Download 52 Tips for Texas Hold Em Poker - Barry Shulman PDF

Title52 Tips for Texas Hold Em Poker - Barry Shulman
TagsBetting In Poker Texas Hold 'Em Odds Poker Gambling Games
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Total Pages70
Table of Contents
                            Paying attention to your opponents allows you to more accurately read the strength of their hands.
You are generally receiving good odds on your hand when faced with calling half a bet in the small blind.
Call a raise from an early-position raiser only with very good hands.
When a player in late position opens the pot for a raise, you should reraise liberally from the small blind if you plan on playing.
It is a bad idea to raise very often from the big blind.
You can call more raises on the big blind than any other position, because you are halfway in.
	You can occasionally reraise from the big blind against a late position "blind thief."
		If no one has bet yet, you should bet if you think you have the best hand.
		When a player in front of you has already bet, raise if you think you have the best hand.
		When a player in front of you has bet, it's fine to call with a good draw or a medium-strength hand.
		With a bet in front of you, fold if there isn't a good chance that you hold either the best hand or best draw.
		In a two-way pot, play aggressively when the flop is A-9-3 rainbow.
		Guidelines on playing a flop of K-Q-3 rainbow.
		Guidelines on playing when you flop a pair of aces in a multiway pot.
		Guidelines on playing a multiway pot when two face cards flop.
		Guidelines on playing multiway pots when a flush or straight draw is present.
		With most of the cards out, and the bet size doubled, you frequently fold on the turn.
		Bet if you think you have the best hand.
		Usually raise when you hold the best hand and it is bet to you.
		Usually check when you have a draw to the best hand and it has been checked to you.
		Generally call (rather than raise) when you are drawing to the best hand and there has been a bet to you.
		Certain hands should typically be played aggressively on the turn.
		What is a good draw to have on the turn?
		You can avoid numerous dangerous situations on the turn in multiway pots.
		You can get away from some decent hands in a heads-up pot.
		What to do when faced with calling a bet with less than top pair is the toughest decision you'll have to make on the turn in a heads-up pot.
		No more cards are coming, so all that matters is whether you have the best hand.
		Bet the river with the best hand.
	Usually raise on the river with the best hand if another player has bet.
		Bet with a toss-up hand if you are first to act.
			Call with a toss-up hand if someone else bets.
			Playing a longshot hand on the river.
			Classifying your opponents helps you play more effectively against them.
			Paying attention while playing helps you learn to read hands better.
			Detecting and using tells can add to your profits.
			Going on tilt will destroy your bankroll.
			Practicing good game selection adds to your profits.
			When to move up.
                        
Document Text Contents
Page 2

Adopting a tight-aggressive playing style is a winning strategy in all forms of poker. You
would have a hard time finding a poker game in which this is not the case. To play a
winning game of hold’em, you should (and must) adopt this style of play.

Tight means entering fewer pots than most of your opponents. Being selective by playing
only quality starting hands is the key here. “Quality starting hands” is a relative term —
sometimes hands that are good in one situation are quite weak in another, and vice versa.
As this book progresses, you will learn to read situations and how your read influences
which hands are playable, and which are not.

Aggressive means that when you do decide to enter a pot, you play the hand for all it’s
worth. You place an emphasis on betting, raising, and check-raising. Checking and calling
just does not get the job done most of the time. There are some situations in which this is
the correct play (and the text will identify these situations for you), but they are the
exception. By the way, an aggressive approach does not mean that once you decide to play
a hand, you jam your foot on the gas pedal and don’t ease up until the pot has been played
out. Like most things in life, hold’em requires discretion, and that will come from
experience.

Tne by-product of the recent popularity of the World Poker Tour (WPT) is that a whole
new breed of poker player has been created. If you watch the show with your goal being to
learn how to be a world-class poker player, you may be in for a rude awakening when you
go to play. The problems with using the show as a learning device for live game limit

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aces he may give up if you bet, since an ace is a likely card for you to be holding.

So, it is imperative that you play these situations aggressively, particularly if your opponent
only called before the flop. If he had raised, that would show a real interest in the hand, and
you would probably have to show him the best hand to win. However, if he merely called
preflop, then it is often correct to bet if you are first, regardless of what two cards you
happen to be holding. The chances are great that he will fold. If you get called, no rule says
that you must continue your bluff on the turn.

When your opponent is first to act and he checks, you must bet with this board. Again, it is
very likely that your opponent is holding a hand like K-Q or 5-5. A-9-3 is a poor flop for
these hands, and you should bet when he checks, even if you have nothing. There is free
money in the center of the table, and you can make one small bet to lay claim to it.






This advice applies to any situation in which the flop contains two face cards and one small
card, without a flush draw.

Unlike the previous example, this flop is likely to have hit your opponent in some way,

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either by pairing him or by giving him a straight draw. As a result, you don’t need to feel
the same obligation to bet when it’s checked to you as in the A-9-3 scenario. It is still okay
to bet with a very marginal hand (A-T, for example), but you should have some outs to fall
back on.

Against one opponent, it is correct to bet with a pair of queens or better, as well as T-J
(open-end straight draw). If he is first to act and bets, call with Q-T or better. Also, raise
with K-J or better. This is not a good board in which to slow-play a big hand such as Q-Q,
since there are several straight draws present. You don’t want to give an opponent the
correct price (free) to draw with his J-9 or A-T, so make sure to bet your set here.

If there are several players in the pot, you need to increase both your betting and calling
standards. Now, it is likely that someone is holding at least a king, so hands like Q-T have
very little value when faced with calling a bet. Tend to fold this hand against several
players. You should still be raising with K-J or better, however, partly due to the hand’s
value, and partly to give it some protection.



Anytime a straight or flush draw is present on the flop and you have only one opponent,
you must be aware that a draw is a logical possible holding to be up against. If you bet and
are called or raised, you can expect your opponent to be holding a pair or better, or a draw
to a straight or flush.

In general, if you are first to act, you should bet when you hold second pair on the board or
better. Also, bet with any flush draw or an open-ended straight draw, as these hands have
nine and eight outs, respectively, to improve, in addition to the chance that your bet might
induce your opponent to fold. It is good to take an aggressive approach when heads up if
you have hit the flop decently at all, as there is value to be gained from your opponent
folding. You don’t want to give him a free opportunity to catch up.

If your opponent bets, you should call him with any pair, since it is possibly the best hand.
Also, call with a draw to a flush or an open-end straight, as you have enough outs to justify
staying in the hand for the small bet on the flop. When you hold any of these hands, you
have at least a decent shot of winning the pot, and it is important that you don’t give your
opponent too much credit by folding too often here. You are playing too weakly if you do.

There are several hands with which you should be raising here. First, if you hold a flush
draw and two overcards, you should raise. An example of this is if the flop is 3-5-9 with
two hearts and your hand is K-J of hearts. In this case, you have as many as 15 cards that

Page 69

If you have experienced success (or at least gained experience) at hold’em at one limit, you
will probably consider playing in a bigger game at some point. This is particularly true if
you have been successful, as the possibility of winning significantly more money at a
higher limit is a strong incentive to step up.

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Before you do so, however, you must make sure you are adequately bankrolled for the
move. This is not a concern if your bankroll is renewable, but if you fear going broke, you
should adhere to certain guidelines. In general, assuming you are a winning player, many
experts recommend a bankroll of approximately 300 big bets to remove the risk of going
broke.

The better you play compared to your opponents and the smaller the game, the less strict
that figure need be. In general, though, for a $2-$4 hold’em game, you should have a
bankroll between $600 and $1000 to “weather the storms.” Someone with equivalent skills
ought to have a bankroll of $12,000 for a $20-$40 game. And for a $50-$100 game,
$30,000 to $50,000. And “bankroll” here means money set aside specifically for poker. It
does not include the “rent money” or your savings.

Simply having the bankroll to move up does not mean that it is necessarily in your best
financial interest to do so. It is probably best not to increase limits until you have become a
consistent winner at your current level. One incentive you might choose to provide for
yourself is to force yourself to win at your current level the required bankroll for the next
highest limit. When you have increased your bankroll to the necessary level, you can step
up.

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