Answers To Hand Quiz 1

7 Card Stud, Hand Quizes
March 8, 2009

OK, it’s time for the answers to the first hand quiz.  I had hoped to produce a little more discussion, but I think making it 7 card stud scared everyone off.  That’s unfortunate, but I’m not easily deterred.  So I’m going to keep doing hand quizzes.  I do think in the future I’ll make most of them holdem hands though.

Now, the answers (out of order): Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment »

CardSharp Mailbag: A Set On A 3-Suited Board

No Limit Texas Holdem, Reader Questions
February 27, 2009

Hi Wayne,

I’ve been following your blog for quite some time now. It is on the top of my RSS Reader and I love it because of your very logical way of describing optimal play.

My question is how do you play a low set on such a suited board? Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment »

Hand Quiz 1

7 Card Stud, Hand Quizes
February 23, 2009

Here’s a little quiz.  I figure it might get some interesting discussion going.  I realize we haven’t done any stud on cardsharp, but think of it as a chance to broaden your horizons.

Read the rest of this entry »


Special Boards: The Suited Flop

Limit Texas Holdem, No Limit Texas Holdem
February 19, 2009

Certain boards in holdem radically alter the value of your holding and the way typical hands play out.  The most common of these is the three-flush or suited flop where all three cards are of the same suit.  You’ll get such a flop roughly 1 hand in 20.

The reason suited flop are important is that they radically change the value of various made hands and draws. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment »

Pot Control Revisited Part Two – Multiple Goals

No Limit Texas Holdem
February 9, 2009

I’ve touched on this a little bit before in the previous pot control articles, but it probably bears additional discussion.  In situations where you’re engagin in pot control with a top pair/top kicker type hand, you have a large number of simultaneous goals.  The one we’ve spent the most time on is avoiding going broke to a set or other unlikely flopped hand.  This is very important because the amount of money you stand to lose in such situations is very large.  However, implementing pot control is far from your only goal.  After all, the vast majority of the time when you hold top pair or better your opponent doesn’t flop a set or a fluke two pair.  Instead they flop something you have beat.

In such situations the amount of money you stand to win typically isn’t particularly large unless your opponent is either very unlucky or a bad player.  But that doesn’t mean it’s not important.  Rather it means you need to find a strategy that maximizes your results against weaker hands while simultaneously maintaining pot control.  It turns out, as long as you’re in position, this is typically doable. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pot Control Revisited Part One

No Limit Texas Holdem
February 3, 2009

Since I wrote them, I’ve gotten a lot of mail about the articles on set farming, the payoff rule, and the two articles on pot control.  Most of that mail has been very positive, but I want to provide a little bit of extra detail and a slightly different perspective on the subject and clear up a few points of confusion that I’ve seen.  If you haven’t read those four articles yet, I’d suggest you start there. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Middle Limit Holdem Poker

4 Star, Book Reviews, Limit Texas Holdem
January 26, 2009

Author: Bob Ciaffone & Jim Brier

Publisher: Self Published

I’ve been playing more limit holdem recently, and I suspect it will be the next “project” on CardSharp once I get more or less finished with NL holdem.  In preparation for that I’ve been going back over all the books I own on the limit version of the game as a means of organizing my thoughts.  When I first read Ciaffone’s book a couple of years ago, I thought it was the stone cold nuts as far as limit holdem goes.  On a second read, with many thousands of hands of mid and high limit holdem under my belt, I still think it’s the best book on the game, but not quite as good as I once believed. Read the rest of this entry »


CardSharp Mailbag: Even More About Big Hands Out Of Position Preflop

No Limit Texas Holdem, Reader Questions
January 23, 2009

I just got another question about out-of-position play with big hands related to this post here (this article won’t make sense without reading that one):

The one area that still needs addressing on the subject of premium hands in early position is what to do when the blinds are very deep. If a limp, a normal raise and a normal re-raise won’t get ten percent of the effective stacks in, what do you do? Do you make an oversize re-raise? That would seem logical but it is going to lose you some action.

Will in New Haven

In reality, in a typical game that doesn’t have extra callers of the initial raise, even a limp-reraise won’t get in more than about 15BB without seriously overbetting the pot.  So in games well over 150B deep you’re not going to be able to get 10% of the stacks in with your huge hands, or even come close to that number.  So what are you going to do?  I have a few suggestions: Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment »

Cardsharp Mailbag: To Raise Or Not To Raise In Early Position

No Limit Texas Holdem, Reader Questions
January 11, 2009

I just received the following question and it’s an excellent follow-on to the last preflop article:

Hi  Wayne,

I read the following comment in an old post of yours that discussed starting hands:

When intentionally entering the pot out of position, it’s often best not to raise at all under any circumstances, even if you have a premium hand.  If someone raises behind you, you can ditch the non-premium hands if you relative position is bad and re-raise the big pairs (and possibly AK). Often this re-raise will be all-in. (the post)

My question is, at what point should one start to raise from EP preflop with our opening range of hands,  and how much should that raise be?

Clearly in many cash games or tournaments, people have stacks well under 100BB.  And I did read in another article about your scenario of raising with a big pair vs someone else’s SET. There you talked about the importance of raising PF, and also CB.  So at some point, a player needs to stop limping PF and start raising. But what is the factor that decides that point? Do we go by the 5/10 rule and look at effective stack sizes?



Ok, I can see I created some confusion here, and re-reading the older article I think I see why: Read the rest of this entry »


Cardsharp Mailbag: Raising Preflop To Guarantee Position

No Limit Texas Holdem, Reader Questions
January 9, 2009

I try to answer reader questions as they come in, but for the last few months I’ve been really bad about it.  Hopefully over the next week or so I’ll be able to fix that and clear out the backlog.  Here goes!

Hi Wayne,

I found your site the other day and thanks, it has been very thought
provoking. I will be employing some of the insights I gathered to my game.

It would be great to hear your thoughts on the concept of “buying the
button”, eg raising in whole or part out of position to get position,
particularly pre-flop. Given the increase in EV that having position
entails, there would seem to be a method for valuing this benefit, in terms
of the bet/raise you should be willing to make to obtain, and whereby the
inputs to this valuation would obviously include absolute position (relative
to the cut-off). But what other inputs are specific to this valuation?
What would the formula be? An interesting concept that has not yet been
explored very rigorously, from what I have seen.

Cheers, Todd

This is an interesting question, and I spend a lot of time thinking about it before responding.  The short answer is that I don’t have the type of formula he’s looking for, and indeed I’m not sure anyone does.

The long answer is that I think this is sort of the wrong question. Read the rest of this entry »

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Playing When Strongly Committed

No Limit Texas Holdem
January 4, 2009

We’ve previously defined the types of commitment and talked about how to play when weakly and moderately committed.  All that’s left is strong commitment.

Strong “commitment” most closely matches the basic English definition of the word – you are attached to this hand until the end.  That leads to my first strategy pronouncement:

Once you become strongly committed to a hand, you never fold.  Your sole goal is to get your opponent(s) to put as much money in the pot as possible.

This seems like pretty basic advice, but in my experience it’s not something most players handle particularly well. Read the rest of this entry »

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Moderate Commitment Due To A Draw

No Limit Texas Holdem
January 1, 2009

In the previous discussions of commitment here, here and here the examples of hands that commit you always were a strong made hand – top pair or better, or in the case of the preflop example an AK.  That’s no accident – the most common way to become committed in NL holdem is when you hold a strong made hand.  What may not be obvious is that commitment can result from a draw or the combination of a draw and and weak made hand that probably isn’t best. Read the rest of this entry »

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Playing When Moderately Committed

No Limit Texas Holdem
December 29, 2008

We’ve been talking about commitment for a couple of articles – most recently playing when weakly committed.  I now want to discuss the next step up the commitment ladder – playing when moderately committed. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Effects of Structure on No Limit (NL) Holdem

No Limit Texas Holdem
December 26, 2008

Last time I posted some general information on how game structure influences correct play.  I now want to apply that directly to no limit holdem.

I identified two factors about a game that influence how eager you should be to voluntarily enter the pot preflop.  The first was the size of the antes and forced bets.  It’s relevant to ask, especially in a NL game, “size relative to what?”.  That’s a good question.  I think for purposes of discussion, it’s reasonable to discuss their size relative to a reasonable 100 big blind buyin.  Obviously many games are played with larger or smaller buyins, but 100 big blinds is a good place to start discussion. Read the rest of this entry »

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Throwing A Spanner In The Preflop Works

No Limit Texas Holdem, Psychology
December 18, 2008

If you can’t evade a tax, pay a little too much to confuse their computers.

-Friday, Robert Heinlein

Here’s a funny little story.  A few years ago I was playing a 1/2 NL home game.  It was my first time there, and we were playing somewhat deep for a small game – I think I had 150BB and several people had me covered.  Anyways, because of the stack depths and general table atmosphere I was using a slightly oversized preflop raise – I was thinking something like 4.5BB+1BB/limper would be about right (3 to 3.5BB +1BB/limper is more standard).  Anyways, just for shits and giggles, I decided to do 4+1/limp half the time and 5+1/limp half the time. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment »

Playing When Weakly Committed

No Limit Texas Holdem
December 15, 2008

Last time I went to some length to define three different types of pot commitment.  This wasn’t just a ploy to fill space – you should care about the distinction for a very simple reason: correct play is different depending on how committed you are.  Put another way, all situations at the same level of commitment will share major similarities.

So let’s get started with weak commitment Read the rest of this entry »

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Are You (Pot) Committed? What Exactly Is Commitment Anyways?

No Limit Texas Holdem, Poker Concepts
December 8, 2008

Poker books, TV shows and forums love to talk about being “committed” to a hand. However, I’ve come to a realization over time while reading and watching all this stuff: no one can agree on what it means to be “committed”.  Everyone’s talking about it, but they’re talking about at least three different things and using the same word for them.  The result is rampant confusion, and an unhealthy dose of misinformation for any player trying to make sense of the concept. Read the rest of this entry »


An Observation On The Nature Of Holdem

Limit Texas Holdem, No Limit Texas Holdem
December 3, 2008

There are some things about specific forms of poker that just don’t become obvious until you compare them to other forms, so for my holdem-only readers this statement may come as a surprise.  But holdem (both limit and no limit) has the least information contained in the mechanical play of the cards of any form of poker.  Simply put, when a new board card is dealt, especially on the turn and river, it often tells you very little that you didn’t already know. Read the rest of this entry »

1 Comment »

Beginner Mistakes: Giving Up Won Money For No Good Reason

Beginner Mistakes, No Limit Texas Holdem, Psychology
November 13, 2008

I’ve seen this happen a million times:

Beginner Bob has just absorbed the sage wisdom of Play Holdem Pretty Darn Good, NL Edition and sits down at a small stakes NL game to try out his newfound knowledge.  He knows his opponents will be playing far too loose at these stakes, and as such resolves to wait for big hands he wants to show down and then bet them for value.  Sure enough, 30 minutes into his session he flops a set, bets it, gets called down, and stacks someone.  Now Bob is sitting in front of a nice big doubled stack.  Then something funny happens an orbit later: Bob enters the pot by calling an under the gun raise with an AQ, hits an ace, gets check-raised on the flop, pays off the whole way to the river, and loses to AK.  Suddenly Bob is worse off in terms of money than he was before he hit the set.  Bummer.

I swear this happens FAR too often to be coincidence. Read the rest of this entry »

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Review: Harrington on Cash Games Volume II

5 Star, Book Reviews, No Limit Texas Holdem
October 13, 2008

Subtitle: How to Win at No-Limit Hold’em Money Games

Author: Dan Harrington & Bill Robertie

Publisher: 2+2

This is the follow-on to the excellent Harrington on Cash Games Volume I.  The two volumes are in essence one book, and should be treated as such.  Volume one deals primarily with basic concepts and play before and after the flop, and volume II deals mostly with play on the turn and river.  Since turn and river play are more essential to winning at NL, this could in some ways be considered the more important volume.  That said, don’t consider buying only one of the two volumes – they really are just one book split in half, and having one but not the other doesn’t make much sense.  So if you’re going to buy one, buy both.

Like the previous volume, the advice in this volume is of high quality and strikes me as sound on a number of theoretical levels. Read the rest of this entry »

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CardSharp Mailbag: Split Two Pair in NL Holdem vs. Two Pair in Draw Poker

5 Card Draw, No Limit Texas Holdem, Reader Questions
October 2, 2008

One of my readers sent in the following question which I think deserves discussion:


I have stumbled across your website and I think your articles are excellent. I am writing to request your insight about split 2 pair. An article or an email would be much appreciated. I have heard it referred to as a trap hand and I can see why. As I understand it Mark Twain once said “That knowing how to play two pair correctly is worth a college education and costs about as much to learn how to do so”. I am paraphrasing but you get the point. The heart of my dilemma is this: I do not know if I should play all split two pair hands as drawing hands hoping to fill up or play them strongly knowing I will have to win with just two pair. Two pair (especially top two pair ) seems to be too strong a had to play as what amounts to a gun shot draw but more often than I like I seem to be toast to a set on the flop or beat by the river. I know board coordination plays a role but I REALLY hate getting my money in when I am beat to a set on an uncoordinated flop board. Is this just a cooler like set over set. What is a poker player to do? In my mind there is a big difference between 3 types of split two pair you can have and thus there should an equally big difference in how you play the hand. But I am not sure how to work this all out or if I am on the right track. Any advice you can give or articles you will write are much appreciated! I look forward to reading more of your poker insights in the future. Thanks.

This is a good question. Mark Twain’s comment about two pair certainly refers to draw poker. While draw poker is essentially a dead game in this day and age, it’s worth looking at what happens there as background for thinking about 2 pair in holdem. Read the rest of this entry »

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Play On The Flop: The Continuation Bet

No Limit Texas Holdem
June 13, 2008

In NL holdem when the pot is raised preflop the last preflop aggressor often bets out on the flop regardless of whether or not he connected well with the flop. This bet is called a continuation bet and it is the central feature of betting action on the flop in NL holdem. This article discusses flop play from the perspective of the preflop agressor. I’ll follow up with another article in the future that looks at flop play from the perspective of the preflop caller. Read the rest of this entry »

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A Comedy of Errors At 30/60

Limit Texas Holdem
June 10, 2008

I played quite a few games during my most recent Vegas trip, but by far the most interesting was the 30/60 holdem last Sunday morning at the Bellagio. They had a lot of action on account of the WSOP – two tables at 10:00 in the morning, both full, neither of them must move. What made it interesting was that my opponents were worse than I’ve ever seen at a game that big. Out of 9 opponents, only 1 was playing decent poker. The rest made a number of mistakes that really stood out. This is the kind of game that I wish I could bottle up and bring home with me. Alas, they’re still in Vegas and I’m not. Oh well.

It’s worth discussing what these noticeable errors were. Players considering tacking mid-limit holdem would be wise to consider this list and purge these errors from their game. Because while these opponents were making errors at a rate higher than normal, the errors they were making were all the classics. Read the rest of this entry »

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Pot Control In No Limit Texas Holdem Part 2

No Limit Texas Holdem
May 14, 2008

Last Time we talked about top-pair and overpair type hands, and the desirability of keeping the pot relatively small post flop with these hands. I want to continue that discussion, and provide some additional details and specifics that weren’t in the first article: Read the rest of this entry »

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Pot Control In No Limit Texas Holdem – The Payoff Rule In Practice

No Limit Texas Holdem
May 11, 2008

Not too long ago, I wrote about the payoff rule:

The Payoff Rule For Big Bet Poker

Situation: The pot was small, you are on a made hand, and you believe your opponent was on a draw. On the last street you bet your made hand for some amount (BET) that charged the draw to see the next card. The draw had probability P(draw) of hitting. There was ESS money behind in the smaller of your two stacks at the start of the previous street.

Now, the draw hits and you have to decide how to proceed. If BET > P(draw) * ESS, you should aways be willing to get money in and pay off the draw, up to and including wagering your entire stack. If BET < P(draw)*ESS, you should try to limit the percentage of your remaining stack that goes in on future streets based on the fraction of how much smaller BET is than P(draw) * ESS. In other words, apply pot control. If you can’t accomplish that, you need to fold some percentage of the time on future streets such that you pay off no more than that amount on average.

The payoff rule is not an absolute thing – the more money that was in the pot to start, the more willing you should be to pay off. If your opponent may have a made hand you beat instead of a draw, you should pay of more. If your opponent may have a made hand that beats you, you should pay off less.

Now, we originally derived this rule in the context of set farming. I’d like to re-visit that example, and see how the pot control works in practice. Read the rest of this entry »

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Cardsharp Mailbag: When Good Hands Go Bad

No Limit Texas Holdem, Reader Questions
May 1, 2008

It’s always good to get mail, and here’s an excellent question:

Hi Wayne,

[in the context of NL holdem] I am winning with pocket pairs without exception and I win with Axs at a nice clip but suited connectors are losers. Unless the suited connector is in the T/J range or above they are consistent losers and I think that they should not be played. In fact a recent article in Card Player suggested just that. What is your opinion?

My first thought is that you should not be overly concerned about taking wagers you expect to make money on and passing on those that you expect to lose money on. That’s perhaps the most fundamental concept of winning gambling. So if you’re winning, there’s no real reason not to keep doing what you’re doing. That said, it’s also true that a lot of other players win a lot of money by playing suited connectors lower than JTs. So it’s clear you’re doing something different from them when you play those hands. I have no way of knowing what that is, but I can take some guesses: Read the rest of this entry »

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The Payoff Rule (Aces & Set Farming Part 2)

No Limit Texas Holdem, Poker Concepts
April 29, 2008

Last article we looked at the set farming strategy, and saw that it was an effective way to take money from an opponent with a big pair if both players adopted certain strategies. We also looked at two possible “defenses” the guy with aces could employ – raising more or having a smaller stack. However, both of these are infeasible in many circumstances. You don’t have much control of your stack size, and raising the needed 10% of the effective stacks is often not feasible in deepstack games. Clearly there’s only one option left for the aces: they can’t always pay off the set for a full stack. In fact, against the strategy I described for the set farmer (check-fold postflop if no set), there’s no reason the aces should ever pay off the set. Any time the guy bets, or even calls, you know he’s got you beat (unless you also hit a set). This creates an odd strategy for the guy with aces – bet out every time, and if your opponent folds, fine. If he gives you any action, check-fold the rest of the streets. This strategy beats the set farmer out of almost 4BB/hand on average with the setup from the last article. Read the rest of this entry »

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Aces & Set farming Part 1

Mathematics, No Limit Texas Holdem
April 26, 2008

It’s time for one of the most important things I’ve got to say about no limit Texas holdem. We’ve talked previously about the topic of set farming when discussing the 5/10 rule. Specifically,

Set farming is calling a bet preflop with a small to medium pocket pair (which is unlikely to be best by the river if it doesn’t improve) hoping to hit a set (3 of a kind made with one on board plus your pair). It’s a longshot play where you rarely hit, but when you do you have a hand that’s almost certainly best, and you can comfortably get your stack in.

Set farming is a very central part of correct NL play. In fact, against certain opponents, it is the single most profitable tactic in your arsenal. To understand why, consider this hypothetical hand: Read the rest of this entry »

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Beginner Mistakes – Backwards Poker

Beginner Mistakes, No Limit Texas Holdem
March 19, 2008

I’ve become convinced that the most common mistake beginning poker players, and in particular NL holdem players, make is playing what I call ‘backwards poker’.

Backwards poker is when a player refuses to put money in the pot when he knows he has the best of it, but is all too willing to put money in the pot when it’s very possible he may have the worst of it.

Now, it should be obvious that backwards poker is a really bad idea. The whole point of playing poker is to wager a lot of money when you have the best of it, and not to make wagers where you have the worst of it. So why would anyone choose to do just the opposite? Good question. Read the rest of this entry »

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I’m Back, And A Thought On Poker Pedagogy

No Limit Texas Holdem, Poker Concepts, Psychology
March 6, 2008

Sorry I’ve been dormant so long. Life interfered. I should be able to write regularly again, and I’ve got a lot of material I’m planning to post. Read the rest of this entry »

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No Limit Holdem Postflop Play: Taking Stock After The Flop

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
November 12, 2007

The flop is the defining moment in holdem. Play before the flop focuses on setting yourself up to flop something good. Play after the flop is about figuring out what your opponent flopped and drawing at or defending against draws made on the flop. Before the flop you’re dealing with hypotheticals unless you hold a big pair. After the flop you’re dealing with a much better defined situation.

Because the flop serves as a dividing line for the hand, it’s the perfect place to take stock of your situation. Misunderstanding the implications of the flop is the primary cause of costly stack-sized mistakes. So here are some things you should figure out before proceeding: Read the rest of this entry »

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Reading The Board In Holdem & Omaha High

Dealing & House Procedures, Limit Texas Holdem, No Limit Texas Holdem, Pot Limit Omaha, Strategy
November 2, 2007

Reading the board quickly and accurately is an important skill for both players and dealers. It is the process of looking at the community cards and determining the following information:

  1. What hands are possible on the current board
  2. What draws are possible (assuming there are cards to come)
  3. Where a given set of hole cards sits into the range of possible hands, or how two hands compare Read the rest of this entry »
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Figuring Out Where You Stand On The Flop in Holdem

Limit Texas Holdem, No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 29, 2007

One mistake I see a lot of holdem players making is that they incorrectly estimate the strength of their hand on the flop. This can lead to some ugly mistakes in play. While most players eventually learn by experience what hand/board combinations are strong and which are vulnerable or near-certainly beat, this process can be expensive and is mostly unnecessary. Here’s a quick and dirty method for figuring out where you stand on the flop that you may find helpful.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Starting Hands For No Limit Holdem (Part Two)

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 12, 2007

In the last NL holdem I wrote about basic starting hand selection for deepstack play. The key concept was to play hands that are likely to make the nuts, in position, for a raise. Now I’m going to discuss some associated topics and some exceptions to the rule. Read the rest of this entry »


Hot & Cold Hand Odds In Holdem And Domination

Limit Texas Holdem, No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 10, 2007

A key concept in holdem, especially in NL, it “hot and cold” comparison of starting hands – namely the the odds of each pair of hole cards winning in a two hand matchup that always goes to the river. While it’s not important to memorize these odds exactly (and I’m not even going to bother calculating them exactly here – that’s what poker stove is for), it is important to know them in an approximate sense because a lot of correct preflop strategy in holdem is a direct result of this concept. Read the rest of this entry »

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Starting Hands For No Limit Holdem (Part One)

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 9, 2007

As I stated previously, starting hand selection is not as critical to success in deepstack no limit holdem as it is in other forms of poker. Various players have adopted radically different strategies and yet still achieved good results. However, that doesn’t mean you should neglect the subject altogether. What it does mean is that rather than present an ironclad system I’m going to give some suggestions that most players, especially those new to the game, should have reasonable success with. Read the rest of this entry »

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Infinite Stacks – A Thought Experiment

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 4, 2007

Many of yesterday’s Things You Should Know about NL Holdem focused on the effects of deep stacks and implied odds on the game. I think one of the easiest ways to get your head around the effects of deep stacks is to consider what would happen if the stacks were infinitely deep. As you might expect, stacks that are merely very deep have the same properties, but sometimes not to quite the same degree. If the idea of “infinitely deep” stacks bothers you, just think about a stack that’s 1 million big blinds deep – ie. a 2 million dollar stack at 1/2 NL. Here are some effects of those huge stacks: Read the rest of this entry »

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Things to Know About Cash Game No Limit (NL) Holdem

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
October 2, 2007

A rather unusual situation has developed in US poker at the moment. Cash game no limit holdem has become by far the most popular form of casino poker in the country, but there is almost no good information on how to play it published in book form or on the web. In an effort to plug that gap, I’m going to publish a series of articles on the game that should contain sufficient information to take a player to at least the intermediate level.

To get started, I want to present some central concepts for NL holdem. The idea is to get you in the right frame of mind for thinking about NL play. These are in no particular order. Read the rest of this entry »

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The 5/10 Rule

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
August 14, 2007

This strategy “rule” is a key concept in NL holdem preflop play. It was originally published by Bob Ciaffone in Pot Limit & No Limit Poker. The rule is as follows:

Any time you’re considering calling a preflop bet on the basis of a combination of implied odds and position, the size of the bet relative to the effective stack size is the primary factor in whether or not you call. If it is less than 5% of the effective stacks, you have an easy call. If it’s more than 10%, you have an easy fold. Anything in between is a judgment call. Read the rest of this entry »

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An “Above The Rail” Hand & Online Play

No Limit Texas Holdem, Strategy
August 13, 2007

Full Tilt Poker has a commercial where their sponsored players declare “We play above the rail. We play the man, not just the cards.” It’s an admirable sentiment – there’s no question that poker played at the highest levels is a game of people rather than a game of cards. However, I think there’s something wrong with the idea when applied to online play, and I think an example hand will illustrate the point. Read the rest of this entry »

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The Best Game In Town

7 Card Stud, Poker Economy, Strategy
August 12, 2007

Here’s something to ponder: imagine that you are suddenly transformed into an incredibly skilled poker player. Specifically, you have a positive expectation at any fair game you could sit at. Let’s further assume you play in a poker town like Las Vegas, LA, or Atlantic City where you had numerous different games & stakes available to you. Now, what game would you play?

Read the rest of this entry »

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