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## About Pot Odds and Implied Odds When Playing Draws

Surprisingly I couldn’t find any posts detailing this, so I’m going to do my thing. A Common Scenario With 100bb effective stacks, EP opens for 4x preflop, there are 2 callers, and we call on the button with 9 8 . Both of the blinds call. The flop pot is...

## Tactics vs. Strategy (Part 4): Practical Use of Strategy

Practical Play After part 1, part 2 and part 3 of this series, you’ve probably seen that we’re working a lot more within the realm of what’s practical than trying to get into heavy, mathematical explanations and range analysis. This is mostly out of...

## The Mathless Approach to Poker

Every post in the spoonitnow strategy series has been leading up to this moment. While there is obviously going to be some math involved when it comes to basic things like pot odds, a lot of people are under the impression that things like balance and exploitation...

## The Basics of Thinking Ahead in Poker

Misguided Ideas There’s this idea that you should think ahead in poker, but very few people actually do it. While it’s easy to try to say that people just don’t do it because they’re lazy, the real reason is a bit more insidious than that....

## No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Strategy (Part 5): Post-Draw With Draws

In our first article of this series that will deal with post-draw play, we’re going to look at how the outs work for different types of draws. This isn’t an exceptionally difficult topic overall, but certain parts of it are anti-intuitive, so it will take...

## EV Calculations Tutorial 3: More Complicated Scenarios

If you haven’t read part 1 and part 2, then you’ll need to go ahead and do that before you jump into this week’s article because I’m going to assume that you know and completely understand the contents of those two parts. This week, we’re...

## The Principles of Performance for Poker

People who know how I approach things will be able to tell you that I focus primarily on depth instead of breadth. However, this week’s column is going to be a bit different. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been laying out a way to think about the...

## Back to Basics (Part 6): True Equity

Equity is a term that’s thrown around a lot in poker. There’s pot equity, fold equity, and all kinds of other terms that you’ll hear, and while you might have a vague idea of what they mean, they’re not often explained in a way that illustrates...

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## An Introduction to the [0, 1] Model for Ranges

One of the problems with studying poker as a whole is that different poker games have different ways of dealing the cards across multiple streets. If you want to study poker on its own, then you need to have some sort of standardized model for dealing with ranges. It...

## Finding the Motivation to Improve at Poker

This week’s topic is that of motivation, something that a lot of players have trouble with when it comes to studying to get better. Extrinsic motivation in the form of more money and a better win-rate will only carry you so far, but here we’re going to...

## NLHE Foundations #07: Putting Opponents on Flop Ranges (Part 1)

Introduction I’ve been doing the free NLHE Foundations Course here on FlopTurnRiver to give players a straight-forward path to go from the beginner levels to the intermediate levels with a mind towards being able to systematically improve over time. If you want...

## The Essential Poker Tactics for New Players

Introduction During December 2014, I ran a series of articles in this column about the study of tactics vs. strategy in poker. While that series got a lot of attention from intermediate players, it left out a lot of people who weren’t really established with a...

## An Introduction to Abstract Thought in Poker

Introduction Whether you want to call it “playing on feel” or whatever else, the fact of the matter is that practical play on a strong level is based around a higher level of abstract thought. The reason for this is simple: Poker is a very complicated...

## Developing a Feel for Equities in No-Limit Hold’em Part 1: Draws in Your Range

One of the things that I’ve seen people struggle with is getting a feel for how different ranges come together on boards to create equities. It’s one thing to be able to get a relatively good idea of what both you and your opponent’s ranges look like...

## Exploring Open-Limping Pre-flop

Introduction Open limping before the flop in no-limit hold’em cash games is almost always the sign of a loose/passive, weak player. However, this doesn’t have to be the case, and you can definitely add open limping to your game in the right circumstances...

## EV Calculations Tutorial 2: Basic Poker Scenarios

In last week’s article, we looked at the basic components of EV calculations. We made two very important points that we’re going to use this week: The EV of an event is equal to the EVs of each possible outcome added together. The EV of an individual...

## Comparing and Evaluating Different Bluffing Lines

Sometimes there are different ways to try to exploit a player who folds a lot in a certain scenario, and you’re going to have to decide which way will work out the best for you. We’re going to look at the factors that determine how much value we’re...

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## Advanced Value Betting in Simple Scenarios With Game Theory

Last week, we looked at one of the scenarios that helps to form a foundation of poker understanding. This scenario was when we are on the river, heads-up, in position with a single bet left behind. More specifically, we looked at the bluffing frequency of the player...

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## Tactics vs. Strategy (Part 1): The Study of Tactics in Poker

The Fundamental Problem If you’re looking to win in poker in today’s games with the state of the industry being what it is, then you’re going to have to be on another level when compared to the competition. The only way to do this is to seek out as...

## An Easy Guide to Exploiting Your Opponents

Over the past few weeks, we have looked at exploiting our opponents in flop situations. Our focus has been on looking at our ranges on a conceptual level, but now we’re going to look more at the process of exploitation. The goal with this week’s article is...

## Developing a Feel for Equities in No-Limit Hold’em Part 2: Equity is Not Everything

One of the things that a lot of people have a big misunderstanding about is the difference between equity and expected value. We’re going to look at a few examples in this week’s article that should help players to develop some clarity on this issue....

## Calculating Hand Combinations

List of Topics: 1. Introduction to Hand Combinations 2. How to Calculate Possible Combinations of a Pocket Pair Hand 3. How to Calculate Possible Combinations of a Non-Pocket Pair Hand 4. Brief Discussion of Blockers 5. Effect of Blockers on a Villain’s Range...

## Studying Poker With Spreadsheets (Part 4): Increasing Complications

Last week, we looked at putting together a spreadsheet for looking at a turn semi-bluffing situation (link). This week, we’re going to look at our different options after checking. This is a complicated situation, and we’ll be continuing from the...

## The Importance of Bonuses and Rakeback

This month at 100nl on PokerStars I’ve paid \$0.056/hand in rake after a sample of ~50k hands. Since I get about 750 hands/hour, this amounts to about \$42/hour. This is also 2.8 ptbb/100. To make sure the peoples of the Beginner’s Circle understand this...

## Making Our Strategies More Robust and Avoiding Auto-Pilot

In any poker game, we have a strategy, and our opponents have their own strategies. How these strategies match up determines who makes money and how much money is made. So far, this series has been looking at concepts and ideas that have the point of developing one...

## Study Poker With Spreadsheets (Part 2): Multiple Betting Options

In last week’s column, we started looking at how to make a basic spreadsheet to do repetitive EV calculations for us so that we don’t have to do them by hand over and over again. This week, we’re going to look at the homework for last week and some...

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## The Process of Learning in Poker

This is the first of a series of poker articles that I’ll be writing each week here at FlopTurnRiver. The objective of this article is to present what I think is an excellent approach to studying poker that will be central to my future articles. The Problems...

## No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Strategy (Part 3): Draw Combos

In last week’s analysis, we found that the series of numbers 1-4-10-20-35-76 were extremely important when it comes to figuring out the number of starting hand combinations for pat hands. As we’re going to see this week, it’s also useful for finding...

## ﻿The True Essence of Poker

The Fundamentals Poker players have a really bad habit of getting seduced by what appear to be fancy tactics like over-the-top bluffs, laying down big hands and making huge calls with weak hands. In an effort to emulate the professionals who they see making these big...

## Mindfulness and the Manifestation of Mental Weakness in Poker

In a post from a few weeks back, I outlined six items that I feel like cover most of the principles of performance as regards poker. In this week’s discussion, I’m going to look at the connection between points three and five on that list. We’re...

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## Studying Poker With Spreadsheets (Part 3): Semi-Bluffing Calculations

In last week’s column, we looked at how to structure our spreadsheets to stay organized and how to look at multiple EV calculations at the same time with the same data. This week, we’re going to follow these same lines of thought by answering the homework...

## Using Game Theory in SNG Tournaments (Part 2): More HU Basics

In last week’s edition, we looked at the absolute basics of how to use HU Nash equilibriums to determine proper play and exploitation against players in push/fold scenarios. I mentioned that once you get to the point that there are at least 10-12 big blinds...

## The Basic Concepts that Drive Continuation Betting

A lot of people get caught up thinking about what cards are going to come after the flop when they are considering a continuation bet. However, it’s usually more important to think about betting and position. When you’re considering making a continuation...

## A Jedi Mind Trick for Improving at Poker

Last week, I looked over some basic principles of performance for poker. The first principle I mentioned was, “It is within our power to improve.” This item is incredibly important to understand on a deep level, but the reality of the situation is that...

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## NLHE Foundations #03: Calling to Close the Action in No-Limit Hold’em

This is the third installment in the No-Limit Hold’em Foundations Course. Before you read this lesson, you should have completed lesson 1 and lesson 2, and this includes doing the exercises and posting them in the forum threads for each lesson. Also make sure to...

## How to Make Actual Adjustments While Playing

In one of the very first editions of this weekly strategy column, I discussed the importance of being able to break down situations to a basic level to look at how they work. We’ve looked at a lot of theory-heavy material since then, and as I mentioned in last...

## Fun Tricks for Mental Preparation for No-Limit Hold’em

Building on Last Week In last week’s edition of this column, we looked at the basics of thinking ahead in poker and a simple trick you can do to get a ton of effectiveness out of a very small amount of planning ahead. On the topic of planning ahead, you can plan...

## The Delicate Nature of Pot Odds and Implied Odds

Introduction Pot odds are one of the first things that players learn about in poker, and they’re usually quickly followed by a brief study of implied odds and reverse implied odds. Unfortunately, a lot of what’s considered common knowledge about these...

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## NLHE Foundations #05: Putting Opponents on Pre-Flop Ranges (Part 2)

Introduction This is the fifth part of the NLHE Foundations Series. This series is designed to give a clear set of topics to study and methods for studying that will bring players up to the intermediate levels in no-limit hold’em. People who are signed up in the...

## EV Calculations Tutorial 1: Introduction

This week’s article is the beginning of a new series about expected value calculations. A lot of people have expressed an interest in having a good set of tutorials explaining how to do more math-related things since that’s something I’m kind of...

## Simple 3-Bet Bluffing for Not-So-Advanced Players

A lot of my recent columns have been geared towards the intermediate crowd, and so this week we’re going to take a step back and look at a topic that a lot of beginner players have trouble with: 3-bet bluffing pre-flop. This is a critical part of today’s...

## Looking More Into Implied Odds

Introduction When you’re calling hoping to hit a hand, there are a lot of variables at play that aren’t always in your favor. We’re going to look at some of those variables here and see how they all come together to affect your total EV of calling....

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## Playing Big 8 or 9 Out Drawing Hands

I’m sort of at a weird spot in the development of my game. I’m going to type out a bunch of random crap about common drawing spots with straight or flush draws in hopes that it’ll internalize some things I still probably screw up occasionally. Also,...

## NLHE Foundations #01: Introduction to Hold’em Ranges

NLHE Foundations Course This is the first lesson in the free No-Limit Hold’em Foundations course that I’m running here on FlopTurnRiver. There’s a lot more to these lessons than what you see here. If you would like to take part in this, all you have...

Some people have described the feeling of being overwhelmed by all of the things that go into deciding whether or not they should make a continuation bet. We’re going to make our thinking less stressful and more efficient by looking at the question from a...

## Practical Game Theory in Poker (Part 1): Attack and Defense

This is the first in a series of articles about building a practical understanding of game theory regarding poker. Game theory is a branch of mathematics that can be used to model and evaluate certain types of games. Poker is a natural target for this kind of thing,...

## Low-Hanging Fruit for Newbies in No-Limit Hold’em

Last week, I promised that we would continue in our series about no-limit 2-7 single draw. However, I find myself writing this week’s column without my notes for what will be part six of the series, so we’re going to do something that will be a little bit...

## Making Game Theory Easy With Simple Shortcuts

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at an introduction to game theory in poker with a special emphasis on avoiding math. We have been looking extensively at a very specific type of situation over the past couple of weeks where a player bets all-in on the...

## How to Decide Which Hands to 3-Bet for Value Pre-Flop

In last week’s edition, we looked at some very simple basics for 3-bet bluffing before the flop. We focused primarily on how new players could start to open up their 3-betting without feeling like they were getting in over their heads. We’re going to...

## Preparation in Poker

In the context of poker, preparation could mean a number of different things, but we’re going to focus specifically on a few instances here. First, we’re going to look at how to and the advantages of preparing when you make a bet or raise. Second,...

## Modern Blind Stealing for No-Limit Hold’em in 2015

Introduction More than seven years ago, I wrote a post titled Blind Stealing 101. A lot has changed in terms of what’s fashionable and what’s well-known in the online poker world. For a fun piece of evidence of this, note that the standard size of an open...

## Developing a Feel for Equities in No-Limit Hold’em Part 3: Hitting the Flop

In last week’s article, we looked at some of the reasons why equity isn’t the end-all, be-all of evaluating how two ranges will perform against each other. With that out of the way, we’re going to be able to get into the nitty gritty aspects of the...

## Developing a Feel for Equities in No-Limit Hold’em Part 4: The Basics of the Turn

This is the fourth part in a series dealing with the key ideas that can be used to accelerate the process of gaining a feel for equities in different spots. In this week’s edition, we’re going to discuss some major cases for when the turn comes and how you...

## NLHE Foundations #06: Putting Opponents on Pre-Flop Ranges (Part 3)

Introduction This is the sixth part of the free NLHE Foundations Series that I’m running here on FTR. This series is designed to give you a very clear set of tools that will teach you how to study what will really make you a better NLHE poker player. If you want...

## Raising Behind Limpers

I’m going to try to tie this in as much as possible the points I made in my post on blind stealing, Blind Stealing 101. I think that for the people who don’t already raise behind limpers often, it will be best if they think of it as an extension of blind...

## Developing a Feel for Equities in No-Limit Hold’em Part 6: Meaningful Practice

Over the past several weeks, we’ve been looking at a number of different ideas and concepts that have the overall goal of helping players to learn how to build up a better feel for equity in different spots. Here we’re going to finish off this series by...

## NLHE Foundations #04: Putting Opponents on Pre-Flop Ranges (Part 1)

Introduction This is part four in the NLHE Foundations Series. I’ve designed this series to give players a clear path from the beginner to intermediate levels in no-limit hold’em. There’s a lot more to this series than these posts because...

## Developing a Feel for Equities in No-Limit Hold’em Part 5: Hitting Pairs

Last week I said that we would look more at the turn. Instead, I’ve decided that we’re going to look at something else that will be more useful: hitting pairs with different ranges. It’s fairly easy to see how many draws ranges have and if those...

## Using Game Theory in SNG Tournaments (Part 1): Heads Up Basics

In a bit of a departure from the cash game focus that I normally have, I’m going to cover some basic to intermediate ideas involving SNG endgames. We’re going to start with some basic game theory concepts as regards heads-up spots, and we’re going to...

## The Anatomy of an Adjustment

Low stakes play is all about making adjustments that exploit your opponents. Unfortunately, most players at micro stakes and many at small stakes, even winning players, don’t really understand what it means to exploit someone. While it’s easy to say that...

## EV Calculations Tutorial 5: Tournament Calculations

This is the fifth part of a series of tutorials teaching people how to perform expected value calculations with a minimum amount of math. Please read through the first four parts of this series before you start into this segment on tournament calculations. While the...

## No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Strategy (Part 2): Pat Hand Combinations

One of the most basic things you need to know about no-limit 2-7 single draw is how the probabilities work for different types of starting hands. We’re going to start off with a look at pat hands in this game and how the range distributions work out. In...

## NLHE Foundations #02: Basic No-Limit Hold’em Bluffing Analysis

NLHE Foundations Course This is the second lesson in the free No-Limit Hold’em foundations course, and all you have to do to sign up is create an account (if you haven’t already) and post in the forum thread I just linked to saying you want in. I’ll...

## Practical Game Theory in Poker (Part 2): Pre-Flop Ideas

This is the second in a series for beginning and intermediate players on building a practical understanding of game theory as regards poker. In our first edition of this series (link), we looked at how attack and defense correspond to exploitation and protecting...

## An Introduction to Abstract Thought in Poker (Part 2)

Introduction Back in my very first edition of this strategy column, I outlined what I believe to be a very efficient method for approaching the process of learning in poker. Later on, I expanded on these ideas in late 2014 in my original article An Introduction to...

## No Limit 2-7 Single Draw Strategy (Part 4): Pre-Draw Overview

For the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at the basis of pre-draw hand distributions. In this week’s edition, we’re going to put it all together and start looking at actual pre-flop hand ranges as a whole. You will need to know the material from...

## EV Calculations Tutorial 4: Organizing Large Calculations

Over the past three weeks, we have been building up to this week’s material. This week, we’re going to look at how to use what we’ve learned so far to perform EV calculations for extremely complicated scenarios. The math involved does not change at...

## Applications and Limitations of the Alpha Value

The alpha value is one of the most important numbers in a discussion of poker because it gives you a lot of information with a simple calculation. However, it’s often applied incorrectly because of a lack of understanding of what it can and should be used for....

## Optimizing Your Sessions With Simple Routines

This article is a part of a series on performance psychology regarding poker. In this week’s edition, we are going to look at some basic science behind classic conditioning and how it can be applied to your bottom line in the poker world. We’re also going...

## No-Limit 2-7 Single Draw Strategy (Part 1): The Basics

The game of no-limit 2-7 single draw is spread at more online casinos these days than ever, and it’s gained a decent level of popularity because of a combination of fashion and the no-limit betting structure that players are usually already going to be familiar...

## Leading the Flop and the Relationships to Continuation Betting

Leading the flop when you were not the pre-flop aggressor is very similar to continuation betting. You have a range, your opponent has a range, and you have now made a bet that your opponent will have to react to. However, there is another relationship that leading on...