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Big Stack Strategy


Limits
Limit NL2 (0.01/0.02) NL4 (0.02/0.04) NL10 (0.05/0.10) NL25 (0.10/0.25) Big Blind Your Buy-in Bankroll Needed $0.02 $0.04 $0.10 $0.25 $2 $4 $10 $25 ... $100 $250 $625

Once you have 25 buy-ins for the next highest limit, you can move up to that limit. If you only have 25 buy-ins for the next lowest limit, you must move down to that limit. Your gain is caused by your opponents' mistakes. Their gain is caused by your mistakes. Most players on the lower limits and also on the tables with up to $100 buy-ins typically make these errors:
They play too many hands and, as a result, many hands that are too weak. They play too passively. They have difficulty folding, and end up paying too much for speculative hands, for instance. They bluff too much and at the wrong times. Often they unnecessarily inflate pots with pure bluffs. They don't factor in their position at the table. They don't practise good bankroll management and anxiety about their money dictates how they play.

To benefit as much as possible from these very common mistakes, one simply has to do the exact opposite. You only select hands that are worth playing. You play aggressively. You don't have a problem with folding, if the situation becomes unprofitable. You don't get attached to your cards. You dont bluff much but when you do, you do it at the right time. You don't bluff when you're playing for a big pot. You adapt your game according to your position at the table. You manage your poker bankroll well and can make moves because you know they are profitable, without worrying about the fact that you might sometimes also lose the hand.

The tight-aggressive strategy Of the points mentioned above, 3 are especially important, as they form the building blocks of the so-called tight-aggressive play mode, which is the perfect response to the frequently occurring mistakes in the lower to middle limits:

You play tight. You play aggressive. You play in position.

YOU PLAY TIGHT POKER


Tight means that you dont play everything that falls into your hands. There are many cards that look weak and actually are weak. There are also some hands, however, that look strong, but aren't, such as King Jack for example. After the flop you dont need to see every showdown simply because you have a pair. Knowing when you are beat or when the price is too high can save you a lot of money.

YOU PLAY AGGRESSIVE POKER


There is one simple rule in Texas Holdem: You dont want to be the one to just call, i.e. the one who just goes along with the bets, without betting or raising yourself. You have already learned that your profit is a result of your opponents' mistakes. And when do people make mistakes? When they have to make an important decision under pressure. You will earn considerably more money with Texas Holdem when you constantly force your opponents to make decisions, put them under pressure, and so force them to make mistakes. You can achieve this by playing aggressive poker. At the same time you will save a lot of money if you avoid situations in which someone forces you to make a decision. If someone pushes you into a defensive position, you ought to feel very uncomfortable. Cold-calling, which means going along with an opponents raise pre-flop, is practically a deadly sin. With very few exceptions, it will lead you into situations, which are hard to control. For most cases you are limited to hoping to hit a strong hand, which doesnt actually happen as often as some people think.

YOU PLAY POSITION


Poker legend Doyle Brunson once wrote: Position is everything in Texas Holdem. It is tedious and dangerous to want to win money when you dont have position on your opponent. So what does that mean? If your opponents have to act before you in a given betting round, you have position on them. If they have the luxury of getting to act after you, they have position on you. Whenever an opponent has to act before you, you have the distinct advantage of being able to observe their move, before needing to act yourself. You are therefore in an advantageous position in terms of the information you have, and in this game, information is a valuable commodity. In addition to this it is also possible to make more profitable moves when playing in position. Your life as a poker player becomes so much easier and more successful if you always pay attention to this. If you want to make money off of someone, then make sure you have position on them.

There are 10 positions at a 10-handed table. These positions are divided into four groups: the early, middle, and late positions, and the blinds. 2 late positions
The dealer and the player to his right are in the late positions. Blue The next three players (anti-clockwise from the late positions) are in the middle positions. Orange The next three players (anti-clockwise from the middle positions) are in the early positions. Red The two players who post the Small and Big Blind are in the blinds.Green
than Leave the table when you have

3 middle positions 3 early positions 2 blind positions

How to Play Before the Flop WHAT DOES 'CALL 20' MEAN?
When you play a small pair like 55 you are speculating on hitting three-of-a-kind on the flop. This only happens approx. 12% of the time, but when it does, you will have a very strong hand that can bring in a fair amount of money. This is why it's profitable to call a raise when holding a small pair, as long as your opponent has enough money to pay you off when you do hit. With a small pair, you should only call a raise, when your opponent has at least 20x the raise amount in his stack. By the way, this applies to you as well. You must also have 20x the raise amount. You can only win as much money as you have in your stack, so if your opponent has 20x the raise amount but you don't, it really doesn't help you. That is what the term 'Call 20' means.

How much should you raise? If no one raised before you, you simply raise 4 big blinds + 1 big blind for every player that entered the hand before you. Assume you just got your starting capital and are playing NL2 (0.01/0.02). The big blind is $0.02. When you raise, you raise at least 4 * $0.02 = $0.08.

IF THERE WAS EXACTLY ONE RAISE BEFORE YOU


If an opponent raised before you, you re-raise to 3x the size of the original raise. For every player that calls this raise before you, you increase the size of your re-raise by the size of the original raise.
If there was more than one raise before you, you only play AA and KK and you go all-in.

What if someone raises after you?


If you have a pair of aces or kings, you should just keep on raising. The best thing you can do is try and go all-in before the flop and put all your money in the middle. When you have a pocket pair smaller than AA or KK, you can make an exception and call a raise, as long as both you and your opponent have stacks at least 20x the amount you're about to call. You can avoid uncomfortable situations on the flop when you carefully select your starting hands as recommended by the Starting Hands Chart.

How to Play After the Flop


When you have a monster, you will usually be well ahead, and can win a lot of money when you play it right. When you have a pair made up of one of your starting hand cards and the highest community card, you have a top-pair. If you have a pocket pair that is higher than all community cards, you have an overpair. No opponent can have a top-pair better than your overpair. Draws are hands that aren't complete yet, but could turn into a made (completed) hand if a helpful card shows up on the board:
OESD 2 cu 2 carti de marci asemanatoare X2 FLUSH DRAW 4 carti de acelas symbol

In No-Limit Holdem the aggressive, thinking player who carefully selects the spots to show aggression, wins. Every bet and every raise should have a purpose. The primary purpose of betting is obvious: You have a strong hand and want to get money in the pot. You want opponents with weaker hands to call and stay in the hand. When this is the case, you are betting for value. Bluffing

The second possible purpose of betting: the bluff. You want to force opponents with better hands to fold so you can win the pot.

Always follow the following five rules when considering a bluff:


Don't inflate the pot with bluff bets. Be more inclined to bluff when your hand can still improve. Only bluff against players that you know would actually fold their hand. Don't bluff against several opponents at once. Only bluff when you can credibly represent a strong hand and it is likely that your opponents dont have much.

Continuation bets

Whenever you raise before the flop and get called, you are the so-called aggressor in the following betting rounds. By raising pre-flop, you represented a strong hand, and can now more credibly make your opponents believe that you also have a strong hand on the flop. This means you now have the option of continuing your pre-flop aggression and making a socalled continuation bet. The great thing about continuation bet bluffs is that you would play your strong hands the same way. Your opponents are left guessing and will often just take the safe route and fold. You can therefore attack a lot of pots with continuation bets when you are the aggressor just don't try attacking them all.

Protection

Not every made hand is a monster. You will often see yourself ahead with your hand, but at the same time know that your hand is vulnerable and that your opponents are just waiting for the right card to show up on the board to beat you. Your opponents can only beat you if they hit on the turn or the river. The greater the likelihood of them hitting good community cards, the more strongly you should protect your hand. If your opponent has a hand that can still improve to beat yours, he is going to have to pay a high price to see the next card. When you have a made hand and the board is offering a number of draws, protect your hand by making the next community card expensive.

Why not to bet


There are a lot of good reasons not to bet or raise, for example, when you have absolutely nothing at all. Three other good reasons not to bet are: pot control, bluff induce, and slowplay. If you check, this is what happens: If your opponent does have a better hand, you lose less. You keep the pot small. If your opponent has a weaker hand, perhaps a weaker pair of aces, a pair of eights or some other pair, he will often fold if you bet. When you check, you signal weakness, which might animate him to bet on the river, either as a bluff or because he thinks he has the best hand. Even if he doesn't bet, it is more likely that he will call a river bet that you make.

Slowplay
Whenever you play your hand as though it were much weaker than it actually is, you are slowplaying. Instead of playing as if you had a strong hand, you feign weakness and play the hand slowly and wait for later streets to bet or raise. By under-representing your hand you can animate your opponent to overplay a weak hand or give your opponent the chance to pick up a playable hand. Don't slowplay against too many opponents and don't slowplay on draw-heavy boards. Don't slowplay against passive opponents, either. You should only slowplay when you are certain that your opponent will take the bait and overplay his hand. The reason is that there is a simple rule of thumb on the lower limits that you should never forget: your opponents are more likely to call a bet than to bet themselves. The reason for this was already mentioned: The average player in the lower limits is too loose and too passive.

Putting it together
When making your post-flop decisions you should try to find a balance between ...

... your natural desire to get the most value from your strong hands when you're ahead. ... the desire to control the pot and keep the price low when you hold a weak hand. ... the necessity of protecting your vulnerable hands by making the next community cards expensive to look at.

Value

Protection

Pot control

The weaker your hand, the more you should focus on pot control. The stronger your hand, the more you should focus on maximizing value. The more vulnerable your hand, the more you should focus on protection.

Playing with made hands is relatively simple. If you have the best hand, you bet or raise. The weaker your hand, the more you need to pay attention to controlling the size of the pot. Try to keep the pot small with weak hands, and if your opponents offer too much resistance or make too much action, fold.

How should you play made hands?

7 The more opponents you are facing, the stronger your hand needs to be. If there was no raise before the flop or if you called a pre-flop raise, you should have a really good hand before you get involved in any large post-flop pots. Only slowplay with very strong hands. The more draw-heavy the board, and the more vulnerable your hand, the more important it is to focus on protection. Dont let your opponents see the next community cards too cheaply. Always try to find a balance between pot control and protection. You don't have to protect a marginal hand that could already be far behind. If your opponent calls your bet, you can either give up on the river, or make another small bet and fold if your opponent raises. Based on the above-mentioned factors, you should raise. If your opponent re-raises, you can be certain he has you beat. If he calls, you can base your next decision on the turn card.

How should you play draws?


In order to play draws perfectly you need an understanding of the mathematical concepts of outs, odds, and pot odds. In general, you should always play draws passively when no-one raised before the flop or when you called a raise before the flop. You can call moderate flop bets with strong draws like flush draws and OESDs and can usually just fold weak draws Don't chase draws! If you have a flush draw on the turn, you will complete your flush on the river less than 20% of the time. You're wasting money when you call big bets on the turn. If you raised before the flop, you can continue to play aggressively with a lot of draws, as long as you are only facing one or two opponents. You will, for example, almost always place a continuation bet on the flop when you have a strong draw. When you are facing several opponents, or opponents who call every bet on principle, you can't bluff. The same counts when it comes to playing draws aggressively. You should only play a draw aggressively when you know your opponent(s) can fold.

Understanding the concepts of pot control and protection is very important. You don't want to play for a big pot with a mediocre hand. At the same time, you don't want to let your opponents see the next card for a cheap price when you have a vulnerable hand. You should by now know that betting is only profitable when weaker made hands call, or when you protect your hand against draws. If you don't have the greatest hand and your opponent is giving you the chance to get to the river cheaply, take him up on it. In general, the same rules you learned for pre-flop play can be applied to your play on the flop, turn and river: Play tight and avoid marginal situations. Play aggressively and take an active part in shaping the action instead of calling opponents' bets. Play in position. Always look for the chance to play with position on your opponent(s), just like you do before the flop.

Mathematics of Poker: Odds and Outs


A draw is a hand that isn't made yet. That card what you need is named Out Card.
EXAMPLE A

Right now your hand looks pretty worthless and has no chance of winning a showdown. If however, an ace or a six land on the board, you would have a straight: a strong made hand. At this moment your outs are aces and sixes. Now you have to ask yourself, how many outs does that make? Since there are four aces and four sixes in the deck of cards, there are a total of 8 cards that could be dealt on the turn or the river, to give you a straight.
Your Outs

EXAMPLE B

Now you are in an even better situation. You don't only have the chance to make a straight with any ace or six, you would also have a flush if another club were dealt. You can now count the remaining club cards as outs. Since there are 13 clubs and 4 have already been dealt, there are 9 clubs remaining in the deck. As you've already counted the ace and six of clubs, you have 6 more out cards (3 aces and 3 sixes) for your straight draw. The 9 flush outs and the 6 straight outs give you a total of 15 outs: Your Outs

Flushdraw - 9 Outs There are 13 cards of each suit in the deck and 4 have been dealt. This leaves 9 outs to completea flush.

OESD (Open Ended Straight Draw) - 8 Outs Any 4 or 9 would complete an OESD and give you a straight. OESDs always have 8 outs.

Overcards - 6 Outs There are 3 Aces and 3 queens remaining in the deck. Any of those would give you top pair. Overcards give you 6 outs on a draw for top pair.

A three of a kind or two pair draw - 5 Outs There are 2 eights left in the deck that would give you a three of a kind. One of the three remaining kings would give you a two pair. This gives you a total of 5 outs to better your small pair.

Gutshot - 4 Outs A gutshot draw is the weakest straight draw. One card is missing from the middle of the sequence, which means you would need a 'gutshot' to complete the sequence. There are four outs for a gutshot draw, four twos in this case.

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Discounted / Modified outs


Let's return to the subject of outs by making a few changes to our sample hand:

We determined that you have 8 outs in this position, the 4 aces and sixes that would give you a straight. Your Outs

This changes, however, when an opponent has the following hand:

The ace and six of hearts would give you a straight, but either one would also give your opponent a flush and thereby the better hand, meaning these two cards would not help you. The 6 remaining outs that would truly give you the best hand are called discounted outs.
Your Discounted Outs

Conclusion Odds are the ratio between: unhelpful cards and helpful cards. Pot odds are the ratio between: possible winnings and costs of staying in the hand. It is profitable to play a draw when the pot odds are higher than the odds. In such cases, you win more on average when you make your hand than you lose when you don't. In order to make a profit in the long run, it is essential for you to understand the concepts of odds and pot odds: the mathematical basis of poker. Knowing when it is profitable to make a call and knowing how much you have to bet in order to make an opponent's draw unprofitable, are fundamental elements of a strategic player's game. Taking the time to master these concepts will take you and your bankroll a good step forwards.

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How do you determine the implied pot odds?


Unlike pot odds, which are purely mathematical, implied pot odds are speculative. This means you have to estimate how much your opponents will continue to invest in the pot. The most important factors to take into consideration when calculating the implied pot odds are:

How loose is your opponent? A loose player likes to see the showdown and has difficulty laying down his hand. The looser your opponent, the higher your implied pot odds. The opposite is true of players who raise loosely before the flop. The more often a player raises before the flop, the less likely it is for him to be holding a strong hand afterwards. This means the implied pot odds sink too, unless he is a maniac who tends to bluff big on the flop.

How much hand strength is your opponent signaling? The stronger your opponent's hand is, the more difficult it will be for him to lay it down.

How well can your opponents read your hand? The more obvious your hand, the lower the implied pot odds. It's relatively easy to spot a made flush or a draw. A double gutshot, on the other hand, is a lot harder to spot. The community cardsand your play provide your opponents with a lot of information. If you check/call on a suited board and start betting when the turn shows another card of that suit, it will be fairly obvious to your opponents that you have a flush.

Are you in position? It's easier to get money from your opponent when you have the advantage of position. Your implied pot odds are therefore higher when you are in position.

Are you on the flop or the turn? The implied pot odds are generally higher on the flop than on the turn, since with two rounds of betting ahead of you, you have more chances of enticing your opponents to invest.

How large are your opponents' stacks? It's simple logic: the more money your opponents have, the more you can win from them. Having no limits is what makes No Limit Hold'em a game of implied pot odds. Since wagers are not limited and often increase with each round of betting, it is easier to get opponents to make large investments in later rounds of betting rather than in earlier rounds. We can conclude with the following summary:

The more strength your opponent is signaling... the harder it is to spot the strength of your hand... the harder it is for your opponent to lay down his hand...

12 and the higher your implied pot odds. They are higher on the flop than on the turn and also when you have a position of advantage over your opponent. It is however necessary, to be realistic when calculating the implied pot odds. Be conservative when estimating how much you will be able to get out of your opponent in the later rounds of betting. You will have a basic understanding of the mathematics of poker once you've read this article and the one on odds, outs and pot odds. Three more articles in the Big Stack Strategy introductory series focus on play after the flop. The first of these will cover the most important situation for you as a tight, aggressive player: playing after the flop with initiative.

Initative pre-flop
Any time you have a strong hand and the opponents in front of you have not indicated strong(er) hands of their own, you raise before the flop. Depending on your position and the number of opponents in the hand, however, you can also raise with a weaker hand. Stealing the blinds, for example, means that a player bets into the blinds, not because he has a great hand, but in order to force them to fold so he can collect their blinds. Being the aggressor before the flop puts you in a unique situation. You will play differently than in rounds in which either an opponent, or no one at all, raised before the flop. In the following sections you will learn ...

... ... ... ...

how to evaluate the strength of your hand. what a continuation bet is and when it is sensible to make one. how the community cards and your opponents' play influence your play. how to play on the flop, turn and river.

Making the right decisions after the flop as the aggressor is the key to your success. How strong is your hand? Once the flop has been revealed, the question is, "What do you have?" AK is a strong hand before the flop, but if you miss it isn't worth much You will usually be able to place your hand into one of five categories. Keep in mind, these categories are not set in stone - depending on the community cards and the opponents you are facing aweak draw could also be counted as a worthless hand, and vice versa, for example. The five categories are:

Worthless hands Weak draws Strong draws Medium made hands Strong made hands

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Worthless Hands
A worthless hand is a hand that completely missed the flop. It can be, for example, a smallpocket pair on a flop with three overcards, or a strong hand like AK or KQ that doesn't hit and leaves you with nothing but two overcards. Before the flop - NL25 Blinds: $0.10/$0.25 You are on the CO

UTG1, UTG2, UTG3, MP1, MP2 and MP3 fold You raise to $1 BU and SB fold BB calls $0.75

Flop - Active Players (2): You, BB - Pot: $2.10

EXAMPLE - A SMALL PAIR Before the flop - NL25 Blinds: $0.10/$0.25

You are on the CO


UTG1, UTG2, UTG3, MP1, MP2 and MP3 fold You raise to $1 BU folds SB calls $0.90 BB calls $0.75

Flop - Active Players (3): You, SB, BB - Pot: $3.00

Weak Draws
This category consists of hands that have little or no potential to win a showdown and that have poor chances at getting better. Weak draws include: gutshot straight draws, small pocket pairs that miss the flop and overcards with a backdoor draw (a backdoor draw means you need to hit the turn andthe river to win). EXAMPLE - GUTSHOT DRAW Before the flop - NL25 Blinds: $0.10/$0.25 You are on the CO

UTG1, UTG2, UTG3, MP1, MP2 and MP3 fold You raise to $1 BU and SB fold BB calls $0.75

14 Flop - Active Players (2): You, BB - Pot: $2.10

EXAMPLE - BOTTOM PAIR Before the flop - NL25 Blinds: $0.10/$0.25 You are on the CO

UTG1, UTG2, UTG3, MP1, MP2 and MP3 fold You raise to $1 BU calls $1 SB and BB fold

Flop - Active Players (2): You, BU - Pot: $2.35

Strong Draws !
A strong draw is a hand that can't win a showdown yet, but has good chances at turning into a strong made hand. Strong draws include: flush draws, OESDs (open-ended straight draws), and combodraws (a small pair + a flush/OESD draw, or a flush draw + an OESD, for example).
EXAMPLE - FLUSH DRAW Before the flop - NL25 Blinds: $0.10/$0.25

You are in MP2

UTG1, UTG2, UTG3 and MP1 fold You raise to $1 MP3 folds CO calls $1 BU folds SB calls $0.90 BB folds

Flop - Active Players (3): You, SB, CO - Pot: $3.25

Medium Made Hands


The term "medium made hands" can be deceiving. In a raised pot, this category consists of all made hands that are relatively strong and could win a showdown, such as an overpair, top pair with a goodkicker, or a high pocket pair. These hands are strong, but they can be beaten. If an opponent makes his hand, you usually have no chance at catching up again (i.e., you have an overpair but a flush draw completes).

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EXAMPLE - Top with a high kicker Before the flop - NL25 Blinds: $0.10/$0.25

You are in MP2

UTG1, UTG2, UTG3 and MP1 fold You raise to $1 MP3 folds CO calls $1 BU folds SB calls $0.90 BB folds

Flop - Active Players (3): You, SB, CO - Pot: $3.25

EXAMPLE - OVERPAIR Before the flop - NL25 Blinds: $0.10/$0.25

You are on the CO


UTG1, UTG2, UTG3, MP1, MP2 and MP3 fold You raise to $1 BU calls $1 SB and BB fold

Flop - Active Players (2): You, BU - Pot: $2.35

Strong Made Hands


This category is made up of monster hands - it can be anything from two pair to a Royal Flush. As always, the community cards and the number of opponents you are facing influence the strength of your hand. With a draw heavy board and several opponents in the hand your two pair may not be so strong after all - against a single opponent on a drawless board you would have much better chances. You have a strong made hand when: a) you most likely have the best hand and b) it is not likely that an opponent can complete a draw for the better hand.

How do you play on the flop?


Your actions on the flop determine how the rest of the hand will develop. In this section you will learn ...

... ... ... ... ...

what a continuation bet is. which flops and which opponents present a good opportunity for a continuation bet. how high your bets/raises should be. what to do when someone raises in front of you. what to do when someone raises after you make a continuation bet.

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What is continuation bet ?


The name basically says it all - a continuation bet is a bet made after you showed aggression in the previous round. In other words, you continue to bet. A bet in general can have three purposes:

You want to force everyone to fold and win the pot directly. You want to protect a made hand against draws and make the next community card too expensive for opponents on a draw to see. You have a made hand and want to get money out of weaker hands. You maximize the value of your hand.

It can be a bluff, but it can also be a strong made hand. You will often make a contibet when you don't hit anything, but to do so you need the right flop and the right opponents. A bluff continuation bet against an opponent who doesn't like to fold on the flop won't get you far. There are good flops for bluffing and there bad flops for bluffing. The most important thing to avoid is bluffing on draw heavy boards.

Which flops are suitable for continuation bets?


Rule #1: Always make a contibet with a made hand, top pair or better. Your goal: protect your hand and get money into the pot. Rule# 2: Always make a contibet with a strong draw when facing a single opponent. This is a semi-bluff; you can either win here and now by forcing him to fold, or your hand can get better on the turn/river if you get called. Remember, a semi-bluff is ultimately just a bluff and is only profitable as a tool when you can get players to fold. A draw alone isn't enough to justify a bet/bluff. Unless you have a true monster draw, your chances of winning just aren't high enough. You will rarely get several opponents, or even a single loose opponent, to fold by betting. A bluff contibet against several opponents is only useful when both conditions are fulfilled: a suitable flop + your opponents can be forced to fold. If both of these conditions are not met you will have to play your draws according to the pot odds, which you learned in the articles on pot odds and implied pot odds. You check and if someone bets you call if you're getting the right odds, and fold if you're not. Rule #3: Your continuation bet is a bluff if you have a weak draw, a weak made hand, or nothing at all. Bluffing against several opponents and bluffing against opponents who won't fold is a waste of money. Never bluff against more than two opponents with a weak hand. You will encounter the next situation quite often: You raised before the flop, one or two opponents called, and you didn't really hit anything big. Should you make a bluff contibet? The answer depends on the community cards and your opponents' actions. When you look at the board, ask yourself two questions:

Can you represent a hand? Could your opponents have hit the board?

17 If you answer the first question with a yes and the second with a no, you're looking at a suitable flop for a bluff continuation bet. Flops with high cards, are good for contibets, too. You can represent a high pair with your bet.
EXAMPLES OF GOOD FLOPS A high card

You bet

An ace and a face card

You bet

A pair

You bet

As you can see, a flop that only helps a small range of hands is good for bluff contibets. The board isn't showing any significant draws and it's unlikely that an opponent has a strong made hand. You can represent a strong hand, and your opponent will rarely have the cards to call, even if he is absolutely positive that you are bluffing. The only strong draw possible in the first example would be an OESD with 43. Your opponent can't have many strong made hands, either. He could have two pair with 52, K5, or K2, but this isn't likely since he called a raise before the flop. Your opponent would need three-of-akind or top pair to call a bet - he will most likely have to fold his hand. The same is true in the second example. No strong draws are showing and you can represent either the ace or the king. It's not likely that your opponent hit a strong made hand and he certainly won't be on a draw. Your opponent probably doesn't have a strong made hand in the third example either, and the board isn't showing any significant draws. The difference is that you can't represent much more than anoverpair. Your opponent is less likely to believe that you have something. This flop doesn't really help many hands at all. It's possible that your opponent spots your bluff, but he will rarely have the cards to call. His only real option is to bluff himself and raise you. You will often see aggressive players attack such flops. Be careful making bluff contibets on such a flop (drawless and paired) - your opponent might bluff back.
EXAMPLES OF BAD FLOPS Very draw heavy

18 All three examples are titled, "Very draw heavy." You should never make a contibet on a draw heavy board against more than one single opponent. There's hardly a hand you can represent in the first example. There are also a lot of hands that will want to stay in the hand: 98, 87, 76, 65, 54, 43, 88, 77, 66, 55, and 44, as well as flush draws and overpairs. These are all hands that opponents could have called with before the flop. There's nothing for you to represent and your opponents probably have playable hands - two good reasons to only invest if you're facing a single opponent and know he can can easily be forced to fold. The same counts for the other examples. These are flops that help a lot of different possible hands. Your opponent could easily have two pair or even a straight. He could also have a straight draw,flush draw, or a pair and a gutshot draw. Of course, he could also have completely missed the flop, but this is too unlikely. It's best to give up your hand on such a flop and wait for a better opportunity to invest.
EXAMPLES OF MEDIOCRE FLOPS High card + flush draw

Three high cards

You consider ...

Ace + possible flush

You consider ...

You consider ...

A lot of flops aren't ideal for a contibet, but it wouldn't be out of the question, either. You can represent a strong hand, but your opponents could have hit, as well. You can see three such example flops above. There are two habits you should not get into on such flops:

Always making a continuation bet. Never making a continuation bet. The right decision depends on your opponents. What could they have hit? What will they lay down? What do they need to call? How easily can they be brought to fold? There's no right way to play this kind of flop. If you're not sure what to do, however, you're better off not taking any risks.

Which opponents are suitable for continuation bets?

There are different types of poker players, each of which reacts differently to a continuation bet. You can generally place your opponents into one of four categories: Loose-passive It's hard for a loose player to lay down his hand, which means you can't bluff against them effectively. A loose-passive player will rarely show aggression, but will call a lot of bets. Your strategy against him does not revolve around forcing him out of pots, but rather patiently

19 waiting for a good hand and then putting your money in. You know he will call with a wide range of hands.

Loose-aggressive A loose-aggressive player has trouble laying his hand down, too, but he also plays aggressively. This type of opponent is also more likely to bluff. They see a paired board (like in the example above) as an invitation to attack the pot. You should refrain from bluffing this type of opponent. Your strategy is to let him pay you off when you have a strong hand. Give him the small pots when you don't have a hand, and take down the big ones when you do.

Tight-passive You want to make your bluff contibets against tight-passive players. They are quick to fold and only show aggression when they have a strong hand. You will often make continuation bets against them. If it doesn't work, you'll know you're beat.

Tight-aggressive You are a tight-aggressive player. You play strong hands and avoid marginal situations. This is why you can bluff against tight-aggressive players. This also means players can bluff against you. This isn't a disadvantage - good players have to be bluffable. You can attack a lot of pots when facing so-called TAGs, but not as many as against tightpassive players. If he is multitabling, you can make regular contibets against him. He is probably playing his standard game and folding every time he misses the flop. As you can see, bluff continuation bets are most effective against tight players who only play with very strong hands. Loose-aggressive opponents are the least suitable for bluff contibets. Remember the rule, "Never bluff against someone who can't fold," especially in lower limits where you will often find opponents who have no idea about poker. Don't make bluff contibets against short stacked opponents. Either he is a poor player, or he plays a short stack strategy - either way you probably won't get him to fold. The less money your opponent has, the less likely he will fold to a bet. Short stacks quickly see themselves as pot committed. Pay attention to how your opponent plays before and after the flop. Some players patiently wait for a good starting hand, but turn loose as soon as they've seen the flop - a good sign that he won't fold to a contibet. There are also lots of players who like to see the flop with any two cards, but immediately get out of the way when they don't hit. You should like this type of opponent, since he plays often and rarely has anything after the flop.
Nu ncerca s joci la bluff mpotriva celora care nu pot s renune

What do you now ?

Cum joci pe turn?


tiind c mna trebuie reevaluat cu fiecare rund nou, nici n cazul turn-ului nu vom face o excepie. A schimbat turn-ul valoarea mini? Este posibil ca mna s devin i mai puternic? Crezi c turn-ul a completat adversarului vreun draw?

Continu s joci agresiv minile complete puternice. Dac ai jucat la bluff pe flop, nu-l repeta i pe turn. Joac agresiv draw-urile puternice mpotriva unui singur adversar, i pasiv mpotriva mai multor adversari.

20

Pariaz atunci cnd ai perechi puternice. Poi juca pas/egalare pe o mas care nu prezint pericole. Fi atent dac apare o carte care ar putea completa un draw. Pariaz i renun dac cineva pluseaz atunci cnd ai o mn complet care nu poate deveni mai puternic. Nu ncerca s joci la bluff dac un adversar a pariat naintea ta. Dac ai o mn complet puternic atunci poi plusa.

Strategia Short Handed


Nu poi evita s joci pn cnd vei primi o mn bun de nceput. Nu trebuie s te temi s jociagresiv i s ncerci s ctigi pariurile blind. La jocul short handed, trebuie s fii agresiv i s menii iniiativa pe flop. Nu lsa ca o stare de tilt s te coste o parte important a bankroll-ului! La o mas foarte loose ar trebui s joci mai degrab tight, iar la o mas tight, ar trebui s plusezi loose.

Este mna ta mai puternic dect a juctorului limper? Va renuna juctorul limper destul de des la o plusare? Vei juca deseori n situaia heads-up contra adversarului limper (innd cont i de juctorii din poziiile blind acum) i poate renuna el dup flop? Mrimea stack-ului este suficient pentru jocul dup flop? Poi face un continuation bet?