make a decision.they know the basics they know what plays are goot and what are not .open up the tracker s/w and filter it to show the big pots you just played..

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

thanks) The Evolution of a Poker Player by aejones Poker is discovered differently by many individuals. I believe that if/when I play with DN. if you want to surpass the fgators’ of the world. Daniel Negreanu was my most important teacher before I was any good at poker. including dreams of wanting to become the next half-witted accountant from Tennessee with a weight problem to make seven figures. I’ve decided that I’ll take the time to answer it comprehensively. you would have an advantage. you searched Google for poker articles. Thus. or read excerpts by Phil Hellmuth or Daniel Negreanu from their websites. Although there are a variety of ways to go about discovering the game. These kinds of things will help the average railbird. or how to squeeze out an extra bet with two pair playing 3-6 limit. For me. (would also appreciate if someone who visit SSNL would link it there. 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). you need to learn to think outside of it. where the only person who can beat the rake in that game is Jerry Yang. You might have won some money in home games or online. I’d appreciate it if HSNL people read it and expounded upon it (and the future. You realize that other people have cards too! What if you could figure out what they have? A novel 79 . 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). I remembered that was a question that is asked in most “wells. if you’re reading this. and almost that many this year alone. but nevertheless an integral part of your poker career.most notably) and if SSNL and MSNL people would ask questions related to this thread that others could help them answer. The goal of this ‘essay’ is to expedite the education process of all those who read it indirectly. you picked up a poker book at your local bookstore. but it’s not nearly enough to win online. Milestone #1: Poker is not played inside of a box. Clearly. you learned to play tight. If you really got more hungry. To this day. you’ve received it a specific way. and what you can expect in the future. so by folding a lot and only playing strong hands. He was one of the few people 3 or 4 years ago that actually went through some thought process fairly seemed fairly simple enough. or even tournaments. Tight was right. but fairly important ones nonetheless. no one else was folding enough. the pitfalls to avoid along that path. since I haven’t made a serious post in MSNL in a very long time. you reach the first milestone in your poker career. and right now jman is doing a great well in HSNL in which people are asking him the same question. It worked. This book was in all likelihood terrible (with the exception of Super System).this is my Christmas present.” I was asked more than once in mine. Around this time you start thinking about things other than your cards. Basic concepts. and might even assist you to winning low stakes NL online. Through these books. and I was able to find the points in time in which I really had epiphanies. and I benefited greatly from knowing how he thought.THE EVOLUTION OF A POKER PLAYER (aejones) Disclaimer and qualifier: I have played well over one million hands of online poker. there are specific channels to go about educating yourself on it. After many of you found poker and decided you wanted to get better at it. I’ve just recently started to reflect on my career in poker. You learned about pot odds.

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

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

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

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

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

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

and you are vulnerable to bluffs. 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. Anyways. villain has 2 streets to bluff or valuebet you. Here the downside to turning your hand faceup is much more extreme. it is much less of a problem if you do it on the river than on the turn. compare this to a situation when your hand is faceup by check/calling the flop and checking the turn OOP. simply because it hurts you much less here. So while there are obvious downsides to turning your hand faceup. In this spot. 86 . I hope that wasn't too rambling.applies. Anyways. 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. And of course. where you turn your hand faceup on eariler streets. That's a very big difference. and am very interested to hear your thoughts on this. he has only 1. 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. This isn't so much a post intending to educate as it is my looking for comments and criticism on my thoughts. However. it is easy for villain to valuebet thinly against you. so please feel free to point them out. 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. So you have to ask.

Advantages to Short stacking Fold equity and Gap concept Only have to play preflop and flop. everyone talks about short stackers but nobody does anything about them. Short stacks generally only play. The thing is. Consider this an early PoohBah post. When you are head's up against a 20BB short stack. There are a couple things you need to keep in mind. 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. All the whining in the world is not going to change a structure that is VERY profitable to the poker sites. Dealing with short stacks is higher variance than dealing with big stacks. Your only recourse is to learn to beat the short stacks. Short stacks are successful because they have no difficult decisions on later streets. at most. However this advantage is often only one of perception. So all those moves you hate? Pushing over your preflop raise? Donk-pushing flop? Well you can do those too. Like the weather. So even though you may not have odds to call against a short stacker's raise. you ALSO have a 20BB stack.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. Even more so because short stacks don't ever get to win 100BB pots to make up for those losses. 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. call him anyway and then open push flop with ATC and see what happens. In such a squeeze. The way to beat any enemy is to analyze their strengths and weaknesses. the other full stack is likely to be as afraid of you as you are of him. then avoid or neutralize those strengths and exploit their weaknesses. there is no reason you can't do this too. Any chip you take from a short stack hurts him worse than the chip he takes from you. These two factors mean you tactics against short stacks may be radically different from your tactics against full stacks. And any time you stack him it's a knife in the gut. Do this sometimes with big pairs too to put the fear if god in him. This is the thread where you learn not only how to deal with them. So you should usually concentrate on the short stack. If you do not have the bankroll or the stomach to deal with this you need to find another game. What would normally be small pots become medium sized pots. And they're just as devastating when used against a short stack as when used by one. but how to crush them. Any time you get him to fold after he's put a third of his stack in it's a smack in the mouth. no worries about what to do against scare cards etc on later streets 87 . 2 streets. think of this.

Essentially. Spotting the loose/bad short stackers is generally quite easy just from their stats. And even so. bad short stackers are the short stackers with reasonable preflop stats. 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. Fortunately These kinds of short stacks are in the minority. Not all short stacks play the same. Bad Short Stackers Tight. Know when you have to get it in with the worst of it. Differentiating between the good short stackers and the bad tight short stackers can take a little more time. Bad Short Stackers Loose. These are the guys who sit in with 20BB and call preflop raises with 44. Know your shorties Obviously everything is on a continuum. they can be VERY high variance. However. The ones who have a clue and put you to tough decisions. 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: . they will try to set mine or call raises with suited connectors without anything resembling implied odds and then fold flop. the price of playing poker MUST go up. They are: 1) Know your shorties. raise. These are the guys who don't abuse their fold equity. something like 12/6/2. you can make their life just as difficult by putting THEM to the tough decisions. To exploit shorties. 2) Effective stacks and pot odds. These guys are basically free money. however.If the short stack has a big pair QQ/KK/AA and the player raising preflop is likely to fold 88 . short stacks. I am going to group short stackers into three basic types. 3) Raise. The Good Short Stackers Good short stackers are the guys you hate. particularly short stacks around 20BB should be calling raises almost never. However. Loose. In particular. These three different types of short stacks require slightly different approaches to play against and exploit. there are seldom absolutes. 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. Tight.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. You can spot the bad tight short stackers because the make bad plays. they are still very bad. raise.

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

63% equity vs range 99 has 45. Scenario 1A) Short stack has 20BB and is not in the blind.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. However.11% equity vs range 99 has 39.25% equity vs range 55 has 39.88% equity vs range 44 has 39.87% equity vs range 22 has 38.93% equity vs range 33 has 39. the dead money in the pot dictates your calling range. this assumes villain has a stack size of exactly 20BB.18% equity vs range TT has 43.41% equity vs range 33 has 38.79% equity vs range 99 has 40.54% equity vs range AQ has 47.86% equity vs range 44 has 39.28% equity vs range 76s has 32.where you stand in a variety of scenarios.5BB and you need to call 16BB. You raise 4BB.525% equity vs range 76s has 32.8% equity vs range If short stack has a range of TT+/AJ+ AK has 54.186 equity vs range AT has 31.19% equity vs range AQ has 42.49% equity vs range AJ has 31. 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 .745% equity vs range TT has 40.07% equity vs range JJ has 42. call 33+/AJ+. Everyone else folds.11% equity vs range AQ has 33.55% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even. call 55+/AK+. Against the medium range.39% equity vs range If short stack has a range of JJ+/AQ+ AK has 50.61% equity vs range 88 has 41. Against the loosest range.32% equity vs range 66 has 39. In addition.75% equity vs range 76s has 33. So. You need a hand which has 38.044% equity vs range 44 has 38. If short stack has a range of 88+/AT+ AK has 55.83% equity vs range 55 has 39. Against the tightest range. call 22+/AQ+.26% equity vs range AJ has 39.36% equity vs range 22 has 38. Short Stack pushes. This often isn't the case. The pot is 25.

33% equity. You need a hand which has 42. Break-even is 34. As you can see pot odds are such that you need a much tighter calling range.5BB and you need to call 26BB. Short Stack pushes.e. The pot is 34. Break-even is 37. Short Stack pushes. call 55+/AK+. Scenario 1B) Short stack has 30BB and is not in the blind. the pot is 23. Everyone else folds. But not a lot. 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.5BB and you need to call 11BB. call 44+/AQ+. Everyone else folds. call TT+/AQ+. Against the tightest range. You raise 4BB. call 55+/AJ+.5% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even. call JJ+/AK+. The pot is 24. As you can see. Scenario 1D) Short stack has 30BB and is in the big blind. You need a hand which has 39. Against the loosest range. The pot is 35.If villain has an 18BB stack. Against the medium range. big blind will have a wider push range against an open raise 91 . 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.5BB and you need to call 26BB. Short Stack pushes. Against the tightest range. call 99+/AQ+. Everyone else folds. Scenario 1C) Short stack has 20BB and is in the big blind. due to the larger stack size the fact villain is in the blind doesn't make much difference. Against the loosest range. You raise 4BB. the pot is 20. You raise 4BB. You need a hand which has 42% equity against short stack's range to make a call breakeven.92% equity.98% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even. 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.5BB and you need to call 14BB.5BB and you need to call 16BB. If villain has an 15BB stack..

00 { Tc9d } 92 .30% 238 3.14% equity in this pot to make this call. They are unaware of fold equity. If one of these guys pushes they usually have at least TP or a big draw. loose short stacks and good short stacks have a huge pushing range here.616% 91. the pot is 11. On the flop.from the button than a raise UTG) The thing to take away from this is that calling these pushes is never far wrong. You need 36.384% 08. Situation 2) In this situation.343% 24. The good short stack has a hand sometimes.00 { AcKd } Hand 1: 75.00 { 7c7d } Hand 1: 91.00% 83 0.04% 00. Overcards vs pocket pair: Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 24. The loose short stack can't wait to get his stack in and gamble. They're check/folding any flops that miss them. you know sometimes these guys are pushing with 76s themselves. Obviously there are hundreds of possible scenarios here. So let's examine some standard situations to see how much equity you typically have. I can't list all of them. though for different reasons. Bad.38% 00.00 { 6c6d } Pocket pair vs bigger pair Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 08.00% 907 0. but he also wants to exploit his fold equity by making you fold the better hand. And if there are any mitigating circumstances. Bad.657% 75. short stack calls and pushes flop.62% 00. But here are some things to keep in mind.35% 00. short stack limps. tight short stacks actually have the tightest range here by far.5BB pot. you raise preflop to 5BB. All the better if he can push you off pots. some of the close folds (like AJ or 76s) can quickly become calls. You need to call 15BB to win a 26. I'm going to assume it goes without saying that you are calling the push with TP or better and any good draws. particularly other limpers or other players calling your raise. Villain pushes 15BB.30% 746 3.5BB. The point is that you're probably making a mistake by folding too much and NOT by calling too much. And this is assuming fairly tight pushes.

He should be calling raises very rarely unless he thinks he can push-steal against you on the flop.34% 62017 7558. Against bad.81% 05. This may not always be the case. 98s. T9s. particularly if your raising range is wide (i. 98o } Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 58. 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.50 { TT-22.091% 39. ATs+. I'm going to eliminate big pairs under the assumption they would have been raised preflop. but only if the short stack has EXACTLY those hands.00 { Ac5c } Hand 1: 74.854% 45. 98s. Good short stacks have a much narrower calling range preflop. KJo+.24% 59574 357.. they may call with a wide range if they think you are likely to fold preflop to their push.00% 751 0. from the button). 98s. ATo+.Middle pair with overcard vs top pair Board: 2c 9s 5d equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 25.85% 00. 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.e.146% 43. 98o } Against a good short stacker it comes down to figuring out what he's calling raises with. J9o.50 { AcKd } Hand 1: 50.00 { T9s } These look pretty bleak.50 { TT-22. KJs+.909% 59.34% 64436 7558. KJo+.029% 40.714% 74. However. KJs+. 98o } Board: 2c 9s 5d equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 59.50 { 7c7d } Hand 1: 41.67% 00.24% 89201 357.42% 00. Tc9d. Tc9d. ATo+. 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: 49.55% 95434 895. ATs+.50 { TT-22.50 { Ac5c } Hand 1: 40. T9s.286% 25.55% 66125 895. but usually it should be. KJs+. J9s. ATo+.00% 2219 0.71% 00. his range is going to be similar to the loose short stacker. T9s.48% 00. If he's going for a steal. KJo+. ATs+. Against a loose short stack. 93 . However against loose short stacks and good short stacks their range is usually much wider. J9s. J9o. J9s. J9o.29% 00. They know not to try and set mine. tight short stacks we can often take them at their word and just fold.52% 05. Tc9d.971% 58.

Short stack then pushes his last 15BB.You need to try and track what the good short stacker is doing. If short stack starts with 40BB On the flop.92% equity to call which you will have with a very wide range of hands. you should do this sometimes when you DO have a hand you want to felt.5BB.23% equity to call. 94 . Against a 40BB stack. Situation 3) Short stack limps.5BB pot. you cbet flop and short stack pushes all in.65% 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. the pot is 11.5BB.5BB pot. You need to call 35BB in a 52BB pot. Put HIM to the tough decision for all his chips. Or push over his preflop raise. short stack calls. say you cbet 7. As the short stack's stack gets bigger.. Either take the free card or let him bet and then YOU push over him and let him decide if he has enough equity.5BB. The other big thing to keep in mind on flops is turning the tables on the short stacker. keep in mind that you after still have plenty of equity against the short stack's range. OR You raise preflop.. This situation almost becomes trivial against a 20BB stack. You need 40. you don't HAVE to cbet against the short stack. So while you should be tightening up your calling range slightly.5BB. say you cbet 7.5BB. if the pot on the flop is 9. Call his preflop raise and then push flop. you raise preflop. you cbet and short stack checkraises all in. The last thing to consider here is that even head's up. You need 40. Short stack then pushes 25BB.. You only need 31. 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. In fact. This can work just as well against the short stacker as it does for him. You need to call 25BB in a 42BB pot. You need to call 15BB in a 32BB pot.3% equity to call. you need better equity to call his flop push.5BB.5BB. say you cbet 7. If short stack starts with 30BB On the flop. Short stack then pushes 35BB. the pot is 11. Villain pushes 25BB.94% equity to call. Against a 30BB stack. If he's playing tight against raises then you have to be prepared to fold marginal hands. You need to call 35BB to win a 46. Villain pushes 35BB. if the pot on the flop is 9. If the pot on the flop is 9. If he's calling raises with a fairly wide ranges and trying to steal on flops then you need to call him down lightly. You need 37.5BB. You need 42.

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.


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.


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


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”


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.


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

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

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

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

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

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

and makes it more likely that you get paid off handsomely when your ship does come in. Secondly. 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. and flashing nothing but the nuts.understand this. Getting your opponent to fold when he has the best hand. ---------When should I bet the river? For river bets. If you've been showing down monsters for the past hour. Many people would consider this a variety of semi-bluffing. bad players cannot see beyond their own cards. betting strongly. Unfortunately. we should bluff rivers more against good players than against bad players. if you've been mixing it up left and right. Good players can see that they are beaten. but this bet will not be all-in. 3. "Value bluffing. the idea is that checking the turn would give away too much information about your holdings. Getting your opponent to fold when he has the best doesn't much matter what you say about your holding. cash in by bluffing more freely at the river. The turn is 4 and your opponent check-calls your bet. The river is 3 and your opponent bets. you either have the best hand or you don't. River bluffs take lots of courage. and if you were caught betting with air a few times (especially against THIS opponent!). You're air-tight play has earned you mountains of folding equity. Semibluffs want folds. Third. He's telling a consistent story: "I've 106 . 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. 2. Your opponent limp-calls preflop. the goal is to make your river payoff much larger if you are lucky enough to hit your gin card. getting involved in very few hands. The flop comes KT8 with two hearts -. but the intent is very different here: should your opponent choose to fold on the turn you wouldn't be too upset. Rather. At the river. bluff rivers more when your table image is tight and strong. and save your money for when you get a hand.Here. disguise bets want calls. If your table image is crap. Don't bluff the calling stations -. he's not folding -. How do you decide if a river bluff is a good investment? First off. things are a bit simpler:'s an expensive habit. Also.your opponent checks to you and calls your bet. Getting your opponent to call when he has the worst hand. leading out on the turn makes it much sneakier if and when you hit on the river. feel free to check behind and lose a smaller pot rather than a bigger one. If a bad player likes his hand. However. bluff rivers more when your betting tells a logical story that means you've got a good hand. but if they are done properly they can be extremely profitable. 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. feel free to throw your weight around a bit on the river. and the purpose of this bet is not to fold your opponent. your value comes from only three sources: 1. your folding equity is floating in the toilet right next to it -. let's go through them one-by-one. and therefore rarely getting called by nonmonster hands). 1. However. If you don't have the best hand then your only hope of leaving with the cash is to convince your opponent to fold." Once again.

" I put "on tilt" in quotes because I'm assuming you're NOT on tilt (we're beyond emotional play. Our opponent checks and we check behind. We've got a dilemma: the bigger our bet. Finally. "How can you call with that crap??" we'll look desperate and scared. the art of poker.Bet smaller if your opponent is timid. the bigger our payoff when we get called but the less likely our opponent is to call us. bluff rivers more when you've got a read that your opponent knows how to find the "fold" button. but still separate enough to warrant mentioning. Against a good opponent or a watchful one. Getting your opponent to call when he has the worst hand. bet a river scare card: an ace.Bet bigger if you're "on tilt. and he knows we don't have a 7. a third suited card. we tell an INCONSISTENT story: we raise preflop. Against these folks.. He What strong holding is actually consistent with this betting strategy? Our opponent knows we're not doing this with an overpair. and our opponent will call more often than usual. If we've been playing crappy poker. 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. Too often. and checked the turn. . . I've still got a flush draw .nobody is going to believe you. Some general hints: .Bet bigger if your opponent sees too many showdowns. I'll bet my 3PNK is good!" . . our opponent checks and we. right? ) No. Feel free to make these kinds of plays against the hopeless goobers sitting at your table.. I've got a flush draw . The flop comes 876 rainbow. I've got a flush!" This is the kind of bet that has TONS of folding equity. he knows we don't have a straight. fight against them. what I mean here is that you can bet bigger if your play will *look* like a tilt play to your opponent. If you've got AA on a 107 . make sure you give him enough odds to talk himself into a crying call. Feel free to make large bets -. possibly a king (on an aceless board) -. even if your opponent's actual holding is 9 7 . now you've got to figure out how to get paid.they play so few hands that they are simply incapable of letting go of a hand once they've got one. a speculative hand . don't pretend you were limped preflop and were check-calling all the way with AK. bet the flop. or if we've been unlucky enough to get caught stealing a few times. Conversely. but the answer is obvious: "because you only make that play with air. Our hand screams of missed overcards. play it to the bone -. Some ultra-tight nits cannot ever fold after raising preflop -. and a savvy opponent is going to call with his T6o and piss us off as he rakes the pot. . Ah. just be sure you behave yourself when a smart player is in the pot. and you'll be paid off because "he's tilting off another stack. How do we maximize value when we think our hand is best? We pick our bet size carefully. unburnished nuts! Now what? Well. our table image will look bad. But against an idiot you can bet big with a big hand and small with a small hand and suffer no negative consequences. and avoid bluffing them. Use it. or if we've not shown down any winners lately." Make sure that your bets make sense. The last hand your nut flush lost to a rivered full house? You're on tilt.Bet bigger if your opponent is bad and/or unobservant.Bet bigger when our table image sucks. some maniacally aggressive LAGs will release a hand the moment they face pressure.that sort of thing. This is a useful number to have in your HUD for this reason alone. our opponent checks and we bet.Bet smaller if your opponent couldn't possibly have a big hand. baby! If you're lucky enough to catch pocket rockets this hand. 2.the absolute. You've got the nuts -... Know this. Don't pretend that the river 3 made your straight when the board is now JT653 -... river raises or check-raises are often the most profitable play you can make.. One of the greatest difficulties in poker is deciding on bet sizing. you can't get away with sizing your bets based on your hands. So if you raised preflop. it's just not credible.nobody's going to believe it. Alternatively. The river is a 3. The turn is another 7.. This is related to the first point.

Rather. 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. you won't know their exact holding. is not +EV as a value bet. Anybody who says he can size up an opponent -." That small river bet can induce a maniac to come over the top with a bluff raise. So. You have QJo and you attempted a steal.Bet smaller if your opponent likes to raise or check-raise weakness. Note that this strategy doesn't work as a bluff -. because your opponent isn't holding a hand. making this a winning strategy. Your net is 0. value bluffing is probably the least understood. this works the other way around. (Note that many of these hints work the other way around for sizing bluffs. too: your opponent can't identify your exact holding. smart enough to try to put you on a hand.083xPot.. well. Here you lose 1xPot.5*(-1) = +0. He's not a "good LAG.villain only folds 1/3rd of the time. If you bet the pot. he's a "semi-thinking LAG. Let's say that your opponent is an ultra-loose but not completely stupid player. How can you possibly have a situation at the river where your bet is "part bluff. The truth is that unless an opponent is woefully straightforward in playing style. if that's the case. he's holding a range. you simply can't get away with betting much under normal circumstances. It's the river equivalent of a semi-bluff: a bet that is not +EV as a bluff." because they don't exist at uNL (or SSNL.and identify his exact hand holding . This is especially true if the "obvious draw" misses on the river. he's holding a range. Here you win 1xPot. 3/4ths-pot flop. but beginning hand readers will often do something very similar to this. the combination of these two scenarios leads to the interesting (though unusual) situation of the value bluff.) 3. you'll know their range. The current board is AJ974 with no flushes. but amateurish enough to do a really bad job of it. It's what good players say to freak out their opponents. How does this work out? He folds 1/3*(75%) + 2/3*(25%) = 41.5th-level thinker" to represent a player who thinks about your hand but always puts you on AK. let's say this is the kind of opponent you have: loose enough that you can't predict his holdings all that well. putting you on an overly narrow hand range and sticking to it despite any evidence to the contrary.083*(+2) + 0. you've got second pair. ." Of all the ideas in this post. A common betting pattern that might do this at uNL is "raise preflop. Some opponents LOVE to push people off their hands on the river. 1/2-pot river. Now. part value bet"? Well. 1/2-pot turn. but you think there's an 75% chance you're beaten. It was a joke. "Value bluffing.look him in the eye. Really. Of course. Your opponent's range is quite wide. someone coined the phrase "1. but is +EV as a combination of the two. Make a small bet and be happy that you got paid off at all. do whatever it takes to induce a bluff.3% of the time. I'll repeat that. hoping to drag down a big'un. 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 . for that matter).board of AAQ72. Best case. stare him in the soul -. either. At the river. He calls with a better hand 2/3*(75%) = 50% of the time. Here you win 2xPot. because it's a really.417*(+1) + 0. REALLY important concept: your opponent isn't holding a hand. that person is a liar. He calls with a worse hand 1/3*(25%) = 8..7% of the time." A while back.

50/$1 Blinds . but you're only getting twice your money when you win (you're getting 2-to-1 odds on a 3-to-1 longshot).00 Flop: ($8) J 8 4 (2 Players) Pokey bets $5. I take the risk of a check-raise.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) 109 .95) By getting the money in while villain still had a draw.00 BB: $85. Note also that this strategy doesn't work as a value bet -.35 Villain is horrible: 66/11 preflop. BB raises to $10.70 CO: $85. If I'd waited until the river to try and take his money.$0.6 Players . Turn: ($28) 3 (2 Players) Pokey checks.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . ---------Sneaky hands can bet harder.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . Full Tilt Poker . and he quickly calls off the rest of his stack with a cruddy draw. -EV as a value bet. He doesn't disappoint me. BB bets $28. Full Tilt Poker . Villain's sloppy hand-reading combined with villain's unidentifiable hand makes this a fuzzy enough betting area to be +EV. the bet is -EV as a bluff.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Pokey (SB): $100.90) Q (2 Players . but +EV as a combination of the two. 4 average aggression. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (6 Players) 4 folds. River: ($171.90 ($3 Rake) BB had 6 5 Pokey had A (Queen Jack high) and LOST (-$85.00. In other words.25 BTN: $45. He's bleeding money in every direction and he won't last long.95) A (a pair of Aces) and WON (+$82.50/$1 Blinds .50 MP: $34.$0. BB calls $3.villain's hand beats yours 75% of the time.1 All-In) Pot Size: $171.6 Players . Pokey raises to $4.00. BB calls all-in for $43.05 returned to Pokey Given his aggression factor. Get the money in while they still have potential. Pokey calls $5. Note that he didn't even have the proper odds to call my raise. he would have easily folded his unimproved 65o. Here are some Valuetown examples from my $100NL play.00.95 Uncalled bet of $7. I stacked him. Pokey raises to $79. Potential is great for a good player but extremely expensive for a bad one.winning).00.00 Three-betting is SUCH a strong move that I don't want to scare him off yet.95 UTG: $46.00.

Villain bets hard and I have the absolute nuts -. I make the obligatory all-in bet and villain makes the obligatory crying call. SB raises to $8. but that leaves villain with a crying call on nearly any river.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $68. Preflop: Pokey is dealt 6 5 (6 Players) UTG calls $1.65 Pokey (UTG): $98.50.50 CO: $45.50 Villain here runs 47/15 preflop and 2.I make a raise that villain can easily call.00. Eights and Twos) and LOST (-$100. Pokey raises to $50. CO calls $1. Full Tilt Poker . I might as well see a free flop with my speculative hand. Pot Size: $203. Eight high) and WON (+$100. River: ($121) 3 (2 Players) SB checks.00. Note that even though straights and flushes have hit the board. Pokey checks Plenty of padding from limpers.00 UTG: $ ($3 Rake) SB had 8 2 (two pair.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .00 Double-gutter.00 Bingo! I hit my hand. Pokey bets $4. but smooth-calling the turn leaves too much behind to have a reasonable way of getting it all in on the river.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.50/$1 Blinds . BTN calls $1.10 MP: $58.5 Players . Pokey bets all-in for $41.95 CO: $28.00. SB calls $29. Turn: ($21) 7 (2 Players) SB bets $21.05 BTN: $38. A turn push is quite aggressive. SB calls $41. that's a hand. SB calls $0.00. MP folds. I bet strong and get a minraise.$0.00.00) Pokey had 6 5 (a straight. 3 folds. and definitely on implied odds since I'm in position.90 BB: $42. I can nearly call on pot odds. Flop: ($5) 2 8 4 (5 Players) SB checks. Pokey calls $4. and I stack him with my straight. villain feels obligated to pay off the 1/3rd-pot bet (all-in) on the river with only two pair.05 110 . ---------Sneaky hands can bet harder.00 Pokey (BB): $100.4 postflop.SB: $142.00. The smallish turn raise followed by the tiny river bet are both easy for villain to convince himself to call.00 No way does an aggressive opponent check through with a runner-runner flush. redux. throwing in a more-than-pot-sized raise.

Queen high) and LOST (-$68. I decide to bet for value and to try to build a pot (hoping for callers) and it works.90 Uncalled bet of $0.00.00. Pokey bets $12. BTN folds. ---------Protecting your hand.00 I'm not afraid of the draw anymore. CO calls $1. Pokey calls $1.BTN: $72.90) Lessons here: let villains draw if they're drawing dead (or nearly so). Pot Size: $141. Since I was going to lose the bluffs anyways. woo! Flop: ($8) 4 Q 2 (4 Players) SB checks. SB calls $5.00. Either he's got a Q and he's drawing nearly dead or he's got hearts and he's drawing totally dead. Preflop: Pokey is dealt 2 2 (5 Players) Pokey calls $1. BB folds GREAT flop. this seems +EV to me.10 BTN: $155. Twos full of Fours) and WON (+$69.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .00. Turn: ($18) 4 (2 Players) SB checks. so rather than try to price him out. BB calls $1. Villain comes along for the ride. SB calls $12. SB calls all-in for $43. BB checks.00. CO folds.10 returned to Pokey Thank goodness for position: we river the third heart and villain makes a pansy-sized bet.00 BB: $100.00 Deuces never loses. Villain pays me off with his heart flush. knowing that I lose the three-pair hands and bluffs. Full Tilt Poker .00.00 Villain is mediocre-to-bad. River: ($42) 8 (2 Players) SB bets $6. but that I get called by the flushes.3 average aggression postflop.10 MP: $67.00.00. running 29/9 preflop and with a 2.00 111 .00 UTG: $109.80 ($3 Rake) SB had Q J Pokey had 2 (a flush.$0.00. If villain shows interest and you know you've got him dead-to-rights.00.10 CO: $134. Given that the preflop raiser just checked. Either way. SB raises to $2.50/$1 Blinds . CO calls $1.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Pokey (SB): $99. or make some weak-assed minraise. Rather than smooth-call my near-nuts. go for the freakin' jugular.6 Players . I offer a 2/3rdspot bet. Sneaky hands have the potential to win bigger pots than obvious hands. I'm happy.90) 2 (a full house. I push. Pokey bets $5. Pokey raises to $50.

No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . redux.00. CO bets $12.00. 112 . not to mention a 2. 3.00 Super-premium hand.00. MP calls $1. With a relatively blank board.00. CO calls $1. so I figured that with BOTH of them in the hand I had room to get trappy. knowing your opponents. BTN calls $33.. Full Tilt Poker . I check. BTN calls $12. and protecting your hand.25 MP: $157. I smooth-call. BTN calls $6. CO folds.00 ($3 Rake) Read this hand as an example of showing weakness to induce bets.. I smooth-call to see a turn.50/$1 Blinds . 2 folds. villain is running 40/17 with a postflop aggression of almost 11. MP folds. SB folds. I don't want to deal with a river decision. Pot Size: $155. Turn: ($56) 9 (3 Players) Pokey checks. intending to check-raise a safe turn. SB: $ BTN: $461. ---------Protecting your hand. I just put all my money in the middle after the bet.00 I bet my overpair expecting villain to fold. 4.00. 7. so I charge 'em to see.00 Flop: ($15.05 CO: $$0. BOTH villains fold for the relatively small additional bet. With this many scare cards. BTN calls $5. BTN calls $1. MP folds. hoping for a bet.00.6 Players .00.45 Pokey (BB): $169. Pokey calls $15.25 UTG: $102. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (6 Players) UTG calls $1. I guess they trusted me more than they trusted each other. and I don't want to be looking over my shoulder if the river comes with a diamond or spade.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Over a short sample. 2 folds Uncalled bet of $48.15 Preflop: Pokey is dealt J J (6 Players) UTG folds. instead he minraises. To my great surprise. snapping off multiple bluffs. Pokey raises to $7. BTN raises to $30. Pokey raises to $6. BTN calls $1.00.Both CO and Button are extremely loose and extremely aggro.00. CO bets $33.00 returned to Pokey This board just became *way* too drawy to allow any cheap cards. or 9. Flop: ($20) 2 4 7 (3 Players) Pokey checks. CO calls $5. and they oblige..50) 2 9 7 (2 Players) Pokey bets $15.00.00 I wasn't c-betting into these two very often. Pokey raises all-in to $81. Pokey calls $12.

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.


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)


Pokey had A


(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


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


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.


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

Again. but I try to keep it in mind when I make a reasonably strong hand against a solid opponent who has position on me. similar to Harrington’s 10% chance of a bluff concept: If I have a strong enough sample size against an opponent I respect. Is 25% a huge number? It is not. and often enough an unimproved PP. with effective stacks $175. It’s pretty darn straightforward. How did I come to that number? I spent a lot of time combing through the PT database. TP or air than a big hand like a set or overpair. Here is an example from a hand that happened last weekend. I don’t use the number without a lot of hands or a solid read on a player. this is quite a nebulous number and concept. We’re trying to improve our play against the strongest opponents and 119 . We were both reasonably deep. I’ll adjust and there are multiple lines I can take to win pots from him. I am telling him that I have a monster pair. Eventually I won’t mind if a strong.knows what position is. I decided it was. but I the concept has worked for me. I would also assert that this number is going to rise based on the stakes you play. as I felt this opponent was perhaps less likely to raise my flop Cbet. Likes to raise flop Cbets. because at SSNL." I was in MP with A Q heads up to the flop. If he beats that. aggressive player thinks he can float and bully me. and I led for $6. 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. or float and raise turn. The 25% Rule I tend to make an assumption about players that I am not sure is perfectly accurate. 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. and we were Flop came J 5 4 . He raised to $18. overall. I wanted badly to call him and force him to show me a set. AJ kind of hand. only occasionally an overpair. but it brings a bluff. I thought it was possible I was behind to a JT suited. He seemed to think for a while and folded. Keep in mind that had I attempted this play early on. I don't expect everyone to agree with the range. capable of making good laydowns. and more likely to float or fold. I would guess it’s much lower. But my reraise knocks out his drawing hands and folds out many hands that beat me. I could have been behind a set or two pair. but it has seemed to help me. . I want to beat those players at their own game. much more likely that he had an unimproved pair. He called on the Button. and making my best guess. a float. and he has position on me. Recalling my long-ago days of 25NL. I immediately made a note of the hand. and I opened for $4. Worth watching some more. He would certainly make this play with a set. Seems to understand position and has pushed me out of several pots after I raised preflop. but he might very well have been playing it up. but I have backed down each time. but he seemed to be raising with TP just as often. because by re-raising. It is this. he pushes. or a semi-bluff into the equation a lot more often. In other words. checking out hands. and I made it $58. he can not call a re-raise with much of his range. along with changing the table dynamic that had previously convinced him I could be run over. most players tend to play their cards based on the strength of their hand. a play he had used on me on my second orbit of the session. I had the following notes on a player who is 21/12/3 in 500 hands: "Strong player. and I fold. I also considered my own tendencies and my proclivity to use position like a hammer on a stubborn nail.

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

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

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

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

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

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. Also. one spade.00 This is a fairly standard value bet and you will usually take down the pot. 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. One more caller. lead out for $3. Our natural tendency is to check raise or check call here. ~Rich and raise to $2.Flop is 7Q6r. I'll leave you with this example from the same 1/2 NL Live game. Wrong. you ask. folds back to me and I am just sick but I'm not good enough to fold KK PF. You dont have to play the LAGtard game that I do to never open limp. Middle pair for you. Why would you bet this monster you ask? Easy. 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. these type of situations occur more in tournaments than in cash games. I am UTG and raise to $10 with KK 2 callers and then the expected reraise to $90. one of the biggest live pots I have ever seen (and won for that matter) came up. Now. Now. I also won a tournament about 7 hours later. I had them covered. I had managed to build up to about $400 despite have gotten played back at all damn night when this hand. When someone is constantly raising and reraising you. Flop is 744 You just flopped a monster. Lead out for $3 again. you are UTG with 7 4 One call and the blinds fold. arent there ever times that you should be open limping? So glad you asked. I had been playing a fairly aggressive game and had been getting reraised all night long. Hand 2: Again. felt like every hand actually. then open limping a big hand is fine IMO. but I hope I have provided you with some decent examples of why you shouldnt be open limping. I just say to hell with and push. YES there are. my KK>QQ>JJ and your hero wins about $800. Sorry slight brag at the end there. Both examples are hands very similar to hands I have played. We all flip.00 125 . think about if you had just limped in with those hands. but IMO. odds are that you are leaving chips in your opponents stack that rightfully belong to you. 2 folds and then the other two both call. TAGs should not be open limping either.

I also encourage math-head-types to check my math to make sure I didn't mess anything up.01% Straight: 1.84% Two pair: 2% Trips: 1. Flush: 0. Implied Odds. stolen off some page I googled: Odds of flopping.dr math for the bottom for those of you that want to peruse it. 13:1) These draws are all hands that can be played profitably after the flop. However. 17:1) However. 20 outer (OESD + FD + pair): 0. Combining these big draws with good made hands. REGULAR DRAWS 126 . even though I've never seen any mathematical description of the kind of odds you need to call these raises.5% of the time.. First. Let's separate this into two categories: combo draws and regular draws. There are two kinds of hands you can flop with SCs: Good made hands (most of which can be made by calling with ATC.664% -----------------------Total: 6. or 1 in 8 (very close to how often you will flop a set with an overpair). people tend to arbitrarily use things like the 5/10 rule.424% 14 outer (Pair + flush draw): 1.450% 13 outer (Pair + straight draw): 1.6% (1 in 18 times.077% 17 outer (Gutshot + FD + pair): 0. 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%.153% 15 outer (OESD + flush draw): 1. and leave the tl. the combo draws range from 45%-65%). most of the time you will be flopping draws instead of big hands with SCs. where your equity is generally 90+%.35% Full house: 0.31% ------Total: 5..09% Quads: 0.. either you are a favorite against an overpair. I'm going to attempt to solve that problem (but I still need some help!). 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. made hands.9% (1 in 14 times. you can't say that you also need about 7:1 odds to call with a suited connector. I'll list the conclusions first.147% 12 outer (Gutshot + flush draw): 2. 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. compare this with sets. since a set is a near-invincible hand and you still have to improve with these draws.. and that's where things get complicated.Suited Connectors. COMBO DRAWS Odds of flopping. which of course we don't do) and draws.

Odds of flopping. The odds of hitting each of those flops are 12/50 * 8/49 * 4/48. there are four flops that give you a straight (789. with 65s.dr math Made hands: I calculated the odds of flopping a straight myself.00255% Multiply by 6 to get odds for all six flops = 0. with two clubs each. 6.5:1) chance of flopping a standard OESD or FD Adding these all together. multiply that by 4 flops. So.5 times. when you flop a hand with which you can continue. and you get 1. what follows is how I calculated everything. you'll have your standard old OESD or FD which requires playing some poker.0% ----------------Total: 13. you will flop a hand you can continue with on the flop 25% of the time (1 in 4) have a ~13% chance (1 in 7. the other half. Not very high. OESD + flush draw (15 outs): You need a flop of 87x. 234). Summary . 74x. tl.0255% Multiply by 3 to get odds for all three flops = 0. in addition. 7(6/5)4.5:1) These are your standard have a 5.153%. Combo draws All examples assume you have 6c5c. 13:1) chance of flopping a strong (12+ outs) combo draw .. 8c 7c 6/5x: 2/50 * 1/49 * 5/48 * 3 = . +EV to shove it in). 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. (6/5)32 with two clubs.e.31%. 478. it will most frequently be one of these.6% (1 in 18. 17:1 chance) of flopping a good made hand . 9 outer (flush draw): 5. you can catch ultradeceptive flops of 973 with two clubs or 842 with two have a ~7% (1 in 14. Gutshot + flush draw + pair (17 outs): You need a flop of 98(6/5).07653%. (6/5)42. 97(6/5). However. 7(6/5)3. (6/5)43. only half of the time will these hands be immediately profitable (i. or 43x with two clubs. These draws improve to a flush or straight on the river about 1 time in 3. 347. OESD + flush draw + pair (20 outs ZOMG): You need a flop of 87(6/5).2% 8 outer (straight draw): 8. 6. skip the rest of the post. 8(6/5)4. 9c 8c 6/5x: 2/50 * 1/49 * 5/48 * 3 = . 127 .2% (1 in 7. for example.

07653 to get 1.33% Multiply by 2 for the odds of 973/842: 0. total odds of flopping a combo draw = 0.408% Multiply by 3 for all three flops = 1. 42x.664% (12 outs) = 6.424% (15 outs) + 1. Same calculation as OESD + flush draw. 32x (where each flop has two clubs).153% 7x 8c xc = 3/50 * 1/49 * 10/48 * 6 = 0.153% Total = 0.664% So.07653% (20 outs) + 0.45% (14 outs) + 1. there's 87x.07653 and 0. (6/5)43 8/50 * 4/49 * 5/48 * 3 = 0.424% Pair + flush draw (14 outs): Two clubs and one of your hole cards: 6/50 * 11/49 * 10/48 * 3 = 1. and 842.65% Subtract 0.94% Subtract 0.224% Since we already counted pair + FD + OESD.68% Since we already counted pair + FD + OESD and pair + FD + gutshot.45% Pair + straight draw (13 outs): using 65s.Odds of flopping 87x with two clubs.147% Gutshot + flush draw (12 outs): You need a flop of 98x.0918 since we already counted double gutshot + FD: = 0. 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 = 0.558% 128 .332% 973: 9c 7c 3x = 2/50 * 1/49 * 3/48 * 3 = 0.153 to get 1. 74x. subtract 0. 0.138% 7c 8x xc = 1/50 * 3/49 * 10/48 * 6 = 0.915% = 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. 7(6/5)4. 84x. 43x.498% Multiply by 3 for the odds of 87x/74x/43x: 7.444% Total for all 3 flops = 1. 73x.444% per flop * 6 flops = 2. Odds of flopping 87x (where x does not pair your hand and does not complete a straight): 8/50 * 4/49 * 34/48 * 3 = 02.0918% Total odds of flopping 15-outer: 1.442% for the times it makes an OESFD (which we already counted) = 2.147% (13 outs) + 2.494% Odds of flopping 973: 12/50 * 8/49 * 4/48 = 0.0459% *2 for 842 = 0. 973.153% (17 outs) + 1.0153% *3 for 9c 7x 3c/9x 7c 3c = 0. 97x. subtract 0. possible flops are 87(6/5).

I calculated the average equity of made hands/combo draws against overpairs by taking the weighted average of each: 0.5.556% = equity of 6s5s on 9s8s6x board against AcAd) + .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 * 91.5:1).175% non-combo flush draws.664 / 12.17 + 2 / 12.556 (0.86 + 2.55 + 1.01 / 12. 65.147 / 12. So.45 / 12.661 since we already counted the times where the flush draw gives you an OESD.71 + 1.5 * 56.153 / 12.424 and 2.5 * 65.414 + 0.5 = %age of time you flop oesfd+pair.35 / 12.05% (OESD) + 5.5 * 96.424 / 12.5 * 99.5 * 50. 6.78 + 0.26 + 1.717 129 .09 / 12.5 * 97.677 + 1.5 * 45.899 + 1.5 * 74.78 + 0.225% (1 in 7.26% Subtract 1.5 * 87.175% (flush) = 13.077 / 12. and you get 5. your total chances of flopping a standard 8 or 9 out draw are 8.5 * 57.5 * 47.077 / 12.Total odds of flopping non-combo OESD = 8.31 / 12.84 / 12.

like TT+ AK+ because intuitively I am pretty sure you don’t want to challenge this player post-flop with marginal holdings). Hopefully I will have some dedication and be around the forum relatively frequently for a while. (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. I am a lapsed limit player trying to get back into poker and trying to get serious about learning NL. Obviously. the SB folds. And with 3-betting frequencies increasing so much as stakes rise. 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. I did not include a simulation for a total nit. which is obviously 0 EV. especially about examining a lot of the math underlying various situations. leaving you with a marginal holding. The flop comes down pretty dry. 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. I have gotten a lot from lurking around here and in MSNL the last month or so. So we have 22. 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. and you call. There was a recent post where players were wondering about calling 3-bets after raising in position. These equities can be then compared to folding. 130 . we also want to know the EV of calling given certain scenarios. But those spots are still important against the more agro preflop players. this seems like one of the issues that SSNL players need to figure out in order to move up.Reraised Blind Battles and Bluffing with Marginal Hands (sam h) Hi. these situations are only applicable selectively.5 units. and the opponont of course c-bets. and so thought I would try to "give back" by sharing some calculations and thoughts that I have been working on. 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. 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. Since most 100 and 200NL opponents are nits when it comes to 3-betting preflop. the BB bumps to 11 units.5 units in the pot going to the flop. So let’s look at a situation (Stacks=100 units) in which you raise the button 3. 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. You Missed.5).

Another interesting conclusion from this is how dramatically the EV of plays changes based on seemingly small adjustments to ranges.” Let’s pretend we’re the BB for a second. you can profit immensely by running them over on the right dry flops.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. Against this type of player. Using pokerstove to get your PE if called by his range. 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). where x is the probability he calls and y is the probability you win against his range when called. This should expand your preflop calling range if you’re really going to capitalize on these opportunities. But if you push here. which is awkward. (Note that now that we have AdKh. changing gears is about establishing an image 131 . here is your EV in units under those circumstances. The only difference between the SLAG and the TAG preflop is a willingness to three-bet with AJ or KQs. 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. 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. Wow! As long as the player is loose enough preflop but needs TPTK or better to stack off. In some sense. his calling range and thus your fold equity (FE). While AK is a hand that we would always be continuing to the flop with in these situations. pushing is just printing money when compared to folding. I think that a lot of “good” SSNL players.5 units. an obvious implication/generalization is that other high-card hands become more playable if we can identify which flops to profitably bluff raise. 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. But what if you raise? The EV of raising is going to depend on how much you are risking. 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. in trying to improve and imitate the styles of known high-limit winners. and the only difference between the strong and medium calling ranges of these players is a willingness to stack off with 99 or 88. and your pot equity (PE) against his calling range. including myself. Pushing Has to be Crazy.5y + 89(1-y)). A pot sized raise be a total risk of 70.5) + (x)(111. Your equity for each situation is going to be the sum of your FE and PE. have let their preflop aggression outpace their ability to counter post-flop aggression. 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). which amounts to (1-x)(38.

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

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

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

so he's not a good person to 3bet light. If they call a lot preflop and play fit or fold postflop. 33 etc. Also. Hero raises to $38. 2 players) 135 . just pots them. Also. Flop: 5 T 8 ($87. SB calls. and had finally tilted him: Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 6 players Converter Stack sizes: UTG: $214. who I had been 3betting light the whole time. So 78s. This is mainly common sence. If they 4bet light and c/r bluff a lot of flops with a good frequency. Also. so theres littly point me posting those.calling raises to light and not folding to cbets. try to get a read on what their calling ranges of 3bets are and how they play postflop after calling. Anything Else? One of the keys to 3-betting light is playing well is rr pots. And if you need some help on hands in rr pots. Position is also quite important. 2 folds. feel free to post hands you won or lost: This guy is a 23/16 TAG. you can check behind some flops for pot control etc. Instead I will post a few hands that I won BECAUSE I 3bet light.10 SB: $147 Hero: $484. I really recomment that you just have a go and practice makes perfect.30 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with T J UTG calls. 2 folds. SB calls. This needs reads.55 Button: $343. Maybe drop down a level if you're a bit scared. Button raises to $9. when you have position. KQs etc. Remeber that people raise way looser on the button that UTG etc. 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. but is SOOO important. dont 3bet lighgt these guys. and I's sure they'll help you out __________________________________________________ Here is where we are supposed to put example hands. or PM a few to some1 you respect. 3bet these guys.90 UTG+1: $142 CO: $218. You need to understand pot control and your image well. But all. The hands you should be 3betting with are ones that CAN win you a big pot. hands that have good showdown value. like AQ.

This is a classic example of some1 playing badly in rr pots. If I have a big hand. Hero raises to $18. SB calls all-in $90.70 Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is BB with A A 2 folds. Hero bets $109. SB calls. Hero bets $25. Turn: 2 ($305. River: 2 ($216. 3 players) SB checks. if I have a badish hand. This one is also vs a 22/16 type TAG. SB calls. Turn: 6 ($86. 3 players) SB checks. but if I wasn't rr 56s and 22 all day. SB raises to $6. 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.Main pot: $305) Results: Final pot: $305 SB showed 9d 8d Hero showed Th Jh Note quite how bad his preflop call is.SB checks. Sure I have AA here. Hero bets $65.7. Uncalled bets: $3. Flop: T 4 7 ($36. SB calls.90 Button: $59. 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: $254.10 SB: $198 Hero: $201. Results: Final pot: $399. I think even a 2p2er. Hero is all-in $93.7 Hero showed Ad As SB mucks Jh Tc 136 . he's screwed. 3 players) SB checks.7 returned to Hero. 1 player + 1 all-in . 1 player + 1 all-in . SB calls all-in $109.Main pot: $305) River: K ($305.

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

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

The good news is that your 65s has more equity against their ranges. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. Two folds to Nit on the button. a value raise. you’ll be priced in with the same hand after the same action against both Aggressive TAG and LAG as well.504% 77. and your hand is still a pretty big dog against the group of hands with which they’ll be pushing. it is not. Turning TT into a bluff by 4betting isn’t necessarily a poor play.22:1.30% 00. but it’s important to realize what’s occurring. 100/3.144% 30. You’re UTG with 65s. TT does have solid equity against the range of LAG. Pot Odds: You have to call $125 to win a pot of $278. you’ll get stacked more than twice as often as you’ll suck out.06. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. but calling is correct because folding would be a slight mathematical error.20% 63532548 168354.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. Two folds to Nit on the button. Note that none of these 4bets are for value. and you have it almost exactly. You’re priced in to call with only about 31% equity. These guys have wider 5bet shoving ranges. You need a little over 31% equity to call. You need a little over 31% equity to call.22% 159831996 515570. so folding against them becomes a significantly bigger mistake. 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. You can fold the hand without making a mistake.06% equity or more to call. You’re getting 278:125. Nit 5bets all in. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 22. You open to $7. or 2.22:1.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 77. You’re UTG with TT. or 2. so when you 4bet with this hand.29% 00. You make a pot 4bet to $75.22 = 31.00 { QQ+. and you only have about 22. The bad news is that they’ll 5bet shove on your 65s more often. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. Pot Odds: Same as above. You need 31. You’re getting 278:125. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 31. Nit makes a pot 3bet 139 .22% 72010208 515570. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24.5%. however. you’ve decided to turn your hand into a bluff.496% 22. You open to $7. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You open to $7.92% 00.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 68.First. let’s look at some scenarios in which you 4bet pot.63% 00. You’re UTG with 65s. The best hand you hold in the following scenarios is TT. Even TT is a dog against the widest of the villains’ 5betting ranges. each one is a bluff.856% 68. AKs.20% 18321336 168354. $125 to win a pot of $278.

You make a pot 4bet to $75.4% is enough equity that you should be calling.587% 63.06% equity or more to call. AKs. your TT is a slight dog (about $24. Nit 5bets all in. It’s notable that even against LAG.20% 221421192 693396.39% 00. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 36. You need more than 31% equity to call and only have about 19%.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. Pot Odds: You need 31.34% 20613120 628650. Pot Odds: Still $125 to win a pot of $278. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. You’re getting 278:125.943% 80.514% 88.86% 00.06% equity or more to call. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. since you’re priced in against this guy. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 11. or 2.00 { TT } Hand 1: 80.75% 00. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 19.21% 00.20% 99548892 242334.20% 126502032 693396.486% 11.17% 00. Like in the first scenario.413% 36.06% equity or more to call. You’re UTG with TT. You make a pot 4bet to $75. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. 36.00 { TT } Hand 1: 63. so you can pitch it without making a mathematical error. Two folds to Nit on the button. You’re UTG with KQo.5/55. You open to $7. You open to $7.15% 00.5).00 { QQ+. You open to $7. TT is generally a much better hand than 65s. but Nit’s range is so narrow that TT actually performs worse than 65s against the hands Nit could be holding. You make a pot 4bet to $75. Pot Odds: You need 31. You need 31.34% 163058412 628650. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No.22:1. you’ll also have to call against the remaining two fictional players. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24.057% 18. You’re UTG with KQo.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 88. 140 . Nit 5bets all in.20% 23252328 242334.

AJs+. You make a pot 4bet to $75. ThTs. Your hands will remain the same. and when you do call. 8h8s. Aggressive TAG 5bets all in.00 { JJ+. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.43% 194732364 3147627.62% 00.67% 00. AKs. You’re UTG with KQo. you’re still not getting enough equity against the range you’re facing. Such a 4bet risks less money while still denying villains the odds to set mine against you and to call with speculative hands.973% 67.25 times the villain’s 3bet ($54) instead of 4betting pot.82% 00. you make a small 4bet to 2.027% 31. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button. You need a bit more than 31% equity to call.76% 00.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 67. AQs+.00 { QQ+.Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. Now.33% 00. Pot Odds: You need 31.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 79. AsTs. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You make a pot 4bet to $75. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. as will the villains’ ranges. Pot Odds: You need 31. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 32. so 141 . You’re UTG with KQo.49% 388386852 2423022.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 73.43% 538687710 3147627. Two folds to LAG on the button. TdTs.06% equity or more to call.751% 20. 8c8s. This range is wide enough that you have to call.249% 78.249% 72.26% 00.49% 99910656 2423022. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. AhTh. and you’re only getting about 21%.00 { 99+. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 26.35% 351420780 3937734. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 20. However.06% equity or more to call. it makes calling a 5bet shove less attractive from a pot odds perspective. you’re a big dog. You make a pot 4bet to $75.35% 750276744 3937734. LAG 5bets all in. let’s look at some similar scenarios. You open to $7. TcTs.751% 26. In addition. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. in the following hands. You open to $7. Pot Odds: You need 31.06% equity or more to call. 8d8s.

30% 00. You need 36. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. Pot Odds: Same as above. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. or 1. If I were to assume that the villains’ 5betting ranges change when you decrease the size of your 4bet. You open to $7. 100/2. you were mathematically forced to call off your stack after the 4bet bluff with this hand.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 68. though. or 1. THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE CASE! For the purpose of this article. When you make the small 4bet. but a small 4bet doesn’t have the same fold equity as a 4bet to pot. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 31.856% 68. AKs.76:1. You make a small 4bet to $54. Note that when you 4bet pot.76:1.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 77. You’re getting 257:146. Nit 5bets all in. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. You’re UTG with 65s. assume that a small 4bet has the same fold equity as a big 4bet. Pot Odds: You have to call $146 to win a pot of $257. You need a little over 36% equity to call. You open to $7. Pot Odds: Same as above. You make a small 4bet to $54.92% 00. IT IS NOT THE CASE.5%. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.144% 30. You’re getting 257:146. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. $146 to win a pot of $257.504% 77. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button.23% equity or more to call. Important note: you might be thinking.00 { QQ+. you can fold to the shove without making a mistake. $146 to win a pot of $257. You open to $7. You make a small 4bet to $54. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. and you only have a bit more than 31%. You need a little over 36% equity to call.76 = 36.63% won’t be mathematically obligated to call shoves as often after making a light 4bet.22% 159831996 515570.29% 00. or 1. the examples would become extremely lengthy and complicated. You can fold the hand without making a mistake.20% 18321336 168354. and you only have about 22. You’re getting 257:146. Two folds to Nit on the button.23 Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 22. You’re UTG with 65s. 142 .” IN REALITY.76:1.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. You’re UTG with 65s.20% 63532548 168354.496% 22. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. “Fair enough. For the purpose of this article.22% 72010208 515570.

23% equity or more to call. so clearly you’re not priced in now that your pot odds have become less favorable.73% 00.76:1 and need 36.22% 95998006 721187. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. 8c8s.23% equity or more to call. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. You’re UTG with TT. LAG 5bets all in. You still don’t have enough equity to call.23% equity or more to call.31% 133367872 1400403. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. Pot Odds: Same as above. or 1. AsTs. You make a small 4bet to $54. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 19.057% 18. You need 36. 8h7h. 8s7s. You make a small 4bet to $54. you can fold 65s to the shove after 4betting. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. TcTs.33% 00.22% 224472772 721187.You need 36.368% 29.00 { 99+. AJs+.045% 29. your equity has dropped slightly despite the fact that the range you’re facing has widened. Two folds to LAG on the button. Pot Odds: You’re getting1. 143 . Nit 5bets all in. You’re getting 257:146. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.86% 00. 8d8s. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 29. ThTs. Even against LAG’s range.06% 00.00 { JJ+. You weren’t priced in to call against this guy even after making a pot 4bet.632% 70.76:1 and need 36.82% 00. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You’re UTG with TT. In fact. You open to $7. Two folds to Nit on the button. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 30. You make a small 4bet to $54. AQs+.76:1.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 70.20% 99548892 242334.943% 80. You’re UTG with 65s. You open to $7.31% 322728794 1400403.955% 69. TdTs. 8h8s.75% 00.00 { TT } Hand 1: 80.23% equity or more to call. You open to $7.20% 23252328 242334.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 69.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. $146 to win a pot of $257. AhTh.

Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 11.34% 20613120 628650. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No.17% 00. folding would only be a very minor mistake because the small 4bet leads to much less favorable pot odds on a call. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. barely.486% 11.Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 36. Nit 5bets all in. You open to $7.49% 388386852 2423022.15% 00.23% equity or more to call. You need more than three times the equity you have before calling becomes the right play. You’re UTG with KQo. You make a small 4bet to $54. Note that TT also became a call against this guy when you were 4betting pot. Equity: 144 . Pot Odds: You’re getting 1. but that then.514% 88.413% 36.751% 20. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1.26% 00.39% 00. However. You make a small 4bet to $54. the decision wasn’t a close one.00 { QQ+. Math dictates that with TT. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. Two folds to Nit on the button. You’re UTG with KQo.249% 78. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.76:1 and need 36.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No way. and it’s still not close.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 88. you’ll be priced in against Aggressive TAG and LAG too).21% 00. You’re UTG with KQo. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 20. AKs. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button.23% equity or more to call. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1.20% 221421192 693396. You make a small 4bet to $54. AKs. You open to $7. You open to $7.76:1 and need 36. Aggressive TAG 5bets all in.76% 00.49% 99910656 2423022. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.76:1 and need 36.587% 63.00 { TT } Hand 1: 63.34% 163058412 628650.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 79.23% equity or more to call.20% 126502032 693396. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. 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.00 { QQ+.

26. you were able to correctly fold against all four players. but you were priced in to call against LAG. 8d8s. with 65s and KQo.8 < 36.equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 26.865% 32.33% 00.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 73. Being able to 4bet bluff with the knowledge that you can fold to a 5bet all in is a nice luxury.82% 00.36% 360688620 3972930.23% equity or more to call. When you made a small 4bet. 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. When you 4bet pot with KQo.751% 26.43% 194732364 3147627.00 { JJ+. the small suited connector. You’re UTG with KQo.78% 00. When you 4bet bluffed small with 65s. the smaller 4bet provided you with increased leverage. When you 4bet pot with pocket tens.76:1 and need 36. meanwhile.the player with the next narrowest range -the decision to call in this spot was extremely close). TdTs. You open to $7. Decreasing the size of a 4bet makes this process 145 . but you were priced in to call against the other three players. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. Two folds to LAG on the button.249% 72. when you made your 4bet bluff smaller with this hand. you were able to fold against all four players’ shoves without making a mathematical mistake. 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.135% 66.51% 00. ThTs. AQs+. However. decreasing the size of your 4bet changed nothing with regard to the correctness of calling a 5bet shove against the given ranges. LAG 5bets all in. The same was the case when you decreased the size of your 4bet with the tens: folding was correct against Nit. you were priced in to call three times out of four when making a 4bet to pot. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.36% 740938512 3972930. Being mathematically forced to call off most of your stack is bad when you know you are a significant dog in the pot. However. you were priced in zero times out of four. 8h8s.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 67. Even against this guy you can fold and avoid getting all in preflop as a 67/33 dog. when holding the other two hands. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1.00 { 99+.43% 538687710 3147627. though. 8c8s. The results were especially drastic with 65s. but you had to call against the other three. Analysis When you 4bet pot with 65s.2. AJs+. you were able to fold to Nit’s shove. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 32. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Nope. When holding TT. 8h7h. You make a small 4bet to $54. TcTs. you were able to fold to a shove from Nit. With this hand.

according to this article. if you’re pulling this crap often with junk. smart villains should notice eventually and begin to shove over your 4bets with a wider range. it’s impossible to prove that fold equity is the same regardless of 4betting size. you adjust. 4betting pot would be inferior to both 4betting small and to 4bet shoving. With the information I have. Note that it’s important to make both small 4bets and 4bet pushes with both hands that are marginal and hands that are powerful.possible. However. 4betting small with premium hands is a good adjustment and is important for balance. 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. If I had some way of knowing that light 3betters react the same way to small 4bets as to pot 4bets. If they adjust. especially at 200 NL. Won’t villains adjust to my small 4bets? Probably not. How much fold equity (if any)? Tough to say. So. 146 . But yes. I’d eliminate the pot 4bet from my arsenal because if this were the case. in my opinion. I’ll probably begin to replace pot 4bets with a combination of small 4bets and 4bet shoves.

500 hands.3% chance with three players left to act. The odds none of the remaining players have “good” hands are as follows: . and 77.“Very Good Hand. and 82.6% chance with two players left to act. any pair. 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. I haven’t had quite as much time to think about it the second time around.3% chance with three players left to act. To those of you who consider blind stealing an insignificant part of the no-limit poker game. helpless. the harder it will be to successfully steal the blinds preflop. . “irrational exuberance” on my part. .” AA-TT.8% chance with two players left to act. Blind steals rely heavily on folding equity.“Good Hand. if somebody hadn't changed my title.“Great Hand. AJ: 84. and 55. habitual blind thief. any suited. and I always will.31% of the time – that works out to be 313 steal attempts out of 817 opportunities. I’ve always stolen blinds. and 91.8% chance with two players left to act. now that I’ve got your attention.“Premium Hand. and they have random hands. I’m reasonably good at it. AK: 94. and 16% chance with three players left to act. That means that for the frequent blind thief. I’ve stolen blinds from my eight-year-old cousin and from an 85-year-old great-grandmother. the weaker the average hand you’ll have when you attempt a steal. let’s turn to the issue at hand: how do you steal the blinds successfully? What’s the formula. Furthermore.5% chance with two players left to act.“Above Average Hand. hopeless. KQ: 87. In the last 17.9% chance with three players left to act. Pokey’s Rules for Blind Theft: 1. what’s the method. AK. it’s wildly successful. any two broadway: 29.1% chance with two players left to act. any two broadway: 67. Despite the fact that I’ve only attempted a blind steal one time every five orbits.” any ace.” all Great Hands plus 88.” AA-99. . think again – blind stealing can be an extremely valuable part of your poker arsenal.6% chance with three players left to act. Due to some…er. I steal blinds when I play no-limit hold’em.3% chance with three players left to act. heartless. AK.Blind stealing (Pokey) Well. I stole blinds when I played tournaments. I'd be a Pooh-Bah now. AQ: 90.10 PTBB/hand: that’s 110 PTBB/100. . Know yourself and know your target. I’ll admit it: I’m a ruthless. So. I stole blinds when I played limit hold’em. AQ. those steal attempts have generated over 30% of my total profits at the no-limit poker tables.” AA-JJ. then you 147 . or perhaps just an “image move” to help get paid off on your big hands. . 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. but I’ve decided to address an important and often-misunderstood topic in small-stakes no-limit poker: blind stealing. If your blind steals are a standard 4xBB. I’ve maintained a healthy win rate of 1. Like I said: done right. what’s the approach? The answer is that it’s quite easy.4% chance with two players left to act.“Super Premium Hand. Over those 313 blind-steal attempts. blind stealing is a VERY important contributor to your overall win rate. I’m forced to make a SECOND Pooh-bah post.” any pair. I’ve attempted to steal the blinds a whopping 38. and despite that. and 86. Note what this means: the “looser” your remaining opponents. The more frequently you try to steal the blinds. you’re hoping NOT to get to a showdown.

If our opponent is playing “Premium Hands.” If that’s your steal range. Since 3 out of 11 is 27. how often we will have a strong hand. Given that you are only attempting a steal 20% of the time. we need to apply that steady aggression. However.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 40. any two broadway cards. aggression.3%. how often our opponent will improve and we’ll improve more. When you get called preflop. we’re typically behind. and any suited connector down to 87s.will wager 4xBB to win 1.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 64% of the time.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 56. etc. any ace. As complicated as this all sounds. your flop bets should be sizeable. but we’re balancing competing issues: how often our opponent will improve.4% of possible holdings.6% of the time.5xBB. So against players who will only play “very good hands” versus a steal attempt. 20% of the time or less). Let’s assume that when we’re called. you should be stealing with literally any two cards from either BB or CO. if our opponents are likely to fold 72. So. Most opponents crumble quickly against steady aggression. . and doing so will show an instant profit even before the flop. While this sounds like a recipe for bankruptcy. the hand range your opponent will consider worthy of a preflop call will expand as you attempt steals more frequently. aggression. any king. this is not a tragedy – it’s an opportunity. how often we’ll improve but our opponent will improve more. the chances that on the flop you have 148 . any pair.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 73% of the time.4% of the time. we win immediately. . if your opponent folds. The odds that your hand is worth pursuing is therefore significant enough to warrant a full pot-sized continuation bet from you. to successfully steal blinds. all suited aces. Of course. . Aggression. great. how often our opponent will improve and still fold.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 49% of the time. I recommend stealing much more often than that. so you need to remain aware of both your table image and your opponent’s play style.If our opponent is playing “Very Good Hands. For people who steal infrequently (say.If our opponent is playing “Above Average Hands. and if not. As an example. we’ve got a few things going for us: namely. so if you immediately win 3 times out of 11 you will show an immediate preflop profit. that we have played the hand aggressively so far and that we will have position on this and every remaining street in the hand. it’s actually not bad at all.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 59. you will be stealing with reasonably solid hands yourself: collectively. what are the odds that by the flop our opponent’s hand is at least strong enough to beat unimproved pocket deuces? . 2. 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. and any two broadway cards make up 20. I don’t recommend stealing “only” 20% of the time. meaning that your hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 47.If our opponent is playing “Good Hands. we need to do so CAREFULLY so as to make sure that our attempts are profitable. .If our opponent is only playing “Super Premium Hands. This will be the case when we are relentless with our steal attempts and our opponents are conservative with their calls.If our opponent is playing “Great Hands. even if you never win a hand when you don’t win preflop.3% corresponds roughly to stealing with “any pair. some of his hand range will include unpaired preflop hands like AK. Consider that even if our opponent is playing as incredibly tight. you have a valuable hand often enough to make this a highly profitable hand for you. However.7% of the time. my steal rate of 38.7% of the time.1% of the time. . The flop is going to improve our hand about one time in three.

This should prove FAR from true.64)*(-5. EV = 0. the odds that he has a decent hand on the flop go up. If we consider only the tightest and loosest opponents. EV = 0.75) + (0. Skipping ahead to the loosest players: .908*(+0.Premium Hands: 90. however: first. and when they fold. we win 2.08 PTBB. raising the value of your PREFLOP bets.49)*(-5. The answer is not to bet less often on the flop. the odds that he CALLS your preflop bet go DOWN.674*(+0. While a pot-sized bet needs to win 50% of the time to be immediately profitable.36)*(+2.75) + (0. EV = 0. This assumes our betting is 2 PTBB preflop and 3.75) + (0. Note well two points.73)*(-5.Above Average Hands: 29.4% of the time they fold preflop.75 PTBBs. After the flop.059*0.326*0.059*0.75) + (0. this demonstrates a bizarre truism: the less likely your opponent is to fold.941*(+0. Notice what this means: if your opponent plays very tightly against your preflop raise.5% of the time they fold preflop.705* least a pair will be noticeably lower (something like 42.092*0. Much like bears in the woods.5) = +0.1% of the time they fold preflop.45 PTBB. we lose 5.17 PTBB. lowering the value of your flop bets. a 2/3-pot sized bet only needs to win 40% of the time to be immediately profitable. this assumes that our opponent is calling EVERY time he has a hand that is at least as strong as a pair of deuces. 36% of the time they fold on the flop. easy and simple rules must be thrown out the window. we see this: . From here on in.75) + (0. the answer is to bet a smaller quantity on the flop. A safe bet is that we will win at LEAST 1/3 of the time when our flop bet is called.326*0.705*0. we lose every time. . assuming they will (a) fold preflop if their hand is outside of the specified range (winning 0.8%).Super Premium Hands: 94.75) + (0. the opponent holding 22 on a board of AKQ is assumed to call our continuation bet.5 PTBB on the flop. I do want to point out a few simple points that might make help you in your blind-stealing adventures: 1. . your opponents are more afraid of you than you are of 149 . However.51)*(+2. At this stage of the hand. and that safely makes all of these calculations +EV. thus. 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. our EV calculations have thus far assumed that whenever we have not won with the flop bet.51 PTBB.401)*(-5. 27% of the time they fold on the flop.75) + (0. especially against the loosest of our opponents.5 PTBBs). 59.599)*(+2. there is too much “art” in the play to be easily categorized in a summary like this. and (b) only call the flop with a hand that can beat 22 (when they fold. rather. Once again.5) = -0.5) = +0. EV = 0.9% of the time they fold on the flop. 51% of the time they fold on the flop.75 PTBBs).8% of the time they fold preflop. Also. Consider the value of a steal attempt from the big blind against the various opponents. the less profitable your blind-stealing will prove to be in terms of folding equity.5) = +0.295*(+0.Good Hands: 67.092*0.75) + (0.27)*(+2.

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

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

we are punishing that mistake. they have to post their blind without even seeing their hand. what should you normally do? Well folding certainly doesn't look too bad. so SC. You have K 2 . I know that a lot of good players/respected posters do this already and some don't like it at all. lets think about what will happen after we make this play a few times. what hands should you be doing this with? After how many limpers? After what sort of limpers. So by raising. Check you BB/100 when blind stealing in PT. It means 1) they will be folding more. Normally. we now win 2. what I'm about to write is not for every1. you should do it with your normal blind stealing range.. So even if you do get called. OK. that they normally wouldn't put in. Or maybe you're sitting at a table of just mega unobservant fish. of limpers: normally 1 or 2. they won't continue after your flop cbet very often. I'm sure that for most of you it's bigger than 60 PTBB/100. 2) It's scary the amount of times that I've seen people limp/fold preflop. so it's less likely the blinds will see it as that and play back at you. This means they will usually make even bigger mistakes than usual as they try to adjust Next. Well. NLTH is a badly structured game in the way that when you play without antes. 6) Our oppponents are plays sub-optimally by open limping. These hands miss the flop very often. Kxs. low PP etc etc. either trash/SC/PP. now that a hell of a lot of $$$$!!!! The reason for this is in a way. which as we've already discussed is $$$$$$. 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. but sometimes more if conditions allow 152 . they're losing 4BB every 5 hands. IMO. even from CO. either you're at a table of mega mega unobservant fish and you just keep raking in the money from their limps. yourblind steal doen't even look like a blind steal. OK. Now considering that a good TAG player will normally only play about 20% of their hands. No. what you have to realise is quite how +EV blind stealing is.freakdaddy. you don't HAVE to do this to play optimal poker.. Unlike blind stealing. Thats over 100PTBB/100.5BB. Well.Taking stealing the blinds to next level (Dan Bitel) Secondly. the blinds are at such a disadvantage.. and they realise what you're doing and they stop limping. unsuited connectors. we'll catch you yet 5) We'll get paid off more on our big hands. so lets say you're on the button and MP limps to you.. Axs. its a VERY good thing. this means that on the BB . so you can steal the blinds more. suited 1 gappers. Next. 4) When we take it down preflop. We've got a poor hand after all. 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. is this a good thing or a bad thing? I think in a way.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Well its standard to PFR 4xBB + 1 for each limper. Lets assume our villain in this example plays a semi TAG game at 18/6/1. We would always come out for a C-Bet in this spot when checked to. If he is willing to call a PSB on the flop with an OESD then we need to make a PSB. it is unlikely that he holds 53 for an openender and there are no flush draws out. Now lets take the same villain and change our flop around. Now our villains 18% has become much larger in possible holdings that can outdraw us. We still hold AKo in the CO and he is still in the BB. If we say the flop is 10 9 4 now we have a different situation to face. (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. 44. 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. 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. no more. let alone made a hand strong enough to call us down with. In a heads up pot any random hand will miss the flop 2/3 of the time. so we came in for our 4xBB + 1 for one limper and we were called by the BB only. In our AK example our job is to get villain to fold. If any further action is pursued then we can readjust our read and make the appropriate play. If we feel that 1/2-3/4 PSB is the right amount then that is the amount we should bet. Most of this post may be trivial to most but it may be helpful to some.5. This board has become draw heavy as there are POSSIBLE flush draws and straight draws on board. #1 reason is to protect what is most likely the best hand at this point. particularly continuation betting. All continuation bets should be no less then 1/2 PSB to no more then full pot. How much should my continuation bet be??? That question depends on a few different factors. (For simplicity's sake im negating the fact that villains possible QJ are also live outs against our AK here). or 22. We likely are still ahead of his holdings so here we are betting for protection and value. his 18% range is much wider then these 3 hands and we are ahead of almost all of them. 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. or even just a good reminder to most Why continuation bet??? Well that answer is easy. For the time being I would like to keep our post flop to heads up play. 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. Our bet sizing does not need to be full pot here. We only need to bet an amount that we feel is enough to "get the job done". 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.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. no less. 166 . I will try to go through a few different examples to describe my meaning. In the CO we hold AKo. The flop comes 9 4 2 .

Say we raise 67 4xBB from the button and are called by BB. Well it seems my C-bets keep getting called and i havent been improving." This quote in our context I'm not only applying to a semi bluffing hand such as a FD or OESD. 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. Sometiems your villain will hit a flop and check raise you. Go with your feel.Well I followed your advice but every continuation bet I make gets check raised or called and we check down This is ok. #1 We do not want to be C-betting OOP in multiway pots. 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. 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. This is actually the beauty in a continuation bet (to be discussed later). #2 We hold a hand such as AA and the flop is KQJ. The semi-bluff in this situation can be –EV IMO. It is then your decision to step back and play poker with AK on the 942r board. Is there a time when I shouldn't be C-Betting YES. 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. 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. 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. Opponent dependent and note dependent I will sometimes not C-bet against this villain. A continuation bet is a small bluff and from time to time they will get picked off. #3 A good quote from jjb108 "This is an important point to remember…the average donk plays Axo. C-betting becomes espically important with SC's when we flop our draws. Villain will most likely check his weak ace to us for fear of being outkicked/FPS with top pair. Aside from this aspect my main reason to keep C-betting (which I fail to do sometimes 167 . 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. Against this opponent we need to C-bet when we actually make a hand and have him pay us off with many worse hands. When up against a calling station we do not need to C-bet bluff because he will be calling us down. We have now bought ourselves a free card on the turn should we need it to complete a draw we may have flopped. 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 do not want to be C-betting in a few different spots.

We need to keep C-betting to set our self up for later hands. 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. as well as flop texture and size up the appropriate bet. 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 . 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. Villain 3 times in a row picked off my AKo C-bet on a Q72r flop. We need to keep portraying the image we have set up with them and bet into the pot. Against the same Semi TAG villain from the previous examples. with AA on a 942r board we are betting for value since its alomst certain we have the best hand. This here is a double edged sword also. 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. The same is true when we actually flop a big hand. 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. 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. the whole table sees that we are leading out with powerful hands and not trying to slowplay them. By this time he has me pegged as a bluffer. 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. We need to look at our villain.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

you want to maximize your winnings and play a big pot. hands that the board ‘hits’ are much greater on coordinated boards than on dry boards. if you always bet too much. Works best against: Weaker villains. you’re losing a ton of value when you make a small bet when your opponent would have called a much larger bet. Methodology #1: Sizing your bets based on the strength of your hand Seems straightforward enough. It’s also worth noting that I don’t consider any one strategy to be any more or less favorable than any other. On the one hand.Some thoughts on continuation bet sizing (Panthro) Most 2+2’ers are familiar with the 4xBB + BB/limper preflop betsizing methodology. and have pots stolen from you when you show weakness with small(er) bets. we want our bet sizes to encourage our opponents to make mistakes against us. 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. On the other hand. 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. Obviously. that is. 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. Disadvantages: Against good/observant villains you lose action on your big hands. you’re going to lose the most when your opponent calls with a hand that’s better than yours. When you have a strong hand. Note that this article will not cover the “ifs” and “when’s” to continuation bet. you want to minimize your losses and play a small pot. On the flip side. A solid villain will correctly fold his marginal holding facing your pot sized bet. I’ll leave that for another time. 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. Theoretically. By telegraphing the strength of your hand with the size of your bet. but what about post flop? Do we always bet the pot? Min bet? Shove? On one hand. and will interpret your smaller bets as weakness and raise you off your hand. and the largest amount you think your opponents will call when you have a strong hand. when you always bet too little. risking a large amount just seems silly when you can bet smaller and achieve the same result. or what conditions make a bet +EV or –EV. or float with the intention of taking the pot away it away on a later street. villains who call preflop raises to play fit or fold. and you’ll wonder why you always get raised when you have nothing and always get folds when you flop the nuts. etc. you’re allowing your opponents to play perfectly against you. Since the texture of the flop impacts the shape of the hand distributions. Big mistakes. and when you have a weak hand. Mistakes that maximize our expectation. The obvious drawback to using this tactic is that you become very exploitable to observant opponents. 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. types of villains or flops to cbet. 177 . Lack of balance. Rather. So you bet as the smallest amount your opponents will let you get away with when you’re bluffing. you’re offering your opponent correct pot odds to continue with drawing hands and suck out on you. villains who don’t show aggression against weak bets without a hand.

Methodology #3: Adjusting your bet sizing based on the depth of the stacks 178 . SB calls $3. This strategy is very advantageous against the type of villain who will raise smaller continuation bets with drawing hands sensing weakness. Y (6 Players) 4 folds.5. Hero raises to $4. when we make large bets on drawy boards with strong hands. 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. Hero bets $5.50 Example 2: a middling drawy board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. BB folds Flop: ($9) 9 Q J (2 Players) SB checks.5.we make our bets larger on drawy boards and smaller on dry boards Since dry boards miss most hands. BB folds Flop: ($9) 8 4 9 (2 Players) SB checks. but is more liable to flat call a larger bet sensing strength.5. After all. Also. SB calls $3. a somewhat coordinated board. 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. On draw heavy boards that hit a wide range of hands. 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. and we’d much prefer our opponents to play passively against us. Lets look at 3 examples: a dry board. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. Hero bets $8 Works best against: all villains. SB calls $3. we’re anticipating getting a lot of money in the middle before the river when many drawing hands in our opponents range become worthless. Hero raises to $4. and a very coordinated board. Disadvantages: Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands and vice-versa. BB folds Flop: ($9) A 2 8 (2 Players) SB checks. and some bet sizes we may decide to fire into each pot. Example 1: a dry board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. the semi-bluff can difficult to defend against with marginal one pair type hands. Hero raises to $4. Hero bets $7 Example 3: a very drawy board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. you effectively disguise your hand to your opponents.

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

credit Ray Zee. you can take a stab at more pots while risking a smaller amount of chips. 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). 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. Methodology #5: Always bet x% of the pot. 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. Methodology #6: Overbetting the pot Making a large overbet doesn’t have to work all that often for it to be a profitable play. chasers. Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands. As with the previous methodology. Most of the same disadvantages associated with the aforementioned bet pot methodology are apparent in this theorem. 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. or in blind battles where opponents always think an aggressive player is FOS and trying to buy the pot. by always betting pot you’re risking a lot to win a little when you’re bluffing. as every pot you play in as the aggressor will be of the same size (number of opponents is relevant here). Some opponents will interpret your overbet as weakness or a bluff and call down with a marginal hand. calling stations. Disadvantages: Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands and vice-versa. Lastly. Using this strategy extracts maximum value from ‘calling stations’ who won’t fold with any piece of the board. Works best against: all villains Disadvantages: Higher variance.pots regardless of hand strength reduces your ability to utilize pot control. but the actions you may want your opponents to take 180 . Works best against: all villains. Methodology #7: Adjust your bet sizing on the objective you’re trying to achieve -. Balancing overbetting strong made hands with weaker hands/bluffs can be difficult and/or suboptimal. 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. villains who like to make hero calls and pick off bluffs. Works best against: Weak players. villains who don’t like to fold. I’ve had some success using this strategy after losing a large pot when my opponents perceive me to be on tilt. Disadvantages: Bigger bets may lose action when a smaller bet would not have. With a smaller continuation bet size than the ‘bet pot’ advocacy.

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. we view the button as an aggressive villain who is capable of making a move. enough theory mumbo jumbo. or at the very least force them into a difficult decision as to whether or not they should continue with the hand. or to induce a raise. With a dry Ace high flop. Sometimes you want to bet smaller when OOP to price yourself into seeing cheap cards. and bet the pot when you don’t want action or want to discourage opponents from making plays or calling down lightly. In our short history. Nevertheless. Maybe the button was planning on making a play regardless of our bet size. T (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. 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. it is something to keep in mind.against you. 2 folds Flop: ($9. 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. we make a bet of size A because we want our opponent to take action X.50) 8 3 A (2 Players) Hero bets $5. On to the next meeting… Hand 2: (same villain) Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt A . We open UTG open get called by the 20/10 button. As an example. Flop: ($9. Say for example. Q (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. a 18/14 thinking TAG who uses a highly varied bet sizing methodology. BTN raises $20 Easy fold right? Well. 2 folds.50) 8 3 Hero bets $5. 2 folds. Or bet larger to force your opponents to fold. Still with me? OK. 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. 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. BTN calls $4.50) 5 K T (2 Players) 181 . and maybe he wasn’t. maybe.50. the on collected the pot and exposed his hole cards. J Q .50… A (2 Players) We’ll play the role of hero. or to pick up the pot with minimal risk. 2 folds Flop: ($9. Hand 1: Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt T . 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. 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. we might choose to make smaller ½ pot bets when you want action or want to induce a raise. BTN calls $4.

Now again.50) 5 K T Hero bets $8. 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. Disadvantages: By varying our bet sizes based on a specific set of objectives. p57). we may face difficult decisions on later streets as opponents reactions may or may not be influenced by the size of our bets.50) K (2 Players) Hero checks. (2 Players) The button folds and hero collects the pot. We now have a stronger suspicion that this villain may perceive our smaller continuation bets as weakness and larger continuation bets as strength. BTN calls $4. Ship it. Button mucks K T and hero collects the pot. so we adjust by making a larger bet with a hand that we don’t necessarily want action with. The idea is to adjust better than your opponent does. We’re not necessarily always trying to deceive our opponents with our bet sizes. Works bets against: villains who we have a very good read on. Hero calls $14. and we intend to exploit our read by manipulating our opponent into making a mistake. Miller.50. or make a smaller bet when we’re bluffing. 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. Flop: ($9. and yet still be able to manipulate them into doing what you want them to do. we have a read that this villain may have interpreted our smaller continuation bet as weakness. 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.Hero bets $8… In this hand. 2 folds. in a game with no absolutes. 2 folds Flop: ($9. The next time we flop a strong hand we might make a larger bet. BTN calls all-in.50) 7 J Hero bets $5. Now obviously. Hand 3: (same villain) Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt 7 . Flop: ($9. BTN folds. BTN bets $38. However. this may or may not be the case. Turn: ($49. Requires constant adaptation.50) 7 J 2 (2 Players) Hero bets $5. Maybe the button decided to fold in this hand given he recently made a play against us.50… 2 (2 Players) Using previous history and our read on villain. 7 (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. so we’ll need to make continuous adjustments. but rather. BTN raises $20. Do note. or maybe he had a timing tell and felt we were stronger in this hand than in the previous one. our static strategy won’t work forever on this particular villain. Hero raises all-in. 182 . NLHETAP. 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.50.

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

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

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

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

Why am I focusing on smaller bets on the river? Well.5*(70)) = $59. Then our EV is 1. so betting just a little more early on can make a big difference later on. those extra bets are usually on the flop. if it's going to go pot-pot-pot. It turns out that he only has to call 46% of the time on the turn for the lines to have the same EV. I want most of the money in before then so that he can make a crying call. 1/2. $30. we can run into a lot of situations where the villain has a good draw. or because I don't want villains drawing to it.5.5*(30 + 55) = $62. unless you think that villain is savvy enough to make some real adjustments based on the various lines you take. because it makes it that much easier to get more value on the later streets. More than one bet per street When we flop a monster. Pots grow exponentially. cr. 2/3. though? Let's say he folds the turn a lot. in situations like this. etc. you should be betting quite a bit when you have a great hand.  For the pot-pot line. 1/2 isn't good enough. he'll always call the river if he gets there because there's so much money in the pot.0*(10 + 7. Intuitively. So. If it's going to go 3/4.8*(17 + 0. We want to set things up so that. when the villain decides he'll call a 1/2-pot bet on the river.from the flop on. With shorter stacks. our EV is 1. if there's $10 in the pot on the flop. the bets will be $10. A lot of that transfers pretty easily when you start thinking about b3b.5) + 0. 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. either because I have the scary hand. 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. So. The key is to think "if I bet this much. it's quite possible that.2/3 line. pot-pot-pot bets will be bets of $10. That is. Then. As stacks get deeper. and we'll get about $130 of your stack in. $17. $45. With big hands. 2/3. The key is thinking ahead on the early streets. so you can get about 5x the pre-flop money in that way. that 1/2-pot bet is a lot of money.5x the pre-flop money in. Just so that you don't have to work it out on the fly. In practice. like 50% of the time. and we'll get $85 in. If it's going to go pot-pot-1/2pot. In that situation." 187 . he'll have an OK hand with a draw that missed on the river. this concept gets more important. this means that I'm much more likely to go pot-pot on scary boards. so you can get 8. you won't be able to make sizeable bets on all streets. I usually try to squeeze out as much value as I possibly can on the early streets.5. you can get 13x the pre-flop money in.0*(10 + 10) + 0. $30 and $90. let's say he'll always call the flop. 3/4. Then again. That's 1/3 more money than we were making with the smaller bets. the pot will be that much on the next street and the stack sizes will be blah blah. the bets will be $7. $30 and we'll get $54 in. Similarly. it's likely that we can get more than one bet in per street. if we have full stacks and want to get it in. What's our EV if he'll fold the turn more often.

75) Hero ($38.10) 7 (2 players) BB bets $3. In this specific case. If it goes pot-call. Q .03. Turn: ($10. 2 .. And we see the river with $30 in the pot and $23 in our stack. Flop: ($2. so a push from the hero got a stubborn call.62) SB ($41.75. Hero raises to $1. Hero raises to $7. 188 .10) Preflop: Hero is Button with A . So. it's important to raise early on to set things up to get the stacks in later on. making it pretty hard to get the rest in. and villain was pretty likely to think he was getting pushed around.10) J BB checks.If there's $10 in the pot.10.HERO? (2 players) So. that sounds like the hand from the post I referred to earlier: Quote: UTG ($26. it will look like Flop: ($2. T (2 players) BB bets $1. though.10) 9 . Now. even if villain goes into check-call mode. Turn: ($6. 3 folds. you might get $20 in on the flop. Hmmn . Hero raises to $4. there was some history. 1 fold. hero ends up with $30 in his stack and $20 in the pot. BB calls $10. pot-call after that. you'll put in $50 on the turn and $150 on the river.81) MP ($30.10) 9 . (We'll often want to bet less on the river. Q .50) CO ($9. BB calls $3. Hero bets to $10. when you're playing against someone who has a 2x stack.97. getting $220 of your stack in. BB calls $0. T (2 players) BB bets $1. River: ($20. though). let's see how this would have played out with bigger bets: If hero makes about a pot-sized raise on the flop. Just for fun.49) BB ($47. SB posts a blind of $0.10) 7 (2 players) BB checks. Hero raises to $2. BB calls $1. BB calls $3. and it goes bet-raise on the flop.

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

If a scare card hits. straight. set. etc. For simplification. In the past. it makes sense to cut down on the junk you’re playing from the CO. and the players in the blinds tend to defend their blinds by calling preflop. How To Play With Your Junk After The Flop WARNING: NOT EVEN CLOSE TO SAFE FOR WORK But seriously. but this article is theoretical in nature. quads. 2. overpairs. but both of them have a tendency to overvalue top pair. and also in a way that I think proceeds from least interesting to most interesting: is a 65/1/1 fish who A) rarely folds his blind and B) rarely folds postflop. if the player on the button is constantly calling raises preflop and has a reasonable postflop game. This is obviously unrealistic. everyone folds. 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. Poker at its core is about playing big pots with big hands. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not 190 . But in general. it’s profitable to raise (and continuation bet. and neither of the tags in the blinds likes to fold to steals. bet. I’ll assume that there’s one villain per hand. this is read-dependent. you’ll still want to glance at the percentage of time the blinds fold to steals. and you get the blinds. In a case like this. I’ll raise to isolate the fish with almost any two cards. But sometimes you’ll get a caller or two. Maybe effective stats are deep. and that stacks are always 100 BBs. big draw): You lucked out with your junk. you’ll want to slow down sometimes. Playing junk from late position is easy when you pop it up preflop. boat. 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. I’ve been guilty of not paying enough attention to this statistic. You hit the flop hard (two pair. You have a big hand. so start building the pot. and fabricated hands designed to illustrate the written principles. trips. but you’ll also want to look at the percentage of time the button calls a preflop raise. when I came up with the idea for this post. that the villain won’t 3bet preflop. flush. of course. 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. 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. If you’re in the CO. that he won’t donkbet the flop. Note that I ordered the three categories in this list in a way that I think proceeds from easiest to hardest to play. royal flush. I intended for this section to be the meat of it. I could spend time coming up with more examples. bet is usually the play here. Use non-statistical reads: Maybe you’re on the button. Bet. and it’s time to get the villain’s monies. but tend to shut down if they miss postflop. or B) the villain is a thinking player and you want to throw him a curveball for shania’s sake. of course) with any two cards.

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

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

but rarely in poker are there flawless plays. $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. 2 players) BB checks. Checking does carry the disadvantage of making it impossible to stack the villain if we hit on the river. Hero bets $30. River: K ($41. Against the 65/1/1 type I described at the beginning of the post. very little drawing potential): Your hand is more or less hopeless at this point. MP folds. BB folds I’m calling this a “big draw” and including it in the first category of hands because against this villain. the best play is often just passing up on a continuation bet and shutting down. $1/$2 No Limit Hold'em Ring Game 6 Players LegoPoker Hand Converter 193 . Read: The villain in the following hand is very aggressive postflop and likes to raise your continuation bets with a wide variety of hands. Hero shoves. 2. Hero raises to $7. you’re willing to reraise all in with it after he check-raises your continuation bet. and the only way to win the pot is to bet. putting more money in the pot might as well be burning it. BB calls $30 Time to value bet. say 17/13/3. Read: The villain in the following hand is a straightforward tag. but if he’s not folding and you have a minute chance of improving to a real hand. Flop: 6 Q 8 ($15.5 or so. You missed the flop entirely (no pair. SB folds.only thinking on one level and will probably pay off a river bet if you hit anyway. 2 players) BB checks. and has respect for your play. but you’ve played a ton of hands with him and never seen him make a move or a “tricky” play postflop. though. CO folds. and to continue at times on the turn (and I don’t make a habit of three-barreling. 6 players) UTG folds. BB calls $5 See above. and he’ll fold often enough to the shove for it to be a good play. The play in this spot is generally to make a pure bluff on the flop. BB raises to $40. The villain’s range is very wide. You have at least eight outs no matter what the villain is holding and against a hand like AQ. It might feel strange to raise preflop with a garbage hand and then not even bet the flop. He’s a solid player. He plays solid. Hero bets $11. you’re less than a 2:1 dog. but sometimes it’s +EV with the right board and the right read).

2 players) BB checks. but aside from that seems like a donk and Poker Ace Hud shows that he has gone to showdown 28 percent of the time. 6 players) UTG folds. position. and there’s a good chance he’ll fold a queen. Hero bets $35. Not a play I’d make every time. Hero raises to $7. which is fairly high. SB folds. You want to bet based on the texture of the flop and not on the strength of your hand. a queen. suited cards. but this is a thinking player’s turn bet. so you make the same bet as you made with the monster hand on the drawy flop above. Turn: 2 ($41. He calls. which is a good thing in this spot. The club provides our hand with a runner flush draw. BB calls $11 194 . MP folds. The villain most likely won’t continue to draw against us with these pot odds. etc. MP folds. CO folds. BB folds The turn is a brick. and if you flop big. but that’s hardly a good draw. or diamonds. 2 players) BB checks. Flop: K Q 3 ($15. BB calls $13 Bad flop.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. 6 players) UTG folds. you might get rewarded with a stack. maybe even the weaker kings in his range. Raising will steal the blinds pretty often. BB calls $5 Blinds. implied odds. SB folds. JT. and B) most of his range will fold to a turn bet. because A) the villain is straightforward enough that we can assign him a fairly tight range. You know the big blind has a tendency to pay off. CO folds. Flop: A Q 5 ($15. which more or less means he has a king. 2 players) BB checks. Hero bets $11. BB calls $5 I’m raising suited connectors in this spot almost every time. Hero raises to $7. Hero bets $13. Betting here is a solid option. $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.

2 players) BB bets $24. BB calls $12 195 . Hero raises to $7.He’s folded more than half the time to continuation bets. Turn: 5 ($37. 2 players) BB checks. Turn: 3 ($15. Hero checks The continuation bet didn’t work. 2 players) BB checks. so we can’t semibluff either. so theoretically even a full pot cbet should show a profit. and raising is just asking for it. $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. He has folded to continuation bets only two times out of 15 and gone to showdown 53 percent of the hands he’s played. and we don’t even have an ace. Read: The villain in the following hand is the 65/1/1 megafish described earlier. 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. and our read is that this villain likes to go to showdown. Now is a good time to give up. Hero checks He’s not folding. 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. CO folds. Hero bets $12. SB folds. 2 players) BB checks. 6 players) UTG folds. As Taylor Caby would say. Hero checks See flop analysis. We still don’t have a pair. MP folds. You bet a little over two thirds of the pot because the flop is pretty dry and again. consistency is a good thing. Hero folds J-high is good almost never in this spot. BB calls $5 You know the big blind is probably calling preflop. but raising is good anyway because it’s +EV to isolate this dude with pretty much any two cards. the runner flush draw we flopped was eliminated by the turn card. just pitch the hand. River: T ($15. even against this villain. River: 2 ($37. especially with position. so there’s little reason to bet. Flop: 2 K 4 ($15. The only reason to consider betting now is if you think queen-high is good enough for value.

ten outs. this can mean overcards. 2 players) 196 .depending on your read of the villain and your feel for the situation. You got a piece of the flop (bottom pair. 3. the villain calls. your hand might be good but can’t stand to play a big pot. Turn: 3 ($41. three outs to two pair). If you have a weak pair. but with the knowledge that your hand has some outs if you get called. MP folds. a gutshot and an overcard. but if that doesn’t occur. Unfortunately. etc. B) Bet. 6 players) UTG folds. Hero raises to $7. low top pair. Your goal is to take down the pot. BB calls $5 This hand is some serious junk. 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. BB calls $13 You flop middle pair and elect to semibluff with it. because it’s going to be pretty tough to bet all three streets with this hand unimproved and see a showdown. SB keeps the pot small. even a hand as good as an open-ended straight draw or a flush draw. CO folds.Time to take this noob to valuetown. You might have the best hand at this point. you are betting and hoping the villain folds. you’re generally not betting for value. middle pair. $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. A “mediocre draw” is any draw that you’re not willing to felt on the flop -. 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. 2 players) BB checks. It’s not a certainty that your hand is best. If you have a draw that you’re planning to fold to a raise on the flop. A check behind with a mediocre draw like a gutshot and overcards is somewhat tricky. If you flop middle pair and elect to continuation bet. You bet $13 because the board is drawy. at least you’ve inflated the pot for your five outer (two outs to trips. and ensures that you won’t get raised off your hand and that it gets a chance to improve to trips or two pair. A check behind with a hand like middle pair is a “value check” -. It doesn’t make much sense to bet your jack for value at this point. Hero bets $13. a mediocre draw): I left this for last because I think it’s the most discussable situation. 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. but that doesn’t mean the continuation bet was for value. Bets in spots like these are semibluffs. induces bluffs. Flop: J 3 Q ($15.

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


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.


$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,


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.


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 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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A2s+. Total probability: 14.1%. any suited ace" 25% = "any pair. AK. Total probability: 23. Some of the best poker players in the world ignore many (or all!) of those other "rules" in poker. any ace. AK. the first thing you do is you put your opponent on a hand. Any suited ace: A2s-AKs. Other players are exquisitely good at all the fundamentals but stink at hand reading and therefore struggle to consistently beat $50NL.5%. Total probability: 2. To give you a VERY broad feel for what different percentages translate into. 32o-AKo. Know thy numbers.sorry. "Maximum suited connectors": JTs-54s. suited aces. KTo+. Any ace: A2o+. QJo" or "any pair.9%. AK. KQs. what does 30% really MEAN? We know it's loose. your opponents work very hard to AVOID letting you know the cards in their hands.3%. the basics are describable. What do you do? Well. QQ." 10% = "pairs 66+. Total probability: 10. Premiums: AA-TT. and make mountains of cash for their troubles.9%. any suited ace" 20% = "any pair. blame the mod) to get you started. any ace. AQ. any suited connectors 54s+. After some thought I came up with these Five Commandments of Hand Reading (I had ten. Total probability: 5. AA. Total probability: 3. Any pocket pair: AA-22. suited connectors 54+. So you know that your opponent who just limped has a VPIP of 30%. any suited broadway.6%. any two broadway. 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. AQ. AQs" or "pairs 99+. there is no "magic formula" for hand reading. any suited connectors 54s+. QJs" 15% = "any pair. any king. any suited king. AK. 1. K5o+" Again. KK. any two broadway.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.5%. including pairs. Any two broadway: Two cards. Total probability: 14. any suited king. AQ.9%. AK. any broadway" 40% = "any pair. KQ. but one of the tablets broke when EMC dropped it -. KQo" 30% = "any pair. have deadly-accurate hand reading skills. AK. Total probability: 2. any ace. Total probability: 5. KQ. Any two connectors: 32s-AKs. any ace. any ace. any suited broadway.6%. AQ. Any two suited: literally. Unfortunately.9%. here are some potential example ranges: 5% = "pairs 77+. any suited connectors 32s+" 50% = "any pair. Also realize that some players who are loose and passive will raise with SECOND-best hands like 88- 209 . 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. both T+. any two suited cards. Total probability: 14. Unsuited ace: A2o-AKo. while there is a great deal of artistry in hand reading. Hand reading is simultaneously the most important and the most difficult thing that a poker player does. after all. However. any two broadway.

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

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

Bet while your hand is best and charge him well to try and outdraw you. two pair is the scarier event. AK and AQ obviously have you outkicked. High Card Value: your opponents love playing high cards. At small stakes games. When someone plays back at you on a fairly connected board. 212 . A monochrome flop of J-T-9 is MUCH more dangerous than a monochrome flop of J-7-2. Besides. Bet and protect! Connectedness: here we're talking about how many cards to a straight the board has.the ones that have made two pair. A straight draw can become an almost unbeatable monster. Always be aware of straight draws -. so the odds that your opponent is drawing to a flush are now 5. what are the odds that his hand beats yours? Well. the odds that your opponent has two spades drops to 2. The next highest board card is a T. No. right?) but they haven't.3% and the odds that he flopped a flush DRAW are 15. so the odds that this flop has completely missed your opponent are higher than usual. Incidentally. 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.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. 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).6 times higher than the odds that he flopped the monster. you've outgrown calling raises with KJo and A9o (you HAVE outgrown that.6% and the odds that he has one spade drops to 14. When the board is connected. check/calling in the hopes of improving. 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. and the unlikely AA has you decimated. but they will play aggressively with two pair. if your board has three spades and you have one in your hand. but it has to GET there first. the raise makes overcards much more likely than usual. I'm usually done with the hand. If an ace hits the board in a multi-way pot and I don't have AT LEAST AQ. you need to decide if they're likely drawing or if instead they've flopped some powerhouse hand. TPTK) DO NOT PANIC AND START CALLING! Bet out and protect against the draw that is 4. However. the flop comes 7-6-5. you need to beware of two separate possibilities: your opponent might have two pair and your opponent might have an open-ended straight draw. If one other player has an ace. A flop raise or a flop float can prove extremely valuable to you. The odds that your single opponent flopped a made flush are 3. Think about this: say you have AJ on an ace-high board. Worse yet. If you've hit a solid hand (say. a connected board can often be used as a powerful bluffing or semibluffing tool. Much like a suited board. Say your 30/11/3 opponent raises preflop from MP and you call in position with 33.8%. and when those aces hit the board your opponents will hang on to their aces like they were made out of solid gold. because your weak-but-made hand is often drawing very thin against it. too. Playing these easily-dominated hands will prove very expensive for your inattentive opponents.75 times more likely than the made flush that has you killed. a pair of aces with a J-or-worse kicker is going to be in oodles of trouble unless that kicker connects. there are four OTHER aces that beat you -.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. many players will play very passively with a draw.they're a gold-mine to the savvy poker player because so many people miss them. Often. Pressing back hard should win you this pot quite often WITHOUT getting to a showdown. Heads-up.4%. the player holding JTs just stacked the preflop raiser holding AK. This is a REALLY good flop for attack aggressively: considering your opponent's stats. Two pair is already there. Opponents love nothing more than playing aces. if your opponent actually has a second-best hand. Your more aggressive opponents will bet BOTH hands strongly. Sure. Then you'll proceed based on the strength of your hand in relation to the range you think is likely for your opponent. When the flop comes A-K-Q. In this analysis I'm completely ignoring your inside straight draw -.

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

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

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

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

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

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

You do. Make your bets big and strong against these opponents. If they have some kind of hand strength. thinking you’re bluffing (even though you have a better kicker than they do). and show how they’ll apply in actual hands. ATC 3 (Good grasp of hand strength) – These opponents are almost non-existent at small stakes. let’s look at how to use this information in a real money game. Typically. and they’ll usually be fairly aggressive. however.5/1 NL and above at 6 max. You should like playing with them. When you are against ATC 2. These players are commonly called “fish” because they’ll put in too much money with weak hands and pay off against dominated hands. but they also show up in full ring games. position. 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. you will only see ATC 1 & 2 at small and mid stakes. want to value bet your made hands against them as they will nearly always pay off with weaker hands or dominated hands. and they may also call you down with any piece of it. then they are getting involved in a lot of pots for a reason. Make the appropriate additional note. when taking notes. but you need to be aware that if you miss the flop. because they know how to read situations well and win a lot of hands even when they have the worst hand. He is usually in a lot of pots because he is 219 . They can also read well when they have a good second-best hand and minimize their losses. Playing this style requires excellent hand reading and making a lot of difficult decisions. but a lot of times they will still go too far with a top pair hand. because they tend to not believe people betting into them. expand them a bit more. These players will play nearly any two cards. These players will be very visible. These opponents can be more dangerous. and that reason is usually because they believe they can bluff you out of the pot. Some will be ATC’s that have some concept of hand strength who think they are good LAG players but really they aren’t. So. You really don’t need to slowplay against these opponents. We’re going to take the above abbreviated notes. you will sometimes see them at . this player tends to be more on the aggressive side. These players will play any two cards. 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. The commonality to which you see all of these variations will depend on the stakes you are playing. This player can legitimately be called a solid LAG (loose-aggressive) player. or why to play certain hands in some situations and not others. 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. 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). ATC (Any two Cards) Players who literally play any two cards are divided into three types of players. make sure you know what type of ATC you are facing. because they’ll be involved in a lot of a second bet. When you are playing against an ATC 1. you know this opponent is just basically “fishy” (bad player). or bust you with their unusual T4o hand. but they generally won’t invest too much into the pot unless they have a good hand after the flop. Applying your abbreviated reads to situations Now that we have an idea of some of the things to look for. ATC 2 (Some grasp of hand strength) – You’ll see a lot of these players primarily in short-handed games. they may have hit it. and you need to be aware of the differences between these players. For these reasons you’ll typically run into a lot of people that are of the former two types of ATC’s described.

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

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

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

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

The AK player makes a bet of 7BB and you call the bet (pot is now 25BB). we hope they do have something and will be willing to go too far with it. 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. Most importantly. Everyone else folds and the flop comes: Ac9hJd. Pushing is also an option here. especially if you have position. and also don’t believe opponents have the hands they’re representing. The key to this hand against this type of opponent though is waiting until the turn to raise. it’s still OK (if it’s heads up) to take a stab at the pot. Remember that because we're labeling them AK.. On this particular flop. 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. If they have position on you. but between the two making a nice raise on the turn is the best play. 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. Then do your best to stay within the range that will keep them in the hand with you. There are a lot of CRW players that will limp and call large raises with weak hands like J9o. CRW (Calls raises with weak hands) Against opponents who will call raises with weak hands. If you hit a nice flop. 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. They tend to know that since most opponents will miss the flop a majority of the time. In order to make their play as unprofitable as possible. Generally however there are two types of LAF’s if you are keen enough to spot them. etc. you want to raise continually when they’re in a hand with you. they’d rather take the initiative being out of position and see if they can take down the pot with a bet. LAF (Will lead into pre-flop raiser and fold to a raise) These opponents aren’t very easy to spot. They tend to be somewhat on the more aggressive side generally. 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. pay particular attention to the hands they showdown and note how much they called with those hands. The turn comes the 6h and your opponent makes a bet of 15BB.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. 56o. It’s likely that it may have hit your opponent. and the flop comes something like: J83. doesn't mean that they have only AK. 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. They are only somewhat aggressive because they will nearly always fold 224 . you can pummel them with big bets and win a nice sized pot. That means that if you raise with AK and miss. 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. Against an AK opponent it’s best to wait until the turn since you know they are aggressive and may fire again with nothing. but that this type of opponents "double barrells" a lot. Now is when you should raise and commit them to the pot. but shut down if you’re called. T7o. It doesn’t need to be a pot sized raise as they may call with top pair. 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. When you have a big hand and raise. When you notice that a player is calling a lot of raises.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

It is very difficult to accurately assess what an opponent thinks of you. Remember this! Sometimes when an opponent keeps calling when we are very strong. it may be the case that he sees our range as very narrow. you assume people see your range as being very wide.sometimes think. or actually have your perceived range crushed. Please let me know if you think I have made an errors or have anything to add. Or you may think they caught a good hand but are just playing back. and harder still to think they will react based on how they feel. Now they are forced to think we hold either an overpair or AK (which may or may not bet true). They call or raise. ----The danger of playing TAG. 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 bet again on the turn. and misconstruing what our opponent thinks of us is a good way to massively leak EV. 5. 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). and can call with considerably fewer hands than they could on the flop. So by this reasoning. 4. The danger of perceived range (or image). is that opponents will be more likely to fold. on the other hand. The former happens rarely. and you get good hands much less frequently than bad ones. so it is not a major point of concern. bet a 7 high board against a good player. When they don't fold. 233 . We may narrow our perceived range by showing continual aggression. You may think they are playing back when they just caught a really good hand. 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). Or range narrows when we have been playing tightly. That's all for now. so you stand to make fewer errors playing TAG. We raise preflop. you have to go to showdown alot more. When you've been playing LAG. I considered third level thinking. but that would be hard to express and think it's beyond the scope of this single post.

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

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

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

. It also depends on the players style. Someone who's playing a lot of hands will probably go to showdown less often. Do notice that this goes hand in hand aswell with VPIP.these are tight can bluff these villains more often.these people play straightforward. . 20. 60. bets when checked to. given that he cbet the flop. middle pair with a good backdoor draw. 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. Probably overused a bit since it doesn't say 'that' much about how agressive a player is. They might have completely missed aswell though when they check.hands like KQ against their raises because you won't be dominated so often. 38.) When they check its often for potcontroll with a hand like KT on a AK2 rather low. 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. Higher VPIP will resolute into a lower AF. bluffs and semibluffs since you can't expect them to be putting in money too often. CBETturn: This is when villain bets the turn when checked to.. 3) postflop CBETflop/CBETturn/CRflop These stats are usefull for narrowing down handranges postflop. People with a high AF might just be playing a raise or fold style and therefor will have a high AF. 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. 3bets preflop. raises or floats c-bets. 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. Note: you need a large samplesize for these stats to be somewhat accurate! WTSD: Went To ShowDown. For example: someone with 21/17/3 stats is less agressive then someone with 35/32/3 stats. VPIP has a strong effect on this one aswell. 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. wont be really bluffing or taking shots at pots 43+ more agressive villains. They'll be checking hopeless hands. play for potcontroll more often and they might also slowplay their big hands. You should probably be leading with your big hands. 12. taking shots at pots.. This number 237 .

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. Therefor you can call the flop a bit lighter and expect more free showdowns.. low. You can valuebet QQ on a K87 board because you dont expect to be raised off with draws or worse hands. ATSB: When a player opens for a raise from either the low. 70. 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. 238 . suited connectors (you do have to find yourself in a position where you know you have a skill advantage over your opponent. 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. You can slowplay your big hands against them because they will be putting in more money with bad hands. button or cutoff. suited broadways and you can still 3-bet light with weaker hands (89s/TJs/. 25. You should also make notes on the type of hands they c/r you with. then it counts as an Attempt To Steal Blinds. suited broadways. You should be playing for pot controll more often against them. suited aces.) if ATSB is 20-: call with pocketpairs. suited broadways. CRflop: Once more a number that requires a super big sample size.requires a very large samplesize. 40+ is a loose defender and you shouldnt be stealing with trashhands. 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. 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. suited 1 gappers. This of course also depends on how bad they play postflop. Often bad players will be c/r you with TPWK hands and good players will be c/r you with all kind of draws. 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. AJ+ Fold bb To Steal: 80+ is a tight blind defender and you should be stealing more often with weaker hands. you should be c-betting more often against these players because they won't be bluffing you off with a worse hands. 3. His range postflop will most likely be pocketpairs or suited broadways. 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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. Combining stats: There are tons of information to be achieved by combining different stats. I also use w@sd to determine the accuracy of the wtsd-number. or he gives up with his weak hand (low wtsd). A floater either gives up or bet/raise. A high river af could be the result of villain being a habitual slowplayer. On the flip side. 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. a high turn af and a low wtsd is likely to be a habitual floater. on the river). 246 . Wtsd is a great stat.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. I prefer going by feel when raised on the river. Also. as checking isn't a part of the af ratio. if he often goes to sd. • A player with a low ftcb. he rarely calls. at least not when used to determine whether or not to induce a bluff. A high w@sd means is an indicator that villain only takes relatively strong hands to sd. not a bet. he's likely to call you down light. I'm just going to give a couple of examples. A floater generally calls alot of flops (low ftcb). Note that br has nothing to do with how often villain raises the river. It's quite straight forward. 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. Some of you might use river af instead of br. he's unlikely to call you down. If a player has a high wtsd you should usually just c-bet and give up. he tries to take the pot down on the turn with his weak hand (high turn af). the definition of a high af. thus we should v-bet him with a tighter range. personally I don't think that's a good idea. It's also the stat I use when deciding whether or not to check the turn through to induce a river bluff. maybe not even c-bet. raises effects the river af and raises aren't really relevant when it comes to bluffinducing. 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. And he rarely goes to sd because he either takes it down on the turn. That's because a player can easily get a high af despite checking behind alot. it's easy to mis-interpret the stats and why they look the way they do and end up spewing. if villain has a low wtsd. But beware.

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

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

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

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

251 . and this is what you use to your advantage. but precisely the opposite: becuase he hasn't really ever thought about mahatma's hand. 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. This is a long explanation of a simple concept. or else he would have bothered to realize that he (mahatma) MUST have the best of it (even though he actually doesn't). 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. This is when you can start making overpairs fold. you're only going to win at showdown. At higher stakes.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. bluffing at small stakes in big pots is generally less effective. it becomes more likely your opponents are concerned not only with their own cards but with what yours might be in making their decisions. Many of his most intelligent bluffs would simply be instacalled not because the individual is making a brilliant read of mahatma's hand. corollary to this idea. and that.

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