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GT_IE’s Guide to Microstakes No Limit Hold Em

Contents
Contents..................................................................................................................... 2 Introduction................................................................................................................ 4 Setup..........................................................................................................................4 Holdem Manager or PokerTracker...........................................................................4 Pokerstove............................................................................................................... 5 Rakeback.................................................................................................................5 TwoPlusTwo forums.................................................................................................5 Trulyfreepokertraining.com.....................................................................................5 Table/Seat Selection................................................................................................5 6max or full ring? .................................................................................................. 6 Take Notes..............................................................................................................6 Heads Up Play......................................................................................................... 6 Drinking while playing.............................................................................................6 Bankroll Management.................................................................................................6 Where the money comes from...................................................................................7 Preflop Play:................................................................................................................8 Hand Strength......................................................................................................... 8 Balancing your range..............................................................................................8 Should my PFR% be closer to VPIP% ? ....................................................................9 Position....................................................................................................................9 Aggression............................................................................................................. 11 Opening.............................................................................................................. 11 3betting.............................................................................................................. 12 4betting.............................................................................................................. 13 Squeezing...........................................................................................................14 Punish the Limpers.............................................................................................15 Use your HUD.....................................................................................................16

Flat Calling.............................................................................................................17 Flat-call for Set-mining: ....................................................................................17 Flat-call, Suited connectors: .............................................................................17 Flat-call, Blind defense.......................................................................................18 Flat-call, Family pots: ........................................................................................19 You got 3-bet, now what?......................................................................................19 Stealing................................................................................................................. 21 Blind Defense........................................................................................................ 21 Effective Stacks.....................................................................................................22 Postflop Play............................................................................................................. 22 What’s your hand worth?.......................................................................................23 1 Pair Hands..........................................................................................................23 Consider some options..........................................................................................24 Continuation Betting..............................................................................................25 Delayed Cbet.........................................................................................................25 Check Calling.........................................................................................................26 Check Raising........................................................................................................26 With monsters when you put your opponent on a strong hand..........................26 As a pure bluff....................................................................................................27 As a semi-bluff with a strong drawing hand.......................................................27 For value against an overly aggressive player...................................................28 You got Check Raised............................................................................................28 Double Barrels.......................................................................................................29 Playing In Position................................................................................................. 29 Playing OOP........................................................................................................... 29 Extraction/Value Betting........................................................................................29 Combo Draws........................................................................................................ 29 Showdown Value...................................................................................................30 Floating................................................................................................................. 31 Bluffing..................................................................................................................32 Bet the Scare Cards...............................................................................................32 The Turn................................................................................................................32 Check Behind.....................................................................................................32

.................33 The power of the almighty FOLD BUTTON.....33 Slow Playing......................... All of these certainly aren’t necessary for play at NL10 (NLxx is where $xx is 100 big blinds...................... You gotta play A LOT of hands at the micros to pay for a couple of new books.. start to put players on a .... mark hands for review when you have a tough decision...... So let this serve as a guide to all the things you need to go deep on..................... (That’s tip #1.... Check your stats by position (you better see a big difference in how you play on the button versus under the gun for instance)........................................................................................................................................... Check your stats overall...................Non-Standard Lines................................34 Conclusion.... When you are reviewing hands after the fact..................... Review your sessions and focus on hands where you lost a lot............ I keep checking books out of the library hoping for info on more of these... but as you move up you need to incorporate more and more of them................ As you play..................................... 35 Hand Chart.......................... I’ll have a little to say about a lot of things because I couldn’t pick just one that I wanted to go deep on.......................... 37 Introduction There are a lot of topics in here.......... use the public library and/or paperbackswap............. and you don’t find many books that hit a lot of these. so NL10 has a 10 cent big blind) and below........ In fact.... and more importantly every hand your opponents play.... The ROI on a library card is ∞ and there’s a library near you)....................... Setup Holdem Manager or PokerTracker These are software programs ( Pokertracker) that accumulate the history of every hand you play. use them for self-analysis........ They display back to you in real time stats on your opponent so that you know what kind of opponent you are up against.... I include: VPIP/PFR/AF/NbrHands/Steal%/Fold to steal %/CheckRaise%/CB %/FoldtoCB/3b/Foldto3b Next........ There are plenty of threads on stats..........................................34 Thoughts on running bad............ Set up a heads up display for playing and use it...com... See why it happened and what you could have done different...................

see below) then read all the stickies in that forum. I sort the lobby by Plr/Flp descending and at μNL (that μ is the micro sign. Search the forums for more info on this. Try this link (Read This) for what was the best deal as of the time I wrote this. He also ran good. Use the range that you put the villain on to analyze your equity and decide if you had the right odds to call. There will be a lot of great posts covering a lot of great info. If you have. Trulyfreepokertraining. it forces you to think about it and that will help your own play. I won’t sit with a short stack on my immediate right. Answer other people’s hands. TwoPlusTwo forums ( Here ) Post hands. Pokerstars doesn’t offer rakeback. or maybe a suited connector that did ok with that flop…) Pokerstove It’s free ( Pokerstove ). don’t signup without rakeback. AT-AK. Even if you only earn enough points for 1 week of Cardrunners. There is no catch. Same for a player I have tagged as good. Read advice from others.com If it’s still there when you are reading this. If you aren’t the 1st or 2nd best player at your table. sign up. either get it added to your account or move. If you haven’t signed up at a poker site. Use it when you analyze hands after the fact where you had tough decisions. Just lurk for a while and read. it’s time to rethink the . Don’t compare your hand against the vilain’s actual 2 cards. then you probably aren’t winning a lot unless you get lucky. so you can play there but I think you have to be playing A LOT to make it really worthwhile. you didn’t know them until showdown. then you’ll be comfortable starting to post. You get rakeback.range of hands (for instance. they have a much more generous “points” program than other sites. great! Use that first week the next month to watch some videos. But he also didn’t have Phil Ivey on his left the entire time. Decide what a reasonable range of holdings is in that situation and compare your hand against all his likely holdings. You’ll see people use a u instead a lot) I will rarely sit at a table less 40% players per flop. Rakeback It’s ridiculous beyond insane to play without rakeback if it is available. any pair 22-99 (but not TT-AA because he probably would have raised instead of calling). Table/Seat Selection Do you think Darvin Moon would have made the final table of the WSOP if it was the Tournament of Champions with all the past winners? Doubtful. Check out the Cardrunners forum on 2p2 (TwoPlusTwo forums) for more details. and a cardrunners/stoxpoker membership for free. holdem manager. After 50 hands or so. Sure he can play. Once you pick a game (hopefully 6max.

Drinking while playing Don’t do it. Take Notes If nothing else. This is great if you play on 2 computers and need to periodically merge your notes. Heads Up Play As a beginner. The federal government might be all for deficit spending. If you can’t identify a target at the table who is clearly an inferior player. Something like Green ($$) for weak players and Red (danger) for strong players. this will help you decide if you want a vacant seat at a table once you’ve got a bunch of regulars tagged (try to sit with green on your right). There’s more betting and raising. There are sharks just sitting and waiting to take your money. Stay away from the “Deep” tables (where the max buyin is 200bb) until you are experienced. An experienced player plays differently when deep and will stack you unexpectedly. But keep in mind. long time. 6max or full ring? I started full ring (9 or 10 seats at the table) because I didn’t even know there was a choice. There are whole posts on other good notes to take. At the very least. At the higher stakes games that you might dream of playing/beating. You get the button more often. read them and by NL25 you should be making notes about how folks like to play. use the color marker. there aren’t as many full ring games so you may as well learn to 6 max now. forget about it. Even 1 beer can loosen you up enough to make you make a stupid call or aggro-monkey bluff that you wouldn’t otherwise make. You don’t have to play those awful early position seats where you should fold just about everything. The action goes a lot quicker. Bankroll Management Do it. There’s nothing . You can lose in 20 minutes everything that took you a week to win. Then I discovered 6max (6 seat tables) and there was a chorus of angels. then find a new table. You can build your bankroll just sitting at tables with complete droolers and waiting 30 minutes til you get a hand and they stack off with 2nd pair. you shouldn’t be. Don’t even give it a try for a long. At this link there’s software that will let you merge into 1 file notes that are in 2 files. All the fish gone? 2 NITs or TAG (tight aggressive) regulars on your right?? Maybe there’s a more +EV table and you should be looking for it. Alcohol is a tilt magnifier.table. I use Orange for players that have check raised me and purple for tight players that I would rather not have at my table. it’s not bankroll management if you aren’t winning. If you are losing it is either a spending plan or a cost containment plan. As you move up.

you’ll probably lose it all. there are so many bad players that you can just play premium starting cards. Your win-rate will really drop. Figure out what hand fits the way it is playing out. top kicker. If you just deposit a roll for NL25 ($25 max buyin. start mixing in play at that next level. and a little luck. there are enough other players smart enough to play that way that you will find yourself swapping big pots. Folding is just as important as value betting. and learn to fold AA or top pair when they only thing he could have is 2 pair or better. This will keep your bankroll moving in the right direction and keep you in the game for the really big scores. If you’re that great. in 3 months you can build a $5 bankroll into $1000 with rakeback. you’ll win other big pots with hands like AA. If you aren’t winning at NL2. You have to think about why a good player wants to get all his money in. If you want to win regularly. don’t just deposit one. Once you are winning. particularly when the games are softest (look at how many people are logged on to the site. However. I lost that so fast playing NL50 and NL100 that it made my head spin. 10¢/25¢ blinds) then if you need to be reading this guide. but be aware that you are and budget accordingly. . It now becomes critical to not only get your big hands paid off. There are a lot of good players. don’t move up to where they respect your raises. Beat each level. I started playing MTTs and won $1600 early on. Along the way. solid player then you have to be more careful. KK. Where the money comes from At the really low buy-in games. They’ll eat you alive.wrong with that. but to avoid losing big pots. and putting pressure on your opponents. solid play. I learned the hard way. Play for entertainment. So. about the time you get to 25 cent big blinds. By playing only premium starting hands out of position. and win lots of money with hands as “weak” as top pair. you’ll need to be in the top 20%. bet them hard. At 30 buyins for the next level or so. you’ll crush it and after a week realize you are fine to move up. etc. you will pay off theirs. deposit $100 (may as well get a decent first deposit bonus) but start playing NL2. have at least 40 buyins. What you are really waiting for is the hands where you have the effective nuts AND your opponent has a second best hand that is good enough to pay you off. bottom set. leveraging position by playing aggressively on the button and in the cutoff. when you are up against a good. Don’t be afraid to get it all in with those hands AGAINST FISH. Not many people just launch right into a new venture of any sort and are immediately in the top 20% of everyone doing it. Even if you think you are good. More players = softer games) To play full time at a level. But. ESPECIALLY if he is raising or shoving and you are calling. They’ll pay off your sets with AA. The online game is hard. you will win lots of small pots pre-flop and on the flop. If you want to win then build a bankroll.

first to act pre flop) are AA/KK/QQ/JJ/AK then after a while an observant opponent would know what you have when you open. So. but you don’t have to (and shouldn’t) every time. it comes from avoiding big losses. loosen up. There’s no shame in it for a beginner. You should play a big combo draw on the flop the same way you would play top set. that’s the power of position. . So. You can open those hands with a raise in late position. Don’t get me wrong. It goes against everything you’ve learned to be raising with T6s or Q9o. Under the gun it’s really ok to fold AJ as a beginner. Just know what it means for now and worry about it as you move up. and even KJs (that s means suited. you’ll learn the importance of: a) Hand strength (tight is right) b) Position (loosen up in-position (cutoff/button) and tighten up elsewhere) c) Aggression (use your position to pound on them) Hand Strength Don’t be afraid to start off using a starting hand chart. However. If the only hands you ever raise from UTG (under the gun. You won’t encounter many people who can not only observe your tendencies but who know how to take advantage of them. Don’t worry about being exploited for playing transparent until you are playing opponents who can exploit you. you can open AJ utg. KJs is suited). but it’s nice to go ahead an know what it means. Don’t give away your winnings by paying off villains the same way they pay you off. to balance your range. you should raise with 33 the same amount as AA. A bluff on the river with a missed draw should be about the same as a value bet with the nuts. Balancing your range This is a concept you won’t need for a while. I built it largely starting off the guidance in Fee’s book. This won’t be a problem at the lowest levels. as you move up it gets more important. Well. Once you are ok playing TIGHT. Read through posts on 2plus2 and start counting how often the advice is simply “fold pre”. You don’t have to follow a hand guide for very long to get it wired into your brain to fold early and raise late. you mix in some different hands and play all hands the same. Preflop Play: As you play and study. You start off playing tight is right. Again. KJ is offsuit. which is one of the MANY excellent things you’ll find Here. You can still make plenty of money.The money doesn’t just come from winning pots. not always necessary at the micros but you should start to understand it. The chart at the bottom of this doc is what I used to start.

decide you could actually have QQ/KK/AA. The other big reason I know of for raising your whole range preflop is position. He is putting you on a big hand. More information = better decisions. like I'm slow playing AA and flat call your raise preflop. Now he check raises and you can shove a monster combo draw. When you have position. He checks. he folds and thinks "yep. then MP just calls your raise now you have the lead postflop. he had AK. If you get check-raised. This really pays off when you hit a big flop. your pfr/vpip should be close together. Some of the time. I think you hit TPTK but I have a slow played overpair. And don’t just 3bet with AA/KK. is the top 12% of hands or so. maybe a low suited Ace (A2s A6s) or a suited K (K8 . I don't know exactly what you have. You don't have a raising hand which. Position It’s all about position. When no one before you has opened the betting.Should my PFR% be closer to VPIP% ? Yes. When you are in position with 56s. then it's easy to give it up because you have nothing. We get it in on the flop and you have 2pp and I'm pissed. You have nothing. Since he didn't 4bet. Better decisions = more $$. represent AA/KK/AK and force them to make really hard decisions and regret every time they open the betting with A9 offsuit. when they are that far apart you are tipping off your cards. But…when you have the button. flop is 56K and you hold 56. not AK. Take the aggression and go for the blinds. This whole game is about getting those blinds. then when you come in with all the hands I listed above. You get to have more information before you make a decision. but I know what you DON'T have. Open more hands. you are not entitled . All because you RAISED pre instead of CALLING pre. the whole game is easier. when you shove over the check raise he'll think a while. Most flops are going to miss people. you do it. putting you on AK. wield it like a club. Get those numbers closer together. and fold his JJ. MP opens and you raise. So when you call I know you probably have something like a pair 22-55. they are disguised. flop comes 38K. Bonus. 3-bet people (3betting is raising someone who already opened with a raise). I think i've got you nailed. too bad I missed my set on the flop". When you have position. When you just call. I can't distinguish your QQ from your 56s. for you.KT) or some junky connector or suited connector. you raised pre. If your stats are like 21/20. you cbet. You have position. This is great because you have a) a huge draw if he calls AND b) fold equity since you raised preflop and bet the flop. First. sometimes the flop is 47T and he has JJ. he has a speculative hand that will miss most flops and you can take the pot away.

92 Hero (BTN): $25.to the pot.67) Thoughts about how this would play Out of Position: 1) If I opened and he raised. Full Tilt Poker $0.55) K (2 players) UTG checks. JJ would bet and I fold.91 Pre Flop: ($0. I would probably have checked.35) Hero is BTN with Q K UTG raises to $0. Hero checks Final Pot: $13. Don’t cbet EVERY flop. You should just play that way until your opponent makes it clear you are beat. if a good player keeps calling there’s probably a reason. Imagine the positions were reversed(see my thoughts after the hand).55) 7 6 8 (2 players) UTG checks. When the villain shows signs of weakness.00 BB: $36. Instead I can raise and be the aggressor 2) If I was out of position on that flop. UTG calls $1.88 (Rake: $0. you’ll start getting check raised a lot.55) A (2 players) UTG checks. do it wisely. Hero raises to $2. Don’t bet the other guy’s monster for him on 3 streets.11 UTG: $25. Make him crumble under the pressure of your bets and raises until he adjusts and plays back at you.25 No Limit Hold'em . Don’t double barrel air unless you have a good reason. So. Its ok to give up a pot every once in a while. This hand illustrates the power of position well.85 Flop: ($5. learn the balance of selective aggression. When you have reason to believe that you are ahead then value bet and get as much money as you can. I would have to fold KQ. UTG calls $4 Turn: ($13.55 Hero shows Q K (a pair of Kings) UTG mucks J J Hero wins $12. Hero bets $4. Put your opponent to the test. 2 folds. show strength to get him to fold to a bluff. Don’t get me wrong though.75. Hero checks River: ($13. .60.10/$0.6 players CO: $19. and check/calls the flop. Get suspicious when he calls your raise preflop. 2 folds.00 MP: $18.63 SB: $25.

78 BB: $25.85. Even though I have a likely winner. I finally hit a winning card. One reason for this is because when you’ve raised. You raise knowing he’ll fold and the blinds will too. you need to seize the aggression lead in the hand. you get called by strong hands. first you will win a lot of money preflop. Don’t Limp: Full Tilt Poker $0.10/$0. Why? Well. the harder it is to win the hand. Second. The more players you are against on the flop.25 Pre Flop: ($0. When you flop a monster. Easy Money. ESPECIALLY if the button is a really tight player. What worse hands could I possibly expect to call? KJ?? Aggression Opening When you enter the pot. the Ace is bad for both of us. see “punish the limpers”) First. You also want more money in the pot when you have the best hand.33 Hero (CO): $48. Period. that villain with a strong hand might keep calling. I get to check behind now and take off a free card though. raise.25 No Limit Hold'em . 86s is not a great hand.3) On the turn.35 UTG: $47. If someone ahead of you has raised already then 3bet them or fold most of the time. Hero raises to $0. a simple example where you steal from the cutoff. there will be a lot of flops where you win with a cbet because you raised and nobody is strong enough to call now. A widely accepted rule of thumb at the Micro stakes is to raise to 4 big blinds when you are opening (plus more if people limped in front of you.03 SB: $28. but if you are going to play it then raise. Finally. 4) On the river. I check and he can bet the scare card and win.54 BTN: $23. Why all this raising? You want to limit the field. I don’t think there’s any sense in betting. If I was out of position. A lot of better hands will call and most worse hands will fold. 5) On the River I can also check behind since I have showdown value with second pair. 3 folds . By building a big pot pre flop. you’ve made it much easier to get all-in some time after the flop without have to make some crazy oversized bet.35) Hero is CO with 8 6 2 folds. Only because I was able to use position to even see the card.6 players MP: $26.

your opponent will either call you (telling you he’s weak and just hoping he hits a big hand which he will then proceed to announce with his betting) or reraise (4bet) you (telling you he has either AA/KK/QQ/AK or is occasionally bluffing). Would you rather play that flop where you missed having raised preflop or just called? If you raised. at least not very often. BTN raises to $5. The big blind is bet 1.60 Hero wins $0.75 Hero shows 9 7 (a flush. Hero raises to $0. That means pairs JJ-AA (maybe 99/TT dependent on your read) and premium Aces like AK/AQ and maybe even AJs.60 Remember.78 Pre Flop: ($0. Even better. raise the opener with your strong hands. there are some exceptions. Like I said under “Position”.30. The next raise is called a 3bet.6 players MP: $10.28 Hero (CO): $23.75) 3 (2 players . When you raise. by the time you get to a 5bet. The first raise is Bet 2. Jack high) BTN shows J A (a pair of Jacks) Hero wins $19. It’s just so weak. Most flops.10 No Limit Hold'em . You just look so strong.75) 7 (2 players .15) Hero is CO with 9 7 2 folds.Final Pot: $0.75) J 8 T (2 players) Hero bets $0. then when you both miss but you bet it’s really hard for villain to keep calling.30. See Flat Calling below.20. If you can’t raise.05/$0. BTN calls $0.72 UTG: $12.40. 3betting If you don’t know. someone is going all-in. Generally.73 all in. when .03 BTN: $10. BTN requests TIME.2 are all in) River: ($20. Calling the bb is ‘limping’ and counts as nothing for this example. Don’t flat call when someone ahead of you raised. BTN raises to $1. Hero raises to $3. then comes a 4bet.40. then fold.2 are all in) Final Pot: $20. you also raise so that when you hit a big hand or a big draw on the flop you are against a hand that is strong enough to play a big pot with you AND so that the pot is already big when you see the flop… Full Tilt Poker $0.37 (Rake: $1. BTN calls $5 all in Turn: ($20. 2 folds Flop: ($0. Hero raises to $22.38) OK. you are both going to miss.30 SB: $9. a 3bet is when you raise a raiser.85 BB: $9.

Your KK will crush his AQ on the Q high flop when he thinks he has you destroyed. Enough room to fold means that you and villain are deep stacked. you should probably just shove it all in.10/$0.19 SB: $11. If it is over 10%. maybe you. Remember.85 Hero wins $1. You can 4bet. This is because their range will loosen up in later position to so they will open with worse hands… Full Tilt Poker $0.58 CO: $25.35) Hero is BTN with T K 2 folds. then when they shove over your 4-bet then the odds you are getting to call may be good enough to call with any two cards (ATC). If you don’t have AA and you are worried your opponent does. 3 folds Final Pot: $1. Don’t call (unless it was a really weak 4bet and you get a good price to set-mine. then try 4betting to about 2.25 No Limit Hold'em .25 No Limit Hold'em . This might leave you enough room to fold if villain shoves. CO raises to $0. Someone else reraised (3bet).60. Look at it.00 UTG: $25.36 Hero (CO): $47.5x what the 3bet was. your 3bet% should probably be in the 7%-10% range. The action is to you. Hero raises to $2. A good price means at least 10:1 odds from the amount you call to the pot + effective stacks).6 players MP: $256. When you 4 bet you can either raise or shove all in.59 BB: $57.5 players BTN: $26.00 Hero (BTN): $31.79 Pre Flop: ($0. If it is down around 3% then you are way too tight and anyone with a brain will know you have AA/KK/QQ when you 3bet. Your AK is a monster when that donkey called your raise with AQ or AJ.you hit the flop you’ve already built a big pot and it’s going to be easy to stack him.28 BB: $25.97 . it’s easier to 3bet someone who opened from late position than from UTG. People are going to play back at you and you won’t have a strong enough hand to do anything about it.85 In pokertracker. 4betting Someone raised.75. If you are not really deep.10/$0.24 SB: $29. I had a loose image at this table so I shoved hoping for just the call I got… Full Tilt Poker $0.86 UTG: $12. If you have AA/KK. then you are too aggressive. fold or call.

81 all in. I didn’t show the results below. The villain in this next hand was playing 47/27/3.81 SB shows K A (Ace King high) Hero shows A A (a pair of Aces) Hero wins $55.30. the flop should be pretty easy.5 (that’s vpip1/pfr2/aggression3) and had 3bet 25% of hands! I shove hoping to have folding equity (I’ll win what’s in the pot right away when he folds) but also feeling pretty safe that I’ll get a coin flip at worst.15 SB: $2. Now. so against this villain it is shove or fold. because they don’t matter. Hero raises to $11.77 Squeezing Someone opens with a raise.35) Hero is CO with A A 1 fold.81) 7 6 2 Turn: ($58.97 all in.81) 3 Final Pot: $58. Hero raises to $0.00 Pre Flop: ($0. Hero raises to $1.00 UTG: $10.15) Hero is CO with J J 2 folds. If you get a caller. Someone behind them flat calls. the difference between the 2 numbers is how often you “limp” or just Call 3 A calculated ratio of how often you raise versus call.87 (Rake: $2.00 MP: $10. . Full Tilt Poker $0.28 all in Flop: ($58. and you 1 2 Voluntarily put $ into pot.59 Hero (CO): $11. It doesn’t really matter what cards. I don’t want to see a flop with this because he could have absolutely any over cards that come on the flop. SB raises to $4.10 No Limit Hold'em . your decision should be easy. your hand will play itself.81 BTN: $19.81) T River: ($58. After choosing shove. Your move? Put in a big raise and steal the pot pre flop. I’ll tighten up against this player and look for a more premium hand before I get it in again. If the original raiser shoves. expressed as a percentage. After you raise. 1 fold. always less than vpip since a raise is putting $ in.94) When you are up against a villain who is too loose. 2 folds. Hero raises to $47. BTN raises to $1. Low number = passive player and high number = aggressive. you can 4 bet as a semi-bluff.Pre Flop: ($0.6 players BB: $10. expressed as a percentage Pre-flop raise. SB calls $25. If it is a dry flop or it hits you hard.81 Final Pot: $23. BTN calls $10.05/$0. 1 fold. there’s a big juicy pot approaching 10 big blinds.

Someone playing 38/24 is great.25 No Limit Hold'em . more bad players will limp in behind them.10 (Rake: $-0. He also has to worry because he isn’t closing the action. If he calls your squeeze there’s a possibility that the original caller could put in another raise. Hero raises to $4. then bet it. BTN calls $1. With that in mind.35) Hero is BB with A T 2 folds. CO raises to $1. No more betting.36 CO: $25. assume they hit a set or strong combo-draw and give it up. then it’s probably time to give up. Here’s a good example. Or better yet. The original opener has to call a big bet from someone who was willing to 3 bet against 2 other players. keep betting and they’ll fold. If it’s a wet flop (suited/connected.10 Hero wins $3. but don’t start off trying this from the blinds. assume they have a small pair or MAYBE low suited connectors.03 SB: $5. bet if you miss and the flop is dry. The original caller is in a worse position. Take their money! Put in a big bet and take it without even seeing a flop. He’s got a hand that was too weak to raise the opener so how can he call a hand that IS strong enough to 3bet. This is a better play when you are on the button. You might call a small river bet if you have any showdown value. give it up. They are hoping for a miracle set or 2 pair. after the flop you will know what to do. This is best when you have stats on the original opener and he is too loose.68 BTN: $18. The best time to squeeze from the blinds is when the cutoff opens (he has a wide range since he’s in the CO) and the button flat calls (he’s weak and just playing position). they fold. Squeezing works so well because it looks very strong and puts both players in a tough position. So often the person who calls your squeeze will play pure fit-or-fold on the flop. If they suddenly get all aggressive. You bet to represent AA/KK.25 Hero (BB): $25. let them call you and then they have to play a flop when they are a) out of position and b) have announced by limp/calling that they have a weak hand. you won’t) Then. A good rule of thumb is to open . That’s right. your opponent could have a BIG draw) or you just have a really bad feeling about it. 2 folds Final Pot: $3.50. (Remember. Full Tilt Poker $0.10/$0. especially if he has a high fold to 3bet%.00 Pre Flop: ($0.00) Punish the Limpers Bad players will limp into the pot. MP opened and CO called. If you bet the flop and get called. If they/limp call. Otherwise.6 players UTG: $25.are checked to. 1 fold.00 MP: $34.

78 Hero (BTN): $29. That’s 3.10/$0. Here’s a good example. AJ is not a very strong hand.10 Hero wins $1. When you have QQ or AK and you get 3bet.25. When you are on the button and the CO opens. When it’s under 40%. When it’s 45%. You have position and 2 limpers have juiced the pot for you.41 MP: $30.25.5 big blinds just begging to be taken… Full Tilt Poker $0. If he’s a 40/25 (remember. PLUS 1 more for each limper. just fold.75. look at his stats. look at his cbet%. When it’s 90%. Use your HUD (Heads Up Display from pokertracker) to know your opponent. raise him. If you were the preflop raiser and it’s a dry flop. 4 folds Final Pot: $1. On the flop. If it is a NIT who 3bets 4% of the time. . you better be ready to play a flop if you want to raise.25 No Limit Hold'em . look at villain’s fold to CBet%. but compared to limpers it’s a monster. And it’s probably AA/KK. So. MP calls $0.37 CO: $16. If it’s over 80% then raise him with any good hand.00 Pre Flop: ($0. look at your opponent.6 players UTG: $27. Hero raises to $1. If he’s 17/7 then fold it. you can think about folding. when you hit middle pair on a dry flop like 962 rainbow and the middle position opener bets. If he folds to a 3bet 92% of the time. When you have AJs in the cutoff and Middle Position (MP) opened. When it’s an aggro-monkey who 3bets 16% and has an aggression factor of 5. look at his fold to 3bet%.94 SB: $25. that’s vpip/pfr) then raise him for value. CO calls $0. If he folds to cbet 85% then it doesn’t really matter if you have a hand. 2 people have limped then you raise to 6 big blinds.00 BB: $5. You need to understand why your play should be different in these situations based on your opponent’s range/tendencies.10 Use your HUD The play you make depends A LOT on your opponent.for 4 big blinds. Bet.35) Hero is BTN with A J 1 fold. you can think about shoving all in over his raise. then when he 4bets your 3bet then you can feel sure he has AA/KK/QQ/AK.

MP raises to $0.15) Hero is BTN with 5 5 1 fold.16) T (2 players .00 Pre Flop: ($0. CO raises to $0.93 all in.30) K K 5 (4 players) SB checks. This would be an easier hand if the CO had just called. you are closing the action. but only a few. 1 fold.60. What’s that you say? Why 10x when odds of a set are 8:1? Do you really think you’ll stack every opponent every time you flop a set?!? This isn’t the best example ever because the original raiser still has to act.80. but only raising 10% of the time. MP folds Turn: ($23. MP checks. Against a solid player. This is terrible.1 is all in) River: ($23. Suited connectors: It’s a small bet to call. Don’t call with these hands all the time. CO bets $10. when might you flat call? Flat-call for Set-mining: You have a pocket pair and the pot + your opponent’s stack is 10x the amount you have to call. So you are flat calling ½ the time.1 is all in) Final Pot: $23.16 CO shows A K (three of a kind.Flat Calling Flat calling is when someone ahead of you has raised and you call their bet instead of re-raising. I would play this very .73 SB: $12. Kings) Hero shows 5 5 (a full house.03 BB: $10. This isn’t a standard call but I had a read on him as a weak player. Full Tilt Poker $0.16) J (2 players .80. MP calls $0. I took a chance though and it worked out.54) Flat-call.45 Flop: ($3. Fives full of Kings) Hero wins $21. If you are a 20/10 player then you are putting $ in 20% of the time. Hero calls $9. You should be more like a 22/20 player.45 CO: $12. you have 2 opponents. There are a few reasons to flat call pre-flop.75.6 players UTG: $2. So.62 (Rake: $1.10 No Limit Hold'em . Raise or fold. SB folds. I was certainly lucky this guy didn’t have a diamond and didn’t have KQ. SB calls $0.72 Hero (BTN): $10. you feel like gambling a little bit. You aren’t Daniel Negreanu. Hero calls $0.00 MP: $10. These are decent reasons. at least one opponent is pretty loose or a fish and will get stacks in with you if you hit a big flop.05/$0. The difference between the 2 stats is how often you are flat calling.35. The most common stats discussed about a player are VPIP and PFR.

just check/call all the way to the river with your sneaky monster.73) 3 (2 players) MP checks.35. Full Tilt Poker $0.28 all in.85 Turn: ($5.55) 7 (2 players) Hero bets $5. Hero calls $2. In the long run. MP checks.6 players BB: $4.50 Turn: ($1. MP calls $0.85 SB: $1. 1 fold Flop: ($0. Hero calls $0.02 Pre Flop: ($0.38 River: ($10. UTG checks.30 Flop: ($0.50. SB folds. 1 fold.differently post flop.15.73) J T 9 (4 players) SB checks. BTN calls $1. Blind defense You have a big hand like AQ in the blind and someone is stealing. BTN bets $0.17. Full Tilt Poker $0. UTG folds. MP raises to $4.29) A (2 players . Hero bets $0. BTN calls $2. it’s probably better to 3bet this pre-flop. A fish will get all in on this board with AJ so you can stack him.68) Flat-call.15) Hero is BB with A Q 2 folds. Aces and Jacks) Hero shows 8 7 (a straight. Then.35 UTG: $4.1 is all in) Final Pot: $10.17.07) Hero is CO with 8 7 UTG raises to $0. BTN raises to $0. Don’t get all in with this against a solid player. 1 fold.02/$0.92 UTG: $1.55. Hero raises to $2.29 MP shows A J (two pair.05 No Limit Hold'em .38 all in . Some people like to just call here hoping to hit a flop where they dominate an aggressive opponent.06 BTN: $5.5 players CO: $11.50.05/$0.63 BTN: $2. Hero calls $0.17. but you have to adjust your play to the specific villain. Hero bets $1.84 MP: $4.00 Hero (BB): $10.10 No Limit Hold'em .85) Q 6 8 (2 players) Hero checks.61 (Rake: $0.90.13 SB: $7.86 Pre Flop: ($0. Jack high) Hero wins $9. MP calls $0.95 Hero (CO): $5.40. SB calls $0.

Family pots: You have position (either cutoff (CO) or on the button (OTB)). a lot of people are in the pot already.35.70 Pre Flop: ($0. There’s no shame in folding (the player on the button was tight and his 3b% was only 6%)… Full Tilt Poker $0. You got 3-bet.1 is all in) Final Pot: $10. Maybe from the Big blind to when someone min-raised and got several callers so you are getting like 8:1 odds to call. so there is no right answer. There might be a few scenarios to call.00 Hero (CO): $25.5 players SB: $31. will it be for value or as a bluff? Do you want to see a flop (you have 77/66/JTs) or get it all in now (AA/KK/AK)? Could you be dominated (AQ/AJ/AT/KQ)? What is YOUR table image (does he think you are tight and fold a lot?) What’s your position? (did you open UTG where people are tightest and he should know that? Did you open in the cutoff where people are looser so he can 3bet lighter?) What’s his position? (Did he 3bet from UTG+1 where there are lots of players still to act? Is he on the button where he could just be protecting his button?) Could this be a squeeze play.25 No Limit Hold'em . now what? Are you in position vs. Hero raises to $1.63 (Rake: $0.93 BTN: $26. were there callers after your open? Do you have a plan for what to do if you call the 3-bet and miss the flop? These are all things to consider. the 3-bettor or out of position? What kind of player is he? If you 4-bet. 3 folds Final Pot: $2. as in all situations. and it isn’t expensive to call.31 BTN shows Q J (a pair of Queens) Hero shows A Q (a pair of Queens) Hero wins $9.River: ($10.31) 2 (2 players .35 .47 UTG: $25.68) Flat-call.10/$0. BTN raises to $3. you should raise or fold. It is weak and – EV (negative expected value). Here’s AJ played 3 different ways. but not many.35 BTN wins $2. Most of the time.63 BB: $13.35) Hero is CO with A J 1 fold.

6 players Hero (BTN): $13.94 SB: $10.50. SB raises to $2.73 Hero shows A J (a pair of Jacks) BB shows 4 A (Ace King high) Hero wins $8. Hero raises to $2.75.70.85.35) Hero is BTN with J A 2 folds. SB folds Final Pot: $13.00 SB: $25. Don’t do this with every villain)… Full Tilt Poker $0.25 Hero wins $12.34 all in.Or maybe you float him and take it away later (you shouldn’t make this play often. Hero calls $3. 1 fold.59 (Rake: $0. I was counting on him cbetting and I planned to call any reasonable bet on the flop and reevaluate on the turn)… Full Tilt Poker $0.5 players BB: $14. Hero calls $1.74 CO: $10.19 Flop: ($8. Hero calls $2.29 Hero (BTN): $25.15 (Rake: $0.00 Pre Flop: ($0.58) .15. Hero bets $6.90 Flop: ($5. weak player who was too aggressive and defended his blinds too much.34 UTG: $9.73) 2 River: ($8.09 UTG: $6.25 No Limit Hold'em .10 No Limit Hold'em .75 Turn: ($13. BB raises to $0.00 Pre Flop: ($0.05/$0.73) J Final Pot: $8.75.66) Or maybe you 4bet for value (villain was a loose.73) K Q 6 Turn: ($8. Hero raises to $0. BB raises to $4.00 BB: $4. Hero raises to $0.01 CO: $8.11 MP: $17. 1 fold.10/$0.25) K (2 players) SB checks.75) T 9 T (2 players) SB bets $3.40.15) Hero is BTN with A J 3 folds. I had notes on this player that he defends his blinds weak.

small pairs. next time. I won’t bore you with the numbers. Do it relentlessly. small suited connectors. There are good reasons for this. If you can’t win it on the flop and you don’t have a strong hand or a big draw. Low stakes? Just always make it 3x when you open on the button.5x. You have to come out firing like you have an overpair. 3. after all he’s a NIT. Fold blinds to steal over 80%? You can literally attempt a steal with any two cards and it is a profitable play (assuming you don’t do anything incredibly stupid when they wake up with a hand and play back at you) Blind Defense I watched a video by Pokey on Stoxpoker and I like his blind defense method. There are some very good players who even raise only 2. When it is checked to you on the button. Just pretend the button is sitting out. Then.5x when stealing. not with cards like 27 (ok. then maybe you give it up on the turn. 3x. you do this sizing randomly so that you can make AA 4x since you made 27 4x a few orbits ago. read up on it. you want tight players in the blind when you are stealing. but they are good. You raise with 64s and flop trip fours then really get paid off by AK who called from the big blind and will go all in with you on the K44 flop. then in Sunday School you would have learned “Thou SHALT steal”. especially through NL10. sometime 2x. like everything else. ***AT HIGHER LEVELS. don’t bother. Again. . sometimes with 27 but only because the last 3 orbits you didn’t get a chance to steal). Ideally. At the micros. Part of the reason you are stealing is because when they call. And of course. 3 big blinds is fine for stealing. If you get called then you can’t play fit or fold on the flop.Stealing If Moses played NLHE. raise to about 4x his open with your monsters. Steal with cards you would be embarrassed to show your mother. Steal until they start playing back at you. raise. VPIP < 20%? Awesome. you can also get away with raising premium hands more than speculative hands since the table changes with every hand so players won’t have a read on your bet sizing. now is when you hit sneaky monsters. OK. When you are in the cutoff and the button is a NIT (check your HUD for his PFR and Steal rate). He just can’t!” Steal like these players are babies and they have your candy. THIS MEANS YOU HAVE TO OPEN AA ON THE BUTTON FOR THE SAME AMOUNT. When the button is a NIT playing 8/6/1 and stealing 9%.) At RUSH poker. ALWAYS. he can’t fold AGAIN. then steal from there too. But. and low suited Aces (A2s – A5s). people don’t know how to defend. DON’T VARY YOUR RAISE WITH HAND STRENGTH*** (You can avoid this if you constantly mix up your steal amount. I promise. steal again because they probably woke up with AA last time. He won’t mind. 4x. this is villain specific. Just fold. When the button opens trying to steal. Steal when you think “C’mon. You don’t need to raise as much when you are opening on the button.

39 Pre Flop: ($0. you need a read first. If your opponent is a short stack who started with 20bb. solid opponents. Do you call or fold?!? Well. If your opponent is a complete fish. the size of the smallest stack between you and your opponent. The button was an aggressive player who raises a lot and steals a lot. effective stacks come into play.05 Flop: ($2.30 SB: $3. a nice speculative drawing hand. great! So. How many hands are in the villain’s range that he can call all in on that flop? Against a tight villain. don’t give a second thought to stack size though.35. a weak min-raise.91) Effective Stacks This is how much money you can play for. then fold. With 3 rounds of betting still to go. You need a good idea of where you stand which is why you did all that betting preflop. this can work. BTN raises to $0. However. this play is very villain-specific.65 Hero wins $12. If you are putting them on a range. Now hand reading comes into play.40. you might need to adjust it.5 players CO: $10. and so many different types of flop/turn/river.15) Hero is BB with 5 5 2 folds. Be cautious against good. Your implied odds stink because the effective stacks are so small.86 UTG: $3. against a villain who will bluff raise your flop bet. Hero raises to $1.10 No Limit Hold'em . if the opponent has you covered then call.74 (Rake: $0. imagine you are sitting on a huge 200 big blind stack and raise to 3 big blinds with 78s. 1 fold.85) 6 3 3 (2 players) Hero bets $2. When you have a really big stack. consider this hand. Postflop Play Everything gets harder once there’s a flop. Full Tilt Poker $0. . You can’t try this on everyone. BTN calls $1.40. They know about effective stacks also.81 Hero (BB): $12. check your opponents stack size and see if there’s anything worth playing for. before you do anything. a good opponent will be trying to hit sneaky monsters against you. Again. Hero raises to $11. BTN folds Final Pot: $13. BTN raises to $5. But. If his range is overpairs and flush draws then I’ve got lousy equity.05/$0.When I say to play it like you have an overpair. If you flop a straight or 2 pair and get all in.46 all in.00 BTN: $10. this isn’t a real good play. You get 3bet to 6bb. So. there are way too many variables to create any sort of simple rules to follow.

You have to learn to stop playing for stacks (at least postflop) with 1 pair hands. the people you play against love that too. how much value do you think you can get. However. position. or maybe even top pair and you beat all those hands. Are you willing to play for stacks? If you think you are ahead. . but every time a villain calls your bet it narrows his range and makes it more likely that he’s ahead. then that’s worth 3 streets of value unless. Well. You can also have “showdown value” (a made hand that just might not be the best) so you try to get to showdown as cheaply as possible. But seriously. If you get paid on all of yours. You don’t want to be the guy who overplays a 1 pair hand and gets stacked. etc. As soon as you get raised. You only WANT to bet 3 times if you are winning or believe he will fold a better hand to a bluff. the sooner you get all the money in the simpler the hand plays… DUH. 1 Pair Hands You know how you LOVE it when you call a raiser in position with a small pair then flop a set or 2 pair? It’s awesome because your opponent is going to stack off against you with his overpair or top pair top kicker (TPTK). if you have a big hand or a big draw (see combo draws) then it’s hard to go wrong getting it all in. When you flop a straight and there is no flush draw. You can start playing for pot control (don’t let the pot get too big. The further you go in the hand the bigger the bets will be. Do you see why? If there are no big draws.). As a general rule. but also don’t let him draw for free).Hopefully you have the trifecta: good cards. Following is a borderline example of how not to play. This could mean checking. Poker isn’t just about waiting for your big hands and getting paid. so you would like to either have Nuts and just be putting your opponent on the installment plan OR being playing against a fish who will call you with some crap like 2nd pair. 2 pair. how many bets can you get called BY WORSE? You can always bet 3 times. (It’s borderline because there are so many draws on this board. What’s your hand worth? Consider once you have hit the flop how much your hand is worth. if you just flop top pair and you keep betting and getting called then you need to consider what hand you could beat that he would keep calling with. If your hand isn’t worth 3 streets of value. like below. then a couple of things come into play. Your opponent is going to flop sets just as often as you are. If the board was drier. calling small bets. putting out small blocker bets. 1. That’s because a villain could call 3 bets from you with a set. but pay him on all of his then it just evens out. and the aggression lead. like a rainbow instead of suited then you should for sure slow down. then his calls/raises mean he has a made hand or is an idiot. it’s about to get ugly. If not. You don’t want to keep betting or calling with a weak made hand like top pair lousy kicker or second pair. 2 or 3 streets of value? In other words. the board pairs or you have the bottom end of a straight. for instance.

So. dry= safe) like this connects with a lot of hands that someone on the button would call with.35) Hero is UTG with Q Q Hero raises to $1.25 No Limit Hold'em . 4 5 .15 BTN: $25. BTN calls $1. Queens and Twos) BTN shows 3 3 (a full house. 33. And.35 Hero shows Q Q (two pair.50.AsKs. If this player is a NIT who wouldn’t even see the flop with some of those weak hands.54s ) we are only a 2:1 favorite to win.00 CO: $20. thing look worse.35) 2 (2 players) Hero bets $16.AsJs. Hero raises to $7.As5s. and big draws like A 3 .65s.74 Hero (UTG): $25. I probably should have just called and then either check/called the turn/river (folding if big draws hit) or just called and then bet/fold the turn.84 (Rake: $2. I would have been better off playing for pot control when he raised. So. this hand is borderline.50 all in.10/$0. think about overpairs like 88-JJ.A4s-A3s. If we put our QQ into pokerstove against this range on that flop (JJ-77.3322.75 BB: $19.51) Consider some options Cbet Check/Fold Check/Call: Typically for pot control Delayed Cbet Check Raise . It’s a bit of a cooler.35) 2 7 3 (2 players) Hero bets $1.50 all in River: ($50.50. 1 fold.5 players SB: $24. 22. BTN calls $16. BTN calls $4\ Turn: ($17. What would he raise you with on this flop? Well. (bet/fold means bet and fold if he raises). and MAYBE a bluff. 5 6 . BTN raises to $3. we don’t have great equity against those hands. .you need to think about pot control. Again. Threes full of Twos) BTN wins $47. A 4 . 2 folds Flop: ($2. It sure would have played better in position… Full Tilt Poker $0. A wet board (wet=connects with a lot of hands.2 are all in) Final Pot: $50. 77. probably not AA or KK because he would have raised those preflop.75.35) 8 (2 players .00 Pre Flop: ($0.

It’s a good time to check the flop and if he checks to you on the turn. BET! What do you think they think you have? AK of course. or you raised and a blind called. Size your raise based on the $ in the pot. Especially when they min-bet (bet just 1 big blind). I won’t bore you with the math. When you have QQ and raise preflop and the flop comes A74 and they check to you. You are probably way ahead or way behind.Continuation Betting Do this. but it doesn’t even have to work very often. You just hit top pair top kicker as far as they know. You should bet about ½ the rest of the time too. And don’t let that min-bet throw you off. bet the flop. You raised A5 on the button and the BB called. I know. sometimes you can’t believe they could possibly fold. start adjusting.70% or so. which is ok. A good player will raise your cbet knowing that it’s gonna be damn hard for you to call. 45 or even KQ) because he doesn’t believe you have an Ace since you didn’t bet the flop. 3 other players saw the flop and you caught bottom pair? Nice time to check/fold and practice your hand reading skills by predicting what they will showdown. Delayed Cbet Maybe you have a hand. not the size of their pathetic bet. Check pokertracker and if you are way off from this. ask yourself “what would he have called me with and what would he put me on?” He would have called preflop with a speculative hand (suited connectors or smaller pairs). When someone donks into you (you raised after they limped. Calling you preflop with A7s seemed smart at the time. A LOT! (but not too much!) When you were the preflop raiser. People have a tendency to put the preflop raiser on high cards. Tricky /aggressive opponent? Even in position you might get check raised. but now they didn’t flop a flush nor 2 pair and what you know is that QQ will look like AK to them. and type of opponent (is he tricky/aggro or weak/passive). Is your hand worth 3 streets of value? No. or now he may call with worse (like 98. number of opponents. it is a) a flop that could have hit him giving him a set or a draw and b) a flop he is likely to think missed you. . but they will. You will make a pair or better on the flop about 1/3 of the time. He may fold. you have top pair with a terrible kicker. Out of position with overcards? Well. It’s a good time to check and reflect on the benefits of playing in position. but it’s not great. position. when don’t you c-bet? Think flop texture. Well. 78. The flop is A83 rainbow and the BB checks to you. Check behind and see the turn. Turn your hand into a bluff. So when you have over cards. you should be betting those. So your cbet % should be 60% . make a delayed continuation bet. So. Wet board and you got air? Nice time to focus on that other table you are playing. then the limper/caller bets first on the flop). raise them.

Hero raises to $22. you are out of position and you flop a big hand. Hero checks.2 are all in) River: ($75.00 SB: $32.35) Hero is MP with 7 7 1 fold.50. BB raises to $11. Why do you want to show strength? Are you hoping that he’ll fold? Of course not. if he checks behind you do you really think he would have called your bet? It’s time to put your opponent on a range of hands. First. Now.2 are all in) Final Pot: $75.93 Hero (MP): $25. betting is probably better.48 . CO raises to $22. On a wet board.25 all in. why check and call? What if he just checks behind you. where your opponent could have a lot of very good draws.75. He SHOULD bet anything that he’ll call with plus some other hands like continuation bet bluffs and weak draws. Hero calls $1.Check Calling So. BB calls $11. BB calls $2. CO bets $5. This also depends on the type of flop (wet/dry) and the type of opponent (aggro/passive). Check Raising You can legitimately check raise… With monsters when you put your opponent on a strong hand Since the player in the cutoff 3bet me preflop. if you check and call then there will be more times where you get money than if you bet.73 Pre Flop: ($0.10/$0.44 all in. CO raises to $2. but when the big blind puts in a check raise himself (see the section on pure bluff) it’s time to go all in.48) 5 (3 players .35) 9 7 2 (3 players) BB checks. Which range is wider? The betting range.85.92 UTG: $37.25 No Limit Hold'em . The only hand I’m worried he has is 99. So. Full Tilt Poker $0. imagine a range that he will BET with if you check. 2 folds. I’m hoping he has an overpair and is willing to go with it on the flop. You think you are ahead of the guy that has position on you.6 players BB: $48.00 CO: $25.50. For this exercise. imagine a range of hands that your opponent will call your bet with.44 Turn: ($75. Hero raises to $0.90 Flop: ($8.48) 2 (3 players . I was planning a small check raise and then shove the turn. and if he does we’ll pay him off. So. don’t you miss a bet? Think about this.19 BTN: $25. What do you do? Check! You might think you need to bet to show strength. 2 ranges of hands actually.

05.02/$0. So.17.80 UTG: $13.28 Hero (BB): $4. Full Tilt Poker $0.84) 3 (2 players . I have no fold equity when I shove but I think I have the odds to go ahead and put it all in here on this draw. The most common time would be in blind defense.BB shows 6 A (a pair of Twos) Hero shows 7 7 (a full house.85.05 No Limit Hold'em . I realize that since UTG reraised my check-raise. Hero raises to $0. you don’t need to be this aggressive at the micros to win money. I didn’t win the hand but I don’t think this is a terrible play. As a semi-bluff with a strong drawing hand This is a good section to show a losing hand.00) As a pure bluff I won’t put in an example of this.86 Turn: ($9. Sevens full of Twos) CO shows A A (two pair. 2 folds. Hero raises to $4.05. Fives and Threes) UTG shows K K (two pair.75 all in.1 is all in) Final Pot: $9. BTN calls $0.84) 5 (2 players .84 Hero shows 6 5 (two pair. UTG bets $0. Kings and Threes) . BTN folds.38 Hero wins $72. Sure. BTN calls $0.78 BTN: $6. this may not be the best example but I wanted to show a hand where I lost. Hero checks Flop: ($0.27 Pre Flop: ($0.1 is all in) River: ($9. UTG calls $1. continuation bets a lot and you decide to defend. On the flop I have a flush draw and a gutshot straight draw. When he re-raises my check raise I could have folded and looked for a better spot. UTG raises to $2. it’s time to click ‘fold to any bet’ before you get stacked with air trying to double barrel him off some hand.17. and I don’t think you should do it very often. you can put in a nice check raise. The only hand I really worry about is villain having a better flush draw.48 CO: $4.55 MP: $7. If he calls your bluff though.17) 3 T 7 (3 players) Hero checks.07) Hero is BB with 6 5 UTG calls $0.89. If the flop is very dry and you think it missed his range. Aces and Twos) CO wins $0. especially at these limits where people make some pretty bad plays. Honestly though.6 players SB: $14. When villain steals a lot from the button.10 (Rake: $3. 1 fold. or that he flopped a set and could end up with a full house even when I catch a flush.

I’ve decided right then I’ll take this hand to the felt and the best way is a check raise shove hoping he has a weak pair or overcards and puts me on a flush draw.19 (Rake: $0. So.UTG wins $9. CO calls $2.00 CO shows A K (a pair of Sixes) Hero shows A T (two pair. So.48.54 (Rake: $0. do you have something? Top pair or better or a strong draw? Then ask yourself what he might have.1 is all in) River: ($7. CO bets $0. this is villain specific.13 Hero (UTG): $3. Hero raises to $3. when I flop top pair top kicker and a backdoor nut flush draw.10 Flop: ($0. If it was a small check raise and you’ve got something.06) Hero is UTG with A T Hero raises to $0. Tens and Sixes) Hero wins $6. CO raises to $0.26 all in. Is this a wet board (there are a lot of draw)? Is he in the blinds? Some people flat call your steal attempt preflop and check raise most flops as their blind defense mechanism.00) 6 (2 players . then you can fold.23 BTN: $0.73 SB: $1.22. I’m pretty sure I have the nuts. 1 fold. over 100 big blinds.78 Turn: ($7. Like so many other plays.02) Pre Flop: ($0.02 No Limit Hold'em .12. If .81 BB: $2.48) T 6 3 (2 players) Hero checks. solid player and expect him to call with worse.01/$0. then don’t be afraid to call and re-evaluate on the turn. Every check raise doesn’t mean he flopped the nuts. I also expect him to raise me since he 3bet me preflop. Hero calls $0.48 CO posts a big blind ($0. You have to tailor your play to your opponent and exploit his weaknesses. you should put a note on this villain that “he plays AK like it is AA” Full Tilt Poker $0. If he leads the turn with a big bet.00) J (2 players .65) For value against an overly aggressive player Villain in this hand was playing 93/19/2 and effective stacks were deep. First. After this hand. 3 folds.6 players MP: $2.1 is all in) Final Pot: $7. You can’t make this on a tight.46) You got Check Raised Don’t be convinced that there are monsters under the bed.00 CO: $4.

When you are ahead. Playing In Position This is what poker is all about. Double Barrels C-betting flops and checking turns is weak-tight poker. Small pots. and hand reading. When you are behind. Check/Call or put our some small “blocker bets”. you bet. then it was probably one of those situations that you should not have cbet. Or. He calls. Don’t be afraid of monsters under the bed. When the button calls with AT and flops 2 pair he’ll love you if you keep on betting your Queens trying to convince him you have AK. Extraction/Value Betting Combo Draws When you flop a hand with 13 or more outs that improve it. the button calls and the flop is A72? This is another major reason that you open far fewer hands from early position. ask yourself do you want a big pot or small. Crap. It’s really hard to play the flop when you miss. if they have some weak hand then push them off of it but if they are strong. Out of position is a good time to remember this: Big Hands. the button calls and the flop comes J83. play it FAST. As soon as you see the flop. Big Pots. Focus all of your efforts on playing in position. you can check behind if you have showdown value or put in a bet if you are convinced he is drawing and you are ahead. Is he floating AQ or maybe T9 with an open end straight draw (OESD)? What about when you open QQ. then go ahead and fold to pressure and/or try to get to showdown as cheaply as possible. And you’ll miss. get as much money out of them as possible. Hands like a pair with a straight draw or flush draw. Small Hands.he checks the turn. Playing OOP Playing out of position sucks. DON’T START SPEWING! Don’t keep throwing out big bets when you miss. then give it up. I hate when I open AK from middle position. an open ended straight draw with four . That’s not too bad an idea. If you aren’t going to bet the turn. get to showdown as cheap as you can. He WANTS you to have AK. If you are unsure. or there will be overcards to your pair. What now? What does the button have? Would he flat call AJ/KJ/QJ? Does he already have a pair he was set-mining with? So. It’s where you win most of your money. You have to know where you stand and exploit it to maximize your profit. A LOT! Some people believe ABC poker just means cbet the flop a fair amount of the time then give up if you don’t have a made hand. Don’t let him have a free card to hit his draw on the river. If you want small.

2 are all in) (2 players .02 Hero shows J UTG shows 9 (Rake: $0. with the K on the river I suddenly have showdown value.11. On this hand. 3 folds.17. Queen high) (three of a kind. you are pretty sure that your opponent is not extremely strong. There’s no need to bluff. At that point I had no showdown value and I certainly couldn’t bet for value. UTG calls $2.07) Hero is BB with J Flop: ($0.25. Full Tilt Poker $0.2 are all in) Hero wins $9. There’s no good reason to value bet either since I probably won’t get . That advantage is compounded by fold equity.02) 5 Final Pot: $10.83 all in.05 No Limit Hold'em .36 Showdown Value What’s this mean? You have a hand but not the nuts.36) 9 3 Q (2 players) T UTG raises to $0. However. When you shove and villain folds. You want to see a showdown for as cheap as possible and hope your opponent missed a draw or has some weaker hand.75.34 Hero (BB): $5.02/$0. Hero calls $0.08 all in Turn: ($10.00 CO: $7. you win a pretty decent pot. Nines) (2 players . You probably have a thin advantage. UTG raises to $2. And.01 Pre Flop: ($0.66) T 9 (a flush. I could have bluffed on the turn. then the only way I can win the pot is to bluff so I would have to bet if I want to win. because if you get raised then you have to fold and that was a waste of money.00 UTG: $5. UTG bets $0. Hero raises to $4. Bet or raise and if you get played back at shove it all in. Hero raises to $1.12 Hero checks.02) 6 River: ($10. If the K doesn’t come on the river. Add that pot to your small advantage when he calls and in the long term you are making a lot of money. You can’t bet for value because you don’t really believe you are solidly ahead.5 players BTN: $4. You don’t want to bluff.to a flush.07 SB: $1.

called by worse. Hero bets $4. one of the blinds called or someone in early position limped then called your raise.55) K (2 players) UTG checks. you won’t hit the flop every time. Sometimes on the turn you’ll hit one of your overcards and now hold top pair.55) A (2 players) UTG checks. And some of those times.05/$0. UTG calls $1. You’ve got to be willing to call and see what happens on the turn.55) 7 6 8 (2 players) UTG checks. somebody will have called you out of position. Then. Hero checks River: ($13.63 SB: $25.25 No Limit Hold'em . Hero raises to $2. For instance.91 Pre Flop: ($0. Hero calls $0. Don’t auto-fold.15 BB: $10.4 players CO: $10.55 Hero shows Q K (a pair of Kings) UTG mucks J J Hero wins $12.60.10/$0.85 Flop: ($5.00 BB: $36.95) J 5 2 (2 players) .40.88 (Rake: $0. 2 folds. Hero checks Final Pot: $13. they will donk bet (a bet from out of position by someone who was not the preflop aggressor) into you on the flop.35 SB: $10.11 UTG: $25.10 No Limit Hold'em .92 Hero (BTN): $25. what worse hand can call with an A and K on the board plus 3 to a flush? This is the same hand from “playing in position”. UTG calls $4 Turn: ($13. Full Tilt Poker $0.35) Hero is BTN with Q K UTG raises to $0. Full Tilt Poker $0. the person won’t double barrel you and you can either bet and win the pot right there or take another free card on the river. especially if they bet too small and give you nice odds to call. Think about it. 2 folds.48 Pre Flop: ($0. Other times.75.6 players CO: $19. 2 folds Flop: ($0.00 MP: $18.15) Hero is BTN with K A CO raises to $0.67) Floating When you open a big hand like AK and get called.40.00 Hero (BTN): $10.

15) 8 (2 players) CO bets $1. For instance. The Turn I won’t say too much about the turn and river because I’ve said too much already. but you call. You’d say. There’s no money to be made at the micros making hero calls with Ace high as a bluff catcher. “that doesn’t make any sense!” At the micros. It’s not a bluff any more than that was a fairy tale. You can do this with a pure bluff when you are drawing and miss or you can turn your made hand into a bluff.60 Turn: ($2. top kicker. So there are 2 things to keep in mind.95 Hero wins $4. there was a tortoise and a hare.62 (Rake: $0. but you only have 2nd pair. When 3rd flush card comes on the turn. Every Christmas Eve. Hero raises to $3.40. Hero calls $0. You raised preflop and got called. You are turning your weak made hand with marginal showdown value (he may have AK. maybe with the nut flush draw to boot) and you . bet the ace that comes on the turn. The hare kissed a frog which turned into the artist formerly known as Prince. You think he has an Q. then they probably just have a hand and you should fold.33) Bluffing Imagine your Mom coming in at bedtime and telling you this story. If your opponent’s bet makes sense. the tortoise flew around the world and put money under all the kids’ pillows. That is simply Spew. don’t do it often and pick your opponent carefully. Check Behind Consider this. Make sure that when you bluff (and it should be rarely) it makes sense. CO folds Final Pot: $4. this is how a lot of people bluff. shove. Once upon a time. you might be ahead) into a bluff. your opponent bets weakly or checks.CO bets $0. You are in position. You flop a hand like TPTK (top pair. If you raised preflop and floated a low flop in position. There’s more spewing. You are in position and your opponent leads into you. you can raise to represent a flush you don’t have. If you’ve called 2 streets of betting and a draw hits on the river.60. Bet the Scare Cards This is a form of bluffing. You need a thinking player who is capable of folding a moderately strong hand. There’s not much bluffing at the micros. you have a pair like JJ on a Q hi flop with 2 suited cards.80. Republicans passed universal health care and we all lived happily ever after.

Better to win a small pot than lose a big one because they caught up with there weird straight draw.75.61) 9 (2 players .68 Hero (SB): $25.1 is all in) Final Pot: $37.10/$0. Non-Standard Lines Ultimately. you’ll flop some monsters. Full Tilt Poker $0. BTN calls $3.73 (Rake: $1. In this case. Ace high) Hero wins $35. If you get called on the flop by a really aggressive player consider a check raise on the turn.4 players BTN: $18.43 River: ($37. He took the bait.25) 4 (2 players) Hero bets $0. If not though. The point is. The value that you are giving up by not betting when you are ahead is offset by the losses you suffer when you either have to fold to a check-raise. Big deal. . the Bully type.40 Flop: ($4. recognize from your HUD/Notes who you are playing.68 all in.88) Slow Playing Just DON’T do it. What’s the play? Well. the turn is a blank and it’s checked to you. For many of them. and use techniques tailored to exploit them. or call and lose.35) Hero is SB with A Q 1 fold. BTN calls $1. BTN raises to $0. Hero raises to $2. Bet. Is it possible that the villain called the flop with a big draw? If so then maybe you value bet and make him pay to try to catch it on the river.61 BTN shows 6 6 (a flush.85. bet and get no calls. I wanted to make it look like I had a strong hand that got counterfeited by the 4th diamond. I was up against an aggressive opponent. first consider the texture of the board. bet.75) 7 J Q (2 players) Hero bets $3. you need to learn the different kind of players. Queen high) Hero shows A Q (a flush. Sure. bet. 1 fold. or check/called). right? So it may be time to check behind and reevaluate on the river.96 CO: $37.25 No Limit Hold'em . Bet your big hands. a tiny little bet into them will send them over the edge. you have to tailor your play to the player you are up against.75 Turn: ($12.28 Pre Flop: ($0.00 BB: $3. then ask yourself “what is he calling with and how is he likely to respond to a bet?” What you have to fear here is that he’s calling with a monster and he’s lying in wait to check-raise all-in on the turn. Now. Hero calls $12.25. BTN raises to $12.25. That’s what you would do if you flopped a set. The way to win a lot of money is to get a lot of money in the pot and to do that you have to bet. They look for weakness and pounce. In this hand.bet and get called (villain either bet and called your raise.

on back-to-back hands he flopped a set when I had an overpair then TPTK. Villains flopped flushes against me twice. the flop came A55. 2 outer with 1 card to come. villain rivered 2 pair. Well. But more often than not. it was all downhill from there. but when they are telling you that you are beat. I saw the flop with AA 17 times and lost 9 of them. This is why it is SOOOO much easier to lose money fast than it is to win it fast. I wait and get it all in on the turn. you have to read hands and make some tough calls. That is one part of variance. I believe it now. Sure. ended my session for the night and went to bed. It all started with AA against QQ. Shrug it off. you just need to fold. With AA.The power of the almighty FOLD BUTTON A penny saved is a penny earned. All of the following happened in a 24 hour period where I also lost 20% of a bankroll I had spent 3 months building. calls and catches a Q on the river for 120 big blinds. Against a villain who is 70/0/5. they probably just have a hand. Over and over again. that’s what you would do if you had a hand. Money you lose when you make a terrible call hits your win rate just as hard as the money you win. I’m drawing dead with what is usually a huge combo draw. If someone makes a move on you. J4 flopped 2 pair. he gets 88 when I have 77 (only lost 12bb on that one though). Next orbit. Make 2 or 3 good laydowns extra every 1000 hands and your winrate will go up several ptbb/100. “People aren’t out to get you. I have a quote from Fee’s guide on my monitor. This was the hardest skill for me to develop. give it up. On another day. There are times when everyone else is hitting there hands. by far. At least 4 other times that day I flopped top pair or 2pp and villain flopped a set. I just couldn’t believe that the villain had it. he tanks. 3 times. I shrugged it off. Play your strong hands strong. you won’t notice the days when you win 16 out of 17 and that isn’t supposed to happen either.” After all. The next day. one holding a set and the other has the nut flush draw including the card I need for my straight flush. . There will be times when it seems like everyone at the table is picking on you. right? Thoughts on running bad You’ve heard people say you won’t believe how bad you can run. That’s just variance. he did. I flop top pair and a straight flush draw and get all in against 2 villains. and villain held 55 for quads.

Don’t play on tilt. . You won’t make the optimal play every time. What do you do? Drop down. You will have played enough hands that in the 15 seconds you have to decide what to do on the flop. Conclusion If you understand all of these and incorporate them into your game. I finally 4 bet him with TT and he has AA. plus turn/river play that I didn’t get deep on. way down if necessary. but just a start.Running bad can also mean repeatedly running into the top of villain’s range. he rivered a set. Don’t move up a level to win it back faster. but you won’t need to yet and you’ll still be making plenty of money. I think you need to be pretty comfortable with all this and have it as a regular part of your game. then you have a good start to grinding it out and showing a steady win rate. Don’t rush it. 5 or 6 of these concepts will flash through your mind and help you know what to do. To add insult to injury. To crush the micros and move up to small stakes. Play for the fun of playing for a while. Own some really bad players. Earn back 1 buyin at your normal stakes. 2 or 3 levels down. After 100 hands with a villain who 3 bet 24% of the time.

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Axs (5 is best) 22 . KQs . KQs Light: 56s . QTo+ (1 gap) Q9s+ (suited 2 gap) pp 22+ A2s+ . AQ. QQ Situational: AQ. JJ. TT Light: 56s . 96s+ . AJs. JJ.JJ AJs.QJs. AQ KQs pp 22 -TT AT+. Axs (5 is best) 22 . 64s+ . Kqo. AJo+ KJs. QQ. JJ Situational: 22 . KK. TT Light: 56s . AJs . AJs. TT Situational: AJs .Hand Chart UTG MP CO OTB SB BB pp 22+ ATs+.77.TT AQ. KQs . KQ. Kqo. KQs pp 22 . ATo+ KTs. KQ.77.QJs. KQs 3 Bet AK. KK. AA. Axs (5 is best) 22 . AA. 54s+ . AA. AK Ajs+. AK Open Call a Raise pp 22 . KK. JJ Situational: 22 . KQ 89s+ pp 22+ A9s+.99 AT+. AA. KK. TJs pp 22 . Kto 65s+ .TT AK. AA. AJs . JTo+ T8s+ . Kqo. QQ. JJ.TT AQ.TT . QQ. Ajo AK. KK. TJs pp 22 . KQ. QJs. KQs. T6s+ A8o+ K9o+ 98o+ J9o+ (1 gap) Q9o+ (2 gap) (3 gap) Raise more than pot pp 88+ pp 88+ Ajs+. K8s+ . QJs. Ajo AK. KJ 89s+ pp 22+ A5s+ . A9o+ K9s+ . Ajo AK.77. QQ Situational: AQ. KQs.QJs.