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Old Apr 21, 2004, 10:06pm   #1
River Rat
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Default Shorthand Strategy Help

I play in a shorthanded no limit hold'em game with a few of my friends a couple times a week. I have recently went from being the big winner each game to losing more than I'd like, and I can't put a finger on why.
  • We usually play with just 4 or 5 players.

    The buy-in is 1000 chips, with no antes and the blinds at 25 and 50 (relatively large comparitively).

    Play is typically very loose and there is usually more than 2 people in the hand to see the flop, despite the shorthanded play.

    Betting is usually not very agressive, unless there is an all-in. 50 seems to be an average bet, even on the turn and river.

With that information, I'd also like to add that these players aren't great. They definitely all know what they are doing and all have some form strategy, but I've found that fancy moves rarely work. Despite the loose play, bluffing is possible, but not recommended. I would describe my play as tight-aggressive (in comparison to the very loose game and the fact that you are in a blind 2 of every 4 or 5 hands). My goal lately has been to win one or two big pots an hour, and otherwise avoid too much trouble, but it obviously isn't working. The biggest problem I've been facing with that strategy is that by the time I get a hand worth moving all-in with, I've already cut my stack (original buy-in 1000) in half or worse.

I guess I'd just like some advice on shorthanded play against mediocre players, and this specific game taking into consideration the specifics I've given. I feel like I know more and have a better understanding of poker than any other player in this game, but for some reason I still often come out behind. Any advice is very much appreciated.
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Old Apr 21, 2004, 10:30pm   #2
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That's an extremely large antes in relation to the number of chips, it calls for more tournamnet-type strategy than ring game strategy.

It sounds like a pretty easy game to beat. Limp in with hands like JTs or small pocket pairs and then bet heavily if you hit a set.

With high pocket pairs and AK/AQ- but in a large raise and then take it down at the flop. If they call, bet the turn and river hard if you had it (check/fold if you don't.)

Put some raises in at late position occasionally with JTs and mid-pocket pairs to vary your play.
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Old Apr 21, 2004, 10:50pm   #3
River Rat
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it calls for more tournamnet-type strategy than ring game strategy.
What would you call tournament-type strategy? Your description wasn't far off my gameplan. The problem is, if I don't get lucky enough to catch one of the bigger hands you mentioned early, I've often cut my stack in half just through blinds and calling with suited connectors that don't hit. I seem to keep coming to the conclusion that it is hard to be both tight and agressive in this game, because to create a table image of making it hard for the blinds to call and always being the agressor, it seems like I'm often forced to play very mediocre hands.
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