ARTICLES 2 + 2

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

20 from the big blind. 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.05c-. its onto you. You are $5 deep here I’d be inclined to fold because you don’t have the proper implied odds. E.40c from UTG+1 with 33.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.00 from the button. 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.10c game you make it 0. a very tight player with 15vpip raises to $1.00 from the button. you do want to make it 50c to go always with any pocket.05-.05-. You are also out of position. 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. in a . E.05-. 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. Also.40c from UTG with 33. 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. its onto you. 9 .g 1 In a .10c game you make it 0.10c game you make it 0.10c game you make it 0. It is onto you in the CO with 44. a solid player with 20vpip raises to $1. 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. E. You want to look at poker ace hud stats though in making the decision. There’s lots of literature on this in the sticky section of 2p2. If someone raises and you have a pocket pair. call if it is 5-10% of your stack.40c from UTG+1 with 33. This is all very important as pocket pairs are where most of your money comes from when you play tight aggressive 6max.g 2 In a .g 3 In a . 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. However. if you are facing a large raise or reraise you want to call off less of your stack out of position than in position.05-. You are $14 deep here I’d be inclined to call because you are in position so it will be easier to put money in. its onto you. its onto you. and you are also slightly deeper so you have better implied odds. a very tight player with 15vpip raises to $1. Hope you see the point of calling raises for set value. a solid player with 20vpip raises to $1.20 from the button. E. 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.10c game someone open limps UTG with an $11 stack (you cover).g 4 In a .40c from UTG with 33.

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. This can give you a lot of information on their hand but only take into this account if they seem to be a good player (because only good players widen their range in position). A brief note on 3betting When I played micro stakes entering a raised pot I pretty much never flat call a raise out of position ever! So if I have KQ in the blinds or AJ in the blinds and some raises I am either folding or raising. 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. Continuation bets Heads up when you’ve raised preflop you want to be c-betting 60-70% of flops. When you are considering entering a raised pot you should look at their preflop raise stat.5. The fishier the opponent the less you want to c-bet completely missed hands. 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 they have a full 100bb then I will raise 3-4times their raise. the wider the range of hands you can reraise with is. between 2/3rd and ¾ pot depending on stack sizes. I generally try to keep my continuation bets the same size. This is to do with the overall concept that your opponent will only hit the flop 1 in 3 times. I would consider a large raise % to be anything >17 and a high aggression factor anything > 3. thus 66% of the time your opponent will have missed and be unable to continue. 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. 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”. 10 . 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.Important concept: Something else to consider is their raise and aggression statistic. 3-betting “light” is a very hard style to play against and most people on microstakes think that when some1 reraises they have AA/KK so your c-bets don’t have to be as big because they are going to get A LOT of respect. If you feel the hand isn’t good enough for a reraise then dump it! Something very important which I forgot to mention is when someone raises look at what position they are raising from and if there are limpers in front. If you think they could have a wide range then 3-bet more liberally. Into multiple opponents you can get away with betting ½ pot occasionally but I don’t really recommend it. Anything less than 2/3 rd pot most of the time gets no respect. The higher it is. The smaller their stack size the less you can bet is what I find.

Also when you bet into multiple opponents you get more respect (generally). 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. 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. 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.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). Boards like Q88 with a pair are usually good to be c-betting too. Boards like: KJT with two diamonds are not good to be continuation betting 22 because so much of the range has hit this board you prob just spewing money away. 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.

Wield position like a hammer because it really is the most important concept in NLHE.Summary Things that I have just touched on and need A LOT more depth are c-bets. Practice and thinking about this game / posting hands / asking questions is the real fun and learning process. metagame. I suggest tight and aggressive. This is just a start. 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. 12 . Don’t get out of line and avoid marginal situations. 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. Good luck. 3betting.

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

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

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

Lets say for numbers sake we value 3bet an UTG opener 80% of the time.Being in Middle Position means that you will have one player to act in front of you (UTG) whom you have position on. For example maybe you only raise these hands roughly half the time you are dealt them. Light 3bets are certainly profitable. just do it less frequently. Again lets exam a standard preflop MP range. whether it be limp folding. First lets assign our 3bet range: Value: AKo/s AQo/s(situational) 16 . 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. so just simply raise less hands in this position. sure go for it. 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. Just like UTG this range can be manipulated based on the game quality. For the most part in a looser game you want to keep things closer to the vest. two players to act behind you (CO and BTN) who have position on you. isolate that limper. Adjusting: Loose games: You generally want to avoid things like A9o. Just like UTG you can still profitably raise 98s and 109s. you need to keep in mind that peoples limping range UTG is as tight as it will get for them (even though it could be wide). however all the same principals apply. You need to be very cautious when 3betting an UTG opener. because this is where their raising range is likely the tightest (ignoring when they are in the blinds). 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. Tight Games: These games you can open up more from this position. 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. however the ratio of light 3bet to value 3bet should be weighted heavily towards value. you will incorporate a few more hands. and light 3bet 20%. A5s Q10s Isolating: Pending a very weak player. 3betting: In general you should be 3betting far more in position that OOP. Use your image/table history to determine the optimal raising opportunity. Middle position is very similar to UTG. The only person you can 3bet in MP is UTG. 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. 65s+ A8s. playing 40% or more of his hands. and two players to act behind you (SB and BB) that you have position on. include. as its potential is very small.

and the Axs hands will block combinations of AA and AK (which will help avoid him 4betting you) and also have tremendous flop potential. as you will be able to flop gutshot+FD+over type hands.AJs+.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. This means for every 4 times you 3bet an UTG opener with something like AK or AA. 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.KQo The equity of these hands against this range are: AQ (all combinations) 48% AJs 41% JJ 54% 1010 50% KQs 38% Whereas: AA 85% KK 72% QQ 63% AK 56% Light 3bet hands: 56s-QJs Axs (x should = 5 most often.AJs(situational) KQs (situational) AA KK QQ JJ(situational) 1010(situational) When I say situational I mean that it is possible that 3betting with these hands is marginal to the point where you are not clearly ahead of their range. A10o. 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.KQs. however it is uncommon to 17 . We said we wanted to use an 80/20 ratio. Anyway back to examining when to 3bet. 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. 20 bluffs. QJo. As stacks get shorter this scenario you should avoid hands like 22-66 and 98s. Avoid all other hands as they will form second `best hands often and get you in marginal spots. A9s. 80 value. A player that plays 14/12 and raises UTG probably raises the top 8% of hands. Stack Sizes: Just like UTG you should also adjust your raising range based on stack sizes. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t 3bet them. and instead substitute in hands like KJo. you want to 3bet him once with 56s.AJo+.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Lets say on average he opens 20% of hands from these positions (combined. Float: 1. its just –ev. In 25 . or to hopefully reshove a worse made h and. and there is likely a more optimal way to play your draw (FWIW big draws should likely be played for a c/r. He will generally be c/ring or c/fing this spot.T8s+. for example 98dd on 762dd. lets say your opponent cbets 8bb’s into 10bb’s. Now lets imagine we flop a made hand on a drawy board.Q9s+. whatever.98s. rather than draws. more from CO and less from MP). and since they have none and we are way ahead we want to get the money in now.and a gutshot) As far as bet sizes go. as you will likely be getting money in behind/flipping most of the time. leaning towards folding. so say he cbets 15bb’s into 22 or so on the turn. 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. a deuce or 6 or 4. so if this is the top of his range we can certainly peel. but keep in mind that depending upon the opponent you should likely weight your range towards made hand. but I would probably just give up unless you are sure he has some under pair. Lets first focus on floating with over cards. he probably has like 109 or 99 or something. So lets say we call his cbet and the turn is a brick. say we have 87 or 55 on 965dd. Also by raising certain situations we give away the opportunity of a free card to make our hand. Ok now lets suppose we hit our gin card. Anyway lets suppose MP or CO opens and we call IP with QJss. whereas 109dd should be played for a c/c on 742dd [unless your opponent folds to c/rs more than most. If he bets again it is probably because he has a strong hand. just keep it somewhere within this range and you should be fine. Again if he checks we have no option but to bet and hope he c/r’s for us to shove over.KTo+. In the second scenario. 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). big hands should be slowplayed on dry boards). in which case bet the turn and river (FWIW you should do this with made hands like A10 as well to valuetown him). and probably c/c most big hands. it’s way too tricky and complicated.ATo+. These are rough numbers. 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.87s. 9. Lets see what his range looks like at best in relation to this board: 22+. you should c/r to 18bb’s with everything. These boards should on occasion also be c/r’d with draws.JTo There are a lot of 1pair or no pair hands in there. someone calls. First of all we will never float OOP. What we do by floating is calling with a marginal type of hands with the intention of winning the hand on later streets. 3. or do so with a marginal hand. call or fold.J9s+. which he will likely do with a big part of his range. I would likely make it 40bb’s to entice him to come along with something like JJ or QQ.QTo +. and at this point I would probably just put in a medium sized raise. our opponents will be far more incline to play their 1 pair/big draw type hands fast to maximize fold equity. When someone cbets and you are in position you can raise. he checks.KTs+. Now we execute our float and bet 60-75% of pot. in which case exploit this by c/ring draws and stone bluffs. This means all of our floats will be done in position. The flop comes 1084r (with or without a spade).A8s+. but on boards with draws and texture we should opt to play our hands quickly. if he check/calls who knows. In this situation we instead want to play our hand quickly and c/r (as discussed previously. for the first scenario lets assume your opponent cbets 6bb’s into 8bb’s. Our opponent is a normal TAG and cbets. unless you’ve really been going after him and you suspect he is sick of you]). This is also a fairly conservative estimate.

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

00% { KcKs } Hand 2: 91.6162 % 91.is commonly referrred to as EV. from here on in positive Expected Value is +EV and negative Expected Value is -EV. This play is +EV and has an EV of 168BB *every* time you make it. here is a simple example Hero(100BB) has A A and raises preflop to 4xBB from the CO. if we actually ran the hand above 100 times you might win all 100 times - 27 . EV is simply what you expect to make on average with any particular play.Basic theory – expected value (matrix) edited to fix glaring typo in 2nd example and to clear up AA v KK example . e. Total net win of 168BB/hand.3838 % 08.. 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.38% 00. Board: 9c 3d 6h Dead: equity (%) win (%) tie (%) Hand 1: 08. It's important to note that EV and actual results can vary massivley over any short term period. so if we run this hand 100 times Hero ought to expect win 92 times and lose 8 times. there are ~200BB at stake so Hero wins 18400BB the 92 times his AA holds up .g. Poker is a game in which skill will beat luck every time assuming that you play for long enough. 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.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(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.and loses 1600BB the 8 times he loses the hand.edits are in italics (matrix128) Expected Value .62% 00.

Hero raises to $8. UTG folds. What hand does BB have here? is my hand strong enough to call his allin? and how do we work out the EV of this play?? 28 . 1 player + 1 all-in .10/$0.and the more hands you play the closer these two numbers will get to each other. 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.9. Hero calls.and conversely everytime you get chips in when you are a favourite in a hand you are winning money. In real life we don't know what sepcific hand we are facing at the point in time where we make a decision.8.25 6 players Stack sizes: UTG: $27. 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 .95 Button: $23. 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 .15 BB: $27.no EV remains 168BB per hand. Poker Stars No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $0.80 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is SB with 2 2 UTG calls. Button calls.does this mean the EV has changed? or you might be unlucky and lose 25 times in 100 does this mean the play is now less EV? .Button folds.95 Hero: $25.Main pot: $53. 2 folds. 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. Lets look at a more complicated example. This is a real hand from my database.85 UTG+1: $24. 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. BB raises all-in $24. 1 player + 1 all-in . 4 players) Hero bets $1.it's the flop action I am interested in here.8. Flop: J 2 5 ($1. Turn: 9 ($53.65 CO: $28. Button calls. BB checks.after playing an infinite amount of hands these two numers will be identical . BB raises to $3.8) Results: Final pot: $53.Main pot: $53.8 .8) River: 9 ($53. The closer your total number of hands gets to infinity the closer your actual results will get to this theoretical figure. Hero calls.

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

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.Lets say you determine that a play is +EV and you'll win 51% of the time. 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. run the numbers into pokerstove and see how much you made in EV. As a final thought here is an exercise you can try when you next get a big losing session. so despite losing now in the short term you can be happy that in the long run you're still winning 30 . I do this sometimes and often find out that I had a +EV session that in real results lost me lots of real money. the more money you stake on this play the more you stand to win in the long run. 51% of 200BB is more than 51% of 20BB .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

it could be an indicator that you have trouble when you are not the aggressor preflop. Some people have this number higher still. In the “Filters…” change “Vol. Under “Filters…” change “Type of Hole Cards” to “Suited Connectors.” I’m much less likely to play suited connectors than pocket pairs. If you have enough hands.” Is it still positive? If so.375 would indicate that you were no better off putting money into the pot than if you had folded." again and go under "Steal Attempted Against Your Blind" and click on "Steal Attempted. if you can’t come up with a really good reason why you thought it better to cold-call. or if you routinely forced weaker hands out when you should have been milking them for profits." This shows you if you're bleeding money out of the blinds. Review the hand histories. See how you’ve done in these situations. if it’s not. go back and select “No Raise” under “Pre-flop Raise. Suited connectors. Pocket pairs make extremely powerful hands that are extremely well-hidden. I don’t really have a good suggestion as to how high your VPIP or PFR should be. villain is passive post-flop. you should be able to come up with a specific explanation for why you did so in each and every one of them. Is this number positive? If not. Remember: these hands play best in a multiway. then you typically win back some of your blind money when you put money into the pot from the blinds. if not 1/2. Look over individual hands where you lose lots of money and see if you played too timidly early in the hand. However.” Hit “OK” and see what comes up. Also. you’re leaving money on the table. I’d expect every one of these lines to be positive. Of the times you cold-called. 6. rather than raise or fold. I’d be surprised to see this number below 85%. Also. I had position on villain.Money In. If either of these numbers is lower than -0. If you click on "Filters. That's all you can really hope for. villain and I are both extremely deep-stacked. but some people play them religiously. but a flop was dealt. Your Total VPIP with these should be EXTREMELY high. if you’re not playing them almost all the time. Again.. especially at short-handed tables. unless you play at highly unusual tables. the magic number is for your "BB/Hand" to be bigger than -0. look at the hands where you won to see if you played too timidly. Multiway pots. you need to rethink your suited connector strategy.at least 1/3 of your VPIP. that means you're making back some of your blinds when you try to defend against a steal.” This will show you how you generally play and perform with pocket pairs.” When you hit OK. unraised pot. my suited 57 . As a result.. If things look good. Heads-up play. If things look OK. and I don’t have a problem with that. especially AA-88. you’re selecting good times to play/limp multiway pots. you’re probably not playing your suited connectors well. Under “Hands With Between…Players Seeing The Flop” change the range from “0 to 10 players” to “2 to 2 players. especially without padding in the pot. but not when you were the preflop raiser). Change “Hands With Between…Players Seeing The Flop” to “3 to 10 players." After you click "OK" you'll now see how you did when you chose to defend against a blind steal.” This will show you how you’ve done when you didn’t raise preflop. but the hand was heads-up on the flop (this includes pure limping and when someone ELSE raised preflop. Clear the filter and go back under filters. If you have any glaringly negative numbers. 8. your Total PFR% with these hands should be rather high -. villain is incredibly aggressive preflop. 5.375. Click on “Turn Filter Off. or as a steal move. This shows you how you’ve done when you were heads-up preflop. and reasonably significantly so. Pocket pairs. it may indicate bad play. go back to “Filters…” and under “Pre-flop Raise” select “No Raise.375. and you’re playing them well postflop. Put $ In Pot” to “Cold-Called.” then click on “Filters…” again. or if you went too far unimproved in the face of resistance. Good explanations: the raise was very small. If your "BB/Hand" is larger than that. you'd lose less money by always folding rather than doing what you're doing. A "BB/Hand" of about -0. you should have almost no entries to view. Under “Filters…” change the “Type of Hole Cards” to “Pairs.” This shows you how you do in multiway pots. your BB/hand should be positive. 7.

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

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

BB calls 8bb. 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. call preflop raises all the time and rarely use aggression himself but rather call. For instance. However. SB folds. and is (correctly) trying to get some money into it.5]: 9 7 Preflop: (1. call. So he checks. Now only on the preflop round have we seen an example of bad players who you’d love to sit with. taking the pot away from us. He missed his OESDFD (something that makes most players frustrated). Hero checks.him to play a lot of hands. Their passive nature has just prevented them to build a lot of big pots.5bb. A table with a small average pot size. 6 players) UTG folds. BB calls 3bb. and they aren’t even the aggressive type who bluffs us off the best hand from time to time. but still they don’t create big pots. CO bets 2bb. 2 players) Now this is a spot where a lot of villains will usually put out a bluff. BTN calls 1bb. the 70/6/0.5bb.5bb. 3 players) BB checks. The advantages of facing these kinds of opponents are obvious. Flop: 9 8 2 (3. BTN however. CO calls 1bb. may very well be filled with that kind of loose passive fish. If at least one of these players was a TAG. BTN calls 2bb. BB folds. out of fear of CO going away if he raises. CO notices the pot being tiny. BTN checks (lol) Now both players decided to slow-play their flopped sets. and he saw us showing weakness by checking behind on the turn. after all he has a pair (and we all know how these players overvalue their hands). MP folds. 2 players) BB checks. Turn: 4 (3. 6 players) UTG folds.5bb. 60 . SB folds. BB checks. and we get to check behind and take down that 24bb pot.5 player doesn’t bet that river. So most of the time they are gonna put out that bluff.5bb. Turn: K (24. Flop: 6 8 A (8. It is however an extremely common play by loose/passive fish. maybe even a 3bet. 2 players) BB checks. Hero raises to 4bb. He just wants to see that showdown.) Such small pots make a surprisingly big difference in your final result.5bb. call. BTN folds. We get the ability to decide when the money goes in against them. Hero bets 8bb. decides to keep slow-playing. which is of course a felony on this board and these stacks. there would have been at least a raise preflop in this hand. MP folds. 3 players) BB checks.5bb. Example hand: Hero (CO): 100bb: T T Fish (BB): 70bb [70/6/0. CO checks. River: 7 (24.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5% of responders) After that thread died down. Unfortunately. They're just as lost as we are." where you feel like your opponents can see into your soul..10) 2 (2 Players) BB bets $5.00 River: ($16.60 BB: $22. Why do I accuse uNL of being weak-tight? Well. I like to call it "Psychic Villain Syndrome. BB calls $1.00. It should look reasonably similar to you: ---------- 71 . ---------I then asked you how often villain calls the bluff.00. The results as of right now: Less than 25% of the time: 6 (15% of responders) Between 25% and 50% of the time: 11 (27.10) 9 8 5 (2 Players) BB checks. weak-tight means you have MUBS: (M)onsters (U)nder the (B)ed (S)yndrome. 3 folds.00 Turn: ($6. What does weak-tight mean? In a nutshell. failing to make +EV moves because we fear that our plays will be obvious (no matter how far from the truth that might be).35 Preflop: Hero is dealt J T (6 Players) UTG folds. First. because I tricked you into telling me that you were. this month I tested uNL and found out that we're still weak-tight as a group. You give your opponents too much credit for hands and too much credit for hand-reading. Hero bets $14. Hero raises to $1.25 Blinds .30 BTN: $10.10) 3 (2 Players) BB checks.00 Flop: ($2. I had my sneaky moderator-accomplice make another post.10/$0.6 Players .UNL YOU ARE WEAK TIGHT (Pokey) A little over a year ago I tested SSNL and found out that they were weak-tight.55 UTG: $10.80 CO: $48.5% of responders) Between 50% and 75% of the time: 18 (45% of responders) More than 75% of the time: 5 (12. Hero calls $5.$0. Well. I gave you this thread where hero flops air: ---------Poker Stars .00 Hero (MP): $29. BB calls $2...00.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $28.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . Hero bets $2. when we give them credit for being paranormally perceptive poker players we shoot ourselves in the foot.55. You know what? They really can't.

BB calls $2.00.25 Blinds . Hero calls $5. is the very definition of weak-tight.00 Hero (MP): $29. The river and river action are identical. unknown villain calls MUCH more often when we've got nothing than he would when we've got the nuts.55. How do we beat this weak-tight curse? Let's assume that we err on the side of overestimating our folding equity.55 UTG: $10..if one doesn't work.00. even though every possible factor in the hand is otherwise identical. but believing that NEITHER pushing the nuts for value NOR pushing air as a bluff will be +EV cannot be correct -. but at LEAST one of them MUST be. If that's the case..(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $28.10) 3 (2 Players) BB checks. Only empirical evidence and reads will tell us which answer is correct for a particular villain. it cannot be correct. On the other hand. My pure and uneducated guess is that at uNL.2% of responders) Between 25% and 50% of the time: 12 (50% of responders) Between 50% and 75% of the time: 4 (16.2% of responders) Bummer -. but this will vary from villain to villain. Hero bets $2.10/$0. I'm not saying that both of these statements are wrong.35 Preflop: Hero is dealt 7 6 (6 Players) UTG folds. 3 folds. The turn and turn action are identical. We bluff too little because we're just SURE that villain is calling.80 CO: $48.$0. That. Hero raises to $1. We then asked you how often THIS river bet gets called.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .00.6 Players . 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.. What are the consequences of being weak-tight? Well. pushing for value is usually +EV and pushing as a bluff is usually -EV.00 Flop: ($2.60 BB: $22. IF our villain dumps most of his hands to a river push. Hero bets $14.Poker Stars .10) 9 8 5 (2 Players) BB checks. This makes no logical sense. then pushing with the nuts will be extremely +EV for us. I honestly don't know where the truth lies. my friends.10) 2 (2 Players) BB bets $5. then bluff-pushing will be extremely +EV for us. then the next time you have the 72 . You've mistakenly assumed that an identical. The flop and flop action are identical.00 Turn: ($6. the other will. IF our villain will call our bluff-pushes too often for bluff-pushing to be profitable.you're weak-tight. the main consequence is that we make incorrect plays because we give our opponents too much credit. and the formula will change as you move up in stakes.7% of responders) More than 75% of the time: 1 (4. ---------NOTE WELL: stacks are the same. The ONLY DIFFERENCE is that instead of air we've got the immortal nuts. but it's how we think as a group. BB calls $1.30 BTN: $10. and you told us: Less than 25% of the time: 7 (29.00 River: ($16.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tight. The Good Short Stackers Good short stackers are the guys you hate. they are still very bad. Spotting the loose/bad short stackers is generally quite easy just from their stats. they can be VERY high variance. 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.If the short stack has a big pair QQ/KK/AA and the player raising preflop is likely to fold 88 . 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. And even so. raise. I am going to group short stackers into three basic types. Differentiating between the good short stackers and the bad tight short stackers can take a little more time. something like 12/6/2. 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: . These three different types of short stacks require slightly different approaches to play against and exploit. 2) Effective stacks and pot odds. Know when you have to get it in with the worst of it. To exploit shorties. however. 3) Raise. These guys are basically free money. 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.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. raise. you can make their life just as difficult by putting THEM to the tough decisions. Loose. Essentially. there are seldom absolutes. These are the guys who don't abuse their fold equity. In particular. Bad Short Stackers Loose. However. bad short stackers are the short stackers with reasonable preflop stats. These are the guys who sit in with 20BB and call preflop raises with 44. You can spot the bad tight short stackers because the make bad plays. Bad Short Stackers Tight. Know your shorties Obviously everything is on a continuum. short stacks. Fortunately These kinds of short stacks are in the minority. particularly short stacks around 20BB should be calling raises almost never. Not all short stacks play the same. However. They are: 1) Know your shorties. The ones who have a clue and put you to tough decisions.

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

07% equity vs range JJ has 42. call 22+/AQ+.where you stand in a variety of scenarios. Scenario 1A) Short stack has 20BB and is not in the blind. If short stack has a range of 88+/AT+ AK has 55.87% equity vs range 22 has 38.044% equity vs range 44 has 38.61% equity vs range 88 has 41.25% equity vs range 55 has 39.32% equity vs range 66 has 39. Against the medium range.93% equity vs range 33 has 39. Against the loosest range.49% equity vs range AJ has 31.11% equity vs range 99 has 39. Everyone else folds.26% equity vs range AJ has 39. So. Short Stack pushes.19% equity vs range AQ has 42.36% equity vs range 22 has 38.5BB and you need to call 16BB. Against the tightest range.525% equity vs range 76s has 32.79% equity vs range 99 has 40. call 55+/AK+.39% equity vs range If short stack has a range of JJ+/AQ+ AK has 50. this assumes villain has a stack size of exactly 20BB.86% equity vs range 44 has 39. The pot is 25.83% equity vs range 55 has 39.186 equity vs range AT 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 . You raise 4BB. In addition. However. call 33+/AJ+.88% equity vs range 44 has 39.18% equity vs range TT has 43.745% equity vs range TT has 40.11% equity vs range AQ has 33. This often isn't the case.41% equity vs range 33 has 38.63% equity vs range 99 has 45.772% equity vs range As you can see you're going to be getting it in behind the short stack's range quite a bit.54% equity vs range AQ has 47.8% equity vs range If short stack has a range of TT+/AJ+ AK has 54.75% equity vs range 76s has 33. You need a hand which has 38.55% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even. the dead money in the pot dictates your calling range.28% equity vs range 76s has 32.

Against the medium range. Scenario 1B) Short stack has 30BB and is not in the blind. the pot is 20. So at 30BB in or out of the blinds can be ignored unless it affects the short stack's range (i. call JJ+/AK+. You raise 4BB. Scenario 1D) Short stack has 30BB and is in the big blind. Everyone else folds. But not a lot. Against the loosest range.5BB and you need to call 16BB. big blind will have a wider push range against an open raise 91 .. Scenario 1C) Short stack has 20BB and is in the big blind. call 55+/AJ+. You need a hand which has 42. 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. Everyone else folds. Break-even is 34. As you can see. 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. Against the tightest range. You raise 4BB. You raise 4BB. due to the larger stack size the fact villain is in the blind doesn't make much difference. You need a hand which has 42% equity against short stack's range to make a call breakeven.5BB and you need to call 14BB. Short Stack pushes. The pot is 35. the pot is 23. Against the medium range.If villain has an 18BB stack. Against the tightest range.33% equity. call 44+/AQ+. Short Stack pushes. call 55+/AK+. The pot is 24.e.5BB and you need to call 26BB. As you can see pot odds are such that you need a much tighter calling range. Short Stack pushes. Everyone else folds.5% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even. call 99+/AQ+. If villain has an 15BB stack. Against the loosest range.92% equity. You need a hand which has 39.5BB and you need to call 26BB.98% equity against short stack's range to make a call break-even. call TT+/AQ+. The pot is 34. Break-even is 37.

04% 00.00 { 6c6d } Pocket pair vs bigger pair Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 08. Overcards vs pocket pair: Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 24. If one of these guys pushes they usually have at least TP or a big draw.62% 00. particularly other limpers or other players calling your raise.00 { 7c7d } Hand 1: 91. All the better if he can push you off pots.00 { AcKd } Hand 1: 75. And if there are any mitigating circumstances. I'm going to assume it goes without saying that you are calling the push with TP or better and any good draws.343% 24. Situation 2) In this situation. you know sometimes these guys are pushing with 76s themselves. But here are some things to keep in mind.384% 08.5BB. loose short stacks and good short stacks have a huge pushing range here.from the button than a raise UTG) The thing to take away from this is that calling these pushes is never far wrong.616% 91. They're check/folding any flops that miss them. short stack limps. Bad. short stack calls and pushes flop. some of the close folds (like AJ or 76s) can quickly become calls. tight short stacks actually have the tightest range here by far.30% 746 3.657% 75.30% 238 3. They are unaware of fold equity.00 { Tc9d } 92 .5BB pot. On the flop.00% 83 0.00% 907 0. The point is that you're probably making a mistake by folding too much and NOT by calling too much. though for different reasons. but he also wants to exploit his fold equity by making you fold the better hand. I can't list all of them. the pot is 11. You need 36.35% 00. So let's examine some standard situations to see how much equity you typically have. You need to call 15BB to win a 26.38% 00. And this is assuming fairly tight pushes. The loose short stack can't wait to get his stack in and gamble. you raise preflop to 5BB.14% equity in this pot to make this call. Villain pushes 15BB. The good short stack has a hand sometimes. Obviously there are hundreds of possible scenarios here. Bad.

55% 66125 895.Middle pair with overcard vs top pair Board: 2c 9s 5d equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 25. T9s. J9s..34% 62017 7558.00 { Ac5c } Hand 1: 74. Tc9d. KJs+.55% 95434 895.50 { 7c7d } Hand 1: 41.85% 00.00 { T9s } These look pretty bleak. I'm going to eliminate big pairs under the assumption they would have been raised preflop.909% 59. 93 . They know not to try and set mine.52% 05.29% 00. ATo+. T9s. from the button).146% 43. However against loose short stacks and good short stacks their range is usually much wider. J9s. Good short stacks have a much narrower calling range preflop.71% 00. J9o.24% 89201 357. This may not always be the case. 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. ATo+. KJs+. KJo+.67% 00. Tc9d. 98o } Board: 2c 9s 5d equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 59. they may call with a wide range if they think you are likely to fold preflop to their push. ATs+. ATs+. particularly if your raising range is wide (i. If he's going for a steal. Against bad. However. KJo+.029% 40.854% 45.00% 751 0.50 { TT-22.50 { AcKd } Hand 1: 50.714% 74. tight short stacks we can often take them at their word and just fold.091% 39. Tc9d.81% 05.34% 64436 7558.286% 25. 98s. pushing range on this flop and our equity in these hands looks something like: Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 49. 98o } Against a good short stacker it comes down to figuring out what he's calling raises with.50 { TT-22. T9s. 98s.971% 58. KJo+.24% 59574 357. his range is going to be similar to the loose short stacker. J9o. J9s. J9o. but only if the short stack has EXACTLY those hands. KJs+.50 { TT-22. 98s.50 { Ac5c } Hand 1: 40. Against a loose short stack. but usually it should be.42% 00. He should be calling raises very rarely unless he thinks he can push-steal against you on the flop. ATs+. 98o } Board: 2c 2d 9s equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 58.48% 00. ATo+. 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.00% 2219 0.e.

You need to call 15BB in a 32BB pot. You need 40.5BB. Put HIM to the tough decision for all his chips. If he's playing tight against raises then you have to be prepared to fold marginal hands. You need 42. You need to call 25BB in a 42BB pot. say you cbet 7. Villain pushes 35BB. Villain pushes 25BB.5BB. As the short stack's stack gets bigger. the pot is 11. Short stack then pushes 35BB. Or push over his preflop raise. If he's calling raises with a fairly wide ranges and trying to steal on flops then you need to call him down lightly.94% equity to call.5BB.5BB. 94 . say you cbet 7. you don't HAVE to cbet against the short stack. Either take the free card or let him bet and then YOU push over him and let him decide if he has enough equity. you raise preflop. Against a 40BB stack. You need to call 35BB to win a 46.5BB.. You only need 31. you need better equity to call his flop push. If short stack starts with 30BB On the flop. This situation almost becomes trivial against a 20BB stack. If short stack starts with 40BB On the flop.65% equity to call. You need to call 35BB in a 52BB pot. Call his preflop raise and then push flop.3% equity to call.. You need 40. you should do this sometimes when you DO have a hand you want to felt. In fact. Short stack then pushes his last 15BB.5BB.92% equity to call which you will have with a very wide range of hands.5BB. You need 37. you cbet and short stack checkraises all in. short stack calls.. The other big thing to keep in mind on flops is turning the tables on the short stacker. Situation 3) Short stack limps.5BB pot. The last thing to consider here is that even head's up. if the pot on the flop is 9. This can work just as well against the short stacker as it does for him. Short stack then pushes 25BB. 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. Against a 30BB stack. the pot is 11. if the pot on the flop is 9. keep in mind that you after still have plenty of equity against the short stack's range. If the pot on the flop is 9.5BB. say you cbet 7. So while you should be tightening up your calling range slightly.5BB pot. you cbet flop and short stack pushes all in.23% equity to call. So he can't put you on a hand in these situations and sometimes HE has to fold the best hand. You need to call 25BB to win a 36.You need to try and track what the good short stacker is doing. OR You raise preflop.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When your hand needs protection. you're not protecting anything against anything -. you go for the safe win. here. Note: if you always lost when you got to showdown. the EV would be -13.When your opponent likes to bluff. you win ~50 BBs.You must have outs. . your opponent calls. you can't be semibluffing. the EV would be 0. . If you've got AA and the board is 8754 rainbow. If your opponent never folds.75*(-80) + 0. It is only because of the combination of some folding equity AND some showdown equity that this move is +EV. 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. so getting an opponent to fold when you're OOP is often a good thing.make him pay for his draw! Don't chicken out just because your hand isn't the absolute nuts. The flop comes A K 7 rainbow.bet for value or check behind with an unusual read. With outs.if your opponent folds. the following must all be true: . "I protected my hand from the draw!" The reality is that "protection" is an excuse for timid play.When you are out of position. If you get called. This happens 25% of the time. .5 BBs. What hand are you afraid of. you push for 90 BBs.When you are ahead. EV from pushing is +2. For instance: say you've got black aces and the board is J T 6 5 and your opponent is loose and 104 .25*(50) = -47. you're still ahead -. you've got a reason to protect. you can win at showdown if you are called. If you've got 99 and the board is now 8 5 4 3 .5 BBs. be more likely to protect your vulnerable hands. 4.75*(-13.You must have some folding equity.3 BBs. These last two combine in some pretty spectacularly ugly ways at times. you'll win ~120 BBs about 1/3rd of the time and lose 80 BBs the other 2/3rds of the time. and rather than trying to extract value while you're WAY ahead. pushing can be TIMID: you know your opponent will fold. 25*(50) = 12.3 BBs.Here you're risking about 80 BBs on the push -. The turn is Q putting two hearts on the board. And yes. so the total EV here is . so the total EV here is 0. if you were always called when you pushed. This reason to bet is misused more than any other. many hands could destroy you on the river. You raised preflop 4xBB with KK. "Whew!" you say. EV from fold equity: 50 BBs. .When the board is extremely draw-heavy. For semi-bluffs to work. sucker him in!). you bet 6xBB (ooooh.5 BBs. Likewise. You don't want to fold the best hand. This happens 75% of the time.3) = -10 BBs. EV from push equity: 1/3*(+120) + 2/3*(-80) = -13. Here's when your hand needs protection: . here. Unlikely as this may be. but many. Let's say your opponent folds 25% of the time. Your opponent checks. your opponent folds.

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

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

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

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

00. Pokey calls $5. If I'd waited until the river to try and take his money.$0.1 All-In) Pot Size: $171. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (6 Players) 4 folds. I stacked him.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Pokey (SB): $100.90) Q (2 Players .95 Uncalled bet of $7.90 ($3 Rake) BB had 6 5 Pokey had A (Queen Jack high) and LOST (-$85.6 Players .00 Three-betting is SUCH a strong move that I don't want to scare him off yet.05 returned to Pokey Given his aggression factor.00 BB: $85.50/$1 Blinds .$0.6 Players . Full Tilt Poker . Full Tilt Poker .50/$1 Blinds . Note also that this strategy doesn't work as a value bet -.00 Flop: ($8) J 8 4 (2 Players) Pokey bets $5. he would have easily folded his unimproved 65o.70 CO: $85. In other words.95) By getting the money in while villain still had a draw.00. and he quickly calls off the rest of his stack with a cruddy draw.95) A (a pair of Aces) and WON (+$82. Potential is great for a good player but extremely expensive for a bad one. Villain's sloppy hand-reading combined with villain's unidentifiable hand makes this a fuzzy enough betting area to be +EV.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) 109 . I take the risk of a check-raise. He's bleeding money in every direction and he won't last long. BB calls all-in for $43. BB raises to $10.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .00. but you're only getting twice your money when you win (you're getting 2-to-1 odds on a 3-to-1 longshot). Pokey raises to $79. ---------Sneaky hands can bet harder. BB bets $28. Get the money in while they still have potential. River: ($171. the bet is -EV as a bluff.00.winning). -EV as a value bet. but +EV as a combination of the two.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .00.50 MP: $34. Turn: ($28) 3 (2 Players) Pokey checks.95 UTG: $46. Here are some Valuetown examples from my $100NL play.35 Villain is horrible: 66/11 preflop.25 BTN: $45.villain's hand beats yours 75% of the time. BB calls $3. Note that he didn't even have the proper odds to call my raise. 4 average aggression. He doesn't disappoint me. Pokey raises to $4.

River: ($121) 3 (2 Players) SB checks. MP folds.00 Bingo! I hit my hand. Eight high) and WON (+$100.00) Pokey had 6 5 (a straight. but that leaves villain with a crying call on nearly any 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.00. villain feels obligated to pay off the 1/3rd-pot bet (all-in) on the river with only two pair.05 BTN: $38. Flop: ($5) 2 8 4 (5 Players) SB checks. Pot Size: $203.90 BB: $42. Full Tilt Poker .00 ($3 Rake) SB had 8 2 (two pair.00.$0. redux. and I stack him with my straight. Pokey bets $4.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . Pokey raises to $50. SB raises to $8. CO calls $1.50 CO: $45. Preflop: Pokey is dealt 6 5 (6 Players) UTG calls $1.00. I make the obligatory all-in bet and villain makes the obligatory crying call. A turn push is quite aggressive. SB calls $0.00 UTG: $35.4 postflop.00.50 Villain here runs 47/15 preflop and 2.00 Double-gutter.5 Players .I make a raise that villain can easily call. Pokey calls $4.10 MP: $58.00. 3 folds. BTN calls $1.50. Pokey bets all-in for $41.SB: $142. I bet strong and get a minraise. SB calls $29. The smallish turn raise followed by the tiny river bet are both easy for villain to convince himself to call. Turn: ($21) 7 (2 Players) SB bets $21.00 Pokey (BB): $100.00. ---------Sneaky hands can bet harder.00. Villain bets hard and I have the absolute nuts -. that's a hand.95 CO: $28.50/$1 Blinds .00. and definitely on implied odds since I'm in position.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) SB: $68. I might as well see a free flop with my speculative hand. I can nearly call on pot odds.00 No way does an aggressive opponent check through with a runner-runner flush.05 110 . Pokey checks Plenty of padding from limpers. but smooth-calling the turn leaves too much behind to have a reasonable way of getting it all in on the river. Eights and Twos) and LOST (-$100. Note that even though straights and flushes have hit the board. SB calls $41.65 Pokey (UTG): $98. throwing in a more-than-pot-sized raise.

00. Preflop: Pokey is dealt 2 2 (5 Players) Pokey calls $1.10 returned to Pokey Thank goodness for position: we river the third heart and villain makes a pansy-sized bet. knowing that I lose the three-pair hands and bluffs. but that I get called by the flushes. Since I was going to lose the bluffs anyways. CO folds.00. CO calls $1.00 111 . BTN folds.90) Lessons here: let villains draw if they're drawing dead (or nearly so).10 CO: $134. SB calls all-in for $43.00 I'm not afraid of the draw anymore. ---------Protecting your hand. Pokey bets $12.00.00 UTG: $109. woo! Flop: ($8) 4 Q 2 (4 Players) SB checks.90 Uncalled bet of $0. Either he's got a Q and he's drawing nearly dead or he's got hearts and he's drawing totally dead.00.10 MP: $67.00. SB raises to $2. CO calls $1. or make some weak-assed minraise.00.6 Players . this seems +EV to me.00 BB: $100. Pokey bets $5. Villain pays me off with his heart flush. I decide to bet for value and to try to build a pot (hoping for callers) and it works.00. Full Tilt Poker . Twos full of Fours) and WON (+$69. BB checks.BTN: $72. Rather than smooth-call my near-nuts.(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Pokey (SB): $99.90) 2 (a full house.00. Pokey raises to $50. BB calls $1. Given that the preflop raiser just checked.50/$1 Blinds . I offer a 2/3rdspot bet. Sneaky hands have the potential to win bigger pots than obvious hands. Either way.00.3 average aggression postflop.$0. BB folds GREAT flop. so rather than try to price him out. Queen high) and LOST (-$68. running 29/9 preflop and with a 2.10 BTN: $155. Pot Size: $141.00. SB calls $12. If villain shows interest and you know you've got him dead-to-rights. Turn: ($18) 4 (2 Players) SB checks.80 ($3 Rake) SB had Q J Pokey had 2 (a flush. River: ($42) 8 (2 Players) SB bets $6. Villain comes along for the ride.00 Deuces never loses. SB calls $5. I push.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game . go for the freakin' jugular. I'm happy.00 Villain is mediocre-to-bad. Pokey calls $1.

CO bets $33. villain is running 40/17 with a postflop aggression of almost 11.. Pokey raises to $6.00 I bet my overpair expecting villain to fold. SB: $106.00. BTN raises to $30. intending to check-raise a safe turn. so I charge 'em to see.Both CO and Button are extremely loose and extremely aggro.00 ($3 Rake) Read this hand as an example of showing weakness to induce bets. and they oblige.00. Full Tilt Poker .00.00 I wasn't c-betting into these two very often. Turn: ($56) 9 (3 Players) Pokey checks.45 Pokey (BB): $169.00. SB folds. or 9. Pokey raises all-in to $81. 2 folds Uncalled bet of $48. I just put all my money in the middle after the bet. BTN calls $5. and protecting your hand. Preflop: Pokey is dealt A A (6 Players) UTG calls $1. Pokey calls $12. BTN calls $1. BOTH villains fold for the relatively small additional bet.00 Flop: ($15.. 3.00.00. 2 folds.00.00. Pokey raises to $7.$0. MP calls $1. CO folds. and I don't want to be looking over my shoulder if the river comes with a diamond or spade. MP folds.00.00. BTN calls $12.00.25 UTG: $102. I check. CO bets $12.00.00.00. Pot Size: $155. I guess they trusted me more than they trusted each other.00 Super-premium hand. To my great surprise. BTN calls $33. ---------Protecting your hand. instead he minraises. With a relatively blank board.50) 2 9 7 (2 Players) Pokey bets $15.00 returned to Pokey This board just became *way* too drawy to allow any cheap cards. redux.00 BTN: $461.00. CO calls $1. I don't want to deal with a river decision. not to mention a 2. hoping for a bet. snapping off multiple bluffs. 7. knowing your opponents. CO calls $5. BTN calls $6. so I figured that with BOTH of them in the hand I had room to get trappy.05 CO: $100. Flop: ($20) 2 4 7 (3 Players) Pokey checks. MP folds.6 Players . With this many scare cards.No Limit Hold'em Cash Game .(LegoPoker Hand History Converter) Over a short sample. I smooth-call.25 MP: $157. Pokey calls $15.. BTN calls $1.50/$1 Blinds . 112 . I smooth-call to see a turn.15 Preflop: Pokey is dealt J J (6 Players) UTG folds. 4.

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

113

River: ($208.10) 8

(2 Players - 2 All-In)

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

114

Pokey had A

J

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

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

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

115

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

dr math for the bottom for those of you that want to peruse it. since a set is a near-invincible hand and you still have to improve with these 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. 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%. 20 outer (OESD + FD + pair): 0.153% 15 outer (OESD + flush draw): 1.5% of the time. and that's where things get complicated. I also encourage math-head-types to check my math to make sure I didn't mess anything up. I'm going to attempt to solve that problem (but I still need some help!).35% Full house: 0. Flush: 0. I'll list the conclusions first.31% ------Total: 5. 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. either you are a favorite against an overpair. However. or 1 in 8 (very close to how often you will flop a set with an overpair).9% (1 in 14 times.84% Two pair: 2% Trips: 1. the combo draws range from 45%-65%).09% Quads: 0.6% (1 in 18 times. made hands. which of course we don't do) and draws. COMBO DRAWS Odds of flopping. First. you'll have a relatively "big hand" on the flop 12. stolen off some page I googled: Odds of flopping. 13:1) These draws are all hands that can be played profitably after the flop.. and leave the tl.Suited Connectors. Combining these big draws with good made hands.. compare this with sets.450% 13 outer (Pair + straight draw): 1. Implied Odds. 17:1) However. people tend to arbitrarily use things like the 5/10 rule.664% -----------------------Total: 6.424% 14 outer (Pair + flush draw): 1.01% Straight: 1.147% 12 outer (Gutshot + flush draw): 2. most of the time you will be flopping draws instead of big hands with SCs. or getting AI on the flop is +EV when you take some fold equity (and thus taking down dead money) into account.. where your equity is generally 90+%. even though I've never seen any mathematical description of the kind of odds you need to call these raises.077% 17 outer (Gutshot + FD + pair): 0. you can't say that you also need about 7:1 odds to call with a suited connector. REGULAR DRAWS 126 . Let's separate this into two categories: combo draws and regular draws..

Odds of flopping.0% ----------------Total: 13.07653%. 347. (6/5)32 with two clubs.2% 8 outer (straight draw): 8. there are four flops that give you a straight (789.153%..5 times. 8c 7c 6/5x: 2/50 * 1/49 * 5/48 * 3 = .you have a 5. tl.. multiply that by 4 flops. with 65s. (6/5)42. The odds of hitting each of those flops are 12/50 * 8/49 * 4/48.5. So. These draws improve to a flush or straight on the river about 1 time in 3. 17:1 chance) of flopping a good made hand . OESD + flush draw + pair (20 outs ZOMG): You need a flop of 87(6/5). when you flop a hand with which you can continue.5:1) These are your standard draws. 9c 8c 6/5x: 2/50 * 1/49 * 5/48 * 3 = . 97(6/5).5:1) chance of flopping a standard OESD or FD Adding these all together. or 43x with two clubs.00255% Multiply by 6 to get odds for all six flops = 0. you will flop a hand you can continue with on the flop 25% of the time (1 in 4).dr math Made hands: I calculated the odds of flopping a straight myself. 7(6/5)4. 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. 7(6/5)3.you have a ~13% chance (1 in 7. skip the rest of the post. 6. OESD + flush draw (15 outs): You need a flop of 87x. 127 . (6/5)43. the other half. 234). Combo draws All examples assume you have 6c5c.6% (1 in 18.0255% Multiply by 3 to get odds for all three flops = 0. and you get 1. 8(6/5)4. only half of the time will these hands be immediately profitable (i. 74x. in addition. Summary . 6. you can catch ultradeceptive flops of 973 with two clubs or 842 with two clubs. Gutshot + flush draw + pair (17 outs): You need a flop of 98(6/5). However.e. it will most frequently be one of these. you'll have your standard old OESD or FD which requires playing some poker.you have a ~7% (1 in 14.2% (1 in 7. Not very high. +EV to shove it in).31%. 9 outer (flush draw): 5. 13:1) chance of flopping a strong (12+ outs) combo draw . for example. 478. what follows is how I calculated everything. with two clubs each.

973. and 842. (6/5)43 8/50 * 4/49 * 5/48 * 3 = 0. 0.68% Since we already counted pair + FD + OESD and pair + FD + gutshot. 74x.442% for the times it makes an OESFD (which we already counted) = 2.664% (12 outs) = 6.424% (15 outs) + 1.153% (17 outs) + 1.65% Subtract 0.45% (14 outs) + 1.147% (13 outs) + 2. 73x.0153% *3 for 9c 7x 3c/9x 7c 3c = 0.424% Pair + flush draw (14 outs): Two clubs and one of your hole cards: 6/50 * 11/49 * 10/48 * 3 = 1.444% Total for all 3 flops = 1.224% Since we already counted pair + FD + OESD.664% So.498% Multiply by 3 for the odds of 87x/74x/43x: 7. 43x.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.138% 7c 8x xc = 1/50 * 3/49 * 10/48 * 6 = 0.153% Total = 0.0459% *2 for 842 = 0.408% Multiply by 3 for all three flops = 1.147% Gutshot + flush draw (12 outs): You need a flop of 98x. total odds of flopping a combo draw = 0.33% Multiply by 2 for the odds of 973/842: 0.494% Odds of flopping 973: 12/50 * 8/49 * 4/48 = 0. 84x.Odds of flopping 87x with two clubs. Odds of flopping 87x (where x does not pair your hand and does not complete a straight): 8/50 * 4/49 * 34/48 * 3 = 02.07653 to get 1.558% 128 .07653% (20 outs) + 0. subtract 0. 42x.444% per flop * 6 flops = 2. 32x (where each flop has two clubs). 7(6/5)4.45% Pair + straight draw (13 outs): using 65s.07653 and 0. subtract 0. 97x. 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 = 0.94% Subtract 0.153 to get 1.153% 7x 8c xc = 3/50 * 1/49 * 10/48 * 6 = 0.0918 since we already counted double gutshot + FD: = 0.0918% Total odds of flopping 15-outer: 1. Same calculation as OESD + flush draw.332% 973: 9c 7c 3x = 2/50 * 1/49 * 3/48 * 3 = 0. there's 87x. possible flops are 87(6/5).

35 / 12.5 * 87.661 since we already counted the times where the flush draw gives you an OESD.175% (flush) = 13.5 * 97.677 + 1.153 / 12.5 * 96.414 + 0. I calculated the average equity of made hands/combo draws against overpairs by taking the weighted average of each: 0.5 * 57.05% 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 = 9.147 / 12. 6.5 * 50.09 / 12.5 * 45.077 / 12.78 + 0.556% = equity of 6s5s on 9s8s6x board against AcAd) + .05% (OESD) + 5.424 and 2.077 / 12.45 / 12.175% non-combo flush draws.5 * 99.31 / 12.84 / 12. your total chances of flopping a standard 8 or 9 out draw are 8.Total odds of flopping non-combo OESD = 8.5 * 47.556 (0. So.55 + 1.26 + 1.717 129 .5 * 65.01 / 12.5:1).424 / 12.664 / 12.5 * 56.17 + 2 / 12.899 + 1.5.225% (1 in 7. and you get 5.5 * 91.86 + 2.5 * 74.26% Subtract 1.71 + 1.78 + 0. 65.5 = %age of time you flop oesfd+pair.

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

you can profit immensely by running them over on the right dry flops. Against this type of player.5y + 89(1-y)). (Note that now that we have AdKh. and the only difference between the strong and medium calling ranges of these players is a willingness to stack off with 99 or 88. which is awkward. 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. here is your EV in units under those circumstances. where x is the probability he calls and y is the probability you win against his range when called. changing gears is about establishing an image 131 . Another interesting conclusion from this is how dramatically the EV of plays changes based on seemingly small adjustments to ranges. in trying to improve and imitate the styles of known high-limit winners. Using pokerstove to get your PE if called by his range. 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.” Let’s pretend we’re the BB for a second. and your pot equity (PE) against his calling range.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. But what if you raise? The EV of raising is going to depend on how much you are risking. Pushing Has to be Crazy. 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. In some sense. including myself. 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. But if you push here. Your equity for each situation is going to be the sum of your FE and PE. 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). The only difference between the SLAG and the TAG preflop is a willingness to three-bet with AJ or KQs. I think that a lot of “good” SSNL players. This should expand your preflop calling range if you’re really going to capitalize on these opportunities. pushing is just printing money when compared to folding.5) + (x)(111. Wow! As long as the player is loose enough preflop but needs TPTK or better to stack off. an obvious implication/generalization is that other high-card hands become more playable if we can identify which flops to profitably bluff raise.5 units. A pot sized raise be a total risk of 70. 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. which amounts to (1-x)(38. 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).

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

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

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

This needs reads. or PM a few to some1 you respect. Flop: 5 T 8 ($87.90 UTG+1: $142 CO: $218. you can check behind some flops for pot control etc.10 SB: $147 Hero: $484. 2 folds. SB calls. like AQ. 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. 2 players) 135 . Maybe drop down a level if you're a bit scared. try to get a read on what their calling ranges of 3bets are and how they play postflop after calling. If they call a lot preflop and play fit or fold postflop. so theres littly point me posting those. when you have position. The hands you should be 3betting with are ones that CAN win you a big pot. but is SOOO important.calling raises to light and not folding to cbets. and I's sure they'll help you out __________________________________________________ Here is where we are supposed to put example hands. Also. who I had been 3betting light the whole time. Hero raises to $38. I really recomment that you just have a go and practice makes perfect. Position is also quite important. hands that have good showdown value. dont 3bet lighgt these guys. Also. and had finally tilted him: Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 6 players Converter Stack sizes: UTG: $214. KQs etc. SB calls. Remeber that people raise way looser on the button that UTG etc. And if you need some help on hands in rr pots. so he's not a good person to 3bet light. feel free to post hands you won or lost: This guy is a 23/16 TAG. Anything Else? One of the keys to 3-betting light is playing well is rr pots. 33 etc.55 Button: $343. But all. 2 folds. Button raises to $9. 3bet these guys. Also. If they 4bet light and c/r bluff a lot of flops with a good frequency. So 78s. Instead I will post a few hands that I won BECAUSE I 3bet light. just pots them. You need to understand pot control and your image well.30 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is BB with T J UTG calls. This is mainly common sence.

Hero raises to $18. Turn: 2 ($305.Main pot: $305) Results: Final pot: $305 SB showed 9d 8d Hero showed Th Jh Note quite how bad his preflop call is. 3 players) SB checks. Hero bets $65. SB calls all-in $90.SB checks. Hero bets $25.Main pot: $305) River: K ($305. 1 player + 1 all-in . This one is also vs a 22/16 type TAG. Sure I have AA here. Uncalled bets: $3. 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. 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.90 Button: $59. River: 2 ($216. SB calls all-in $109. Flop: T 4 7 ($36. If I have a big hand. but if I wasn't rr 56s and 22 all day. This is a classic example of some1 playing badly in rr pots. 3 players) SB checks. if I have a badish hand. Results: Final pot: $399. 3 players) SB checks. SB calls. I think even a 2p2er.70 Pre-flop: (5 players) Hero is BB with A A 2 folds. SB calls.7 Hero showed Ad As SB mucks Jh Tc 136 . SB raises to $6. Turn: 6 ($86. Hero bets $109. Hero is all-in $93.7.10 SB: $198 Hero: $201. SB calls. he's screwed.7 returned to Hero. 1 player + 1 all-in .

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

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

Since you’re priced in to call all in after making a pot 4bet with 65s against the range of Conservative TAG.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 77.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 68.144% 30. These guys have wider 5bet shoving ranges. You make a pot 4bet to $75. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. $125 to win a pot of $278.22 = 31. You open to $7. You can fold the hand without making a mistake. The good news is that your 65s has more equity against their ranges. Two folds to Nit on the button.63% 00. and you only have about 22.06.856% 68. you’ll be priced in with the same hand after the same action against both Aggressive TAG and LAG as well.22% 72010208 515570. and you have it almost exactly.504% 77. You’re getting 278:125.22% 159831996 515570. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 22. Nit makes a pot 3bet 139 . so when you 4bet with this hand. let’s look at some scenarios in which you 4bet pot. You’re UTG with 65s. You open to $7. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.5%.06% equity or more to call.496% 22. Turning TT into a bluff by 4betting isn’t necessarily a poor play.92% 00.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No.00 { QQ+. You need 31. or 2.20% 63532548 168354. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. The best hand you hold in the following scenarios is TT. Note that none of these 4bets are for value. Pot Odds: You have to call $125 to win a pot of $278. You’re UTG with 65s. You open to $7. Two folds to Nit on the button. AKs.22:1. however. You’re getting 278:125. you’ll get stacked more than twice as often as you’ll suck out. so folding against them becomes a significantly bigger mistake.22:1. You make a pot 4bet to $75.20% 18321336 168354. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. You need a little over 31% equity to call. The bad news is that they’ll 5bet shove on your 65s more often. or 2. You’re priced in to call with only about 31% equity.First. 100/3. a value raise. you’ve decided to turn your hand into a bluff. Nit 5bets all in. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. You’re UTG with TT. Even TT is a dog against the widest of the villains’ 5betting ranges. it is not.29% 00. but it’s important to realize what’s occurring. TT does have solid equity against the range of LAG. each one is a bluff. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 31. You need a little over 31% equity to call.30% 00. Pot Odds: Same as above. and your hand is still a pretty big dog against the group of hands with which they’ll be pushing. but calling is correct because folding would be a slight mathematical error.

486% 11. you’ll also have to call against the remaining two fictional players. Two folds to Nit on the button. You’re UTG with KQo.17% 00.00 { QQ+. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 19. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 11.86% 00.943% 80.to $24. AKs.587% 63.75% 00. You need more than 31% equity to call and only have about 19%.06% equity or more to call. You open to $7. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. 140 . You make a pot 4bet to $75. You’re UTG with TT.20% 23252328 242334. Nit 5bets all in.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 88.15% 00. You’re UTG with KQo. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.06% equity or more to call.5). but Nit’s range is so narrow that TT actually performs worse than 65s against the hands Nit could be holding. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. since you’re priced in against this guy.00 { TT } Hand 1: 80. Like in the first scenario.34% 20613120 628650.20% 99548892 242334.057% 18.5/55. You open to $7. Nit 5bets all in. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. You make a pot 4bet to $75. It’s notable that even against LAG.34% 163058412 628650. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You need 31. Pot Odds: You need 31. You make a pot 4bet to $75.39% 00. Pot Odds: Still $125 to win a pot of $278.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. so you can pitch it without making a mathematical error. your TT is a slight dog (about 45. 36. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button.20% 221421192 693396.21% 00.06% equity or more to call.514% 88.4% is enough equity that you should be calling.20% 126502032 693396.413% 36.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No.00 { TT } Hand 1: 63. Pot Odds: You need 31. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 36.22:1. You open to $7. You’re getting 278:125. or 2. TT is generally a much better hand than 65s.

Aggressive TAG 5bets all in. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No.35% 351420780 3937734. You make a pot 4bet to $75. Pot Odds: You need 31. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 32.33% 00. Now.62% 00. in the following hands.06% equity or more to call. let’s look at some similar scenarios. In addition. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. you’re still not getting enough equity against the range you’re facing.00 { QQ+. you’re a big dog. This range is wide enough that you have to call.26% 00. TdTs.973% 67. You make a pot 4bet to $75. Pot Odds: You need 31.027% 31.25 times the villain’s 3bet ($54) instead of 4betting pot.76% 00.751% 20. and you’re only getting about 21%. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button. You’re UTG with KQo. 8h8s. so 141 .43% 194732364 3147627. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.249% 78. TcTs. You make a pot 4bet to $75. However. AKs.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 73. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 26. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 20.49% 388386852 2423022.43% 538687710 3147627. You open to $7.49% 99910656 2423022. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. ThTs.00 { JJ+. 8d8s. Your hands will remain the same.06% equity or more to call.67% 00. You’re UTG with KQo. Two folds to LAG on the button. AQs+. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 79. Pot Odds: You need 31.Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. and when you do call.249% 72. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes. AJs+. You open to $7. LAG 5bets all in.82% 00. it makes calling a 5bet shove less attractive from a pot odds perspective.35% 750276744 3937734.06% equity or more to call.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 67. Such a 4bet risks less money while still denying villains the odds to set mine against you and to call with speculative hands. AhTh.00 { 99+. as will the villains’ ranges. 8c8s.751% 26. AsTs. You need a bit more than 31% equity to call. you make a small 4bet to 2.

Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button. the examples would become extremely lengthy and complicated. assume that a small 4bet has the same fold equity as a big 4bet.22% 159831996 515570. You can fold the hand without making a mistake. You open to $7. You make a small 4bet to $54. and you only have about 22. 100/2. or 1. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No.you won’t be mathematically obligated to call shoves as often after making a light 4bet. If I were to assume that the villains’ 5betting ranges change when you decrease the size of your 4bet.76:1. For the purpose of this article. or 1.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 77. You’re getting 257:146.76:1. and you only have a bit more than 31%. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 31.00 { QQ+. You need a little over 36% equity to call. You’re UTG with 65s. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. IT IS NOT THE CASE.22% 72010208 515570. $146 to win a pot of $257.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 68.23% equity or more to call.23 Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 22.29% 00.496% 22.76 = 36. You open to $7. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button. Pot Odds: You have to call $146 to win a pot of $257.76:1. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. you can fold to the shove without making a mistake. $146 to win a pot of $257.5%.92% 00. You’re getting 257:146. Nit 5bets all in. AKs.20% 63532548 168354. You need 36.20% 18321336 168354. though. but a small 4bet doesn’t have the same fold equity as a 4bet to pot.30% 00. or 1. You’re UTG with 65s. Two folds to Nit on the button. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. Pot Odds: Same as above. 142 . “Fair enough.144% 30. You’re UTG with 65s. Note that when you 4bet pot. THIS MAY OR MAY NOT BE THE CASE! For the purpose of this article. When you make the small 4bet. You open to $7. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. You make a small 4bet to $54. You need a little over 36% equity to call.504% 77.” IN REALITY. you were mathematically forced to call off your stack after the 4bet bluff with this hand.63% 00. You’re getting 257:146.856% 68. You make a small 4bet to $54. Pot Odds: Same as above. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. Important note: you might be thinking.

Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 19. AJs+. $146 to win a pot of $257. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 29.73% 00.00 { 99+.368% 29. Two folds to Nit on the button.00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No. TdTs. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.06% 00.20% 99548892 242334.22% 224472772 721187. You open to $7. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button.75% 00.23% equity or more to call.057% 18. or 1.22% 95998006 721187. TcTs.943% 80.632% 70. You’re UTG with TT. Conservative TAG 5bets all in. Even against LAG’s range. You open to $7. your equity has dropped slightly despite the fact that the range you’re facing has widened.00 { TT } Hand 1: 80.86% 00. ThTs.23% equity or more to call. 8h7h.82% 00. AQs+. AsTs. 8s7s. You’re UTG with TT.33% 00. You open to $7.76:1 and need 36. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. Two folds to LAG on the button.955% 69. LAG 5bets all in. You make a small 4bet to $54. You make a small 4bet to $54. 143 .20% 23252328 242334. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 30. You’re getting 257:146. 8d8s.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 69. Pot Odds: Same as above.76:1. You weren’t priced in to call against this guy even after making a pot 4bet.31% 322728794 1400403.You need 36.23% equity or more to call. AhTh. you can fold 65s to the shove after 4betting. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You still don’t have enough equity to call. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1.045% 29. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. You need 36. You’re UTG with 65s.00 { 65s } Hand 1: 70. 8h8s.31% 133367872 1400403. Pot Odds: You’re getting1. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. You make a small 4bet to $54.23% equity or more to call. In fact. so clearly you’re not priced in now that your pot odds have become less favorable. Nit 5bets all in.76:1 and need 36. 8c8s.00 { JJ+.

00 { KK+ } Are you priced in to call? No way.76:1 and need 36.17% 00.49% 388386852 2423022. You open to $7.20% 126502032 693396.20% 221421192 693396. 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.49% 99910656 2423022.23% equity or more to call.Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 36. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Yes.34% 20613120 628650.76:1 and need 36. You make a small 4bet to $54. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1. You’re UTG with KQo.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 88. you’ll be priced in against Aggressive TAG and LAG too). Math dictates that with TT. folding would only be a very minor mistake because the small 4bet leads to much less favorable pot odds on a call. Aggressive TAG 5bets all in. You make a small 4bet to $54.00 { QQ+. but that then. Two folds to Nit on the button. Conservative TAG 5bets all in.15% 00. You’re UTG with KQo.39% 00. and it’s still not close. Nit makes a pot 3bet to $24. You make a small 4bet to $54. AKs. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 20. Equity: 144 .00 { KQo } Hand 1: 79. barely.76:1 and need 36.26% 00. You open to $7. Aggressive TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1.23% equity or more to call. Two folds to Aggressive TAG on the button. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. AKs. However. You open to $7.413% 36.514% 88.00 { QQ+.34% 163058412 628650.21% 00. Two folds to Conservative TAG on the button.23% equity or more to call.00 { TT } Hand 1: 63.76% 00. Note that TT also became a call against this guy when you were 4betting pot.486% 11. You’re UTG with KQo. Conservative TAG makes a pot 3bet to $24. You need more than three times the equity you have before calling becomes the right play. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1.587% 63. the decision wasn’t a close one.249% 78.751% 20. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 11. Nit 5bets all in.

with 65s and KQo. but you had to call against the other three. Decreasing the size of a 4bet makes this process 145 . However. TcTs. When you 4bet pot with KQo. but you were priced in to call against the other three players. Pot Odds: You’re getting 1. but you were priced in to call against LAG.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 73. 8h8s. 8s7s. AJs+. When holding TT. when holding the other two hands.76:1 and need 36. though.8 < 36. you were priced in to call three times out of four when making a 4bet to pot. With this hand. When you made a small 4bet. Analysis When you 4bet pot with 65s. you were able to fold to a shove from Nit.equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 26.36% 360688620 3972930. You’re UTG with KQo.23% equity or more to call. Two folds to LAG on the button. but you had to call against the other three (though against Conservative TAG -. Equity: equity win tie pots won pots tied Hand 0: 32. 26. Even against this guy you can fold and avoid getting all in preflop as a 67/33 dog.135% 66. the smaller 4bet provided you with increased leverage.33% 00. You open to $7. 8h7h. LAG makes a pot 3bet to $24.36% 740938512 3972930. when you made your 4bet bluff smaller with this hand. you were able to correctly fold against all four players. When you 4bet pot with pocket tens. When you 4bet bluffed small with 65s. 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.43% 194732364 3147627.00 { KQo } Hand 1: 67. meanwhile. AKo } Are you priced in to call? Nope.78% 00. AQs+. TdTs. the small suited connector.00 { JJ+.00 { 99+.249% 72. you were able to fold against all four players’ shoves without making a mathematical mistake.751% 26. You make a small 4bet to $54. decreasing the size of your 4bet changed nothing with regard to the correctness of calling a 5bet shove against the given ranges. 8d8s.2. Being able to 4bet bluff with the knowledge that you can fold to a 5bet all in is a nice luxury.43% 538687710 3147627. Being mathematically forced to call off most of your stack is bad when you know you are a significant dog in the pot. 8c8s.82% 00.51% 00. AKo } Are you priced in to call? No. you were priced in zero times out of four. LAG 5bets all in. you were able to fold to Nit’s shove.865% 32. However. you were able to fold to shoves from the first three players. ThTs. The results were especially drastic with 65s. The same was the case when you decreased the size of your 4bet with the tens: folding was correct against Nit.the player with the next narrowest range -the decision to call in this spot was extremely close).

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

Know yourself and know your target. KQ: 87. what’s the method.1% chance with two players left to act.6% chance with two players left to act.9% chance with three players left to act.“Above Average Hand.3% chance with three players left to act. the harder it will be to successfully steal the blinds preflop. and 86. Over those 313 blind-steal attempts. but I’ve decided to address an important and often-misunderstood topic in small-stakes no-limit poker: blind stealing.” any pair. . Like I said: done right.“Premium Hand.” all Great Hands plus 88. I’ve stolen blinds from my eight-year-old cousin and from an 85-year-old great-grandmother. hopeless. heartless. blind stealing is a VERY important contributor to your overall win rate. and 16% chance with three players left to act. Note what this means: the “looser” your remaining opponents. and 91. what’s the approach? The answer is that it’s quite easy. I'd be a Pooh-Bah now. if somebody hadn't changed my title. I haven’t had quite as much time to think about it the second time around. AJ: 84. . any two broadway: 29. any suited. Furthermore. In the last 17. I stole blinds when I played limit hold’em. 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.3% chance with three players left to act. then you 147 . I’ve always stolen blinds.3% chance with three players left to act.4% chance with two players left to act. AQ: 90. the weaker the average hand you’ll have when you attempt a steal. . If your blind steals are a standard 4xBB. and 82. I’m forced to make a SECOND Pooh-bah post. helpless. those steal attempts have generated over 30% of my total profits at the no-limit poker tables. I’ve maintained a healthy win rate of 1. 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. AK. I stole blinds when I played tournaments.10 PTBB/hand: that’s 110 PTBB/100.Blind stealing (Pokey) Well. and they have random hands.5% chance with two players left to act. it’s wildly successful.“Super Premium Hand.” AA-TT. you’re hoping NOT to get to a showdown. and 55.” AA-JJ.“Great Hand.” any ace.500 hands. or perhaps just an “image move” to help get paid off on your big hands. That means that for the frequent blind thief. and 77.8% chance with two players left to act. “irrational exuberance” on my part. I steal blinds when I play no-limit hold’em. . Due to some…er. . think again – blind stealing can be an extremely valuable part of your poker arsenal. Blind steals rely heavily on folding equity. I’m reasonably good at it. Pokey’s Rules for Blind Theft: 1.31% of the time – that works out to be 313 steal attempts out of 817 opportunities. I’ve attempted to steal the blinds a whopping 38. To those of you who consider blind stealing an insignificant part of the no-limit poker game. and I always will. habitual blind thief. The more frequently you try to steal the blinds. The odds none of the remaining players have “good” hands are as follows: . So. AK. any two broadway: 67. and despite that.8% chance with two players left to act. AK: 94. I’ll admit it: I’m a ruthless.“Very Good Hand.“Good Hand. AQ.6% chance with three players left to act. let’s turn to the issue at hand: how do you steal the blinds successfully? What’s the formula. now that I’ve got your attention. Despite the fact that I’ve only attempted a blind steal one time every five orbits.” AA-99.

but we’re balancing competing issues: how often our opponent will improve.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 64% of the time. aggression. you should be stealing with literally any two cards from either BB or CO. if our opponents are likely to fold 72.6% of the time.5xBB. some of his hand range will include unpaired preflop hands like AK. even if you never win a hand when you don’t win preflop. how often we’ll improve but our opponent will improve more. and doing so will show an instant profit even before the flop. you will be stealing with reasonably solid hands yourself: collectively.If our opponent is playing “Great Hands. my steal rate of 38.3% corresponds roughly to stealing with “any pair.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 73% of the time.” If that’s your steal range. how often we will have a strong hand. Most opponents crumble quickly against steady aggression.4% of the time. it’s actually not bad at all. . The flop is going to improve our hand about one time in three. the hand range your opponent will consider worthy of a preflop call will expand as you attempt steals more frequently. Consider that even if our opponent is playing as incredibly tight.3%. However.will wager 4xBB to win 1. Let’s assume that when we’re called.If our opponent is playing “Good Hands. any two broadway cards. we need to apply that steady aggression. However. So against players who will only play “very good hands” versus a steal attempt.If our opponent is playing “Very Good Hands. we win immediately.If our opponent is playing “Above Average Hands. 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. The odds that your hand is worth pursuing is therefore significant enough to warrant a full pot-sized continuation bet from you. 20% of the time or less).” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 56. For people who steal infrequently (say.7% of the time. 2.4% of possible holdings. we’ve got a few things going for us: namely. what are the odds that by the flop our opponent’s hand is at least strong enough to beat unimproved pocket deuces? . and any suited connector down to 87s. you have a valuable hand often enough to make this a highly profitable hand for you.If our opponent is playing “Premium Hands. we’re typically behind. Aggression.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 40.If our opponent is only playing “Super Premium Hands. to successfully steal blinds. and if not. As complicated as this all sounds. we need to do so CAREFULLY so as to make sure that our attempts are profitable. I don’t recommend stealing “only” 20% of the time. how often our opponent will improve and we’ll improve more. any king. So. your flop bets should be sizeable. Since 3 out of 11 is 27. all suited aces. . the chances that on the flop you have 148 .7% of the time. Of course. . any pair.1% of the time. any ace. . While this sounds like a recipe for bankruptcy. how often our opponent will improve and still fold. that we have played the hand aggressively so far and that we will have position on this and every remaining street in the hand. so you need to remain aware of both your table image and your opponent’s play style. so if you immediately win 3 times out of 11 you will show an immediate preflop profit. etc. .” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 49% of the time. I recommend stealing much more often than that. meaning that your hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 47. As an example. aggression. and any two broadway cards make up 20. Given that you are only attempting a steal 20% of the time. great. This will be the case when we are relentless with our steal attempts and our opponents are conservative with their calls. this is not a tragedy – it’s an opportunity.” his hand on the flop will beat unimproved pocket deuces 59. When you get called preflop. if your opponent folds.

Premium Hands: 90. However. a 2/3-pot sized bet only needs to win 40% of the time to be immediately profitable. the less profitable your blind-stealing will prove to be in terms of folding equity.599)*(+2.705*0.674*(+0.5 PTBB on the flop.941*(+0. Also. EV = 0. this demonstrates a bizarre truism: the less likely your opponent is to fold.17 PTBB.75 PTBBs).5) = +0. and (b) only call the flop with a hand that can beat 22 (when they fold. Note well two points.092*0. A safe bet is that we will win at LEAST 1/3 of the time when our flop bet is called. Skipping ahead to the loosest players: .73)*(-5. This assumes our betting is 2 PTBB preflop and 3. the answer is to bet a smaller quantity on the flop.5) = +0. we’ve already had two chances to win the pot: one if our opponent folds to the preflop bet and one if our opponent folds to the flop bet. we lose 5. we lose every time.45 PTBB.75) + (0. rather. This should prove FAR from true.27)*(+2. there is too much “art” in the play to be easily categorized in a summary like this. 59. we win 2.51)*(+2. .75) + (0. Notice what this means: if your opponent plays very tightly against your preflop raise.75) + (0.51 PTBB. 51% of the time they fold on the flop.64)*(-5.5 PTBBs).8% of the time they fold preflop.908*(+0. this assumes that our opponent is calling EVERY time he has a hand that is at least as strong as a pair of deuces.092*0. however: first.75) + (0. EV = 0. the odds that he CALLS your preflop bet go DOWN. EV = 0.75) + (0.75) + (0.8%).Super Premium Hands: 94.36)*(+2.Above Average Hands: 29.75 PTBBs. and that safely makes all of these calculations +EV. and when they fold. we see this: .9% of the time they fold on the flop. easy and simple rules must be thrown out the window. EV = 0. 36% of the time they fold on the flop. Once again. .5) = +0. Much like bears in the woods.326*0.401)*(-5. 27% of the time they fold on the flop. the opponent holding 22 on a board of AKQ is assumed to call our continuation bet. From here on in.Good Hands: 67. raising the value of your PREFLOP bets.5% of the time they fold preflop. Consider the value of a steal attempt from the big blind against the various opponents.5) = -0. The answer is not to bet less often on the flop. the odds that he has a decent hand on the flop go up.75) + (0.at least a pair will be noticeably lower (something like 42. thus. I do want to point out a few simple points that might make help you in your blind-stealing adventures: 1.059*0. assuming they will (a) fold preflop if their hand is outside of the specified range (winning 0.08 PTBB. While a pot-sized bet needs to win 50% of the time to be immediately profitable. especially against the loosest of our opponents. After the flop.49)*(-5.295*(+0.4% of the time they fold preflop.1% of the time they fold preflop. your opponents are more afraid of you than you are of 149 .059*0. If we consider only the tightest and loosest opponents. our EV calculations have thus far assumed that whenever we have not won with the flop bet. lowering the value of your flop bets. At this stage of the hand.75) + (0.705*0.326*0.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

my tilting has dropped dramatically. 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. 161 . Well. I hope this wasn't TOO long and it provided something helpful.

and the 45-1 shots. find other hobbies that you enjoy. We get impatient and try and force the issue when what we really need to be doing is waiting for the right spot. Learn to be happy when you get your money in with way the best of it and lose. If you let poker determine you happiness. 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. parents. Tilt. The other two factors. and learn from others mistakes and we are better poker players for it. Ego. IMO ego is the main reason players get stuck. so that they may be able to cope with there own inevitable downswing better. I believe that most of us feel like we are one of the better players at the table when we sit down. Not matter how big our edge is. If we normally play 2 hours a day but sometimes play 6 hours. the 10-1 shots. You may have heard the interview with Chip Reese this week. and SSNL (lmw) As a famous STT poster once said. We all need something outside of poker that we can be proud of and enjoy. We work at getting better with every post we make. “ there will come a time when you will run worse than you ever thought possible. so we ignore the warning signs of tilt in the hopes of stacking a bad opponent. all have to hit sometime. I don’t really have any more to say on the subject now. If you are a professional player. . Variance. He also said that it was one of the hardest things for him to over come early in his career. We see our opponent’s mistakes and do our best to manipulate them. you are setting yourself up for one hell of a emotional rollercoaster ride. and Ego all play huge roles in the length and destructiveness of our downswings. we will never be able to win everyday. As 2+2ers. Sometimes they all hit in a short amount of time. The bottom line is the 4-1 shots. tilt and ego. 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. You successfully manipulated your opponent into making a huge mistake and that is all you can hope for. When we lose it’s usually because someone got lucky. share ideas. Everyone plays better when they are winning and everyone plays worse when they are losing. We study hands. As there are only two of these three factors we can control. It is important that we separate our self worth from the results of our poker sessions. but to hopefully allow some of the newer players a chance to learn from my downswing. When we win we pat ourselves on the back and feel good about the time we have put into improving our game. Find something stable that brings you happiness. If you are a causal player keep other aspects of your life at a higher priority than poker. Tilt. are very closely related IMO. I don’t intend to spend much time on variance. students.Variance. or whatever. If any of you listen to The Circuit. Knowing we have an edge against our opponents makes losing to them all the more painful. The less of your self worth you derive from poker the better player you will be. We know we are better. We should all strive to be good friends. 162 . Before we can become truly great players we must learn to be able to quit behind and play longer when we are winning.” I find myself in the middle of such a time now. I hope if you’ve read this far. The problem is we know it. It also can lead to us playing longer than we should when we are losing. we make up a small percentage of the SSNL player pool who considers themselves serious students of the game of poker. There has been several posts written on the subject by far superior players than myself. 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.

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

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

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

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

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. Against this opponent we need to C-bet when we actually make a hand and have him pay us off with many worse hands. #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. Say we raise 67 4xBB from the button and are called by BB. C-betting becomes espically important with SC's when we flop our draws. We represented that we had a big hand preflop when we raised so most of the time (again opponent dependent) if I am raising SC's preflop I will be betting them on the flop.Well I followed your advice but every continuation bet I make gets check raised or called and we check down This is ok. Well it seems my C-bets keep getting called and i havent been improving. We do not want to be C-betting in a few different spots. A continuation bet is a small bluff and from time to time they will get picked off. Aside from this aspect my main reason to keep C-betting (which I fail to do sometimes 167 . We have now bought ourselves a free card on the turn should we need it to complete a draw we may have flopped. The semi-bluff in this situation can be –EV IMO. Sometiems your villain will hit a flop and check raise you. Is there a time when I shouldn't be C-Betting YES. This is actually the beauty in a continuation bet (to be discussed later). #3 A good quote from jjb108 "This is an important point to remember…the average donk plays Axo. It is then your decision to step back and play poker with AK on the 942r board. Go with your feel. 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. 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. Villain will most likely check his weak ace to us for fear of being outkicked/FPS with top pair. #2 We hold a hand such as AA and the flop is KQJ. 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. When up against a calling station we do not need to C-bet bluff because he will be calling us down." This quote in our context I'm not only applying to a semi bluffing hand such as a FD or OESD. We still have a villain left to act behind us and we have no idea where they stand with this flop because they have no acted yet. Opponent dependent and note dependent I will sometimes not C-bet against this villain. 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.

We need to look at our villain. We need to keep portraying the image we have set up with them and bet into the pot. with AA on a 942r board we are betting for value since its alomst certain we have the best hand. We need to keep C-betting to set our self up for later hands. By this time he has me pegged as a bluffer.when Im running bad) is to set up for later 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. as well as flop texture and size up the appropriate bet. When done correctly you can C-bet your way from one level to the next. 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. With AK on the same board we are betting for protection since our hand is most likely the best but could easily be outdrawn. This here is a double edged sword also. Reason 1: When we were betting before with AK high it may become very suspicious to some villains if we decide to check behind on a flop where we were checked to when we flop a monster hand. Villain 3 times in a row picked off my AKo C-bet on a Q72r flop. and I hope you all do!!! 168 . The pot gets big and hopefully said villain who thinks we are donkey of the year pays us off with a nice big 100BB's Reason 2: If we are unknown to villain and we C-bet with a flopped set or TPTK and get to showdown. the whole table sees that we are leading out with powerful hands and not trying to slowplay them. Against the same Semi TAG villain from the previous examples. There are obviously circumstances where it would be wrong to C-bet that I have not mentioned here but anyone who would like to add some or add some other ideas about C-betting that I did not touch upon please feel free. The same is true when we actually flop a big hand.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5. SB calls $3. BB folds Flop: ($9) 9 Q J (2 Players) SB checks. Hero bets $7 Example 3: a very drawy board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. Hero bets $5. 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. BB folds Flop: ($9) 8 4 9 (2 Players) SB checks. This strategy is very advantageous against the type of villain who will raise smaller continuation bets with drawing hands sensing weakness. and some bet sizes we may decide to fire into each pot. Hero raises to $4. SB calls $3. and a very coordinated board. Disadvantages: Small increase in losses with weaker hands/bluffs from balancing bet sizing with stronger hands and vice-versa. SB calls $3. you effectively disguise your hand to your opponents. Hero raises to $4. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. we’re anticipating getting a lot of money in the middle before the river when many drawing hands in our opponents range become worthless. Example 1: a dry board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X.50 Example 2: a middling drawy board Hero (BTN): $100 SB: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt X. 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. when we make large bets on drawy boards with strong hands.5.we make our bets larger on drawy boards and smaller on dry boards Since dry boards miss most hands. the semi-bluff can difficult to defend against with marginal one pair type hands. but is more liable to flat call a larger bet sensing strength. Methodology #3: Adjusting your bet sizing based on the depth of the stacks 178 .5. After all. and we’d much prefer our opponents to play passively against us. a somewhat coordinated board. Also. Hero bets $8 Works best against: all villains. Lets look at 3 examples: a dry board. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. Y (6 Players) 4 folds. BB folds Flop: ($9) A 2 8 (2 Players) SB checks. On draw heavy boards that hit a wide range of hands. Hero raises to $4. 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.

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

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

J Q . Hand 1: Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt T . or at the very least force them into a difficult decision as to whether or not they should continue with the hand. it is something to keep in mind.against you. 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. 2 folds.50) 8 3 A (2 Players) Hero bets $5.50… A (2 Players) We’ll play the role of hero. Still with me? OK. we view the button as an aggressive villain who is capable of making a move. T (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. maybe. As an example. BTN calls $4. Nevertheless. On to the next meeting… Hand 2: (same villain) Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt A . Or bet larger to force your opponents to fold. and bet the pot when you don’t want action or want to discourage opponents from making plays or calling down lightly. BTN calls $4. 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. 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. Flop: ($9. we might choose to make smaller ½ pot bets when you want action or want to induce a raise. 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. a 18/14 thinking TAG who uses a highly varied bet sizing methodology. and maybe he wasn’t. 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. BTN raises $20 Easy fold right? Well. With a dry Ace high flop.50.50) 5 K T (2 Players) 181 . enough theory mumbo jumbo. let’s look at a really simple example where we might be able to manipulate our opponents into taking specific actions against us by varying our bet sizes. 2 folds Flop: ($9. Say for example. we make a bet of size A because we want our opponent to take action X. 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. 2 folds Flop: ($9. or to pick up the pot with minimal risk. Maybe the button was planning on making a play regardless of our bet size. Q (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. or to induce a raise. In our short history. the on collected the pot and exposed his hole cards.50) 8 3 Hero bets $5. We open UTG open get called by the 20/10 button. Sometimes you want to bet smaller when OOP to price yourself into seeing cheap cards. 2 folds.

NLHETAP. Now obviously. and we intend to exploit our read by manipulating our opponent into making a mistake. Flop: ($9. Disadvantages: By varying our bet sizes based on a specific set of objectives. so we adjust by making a larger bet with a hand that we don’t necessarily want action with. BTN bets $38. p57). Now again. but rather. BTN raises $20.50) 7 J 2 (2 Players) Hero bets $5. The next time we flop a strong hand we might make a larger bet. we may face difficult decisions on later streets as opponents reactions may or may not be influenced by the size of our bets. Hand 3: (same villain) Hero (UTG): $100 BTN: $100 Preflop: Hero is dealt 7 . 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. The idea is to adjust better than your opponent does. However. BTN folds. 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.50… 2 (2 Players) Using previous history and our read on villain. Hero calls $14. 2 folds Flop: ($9. or maybe he had a timing tell and felt we were stronger in this hand than in the previous one. Maybe the button decided to fold in this hand given he recently made a play against us. 2 folds. this may or may not be the case. Hero raises all-in.50) 5 K T Hero bets $8. 182 . our static strategy won’t work forever on this particular villain. We now have a stronger suspicion that this villain may perceive our smaller continuation bets as weakness and larger continuation bets as strength. Ship it. so we’ll need to make continuous adjustments. Button mucks K T and hero collects the pot. Works bets against: villains who we have a very good read on. BTN calls all-in. and yet still be able to manipulate them into doing what you want them to do.Hero bets $8… In this hand. Do note. 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. or make a smaller bet when we’re bluffing. Flop: ($9. Miller.50) K (2 Players) Hero checks.50. 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. Turn: ($49. (2 Players) The button folds and hero collects the pot. Requires constant adaptation.50. BTN calls $4. we have a read that this villain may have interpreted our smaller continuation bet as weakness.50) 7 J Hero bets $5. 7 (6 Players) Hero raises to $4. in a game with no absolutes. We’re not necessarily always trying to deceive our opponents with our bet sizes.

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

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

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

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

this concept gets more important. In that situation.8*(17 + 0.0*(10 + 7. Then our EV is 1. 3/4. he'll always call the river if he gets there because there's so much money in the pot. like 50% of the time. when the villain decides he'll call a 1/2-pot bet on the river. That's 1/3 more money than we were making with the smaller bets. he'll have an OK hand with a draw that missed on the river.2/3 line.  For the pot-pot line. so betting just a little more early on can make a big difference later on. With shorter stacks. unless you think that villain is savvy enough to make some real adjustments based on the various lines you take. this means that I'm much more likely to go pot-pot on scary boards. in situations like this. It turns out that he only has to call 46% of the time on the turn for the lines to have the same EV. if there's $10 in the pot on the flop. With big hands. pot-pot-pot bets will be bets of $10. 2/3. $30 and we'll get $54 in. and we'll get $85 in. That is. The key is to think "if I bet this much. Similarly." 187 . etc. A lot of that transfers pretty easily when you start thinking about b3b. cr.5. If it's going to go 3/4. you won't be able to make sizeable bets on all streets. Then again.5*(70)) = $59. if it's going to go pot-pot-pot. 2/3. $30 and $90. Then. you can get 13x the pre-flop money in. because it makes it that much easier to get more value on the later streets. that 1/2-pot bet is a lot of money. Why am I focusing on smaller bets on the river? Well. So. Just so that you don't have to work it out on the fly. those extra bets are usually on the flop. More than one bet per street When we flop a monster. In practice.from the flop on. As stacks get deeper. and we'll get about $130 of your stack in. if we have full stacks and want to get it in. it's quite possible that. The key is thinking ahead on the early streets. so you can get 8. let's say he'll always call the flop. so you can get about 5x the pre-flop money in that way. the pot will be that much on the next street and the stack sizes will be blah blah. What's our EV if he'll fold the turn more often. Intuitively. $17. or because I don't want villains drawing to it. We want to set things up so that.5*(30 + 55) = $62.5.5x the pre-flop money in. $45. it's likely that we can get more than one bet in per street. we can run into a lot of situations where the villain has a good draw. our EV is 1. you should be betting quite a bit when you have a great hand. $30. though? Let's say he folds the turn a lot. Pots grow exponentially. If it's going to go pot-pot-1/2pot. the bets will be $10. 1/2 isn't good enough. 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 3/4.0*(10 + 10) + 0. I want most of the money in before then so that he can make a crying call.5) + 0. I usually try to squeeze out as much value as I possibly can on the early streets. 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. 1/2. So. the bets will be $7. either because I have the scary hand.

If it goes pot-call. and villain was pretty likely to think he was getting pushed around. 1 fold.If there's $10 in the pot.10) 9 . BB calls $0. SB posts a blind of $0. when you're playing against someone who has a 2x stack.10.HERO? (2 players) So. Hmmn . So. T (2 players) BB bets $1. Q .75) Hero ($38. BB calls $1. though).49) BB ($47. getting $220 of your stack in. even if villain goes into check-call mode. Just for fun.10) J BB checks. T (2 players) BB bets $1.. Q . In this specific case. BB calls $3. and it goes bet-raise on the flop. Hero raises to $1. so a push from the hero got a stubborn call.10) 7 (2 players) BB bets $3.10) 7 (2 players) BB checks. Hero bets to $10. you'll put in $50 on the turn and $150 on the river. Hero raises to $2.97.10) Preflop: Hero is Button with A . Turn: ($6.75. hero ends up with $30 in his stack and $20 in the pot. making it pretty hard to get the rest in. BB calls $3.50) CO ($9. though. And we see the river with $30 in the pot and $23 in our stack. 2 . Hero raises to $7.10) 9 . Flop: ($2. pot-call after that. Hero raises to $4. 3 folds.03. BB calls $10. that sounds like the hand from the post I referred to earlier: Quote: UTG ($26. Now.81) MP ($30. 188 . it will look like Flop: ($2. it's important to raise early on to set things up to get the stacks in later on. you might get $20 in on the flop. Turn: ($10. (We'll often want to bet less on the river. let's see how this would have played out with bigger bets: If hero makes about a pot-sized raise on the flop.62) SB ($41. River: ($20. there was some history.

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

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

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

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

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

or diamonds. but that’s hardly a good draw. BB calls $13 Bad flop. 2 players) BB checks. Flop: K Q 3 ($15. Hero raises to $7.Stack Sizes SB: $Whatever BB: $200 UTG: $Not MP: $Very CO: $Relevant Hero (BTN): $200 Preflop: 7 6 ($3. Flop: A Q 5 ($15. $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. Read: The villain in the following hand has folded to 7 of 11 continuation bets thus far. position. BB folds The turn is a brick. JT. Hero bets $35. which more or less means he has a king. CO folds. Betting here is a solid option. because A) the villain is straightforward enough that we can assign him a fairly tight range. and there’s a good chance he’ll fold a queen. MP folds. MP folds. 2 players) BB checks. BB calls $5 Blinds. The club provides our hand with a runner flush draw. You know the big blind has a tendency to pay off. 6 players) UTG folds. maybe even the weaker kings in his range. which is fairly high. He calls. Hero bets $13. etc. SB folds. so you make the same bet as you made with the monster hand on the drawy flop above. suited cards. 2 players) BB checks. CO folds. Hero raises to $7. Hero bets $11. and if you flop big. Raising will steal the blinds pretty often. You want to bet based on the texture of the flop and not on the strength of your hand. which is a good thing in this spot. implied odds. but this is a thinking player’s turn bet. BB calls $5 I’m raising suited connectors in this spot almost every time. you might get rewarded with a stack. Not a play I’d make every time. The villain most likely won’t continue to draw against us with these pot odds. a queen. SB folds. 6 players) UTG folds. and B) most of his range will fold to a turn bet. but aside from that seems like a donk and Poker Ace Hud shows that he has gone to showdown 28 percent of the time. Turn: 2 ($41. BB calls $11 194 .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

201

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

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. it's almost a certainty that he hit the flush. First you know not to complete with hands you want to play OOP to a raise. After enough of these you can start limping and not expect a raise. Other Ramblings . When you get called by one of these guys on the flop on a draw heavy board.Calls pot-size bets on draws on the flop AND turn. For example. This almost always signifies a whiffed turn-checkraise that the villain is trying to make up for. sometimes something outside of that normal range can give you a tell. Valuable Read 14 . Villains typically just don't bet rivers huge without the nuts or near nuts. rather than the size of the bet in relation to the pot. Also beware of the full pot size bet or slight overbet if you checked the turn behind after a draw hit.villain ALWAYS raises in the BB if it's a headsup blind battle and the SB completes.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.. This makes him easy to play against because if he reraises you. If a villain is capable of bluffing the river with missed draws and things of that nature.. but in reality it's strength. then calling is 203 . Valuable Read 12 . Valuable read 11 .but if the villain doesn't. then either goes for the checkraise when it hits (or donk bets it. disappoint them by not letting them get the checkraise in. I've gotten burned by this lately with things like K high flushes facing pushes and losing to the nut flush. This read is subject to a villain that is only single-tabling though. The other great thing about these guys if that they'll almost always go for a checkraise when they complete their draw. things like that. Not as many will call on the turn. And second you KNOW he's raising so you limp with TT+ and punish him when he does. and that villain takes an inordinately long period to act after the card hits. but not unbeatable hands..some villains think their $10 bet into a $50 pot is strong because it's a big bet for $50NL. beware. depends on villain) Lots of villains (myself included) will call smallish PSB's on the flop with draws. I found a TAG villain that religously reraises with marginal hands (AJ for example) but NEVER reraises with AA/KK.Conversely. The most common one is the delayed call or bet. because you know you'll get one. slow way down when the draw hits and consider folding. punish these donkies. We as a group typically consider that a weak bet. They are thinking that you'll associate their long thought period with weakness. I can't tell you how many times I've seen this and it's been the flush. The ones that will call large turn bets are truly great buddies for life and worth following around. you know your AK is good on an a K hi flop.Villain reraises light and flatcalls with truly big hands. because AA isn't in his reraise range.Absent reads I'm typically very reluctant to call large river bets with good. This is why it's so critical that you always make your cbets a standard size. Marginal but sometimes valuable timing tells Assuming a villain normally acts in a certain period of time. You must make a PS turn bet. I generally insta-fold TP with this read and i'm almost always right. If a villain raised on the flop and then a flush card falls. Valuable read 13 . This read makes you money in a number of ways. screw pot control. Conversely.. etc. I know I can safely fold and won't try to float because I know he's got a hand.

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

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

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

with lots of light preflop raising. Also I suspect he is capable of making a laydown and so a hand like AA will often get mucked if I push. Because of the previous hand. but he checks. With this type of image I think his calling range is on the order of JT. Hero calls. CO raises to $20. River: 9 ($103. Flop: 3 T J ($50. over the 100 hands I played at this table I had been quite tight. Turn: 5 ($43. Hero calls. Turn: 5 ($106.here with a huge hand like 3 Jacks? Unlikely. The reason I can assume this is my image. Full Tilt Poker No Limit Holdem Ring game Blinds: $1/$2 Hero: $248 BB: $1070. 2 players) CO bets $28. I would have likely folded to a cbet on this board. although it’s certainly a 207 . Villain is a typical aggTag and plays about 23/20/3.25 Pre-flop: (6 players) Hero is UTG+1 with 4 4 UTG folds. 2 players) BB checks. playing 16/7. Flop: J 5 7 ($43. 3 folds. sometimes QQ+. KJ+. BB raises to $21. 2 players) BB checks. Hero checks. UTG+1 calls. Hero checks.5/2 with a WtSD of only 5. Results: Final pot: $103 He had K Q and MHIG Now. Against this range I am still drawing live. 3 folds. Hero calls. Hero raises to $7. 3 folds. 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. and some sc’s. 2 players) CO bets $75.8%. but most importantly. Hero calls. My image is similar at 22/18/3. JT. and some other random aces) I have a lot of FE against. the portion of his range with which he bets (something like 88+. on to the hand: I put his preflop range at AT+. QJ. he would likely go for a c/r. JJ. 22+. AT+ KQ. 2 players) BB bets $30. 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. TT. I can’t stand a check raise and would likely check here with most hands (especially a set). I start to discount the chance of him having a set or AK here. Hero raises all-in $372 This next hand took place in an aggressive shorthanded game.

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

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

Be VERY afraid when a player is playing out of character: the passive postflop player who leads and raises almost always has a monster.those they will slowplay to disguise their hands. When we're trying to decide a player's preflop holding. but you get the general idea). and here he didn't. any two broadway. On the other hand. expect to be ahead and bet consistently with your made hands. AJ. villain would have raised.checking is just what this player does. Say a player has a VPIP of 40% and a PFR of 20% and they limp in front of you. however -. These guys have crap preflop. His mistake is playing too many hands -. When a player with an average aggression of 8 raises preflop and then checks to you. They aren't really making a major mistake preflop. K9o or worse. that's more likely to be a player who missed and is giving up. Loose players play loose. and AQ -.JJ. When you get that same preflop bet and flop check from a player whose average aggression is 1.4. Be sure to watch this 210 . our sample range for that looks something like "any pair. and 54s-JTs. and is waiting to beat your brains out. any two broadway. A leopard never changes its spots. That means that this is a floating scale: while 10% PFR is passive for a player who has a VPIP of 55%. If we assume that villain raises with his top 20%.and then adjust accordingly.exploit this mistake by hammering him preflop while you're way ahead. 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). PFR. Mentally split players into three groups -. and you can fold without a worry. any ace. Aggressive players play aggressively and passive players play passively. an aggressive preflop player will have a PFR over half of their VPIP. it is aggressive for a player who has a VPIP of 15%. Don't fall for it. K9s or worse." But we can already refine this range some more: we know that with 20% of those hands. but keep the bets small and try for pot control. Know thy enemy. we should use their VPIP and their PFR to come to a conclusion. a tight preflop player has a VPIP under 20%. our sample range for this looked something like "any pair. you discount QQ when a maniac limps. you gain no information from the check -. but NOT the ultra-premiums like QQ+.there's no flop that definitely missed your enemy. Postflop aggression numbers also reveal much about a player. T9s or worse. Together. the HUD trinity (VPIP." That's a much easier range to play against. The ultramaniac who check/calls two streets also has a monster. raise light and raise strong preflop while your hand dominates your opponent's range. Be prepared to play with caution when you don't have a monster. KQ. These folks won't enter into a hand unless they've got something worth pursuing. A likely range here is going to be the difference between the two ranges. All of this leads us to our second commandment: 2. medium aggression. or "any unsuited ace. any suited ace. What sort of holdings do you expect them to have? Well. suspect a trap: this is very often a strong hand that's going for a check-raise. any king." So take THOSE hands out of his current range: just like you discount 72o when a nit is in the hand. When that same play comes from someone with a postflop aggression of 0. Preflop aggresssion: a passive preflop player has a PFR under a quarter of their VPIP. tight players play tight. Alternatively. Beware of these folks postflop. Alternatively. AK.high aggression. That's not to say you should be check-calling. rather. any suited connectors 32s+. Watch these folks at showdown to try and figure out how they play their really big hands.3. Categorize your opponents on three separate measures: Preflop looseness: a loose preflop player has a VPIP over 40% (I made up the number. and low aggression -. we know the player is willing to play with 40% of his hands. and any hand you're willing to play is beating their range. and average aggression) tell us much about a player. especially at uNL stakes.

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

so the odds that your opponent is drawing to a flush are now 5. there are four OTHER aces that beat you -. Think about this: say you have AJ on an ace-high board. AK and AQ obviously have you outkicked. This is a REALLY good flop for attack aggressively: considering your opponent's stats. Much like a suited board. 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. you need to decide if they're likely drawing or if instead they've flopped some powerhouse hand. When the flop comes A-K-Q. Your more aggressive opponents will bet BOTH hands strongly. Sure. Often. TPTK) DO NOT PANIC AND START CALLING! Bet out and protect against the draw that is 4. Heads-up.6 times higher than the odds that he flopped the monster. At small stakes games. and when those aces hit the board your opponents will hang on to their aces like they were made out of solid gold. Besides. the raise makes overcards much more likely than usual. check/calling in the hopes of improving. 212 . Playing these easily-dominated hands will prove very expensive for your inattentive opponents. However. The next highest board card is a T. a connected board can often be used as a powerful bluffing or semibluffing tool.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.8%. I'm usually done with the hand. A flop raise or a flop float can prove extremely valuable to you. Pressing back hard should win you this pot quite often WITHOUT getting to a showdown. If you've hit a solid hand (say. 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. When the board is connected. High Card Value: your opponents love playing high cards.4%. too. but it has to GET there first. Then you'll proceed based on the strength of your hand in relation to the range you think is likely for your opponent. if your board has three spades and you have one in your hand. because your weak-but-made hand is often drawing very thin against it. so the odds that this flop has completely missed your opponent are higher than usual.6% and the odds that he has one spade drops to 14. 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). In this analysis I'm completely ignoring your inside straight draw -. but they will play aggressively with two pair. Incidentally. A monochrome flop of J-T-9 is MUCH more dangerous than a monochrome flop of J-7-2. Bet while your hand is best and charge him well to try and outdraw you.they're a gold-mine to the savvy poker player because so many people miss them. The odds that your single opponent flopped a made flush are 3. Always be aware of straight draws -. the odds that your opponent has two spades drops to 2.3% and the odds that he flopped a flush DRAW are 15. right?) but they haven't. a pair of aces with a J-or-worse kicker is going to be in oodles of trouble unless that kicker connects. the flop comes 7-6-5. the player holding JTs just stacked the preflop raiser holding AK. and the unlikely AA has you decimated.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. If one other player has an ace. When someone plays back at you on a fairly connected board. you need to beware of two separate possibilities: your opponent might have two pair and your opponent might have an open-ended straight draw. Say your 30/11/3 opponent raises preflop from MP and you call in position with 33. what are the odds that his hand beats yours? Well. you've outgrown calling raises with KJo and A9o (you HAVE outgrown that.75 times more likely than the made flush that has you killed. A straight draw can become an almost unbeatable monster. Bet and protect! Connectedness: here we're talking about how many cards to a straight the board has. No. Opponents love nothing more than playing aces. If an ace hits the board in a multi-way pot and I don't have AT LEAST AQ. Worse yet. two pair is the scarier event.the ones that have made two pair. if your opponent actually has a second-best hand. Two pair is already there. many players will play very passively with a draw.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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