Basic Tips for a Beginner

In this blog post, I'll share with you some tips to help you, a low stakes online player looking to improve your game, so that you become a more successful player and take your game to the next level. Start with a solid preflop strategy Preflop play is the foundation of any poker hand, and it's essential to have a good understanding of it. In 6 max games, your opening range will vary depending on your position and the table dynamics. Make sure you adjust your range based on the actions of your opponents and stay aware of their playing styles. When you are first starting the game, tight and aggressive is easiest to play...though beginners often aren't aggressive enough. Pay attention to your opponents Your opponents are your biggest source of information in poker. Try to pick up on their tendencies and patterns and adjust your strategy accordingly. For example, if you notice that a player is very tight, you can take advantage of their conservative play by bluffing more freq

Feeling the bad beat

It is of course part and parcel of the game.  Having a strong hand, or maybe even the nuts on that street, and someone coming along and hitting the one card that they need to make the hand that beats you. What do you do?  Swear and curse? Vow to get your vengenace?  Shrug it off like you know you should. Make a note and hope you play them in lots more hands yet. Of course I know that there have been times when I have had no right to be in the hand, or been too aggressive, and Lady Luck has shone on me and somebody else has the bad beat. Welll yesterday in one of my microstakes hands I felt the bad beat good and proper.  Here's the details. I'm fully stacked on  table full of unknowns and I find myself with AQ spades.  UTG bets 3bb and I make it a 3 bet.  The big blind calls and the player UTG folds.  The flop comes 5, 10, 2 all spades.  I've got the nut flush in position.  Just need to make sure I make some money. What does the big blind do?  He shoves.  I sna

QQ with bad river card

So in this hand I am happy with the play preflop and flop.  The flop is pretty good I think since I will get calls from lower pairs and flush draws. Betting the turn seems a good move too when the Jd hits.  The flush draw is still there, but weaker, and no overcards.  I am still going to bet out looking for value from lower pairs and charging the draws. I am sure that if the button has hit a set he would be raising the flop and if he hasn't done that he would almost certainly be raising the turn.  He doesn't so I think that I am still good. Then the river card comes. The cooler.  There is a big question as to whether the villain has got right the way to the river with just an over card, or possibly A2, A4, A8 or AJ I suppose.  Of course he might need to bluff the river with a busted flush draw. So I check on the river and see what he does..and he shoves.  Should I call or fold? PokerStars - $0.02 NL FAST (6 max) - Holdem - 6 players Hand converted by PokerTracker 4 BT

Playing medium pair in a 4 way plot

So this hand has been bothering me a little bit. With 3 people entering the pot before me I was finding it difficult to think whether or not my 10s would be good. Being in the small blind and calling made it feel a little tricker because the big blind could have easily squeezed and pushed us all out of the pot. So, rightly or wrongly I called. BTN: 181.5 BB (VPIP: 30.77, PFR: 16.67, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 14) Hero (SB): 131 BB BB: 110.5 BB (VPIP: 0.00, PFR: 0.00, 3Bet Preflop: -, Hands: 1) UTG: 134.5 BB MP: 202.5 BB (VPIP: 14.29, PFR: 14.29, 3Bet Preflop: 20.00, Hands: 7) CO: 110 BB (VPIP: 44.44, PFR: 22.22, 3Bet Preflop: 0.00, Hands: 9) Hero posts SB 0.5 BB, BB posts BB 1 BB Pre Flop: (pot: 1.5 BB) Hero has T:club: T:spade: UTG raises to 4 BB , fold , CO calls 4 BB, BTN calls 4 BB, Hero calls 3.5 BB, fold Flop: (17 BB, 4 players) 8:heart: 3:spade: 2:spade: With this flop and so many callers it was hard to think what I could do first off so the check

Playing suited aces

Playing suited aces is always something that I have trouble thinking through. If I am in early position and playing suited aces would leave me out of position I usually fold them preflop unless AJs+.  Depending on who is at the table occasionally I have found that limping and then calling a raise has proven to be profitable but it certainly isn't a preferred play. Whenever I am with suited aces the flop isn't going to come good and I know that I am going to have to bluff with a continuation bet, but since the flop usually doesn't help my opponent I don't mind the continuation bet bluff.  I get in more trouble when an ace hits the flop because I need to decide if I am betting out or whether I am check calling or even check folding dependent on the opponent. Of course when playing suited aces leaves me in position I am a little happier since I can call, raise or take a free card when it is available to me. What I haven't yet done is pulled my stats from PokerTr

Flopping a flush against an aggressive player

When I first started playing poker online I couldn't understand what a HuD was or why I might ever want one. Over time I was persuaded and invested in PokerTracker and now find that it can help me follow a game.  Added to this of course is that the statistics are there staring me in the face if I try and convince myself that I am winning if I'm not really winning at all. This hand was a great example of why a HuD is valuable in online poker. I'd been sat at the table only a very short amount of time and this villain seemed to be super aggressive.  He'd been 3 betting a lot and defended his blinds endlessly.  I started taking a bit of interest. Over 50 hands in this session he had 3 bet 20% of them (I know that 50 hands is nothing) but my notes told me that he had 3 bet with T8s, 32s and had called with 98s all from the blinds.  He also relentlessly made a continuation bet following his 3 bet. So in an unraised pot on the button and holding T7s I wanted to see how

Poker tip #1: Big Hand Big Pot, Small Hand Small Pot

Reading and studying poker either online, reading forums, talking to friends or reading books always leads to different tips and tricks.  Deciphering which tips you are going to employ in your play takes time.  Whenever I ask a question about a hand I have played almost always the response is 'it depends' and then questions are asked about stack sizes, player behaviour, position, number of callers, number of limpers, history of the players, table image.  All of these are of course relevant questions and when developing as a poker player more and more I am able to ask myself these questions and consider how I want to play the hand.  Being able to do this consistently of course is key and still something that I want to develop in my game. Probably the one piece of advice that sticks with me however is one that I read in one of the Harrington on Holdem books.  If you haven't read any of these they should definitely be part of your library.  Harrington has books on both cash