Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players,
21st Century Edition
Authors David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth
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Synopsis of Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players
Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players, 21st Century Edition by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth Texas Hold 'em is not an easy game to play well. To become an expert you need to be able to balance many concepts, some of which occasionally contradict each other. In 1988, the first edition of this text appeared. Many ideas, which were only known to a small select group of players were now made available to anyone who was striving to achieve expert status, and the hold 'em explosion had begun. It is now a new century, and the authors have again moved the state of the art forward by adding over 100 pages of new material, including an extensive section on "loose games," and an extensive section on "short-handed games."
Anyone who studies this text, is well disciplined, and gets the proper experience should become a significant winner. Some of the other ideas discussed in this 21st century edition include play on the first two cards, semi-bluffing, the free card, inducing bluffs, staying with a draw, playing when a pair flops, playing trash hands, desperation bets, playing in wild games, reading hands, psychology, and much more.
Excerpt from the Book Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players: Odds and Implied Odds
Most players make many of their calling decisions based on the size of the pot compared to the current bet. This is called pot odds. While this does give an indication of what is correct, pot odds should be adjusted based on the expected future action of your opponents. For example, if the bettor is to your right and there are other players who might raise behind you, you should adjust the pot odds considerably lower. This means you have to fold more hands.
Here are two extreme examples of this concept. First, suppose you hold
and the flop is
If a solid player to your right bets, a number of players are behind you, and there has been no raise before the flop, you should fold. Notice that in this example, not only might you be against a better ace, but a spade or a straight card can beat you. (Against a "loose bettor" who would play any ace, and bet any ace or queen, you should raise rather than fold. You should also continue to play against a player who will only bet a draw, and check his better hands hoping to get in a check-raise.) But against most bettors you should simply fold.
A second example is to fold in the same situation if you hold
and the flop is
(Again notice that you can be against a better jack, or that a spade or straight card can beat you.)
Other exceptions to folding these hands are when the pot has become very large and/or the game is very loose. Also, remember that calling is sometimes the worst play. That is, folding or raising in these situations is usually a superior strategy. If the pot is large and you are going to play, it is generally correct to raise with these types of hands. You should seldom call as you cannot afford to give someone behind you who holds a marginal hand the correct odds to draw out.
In addition, if you call on the flop and intend to also call on fourth street, keep in mind that the pot odds you are getting are not as good as they appear. The additional call that you plan to make lowers the effective odds that you are receiving from the pot. (For a more detailed discussion of these concepts, see The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky.)
Sometimes, however, the opposite will be the case. That is, your implied odds actually are better than the odds that the pot are offering you. This occurs when you plan to continue playing only if you hit your hand. Otherwise, you will fold. What this means is that the pot does not have to offer you seemingly correct odds to play a particular hand. That is because it is offering you implied odds.
An example is to call before the flop with a small pair, getting as low as 5-1 oodds as long as there is little fear of a raise behind you. (The odds against flopping a set are approximately 7.5-to-1. Against players who give a lot of action, you can make this call even if you are getting a bit less than 5-to-1.) A second example is to try for an inside straight on the flop when you have odds of only about 8-to-1. (The odds against making your gutshot are approximately 11-to-1.)
Say, if you hold
and the flop is
you can call even if you are getting a little less than the required 11-to-1. However, if a two flush is on the board, or for some other reason you are not sure that your hand will be good if you hit it, you probably would want odds of at least 11-to-1 to call.
Finally, even if the odds don't seem to justify it, you still should make a loose call every now and then, as you don't want to become known as a "folder." If you are regarded as a folder, other players will try to run over you, and otherwise predictable opponents may turn tricky and become difficult to play against. (Once again, for a more thorough analysis of pot odds and implied odds see The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky.)
Other Books Written by David Sklansky and Mason Malmuth
Other Books Written by David Sklansky
- Gambling for a Living
- Getting the Best of It
- Hold 'em Poker
- Sklansky on Poker
- Sklansky Talks Blackjack
- The Theory of Poker
- Tournament Poker for Advanced Players
Other Books Written by Mason Malmuth
- Blackjack Essays
- Gambling Theory and Other Topics
- Poker Essays II
- Poker Essays III
- Winning Concepts in Draw and Lowball