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Old Feb 10, 2012, 4:31pm   #1
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Default What am i doing wrong?

Wow this forum seems dead (most of the posts are in november...).

I just started playing poker recently and i lose every session and i would like to know how i can change that.

Usually theres 4 people total, and we play texas hold'em poker, no limit. But we are mainly casual players so we play for really small stakes. $20 buy in, 10 cent chips and 40 cent big blinds. Min raise 40 cents.

Even with the small stakes and playing conservatively i end up bleeding chips pretty badly halfway through the session.

Ive read the tips on pokertips, and i always fold unless i get decent hands (e.g. ace and king). I still end up bleeding chips a lot when :

-I have a good hand pre-flop, call, the flop doesn't give me anything, and someone starts raising like crazy so i fold

-I have a shit hand pre-flop but im the big/small blind and i fold the moment someone starts raising like crazy

And i fold when i have a decent hand (e.g. pair jacks) but one player is raising me like crazy. Ive been burnt way too many times trying to follow all the way to the river with a pair or double pair, only to get hit by a triple, straight, flush, or a slightly larger pair. Same thing happens everytime i try to bluff...someone ALWAYS calls my bluff.

In a 3 hour session, my hands are usually so bad that i can only raise about half a dozen times. Is this normal? I never raise unless i get good hands at the flop or post flop, this is what i should be doing right?

Player wise, besides me theres another beginner, one decent player and one very good player. The very good player usually wins a lot in the early game with triples or high pairs and uses his chips advantage to pressure the rest of us into folding. Example :

The flop is j j 7. He immediately raises $2 when the min raise is 40 cents and we are using 10 cent chips. Everyone folds, because we think he is holding at least one J.

Or the flop is 5 7 8 and he immediately raises $1.50. We fold because we think he has a straight.

He almost NEVER folds pre-flop, but he consistently wins hands. How is this possible? The poker tips say that you should be folding if you start with bad hands pre-flop...is he simply lucky? I would normally think that he bluffs a lot but...most of the time when we try to call his bluff, we just get burnt by at least a triple.

Any advice?
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Old Feb 10, 2012, 4:47pm   #2
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I have to be honest, I only read your post down to the part about how you always fold unless you get decent hands. That's a terrible strategy in a 4-handed game when the stacks are just 50 big blinds deep. Try a completely opposite approach: raise, raise, raise, raise, bet, bet, bet, bet. Steamroll them with blind aggression because if the other three are playing anywhere close to as conservatively as you are, you can clean up by employing a strategy of unbridled aggression in a 4-handed game against them. And don't do anything cute like showing your bluffs; you want them to think you just always have it for as long as they're gullible enough to do so.

So lots of raising preflop, especially from the button. Lots of putting on pressure post-flop to buy the pot since they probably missed the flop anyway. Notice when your image in their minds beings to turn to thinking you are a maniac and then you can tighten up a little bit and punish them with big value bets when you actually have a solid hand.

Nice screenname, btw.
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Old Feb 10, 2012, 5:06pm   #3
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But the tips section on the website says to fold unless you have strong hands.

Even while playing conservative i bleed chips and everytime ive tried to bluff someone always calls me bluff and beats me with at least a pair.

Player wise theres one beginner and one decent player who both tend to play conservatively (unless they have good hands, in which case they will call all the way to the river).

The last player is VERY aggressive though and usually raises like crazy. But most of the time when we try to call his bluff he has a triple or a high pair.

The other beginner player tried to play aggressively...kept raising...but the very aggressive player kept calling him to the river and winnning huge pots each time. He no longer plays aggressively because of this.
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Old Feb 10, 2012, 5:47pm   #4
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Originally Posted by Question View Post
But the tips section on the website says to fold unless you have strong hands.
This was likely intended as advice for full-ring (9-handed) games. The strategy changes drastically for 4-handed play. In poker, it's always relative. What is great advice for one game can be terrible advice for another game. Adapt, adapt, adapt (or perish).

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Originally Posted by Question View Post
Even while playing conservative i bleed chips
You can't sit waiting for a hand when you're blinding off 1% of your stack every hand on average. Have to get in there and mix it up. It's a pretty crazy set-up you guys are playing with to be honest. You could try blinds of $.20 instead of $.40 for a more "sane" game, but honestly it shouldn't matter. You can beat it in any case. Go after every pot when it folds to you on the button. If the other guys seem to hate to fold preflop, you can start raising big to like $2.50 when you have a strong hand to try to cram as much money into the pot as you can. If they'll actually fold to a minimum raise from the button then you need to be doing that every time; your cards don't really matter. In games like these, it's usually the guy with the most audacity for going after pots that comes out ahead.

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Originally Posted by Question View Post
Player wise theres one beginner and one decent player who both tend to play conservatively (unless they have good hands, in which case they will call all the way to the river).

The last player is VERY aggressive though and usually raises like crazy. But most of the time when we try to call his bluff he has a triple or a high pair.

The other beginner player tried to play aggressively...kept raising...but the very aggressive player kept calling him to the river and winnning huge pots each time. He no longer plays aggressively because of this.
It sounds like the aggressive player was running hot in that particular session but is very exploitable if he never folds. Against this player, it might be a good idea to show a bluff if you get him to fold to one and then just punish him with big value bets when you have a hand. From the way you've described him and the game in general, even top pair is good enough to bet big three times expecting to get paid off. And if he's always trying to push you off the pot, calling him down rather than raising might be a better strategy for when you flop a strong hand. In other words, let him trap himself and don't scare him off by announcing strength.
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Old Feb 10, 2012, 7:19pm   #5
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I would add to this, but Ozone pretty much said what I was thinking.

A four player game with 50 big blinds is far different than a 9 player game with 100 big blinds.

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Old Feb 10, 2012, 10:31pm   #6
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just to clarify, you are playing this as a cash game rather than a tournament? the blinds never increase, and if someone busts they can rebuy for another $20 and carry on, yeah?

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Ive read the tips on pokertips, and i always fold unless i get decent hands (e.g. ace and king). I still end up bleeding chips a lot when :
you aren't playing enough hands.

will repeat that, it's important. you aren't playing enough hands.

we haven't met, so hi, i'm killcrazy. you will find that my posts generally follow the format of "you're wrong" followed by two pages of analysis, then a one paragraph conclusion and some kind of caveat or rider at the end because so much in poker is uncertain or dependent, i think far too much and find it very hard to just give you the straight answer that you need to get you one rung up the ladder.

are you ready? the gratuitous analysis is about to start.

you recognise that you're bleeding chips, and your definition of a decent hand is pretty tight...lets say you're only playing the top 10% of hands? that means you're going to play one hand every 2.5 rounds of the table, which in turn means you're paying 3.75 big blinds for every hand you play. that's quite a lot...

the percentage of hands you play depends on three things; (i) the number of players dealt into the hand; (ii) the number of players left to act after you; and (iii) the action in front of you.

in a ten handed game, if we just dealt the cards out with no betting, then every player would win 10% of hands on average. in a vacuum, your overall VP$IP (voluntarily put $ in pot, which is the descrptor we use to mean "the number of hands you play") in a game with this many players should be around 15%.

in a six handed game, everyone would win 16.67% of hands, and your overall VP$IP should be around 20%, and in a 4 handed game everyone would win 25% of hands on average and your overall VP$IP should probably be around 28%.

just to be clear, when we say something like "you should be playing 25% of hands", we don't literally mean play every fourth hand, or even try to average one hand in four. we mean you should be playing the best 25% of all possible hands. that means there are going to be sessions where you get dealt a lot of weak hands when you're going to play fewer hands than usual, and days when you get lots of good hands and will be playing more than usual. yeah? good.

okay next comes position, which is the term we use to describe where you are in the order of action. if you are the first person to act then you are in first position (aka "under the gun" or UTG), if you are the next person to act then you are in second position, and so on...you should play much tighter in early position (if you are one of the first 1/3 of players to act) than you would in middle position, and tighter in middle position than you would in late position.

with four players, this is kinda tricky. at a 10 handed table, the guy acting UTG preflop is still acting 3rd out of ten on the flop, he's early position all the way, nice and straightforward. with four players, whoever is UTG preflop is acting 3/4 on the flop, he has to speak first preflop but is mid-late position thereafter...instinctively, as a gross oversimplification, i want to say 30-35% vpip if you're utg, 40-45% vpip if you're the button, 15% in the small blind and 25% in the big blind...but i'm not entirely happy with that and i might have a bit of a think about it.

that was the one paragraph conclusion, did you spot the caveat?

i've tried to mix it up this time by putting the conclusion in the middle; it's important to mix things up occasionally to keep your opponents guessing. now i'm going to ramble a bit about position.

if you are in late position, say we're at a table of 8 guys and you have the button, before you have to make your opening action, you get to see something from 5 of the other 7 players, they will all have to either fold, call, bet or raise and in doing so give you information about the strength of their hand. if everyone folds to you, you can play with a much wider range of hands than you could if somebody raised (meaning he has a good hand) and somebody else reraised (meaning he has a very good hand).

this also carries over to later streets. if you raise on the button and just the big blind calls, then he has to act before you do on the flop, turn and river. on every street he has to act with less information than you, and you act with more information than him. poker comes down to two things, (i) gathering as much information as you can and (ii) processing that information into the best decision you can make. if you have more information than him, you are making better informed decisions than him, and if you have equal decsion making skill, then your better informed decisions will prevail over his less well informed decisions. does that make sense? because it's rather important.

in practise, whatever you are trying to do in the hand, be it stealing a pot where everyone has missed the flop, getting value out of a strong hand, or chasing a draw, it's easier and more profitable from late position. we can talk about why with some specific examples next time because i still have most of your post to respond to.

Quote:
-I have a good hand pre-flop, call, the flop doesn't give me anything, and someone starts raising like crazy so i fold
if you miss and someone else announces they've hit, you're probably wise to get out of their way, especially if someone else is sticking around with them.

one thing though. preflop, you want to be the raiser rather than the caller wherever possible. if you're the first person to enter a pot preflop, always come in raising, never just call. if someone else raises preflop and you have a hand good enough to play with them, you probably want to be reraising him more than you are calling.

ever heard the expression "check to the raiser"? it's very popular with social players, particularly old men. well, this is what people do. someone raises preflop, there is a call or calls, the flop comes down, and if nobody has hit anything they will check to the raiser, and if he bets they'll just fold. he probably had the better hand preflop, i haven't hit anything on the flop so he still has the better hand, check to him and let him have it. there is tremendous value in being the aggressor.

Quote:
-I have a shit hand pre-flop but im the big/small blind and i fold the moment someone starts raising like crazy
playing the blinds correctly is tough because you have to balance your terrible position against the discount you are getting to continue in the hand. if the big blind is $1 and someone raises to $3, you get a 33% discount on calling his raise...including the blinds, there is $4.50 in the pot, and most guys have to pay $3 to call, that gives them odds of $1.50:1, but in your case it's only $2, so you get odds of $2.25:1. that's a pretty big bump, you're being offered a much better return on your call than the other dude was...but at the same time, your position stinks, and you and the raiser might both have another $100 to play with, which you will be playing with a positional disadvantage...

now, you say, "i have a shit hand but i'm in the blinds", okay, if nobody raises, then obviously you're going to check your big blind and take the freebie. if someone raises though, you should actually be tight from the blinds because you're out of position for the rest of the hand, and you need to be thinking about what's going to happen on the flop, turn and river. the guy who bet is likely to keep betting at you, and it's going to be much easier for him to get you to pay him off than it is for you to get value for your hands from him. this is why, if you check the %s i gave a few paragraphs ago, i have you playing tighter in the blinds than in the nonblind positions, even though you're getting a discount. yeah all well and good you get the first 3 months of your contract at 50% off, but if you're locked into a 2 year deal paying over the odds, it's a bad deal. unless you're terminally ill and likely to die soon, in which case you should get all the sports channels and the premium movie channels, and perhaps find out if they can do you a deal on a subscription to the XXX red hot barely legal channel too.

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Quote:
And i fold when i have a decent hand (e.g. pair jacks) but one player is raising me like crazy. Ive been burnt way too many times trying to follow all the way to the river with a pair or double pair, only to get hit by a triple, straight, flush, or a slightly larger pair. Same thing happens everytime i try to bluff...someone ALWAYS calls my bluff.
well, yeah. that's poker isn't it. figuring out who has the better hand...and that kinda takes experience; both the experience of generally what hands you should expect to be showing up in certain situations and how these specific players' tendancies affect that.

but even before you have that knowledge and experience, you can tilt things in your favour following the advice you'll be getting in this thread. shit like respecting position, playing the right hands from the start and trying to be the aggressor or the audience, not the milk cow.

Quote:
In a 3 hour session, my hands are usually so bad that i can only raise about half a dozen times. Is this normal? I never raise unless i get good hands at the flop or post flop, this is what i should be doing right?
in a social game 4 handed i'd expect maybe 20 hands per hour? so thats you raising 6 hands in 60...10% is too tight.

for the most part, right now, against players like these, your strategy should absolutely be skewed towards betting for value with strong hands. don't worry much about trying to make tv player hero bluffs.

Quote:
Player wise, besides me theres another beginner, one decent player and one very good player. The very good player usually wins a lot in the early game with triples or high pairs and uses his chips advantage to pressure the rest of us into folding.
okay assuming this is a cash game, he can't actually put any pressure on you with his stack. if you have $25 and he has $50000, he can only play with $25 of that $50000. any pressure there is an illusion.

if you know that he is trying to use his stack to fold people out, then the correct strategy is to (i) let him try to force you out when you have good hands, and in doing so throw money at you and (ii) occasionally, not every time but every now and again, play back at him and make him throw it away. the best kind of hands to do this with would be hands like flush draws, or overcards with straight possibilites, and the best place to do it is on the flop. even if he calls you, your fourflush will complete a flush ~35% of the time, so in the ~worst case scenario, you're going to pick the pot up more than a third of the time, but much of the time you're going to catch him at it and force him to fold. i can show you some math on this if you like.

Quote:
Or the flop is 5 7 8 and he immediately raises $1.50. We fold because we think he has a straight.
okay think of it like this. what percentage of hands is he playing preflop? lets say he's playing about 50% of hands in his spot preflop...okay now what percentage of those 50% of hands actually connect with that flop? well, pairs AA down to 55 have a set or an overpair or a straight draw, then you have anything with an 8 in it has top pair, anything with a 6 in it has a straight draw, plus T9 is overs and openended straight draw, 97 is second pair and a gutter draw probably plays that, and 75 for two pair. okay so that's about a third of his range (which is all the hands we anticipate he might have played to this point). if he is autobetting here...he only has it about a third of the time. i'd say this is a great time to play back at him with something like 86 76 65 A8 those kind of hands. again, we can do some math here if you like.

Quote:
He almost NEVER folds pre-flop, but he consistently wins hands.
wot really? wow.

Quote:
How is this possible?
well that depends, if he's winning most of these hands without getting to showdown, which appears to be the case, then it's because nobody is prepared to fight with him. the solution is to fight with him.

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Old Feb 11, 2012, 1:32pm   #7
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Thanks a lot for the help so far.

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Go after every pot when it folds to you on the button. If the other guys seem to hate to fold preflop, you can start raising big to like $2.50 when you have a strong hand to try to cram as much money into the pot as you can. If they'll actually fold to a minimum raise from the button then you need to be doing that every time; your cards don't really matter. In games like these, it's usually the guy with the most audacity for going after pots that comes out ahead.
Im not sure what this means...button means that im the dealer right? In other words, the second to act. But if i just keep raising pre-flop...im going to lose hard when someone has a good hand, gets a even better hand post flop and then robs me of 1/4th of my buy in value...or more.

Without seeing the flop its really hard to tell how the game will go...i have noticed that even if i start with a good hand like A J, i can easily lose post flop if the flop is something like 4 5 6 and someone has a straight, or even a low pair will beat my A J. That's why i don't raise pre-flop.

Quote:
It sounds like the aggressive player was running hot in that particular session but is very exploitable if he never folds. Against this player, it might be a good idea to show a bluff if you get him to fold to one and then just punish him with big value bets when you have a hand. From the way you've described him and the game in general, even top pair is good enough to bet big three times expecting to get paid off. And if he's always trying to push you off the pot, calling him down rather than raising might be a better strategy for when you flop a strong hand. In other words, let him trap himself and don't scare him off by announcing strength.
He almost never folds pre-flop. If someone raises, he will usually call, re-raise to try and force them to back down, or fold if he doesn't feel like bluffing. The problem is we can't tell when he is bluffing. He never hesistates and immediately pushes a large stack of chips to the front. We don't feel confident throwing in $2 with a $20 buy in when we are holding only a pair or nothing at all.

Quote:
if you miss and someone else announces they've hit, you're probably wise to get out of their way, especially if someone else is sticking around with them.

one thing though. preflop, you want to be the raiser rather than the caller wherever possible. if you're the first person to enter a pot preflop, always come in raising, never just call. if someone else raises preflop and you have a hand good enough to play with them, you probably want to be reraising him more than you are calling.

ever heard the expression "check to the raiser"? it's very popular with social players, particularly old men. well, this is what people do. someone raises preflop, there is a call or calls, the flop comes down, and if nobody has hit anything they will check to the raiser, and if he bets they'll just fold. he probably had the better hand preflop, i haven't hit anything on the flop so he still has the better hand, check to him and let him have it. there is tremendous value in being the aggressor.
Isn't it bad to raise pre flop? Lets say i have A J. Good starting hand, so i raise 40 cents. One folds, two calls, and i miss the flop. Someone else hits the flop with a pair or straight. I check, someone raises, i fold, i'm out 80 cents instead of 40.

This reminds me of another hand i played that went something like this :

I had a Q pre-flop. I check, and i hit the flop with a pair Q (highest on the board). One folds, two checks to me, i raise, two checks. The turn is some low card. At this point i was thinking that i have a pair Q, and the only way someone can beat me is if they have a triple or double pair, but they checked to me on the flop so they most likely have nothing. I raise again. One folds, the other checks. The river is some random low card again, i raise, he checks. When it comes to the showdown he has a pair Q and another low pair while i only have a pair Q. I lost big on this one.

What went wrong with this hand? Did i mis-read the situation?

Quote:
in a social game 4 handed i'd expect maybe 20 hands per hour? so thats you raising 6 hands in 60...10% is too tight.

for the most part, right now, against players like these, your strategy should absolutely be skewed towards betting for value with strong hands. don't worry much about trying to make tv player hero bluffs.
So what is considered a good hand and how do you make value bets?

Quote:
okay assuming this is a cash game, he can't actually put any pressure on you with his stack. if you have $25 and he has $50000, he can only play with $25 of that $50000. any pressure there is an illusion.

if you know that he is trying to use his stack to fold people out, then the correct strategy is to (i) let him try to force you out when you have good hands, and in doing so throw money at you and (ii) occasionally, not every time but every now and again, play back at him and make him throw it away. the best kind of hands to do this with would be hands like flush draws, or overcards with straight possibilites, and the best place to do it is on the flop. even if he calls you, your fourflush will complete a flush ~35% of the time, so in the ~worst case scenario, you're going to pick the pot up more than a third of the time, but much of the time you're going to catch him at it and force him to fold. i can show you some math on this if you like.
Isnt it still pressuring if one player has $10 and the other has $30? The player with $30 can raise $5. If he loses, he loses 1/6th of his money, but if the player with $10 loses, he loses half of his money.

What is a flush draw or overcards?

Quote:
okay think of it like this. what percentage of hands is he playing preflop? lets say he's playing about 50% of hands in his spot preflop...okay now what percentage of those 50% of hands actually connect with that flop? well, pairs AA down to 55 have a set or an overpair or a straight draw, then you have anything with an 8 in it has top pair, anything with a 6 in it has a straight draw, plus T9 is overs and openended straight draw, 97 is second pair and a gutter draw probably plays that, and 75 for two pair. okay so that's about a third of his range (which is all the hands we anticipate he might have played to this point). if he is autobetting here...he only has it about a third of the time. i'd say this is a great time to play back at him with something like 86 76 65 A8 those kind of hands. again, we can do some math here if you like.
He almost never folds pre-flop. In the last 3 hour session he folded only once pre-flop. One time he told us that his philosophy is to always see the flop because you never know if you get a pair, double pairs or a straight even with a bad hand pre flop.

Im a bit confused here...basically you are saying to calculate the probability that he has a straight or will hit a straight?

Quote:
well that depends, if he's winning most of these hands without getting to showdown, which appears to be the case, then it's because nobody is prepared to fight with him. the solution is to fight with him.
Okay, so at what points would it be a good idea to fight him? Since i have to consider that he could really have a very good hand.
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Old Feb 11, 2012, 7:35pm   #8
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again, this is a cash game, right? people can rebuy if they bust, and the blinds never go up? because if you are playing a tournament format, strategy changes somewhat.


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Originally Posted by Question View Post
Im not sure what this means...button means that im the dealer right?
yes.

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In other words, the second to act.
but more importantly, last to act on the flop, turn and river.

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But if i just keep raising pre-flop...im going to lose hard when someone has a good hand, gets a even better hand post flop and then robs me of 1/4th of my buy in value...or more.

Without seeing the flop its really hard to tell how the game will go...i have noticed that even if i start with a good hand like A J, i can easily lose post flop if the flop is something like 4 5 6 and someone has a straight, or even a low pair will beat my A J. That's why i don't raise pre-flop.
basically, it comes down to this. every time you and your opponent put money in the middle while you're a favourite, you gain at his expense. every time you both put money in while he's the favourite, he gains at your expense...if you have the better hand, you want to be charging people to draw against you.

you would benefit from learning some poker math. i seem to recall spewing numbers in http://www.pokertips.org/forums/showthread.php?t=79036 that thread, and possibly also here: http://www.pokertips.org/forums/showthread.php?t=79093

i and others also explained a bunch of shit in those threads that you would be well served to absorb and i see no reason to type it all out twice.

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He almost never folds pre-flop. If someone raises, he will usually call, re-raise to try and force them to back down, or fold if he doesn't feel like bluffing. The problem is we can't tell when he is bluffing. He never hesistates and immediately pushes a large stack of chips to the front. We don't feel confident throwing in $2 with a $20 buy in when we are holding only a pair or nothing at all.
okay so, this guy is absolutely fucking crushing you night after night by raising and raising and raising, and you're questioning aggression as a rewarding strategy?

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Isn't it bad to raise pre flop?
no. most of the time, it's bad to call preflop. raise or fold. if someone else has raised, then reraise or fold. lead or get out of the way, never follow.

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Lets say i have A J. Good starting hand, so i raise 40 cents.
your big blind is 40c, correct? In that case raise bigger. somewhere between $1 to $1.40 total.

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One folds, two calls, and i miss the flop. Someone else hits the flop with a pair or straight. I check, someone raises, i fold, i'm out 80 cents instead of 40.
okay, lets say its heads up. you have AJ, i have 98. about 27.5% of the time i hit the flop and you don't, about 27.5% of the time you hit and i miss, about 10% we both hit and 35% of the time we both miss (these values are very, very approximate but sufficient for our purposes)...

the way you are playing AJ, you are only ever going to win the 40c i put in preflop, and you are only going to win it 37.5% of the time (i.e. any time you hit). i on the other hand am going to win your 40c 62.5% of the time (any time you miss). your hand is a 5 to 3 favourite over mine preflop, and yet i am winning more money than you because you are not getting value out of your hand preflop, and your range is so well defined when you either bet or check the flop that i know exactly what you have; i will fold when you hit and i will steal the pot every single mother fucking time that you don't.

i would raise AJ preflop, lets say i make it $1, and if you call i'm going to bet the flop whatever it is (with very few exceptions). if you fold preflop, that's fine too, i'll just pocket the blinds and we can deal the next hand, but if we do get to the flop then i'm going to keep firing. any time you miss the flop, which is 62.5% of the time, i win the $1 you put in preflop. any time you hit and i miss (27.5% of the time), you are going to call the $1.50 i bet on the flop, and i am going to immediately peg you for a hand and shut down (unless i hit on the turn or river, but lets keep this simple). the 10% of the time we both hit, you are going to call my $1.50, and then i am going to bet $3 on either the turn or the river and you are probably going to call that too...what i'm actually going to do is more complicated than this, but this is the unembelished line i am going to follow as my default, and in this line i win $1 from you 62.5% of the time, you win $2.50 from me 27.5% of the time, and i win $5.50 from you 10% of the time.

your line: (0.375*0.40)-(0.625*0.40) = -$0.10
my line: (0.625*1)-(0.275*2.5)+(0.1*5.5) = +$0.49

yeah?

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This reminds me of another hand i played that went something like this :

I had a Q pre-flop. I check, and i hit the flop with a pair Q (highest on the board). One folds, two checks to me, i raise, two checks. The turn is some low card. At this point i was thinking that i have a pair Q, and the only way someone can beat me is if they have a triple or double pair, but they checked to me on the flop so they most likely have nothing. I raise again. One folds, the other checks. The river is some random low card again, i raise, he checks. When it comes to the showdown he has a pair Q and another low pair while i only have a pair Q. I lost big on this one.

What went wrong with this hand? Did i mis-read the situation?
a bit, but not catastrophically, mostly you just had a good hand and his was better and that's poker. there is a definite improvement, but i don't want to try to explain what it is until we've fixed the much bigger holes in your game like the preflop raising thing.

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So what is considered a good hand and how do you make value bets?
you can get hand ranking tables from all over the place. ask the web, and if you can't find one, i'll rustle one up.

value bets are simply bets made with the purpose of getting weaker hands to give you money. as opposed to bluffs which are bets made with the intention of getting stronger hands to fold.

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Isnt it still pressuring if one player has $10 and the other has $30? The player with $30 can raise $5. If he loses, he loses 1/6th of his money, but if the player with $10 loses, he loses half of his money.
nope, pressure is force per unit area.

but again, it depends on whether you are playing a tournament or a cash game. everything you have said implies cash game, in which case anyone who busts can rebuy, and everyone leaves with however much money they have in front of them at the end of the night. a tournament, where the game continues until someone has all the chips and if you bust you're out of the game is a very different situation. in a cash game, it doesn't matter how much money the big stack has on the table, he can only play for the amount of money the shorter stack has.

assuming it is a cash game, where is the pressure? it's $5 for him and it's $5 for you, $5 is exactly equal to $5. if you play the pot and win you win $5, if you play the pot and lose you lose $5. if it's the last $5 you have on the table, get your wallet out. if it's the last $5 you have in the world, why the fuck are you gambling with it?

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What is a flush draw or overcards?
a flush draw is an incomplete flush (four of a suit) with additional community cards yet to be dealt.

an overcard is a card higher than the highest community card. i.e. if the flop is J83, then A, K and Q are overcards.

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He almost never folds pre-flop. In the last 3 hour session he folded only once pre-flop. One time he told us that his philosophy is to always see the flop because you never know if you get a pair, double pairs or a straight even with a bad hand pre flop.
his philosophy is an idiot, and if he's telling you this, and encouraging you guys to loosen up rather than stay tight and let him run you over, he's an idiot too.

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Im a bit confused here...basically you are saying to calculate the probability that he has a straight or will hit a straight?
not specifically a straight, i was demonstrating that most of the time, in the situation as described, he doesn't have it.

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Okay, so at what points would it be a good idea to fight him? Since i have to consider that he could really have a very good hand.
sure he could, and sometimes you're going to run into a hand, and you're going to have to deal with that.

the examples i gave in my previous post are the spots to play back at him. spots where you have a lot of equity (percentage chance of winning at showdown if all remaining board cards are dealt) but your hand isn't made yet. so, hands like flush draws. a flopped flush draw will get there 35% of the time.

so lets say you're in position (acting after him). he makes a bet and you raise the pot (a pot bet is a bet that is the exact size of the pot, so if the pot is $1 and i bet $0.50, then your pot sized raise would be to $2.50 total, yeah?). he might fold right there and you win the pot, if he calls then whatever the turn is, he's going to check to you, you can check if you miss and see the river for free...

if his initial bet was the size of the pot, and we raise the pot, then we need him to fold almost exactly 30% of the time for this move to be profitable. note also, that this completely ignores the value bets you can make the 35% of the time your flush does complete, which is pure profit.

Kc
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Old Feb 12, 2012, 4:04pm   #9
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Originally Posted by killcrazy View Post
you would benefit from learning some poker math. i seem to recall spewing numbers in http://www.pokertips.org/forums/showthread.php?t=79036 that thread, and possibly also here: http://www.pokertips.org/forums/showthread.php?t=79093


Kc

Thanks for the links KC...well done and highly recomended
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