PDA

View Full Version : basic low stakes limit strategy thread


dilanesp
07-21-2015, 07:08 PM
I know Prox sometimes plays 3-6 limit. Some other people here might play low stakes limit too, either live or online. So I'm starting a thread with strategic concepts that I think are relevant to the game.

I'm NOT going to post about stuff that only higher stakes players need to worry about. So I'm not going to talk about blind versus blind play and steals, balancing your ranges, having an optimal bluffing range, or anything of that sort. This is all stuff that's going to be applicable to typical low stakes games where you get 5 or 6 people seeing every flop.

My first set of posts will be on draws.

DRAWS IN LOW STAKES GAMES

I donít think thereís a single aspect of poker that is as misunderstood by poor players as the playing of draws. You can hear this even in the things they say at the poker table. Fish spout all sorts of weird, incorrect wisdom about draws. They blame dealers when other players hit draws, or when their own draws miss. They yell at players for chasing draws against them. They treat their draws as if they are made hands, cursing their bad luck when they brick out, as if every time you have a 2 way straight draw and a backdoor flush draw, you are supposed to win the hand.

Even beyond what they say, there is the matter of what they do. Some people proudly show you their fold of two overcards and a gutshot straight draw to a single bet on the flop, trying to impress you with their discipline. Other players will call 4 bets on the turn to hit a 6 for a straight or one of the last two tens in the deck to fill up. And still others will 3 barrel bluff with their 53 of clubs on an AKT board with two clubs even though the action was capped pre-flop and nobody is folding the river when the hand bricks out.

Playing draws reasonably well is a huge part of the transition from being a poor player to being a good player. It isnít as important as discipline, game / table / seat selection, and pre-flop play, but it is a very important topic. And it gets at one of the great bug-a-boos of losing poker playersĖ math.

While math has been an element of everythingĖ pre-flop ranges and post-flop strategies are based on mathematical observations, and even game / table /seat selection and bankroll management have mathematical elementsĖ it is when playing draws that a player must fundamentally confront, and accept, the mathematical truth about poker. In the movies, and in popular culture, poker is a game of reading people, either on a superficial level (ďI can tell you donít have it from the look in your eyesĒ), or perhaps on a slightly deeper level (ďyou are tight and only raise big pocket pairsĒ). In fact, poker is really a big math problem. But many players donít understand this at all. They think it is about putting their opponents on a hand, reading their soul, and then making the proper fold, call, value-bet, or bluff.

When a poker player confronts the issue of playing draws, the starkly mathematical nature of the game is exposed bare. There is simply no way to understand how to play draws correctly without math. We will discuss some complexities later, but basically, a player on a draw (1) has a certain percentage chance of making the best hand and winning the pot; (2) will win a certain amount of money if he makes his hand; and (3) will need to risk a certain amount of money if he decides to attempt to hit his draw. He is betting on a poker hand in the exact same way that someone bets on a sports event or a horse raceĖ he is being offered odds (in the form of the expected payoff if his hand draws out and wins, divided by the amount that he must risk in his attempt to draw out) on an event that has a certain probability of occurring. If the odds are sufficiently high, he should make the bet; if they are not, he should fold, just as a horseplayer might bet a horse if his odds are 4 to 1 but pass the race if the same horseís odds are 2 to 1, because she feels that the horse has a 25 percent chance of winning the race and thus she will not be getting a fair price at 2 to 1.

We will start out by discussing the simplest permutation of this, when you should play your ďcleanĒ draws (i.e., where all of the cards that you are trying to hit (your ďoutsĒ) actually will give you the winning hand) versus when you should fold them. This will allow us to cover the basic mathematics of draws. We will then move on to discuss the complexities of playing draws: (1) raising draws for value; and (2) correctly valuing your outs (sometimes you have additional outs to hands that will sometimes be best, and other times you have compromised outs, either because other players hold those cards or because hitting some cards will give you a second-best hand that will lose the pot).

dilanesp
07-21-2015, 07:10 PM
THE BASIC MATHEMATICS OF DRAWS: KNOWING WHEN TO HOLD ĎEM AND WHEN TO FOLD ĎEM

Here are the basics. You are dealt two cards, decide not to fold, and see the flop. You do not believe that you have flopped the best hand, either because of the board texture, the betting of the other players, or both. However, you believe that if certain cards come on the turn and/or river, you can make the best hand. You have a draw.

Some draws are better than others, in a couple of ways. First, and most obviously, some draws give you more chances to draw out. For instance, if you have the draw in Example 1, you have 8 outs to a straight, whereas if you have the draw in Example 2, you have 4 outs to one:

Example 1

Hero is OTB with 9h7h

2 limpers, Hero limps, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop Tc8s2d

Example 2

Hero is OTB with 9h7h

2 limpers, Hero limps, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop Tc6s2d

In example 1, any jack or 6 gives us a straight. There are four jacks and four 6′s in the deck, so we have eight outs to our straight. In example 2, only an 8 gives us a straight. There are four eights in the deck, so we have four outs to our straight.

Here are some simple examples of various other common draws:

Example 3

Hero is OTB with 9h7h

2 limpers, Hero limps, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop AhJh2c

We have 9 outs to a flush. There are 13 hearts in the deck, 2 of them are on the board, and 2 of them are in our hand. 9 remain.

Example 4

Hero is OTB with AhJh

2 limpers, Hero raises, blinds call, limpers call.

Flop 6c3d2s

We have 6 outs to top pair. There are four aces and four jacks in the deck, one of each is in our hand, and 6 remain in the deck.

Example 5

Hero is OTB with 9h7h

2 limpers, Hero limps, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop Qc9d2s

SB bets

We have 5 outs to either 2 pair or trips. There are four nines and four sevens in the deck, one of each is in our hand, one 9 is on the board, and 5 remain in the deck.

Example 6

Hero is OTB with 3h3c

2 limpers, Hero limps, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop Qc9d2s

SB bets

We have 2 outs to a set of 3′s. There are four threes in the deck, and two of them are in our hand.

Example 7

Hero is OTB with 8s7s

2 limpers, Hero limps, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop Ts9h3s

We have 9 outs to a flush and 6 outs to a straight (the Js and the 6s make flushes, and are thus not outs to a straight), or 15 total.

Example 8

Hero is OTB with AcKc

2 limpers, Hero limps, blinds call

Flop JcTc3h

We have 1 out to a royal flush, 8 outs to a flush, 3 outs to a straight, and 6 outs to top pair, or 18 total.

Not all outs are to hands you can make on the turn. Thereís also a chance of going ďrunner-runnerĒ, picking up additional outs on the turn that can then make your hand on the river. The chances of doing that to make a pair and then 2 pair or a set are pretty low, and arenít worth considering in determining the likelihood of winning the hand (although equity calculators like Equilab include them in their calculations). But other ďbackdoorĒ outs are worth something. Essentially, backdoor flush draws to strong flushes are worth about 1 1/2 outs, and backdoor straight draws to strong straights are worth between 1/2 and 1 out, depending on how many cards can give you a strong straight draw on the turn.

The best backdoor straight draw is three consecutive cards with the top card in your hand, such as an 8 in your hand and a 7 and a 6 on the board; if the cards are less connected, itís harder to make a runner-runner straight, and if your card is closer to the bottom of the straight, the straights you can make can sometimes lose to a stronger straight. Thus, a 5 on a board with a 7 and a 9 is a very weak backdoor straight draw. Also, take flush draws into account. If there are three to a flush on the board and you donít have a very strong flush draw, your backdoor straight draw isnít worth very much, especially where the pot is multi-way and someone has a flush draw. (For example, KcTh on a 9d8d3d board is a very weak backdoor straight draw (although the outs to the non diamond kings and tens have some value).)

If you donít want to do the exacting calculations, itís fine to just count each backdoor draw as one out, other than the weakest backdoor flush and straight draws which should not count at all.

Example 9

Hero is OTB with 9h7h

2 limpers, Hero limps, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop Qc9d2h

SB bets

We now have a pair and a backdoor draw to a strong flush. Give yourself an additional out and count it as 6 outs rather than 5.

Basically any two card flush is a strong flush. With one card flushes, you want the nuts or close to it.

Example 10

Hero is in the BB with Ah9c

3 limpers, SB calls, Hero checks.

Flop Qh9d2h

SB bets

Hero has a pair and a backdoor draw to a strong flush. 6 outs.

Example 11

Hero is in the BB with Ac2h

3 limpers, SB calls, Hero checks.

Flop Qh9h2c

SB bets

Hero has a pair. A backdoor draw with the 2 of hearts is not worth very much. 5 outs. I would generally value only the ace or king of hearts as a backdoor flush draw here.

Example 12

Hero is in BUT-3 with 8h7h

2 limpers, 1 raise, Hero calls, CO 3-bets, BUT caps, blinds fold, everyone calls.

Flop Kh6d2c

Checks to BUT, who bets, limpers and raisers call.

The important thing to understand about this hand is that we have 2 outs, because we have strong backdoor flush and straight draws, and that this matters in big pots like this because we may have odds to call and tear off a card.

dilanesp
07-21-2015, 07:11 PM
So now we have a general idea of how many outs we have. Why does that matter? Well, the pot offers odds to us, based on the size of our bet and the amount already in the pot. No differently than betting the Dallas Mavericks at 3 to 1, Juan Manuel Marquez at 4 to 5, Zenyatta at even money, or Mitt Romney to win the Republican primary at 2 to 1, except that unlike when wagering on sports, election, or a horse race, the odds arenít quoted to you. You have to calculate them.

And just as everyone knows that you should only bet Zenyatta at even money if you think she has at least a 50 percent chance of winning the race, you should only put your money into a poker pot with a draw if you have a sufficient chance of drawing out to justify the bet at the odds you are being offered (unless you also have some chance of getting your opponents to fold). This is the central, controlling insight of playing draws, and many of your opponents will not understand it.

So what are the odds being offered on a poker hand? Very simply, the odds ratio is the amount of money in the pot (not counting your bet) divided by the size of your bet.

A no limit hand will illustrate this very well.

Example 13

Hero is playing 5/10 no limit and has 9c8c in the CO. The drop in this game is $5 per hand.

3 players limp for $10, Hero limps, OTB folds, the SB calls, and the BB checks.

Flop KcQc4h

One of the limpers bets $45, 1 fold, and the third limper goes all in for $100. What odds is Hero getting on a call?

Well, letís total up the pot. Pre-flop, 6 players put in $10. Thus, there was $60 in the pot, but $5 was taken out, leaving $55.

Now, on the flop, another $145 was put in the pot, making $200. Hero is facing a bet of $100. Thus, Hero is getting 2 to 1 on his call.

Now, that seems really clumsy and a pain in the butt to go through every hand. And thatís true, it is. But in no limit, you really donít have much choice. Players size their bets in all sorts of ways, most of which have no relationship to the pot size. You just have to count the pot in dollars (or tournament chips) every hand. (Indeed, in no limit, you would use this information not only to ensure you know your pot odds but also to size your bets, as a no limit playerís post-flop bet sizing should generally be based on a fixed percentage of the amount already in the pot.)

However, in limit you donít have to do it this way. Thereís a shortcut.

Letís play that same hand out in a 20/40 limit game.

Example 14

Hero has 9c8c in the CO. The drop in this game is $5 per hand.

3 players limp, Hero limps, OTB folds, the SB calls, and the BB checks.

Flop KcQc4h

First limper bets out, second limper folds, third limper raises. What odds is Hero getting on a call?

The key point is we donít have to think in terms of dollars. We can think in terms of bets, because in a limit game, the bet sizes donít change (except rarely, such as where thereís a kill pot or a player goes all in).

So there were six bets in the pot pre-flop. If you want to deduct the rake, you can call it 5 3/4.

On the flop, there are 3 more bets that go in. Thatís 8 3/4. Hero is facing 2 bets to call. His odds are 4.38 to 1.

Thatís much easier. But we can make it even easier by just using a standard calculation for the rake. In larger limit games, such as this one, the rake is small enough not to worry about at all. 1/4 of a small bet just isnít going to make much of a difference. So I just ignore rakes that are less than 1/2 of a small bet. Accordingly, here I would say 6 bets pre-flop, 3 bets on the flop, total of 9; 2 bets to call, thatís 9 to 2 or 4 1/2 to 1.

In contrast, in smaller games, the rake is more than 1/2 a small bet. Then I just round it up to a small bet. So if Example 14 were an 8/16 game in Southern California with a $6 rake, I would say that there were 5 bets pre-flop (6 bets minus the rake), plus 3 bets on the flop, total of 8, and with the Hero facing 2 bets, she is getting 8 to 2, or 4 to 1 on her call.

Similarly, you can count an uncompleted small blind as a bet, or not count it as a bet. I donít think you need to get to the level of detail of counting it as 1/2 a bet, because your pot odds calculations do not need to be accurate to the last dollar. Personally, I ignore an uncompleted small blind in a higher limit game (20/40 or above), except that if there is other dead money (such as a poster who was required to put 2 chips in the middle as well as her blind), I will combine it with that money to make a full bet. In a lower limit game, where I am counting the rake as a small bet, I will use an uncompleted small blind or posterís dead money to ďpayĒ the rake. So in an 8/16 game with a $6 drop, if there are 4 limpers, the small blind folds, and the big blind checks, I will wash the uncompleted small blind against the amount of the drop and say there are 5 small bets in the pot pre-flop (whereas if there were 3 limpers, the small blind completes, and the big blind checks, I would deduct the rake and say there were 4 small bets in the pot pre-flop).

You will also need to calculate pot odds on the turn as well as the flop.

Example 15

Hero has AcKc in BUT-6 in a 20/40 game.

Hero raises, 6 callers including the blinds.

Flop 9h6c2d

Checks to OTB who bets, 3 callers including Hero.

Turn 2s

Checks to OTB who bets, blinds fold.

Here, 14 bets went in pre-flop (7 people each put in two bets). 4 more went in on the flop. Thatís 18 total.

On the turn, OTB bet. But bets on the turn are twice as large as bets pre-flop or on the flop. Thus, thatís TWO more bets, for a total of 20. Heroís call, as well, will cost two small bets, not one. Hero is getting 20 to 2, or 10 to 1 on his call.

(Note there is another way of doing the same thing. You can also divide the pot in half when you go from the flop to the turn, converting the pot from small bets into big bets. Then, you would say that there were nine big bets in the pot when we went to the turn, OTB bet a tenth big bet, and Hero is getting 10 to 1 on his call. I prefer just keeping my calculation in small bets, but you may use whichever method works for you.)

Sometimes players are all-in and the calculation becomes a little more complicated.

Example 16

Hero is in BUT-4 with AsQd

1 limper, Hero raises, CO calls, OTB 3-bets all in for 10 chips, SB folds, BB calls, limper calls, Hero caps for 14 chips, everyone calls.

In this situation, I do a chip count and then convert it into small bets. I also deduct the rake (might as well since I am counting chips anyway).

So, four players put in 14 chips, for a total of 56. OTB put in 10 more, for 66. One went out for the rake, which makes 65. 65 chips is 16 1/4 small bets. I round down to 16.

This same pot, in an 8/16 game with a 3 chip rake, would be 15 3/4 small bets (63 chips). (I would still round it to 16.)

Example 17

Hero has 8c7c OTB with a leg up in an 8/16 half-kill game with a $6 rake.

2 limpers, Hero limps, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop Ac8h2d

SB bets, BB and one of the limpers call.

Heroís leg up matters. If Hero wins this pot, she will be required to post a kill next hand, which amounts to $12, or 1 1/2 small bets. (If this were a full kill game, it would be $16, or two small bets.) This cuts Heroís pot odds. So we subtract that along with the rake (a total of $18, or 2 1/4 small bets, which we can round down to 2). This means the pot pre-flop is 3 bets, and it has grown to 6 bets on the flop. Hero is getting 6 to 1 on her call.

Example 18

Hero has 8c7c OTB as the killer in an 8/16 kill game with a $6 rake.

2 limpers, Hero checks, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop Ac8h2d

SB bets, BB and one of the limpers call.

Similar situation. Hero will have to post another kill if he wins the pot. However, because this is a kill pot, the stakes have increased to 12/24, and Heroís kill will be the equivalent of ONE small bet, not 1 1/2 as in the case of a leg up. We subtract that along with the rake (1/2 a $12 small bet, which we can round down to zero or up to 1; I just round it down for simplicity), and there are 4 bets pre-flop. Three more came in on the flop, and Hero is getting 7 to 1 on his call.

Once we know how to calculate outs and odds, it becomes easy to determine whether to call or fold a draw. Poker books often present a chart, but I think itís somewhat useful to understand how the calculation works, so I am going to take you through it step by step. Recall Example 11 again:

Hero is in the BB with Ac2h

3 limpers, SB calls, Hero checks.

Flop Qh9h2c

SB bets

We decided that the backdoor heart draw wasnít worth very much, and gave ourselves five outs. Letís assume this is a 20/40 game where the rake isnít an issue, and there are six bets in the pot. Are we going to call our 5 out draw getting 6 to 1?

To determine this, we have to determine the chances of hitting a 5 out draw on the turn. We know that 5 cards in the deck will give us 2 pair or trips. So we have five chances, out of how many total cards? Well, the deck has 52 cards. But some of those cards have already been exposed. There are three cards on the board which are not part of the remaining deck. We know that the turn card cannot be a queen of hearts, for instance. And we also know that the two cards in our hand are not part of the remaining deck either. The turn card canít be an ace of clubs. So thatís a total of five cards that have been removed from the deck. (Obviously, the other playersí cards are also removed from the deck. But we donít know what they are. So we have to leave the possibility that any of the cards that have not been exposed on the board or in our hand are possible turn cards.) Thus, there are 47 remaining possible cards.

We have a 5 in 47 chance of hitting our draw. Thatís 1 in 9.2, or 10 in 92.

If you have a 10 in 92 chance of winning, the 0EV odds associated with that event are 82 to 10, or 8.2 to 1. How do we know this? Well, imagine you have a 10 in 92 chance in winning a bet. You will bet $10 each time the bet is offered. And you will get 82 to 10 odds, which means you will be paid $82 plus your $10 bet, or $92, each time you win. Well, if you make that play 92 times, on average, 10 times you will win your bet. Each time you do you will receive $92, for a total of $920. And since you bet $10 each time, you will bet $920 total on the 92 plays. In other words, bet $920, get $920 back. Your expected value is zero.

Now, thatís the explanation, but whatís the formula? Simply put, where you have n/d chances of winning, the 0EV odds are (d/n) Ė n to 1. Thus, if you have a 1 in 4 chance of winning, the 0EV odds are (4/1) Ė 1 to 1, or 3 to 1. If you are getting better than 3 to 1 odds, you should make the bet. If you are getting less than 3 to 1, you should pass.

Back to our 5 out draw. The 0EV odds are 8.2 to 1. The pot is offering us 6 to 1. Thus, we should fold. If the pot were offering us 9 to 1, we would call.

Now, we obviously arenít going to go through that process every time we play a draw. My point in doing it was to give readers an idea of how it works and why the math is so important in determining whether we should fold or continue with our draws.

At game speed, we need a chart. Here it is:

1 out: 46 to 1

2 outs: 22 to 1

3 outs: 15 to 1

4 outs: 11 to 1

5 outs: 8 to 1

6 outs: 7 to 1

7 outs: 6 to 1

8 outs: 5 to 1

9 outs: 4 to 1

10 outs: 3.5 to 1

12 outs: 3 to 1

15 outs: 2 to 1

18 outs: 1.5 to 1

21 outs: 1.3 to 1

Now, in practice, the strongest draws on this list are not going to present serious odds-to-call issues. You are basically always getting at least 3 to 1 on your calls in a limit hold Ďem game, and in actuality, there are ďimplied oddsĒ that allow you to make calls with your strongest draws even when the pot odds arenít quite sufficient. Basically, you are going to hit your hand often enough that you can take into account the extra money that you will win on the later streets when you hit your hand and bet or raise it. Accordingly, you basically never need to fold a flush draw with 9 live outs (i.e., on an unpaired board) and itís pretty rare that you would ever need to fold a 2-way straight draw with 8 live outs either. And itís thus not that necessary to learn the numbers for draws of 9 outs or above. But you definitely need to know the numbers for the weaker draws, as they determine whether to call or fold particular hands.

dilanesp
07-21-2015, 07:13 PM
Hereís some examples (in these examples, we will assume a 20/40 game where we donít deduct the drop; in a lower stakes game, we would be sure to deduct the rake from the pot before calculating pot size):

Example 19:

Hero is in BUT-3 with 9c7c

3 limps, Hero limps, CO calls, blinds call.

Flop JcTh3d

SB bets, folds to Hero, who calls.

We have a gutshot straight draw to a strong, two card, second nut straight (it only loses to Q9, a hard hand for someone to have. We also have a backdoor flush draw. Thatís a total of five outs. We need 8 to 1 to call. There were 7 bets in pre-flop and an 8th on the flop. We have odds to call.

Example 20:

Hero is in the CO with 9c7c

1 limp, Hero limps, OTB folds, SB folds, BB calls.

Flop JcTh3d

BB bets, limper calls, Hero folds.

Here we have the same hand, but the pot is smaller. There are three bets in pre-flop, and 2 more on the flop, a total of five. We still have five outs, as a pair of 9′s or 7′s isnít likely to be good against the BB and the limper. But we are only getting 5 to 1 and need 8 to 1 to call. So, we fold.

Example 21:

Hero is in BUT-5 with QdJd

Hero raises, 2 callers in position, SB folds, BB calls.

Flop 7s3c2h

BB checks, Hero checks, first cold-caller bets, folds to Hero, who calls.

This is a very common scenario. We have overcards, we are multi-way and canít really continuation bet, but the board texture makes it unlikely that our opponents flopped some sort of a monster. We usually have six outs hereĖ three queens and three jacks. There were eight bets in the pot pre-flop and another bet went in on the flop, for a total of 9. We need 7 to 1 to call with our six out draw. We call.

Example 22

Hero is in BUT-3 with 2s2h

BUT-6 raises, BUT-5 and BUT-4 call, Hero calls, CO calls, OTB 3-bets, blinds fold, BUT-6 caps, everyone calls.

Flop 9d7c3s

BUT-6 bets, BUT-5 and BUT-4 call, Hero calls.

This is a demonstration of what happens in big pots. We basically are usually drawing dead to a 2, but both 2′s are very likely to be good outs for us (someone would have to have a set of 9′s, 7′s, or 3′s for them not to be), and the pot odds are huge. (Itís going to be lousy if OTB raises the flop, but thatís not always going to happen and we really canít assume that she will.) Specifically, there are 25 bets in pre-flop and 3 more on the flop. We are getting 28 to 1 on our call to hit our 2 outer. Even if we discount the outs a bit to account for the small possibility of someone flopping a set or someone raising the flop, we still canít fold because the pot is huge and the odds are so good. (Discounting the outs would be a much bigger issue if the flop were something that hits the ranges of our opponents, and/or was suited and connected (putting straights and flushes in play), such as AKT with two cards of one suit.)

Example 23

Hero is in CO with Td9d

2 limpers, Hero calls, OTB calls, SB and BB call.

Flop AsTc2h

SB bets, BB and one limper call, Hero calls, OTB folds.

Turn 5d

SB bets, BB and one limper call, Hero calls.

On the flop, we arenít going to have a lot of confidence in our pair of tens when the small blind leads out. But there were 6 bets in the pot pre-flop and 3 more came in on the flop. We have 5 outs (two tens and three nines) to improve our hand, they are pretty clean with no flushes or straights out there, and we are getting 9 to 1 on our call. We only need 8 to 1, so we call.

On the turn, we still donít like our pair of tens very much as the small blind has now fired two barrels on a dry board. Most likely, she has an ace. But we still have five pretty clean outs, and in addition to the ten bets that went in pre-flop and on the flop, six more bets went in on the turn (remember, the bets on the turn are twice as big). So we are getting 16 to 2, or 8 to 1, on our call. We can therefore call again and try to hit two pair or trips on the river.

Example 24

Hero is in the BB with Th8c

BUT-3 raises, SB calls, Hero calls.

Flop Kh9s8d

Checks to BUT-3, who bets, SB folds, Hero calls.

Turn 6c

Hero checks, BUT-3 bets, Hero calls.

We are up against a pre-flop raiser, who is often going to be 2 barreling with one pair here, better than eights. (The only hand that truly crushes our draws is KK, and he wonít have that very often here.) Assuming the pre-flop raiser has one pair as he often does we have a six out draw on the flop (the trips and 2 pair outs, plus a backdoor straight draw), and a ten out draw on the turn (the gutshot straight draw as well as the trips and 2 pair outsĖ a ten is likely to be good here, as our opponent is unlikely to have QJ or a 7 in his hand).

On the flop, we are getting 7 to 1 on our call, which is sufficient with our six out draw. On the turn, we are getting 10 to 2, or 5 to 1, on our ten out draw, also sufficient.

Example 25

Hero is OTB with 8h7h

BUT-5 raises, 2 callers, Hero calls, SB 3-bets, BB calls, BUT-5 caps, everyone calls.

Flop Kd6h3c

Checks to BUT-5 who bets, 2 callers, Hero calls.

There are 24 bets in pre-flop. Add three more on the flop, and Hero is getting 27 to 1 on her call. Hero has strong backdoor flush and straight draws, which are each worth an out. Thus, Hero has at least a 2 out draw (itís actually closer to 3 outs given the strength of the draws). Hero needs 22 to 1 to call, so she calls.

This is one of those hands that, when you get there and suck out on BUT-5′s aces, makes you look like a complete donk. If BUT-5 is a bad player, prepare to take some abuse if you deliver the bad beat. But this is the power of pot oddsĖ calling this flop is a +EV play long term.

One further note about pot odds. In most instances, itís fine to just look at the immediate pot odds of a play. But occasionally, you will be in a situation where the pot is likely to be raised and re-raised behind you. This is called ďnot closing the actionĒ, and when you are faced with this situation (say because there were 4 bets pre-flop and the capper is yet to act), you need to compute your pot odds based on the number of bets you expect to put in on that street against the expected size of the pot, rather than the odds being offered at the time you are acting. In other words, if you expect everyone is going to have to put in 4 bets on the flop, you should not call 1 bet with a thin draw such as a 4 out straight draw if the odds are likely such that you will be forced to fold for three more when it comes back around.

dilanesp
07-21-2015, 07:14 PM
RAISING DRAWS FOR VALUE AND TAKING FREE CARDS

We have now discussed the basic notion of pot odds in limit hold Ďem pots. Armed with that information, players will avoid the most egregious mistakes of folding draws that are getting good odds to call (and thus giving up pot equity and EV), and calling in situations where the pot is too small (and thus donating money to the other players in the pot). Thatís really the most important aspect of playing draws, and a player who knows this information will avoid the biggest mistakes that other players make and, in most games, will have an non-reciprocal advantage against his opponents. (Remember, non-reciprocity is the central objective of exploitative poker strategyĖ you are looking to play common situations better than your opponents do, so that you win more money or lose less than they do when they are in the same situation.)

However, there are certain situations where knowing the pot odds alone will result in a good play, but not the best play. This is because having a big enough draw can justify a more aggressive play than merely calling, both because you have a good enough chance of winning the hand to justify raising and because you can sometimes decrease the total cost of playing the hand when you miss by raising and then checking the next street when you miss (which is called ďtaking a free cardĒ).

To see why raising can sometimes be better than calling, consider the following situation:

Hero is OTB with KhQh. BB is a player who slowplays all of her overpairs and 2 pair or better hands, waits to the turn with bluffs, and raises other one pair hands heads up on the flop.

Folds to Hero, who raises, SB folds, BB calls.

Flop JhTh3s

BB checks, Hero bets, BB raises.

Based on our read (which I deliberately made really specific so that I could demonstrate a point), BB has the best hand right now. She either had a pair pre-flop, or made one on this board.

If we give BB a range of 99-44,22,AJs-ATs,A3s,KJs-KTs,QTs+,J9s-J7s,T7s+,AJo-ATo,A3o,KJo-KTo,QTo+,J9o-J7o,T7o+, consistent with our read, BB, despite being ahead on the flop, has a 34 percent chance of winning the hand, according to equilator, and we have a 66 percent chance of winning it. This is because we have 21 almost totally clean outs (only the kings and the queens are a little dirty) that we can hit on the turn or the river.

Now think about this. If someone said ďI will offer you even money on a bet that you have a 66 percent chance of winning, would you take it?Ē. The answer has to be ďyes, of courseĒ! Because you will win two-thirds of the time, and you only need to win more than 50 percent of the time for an even money bet to be profitable.

So instead of just calling, we should re-raise in this situation. Indeed, if we were absolutely sure that BB could not have a stronger hand such as a set of 3′s which would nullify some of our outs (making us a 58-42 underdog), we should be willing to go all in on this flop. (In practice, we can never have that read in limit hold Ďem, because players will not continue re-raising here to get all in with just a pair of tens or jacks, unless they have a very short stack.) A no limit player, indeed, would try to get all in on this flop if it is possible. We canít generally do that in limit, but we can 3-bet the flop, figuring that the 3-bet is giving us even money on a bet that we are 66 percent likely to win.

Now, of course, we donít flop 2-way straight flush draws with two overcards that often. But we also arenít always heads-up. Multi-way, the odds that we are getting on our raises are higher, which means we donít need to have as strong a chance to win the hand to justify the raise. If we get 2 callers, we are getting 2 to 1 on our money and merely need a greater than 33 percent chance to win the hand. If we get 3 callers, we are getting 3 to 1 on our money and merely need a greater than 25 percent chance. If we get 4 callers, we are getting 4 to 1 and merely need a greater than 20 percent chance. Etc. This is known as ďgetting more than your fair shareĒ. If we can get more than our fair share while keeping everyone in the pot, a raise becomes the best play.

Example 26

Hero is OTB with 8c7c.

3 limpers, Hero calls, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop AcTc2d

SB bets, BB calls, limpers fold, Hero raises.

Equilator says that against an ace and a ten, we have 38 percent equity here. Both opponents are likely to stay in the pot, so we only need 33 percent equity, getting 2 to 1 on our money.

Example 27

Hero is OTB with 8c7c.

3 limpers, Hero calls, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop As9c6d

SB bets, BB calls, limpers fold, Hero raises.

Equilator says our 2 way straight draw and backdoor flush draw give us 37 percent equity against an ace and a nine. Once again, getting 2 to 1 on our money, we can raise for value here.

Now, the obvious problem here is that we arenít going to have Equilator up and running while we are playing. But thereís a shortcut that gets us to the right answer as to when to raise with our draws.

Recall our discussion of outs and odds. We have 47 cards remaining in the deck. If we have a flush draw, we have 9 generally clean outs. If we miss our draw on the turn, we will have 46 cards left to draw from and will still have 9 generally clean outs. Thus, our approximate odds of hitting our flush draw are 9/47 + 9/46. That converts to 0.191 + 0.196, which comes out to 0.387, or 38.7 percent. This calculation isnít perfect, as our outs arenít always perfectly clean. But itís close enough to be useful. We can do this same calculation for different numbers of outs:

15 outs: 64.5 percent

12 outs: 51.6 percent

10 outs: 43.0 percent

9 outs: 38.7 percent

8 outs: 34.4 percent

7 outs: 30.1 percent

6 outs: 25.8 percent

5 outs: 21.5 percent

4 outs: 17.2 percent

Now, recall our earlier discussion about our fair share of equity. This is our fair share of equity based on the number of opponents who stay in the pot:

1 opponent: 50 percent

2 opponents: 33 percent

3 opponents: 25 percent

4 opponents: 20 percent

5 opponents: 17 percent

It should now be obvious when you can raise for value with a draw. If you are likely to end up heads up after your raise (because you only have a single opponent or are the first player to act after a raise), you can raise for value with 12 outs or more. If you are likely to end up 3 ways (because the bet or raise has already gotten one caller), you can do it with 8 outs or more. If you are likely to end up 4 ways, you can do it with 6 outs or more, 5 ways, with 5 outs or more, and 6 ways, with 4 outs or more.

Having said that, you have to be a little careful. Again, sometimes raises get 3-bet, and sometimes opponents fold. Thus, even though in theory you could raise your gutshot straight draw (4 outs) after a bet and 4 callers, in reality, you need the original bettor to not 3-bet AND none of the callers to either 3-bet or fold for that play to work as a value bet.

Further, just because you are getting value does not mean it is the best play. In multi-way pots, itís not really a great idea to get your draw heads up, even if it is huge, if you have little fold equity and you are driving people out of the pot who could pay you off. Thus, I will often not raise a 12 or 15 out draw against a single bettor if I think I can make more money by calling and getting some more people into the pot.

And finally, sometimes people have really strong hands that take away some of your outs. For instance, when someone has a set, your flush draw is weakened because cards that pair the board not only are no longer outs but create reverse implied odds, as you will then have to pay off the player with the full house if you hit those cards and make your flush. Flush and straight draws are devalued somewhat on paired boards for much the same reasons.

Thus, you have to take these issues into account and demand more callers when raising for value in a situation where some of your outs may be dead.

Example 28

OTB-5 limps, OTB-4, a tight player whose raise on a paired flop means trips or better, calls, CO calls, Hero calls OTB with 8c7c, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop TcTh3c

SB bets, folds to OTB-4, who raises, CO calls, Hero calls.

Yes, we have a flush draw. But OTB-4 has a ten in her hand (and hopefully does not have pocket 3′s). Thus, our draw is weaker than it would be if the board were not paired. If I knew I was going to get three callers, this is still a raise, but our raise could fold out SB and leave us up against OTB-4, who might very well cap the flop and leave us heads up against a monster.

On the other hand, raising for value can be a particularly good play when we have a big multi-way pot, a strong draw, and an opportunity to force our opponents to call additional bets.

Example 29

OTB-5 limps, OTB-4 calls, CO calls, Hero calls OTB with Ad2d, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop Td7d3h

Checks to CO, who bets, Hero calls, SB raises, BB, OTB-5, OTB-4, and CO call, Hero 3-bets.

This is perfect. We have a very strong drawĖ a nut flush draw, a backdoor straight draw, and an overcard. We donít raise the COís bet the first time around, because we donít want to drive people out of the pot and end up heads up against CO, who will often have some sort of pair here. But once SBís check-raise is called by 4 people, nobodyís folding on the flop. We can 3-bet and get an extra one or sometimes 2 bets out of 5 players with a hand that is likely to have between 10 and 13 outs and plenty of equity.

Note as well that in 29, it will be perfectly obvious to the other players that we will have a draw. That doesnít matter. Deceiving a player in a situation like that might net us one additional big bet if we make our hand. However, playing straightforwardly will get 5 to 10 small bets, or 2.5 to 5 big bets, into the pot for us to win if we hit. Plus, since the pot is big, people will have to call us anyway even if they know we hit our flush. In big, multi-way pots, deceiving players may make you feel smart, but it costs you money. Just bet for value.

dilanesp
07-21-2015, 07:15 PM
VALUING AND DEVALUING YOUR OUTS

So far, weíve been pretty precise. You have 6 outs to improve, you are getting only 5 to 1, fold. But while the basic math involved in playing draws is straightforward to learn, the actual calculations presented by poker hands are complicated by the fact that not all outs are equal.

On one end of the spectrum are outs that get you to the nuts and which other players cannot draw out on. For instance, if you have 8h7h and your opponent has Ad2d, and the board is AsTh9h, your 15 straight and flush outs are rock solid. If you hit any one of those cards, you will have your opponent drawing dead.

On the other end of the spectrum are outs that are basically never good, or are only good if your opponents are completely crazy. Suppose you have Ah5h on a Th6h6c flop, against three players, who raise, re-raise, and cap the flop and then raise, re-raise, and cap a 2s turn. In that situation, someone has got to have a full house unless all three of them are completely brain-dead. You have 9 theoretical outs to a flush and 3 theoretical outs to top pair, but they are in fact basically worthless.

Most outs fall somewhere in between those extremes. Your opponents will have ranges of hands, based on their betting, and your outs will be clean against some parts of their ranges and compromised against other parts.

Before determining exactly how to value compromised, or ďdirtyĒ, outs, letís first explore some of the reasons why outs can be compromised:

1. Your draw is to a second-best hand. This is the case in the nut flush draw against three players on a paired board example I just discussed. In that situation it is dramaticĖ we are drawing to hands that will never be good. That also happens sometimes when you have a weak flush draw and the number of callers indicates that someone is likely to have a better flush draw. But it also happens in more mundane circumstances. For instance, consider the following:

Example 30

Hero is OTB with AdKc

BUT-5 raises, 3 callers, Hero 3-bets, blinds and everyone else calls.

Flop Jh9d7s

SB donks, BB raises, folds to one of the cold-callers, who 3-bets, folds to Hero.

We are getting 9 to 1 on this call, and we have 2 overcards to the board (and thus 6 outs to top pair), plus a weak backdoor straight draw if it runs out with a queen and a ten. However, how often is our ace or king going to give us the best hand? We have 3 players who were not pre-flop aggressors who have bet-raise-re-raised right into the teeth of the players who represented a big hand pre-flop. The board is connected, and there are no flush draws out there. Itís extremely easy to envision any of our opponents having hands like T8, 99, 77, J9, J7, or 97. Further, itís also possible that someone has AJ, KJ, A9, or QT. Against any of those hands, either our ace, our king, or both will give us a second best hand which we will then have to pay off bets with on the turn and the river.

Now is it possible that our outs are good? Sure. Perhaps we are up against Q9, QJ, and 86. Or maybe someone is just making a really dumb bluff or trying to buy some equity with a weaker ace. But these are extremely weak outs. Certainly if we apply a major discount to them, saying that, perhaps, they are only really worth 10 or 20 percent of a clean out, thereís no way we can call with what is effectively a one or two outer getting only 9 to 1. (Also, we are not closing the action and will often have to call another bet after the first three, reducing our odds further.)

2. Players have ďblockersĒ to your outs. Blockers are cards that, when they are in your opponentsí hands, reduce your chances of hitting your hands. Obviously, often, you will have little idea what your opponents hold and in that instance, you shouldnít really discount your outs on account of blockers. But other times, you will have some idea.

Example 31

Hero is in BUT-6 with KhQh

Hero raises, BUT-2 3-bets, CO 4-bets, OTB folds, the SB calls the cap, the BB folds, and Hero and BUT-2 call.

Flop 8c4d3s

The flop checks through.

Turn 3h

SB bets.

Now, there are 19 small bets in the pot and we are getting 9 1/2 to 1 on our call here. But we are really unlikely to have 6 clean outs. CO capped pre-flop and checked the flop. This means that hands like AK and AQ show up a lot. Further, BUT-2 could also have a king or queen in her hand, or even two of them! Our outs are clearly worth somethingĖ weíre only drawing dead if someone has AA or KK or if AK and AQ or AK and QQ are both out there, or if someone has a 3 (unlikely)Ė but we donít have anywhere near six clean outs here. There are too many potential blockers out there.

3. Other players may have the same draw. Sometimes, your problem isnít that your outs wonít make you the best hand, but that they are outs to a chop. Some obvious examples of this are situations such as having an ace high on a paired board, where double pairing of the board will cause a chop with any other ace high. Another example is where you have a straight draw that is shared with other players.

Example 32

Hero is OTB with 9c7c

2 limpers, Hero calls, SB calls, BB checks

Flop Tc9h8d

SB bets, BB calls, 2 limpers call, Hero calls

Turn Ad

SB bets, BB folds, 2 limpers call.

We have a pair and a straight draw here. But we are up against 3 opponents, including two people who limped pre-flop and called a draw-heavy flop and turn. Thereís a significant likelihood that one of our opponents is calling with a 7 in her hand. The straight draw is still worth something, but it isnít worth a full eight outs. (Note our 2 pair outs are compromised here as well, as a 7 will give anyone with a jack or a 6 in their hand a straight. And if the river is a diamond, thereís also the possibility of a backdoor flush.)

4. How to devalue outs.

The concept of the value of outs is easy. But the extent to which you should devalue them is difficult. To be mathematically precise, you need to give each of your opponents an exact range and determine how often your outs are good. This can be done on equilatorĖ the way I do it is to use the percentage it gives me on the turn, and to divide it in half if it is on the flop, because I want to know whether I am getting odds to call to the turn. The reciprocal of the decimalized percentage equity, minus 1, is the odds necessary to call. In other words, if I plug a flop scenario in and equilator gives me 50 percent equity, I divide that by two, and get 25 percent. Decimalizing that as 0.25, I take its reciprocal, 1/0.25, or 4, and then subtract one and get 3. I need 3 to 1 to call.

For those who like mathematical formulas, here it is:

Odds to call on flop = ( 1 / (%EQ /2) ) Ė 1

Odds to call on turn = ( 1 / %EQ) Ė 1

Where %EQ is the percentage given by equilator.

Obviously, though, equilator is a session review tool. During your gameplay you are going to have to make the best estimates you can, and plug the hands into equilator later to see if you were right.

The second most accurate way to devalue outs is to ďcount combinationsĒ, which is also very hard to do at game speed. Essentially, to count combinations, you figure out exactly what hands were in an opponentís range pre-flop and then narrow that range further based on what the opponent does post-flop. Then you count the number of hands in your opponentís range which conflict with your outs in various ways as a percentage of the total range. Thus, you may conclude that your opponent has 40 total possible hands and 10 of them render your outs dead (25 percent of your opponentís range), with another 10 of them rendering your outs dead 50 percent of the time (12.5 percent of your opponentís range when you hit your hand). Thus, you should devalue your outs 37.5 percent. If you have the math chops to quickly make these calculations, be my guest. I canít do it at game speed!

What I do instead is simply attempt to intuit the strength of outs based on my opponentís range. That seems very fuzzy and mystical, but it really isnít. Here are some examples:

Example 33:

Hero is in the CO with 9s8s. SB and BUT are both very passive and cautious about putting in raises on big streets.

2 limpers, Hero limps, BUT overlimps, SB calls, BB checks.

Flop JcThTc

SB leads out, folds to Hero who calls, BUT raises, SB 3-bets, Hero and BUT call.

Turn 2d

SB bets, Hero calls, BUT raises, SB 3-bets, Hero folds.

This is an example of outs you should treat as completely dead. You have two opponents who are unlikely to be repeatedly raising without a full house. Further, even if we arenít facing a full house, QT and T7 are possibilities too and if one of our opponents has one of those hands, our outs are compromised. Finally, thereís 2 to a flush out there and our straight draw is the bottom end; thus even if one of our opponents is going absolutely crazy with a flush draw or a hand like AcKc, we could have compromised outs and reverse implied odds. This is an easy fold.

Example 34:

Hero is in the CO with KQ.

1 limper, decent player raises BUT-3, Hero 3-bets, folds to BB who calls, limper and BUT-3 call.

Flop J73 no flush draw.

Checks to BUT-3, who bets.

In this situation, our outs are not dead. But they are compromised. First of all, BUT-3 could be donking JJ or 77, in which case we are drawing dead to a runner-runner straight. Second, BUT-3 could have KJ or QJ, or perhaps decided not to cap and to donk AA, KK, or QQ. On the other hand, she could have AJ or JT. And maybe she has an underpair like TT, 99, or 88 and thinks nobody has a jack.

Give her that range, and thereís a lot of hands that compromise our outs. First, thereís a few combinations of sets, and second, thereís a number of combinations of overpairs, KJ, and QJ. In contrast, thereís a number of combinations of AJ and JT plus the underpairs to the jack. Put it all together and it looks like about half and half, doesnít it? We donít have to be exact, and giving ourselves 3 outs here seems reasonable.

Example 35:

Hero is in the CO with 8h7h

3 limpers, Hero calls, BUT and SB call, BB checks.

Flop 9c6c2d

Checks to BUT-3, who bets, Hero calls, BUT raises, SB, a decent player, calls, folds to BUT-3, who calls, Hero 3-bets, BUT calls, SB caps, all call.

In this situation, SB called after being faced with BUTís range but then capped our 3-bet. This sure looks like a flush draw, doesnít it? Give ourselves 6 outs rather than eight; the Tc and 5c look like they arenít clean.

Example 36:

Hero is in the CO with 8h7h

3 limpers, Hero calls, BUT and SB call, BB checks.

Flop KsTh9d

SB bets, BB and all the limpers call.

It obviously isnít 100 percent that someone has a queen here, but the number of combinations that would call this flop and which have a queen in them is astronomical. In a heads-up pot, you would not assume that a bettor had a queen in his handĖ he could have all sorts of things. But in this situation, you have to assume the jack is not a good out. Give us 4 outs.

Example 37:

Hero is in the CO with 6d4d

3 limpers, Hero calls, BUT and SB call, BB checks.

Flop 876 no diamonds

SB bets, BB and all the limpers call.

In this situation, as Ed Harris asks in ďApollo 13″, itís better to start by asking what do we have on the spacecraft thatís good. Itís reasonable to assume that the two sixes in the deck are pretty clean outs. Unless someone has a 6, set, or a straight in their hand, weíre OK.

On the other hand, the rest of our outs are very problematic. A 4 gives us 2 pair, but gives anyone with a 5 in their hand a straight. A 5 gives us a straight, but gives anyone with a 9 in their hand a bigger straight. 5′s are going to show up sometimes in our opponentsí handsĖ 9′s are going to show up a lot, both because limpers often have mid-sized cards and because anyone with a 9 is at least calling this flop.

Additionally, the 5 is also going to sometimes result in a chop, because someone else might have a 4 in his hand (or have a flopped straight with 54).

The straight and 2 pair outs arenít completely valuelessĖ people are also going to be calling this flop with all sorts of one pair hands like A7 and K8, as well as overcards, especially with gutshot or backdoor draws like JT and QJ. If all the 4′s and 5′s were good, it would be a total of 7 additional outs (four 5′s and three 4′s). I think itís reasonable to count then as either 1 or 2 outs. Giving ourselves 1 out for the other draws and 2 outs for the 6′s, for a total of 3 outs, seems fine here.

Example 38:

Hero is in BUT-3 with KhQh. CO and BUT are somewhat nitty.

Folds to Hero, who raises, CO 3-bets, BUT caps, SB folds, BB calls, Hero and CO call.

Flop 7s3d2h

We were obviously stuck calling pre-flop in the 4-way pot, but CO and BUT, as nits, arenít going to have very wide 3-betting ranges, which means their ranges are going to be weighted towards hands that compromise our outs, including AA, KK, QQ, AK, AQ, and KQ. Every now and then maybe we end up against JJ and TT, but really, how often?

We have a backdoor flush draw, which is worth an out. Again, cutting our 6 overcard outs down to 1 or 2 sounds reasonable. Iíd give ourselves 2 outs; certainly no more than 3.

DeltaLover
07-21-2015, 08:45 PM
Wow!! This is a pretty long lecture that gives us very little chance to discuss what you are saying here... I think you are touching some good points that might be interesting for a newbie, but the format you have chosen is such that it discourages interaction with your postings... I would try to present a topic at a time and get some thoughts from other posters before going on...

proximity
07-21-2015, 11:58 PM
Wow!! This is a pretty long lecture that gives us very little chance to discuss what you are saying here... I think you are touching some good points that might be interesting for a newbie, but the format you have chosen is such that it discourages interaction with your postings... I would try to present a topic at a time and get some thoughts from other posters before going on...

although i don't necessarily think his stuff is marketable (too short for a book and too long for an article) his writing is both practical and organized and i like it. maybe too sometimes he does come off as lecturing but i think he's shown great ability to discuss hands both here and on "that other site."

personally, idk what kind of future i have in limit hold em. right now i'm getting a lot of benefits from the casino for playing long games of it but, while i'm not a world class player like dilane, i also take some pride out of beating the game straight up and lately i'm struggling to find wins. eventually i imagine i'll get a couple big wins against the bad players i routinely face and then move back to nl? who knows?

charm city whizz
07-22-2015, 12:20 AM
I see 20/40 posts and I'm interested just need cliff notes here as Im getting lost with the game theory talk

Emabarrising to say but until I was at the airport this morning I had no idea what the cutoff meant and hijack position---100 percent fact

To thaskalos

I visited my father last week and while there went to a Greek club where the action was fast and furious, tons of kuncan and backgammon

But this night was basically 15/30 board games.....had 1300 on me and felt short had to swallow my pride and ask house if he could loan me 500 which wasn't a problem

Playing 2 rows of Omaha high 6 way action preflop all game

Then we played 25/50 "windows" where its 5 card draw and you can use 2 cards out of 4 diagonally, 4 betting rounds, prob least amount of action game

Then it was 15/30 8 card stud, you get 3 down 1 up to start game unlike 7 stud where u get 2 down 1 up

There were more games just hard to describe "the pyramid"

After I was done playing booked a decent win the Greeks starting playing 30/60 "7 and up" it's board games with all the 2s-6s taken out of deck....****in awesome games

Thaskalos can you provide some stories on some of your Greek club gambling?

dilanesp
07-22-2015, 01:16 AM
Wow!! This is a pretty long lecture that gives us very little chance to discuss what you are saying here... I think you are touching some good points that might be interesting for a newbie, but the format you have chosen is such that it discourages interaction with your postings... I would try to present a topic at a time and get some thoughts from other posters before going on...

Work through it. Or just ask me questions about draws.

i laid it all out, but i did it in separate posts so people can go step by step. there's a lot of content, but it should be fairly logical to work through.

the concepts are similar in no limit, by the way. the big difference is that you sometimes have more fold equity there. but when someone is likely to call you down, the same analysis applies to whether you should raise call or fold.

proximity
07-22-2015, 01:25 AM
Thaskalos can you provide some stories on some of your Greek club gambling?

in just posts we've gone from proximity misplaying sunrise draws at the horseshoe to ccw getting $500 markers and requests for t-money's private club tales. if we could somehow tie renpher stables into the thread, the circle would be complete!! :)

back on track, I seriously doubt i'm profitable with 97s from hijack -1 at horseshoe (or anywhere) and would be interested in reading dilane's starting hand report. six dollar rake, dollar bbj, and dollar dealer tip unless it's graveyard shift at live!. :)

dilanesp
07-22-2015, 03:54 AM
A hand like 97 suited can act as a loss leader- protecting your early position raising range where it otherwise consists of nothing but big aces and big pairs. And even some fish will tend to notice when you raise it and show it down, which can get you calls later.

Bear in mind as well that a raise of this hand is almost never terrible at small stakes because it basically always has its fair share of equity in a 5 way pot.

thaskalos
07-22-2015, 05:36 AM
Work through it. Or just ask me questions about draws.

i laid it all out, but i did it in separate posts so people can go step by step. there's a lot of content, but it should be fairly logical to work through.

the concepts are similar in no limit, by the way. the big difference is that you sometimes have more fold equity there. but when someone is likely to call you down, the same analysis applies to whether you should raise call or fold.
How much no-limit do you play, dilanesp?

proximity
07-22-2015, 01:03 PM
And even some fish will tend to notice when you raise it and show it down, which can get you calls later.


oh, I get those calls anyway at the horseshoe. :)

dilanesp
07-22-2015, 03:52 PM
How much no-limit do you play, dilanesp?

Not much lately, though I have in the past.

I won money playing 5/5 $500 no limit, not because I was a strategic genius but because most live players are terrible. I just didn't like the game as much as limit. Limit's more fun because you play more hands, there's less Hollywooding and jerky behavior, and there's multiple decision points and you have to tell stories with your bets rather than just shove and dare people to call.

And yes, the basic concepts of odds-to-draw and getting value are the same in limit and no limit, except fold equity is sometimes greater.

But in a situation with no fold equity, the concepts apply in the same way. Here's an example. Suppose a player with a very tight range (AA-TT, AK-AQ) raises in early position. Several people call, and you call on the button with 7 of hearts.

The flop comes QJT with two hearts, and the initial raiser makes a big bet on the flop.

In this situation, you have no fold equity against the raiser's range. No matter how much you raise, she's either calling or shoving. So you should make a pot odds calculation as to whether to call (and you can take into account the raiser's stack size as to how much the turn is going to cost you if you miss).

Or, let's say you have A2 of hearts on the button and get the same flop. Again, nobody's folding, but if there's a bet and 3 calls, you can decide to raise for value because you generally have a 12 out draw (although slightly discounted). If you are going to get 2 callers rather than 1, you can definitely raise for value.

The concepts do hold in no limit. The difference, and the reason why people jam draws more often, is fold equity.

charm city whizz
07-22-2015, 03:52 PM
in just posts we've gone from proximity misplaying sunrise draws at the horseshoe to ccw getting $500 markers and requests for t-money's private club tales. if we could somehow tie renpher stables into the thread, the circle would be complete!! :)

back on track, I seriously doubt i'm profitable with 97s from hijack -1 at horseshoe (or anywhere) and would be interested in reading dilane's starting hand report. six dollar rake, dollar bbj, and dollar dealer tip unless it's graveyard shift at live!. :)

If your not in gambling industry tipping $1 is all you should give

Dropping $8 in dealers boxes at revel for racetrack admission will grind you down!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

TexasDolly
07-22-2015, 04:32 PM
Quote:
( Once we know how to calculate outs and odds, it becomes easy to determine whether to call or fold a draw. Poker books often present a chart, but I think itís somewhat useful to understand how the calculation works, so I am going to take you through it step by step. Recall Example 11 again:

Hero is in the BB with Ac2h

3 limpers, SB calls, Hero checks.

Flop Qh9h2c

SB bets

We decided that the backdoor heart draw wasnít worth very much, and gave ourselves five outs. Letís assume this is a 20/40 game where the rake isnít an issue, and there are six bets in the pot. Are we going to call our 5 out draw getting 6 to 1?

To determine this, we have to determine the chances of hitting a 5 out draw on the turn. We know that 5 cards in the deck will give us 2 pair or trips. So we have five chances, out of how many total cards? Well, the deck has 52 cards. But some of those cards have already been exposed. There are three cards on the board which are not part of the remaining deck. We know that the turn card cannot be a queen of hearts, for instance. And we also know that the two cards in our hand are not part of the remaining deck either. The turn card canít be an ace of clubs. So thatís a total of five cards that have been removed from the deck. (Obviously, the other playersí cards are also removed from the deck. But we donít know what they are. So we have to leave the possibility that any of the cards that have not been exposed on the board or in our hand are possible turn cards.) Thus, there are 47 remaining possible cards.

We have a 5 in 47 chance of hitting our draw. Thatís 1 in 9.2, or 10 in 92.

If you have a 10 in 92 chance of winning, the 0EV odds associated with that event are 82 to 10, or 8.2 to 1. How do we know this? Well, imagine you have a 10 in 92 chance in winning a bet. You will bet $10 each time the bet is offered. And you will get 82 to 10 odds, which means you will be paid $82 plus your $10 bet, or $92, each time you win. Well, if you make that play 92 times, on average, 10 times you will win your bet. Each time you do you will receive $92, for a total of $920. And since you bet $10 each time, you will bet $920 total on the 92 plays. In other words, bet $920, get $920 back. Your expected value is zero.

Now, thatís the explanation, but whatís the formula? Simply put, where you have n/d chances of winning, the 0EV odds are (d/n) Ė n to 1. Thus, if you have a 1 in 4 chance of winning, the 0EV odds are (4/1) Ė 1 to 1, or 3 to 1. If you are getting better than 3 to 1 odds, you should make the bet. If you are getting less than 3 to 1, you should pass.

Back to our 5 out draw. The 0EV odds are 8.2 to 1. The pot is offering us 6 to 1. Thus, we should fold. If the pot were offering us 9 to 1, we would call.

Now, we obviously arenít going to go through that process every time we play a draw. My point in doing it was to give readers an idea of how it works and why the math is so important in determining whether we should fold or continue with our draws.

At game speed, we need a chart. Here it is:

1 out: 46 to 1

2 outs: 22 to 1

3 outs: 15 to 1

4 outs: 11 to 1

5 outs: 8 to 1

6 outs: 7 to 1

7 outs: 6 to 1

8 outs: 5 to 1

9 outs: 4 to 1

10 outs: 3.5 to 1

12 outs: 3 to 1

15 outs: 2 to 1

18 outs: 1.5 to 1

21 outs: 1.3 to 1)
Quote end:

HI, It seems to me that all the odds you posted are calculated as if there is only one card to come. Aren't there actually two, the turn and the river,and the actual odds for 5 outs are slightly less than 4/1 after the flop ?
Thank you,
TD

dilanesp
07-22-2015, 04:58 PM
HI, It seems to me that all the odds you posted are calculated as if there is only one card to come. Aren't there actually two, the turn and the river,and the actual odds for 5 outs are slightly less than 4/1 after the flop ?
Thank you,
TD

You are usually going to have to pay for that second card.

Here's an example.

Hero is in the CO with 9h8h.

2 callers, Hero calls, button, small blind, and big blind all call.

6 small bets in the pot.

Flop A93 rainbow with no hearts.

Small blind leads out, gets one caller before Hero, Hero should call getting 8 to 1 on the flop with 5 outs. Everyone else folds.

Turn 6

Small blind bets again, 1 fold. Now Hero is getting 5 1/2 to 1 with the same five outs. As long as it's probable that SB has an ace, we should fold.

We could not give ourselves 5 outs twice on the flop because the small blind was likely to bet an ace again on the turn, forcing us to call an additional bet to play our draw to the river.

Now, there can be situations where a player is likely to check a substantial amount of time on the turn, or where a player has gone all-in. In those situations, you can calculate your odds based on the turn and the river. (The reverse is also true-- if people are likely to raise behind you, you need to factor that into your calculation of whether to call the first bet.)

TexasDolly
07-23-2015, 07:45 AM
You are usually going to have to pay for that second card.

Here's an example.

Hero is in the CO with 9h8h.

2 callers, Hero calls, button, small blind, and big blind all call.

6 small bets in the pot.

Flop A93 rainbow with no hearts.

Small blind leads out, gets one caller before Hero, Hero should call getting 8 to 1 on the flop with 5 outs. Everyone else folds.

Turn 6

Small blind bets again, 1 fold. Now Hero is getting 5 1/2 to 1 with the same five outs. As long as it's probable that SB has an ace, we should fold.

We could not give ourselves 5 outs twice on the flop because the small blind was likely to bet an ace again on the turn, forcing us to call an additional bet to play our draw to the river.

Now, there can be situations where a player is likely to check a substantial amount of time on the turn, or where a player has gone all-in. In those situations, you can calculate your odds based on the turn and the river. (The reverse is also true-- if people are likely to raise behind you, you need to factor that into your calculation of whether to call the first bet.)

There are numerous examples I suppose available to illustrate the various situations.The odds of 8/1 probably represent the
largest number and the 4/1 probably represent the lowest number.
A calculator/simulator is needed to determine the best approximation to the actual odds of that holding against 4 random hands. I will try to find one online or perhaps you have access to one which will do the math. I will guess it is considerably better than 8 to 1. I am referring to the holding of Ac2h with 5 outs after the flop.
Thank you,
TD

proximity
07-23-2015, 01:38 PM
Dropping $8 in dealers boxes at revel for racetrack admission will grind you down!!!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

wiffleball whizz, slowboat, and the revel. them was the good ol' days. :)

dilanesp
07-23-2015, 04:07 PM
There are numerous examples I suppose available to illustrate the various situations.The odds of 8/1 probably represent the
largest number and the 4/1 probably represent the lowest number.
A calculator/simulator is needed to determine the best approximation to the actual odds of that holding against 4 random hands. I will try to find one online or perhaps you have access to one which will do the math. I will guess it is considerably better than 8 to 1. I am referring to the holding of Ac2h with 5 outs after the flop.
Thank you,
TD

Most good players would tend to disagree with you. Most of the time, the player who bets the flop bets the turn, so your call tends to buy you one card, not two.

Sometimes they check the turn, but sometimes, someone else makes it 2 or 3 bets too. What you would need is a read that one is more likely than the other, based on your opponents' specific ranges.

One thing you can do is make slightly looser calls when you are closing the action on the flop, because there you know nobody is going to raise behind you. But not much looser- you are still going to face a turn bet most of the time.

proximity
07-23-2015, 04:53 PM
(The reverse is also true-- if people are likely to raise behind you, you need to factor that into your calculation of whether to call the first bet.)

this and also the donk betting when the pre flop raiser is before you are common situations i'll frequently face at horseshoe, sands, bally's......

TexasDolly
07-23-2015, 06:06 PM
Most good players would tend to disagree with you. Most of the time, the player who bets the flop bets the turn, so your call tends to buy you one card, not two.

Sometimes they check the turn, but sometimes, someone else makes it 2 or 3 bets too. What you would need is a read that one is more likely than the other, based on your opponents' specific ranges.

One thing you can do is make slightly looser calls when you are closing the action on the flop, because there you know nobody is going to raise behind you. But not much looser- you are still going to face a turn bet most of the time.

I don't agree that most good players would tend to disagree for a number of reasons. One card only calculations underestimate the real chances.For example, in a heads up situation you're a slight favorite(1.2/1) to win that hand before the flop and after the flop you are even a slightly larger favorite(1.4/1) to win the hand at showdown against a random hand. The one card odds are prohibitive to even consider a call let alone make it. A three handed game would also indicate a no call situation, when in fact, you are only a 1.6/1 dog instead of some 8/1 as the 5 outs indicate. Again,against random hands. I suspect that an accurate analysis of a 4 or 5 handed flop would be somewhat along the same lines.
Ranges seem too me of limited value in 20/40 limit and below.
Thank you,
TD

dilanesp
07-23-2015, 06:46 PM
I don't agree that most good players would tend to disagree for a number of reasons. One card only calculations underestimate the real chances.For example, in a heads up situation you're a slight favorite(1.2/1) to win that hand before the flop and after the flop you are even a slightly larger favorite(1.4/1) to win the hand at showdown against a random hand. The one card odds are prohibitive to even consider a call let alone make it. A three handed game would also indicate a no call situation, when in fact, you are only a 1.6/1 dog instead of some 8/1 as the 5 outs indicate. Again,against random hands. I suspect that an accurate analysis of a 4 or 5 handed flop would be somewhat along the same lines.
Ranges seem too me of limited value in 20/40 limit and below.
Thank you,
TD

You are ignoring the very first thing I said in this thread, which is that we are discussing low stakes games where several people see the flop.

I don't think strategy in a tough 25/50 game is particularly relevant to people here, but if you play in such a game where you are routinely heads up or in 3-way pots, you can take a look at the heads-up equity charts "Winning in Tough Hold 'Em Games" as your starting point for what to do. Or, if you are really mathematically inclined, construct your own heads-up ranges based on the game theory optimality concepts discussed in "The Mathematics of Poker" and "The Intelligent Poker Player".

But in a game with lots of 5 way pots, you should generally start from the assumption that people are betting their hands and that things like small pairs and the like are drawing hands when facing a bet. You can adjust to certain opponents; there's nothing wrong, for instance, with x/raising 66 on a J43 board to get heads up against a guy who bets his entire range when checked to on the button. But before we get to that point, we have to discuss the basics of odds and draws, because that's the standard way to play your hand in mass multi-way pots when facing a bet.

TexasDolly
07-24-2015, 09:37 AM
You are ignoring the very first thing I said in this thread, which is that we are discussing low stakes games where several people see the flop.

I don't think strategy in a tough 25/50 game is particularly relevant to people here, but if you play in such a game where you are routinely heads up or in 3-way pots, you can take a look at the heads-up equity charts "Winning in Tough Hold 'Em Games" as your starting point for what to do. Or, if you are really mathematically inclined, construct your own heads-up ranges based on the game theory optimality concepts discussed in "The Mathematics of Poker" and "The Intelligent Poker Player".

But in a game with lots of 5 way pots, you should generally start from the assumption that people are betting their hands and that things like small pairs and the like are drawing hands when facing a bet. You can adjust to certain opponents; there's nothing wrong, for instance, with x/raising 66 on a J43 board to get heads up against a guy who bets his entire range when checked to on the button. But before we get to that point, we have to discuss the basics of odds and draws, because that's the standard way to play your hand in mass multi-way pots when facing a bet.

First of all I hope this discussion won't become controversial,but I only used 20/40 because you had referenced that level in couple of examples. My comments pertain to 3/6 as well as 20/40. The word math or mathematics was used by you a dozen times or more in your earlier posts and I assumed that you would/could provide a more accurate odds calculation for the actual odds for winning at showdown. When you didn't, I posted two examples of fewer opponents in hopes of shedding some light on the problem of more opponents.

Now on to today's thoughts. In the hand under discussion, Ac2h
will win ~1/2 the time facing 4 opponents, all playing preflop to the end.
Therefore,it is hard for me think that after a flop which actually helps the BB,that, the BB would now need odds of 8/1 to continue.
Perhaps someone who can provide us with a reasonable estimate
will chime in with an answer or way in which it can be found.
Thank you,
TD

Robert Goren
07-24-2015, 10:19 AM
Pretty basic stuff. A beginner's guide and it probably won't make anyone a winner in any game except perhaps in a freshman college dorm game. This is kind of stuff that was being written about 7 card stud back in 1960s. The game of low limit and cheap buy-in no limited poker changed in the late 1990s and 2000s to more of a physiological game even at very low stakes. While this advice might have worked in the 1980s, provided there was not a more advanced player in the game, it won't work today. The low level game has moved away from odds and trying to figure what you opponent has to forcing your opponent into making the moves you want them to make. Of course really good poker players, like my dad, were doing that back in the 1950s in only slightly higher stakes games.

TexasDolly
07-24-2015, 11:51 AM
Pretty basic stuff. A beginner's guide and it probably won't make anyone a winner in any game except perhaps in a freshman college dorm game. This is kind of stuff that was being written about 7 card stud back in 1960s. The game of low limit and cheap buy-in no limited poker changed in the late 1990s and 2000s to more of a physiological game even at very low stakes. While this advice might have worked in the 1980s, provided there was not a more advanced player in the game, it won't work today. The low level game has moved away from odds and trying to figure what you opponent has to forcing your opponent into making the moves you want them to make. Of course really good poker players, like my dad, were doing that back in the 1950s in only slightly higher stakes games.

Hi,
I don't think low limit and NL can be lumped in the same analysis. There is very little "forcing power " in low limit
holdem.
The OTP is correct in stating low limit holdem is tied to the math. My concern is in establishing the proper odds for a win
at various points in the play of the hand.
Thank you,
TD

thaskalos
07-24-2015, 01:44 PM
Pretty basic stuff. A beginner's guide and it probably won't make anyone a winner in any game except perhaps in a freshman college dorm game. This is kind of stuff that was being written about 7 card stud back in 1960s. The game of low limit and cheap buy-in no limited poker changed in the late 1990s and 2000s to more of a physiological game even at very low stakes. While this advice might have worked in the 1980s, provided there was not a more advanced player in the game, it won't work today. The low level game has moved away from odds and trying to figure what you opponent has to forcing your opponent into making the moves you want them to make. Of course really good poker players, like my dad, were doing that back in the 1950s in only slightly higher stakes games.
Nonsense. In low stakes limit poker, the pot often gets so big relative to the betting units, that the hands literally play themselves. The player who thinks that he can "force low limit opponents into making particular moves", has gotten his poker training by watching Hollywood movies.

charm city whizz
07-24-2015, 02:43 PM
Nonsense. In low stakes limit poker, the pot often gets so big relative to the betting units, that the hands literally play themselves. The player who thinks that he can "force low limit opponents into making particular moves", has gotten his poker training by watching Hollywood movies.

Lolololololo lolololololo

Robert Goren
07-24-2015, 06:50 PM
Nonsense. In low stakes limit poker, the pot often gets so big relative to the betting units, that the hands literally play themselves. The player who thinks that he can "force low limit opponents into making particular moves", has gotten his poker training by watching Hollywood movies.In low limit poker, there are two theories on how to play. One theory, which is probably the most popular, is to play slightly tighter than most of the other players. You will be a small winner after most sessions and a big winner about one time in ten. There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing that way in most low limit games. The other theory is to push pot early and often with hands that will likely turn into winners if you hit like Ace high flush draws. You have to look at what you think the size of pot will be at the showdown. It is a high risk, high reward strategy. If done right, you be the big winner at least half the time, but once in a while lady luck will bit you in the butt. As with all poker, you need to preplan what you do when and look at all of the various reactions to your moves and what they mean. When something unexpected happens, after the session is over, you need to go over the various scenarios before going to bed. Then again the next day. In low limit games, your opponent's actions are extremely highly predictable, so it is ok to base your actions on what you think they will do in a later street. There are times you can force your opponent into doing what you want to, but those times are special situations. Most of the time in low limit games, your opponent will play his own hand is almost oblivious to what is happening around him. The key to winning big is learning how to exploit that weakness. Low buy-in no limit holdem is a completely different game than low limit holdem.

thaskalos
07-24-2015, 07:07 PM
In low limit poker, there are two theories on how to play. One theory, which is probably the most popular, is to play slightly tighter than most of the other players. You will be a small winner after most sessions and a big winner about one time in ten. There is absolutely nothing wrong with playing that way in most low limit games. The other theory is to push pot early and often with hands that will likely turn into winners if you hit like Ace high flush draws. You have to look at what you think the size of pot will be at the showdown. It is a high risk, high reward strategy. If done right, you be the big winner at least half the time, but once in a while lady luck will bit you in the butt. As with all poker, you need to preplan what you do when and look at all of the various reactions to your moves and what they mean. When something unexpected happens, after the session is over, you need to go over the various scenarios before going to bed. Then again the next day. In low limit games, your opponent's actions are extremely highly predictable, so it is ok to base your actions on what you think they will do in a later street. There are times you can force your opponent into doing what you want to, but those times are special situations. Most of the time in low limit games, your opponent will play his own hand is almost oblivious to what is happening around him. The key to winning big is learning how to exploit that weakness. Low buy-in no limit holdem is a completely different game than low limit holdem.
Tell the truth, detective. When was the last time you played poker?

dilanesp
07-24-2015, 07:16 PM
First of all I hope this discussion won't become controversial,but I only used 20/40 because you had referenced that level in couple of examples. My comments pertain to 3/6 as well as 20/40. The word math or mathematics was used by you a dozen times or more in your earlier posts and I assumed that you would/could provide a more accurate odds calculation for the actual odds for winning at showdown. When you didn't, I posted two examples of fewer opponents in hopes of shedding some light on the problem of more opponents.

Now on to today's thoughts. In the hand under discussion, Ac2h
will win ~1/2 the time facing 4 opponents, all playing preflop to the end.
Therefore,it is hard for me think that after a flop which actually helps the BB,that, the BB would now need odds of 8/1 to continue.
Perhaps someone who can provide us with a reasonable estimate
will chime in with an answer or way in which it can be found.
Thank you,
TD

You are making a fundamental error. Your flop call only buys you the turn, not the river or showdown. Even if you were right about your 1 in 2 odds, that would only be relevant if you could go all in on the flop. (And you aren't close to right about the 1 in 2 either - go to pokerstrategy.com and download equilab. You will see.)

dilanesp
07-24-2015, 07:20 PM
Pretty basic stuff. A beginner's guide and it probably won't make anyone a winner in any game except perhaps in a freshman college dorm game. This is kind of stuff that was being written about 7 card stud back in 1960s. The game of low limit and cheap buy-in no limited poker changed in the late 1990s and 2000s to more of a physiological game even at very low stakes. While this advice might have worked in the 1980s, provided there was not a more advanced player in the game, it won't work today. The low level game has moved away from odds and trying to figure what you opponent has to forcing your opponent into making the moves you want them to make. Of course really good poker players, like my dad, were doing that back in the 1950s in only slightly higher stakes games.

Robert :

My winrate was 1BB/100 online and 0.6BB/hour live, using basically no psychology and over 6000 live hours and 500,000 hands online, all after 2008.

Not only that, but just about every winning player i know at 20 and sbove is rigorously math based.

Meanwhile, all the fish reject math in favor of psychology. And lose.

TexasDolly
07-25-2015, 08:36 AM
You are making a fundamental error. Your flop call only buys you the turn, not the river or showdown. Even if you were right about your 1 in 2 odds, that would only be relevant if you could go all in on the flop. (And you aren't close to right about the 1 in 2 either - go to pokerstrategy.com and download equilab. You will see.)

That line in my previous post should have read "Ac2h
wins ~ 1/5 (not ~ 1/2)" sorry for the confusion.
Thank you,
TD

Robert Goren
07-25-2015, 09:05 AM
Tell the truth, detective. When was the last time you played poker?Due to failing health and the end of internet poker, it was in 2013. I made a trip to an Iowa casino to play some Omaha in May or June. I have been playing poker since high school which makes it about 50 years. I have read most decent books (if they were not to expensive. I would not spend $500 on a poker book, but might spend a hundred if I thought it had something new in it) on poker written before 2010. I made some decent money playing low buy-in no limit poker on line after 2001. I could have made more, but I had a real job managing some parking garages which took up about 60 hours a week.

Robert Goren
07-25-2015, 09:23 AM
Robert :

My winrate was 1BB/100 online and 0.6BB/hour live, using basically no psychology and over 6000 live hours and 500,000 hands online, all after 2008.

Not only that, but just about every winning player i know at 20 and sbove is rigorously math based.

Meanwhile, all the fish reject math in favor of psychology. And lose. Like I said in a later post, if you play slightly tighter than your opponents in limit poker, especially at small stakes , You win a little. That is what is called "grinding it out" . As I said there nothing wrong with doing that. Almost every decent player I know does exactly the same thing. But there is another level of play beyond it and it more profitable if you master it. If you don't, it can be quite costly. The fish's biggest mistake is thinking they can make some one fold at low limit poker. You couldn't in 1964 at 7 card stud and you can't now at holdem. The good player knows that and exploits that. Most poker is math based, but what you are describing is not really much about math, it is about arithmetic. There is a heck of more to math and poker than arithmetic even at low limit. The money the last I played a lot was not in ripping the fish( there are not enough of them anymore), It was ripping the donkeys ( no shortage of them ).

thaskalos
07-25-2015, 12:46 PM
Like I said in a later post, if you play slightly tighter than your opponents in limit poker, especially at small stakes , You win a little. That is what is called "grinding it out" . As I said there nothing wrong with doing that. Almost every decent player I know does exactly the same thing. But there is another level of play beyond it and it more profitable if you master it. If you don't, it can be quite costly. The fish's biggest mistake is thinking they can make some one fold at low limit poker. You couldn't in 1964 at 7 card stud and you can't now at holdem. The good player knows that and exploits that. Most poker is math based, but what you are describing is not really much about math, it is about arithmetic. There is a heck of more to math and poker than arithmetic even at low limit. The money the last I played a lot was not in ripping the fish( there are not enough of them anymore), It was ripping the donkeys ( no shortage of them ).
Playing "tighter" doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to beat the game. That's like saying that passing more races will beat the horses. You still have to make the right decisions. And, in limit poker, making the right decisions comes down to "arithmetic". You make a value-bet here, or save a bet there...and that amounts to your profit it the end.

I see tight players all the time. They fold hands endlessly with a smug look on their face, as if their unimaginable play is a favorite to get the money in the end. And when they lose, they blame their luck...instead of their predictable and highly exploitable playing style.

"Tighter" play won't get you the money. It will get you HEMORRHOIDS instead ...

thaskalos
07-25-2015, 01:12 PM
Playing "tighter" doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to beat the game. That's like saying that passing more races will beat the horses. You still have to make the right decisions. And, in limit poker, making the right decisions comes down to "arithmetic". You make a value-bet here, or save a bet there...and that amounts to your profit it the end.

I see tight players all the time. They fold hands endlessly with a smug look on their face, as if their unimaginable play is a favorite to get the money in the end. And when they lose, they blame their luck...instead of their predictable and highly exploitable playing style.

"Tighter" play won't get you the money. It will get you HEMORRHOIDS instead ...

I meant to say UNIMAGINATIVE there...but my tablet thinks it knows more than I do. :bang:

BlueChip@DRF
07-25-2015, 02:51 PM
I usually wait until I get suited pairs.

Red Knave
07-25-2015, 04:08 PM
I usually wait until I get suited pairs.
Your hemorrhoids must be killing you! :eek:

proximity
07-25-2015, 04:37 PM
Your hemorrhoids must be killing you! :eek:

tis but a scratch. :D

proximity
07-25-2015, 05:06 PM
excuse me. make that butt a scratch.

another long ride home last night. ;)

ttt 4 dilanesp on low limit starting hands.....

dilanesp
07-25-2015, 05:28 PM
Like I said in a later post, if you play slightly tighter than your opponents in limit poker, especially at small stakes , You win a little. That is what is called "grinding it out" . As I said there nothing wrong with doing that. Almost every decent player I know does exactly the same thing. But there is another level of play beyond it and it more profitable if you master it. If you don't, it can be quite costly. The fish's biggest mistake is thinking they can make some one fold at low limit poker. You couldn't in 1964 at 7 card stud and you can't now at holdem. The good player knows that and exploits that. Most poker is math based, but what you are describing is not really much about math, it is about arithmetic. There is a heck of more to math and poker than arithmetic even at low limit. The money the last I played a lot was not in ripping the fish( there are not enough of them anymore), It was ripping the donkeys ( no shortage of them ).

Robert, we had table ratings online and the best winrate of anyone with a large sample of hands in typical games was 2.3BB/100.

Live, the very best player in commerce 20, who i know, makes about 45 an hour, 1.125BB/hour (and he is a math genius).

So there isn't this gigantic well of profit being missed. And the reason is, you only win 3 pots or so an hour in a full ring limit game. Since most winning hands play themselves, the deep postflop strategy you are talking about simply doesn't arise often enough to really affect your winrate, especially since even a great postflop play gets you a few bets, not someone's stack.

Limit is actually very much a preflop game. You said you played no limit- with deep stacks, that can be a postflop game.

dilanesp
07-25-2015, 05:30 PM
Playing "tighter" doesn't necessarily mean that you are going to beat the game. That's like saying that passing more races will beat the horses. You still have to make the right decisions. And, in limit poker, making the right decisions comes down to "arithmetic". You make a value-bet here, or save a bet there...and that amounts to your profit it the end.

I see tight players all the time. They fold hands endlessly with a smug look on their face, as if their unimaginable play is a favorite to get the money in the end. And when they lose, they blame their luck...instead of their predictable and highly exploitable playing style.

"Tighter" play won't get you the money. It will get you HEMORRHOIDS instead ...

Actually, thas, playing preflop correctly ( which isn't ALWAYS that "tight", though it can be) is the single biggest determinant in one's winrate in limit.

thaskalos
07-25-2015, 06:04 PM
Actually, thas, playing preflop correctly ( which isn't ALWAYS that "tight", though it can be) is the single biggest determinant in one's winrate in limit.
Dilanesp...as long as I live, I will disagree with your assertion that "limit poker is very much a pre-flop game".

thaskalos
07-25-2015, 06:33 PM
If limit holdem was indeed a pre-flop game...then memorizing one of those nice and neat hand requirement charts that come with every single poker book in existence would be all that would be needed in order to turn a profit. And if we wanted a BIGGER profit...then we would just "tighten up" our starting hand requirements a little bit. Alas...winning requires a lot more than just that...especially when the player climbs up the ladder a little bit. The crucial mistakes are made POST-FLOP. Even those with strict opening hand requirements often make crucial mistakes post-flop.

There are a lot of limit games where it's downright NECESSARY to play looser pre-flop...assuming, of course, that you are a competent POST-FLOP player. There are no hard-and-fast rules...in poker, or anywhere else. As usual, the right answer often is: "It depends".

dilanesp
07-25-2015, 06:36 PM
Dilanesp...as long as I live, I will disagree with your assertion that "limit poker is very much a pre-flop game".

Well, not only does everyone i know who is good have impeccable preflop strategies, and all the experts on 2p2 say that if a hand is screwed up preflop, that's a bigger leak than anything postflop.

But I think there's a really simple way to see this, thas, and that's to think about why deep stack no limit is a postflop game.

Suppose you are a postflop expert in deep stack no limit. You can then get away with truly questionable preflop plays, because you are going to get people's stacks when you outplay postflop. We call this trading mistakes. Giving up a few big blinds preflop to win 100 big blinds postflop.

But in limit you can't do this. Outplay your opponents postflop and you win... a few big blinds. Not 100. And you don't get to do this THAT often.

Meanwhile, though, every bad call or raise or fold preflop is methodically costing you money.

If you put me at a table with 8 guys who massively screw up preflop but think they can outplay me postflop, i will clean them out long term. In contrast, put me at a table with 8 TAGfish that you describe, and I will barely beat the rake.

Cliff's: in a game where postflop betting is limited, preflop is going to be at least 80 percent of the game.

dilanesp
07-25-2015, 06:39 PM
If limit holdem was indeed a pre-flop game...then memorizing one of those nice and neat hand requirement charts that come with every single poker book in existence would be all that would be needed in order to turn a profit. And if we wanted a BIGGER profit...then we would just "tighten up" our starting hand requirements a little bit. Alas...winning requires a lot more than just that...especially when the player climbs up the ladder a little bit. The crucial mistakes are made POST-FLOP. Even those with strict opening hand requirements often make crucial mistakes post-flop.

There are a lot of limit games where it's downright NECESSARY to play looser pre-flop...assuming, of course, that you are a competent POST-FLOP player. There are no hard-and-fast rules...in poker, or anywhere else. As usual, the right answer often is: "It depends".

Thas, you are leaving out a crucial step. You don't have to memorize the chart. You have to adhere to it.

The reason 96 percent of poker players don't win is the same as in any other form of gambling- lack of discipline.

thaskalos
07-25-2015, 06:42 PM
Well, not only does everyone i know who is good have impeccable preflop strategies, and all the experts on 2p2 say that if a hand is screwed up preflop, that's a bigger leak than anything postflop.

But I think there's a really simple way to see this, thas, and that's to think about why deep stack no limit is a postflop game.

Suppose you are a postflop expert in deep stack no limit. You can then get away with truly questionable preflop plays, because you are going to get people's stacks when you outplay postflop. We call this trading mistakes. Giving up a few big blinds preflop to win 100 big blinds postflop.

But in limit you can't do this. Outplay your opponents postflop and you win... a few big blinds. Not 100. And you don't get to do this THAT often.

Meanwhile, though, every bad call or raise or fold preflop is methodically costing you money.

If you put me at a table with 8 guys who massively screw up preflop but think they can outplay me postflop, i will clean them out long term. In contrast, put me at a table with 8 TAGfish that you describe, and I will barely beat the rake.

Cliff's: in a game where postflop betting is limited, preflop is going to be at least 80 percent of the game.

90% of the mistakes that people make pre-flop can hardly be called "screw ups".

There is no point talking specifics here...because none of us can prove who we really are as players. If we could both sit in the same game...then it would be another matter. That's the great limitation with online chatting. We can all pretend to be whatever we WANT to be.

thaskalos
07-25-2015, 06:45 PM
Thas, you are leaving out a crucial step. You don't have to memorize the chart. You have to adhere to it.

The reason 96 percent of poker players don't win is the same as in any other form of gambling- lack of discipline.

I think you are dead wrong. The pre-flop game is only the beginning. The hand is defined by the FLOP...and the most crucial mistakes are made once the flop is known.

proximity
07-25-2015, 07:02 PM
Thas, you are leaving out a crucial step. You don't have to memorize the chart. You have to adhere to it.

The reason 96 percent of poker players don't win is the same as in any other form of gambling- lack of discipline.

this.

martians land on the roof of the casino about as often as you encounter another player who follows any decent starting hand chart at 2/4-4/8. it's not like blackjack.

thaskalos
07-25-2015, 08:38 PM
The reason 96 percent of poker players don't win is the same as in any other form of gambling- lack of discipline.

This is a major misconception, IMO. Every single losing gambler, who is walking around with empty pockets talking to himself, has convinced himself that he is broke because he "lacks discipline". "If only I were disciplined, then I would be a winner"...he keeps telling himself. The truth is that winning takes more than discipline. First you have to have the right plan...and THEN the discipline to carry it through comes into play. Until the gambler has reached the necessary level of skill to beat the game, this "lack of discipline" is just a convenient excuse.

proximity
07-25-2015, 09:05 PM
90% of the mistakes that people make pre-flop can hardly be called "screw ups".

There is no point talking specifics here...because none of us can prove who we really are as players. If we could both sit in the same game...then it would be another matter. That's the great limitation with online chatting. We can all pretend to be whatever we WANT to be.

(1) at 3/6 your typical player is almost constantly (every few minutes) playing hands that will return 0.9-1.0 long term. these mistakes add up very quickly.

(2) i understand what you're saying and i think one of the great things about paceadvantage is that a lot of us have met irl. idk dilane, but if he is who i think he is on 2+2 then i'm sure there are threads/posts where's he's met up with other top level california limit players irl and they do seem to acknowledge that he's a good player.

the game posts i wrote are all true and last night a paceadvantage moderator even watched me play (with hole card exposure) for about 30 min.

thaskalos
07-25-2015, 09:24 PM
(1) at 3/6 your typical player is almost constantly (every few minutes) playing hands that will return 0.9-1.0 long term. these mistakes add up very quickly.

(2) i understand what you're saying and i think one of the great things about paceadvantage is that a lot of us have met irl. idk dilane, but if he is who i think he is on 2+2 then i'm sure there are threads/posts where's he's met up with other top level california limit players irl and they do seem to acknowledge that he's a good player.

the game posts i wrote are all true and last night a paceadvantage moderator even watched me play (with hole card exposure) for about 30 min.

Proximity...there is more to limit poker than just selecting a starting hand. Just because we are following expert preflop recommendations does not mean that we will beat the game. And when we face better opponents, our game will become transparent...and we won't get paid on our good hands.

The tight hand-selection requirements presented in books are not written in stone. Adjustments must be made to account for the idiosyncrasies of the particular game that we find ourselves in, if we are to maximize our profits. How can anyone say that the PREFLOP portion of the game is of the utmost importance...when all our expensive decisions are AFTER the flop?

Dilanesp keeps on talking about players making atrocious mistakes preflop. How about all those atrocious mistakes that we see POST-FLOP? Do we forget about those? The preflop aspect of the game can be learned in one afternoon, for heaven's sake. IT'S THE EASIEST PART OF THE GAME! That's ALL that separates players from beating this game? Sticking to a hand requirement chart? Come on...

newtothegame
07-25-2015, 09:39 PM
Guys, great thread so far.....
Please do not allow disagreements to derail the thread. There is a lot of great info being shared here. Along with the info, IMHO there is never only ONE right way to play. If that were the case, everyone would be identical players and "luck" would be the only deciding factor.

Keep up the great concepts and thread......

Enjoying it greatly!

proximity
07-25-2015, 09:51 PM
Proximity...there is more to limit poker than just selecting a starting hand. Just because we are following expert preflop recommendations does not mean that we will beat the game. And when we face better opponents, our game will become transparent...and we won't get paid on our good hands.


again you will almost NEVER face more than one other player at 3/6 who does anything close to following expert pre flop recommendations. and because of that, doing so yourself will at least take you to victory's doorstep although you're certainly right that it won't necessarily push you over the edge.

you're also right that when you face better opponents you have to shift gears and actually play some poker.

i do agree with what he's saying though about many hands playing themselves post flop in limit. your typical bad player can at least sometimes make a fold there though whereas before the flop they almost never fold and frequently call 2 and 3 bets plus cold with weak holdings.

another thing post flop at 3/6 is that pots will frequently get so large that a bad player's natural tendency to call down will actually be correct.... again, hand playing itself.

proximity
07-25-2015, 10:02 PM
Guys, great thread so far.....
Please do not allow disagreements to derail the thread. There is a lot of great info being shared here. Along with the info, IMHO there is never only ONE right way to play. If that were the case, everyone would be identical players and "luck" would be the only deciding factor.

Keep up the great concepts and thread......

Enjoying it greatly!

thaskalos says IT'S THE EASIEST PART OF THE GAME! and i do not disagree with that.

what i do disagree with though is that most low limit players in casinos are applying this easy to acquire knowledge.

they're not and it isn't even close.

thaskalos
07-25-2015, 10:06 PM
Nonsense. In low stakes limit poker, the pot often gets so big relative to the betting units, that the hands literally play themselves. The player who thinks that he can "force low limit opponents into making particular moves", has gotten his poker training by watching Hollywood movies.

HERE...I told Robert Goren that the hands often play themselves too. But I was talking about the LATTER rounds...when the pot contains many bets. IMO...the most crucial decision in limit holdem is made ON THE FLOP. The FLOP defines the hand...and THAT'S where people make the costlier mistake of overvaluing their hand. Choosing a starting hand is a crucial decision too, of course...but the validity of this decision depends on many things. What appears to the outsider to be a loose starting hand strategy is often the correct strategy for the circumstances presented in that particular game.

Yes...many people enter the pot with an inferior holding, and this is a costly mistake. But many players also STAY in the pot longer than they should...and this mistake is costlier.

dilanesp
07-25-2015, 11:22 PM
HERE...I told Robert Goren that the hands often play themselves too. But I was talking about the LATTER rounds...when the pot contains many bets. IMO...the most crucial decision in limit holdem is made ON THE FLOP. The FLOP defines the hand...and THAT'S where people make the costlier mistake of overvaluing their hand. Choosing a starting hand is a crucial decision too, of course...but the validity of this decision depends on many things. What appears to the outsider to be a loose starting hand strategy is often the correct strategy for the circumstances presented in that particular game.

Yes...many people enter the pot with an inferior holding, and this is a costly mistake. But many players also STAY in the pot longer than they should...and this mistake is costlier.

In a low stakes game, most flops play themselves too. Bet strong hands and draws, call hands that have the pot odds to call, and fold the rest.

And if you are seeing the flop more than about 30 percent of the time, you have already made a donation that you can't recover with good flop play.

Heads up, playing the flop is a complex skill. But in low stakes games, it's not that difficult and many losing players play the flop mostly correct.

thaskalos
07-25-2015, 11:37 PM
In a low stakes game, most flops play themselves too. Bet strong hands and draws, call hands that have the pot odds to call, and fold the rest.

And if you are seeing the flop more than about 30 percent of the time, you have already made a donation that you can't recover with good flop play.

Heads up, playing the flop is a complex skill. But in low stakes games, it's not that difficult and many losing players play the flop mostly correct.

What is a "bad preflop mistake" to you?

I am sitting in the usually passive 3/6 game that I see spread at my local casino...where there is seldom a preflop raise, and 5-6 players usually see the flop. I am UTG, and I get dealt 9,10 suited. I violate Sklansky's hand-selection rules, and enter the pot instead of folding. Did I just commit a "bad mistake"?

dilanesp
07-26-2015, 12:17 AM
What is a "bad preflop mistake" to you?

I am sitting in the usually passive 3/6 game that I see spread at my local casino...where there is seldom a preflop raise, and 5-6 players usually see the flop. I am UTG, and I get dealt 9,10 suited. I violate Sklansky's hand-selection rules, and enter the pot instead of folding. Did I just commit a "bad mistake"?

No. I would raise, but a call is fine :)

EDIT: a bad preflop mistake would be a raise and a call, and you have J8 offsuit in the hijack and call. And most of the players I play against do stuff like that all the time.

dilanesp
07-26-2015, 12:42 AM
More super-common bad mistakes:

1. Defending any 2 cards from the BB, or completing any 2 from the SB.
2. Not 3-betting AK or AQ against typical opponents.
3. Cold calling a raise and a 3-bet with anything.
4. Limping first in, unless game conditions permit it.
5. Playing easily dominated hands like A6 and K8 out of position.
6. Treating small suited connectors like 43 the same as bigger ones like T9.
7. Playing small pocket pairs in pots that don't create sufficient odds for set mining
8. Playing "their rush" and calling or raising any two cards because they have been winning.
9. Overdefending kills, especially out of position.
10. Limping hands like broadways that do better when they are raised.
11. Playing any two suited.
12. Calling raises with offsuit weak aces and offsuit connectors and gappers.

thaskalos
07-26-2015, 01:06 AM
No. I would raise, but a call is fine :)

EDIT: a bad preflop mistake would be a raise and a call, and you have J8 offsuit in the hijack and call. And most of the players I play against do stuff like that all the time.

At what stakes do you see stuff like that all the time?

dilanesp
07-26-2015, 01:23 AM
At what stakes do you see stuff like that all the time?

25/50 at Hustler. Seriously.

EDIT: and 20/40 at Commerce or HG, and 8/16 everywhere.

DRIVEWAY
07-26-2015, 01:57 AM
Do you play for a fixed amount of time, a fixed amount of hands, a fixed amount of profit/loss or until tired?

dilanesp
07-26-2015, 02:23 AM
Do you play for a fixed amount of time, a fixed amount of hands, a fixed amount of profit/loss or until tired?

Fixed amount of time.

ReplayRandall
07-26-2015, 02:59 PM
Fixed amount of time.

So if the game is just gushing with easy money, you're still going to adhere to a fixed amount of time?.....Sounds counter-intuitive to a winning player's most profitable and positive game expectation situation.

TexasDolly
07-26-2015, 04:07 PM
Single card to come odds seems to me to only sort of apply(not totally correct because of implied odds) on the river. The simple one card calculations after the flop imply that you are way better off with a lot of outs as opposed to the improvement you had on the flop. When do you evaluate your hand in terms of it actually winning the pot ?
What if you flop the nuts and have no outs ? Or,some moderate improvement which lessens your outs ? Do those improvements actually
put you in a position not to call ?
Thank you,
TD

charm city whizz
07-26-2015, 05:56 PM
J-8 from the hijack is great play :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

This hand is now know as the "PA" hand

ReplayRandall
07-26-2015, 06:15 PM
J-8 from the hijack is great play :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

This hand is now know as the "PA" hand

A-A is the "PA" hand......J-8 from any position is the "CC whizz" hand... :lol: :lol:

dilanesp
07-26-2015, 06:43 PM
So if the game is just gushing with easy money, you're still going to adhere to a fixed amount of time?.....Sounds counter-intuitive to a winning player's most profitable and positive game expectation situation.

Most humans are terrible at discipline and will tell themselves that any game is good when they are stuck.

dilanesp
07-26-2015, 06:45 PM
Single card to come odds seems to me to only sort of apply(not totally correct because of implied odds) on the river. The simple one card calculations after the flop imply that you are way better off with a lot of outs as opposed to the improvement you had on the flop. When do you evaluate your hand in terms of it actually winning the pot ?
What if you flop the nuts and have no outs ? Or,some moderate improvement which lessens your outs ? Do those improvements actually
put you in a position not to call ?
Thank you,
TD

There are also reverse implied odds, because in limit you usually have to pay people off. Implied odds matter in limit, but only to a point.

ReplayRandall
07-26-2015, 06:46 PM
Most humans are terrible at discipline and will tell themselves that any game is good when they are stuck.

I'll have to agree with you when it comes to discipline......

dilanesp
07-28-2015, 05:06 PM
A bit of pre-flop strategy.

A player makes a blind raise or straddle under the gun, and it folds around to us in the hijack (2 off the button). What's the worst hand you would 3-bet in this situation, assuming that the 4 players acting after you will show at least some respect for the 3-bet?

(I recently 3-bet A6 suited in this situation. The worst hand I would 3-bet is probably JT suited.)

DeltaLover
07-28-2015, 05:47 PM
A bit of pre-flop strategy.

A player makes a blind raise or straddle under the gun, and it folds around to us in the hijack (2 off the button). What's the worst hand you would 3-bet in this situation, assuming that the 4 players acting after you will show at least some respect for the 3-bet?

(I recently 3-bet A6 suited in this situation. The worst hand I would 3-bet is probably JT suited.)

We need more info.

How deep are the effective stacks?

How many players there are in the game (in total not only those who remain to act)?

What is our table image?

Given a NL game, what is the size of your 3 bet?

dilanesp
07-28-2015, 06:14 PM
We need more info.

How deep are the effective stacks?

How many players there are in the game (in total not only those who remain to act)?

What is our table image?

Given a NL game, what is the size of your 3 bet?

This is limit, not no limit. Read the title of the thread.

I'll talk about "table image" separately. It's worth a post.

Robert Goren
07-28-2015, 06:36 PM
A bit of pre-flop strategy.

A player makes a blind raise or straddle under the gun, and it folds around to us in the hijack (2 off the button). What's the worst hand you would 3-bet in this situation, assuming that the 4 players acting after you will show at least some respect for the 3-bet?

(I recently 3-bet A6 suited in this situation. The worst hand I would 3-bet is probably JT suited.)I'd 3 bet all suited Aces (I have a real love affair with suited Aces) and QJ suited connecters and KJ suited and AQ unsuited and QQ. I am assuming at least 2 callers. I am hoping to avoid another raise. If I don't 3bet here, I think it is likely that if I just call, it will be a 3 bet from somebody behind me. A 3bet is almost automatic from the Big Blind with 4 or more callers with almost any sort of decent hand and the opener will 4bet. Now I would have to call 2 bets without a clue on whether two other callers will call or not. I want to take the uncertainty out what will happen the second time around. The trick here is to be really careful with what hands you only call with the first time around. Unless everybody behind me has shown that they hate 3betting, it is pretty much either 3bet or fold. Calling with a middle pair or middle SCs here is the height of folly. Even calling with JJ probably has a negative EV from the hijack. To the truth, I am not even fond of QQ here although I almost always play them.
The hijack is not a place to get too frisky. This for small limit holdem like 3-6, 5-10 at the highest. I do not know much about higher stakes limit in any game except 7 card stud. I was raised on pot limit(and much prefer it) and learned to play no limit holdem only latter in life.

DeltaLover
07-28-2015, 06:52 PM
This is limit, not no limit. Read the title of the thread.

I'll talk about "table image" separately. It's worth a post.


OK, sorry I have missed that..

Still, we need to know all the other information I have mentioned, in order to analyse the position and justify the min raising hand.

For example, the more players there are in the table, the less the cost of the blinds it is and the more creative we can become. Also, the proper answer, does not have to be a specific range of hands but rather a probability. For example it might be something like:

100% 3bet with AA
60% 3bet with JTs

Obviously the exact percentages are indicative and not necessary correct. The point I want to make is, that we should not always follow exactly the same raising strategy but we need to vary it, using game theory to always keep our opponents guessing.

Estimated the raising range, becomes very hairy after we consider later streets and more importantly bluffing spots that might completely change our starting ranges.

The most central piece of a successful poker strategy, lies in the optimal bluffing frequency and opponent classification, meaning that we constantly try to categorize our opponents, understanding their ranges while we also try to bluff in such a way to invalidate their calling / folding decisions...

proximity
07-28-2015, 07:02 PM
Even calling with JJ probably has a negative EV from the hijack..

there's no way.

dilanesp
10-18-2015, 11:35 PM
OK, let's do some more.

Let's talk about ranges. Ranges are the fundamental basis of your reads at a poker table. Poker is NOT about "putting your opponents on a hand". You rarely have enough information to know exactly what hand they have. And honestly, we are too biased to do this right anyway. If we want to call, because the pot is big or we have been losing or we will want to gamble, we will put the player on whatever hand supports our decision. I've seen plenty of people call down, get shown a strong hand, and then say "I thought you might have ace king", like there was any chance that the player would have ace king in that situation.

Instead, we put players on a range of hands. This isn't perfect. Sometimes, for instance, some hands are more or less likely to show up in a player's range. For instance, we are playing limit and raise from early position, and a relatively typical tight aggressive decent player 3-bets us. We can be pretty confident that KK is in that range; 77 or 88 or KJ suited are hands we would be less confident about.

But still, the basis of all good reads is a decent range. Once you have a range, you can make mathematically correct decisions based on that range. For instance, let's say you raise pocket jacks from the cut-off and get called by the big blind, who check raises you on an 873 flop with two hearts. The turn is the two of clubs, and you raise and she calls. Then, the river comes a 3 of hearts and she check-raises you. If we assume that she would have 3-bet the turn with a set or 2 pair, and she's unikely to turn a hand like A8 into a bluff, whether you call depends entirely on the pot size (you are getting 11 to 1 on your call and need to be good 1 out of 12 times) and what range of hands she can have. If she basically has no bluffs in her range at all, you can fold to the raise. But if she would bluff here with 2 way straight draws that did not get there, such as T9, 96, and 65, and those combinations are more than 8 percent of her range. On the other hand, if the river card were the 6 of hearts, it would be more difficult, as T9, the most likely straight draw for her to hold, got there.

So ranges are really, really important. Combined with mathematics, they can tell you almost everything you need to know about when to call, when to raise, when to bluff. Many winning players, indeed, don't bother to look for (overrated) physical tells at all-- they just think about players' ranges, every hand, and how they can be exploited.

How do you form a range? Here are some tips:

1. Have generic ranges for typical players at your level. You won't know some person who just sits down at your game. So you have to start with some assumptions. You should be able to estimate what typical players do at the games you typically play at. What do they raise, call, and re-raise pre-flop? Are they positionally aware? What do they raise the flop with? What do they wait for the turn with? You can use those when you don't have better information.

2. Observe clues that can give you information about a player's ranges. The moment an unknown player sits down, start trying to assess things. Is he or she drunk or sober? Was the buy-in large or a short stack? Do other players know him or her or is the player a total stranger? You can develop different generic ranges based on these things. Oftentimes, I know a player is going to be a maniac, or a nit, before I even see them play a hand.

3. Watch every hand, even when you fold. Start with pre-flop. Whenever a hand goes to showdown, relate it to the pre-flop action. Did someone limp aces from early position? You need to notice this, every time. (You can then take aces out of the player's pre-flop raising range from that position.) Did the player play a hand that wasn't appropriate for that position? That's important-- it usually means the player isn't positionally aware. (Non-positionally aware opponents may have weak hands in early position raising ranges, and may not have enough blind steals in late position raising ranges.) In a no limit game, is someone raising from the big blind all the time, trying to steal pots? That's a huge piece of information if you have a big hand and that player is in the big blind. How often is a player raising and calling.

Be careful about making the quickest conclusions. Sometimes someone raises a stupid hand for sentimental reasons-- Doyle Brunson famously plays T2, for instance. And sometimes someone can just be catching cards-- 4 raises in a row might not mean THAT much if they were all big pocket pairs or ace king. But form a profile in your mind of what the player is raising and calling with in different positions. Then when you are faced with a decision, you have a range of hands to work with.

Same thing post-flop. Look for free card plays and free showdown raises, where someone raises and checks the next street. Look for stop and go plays where a player calls one street and donks or check-raises the next. Look for floaters, and players who will always bet if they are acting last and checked to. (Those players are wonderful when you have a made hand.) Look for players who fastplay their draws and slowplay their monsters. (That combination is an absolute gift for any observant player.)

4. Put players on ranges when they are in hands with other players. Now start testing your ranges. Watch your opponents each time they are in a pot with another player. Put them on a range. Modify that range based on what you see post-flop. And then watch them show down.

5. Use range information wisely, and with full understanding of sample size. This is one I really see trip people up in limit. Someone plays a couple of hands against another player, and then makes some definitive read and makes a big hero fold on the river. Doesn't work that way. You shouldn't conclude someone never bluffs from seeing 10 hands where they don't bluff. You shouldn't conclude someone never raises pre-flop just because they limped aces, or that they are a maniac just because they raised 5 hands in a row but never saw showdown.

But you should be developing and testing your ranges as you watch your opponents play poker. Eventually, you will be able to say, with confidence, that some moves are always or never a bluff.

In no limit, you should also, of course, watch bet sizing. One big thing to remember is that while you are supposed to size your bets in relation to the pot, many don't. It's useful to watch who does and who doesn't. A $50 bet into a $85 pot for a player who knows about bet sizing may be a standard bet-- for someone who doesn't, they may be telegraphing what they have by the absolute amount-- $50 when they want a call, $100 when they don't.

6. Watch how ranges change as people are doing well or poorly. Players may go all in pre-flop with weaker ranges, for instance. They just want to gamble their last chips. If they are running good they might either get more aggressive and confident and try to push people around, or they might try to lock up a win and nit up.

Especially watch people on tilt. Are they calling too much, raising too much, folding too much. Adjust their ranges accordingly.

thaskalos
10-19-2015, 01:37 AM
OK, let's do some more.

Let's talk about ranges. Ranges are the fundamental basis of your reads at a poker table. Poker is NOT about "putting your opponents on a hand". You rarely have enough information to know exactly what hand they have. And honestly, we are too biased to do this right anyway. If we want to call, because the pot is big or we have been losing or we will want to gamble, we will put the player on whatever hand supports our decision. I've seen plenty of people call down, get shown a strong hand, and then say "I thought you might have ace king", like there was any chance that the player would have ace king in that situation.

Instead, we put players on a range of hands. This isn't perfect. Sometimes, for instance, some hands are more or less likely to show up in a player's range. For instance, we are playing limit and raise from early position, and a relatively typical tight aggressive decent player 3-bets us. We can be pretty confident that KK is in that range; 77 or 88 or KJ suited are hands we would be less confident about.

But still, the basis of all good reads is a decent range. Once you have a range, you can make mathematically correct decisions based on that range. For instance, let's say you raise pocket jacks from the cut-off and get called by the big blind, who check raises you on an 873 flop with two hearts. The turn is the two of clubs, and you raise and she calls. Then, the river comes a 3 of hearts and she check-raises you. If we assume that she would have 3-bet the turn with a set or 2 pair, and she's unikely to turn a hand like A8 into a bluff, whether you call depends entirely on the pot size (you are getting 11 to 1 on your call and need to be good 1 out of 12 times) and what range of hands she can have. If she basically has no bluffs in her range at all, you can fold to the raise. But if she would bluff here with 2 way straight draws that did not get there, such as T9, 96, and 65, and those combinations are more than 8 percent of her range. On the other hand, if the river card were the 6 of hearts, it would be more difficult, as T9, the most likely straight draw for her to hold, got there.

So ranges are really, really important. Combined with mathematics, they can tell you almost everything you need to know about when to call, when to raise, when to bluff. Many winning players, indeed, don't bother to look for (overrated) physical tells at all-- they just think about players' ranges, every hand, and how they can be exploited.

How do you form a range? Here are some tips:

1. Have generic ranges for typical players at your level. You won't know some person who just sits down at your game. So you have to start with some assumptions. You should be able to estimate what typical players do at the games you typically play at. What do they raise, call, and re-raise pre-flop? Are they positionally aware? What do they raise the flop with? What do they wait for the turn with? You can use those when you don't have better information.

2. Observe clues that can give you information about a player's ranges. The moment an unknown player sits down, start trying to assess things. Is he or she drunk or sober? Was the buy-in large or a short stack? Do other players know him or her or is the player a total stranger? You can develop different generic ranges based on these things. Oftentimes, I know a player is going to be a maniac, or a nit, before I even see them play a hand.

3. Watch every hand, even when you fold. Start with pre-flop. Whenever a hand goes to showdown, relate it to the pre-flop action. Did someone limp aces from early position? You need to notice this, every time. (You can then take aces out of the player's pre-flop raising range from that position.) Did the player play a hand that wasn't appropriate for that position? That's important-- it usually means the player isn't positionally aware. (Non-positionally aware opponents may have weak hands in early position raising ranges, and may not have enough blind steals in late position raising ranges.) In a no limit game, is someone raising from the big blind all the time, trying to steal pots? That's a huge piece of information if you have a big hand and that player is in the big blind. How often is a player raising and calling.

Be careful about making the quickest conclusions. Sometimes someone raises a stupid hand for sentimental reasons-- Doyle Brunson famously plays T2, for instance. And sometimes someone can just be catching cards-- 4 raises in a row might not mean THAT much if they were all big pocket pairs or ace king. But form a profile in your mind of what the player is raising and calling with in different positions. Then when you are faced with a decision, you have a range of hands to work with.

Same thing post-flop. Look for free card plays and free showdown raises, where someone raises and checks the next street. Look for stop and go plays where a player calls one street and donks or check-raises the next. Look for floaters, and players who will always bet if they are acting last and checked to. (Those players are wonderful when you have a made hand.) Look for players who fastplay their draws and slowplay their monsters. (That combination is an absolute gift for any observant player.)

4. Put players on ranges when they are in hands with other players. Now start testing your ranges. Watch your opponents each time they are in a pot with another player. Put them on a range. Modify that range based on what you see post-flop. And then watch them show down.

5. Use range information wisely, and with full understanding of sample size. This is one I really see trip people up in limit. Someone plays a couple of hands against another player, and then makes some definitive read and makes a big hero fold on the river. Doesn't work that way. You shouldn't conclude someone never bluffs from seeing 10 hands where they don't bluff. You shouldn't conclude someone never raises pre-flop just because they limped aces, or that they are a maniac just because they raised 5 hands in a row but never saw showdown.

But you should be developing and testing your ranges as you watch your opponents play poker. Eventually, you will be able to say, with confidence, that some moves are always or never a bluff.

In no limit, you should also, of course, watch bet sizing. One big thing to remember is that while you are supposed to size your bets in relation to the pot, many don't. It's useful to watch who does and who doesn't. A $50 bet into a $85 pot for a player who knows about bet sizing may be a standard bet-- for someone who doesn't, they may be telegraphing what they have by the absolute amount-- $50 when they want a call, $100 when they don't.

6. Watch how ranges change as people are doing well or poorly. Players may go all in pre-flop with weaker ranges, for instance. They just want to gamble their last chips. If they are running good they might either get more aggressive and confident and try to push people around, or they might try to lock up a win and nit up.

Especially watch people on tilt. Are they calling too much, raising too much, folding too much. Adjust their ranges accordingly.

Are you actually this "aware" YOURSELF when you play? Please don't consider this a sarcastic remark; I appreciate all the time that you've obviously spent constructing these posts...and I enjoy "talking poker" myself. It's just that I know of many players who TALK "logically", as you are doing here...but their actual game hardly resembles the logical approach that they advocate to others. It seems that many of us KNOW what to do...but we have a hard time actually DOING it. How many times does our opponent call our river bet, and then, when we show him the nuts...he throws his hand in the muck while declaring: "I KNEW IT!". He "KNEW it"...but this "knowledge" didn't do him any good.

Do you find that playing your "A" game is easy for you...or does this get to be a struggle, especially when things are getting ugly at the table?

proximity
10-19-2015, 04:12 AM
one very simple mistake i see pretty much every time i play in these games is players losing bets by not getting a raise in on the turn while there's still "hope" for the donkeys to make a hand.... or what they think is a hand.

instead a lot of times players like to get "tricky" and wait until the river to raise. i think psychologically there's a certain "high" or feeling of "power" that comes with this play. but in these games it just loses bets that would be called on the turn but folded on the river.

nothing earth shattering here, but nonetheless something i consistently see at the bottom level of live casino poker.

thaskalos
10-19-2015, 04:42 AM
one very simple mistake i see pretty much every time i play in these games is players losing bets by not getting a raise in on the turn while there's still "hope" for the donkeys to make a hand.... or what they think is a hand.

instead a lot of times players like to get "tricky" and wait until the river to raise. i think psychologically there's a certain "high" or feeling of "power" that comes with this play. but in these games it just loses bets that would be called on the turn but folded on the river.

nothing earth shattering here, but nonetheless something i consistently see at the bottom level of live casino poker.

The exact same mistake is made in no-limit games...of all sizes. Because of the high-risk nature of no-limit...many players are reluctant to commit a great amount of their chips on the turn...because they are afraid that someone will outdraw them on the river. So...they wait to see the river card...and make their largest bet when they know that the "coast is clear". Of course, by that time, there is very little chance that the large river wager will get called, because, as you've said...the "hope of improvement" is gone.

Many players forget that the point of making the big bet when we are way ahead in the hand, is to get CALLED. When the opponent FOLDS...then we've lost MONEY.

Another mistake that no-limit players make is over-betting the pot on the river when they have the best hand. I don't know if they get caught up in the excitement of winning a decent-sized pot, or if they hope to make a killing on just that one hand...but I sometimes see players going "all-in" on the river...when it appears rather obvious that the opponent would call a more modest bet...like, about half the pot. Again...the point when betting with a powerful hand...is to get called.

dilanesp
10-19-2015, 04:42 PM
Are you actually this "aware" YOURSELF when you play? Please don't consider this a sarcastic remark; I appreciate all the time that you've obviously spent constructing these posts...and I enjoy "talking poker" myself. It's just that I know of many players who TALK "logically", as you are doing here...but their actual game hardly resembles the logical approach that they advocate to others. It seems that many of us KNOW what to do...but we have a hard time actually DOING it. How many times does our opponent call our river bet, and then, when we show him the nuts...he throws his hand in the muck while declaring: "I KNEW IT!". He "KNEW it"...but this "knowledge" didn't do him any good.

Do you find that playing your "A" game is easy for you...or does this get to be a struggle, especially when things are getting ugly at the table?

Yes.

Seriously. It's not that I'm 100 percent that I never miss something while ordering food service or whatever.

But the basic indicator is this-- when someone asks me what happened in a hand (another player who missed the action, the floor when there's a dispute, etc.), I usually know the exact action of every player and am able to describe it.

It's really not that hard. It's just about paying attention and knowing what you are looking for.

dilanesp
10-19-2015, 04:45 PM
one very simple mistake i see pretty much every time i play in these games is players losing bets by not getting a raise in on the turn while there's still "hope" for the donkeys to make a hand.... or what they think is a hand.

instead a lot of times players like to get "tricky" and wait until the river to raise. i think psychologically there's a certain "high" or feeling of "power" that comes with this play. but in these games it just loses bets that would be called on the turn but folded on the river.

nothing earth shattering here, but nonetheless something i consistently see at the bottom level of live casino poker.

The broader category here is "fancy play syndrome".

We gamble for many reasons, but one is ego gratification. We want to feel smarter than our opponents. Slowplay appeals to that.

Playing your hand like any 6 year old could play it lacks the ego gratification that comes from deception, but much of the time, especially multiway, it's perfectly correct to just do the obvious thing.

There's a similar thing in horse racing-- people take a lot more pride in a boxcar exotic payoff or a hit on a 20 to 1 shot than they do in identifying a 7 to 2 shot who is a mortal lock. But identifying a 7 to 2 shot who is a mortal lock and betting a ton of money on him is a very, very good play.

proximity
11-25-2015, 07:58 AM
http://forumserver.twoplustwo.com/17/small-stakes-limit/strange-request-1560049/

thought this thread from "that other site" morphed into a decent read, including some nice posts from our own members dilane and dirty moose.

the thread just kinda ended though before more discussion of limit "holy trinity" member "pre" was given, specifically dilane vs sshe.....