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## General Advice for Handling No-Limit Hold’em Ranges

Introduction Learning to deal with ranges is hard enough as it is, but there are a number of ideas about handling no-limit hold’em ranges that are a bit mislead. In this forum thread, I asked about the questions that people had about learning to work with...

## 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...

## Beating 6 Max No Limit Holdem by Sauce123

Sauce123 destroys the competition. Trust me. He put together a really solid, concise guide to beating the 6-max no limit holdem tables – particularly on US friendly poker rooms Post-UIGEA (when many poker rooms closed their doors to US players, ultimately making...

## Betting to Protect Your Hand in Poker

In this week’s column, we’re going to investigate the idea of betting to protect your hand. A number of people bet with the excuse of protecting their hand almost every chance that they get. On the other hand, a lot of people dismiss this concept as being...

## Applications of EV Calculations (Part 1): Dealing With Short Stacks

A while back, I wrote the EV Calculations Tutorial series to help people to deal with the math side of poker. We followed a very simple process that kept our analysis organized and clean, and we did so only requiring basic addition and multiplication. While this is...

## Pointers for Micro Stakes No Limit Holdem

(This is a post I wrote a while back which I hope will be useful for newcomers to micro-stakes NL. It should be useful up to 25NL, but it’s specifically aimed at the player of a few weeks’ experience, who understands the basics, but doesn’t know much...

## 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...

## Implied Odds Plays at 25NL and Below

Over the past twelve months, I have been observing the lower stakes no-limit games and playing in them quite extensively including around 100k hands at NL50. I have been observing the games on Pokerloco recently which is a site that is situated on Ongame. I have been...

## Being Three Bet by Aggressive Players

Let’s face it, we all know how important aggression is in poker. But years ago I used to remark how easy it was to be aggressive and that anyone could do it. If I told a novice player to empty the clip every time he entered a pot then his violent aggression...

## ISF – Adjusting

When I interviewed Kingsofcards for my weekly interview, one comment he made about heads up changing his game rung a bell with me. Until after playing HU, when playing 6 max I never really took into account bet sizing, timing tells or things like that nearly as much...

## Bluff or Check? Missing the Flop in NLHE (Part 3): Understanding Your Range

Introduction In last week’s edition of this series, we looked at some specific things that you can tell about the flop texture that will give you a good idea of which types of flops are good for continuation betting with all other factors being considered equal....

## 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...

## 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...

## Typical Players in Small Stakes NLHE

There are many players in the online poker community who use some sort of tracking software. I have never been one to go with the masses and while others have been knocking themselves out using PokerTracker or Hold’em manager, I have and will always continue to use...

## Continuation Betting in NLHE Full Ring

I play my poker a lot differently these days. My operation has switched from high-stakes single tabling to far lower stakes and multi-tabling. So in a way this is going from high-stakes-low overlay-low turnover to low-stakes-higher overlay-higher turnover. This suits...

## 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...

## Renton Theorem aka ABCD Theorem

In poker, we attempt to make money by playing the best we can, making what we feel is the most profitable play in every scenario, making as few mistakes as possible. Assuming you know the exact hand range of your opponent, there is almost always a clear best play, and...

## Using the [0, 1] Model to Look at Polarized Ranges

Last week, we took an initial look at the [0, 1] model for ranges and looked at a couple of examples of how it can be put to work for us. We tied this into our previous discussion of how to calculate the EV of different types of situations, and we looked at how to use...

## How to Determine Whether or Not to Call an All-in Bet

A type of question that continually arises on poker forums deals with whether or not it is advisable to call an all-in bet.  Often the question will be something like this: I was dealt XX and raised; someone then moved all-in on me; should I have called or folded? In...

## Understanding the Importance of Shania (theory post)

I think I just had a really cool epiphany. Danny and I just watched the new movie 21 tonight (meh). Obviously, when two poker players see that movie there is going to be some gambling discussion afterwards. One thing lead to another and I brought up the subject of why...

## ISF – Beginners Guide To Equity and Fold Equity

There has been a request for a beginners guide to equity so that’s going to be the article for this week. Equity is our mathematical chance of our hand or hand range winning the hand against our opponents hand or hand range. For example, the hand AA has 80% equity...

## 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...

## Nine Noobie Myths About Microstakes NLHE

I feel like tons of the noobies in the BC have serious misconceptions about microstakes poker. Here are a few I’ve seen lately. 1. The micros are just too fishy to be beat for any decent win rate. 2. The micros are too hard to be beat since UIGEA. 3. The FTR...

## Brush Up Your Semi-Bluff, and Bring Home the Bacon

The semi-bluff: know it, use it, love it. To be a poker rock star (i.e. you turn a profit!), it is necessary to have in your arsenal of moves. David Slansky defines the semi-bluff as “a bet with a hand which, if called, does not figure to be the best hand at the...

## ISF – Forming Ranges: Part 2

In my first strategy post on forming ranges, I mostly touched on preflop. But postflop, as we all know, is where the big money is at. And it’s postflop where forming ranges is the most important, it’s just a whole lot harder! The basic premise of forming ranges is...

## Playing Poker Inside a Goldfish Bowl

How hard can it be to continually make money in the nosebleed games on Full Tilt Poker? I reckon it must be pretty damn hard to do it year in and year out. If it was that easy then people like Brian Townsend wouldn’t have been found guilty of multi-accounting (sorry...

## Intuition: Semi-Bluffing With Non-Nut Outs

Last week we started looking at the relationship between bluffing and semi-bluffing for the purposes of being able to construct examples to study that allow us to build our intuition, or our feel for the game. We specifically looked at scenarios where we only had nut...

## 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...

## Big Backfiring Bluffs

Bluffing: it’s perhaps the most exciting part of poker. When executed perfectly, the bluff can convince your opponent of anything, and win you their chip stack without a decent hand to in sight. Like the players say, cards only matter when you turn them over....

## No Limit Betting

Beginners generally have trouble knowing how much to bet when they hit a hand. For the most part they know to “take away the other guy’s pot odds,” but there’s more to betting than that. Because… tell me if this happens to you… You...

## Planning Ahead: Multi-Street Bluffing

Introduction If you look over the past few weeks of my strategy column, you’ll see how this week’s topic came together. I had a set of Mental Tricks for Preperation in NLHE which was related to the Basics of Thinking Ahead in Poker. I also covered Double...

## ISF Theorem

Amazingly, when I was high yesterday from some horrible weed, I came to a breakthrough thought in my poker game. I called sauce up and explained to him what I just realized and he had no idea why it was so amazing. It took me awhile, but then I realized that the...

## Implied vs. Reverse Implied Odds

This seemingly simple topic might be one of the most misunderstood by beginners in poker. Learning about reverse implied odds was quite eye-opening for me and led to a large improvement in my ability. Most players, even those new to the game, understand what is meant...

## Checking to Induce in No-Limit Hold’em

In last week’s column, we looked at the idea of betting to protect your hand. One of the main themes with last week’s column and what we’re going to talk about this week is that a lot of people get into habits of how they think about their range...

## ﻿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...

## Limit vs No Limit Texas Holdem Poker

Limit Texas Holdem vs. No Limit Texas Holdem – the debate goes on. Which game should you master? Well, everyone here at FTR has their own opinion. We have very skilled and profitable players profiting from both forms of the game. I have my opinion too, and No Limit...

## Back to Basics (Part 1): Implied Odds

This is the beginning of the Back to Basics series. The point of this series is to use basic EV calculations to examine basic concepts in more depth than a lot of players probably ever have before. You will have needed to work through the EV Calculations Tutorial...

## 6 Max Starting Hands

Group 1: any two cards Group 2: any two cards you found in your wallet (Blockbuster, Visa, library card) Har har! Not really. But yes, the starting requirements are a lot looser and a lot more vague than in a full ring game. I don’t consult a chart – a lot...

## Beating Small-Stakes Cash Games

A few years ago I wrote an article for a poker magazine called “coming in under the radar”. In that article I mentioned playing lower stakes games than you normally would and taking advantage of weaker players. In essence, online poker has grown up an awful lot since...

## Expanding Your Pre Flop Range

After familiarizing yourself with key poker fundamentals such as bankroll management, positional awareness, and aggression, there are a few other aspects of your game you can improve to take the next step in your poker playing career. One of the best ways to improve...

## Renton’s Small Stakes NLHE Ring Strategy: Postflop I

Addendum to Preflop adaptations that must occur Dealing with reraises- When you get reraised from position from a typical player, it sucks, and you’ll have to fold most hands if the reraise is substantial, such as AJ/AQ/KQ and weaker cards than that. Oftentimes it is...

## Turn No-Limit Hold’em Problems Into Value

Introduction In last week’s column on dealing with ranges, I talked about how to incorporate both your range and your opponent’s range into a single, cohesive thought process that allows you to exploit players and deal with balance issues at the same time....

## The biggest leak among .5/1 and 1/2 grinders

The indepth discussion on the bet/fold and the check/call: I’d like to discuss a really simple concept that is killing your winrate. I discovered it not to long ago. It’s really not that hard, but truthfully for the 1/2 grinder who just can’t seem to...

## Pre-flop Strategy – Starting Hand Rankings: Groups 0 to 2

One of the most difficult and yet crucial decisions you will make when playing no limit Texas holdem will be whether to even play your hand. This decision should not be made haphazardly. Hitting your card on the flop only to end up with the second best hand can be...

## 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...

## Texas Hold em Poker Hands Order

Most of us have played poker in one form or another. The game is universal, reaching across the world to unite players of all ages and nations. Let’s get to the basics. Players are each dealt a set number of cards in a predetermined timing system (deal, flop,...

## 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...

## Tactical Thinking – Is It Enough?

Wherever you go these days, be it on poker forums, poker websites or poker magazines, you will be confronted by a myriad of information concerning how to play certain hands in certain situations. Now before I go any further, there is absolutely nothing wrong with...

## ISF – Making Your Opponent Uncomfortable

Often in HU matches, I’ll come across a player who doesn’t seem to have many leaks. He’ll raise a solid range from the BU, not play too loose OOP, and have a good mix of cbets and two barrels, as well as balanced ranges in other areas. Many when playing, whether it’s...

## Pre-flop Strategy – Ace In Hand

A pair of Aces is the most powerful hand in Hold’em. Ace King or Big Slick is also a great hand. Aces become very important in head-up situations and some players will raise with any Ace in head-up action. The list below documents some of the math involved in hands...

## How to Play AK When You Miss the Flop

Introduction A lot of players, especially newbies, get confused on what to do when their AK misses the flop. This is especially true in 3-bet pots where you aren’t really sure just what you’re supposed to be doing. A lot of players will blindly c-bet, but...

## 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...

## Texas Holdem Starting Hands – 19 Hand Strategy

One of the biggest problems new poker players have is that they play too many hands. A simple but effective first step for new players is to learn the 19 hand strategy. This simple strategy forces the new player to exercise discipline and learn a tight game. Aokrongly...

## ISF – Forming Ranges

Something I like to do, and what I always advocate people who seek poker help from me, is to break down the elements of poker so we can understand concepts behind them and further apply them. I feel like most of the problems with people stuck at low and midstakes is...

## Can You Trust Online Poker?

Let’s face it, poker is played by humans for money and sometimes very substantial sums of money. This is the case be it live or online. Unfortunately, my understanding of human nature tells me that there are too many people out there who will stop at nothing to...

## 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...

## ISF – General Hand Reading

When it comes to getting better in an early stage of your career, hand reading is a premium. You can understand poker as much as you’d like, but it’s not going to help if you can’t read hands well. It’s hard to know what to do when you have no idea what your opponents...

## Poker Aggression Guide

Gah, I got this idea in my head and thought I’d write it down. A month ago I essentially explained to my AIM buddies something I was thinking about in a lot of depth, as it was a concept that was integral in killing tight passive games. Pretty much everything I...

## Pre-flop Strategy – Starting Hand Rankings: Groups 3 to 4

After the Big 10 starting hands, I do not necessarily automatically raise pre-flop from any position. My play becomes more selective. Group 3: AQ 99 88 77 ATs KJs Sklansky’s Group 3 has been slightly re-arranged by the Carnegie Mellon group, which I’ve further...

## 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...

## Pre-flop Strategy – Starting Hand Rankings: Group 6

There are still some good hands yet to be played, but you must be careful! We are running pretty thin at this point. Here are my Group 6 hands: Group 6: KT QT JT A7s K9s Q9s T9s J9s A5s A6s A4s A3s A2s Again, this group is a clear departure from Sklansky and the...

## ISF – Five Rules To Beating Low Stakes

I have to admit, most of my articles give advice that is hard to understand. When you don’t understand preliminary concepts to the ideas of talking about, it’s almost impossible to truly understand anything I or high stakes players talk about. In later articles I’m...

## Transitioning from Online to Live Play

For many U.S. players, Black Friday has meant the end of playing poker online.  For those players, the only way to currently play poker without the worry of legality or cashouts is to go to a brick and mortar cardroom and play honest to god live poker.  I happen to be...

## ISF – Manipulation 202 and Questions

If you read my posts in the forums, you’ll notice I’ll throw around this word manipulation without too much explanation. In my earlier blog, I did write an article about manipulation where I talked about it in terms of bet sizing. Well, my old blog is gone now, and as...

## How to Adjust to Multi-Player Hands in No-Limit Hold’em

Why You People Need Help I’ve seen quite a few posts recently in the Small Stakes No-Limit Hold’em forum that center around a multi-player hand that was handled in a really poor way just because someone didn’t adhere to the basics concepts that drive...

## Thinking About Your Ranges When Continuation Betting

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...

## Microstakes Grinding

Most players who are new to online poker will start at the lowest stakes possible, commonly known as “Microstakes”. In general, microstakes are considered to be any poker stakes up to \$0.10/\$0.25 blinds in NL and \$0.50/\$1.00 in Limit games. The concept of...

## 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,...

## New Approach to Table Selection

Meeloche presents an interesting approach to table selection. Perhaps there is an alternative to just looking at preflop percentages and pot sizes… My contribution to table selection, maybe even a new idea… When it comes to table selection, we still should...

## Exploitation and the FTC Theorem

Progression through the micros naturally trends us toward unbalanced lines. We start playing basic TAGG, then learn to steal blinds more, to cbet more. Hey, it works. When we face better competition at 100nl or higher, the lack of balance is very exploitable. Trust me...

## 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...

## Back to Basics (Part 3): Semi-Bluffing in Position

This is part 3 in the Back to Basics series. In this series, we take basic concepts and look at them in a little more depth than beginners typically do. The idea here is to fill in some knowledge gaps and play better poker on a fundamental level. In this week’s...

## 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...