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  • The Small Blind Bet
    smaller and a lot more depends upon the texture of the game I don t like discussing stuff like texture because it s subjective in nature but there s no getting around it in poker so let s just deal with it The game you re in may be loose in the sense that 50 or more of the players are seeing the flop even when the bet s been raised That s not the only definition of a loose game but I think you get the idea By the way don t get the words loose and lose confused as do so many people on the Net The word lose means to not win such as I always lose when I play the slots The word loose means not tight like The lugnut on that wheel is loose With me The English lesson is over Anyway a loose game will typically see a lot of preflop raises and calls which can be a profitable situation for the wise player who plays good hands whether from the blinds or not But when it comes to playing in a loose game from the Small Blind you often have to decide if you re defending your blind from someone who s trying to steal it or from someone who s playing a real hand or even someone who s just throwing their away And that s just a loose game If the game you re in is tight or if the pot has been raised by a player who seldom bets any opening hand it s another matter entirely of course In a loose game with a lot of callers you must pretty well figure that it ll take the nuts to win but if you re up against just one other player top pair will often do the trick See what I mean about texture I could go on and on about this but what it really boils down to is that a single set in stone strategy for playing the Small Blind bet isn t really feasible You ll have to make some adjustments on the fly so to speak but I can at least give you a good solid starting point Just as I did for the Big Blind bet I ve created a chart that will eventually form part of my Hold em Poker Basic Strategy Matrix You ll see that the chart is divided into three categories hands that can raise and or reraise hands that can call any number of raises but not reraise and hands where you should just complete the blind If a hand is not on this list you should fold An important note here is that this chart is very conservative and you ll appear to be some sort of rock if you use it all the time Should you find yourself in a loose game you can safely loosen up some yourself particularly when you have a hand that s in

    Original URL path: http://www.pokerparty.ro/holdem-limit-sb.html (2016-05-02)
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  • The Big Blind Bet
    I ve arranged the hands for this list in three categories hands that can raise and or reraise hands that can call any number of raises but not reraise and hands that can call just one raise otherwise fold Any other hand not on this list should check in an unraised pot or fold if raised Rather than listing each separate hand I m once again showing the minimum based upon the high card in the hand so any hand that is better than the minimum may also be played For example in the case of a Queen the minimum to raise and or reraise is Q Q the minimum to call all raises is Q xs and the minimum to call one raise is Q 9o which includes Q 10o and Q Jo Remember all the symbols Here s a quick review x means any card s means suited and o stands for off suit or unsuited Any other hand with a Queen as the highest card should check but fold if raised It goes without saying but I ll say it anyway If a hand can raise or reraise it can obviously call all raises and if a hand can call all raises it can call just one Remember just because a hand can raise or reraise that doesn t necessarily mean you ll do it although you ll likely be making a mistake if you don t A lot of people like to slowplay hands like A A or K K but they re also the first to complain when someone a player who may have folded to a pre flop raise beats them by drawing out to a Flush Okay enough preaching here s the list Minimum Big Blind Hands for Limit Hold em Poker Re raise Raise Call all raises Call one raise only A A A Ko A Qs A 2s A 10o A 2o K K KQs K 2s K Jo K 9o Q Q Q 2s Q Jo Q 9o J J J 2s J 10o J 8o 10 10 10 xs 10 8o 9 9 9 xs 9 7o 8 8 8 5s 8 7o 7 7 7 5s 7 6o 6 6 6 4s 6 5o 5 5 5 3s 5 4o 4 4 4 3s 4 3o 3 3 3 2s 2 2 Notes and comments Take a look at the first line which covers hands where an Ace is the highest card Reading over from the left you can reraise any raises if you hold A A in the big blind The slash tells you that a hand of A Ko or higher which is A Ks and AQs can raise from the big blind if the pot hasn t been raised yet but you should just call if another player has raised in front of you particularly if that raise came from an early position Continuing to the right you can see an Ace that is suited

    Original URL path: http://www.pokerparty.ro/holdem-limit-bb.html (2016-05-02)
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  • Stealing the Blinds
    your 20 plus 20 from each of the blinds This means you must win at least 33 of these hands to break even Of course there s no reason to play for a break even situation because all it does is increase your variance with no long term gain So I ll just arbitrarily assign a minimum probability of 40 as the threshold for our play which will give us an EV of 40 x 60 2 40 twice the EV of the average winning hand If only the SB calls the pot is now 40 so we must win 50 to break even If only the BB calls the pot is now 45 20 from you 5 from the SB and 20 from the BB and we have to win 45 to break even But if either of those situations occurs we now only have one player to beat and I ll cover that situation in part 2 of this What this all boils down to is that we need a chart of hands that will win 40 of the time against Q 7o and J 5s My Basic Strategy Matrix already tells us to raise with a variety of hands when we re on the button and that doesn t change in this situation What does change however is that we can expand that list considerably I need to make one important point here If you re re raised by either blind you should fold unless your hand allows for re raising again as shown on the matrix Just A A A Ks A Ko and K K The basic premise here is to raise in the hope that the blinds will fold but if they don t then you ll at least have a hand that can make you a profit if it s played all the way through to the river Of course you might ultimately choose to fold the hand after the flop depending upon how it hits you how your opponents bet and so forth but remember that the percentages I m going to show you assumes that your hand is played through to a showdown Okay take a look at the chart and I ll meet you down below to discuss it Winning the Blinds Limit Hold em Poker Raiser s Hand Probability Q 7o J 5s A 2s 40 29 31 A 9o 40 30 30 A 10o 42 29 29 A 7s 47 20 33 A 6o 37 31 32 K 4s 40 29 31 K 10s 45 26 29 K 9o 41 27 32 Q Jo 48 25 27 Q 9s 45 20 35 Q 5o 21 47 32 J 10o 34 44 22 J 9s 36 42 22 7 8s 28 39 33 2 2 31 35 34 5 5 34 38 28 7 7 44 26 30 8 8 47 25 28 9 9 47 25 28 Much like the chart I presented in the last lesson this

    Original URL path: http://www.pokerparty.ro/holdem-limit-stealing.html (2016-05-02)
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  • Poker Mathematics
    expectation Whether or not you make a 40 bet for the hand shown above is immaterial to this situation What really matters is that you know the probability of making the hand from the flop forward and you use that to guide your betting But and it s a big but if you choose to make the 40 bet be aware that it s probably a negative EV bet at the moment and if you make them often enough you ll eventually lose all of your I say probably because at this point I cannot precisely quantify the value of your Two pair other than to say that the only hand it beats is a Pair but that s often enough to win a pot in Hold em If we somewhat arbitrarily assign a probability of 20 to the Two pair winning the pot then the total EV for that hand is about 33 20 x 90 18 14 85 so a 40 bet is a borderline decision at best and a 30 bet seems reasonable However a 60 bet would be a real gamble and you should know that before you make the call Some poker experts like to use implied odds when making a decision like this and they want you to figure out how many players will call your bet so the total pot before the next bet comes due can be used to calculate your EV which they call pot odds Well that sounds good and is certainly valid if you re able to predict just who is going to bet and how much they ll bet My problems with that concept are many not the least of which is that it encourages a certain amount of wishful thinking on your part plus it s yet another layer of calculation that s being added to what is already a fairly complex equation Just as in Blackjack I prefer to err on the side of conservatism when are involved so rather than use implied odds I prefer to use the odds presented to me as the hand progresses Let s continue along and play out the Two pair we have by making a 30 call after the flop Now comes the turn card and it may well give us our Full House But if your luck is like mine it won t so we ll have to face more decisions in betting If we made the Full House with the turn card I m assuming we ll welcome and call any bet or more likely raise the pot for the balance of play With the turn card out we now have to re evaluate if our hoped for Full House can still win the pot Don t forget that Four of a kind beats a Full House as does a Straight Flush so we have to evaluate the impact of the turn card on other players hands It didn t help us but it might have helped them If you remember we had a hand of 10 J and the flop came 10 J 6 Because I m ignoring suits in this example let s rule out the possibility of a Straight Flush but even if the flopped 10 J were suited the best anyone could have is a 4 card Straight Flush called a S F draw and the odds are greatly in favor of them making either a Straight or Flush both of which lose to a Full House so we can t spend our time worrying about losing to a Straight Flush I ve played thousands of hands and have lost to a Straight Flush only one time But that little lonely 6 that came on the flop could be a problem It s not inconceivable that some other player has 6 6 in the hole and s he is going to be thrilled to see it because those Trip 6s will beat our Two pair if we don t improve But we have set our course and will go forward although not blindly By calculating our EV after the flop we are not done with all of the calculations for this hand as we would be in a no limit game where we went all in If a player who has just been passively checking or calling now comes out with a bet or raise after the turn card is dealt we must take that into consideration when the bet comes to us In a Limit game where we cannot go all in which guarantees us to see the last two cards without further betting we have to once more calculate our pot odds to see if it s a positive EV Let s say the the turn is the 5 of spades a card that probably helped no one but a player acting before us now bets 20 and the pot is offering us 110 for a 20 call We still have two pair which might be good enough to win the hand but now with only one card to come the probability of making a Full House has dropped to 4 chances of 46 or 8 7 See that We can make our FH by catching one of the two remaining Jacks or one of the two remaining 10s thus 4 outs among the 46 cards we haven t seen For a pot at 110 our EV is 8 7 x 110 9 57 but we must call with a 20 bet But you may ask what about the bets we already have in the pot don t they have a place in our calculations The short answer is no Those are gone so to speak and we ll only get them back if we win the hand Think about it If we don t call they re lost anyway so I don t count our previous bets when calculating EV only the full value of the pot thus an EV

    Original URL path: http://www.pokerparty.ro/holdem-limit-math.html (2016-05-02)
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  • No Limit Hold 'em Poker Starting Hands
    fold if a player before you raises preflop So if the UTG were to raise and you re next to play you fold with A Qo or any other hand marked with an asterisk About 90 of the time you ll be either raising or folding If you ve read many books on no limit Hold em you ll often see the words raise or fold and it s good advice Also note that most of the hands have a Fold designation in the Early Position column It means just that you don t limp and you certainly don t raise in EP with A Jo you simply throw it away About the only time you ll call in EP is when you have 9 9 to Q Q and the pot s been raised in front of you Those hands are just too good to fold but they re not strong enough to re raise Let s continue with A Qo If you re in Middle Position and no one has raised ahead of you which would cause you to fold you ll raise with A Qo If one or more players have limped you ll still raise but you should raise more than the standard 3 times the big blind which is why I say Raise should be 3 4x Big Blind in a note at the bottom of the matrix You ll fold if someone anyone re raises after you It s tough to do I know but it ll be the correct play the vast majority of the time Oh sure you ll get some player who will re raise with A 10s every now and then but most of the time you ll lose if you call the re raise If you re in Late Position you should raise with A Qo assuming no one has raised in front of you in which case you d fold but call if someone now re raises you Because the re raise might come from an early position limper you might wonder why you d call and it all has to do with position You ll most likely be last to act for the rest of the hand so it s profitable to see the flop then make a decision by how others bet it See how this matrix uses hand strength and position to dictate the play I m sure it s not perfect but I will say it works pretty well if you follow it Okay now let s discuss the hand of A Qo in the Blinds You ll notice that I didn t make a distinction between the Small Blind and the Big Blind in the matrix I did that primarily to keep it simple but also because in most no limit cash games the Blinds are a relatively unimportant part of the pot Admittedly they can be a factor in tournaments but we ll discuss that in a later lesson For now treat

    Original URL path: http://www.pokerparty.ro/holdem-nolimit-hands.html (2016-05-02)
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  • No Limit Hold'em Poker Betting
    that into your actions You can pretty much count on the fact that anyone on a draw will fold when you do that unless the pot odds are enormous at this point You can also pretty much expect some players usually those trying to buy the pot or those with a good solid hand to go all in here Whether or not you should call obviously depends upon what you hold and the pot odds being offered I love to check raise but actually use it sparingly because while you ll win more hands with it you won t necessarily earn more by using it Okay let s discuss situation 2 where you entered the pot with a raise all the others either folded or called the flop comes and a player acting before you bets Besides folding you can choose to Situation 2 A Call This is the smooth call you hear about and it gives away the least amount of information about what you re holding Of course you have very little information about the bettor s hand at this point so this is probably the weakest play you can make unless you hold a really strong hand like a made Straight Flush or Full House The problems this play produces are several not the least of which is that it ll probably slow down or kill completely the betting on the hand In my admittedly limited experience a lot of players will put you on a hand of Ace something if you were the opening raiser and if an Ace doesn t fall on the flop they ll bet into you whether or not they made a hand If you call at this point they ll usually check on the turn unless they put you on a draw Of course a draw may be the farthest thing from your mind but if the board supports the notion that ll likely be the first hand your opponent puts you on If s he thinks you re on a draw and has a hand like top pair top kicker then you can pretty much figure on looking at a big bet if the turn card doesn t help a perceived Straight or Flush draw If your opponent cannot because of the flop s texture put you on a draw and bets on the turn s he either has a real hand or is firing the next barrel of a bluff Your response will largely be determined by what you hold the pot odds offered and your perception of what the bettor holds plus the response from other players still in the pot Besides folding and calling you can choose to B Raise This play really gives no information about your hand but it can gain a lot of information about your opponent s hand Because you raised pre flop people perceive you as holding a strong hand of some type But as I mentioned earlier if an Ace didn

    Original URL path: http://www.pokerparty.ro/holdem-nolimit-bet.html (2016-05-02)
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  • 2 to 1 Deal
    showed you some basic poker math that tells us how to convert probability to odds and vice versa Pot odds of 2 to 1 means you need a probability of just over 33 to break even add 2 1 3 divide that into 100 and the result is 33 33 So if we have a hand that we think has a 34 probability of winning the math says it s a call But there are several problems here First of all if the raiser has A A and we have Q Q our probability of winning is only about 20 so we re not getting a good price for our bet On the other hand if our opponent raised with say A K offsuit our probability of winning is closer to 55 which makes this a great call with Q Q But what if we have to go all in to make the call Is the return big enough is 2 to 1 a good deal For me if I were short stacked I d be happy to get all my into the pot with a pair of Queens If my opponent has A A or K K I m basically toast and as the saying goes that s poker but I m a favorite in most other situations Sadly most hands you ll encounter are not as clear cut as this What s more likely is that you ll hold something like 5 5 K Jo or A 4 suited I m assuming you ll fold the truly junk hands like Q 7o 10 5s etc and calling the bet won t force you all in but it would be a shame to miss a chance to add to your stack What to do First of course you have to consider the source of the bet A Middle Position raise from a player you perceive as tight may well mean s he has a pocket pair of 9s or better or maybe A Ko A Js or K Qs Here s how those hands match up against yours Opponent You Your probability of winning 9 9 5 5 19 8 A Ko 5 5 55 0 A Js 5 5 51 2 K Qs 5 5 50 3 9 9 K Jo 44 3 A Ko K Jo 26 2 A Js K Jo 24 5 K Qs K Jo 25 0 9 9 A 4s 33 7 A Ko A 4s 31 5 A Js A 4s 31 1 K Qs A 4s 56 8 It s easy to see that calling if you have a pair or a suited A x is for the most part profitable or very close to it The problem is that you re really in trouble if your opponent has a pair higher than yours or if s he has one of your cards along with a higher kicker like A Ko vs K Jo But even there if the pot is

    Original URL path: http://www.pokerparty.ro/holdem-nolimit-2to1.html (2016-05-02)
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  • Sniffing Out a Set
    now As you now know six cards lose to an 8 and six cards beat an 8 So for our purposes here an 8 can be considered the average That s why I consider 9s or higher to be above average cards Many players draw the line at 10s but it basically amounts to the same thing most will fold small pairs to a raise from Early Position However if I raise with the same hand from Late Position most players will call with any pair high or low That s why my position is so important in solving this problem 5 What are the dynamics of the flop This is often referred to as the texture of the flop but it all relates to which hands were helped and which hands were not helped by the three community cards In our example the flop was A K 7 rainbow which means no player flopped a Straight or a Flush That said it s still possible our opponent called with Q J and has an inside Straight draw It s inside because only a 10 completes it and I would really be surprised if he or she were to go all in with such a hand Of course it s not impossible the player could be making a semi bluff with the idea of either winning the pot right now or hitting the needed 10 on the turn or river If the opponent is short stacked and somewhat desperate that may well be the case but it s not likely if our opponent has an average or better chip count Still you cannot completely dismiss the idea because an all in bet guarantees that our opponent will get to see both of the remaining cards Even so the odds are greatly against him Additional Considerations These questions help me to sniff out a set but I can never be 100 sure of course That being the case I have to then move on and see if I can win the hand In that regard I keep these questions in mind as the hand proceeds 6 Can I ultimately make a hand that will beat my opponent s suspected hand This is a critical question to ask yourself in situations like these If you call the raise is there a reasonable probability of making a hand that will beat a set By reasonable I mean something in the 20 25 probability range not runner runner flush or straight cards that have a 4 or 5 probability at best In our example here I can make a Full House if another A or K falls but it also makes a Full House or better for our opponent if he does indeed have a set If he has a set of 7s and another K falls that s great for us he ll have Sevens full of Kings and we ll have Kings full of Aces However if he has a set of

    Original URL path: http://www.pokerparty.ro/holdem-nolimit-sniffing.html (2016-05-02)
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