I agree I did lose too much, but I've never been raised preflop by someone with 35. Therefore, when I see a flop of 3 5 9, I think I'm in good shape.
You overplayed your hand ridiculously. He should have shown you three nines or something and taken the pot with a little dignity.
The $2-$4 game I have been playing in has been very difficult for me to beat. I selected the game because it was so loose, but now I'm thinking it is too loose. Is this possible? What I mean is that 4-6 people will see the flop, regardless of a raise. Raises are rare, but if they occur, it doesn't seem to scare many off. The problem is that they play anything suited, any connectors, and basically any face card. If there are two of the suit on the flop, or that face card, they will call and raise until the river. I play tight and had some suited started hands for the big payoff possibility. However, it seems like whenever I get top pair, top two pair, or a flush draw, I pay off to the river only to get marginally beat by a kicker or they draw a flush/straight. Any advice? I win maybe half the time but my wins are a lot smaller than my losses. I know I should be able to beat these limits before I move up. Thanks.
I used to get crushed in these kinds of games. I now just use the Loose and Wild games advice from HPFAP-21 and I do great in them.
Sure, it's a crapshoot because you just have to wait for premium cards to come around, and yes, you get drawn out on a LOT, but you can make some serious cash in a game like this.
The thing you must remember is that you do NOT want to be one of the suckout artists on a table like this screaming for "ONE MORE CLUB!!!" or playing top pair with a bad kicker. Calling to the river just costs you too much when you miss. You always want to the in the lead punishing the chasers for their draws.
I was in a game like this recently playing 3/6. I was stuck $160 after 2 hours because of the suckouts (lost to T7 suited, J4 suited,...on and on), but the cards came around, the river dried up for them and I ended up winning $200. Not bad for a 5 hour session.
A good example was a hand where I had QQ on the button, raised and got 5 callers. The flop was Ac9c6s. BB bet, I raised, all called. Turn was a 4s. I bet. all call.
River was 2s! All check to me.
I said "All your club and straight draws missed!" and bet. The 3 people on club draws folded immediately and two goofballs with Ax offsuit folded because they hadn't paired their trash and were sure they were outkicked.
I had been playing very tight so even the loose players didn't call me on the river and they chucked in the winner.
I played in a near by Indian Casino the other night to avoid the ugly button fee at the casino I normally play at.
I got in this crazy 3-6 game (only game going) where most players were posting live bets. I mean it was live 9 or 12 in most hands and, many times it was raised to 15. Crazy stuff.
The player to my immediate right would 99% of the time make it live 6 when the BB was to his right. He kept trying to get me to make it live 9, which I never did because I could not think of any good reason to do so. Is there? Other than just trying to make a large pot how can you justify this play? There is no guarantee that your cards will even be playable.
Anyway I will be going back to see if this kind of action is normal there. Iíll have to admit it was kind of fun playing for those huge pots and getting to pick and choose which ones to go after based on my cards and position.
What would be a good strategy for a game of this type? Any help would be appreciated.
Live straddles, especially three bets and four bets, are really BAD poker. There is NO good reason to do this, except for perhaps the occasional image play with players whom you see often. When I say the OCCASIONAL image play, let me say that in two years of playing casino poker, I have made a live straddle three times. It's just plain dumb to put multiple bets into the pot, out of position, without having seen your cards!
Now if your opponents are routinely doing this, you can select which hands to play and make sure to reraise them most of the time and only play good hands. But beware, this type of crazy game has a very high variance and you will experience large swings. Not for the short bankrolled or faint of heart. Many pots will be a crapshoot since few will fold. Your expectation will be small and your variance very high. Sometimes it is better to forget these crazy games and find a nice loose passive game without so much senseless raising.
Another thing, play TIGHT BTF when it is multiple bets. Pairs, HIGH suited connectors, AK, AQ, are playable, fold KTo, 56s, etc.... Play big cards and hands that have big potential to win large pots.
dave in cali
I have just added a looo...ooong article to my web page about my lousy record in low-limit hold'em and some changes I propose to make to my game. Click on this when you've got about ten minutes for reading, and give me your comments.
Hey, Dick why don't you E-Mail me and let me send you my quiz. The quiz consists of 58 problems covering pre-flop play, play on the flop, on the turn, and at the river. It consists of two word documents. The first is the quiz itself and the second is the solutions manual which contain what I believe are the correct answers. I recommend you first take the quiz and then compare your answers to mine in the solutions manual. I have had about 50 people take the quiz and the scores range from 41 to 78 with an average of around 55. I have not played much low limit in the past two years but when I did I played about 400 hours and won a little over $5000. I played $3-$6, $4-$8, and $6-$12 mostly. It will be fun and it might even help.
Can I get a copy of your "Quiz".
Hi Jim, would like a copy of the quiz if you get a chance
Holy Smokes! I highly recommend this quiz to beginners (me). I read S&M HE books before playing in the local card room so fortunately I wasn't a complete live one. So far I've managed to stay just slightly ahead but in retrospect I think that was only because of other players being extremely loose and passive, thereby paying me off when I hit a hand, and a pretty good run of cards. hopefully this quiz will help to reduce the yo-yo movements of my stack. Thanks Jim
btw, i got a 48.
Your calculation of standard deviation is almost certainly wrong. in a 3-6 game it is likely to be at least $60/hour.
1. GD's post about respecting the passive better coming to life has saved me many big bets. The vast majority of them on the TURN, not the river. Where in the past I would call with short odds or near even odds, I now often fold. The river call is often correct.
2. Value-betting the river is essential IMO to beating low-limit poker. The number of times you get paid-off will far exceed the number of suck-outs. This change alone could move you into the black.
3. GD made another post about limping with speculative hands from early position. Yeah, sometimes ya woulda won a big one, but in the long run playing weak starting-hands up front is a geyser. Play them when the situation warrants - late with lots of limpers.
4. I don't agree with becoming less agressive when you catch a good bit of the flop. You don't talk about flop-texture in your post and I really think this is the key element when deciding to bet your 2nd pair.
5. For me, Abdul's strategy re: Big un-suited cards in a loose-passive low-limit game, has been gold. Raise/re-raise pre-flop far more often than you limp. If I limp early with AKo, it is because I'm anticipating the chance to three-bet.
6. As long as you are earning as much as you can from your winners - bet your strong holdings aggressively - playing few hands should not be a problem.
hope that helps, spitball
Well if you stopped tipping you'd probably be in the black, but that's probably not the best thing to do to change in your game...
I think you've done an excellent job at self-anaylsis and you should focus on points 3,4, and 5.
Value betting the river is extremely important. Remember that most books are written about mid-limit games. At low limit you have so many weak opponents that it is more often correct to bet on the river. You may want to categorize your opponents and value bet them based on what sort of hands they tend to play. Think of what their starting requirements are likely to be. You'll find that you will be beating them on kickers quite often when you both have top pair. Your average low limit player wont throw away top pair no matter what his kicker, make them pay. The times they have you beat will be far fewer than when you have them beat and if they are passive they probably wont raise your bet anyway.
Dick,I can relate to your experience.I've got about 600 hrs,play in loose passive games,I'm beating the other players but rake/jpot/tips leave me down a small amount.Recently,I re-evaluated my game,my perceived leaks are very similiar to yours.I came to the conclusion that I'm not aggressive enough.Playing not to lose rather than to win.I've had 2 really bad runs(120 hrs and 60 hrs)that effected my mind set,when I first started I was much more aggressive and did well.Recently read Roy Cooke's book he mentioned large part of earn in low limit is tells,ability to read others.I am now focusing on that rather than just playing my cards. Good Luck
For now, I am simply reminding myself of the virtues of patience and discipline.
You know the great factor the rake can have on profit. Once you get the leaks fixed then I would move up and get out of the 3-6, 4-8 world and head to the 6-12, 8-16, 10-20.
I have read and reread the Abdul pre-flop play and would sugest that you MUST raise pre-flop. Make the limpers pay. Look what it does to you.
Think of it this way
1) You like to "sliiide" in with the A8s form 5 or 6 off the button(must be a very passive game)pay that one tiny bet then BANG!! someone pops it with AQ let's say. Your sitting there thinking "well I got caught" now I have to pay up to see the flop.
You know the feeling. You need to make the limpers pay and get that feeling when YOU have the big cards. Your letting them in to cheap. RAISE!!
Best of it !!
MJ, what a great way of making this point for me! If, when I try to limp in with a speculative hand (which is just what my loose opponents are doing all the time), and I hate it when a high-card hand raises me, then it must be right for me to raise them when it is me who has the high card hand.
I think I've got the concept now.
Great post, I have just had the time to read it.
Here is a possible leak (I am working on it in my game) which is horrible, costly, and you do not see the 20-40 players (who win) with it:
You are leading on the turn with A8s, for instance, and someone check raises a turn with 3 of another suit, or a straight possible (A654). The raiser is a good but not tricky player. Do you have a chance you are winning? I have counted the times when I have won against this (or worse when the raise comes from a better player who waited til the river) and I know of one time (1!) where I won of about 500, and that's when my Axs got an onpair board to beat the other guys j7 (two pair on the flop) on board. Otherwise I have lost to this obviously better hand so many times (at low limits) that I simply want to get away from the check raise or raise pronto. I often will not lead with a scary board to avoid this hit. This has helped my game a lot, but I need to also not get run over...this is hard to do right...
I am playing in a seven handed 3-6 full kill HE game tonight. The hand is a kill with the kill in late position. I am the big blind. Everyone folds to one off the kill who raises. I have played with this player before (This is his first hand joining the table tonight) and he is fairly loose with his raises. The kill calls, button folds and SB folds. I have KQ spades. I three bet. How many of you would three bet here?
The raiser re-raises and the kill calls. I call. The flop comes K-6-5 one spade. I bet out. The raiser raises and kill folds. I call. The turn is another spade. I check, pre-flop raiser bets and I call. The river is another spade not pairing the board. I bet out. Pre-flop raiser raises. I re-raise. He re-raises and re-raise again. He calls. I show the 2nd nut flush and he shows three kings.
I am curious as to how others would have played this hand.
I would have just called preflop raises instead of 3-betting.
Otherwise, I probably would have played it the same.
OK, three betting BTF is not recommended, at least not by me, with KQs. The fact that you got capped should drive this point home.
On the flop, you bet out and get raised, then you call, this is OK. You have to think that you may be beat here, but you can't fold yet.
On the turn you pick up a flush draw, second nut. I would probably just check-call like you did, so this is OK.
On the river, when he four bets you, I would not reraise again. I think you got exceptionally lucky on this hand and really overplayed it, especially BTF. KQs against a legitimate raise is not a reraising hand, and really is not very strong at all. you got lucky with the runner-runner flush, without which you would have lost a lot of $$.
dave in cali
This has happened to me pretty often lately and I'm wondering how others would handle it.
Hand 1: 5-10 I'm 2 off the button with AdKh. UTG limps, all fold to 3 off the button who calls, I raise and the blinds are in as is everyone else.
Flop: 4c Kd 9h.
UTG bets out fold to me I raise. BB calls, UTG calls. 3 left.
UTG bets out. What's my play?
Hand 2: I'm in MP 4 off the button with Ad9d. 2 callers before me, I call, two after me plus the bb.
Flop is 2h 9c 7s. bb bets, 2 calls, I raise. all fold to bb who calls the rest call.
Turn is 5d.
bb bets all fold to me. What's my play?
Try to provide a player profile next time, because I'm in the dark here.
Hand 1: Raise on the turn. You raised pre-flop in late position with only two callers in, and this translates to most players as a steal. I figure this guy played a suited king out of position and has you pegged for garbage. If you miss the Ace on the river and he bets into you again, just call.
Hand 2: This is a difficult hand to play. I'd call it down, he probably has an ugly two pair. Even though you have top pair/top kick, it's kind of snaggle toothed.
One more thing: The blinds can have anything. Without a pre-flop raise, it's nearly impossible to tell how strong they are.
In the first hand I would be inclined to raise the turn. You have made it look like you are either stealing or trying to buy a free card, and the bettor probably has a worse king than you and doesn't want to give you a free card. Raise.
Second hand, you are probably beaten by two trash pair. I might call it down anyway, but I don't think I would raise here. Save the bet. You still have some outs (unless he has a straight), so you have to at least see the river. Keep in mind that the blinds could have anything since it wasn't raised BTF.
dave in cali
Both those hands depend on the bettor. Is he a rock who only bets the nuts? Is he a nut who'll bet anything? The first hand you have less to worry about than the second because there is no str8 available, the flop is uncoordinated, and UTG (not a blind is betting) so chances are he doesn't have 9-2 or K-4 (although you can't rule it out in LL). The second hand a possible straight has hit and your hand is not as strong (pocket tens or better beat it).
Given that you raised pre-flop, raised on the flop and he is still betting into you chances are you are beat in hand #1. A fold isn't terrible but I probably call him down. Hand #2 I fold without a worry.
The game is 3-6 hold 'em w/ a full kill,it is my kill and I have been dominating(up about 3 racks at this pt) the game along with another fellow who I know to be a Very Good player that usually plays a bit higher(he has about 500 in front of him). I am on the button and there are two callers to me,I look down to see KK, and I raise, the small blind (VG player) re-raises me, one of the two Middle pos players calls, the other drops, I cap it and the MP folds! (um can you say call for pot odds>?!?!) sm calls, we take the flop heads up it comes A-K-7 rainbow, sb checks I bet, at this point I put him on a pair of Q's J's or T's, he calls, turn comes a blank, I hit it again, and he mucks, flashing 10h-10s, I flash him my set and take down a nice pot. Any comments, I feel I may I have lost a few bets, but at the same time, I had been the victim of some bad suckouts over the course of the night so was just starting to get my confidence back....Good news was when I finished that night I cashed out a rack o red and two racks o white! (700+ dollars!) Comments appreciated!
I certainly do NOT think you missed any bets. Of course you bet at every opportunity with a hand like that. Most players would check hoping to get a raise in later on. I believe that is a horrible way to play. Always win the pot when you can. Also, most of the time in a lower limit game players will call anyway...just earning you more money. I would have played it just like you did.
I would not have showed my cards to anyone without getting called.
I agree with Iowa, and somewhat with Dan C. Show your cards ONLY if you are trying to harden your image as a good player, not to make VG Player feel good about his lay down. Just as important as knowing the other players is knowing how they view YOU as a player.
That is exactly what I was trying to do, is solidify my image a bit with that, although I am friendly with VG player, I could care less how he feels about his laydown as long as I take the pot!
Keep flopping Aces
It's not VG player I would have been concerned with.
At almost every table I play at, there is at least one person who has a burning desire to see every winning hand. If he is in at the river and someone calls, he folds - if no one calls, he calls regardless of his hand.
Showing or flashing big hands that are not called simply reduces that type of player's motivation for calling on the river with a busted hand.
You are heads-up against a good player who is sure to fold if drawing dead, doesn't have a gut shot, and may have a set of Aces. Unless he has specifically AK he is drawing dead. Unless you feel he may HAVE a stiff A like AQ AND will check-and-call you down with it, this looks like a great time to represent a under-pair like QQ, check, and induce a bluff on the river.
Don't flash him your cards, bone-head. Tell him you had AT and got lucky.
When he just calls your flop bet, your read of him is probably pretty good. You might want to try and induce a river bluff by representing an underpair yourself and checking the turn. However, it is not all bad to just bet your hand, because in this type of game, you never know what you are up against. You don't want to give anyone with a gutshot a free chance to outdraw you, so when it doubt, bet it out.
dave in cali
Game is 3-6 with a kill, I have just gotten into the game, bought in for a rack, folded my first 4-5 hands, look down and in middle pos. I find JJ, I raise it when it gets to me we take the flop with 4 handed, it comes down K-J-4 rainbow, its bet out of the sb, I raise it, fold to the button, button calls sb calls, we take it 3 handed, turn is blank, checked to me, I bet it, two callers, river comes the Qs, sb checks I bet, button raises, sb folds, I reraise, get popped again,i call and button turns over 9-10os for the Damned gutshot, I was pretty upset, as the last pots I had seen her take were with 35os, and even (NO LIE) 9-3diamonds in mp. I got up and walked it off, came back and cashed out a winner, but...How did I play this hand? Personally I thought I played it well, but as the sub. line says.,...was it just a suck out or did i do somethign wrong?
The only thing you did wrong was lose two bets too many. When 3/5 of Broadway hit on the river you have to slow up just a bit. If it was the third card of a suit would you have repopped it?
I completely disagree. The guy who raised would most likely have raised with two pair also. I think you raise as JRounder did. One should never played scared in a hold em game. If you lose the hand, as JRounder did, you just play the next hand.
This is the life a low limit player. I play in two games....3-6 kill and 20-40 half kill. Happens in both games. What can you say? You had the entire deck except 4 cards. Never get upset about that sort of thing
when raised on the river you have a crying call since it made a gutshot. if it had made an open ender you can fold, but i would have check-called. i mean, they have to be in there with something.
I might have slowed down on the turn depending on the type of player the button was.
Not much you can do. Next hand.
I meant I might have slowed down on the river, not the turn.
On the river comes the third card to a straight, your in 3-6 game. You must ask the questions with each bet, what do they have, what do they think I have?
In low limts, if they can make a hand, they will call. It's hard to play JJJ with fear, but common sense goes a long way. If you check the river and just call, you save two bets. How much did you think you would have made if they missed their hands and you bet? They would have mucked. Your bet was risky and your re-raise was bad judgement.
Remember, big cards beat little cards, and most people arn't bluffing.
Respectfully, The Suburban Poker Man
So she'll call a raise with any gut shot. There are 16 ATs and 16 T9s in the deck, for 32 combinations that beat you (not counting 3 unlikely QQs). SB sure looks like he has a K, so there are only 8 KQs and 4 QJs you can beat (not counting 12 unlikely Q4s).
When at even money this is a bad raise (its about 32:12 against). Since the raise re-opens the betting you are often laying close to 2:1 when you DO raise.
Terrible raise; there just aren't nearly enough hands she'll raise with that you can beat.
I'm a little shocked that some advise not betting this hand for value on the river; even the mighty Suberban Poker Man who probably doesn't remember "The Jester" from the Hollywood casino.
Louie is right here, you bet the river for value with your JJ/J. However, don't reraise if raised, make a crying call. your river bet will be called by a worse hand often enough to make it worth betting for value, but you certainly don't have a reraising hand with three broadway cards out there.
dave in cali
You played it fine until the river. You raised properly and charged the gutshot the max to try and draw out on you, but when you get raised on the river, make a crying call. you lost two extra big bets unnecessarily. It was a suckout but you lost more than you should have by reraising the river without the nuts or even close to it.
dave in cali
Same game, but better, more fish...other table breaks, and ours fills, I have two fish on either side of me. left is someone that can be referred to as a walking atm, the right is a college kid who is out of his league (I am a college kid too! but my studies are on poker! lol) its a kill pot, I am one off the button with As6s, one caller out of early position and folded around to CK (college kid) who raises, I call b/c of the game being so loose, fully prepared to abandon on the flop, but with the people in the pot I like my hand. ATM on the button calls, and the BB's kill calls Flop comes Ah6h4s, bet out by BB, Early player folds, college kid calls I raise, ATM calls BB raises all in calls all the way around. Turn is Ac, College kid bets into my raise, i raise him, ATm calls, CK calls, river is a small heart, CK checks I bet ATM calls, CK calls, Ck shows AKD, ATM shows a pair of fours (no joke!) i take the side, BB shows KQh for nut flush....my boat takes it down....what do you think of the way I played this? Comments appreciated
I am really pleased that you won the hand...however, I do not think that the call of a raise with A6 suited is a very good call. You will have to adjust that call as you play against toucher competition.
I agree that A6s calling a raise is risky business. But it sounds like you had a good read on the table. How would you have played the hand if only the A's showed up and no six? Could you have released the hand?
Respectfully, The Suburban Poker Man
P.S. What's your GPA at Hold'em Univesity?
:)you guys are great over here with your posts, I appreciate the input as I want to get better! if only the ace came and there was action, I would have definitely laid it down had there been only an Ace in the flop and no flush draw. I have been striving to make laying down hands much easier, as Axs is only good if you get two pair or a flush draw, and under normal conditions I don't play anything less than A9s unless its late pos. or a loose game.
I don't like your call BTF. There is one limper and now it is raised, you will often have a dominated hand in this situation. Despite the nature of the game, I would strongly consider folding this holding in this situation.
After the flop, you played correctly all the way. You couldn't have known that you were beat on the flop, so I like your raise. When the BB raised again all in, I would have capped it, or at least completed the bet (you didn't say how much he raised). The reason for this is that the BB will be going all-in anyway in this situation, so his raise doesn't necessarily mean you are beat. With top two and a flush draw out there, make the draws pay.
Turn and river were textbook, so no comment there.
dave in cali
Great hand, but realize how lucky you got to win. Cold calling a raise with A-6 is a sure loser, especially in a small pot. What hand did you think CK had that you were a favorite against? Would you have liked theplay as much if a king or 4 had come on the river?
Justin, is that you?
I play 6-12 in the same casino as Larry, Doc, and Tommy Angelo. It's a wild California ride, that's for sure. I want advice on how to reduce variance. I will sacrifice some profit / dump some odds-on calls and bets to do this. The typical field is 7-8 players actually seated with 5 callers pre-flop on average and perhaps 1 in 3 pots raised pre-flop. It is COMMON for all but one player to call on the flop. Seems a dream, right? The problem is the suckout rate gets extraordinary with that many hands around and getting $300 down without really making a mistake deeply bothers me. (6-12's in my budget but I'm fiscally very conservative so losses get emotional early).
My play when not on tilt is solid-average. I can read players pretty well but cannot remember session to session much about how they played (or their names)with the exception of a few standouts. I do best at predicting whether players who have yet to act will call, fold, or raise and use this to make a lot of decisions on whether to call the flop for inside straight draws, etc. Odds calculations are straightforward for me.
What specifically can I do to reduce variance? Possibilities:
1. Never go for an inside straight unless the flop is rainbow and I've got overcard nuts (what if the pot's giving 16 to 1 for the 10.75 to 1 already? 20 to 1? 25 to 1? It happens!)
2. Ignore single flush cards. E.g. call on button for half a bet (the take plays) with A9s, get an Ac Ts 8h flop and someone bets up front. (Before you say that's crazy anyway, note that about half the players will play any ace down to A5 or A4 even if the pot was raised pre-flop). Dump if the other two cards are suited or connect?
3. Never play suited kings below KTs. I do this with the button for the half bet if there are 4 callers in front of me and neither blind looks to raise.
4. Reduce aggression with hands below three of a kind on the turn. I hate this idea because value betting top pair / ace kicker or two pair is so important to solid poker. Heck, I probably wouldn't do this if Sklansky told me to.
5. Raise flush draws and straight draws for value less. I already demand at least 3 expected callers on the flop and often won't do it without the ace.
There are others, but y'all know them.
Please, advise me.
P.S> Two confessions that're on my mind. Last Saturday I lost $500 in 6 hours due to 17 consecutive missed flops (the majority to AQ and AK) and the usual gutshot suckouts, etc. It was kind of funny in retrospect. So, anyway, I started chatting about odds so others could hear me (without criticizing anyone) and actually folded aces face up on the turn (painful to admit that one - people just don't forget a laydown like that - I'll have to draw out with 9-4s a couple of times to overcome that image). Help!
this may sound dumb, but the best way to reduce variance is to play enough so that EV becomes predominant. play your best game or quit, dont play in bad games, play a lot, and study and improve and think about your game.
also i think the fact that youre worried about this is a symptom of weak nerves which can be cured by more experience.
its analagous to slowly wading into a pool vs just jumping in. you need to build up your nerves and self control by really playing a lot and learning to play your best at all times.
soon youll realize that almost everyone else is getting unbalanced at the slightest and most mundane provocations (dealer premature burn and turn, for example) , while you do not.
for example, tonight i played in a 6-12 he game similiar to yours, lost almost 500 by basically getting sucked out on (gutshots who called 2 bets cold on flop( 2c5c !), etc. and started to get edgy so i left the game got up and went for a walk.
a little later (45 minutes), i played in a good but very aggressive 20-40 holdem game. in a key heads up hand, i have AK and am check-raised on the Qxx flop, bet into on the turn, then checked to on the river. i bet the river and won without a showdown. obviously i had a line on this player, but still, it took strong nerves to play , and that is my point. you need to develop strong nerves in order to be able to move up in limits, and this concern with variance is a symptom of weak nerves.
matt here is my best advice. FInd a less wild game the collective outs are gonna kill your bankroll or drive you crazy. If you can't find a better game (one with less maniacs) then cut way down on the hands you are playing.
Forget the 3 card straights and flushes - only draw for the nutz and forget about the pot size making you make BAD decisions about these draws.
If you have to play suited connecteds, Axs and small pairs do it only in the last 2 positions.
If drawing to less than th nutz have other things going for you over card"s" - back door flush or straight with open ended other or a pair on board.
Don't be drawing to just over cards eigther.
Bottom line playing stepford S&M poker in these wild LL games is suicide. Their books have been written for "average" 10-20 and above games.
Depending on the board you can play your good flops aggressivally but watch out this is expensive.
I concur with Rounder. I would look for a less volatile game.
The main reason is that there is almost no chance to bluff in these games which reduces the difference in skill level between good players and average or bad players.
In addition, with the pots so heavily front loaded, there is almost no call that is incorrect if a player has any possible out. This brings the skill level of the bad players up to the level of the good players. The result being that games like this are a card holding contest.
The games are still beatable but you must play very tight and draw only to the nuts. These types of games are the true test of a player's ability to absorb abuse as you get gunned down time after time with your group one holdings.
The skill in these games - in addition to card selection - is knowing when to get away from top pair and when to dump a draw that has become a potential "draw dead" on the turn.
Good luck and play tight.
Read Abdul's poker page....it helped me
One way (probably the best) to reduce variance is to find a more passive game, as others have pointed out.
If you need to lower your variance in a loose game, play tighter before the flop. Many hands don't have that much value preflop so you wouldn't sacrifice much profit by folding some of them. The preflop experts on the forum can help identifying those hands, but they should be many (AJ from early position in one example, I believe). In a tough game, you may need some marginal hands to add deception to your better hands, but in most low limit games it doesn't pay off.
It is easy to adjust your preflop game to lower your variance, but after the flop I think you would do best to just try to play your best tight aggressive game. You will not often be able to identify a play after the flop as marginal. Of course, when you do, go ahead and fold to achieve your goal, but don't let that goal scare you into playing weak poker. Cutting down severely on your aggression on the turn is out of the question. A lot of your advantage lies in extracting bets on the turn when you think you are in the lead.
As for most of your suggestions, I think that they are more a question of "playing correctly" rather than playing to "lower your variance". The answers depend on pot size, the other players' number and perceived hands, and expected future action.
My suggestion is that you play tighter before the flop to reduce variance, and that you continue to work on your game to improve your win rate.
Can anyone recommend a good place for low limit in the Los Angeles area. I have been going to Commerce Casino but would like some input on the others. I usually stay in the $1-$2 games but I do have the bankroll for $3-$6. Thanks in advance.
Collections in most LA clubs are about the same. I hate Commerce! Have seen floor rulings in favor of regulars that were clearly the opposite of the house rule. Hollywood park is OK.
Like best Hawaiin Gardens. They permit new player to come in anywhere and not post. Most new players start after the button and get a free round. Friendly club. Just made major changes in food and service. Lots of parking. They have a free NFL weekly card, can win $1,000 (no cost).
Sounds like commercial!
To be honest with you playing 1-2 limit is a waste of time... The collection is way too strong for that limit..Say you pay 5 dollars a round, all the money goes down the drop..You cant win a big enough pot to make up for it..
I was playing 2-5 hold em and it was a pretty good game. then this old, drunk cowboy came in, sat directly to my left and was betting very wildly. pretty much raising every hand he got. it wasn't so bad until about 4 or 5 other players started playing along with him, and the table became very loose. my question is, how do you play with people like that. do you tighten up and play only primo hands, loosen a little since they are playing slop, or get up and walk away? any advise would help. thanks james
I would play more drawing hands and only big pairs. If you don't have a good hand (4 card draw, set, 2 pair or top pair with good kicker) after the flop I would fold. You end up folding a lot more after the flop, but when you win you win BIG!
I play mostly 10-20 and we get this kind of play occasionaly. I believe you should play your best game and only come in with drawing hands in late position. The key is to play sainly after the flop. If you have the best of it, pound it all the way. If not, muck the junk and wait for the right flop to batter them senseless.
Respectfully, The Suburban Poker Man
In addition to what the other two posters have stated, I would add that you should change your seat and try to play right after this guy instead of right before him. That way, if he raises you can get out without a decent hand. The other advantage is that when he raises you can isolate him with a re-raise when you have a good hand thereby getting it heads-up with you having the better hand AND the better position.
In a game where everyone starts chasing the wild man they often will not fold when you re-raise. Therefore I ALWAYS put him on my immediate left. I want him raiseing and re-raiseing and sucking them in. I want their dead money when I limp he raises I re-raise he re-re-raises then MAYBE 1-2 will muck. I figure I will have the best starting hand on the table most of the time or I will better be able to gauge what others may have too. I will almost always limp. Here's a perfect example why.
I'm 2 off the big blind, wild man 2nd to my left.
I limp with pocket rockets. Wild man raises 6 players to me I re-raise he caps but none fold.
Flop:As Qs 7d
I call one bet as I know wild one will raise, he does, all call, I re-raise, he caps, all call.
SB bets, all call to me I call, wild one raises, SB reraises, all call, I call as I know wild man will cap it.
I feine disgust. SB bets, 1 caller, I call and sure enough wild man raises. SB calls, I'm sure she has a Q. 1 more caller, I re-raise, wild man caps, both players fold and we now have no cap. Wild man & I go 7 more bets before he's out of chips and I take a HUGE pot. They were all CHASING him, not paying any attn to me. I hope this helps you in your next wild one.
I think you are right in suggesting a seat to the left of the maniac, but I think your advice to attempt to isolate him with a reraise is pretty dangerous.
I have found that on a wild table, a reraise almost never isolates the maniac.
If the table has a relatively sane mentality and only one maniac, it is often quite easy to isolate him from 3 or 4 seats away.
The exact same thing happened to me last night in 3/6. A couple buddies sat down at a previously slow, tight table and started jamming pots. One guy would always reraise every preflop raise - ending up in a LOT of capped pots.
These games can be very profitable provided you are VERY disciplined. NO loose calls.
In this situation, I radically adjust my starting hand requirements. I wait for premium hands, then I jam the living bejeezus out of them until given a reason not to. I don't play many drawing hands in these games at all because it costs so much to see the flop. A lot of people advise playing the draws, and that advice is valid and profitable, but your swings will be incredible. I've decided to forgo the roller coaster after getting crushed by drawing to the nuts in wild games.
Unfortunately, I only got two premium hands in about 4 hours of play. One I got QhQd and rivered a second nut flush. No one was raising me when the flush draw hit, so I knew my Qd was good and took down a very nice pot. The other was AKs, capped preflop and I folded on the turn to a rotten board. Q9 offsuit for two pair won that one. Guy called 3 bets cold preflop on Q9 offsuit. (Love to see it, get this guy some more ammo!)
Otherwise, I got rags (not even any good draws) and folded preflop the rest of the time, cashing out a $50 win. I used the downtime to observe the players and have some dinner while I watched.
Every so often, the maniacs would take a break and you could enter the game for one bet preflop on a decent drawing hand. - You have to be careful to pick your battles in these games, though.
One maniac dumped $300+ into the game, the other about $250. The other people at the table who didn't change their starting hand requirements when the table got wild pushed huge pots back and forth, dwindling their stacks by playing too loose.
Another guy at the table caught a run of beautiful cards and cashed out over $600 ahead.
You just have to wait for the hands in situations like this. I used to loathe and fear these games, even dropped almost $500 in one playing good draws. That just doesn't happen anymore and I always post a win in them now.
the same thing happened again the next night, but not quite as bad. i was still waiting for the premium hands, but they were not comming. i think i got pocket pairs twice all night and very few decent suited cards. other than that is was like q3o or 92o and the like. the hands i could enter, i ended up having to dump on the flop or turn. that happened hour after hour and i ended up dumping all $200 that night. i feel i played a little to tight, and not agressively enough when i did get the cards. any responses are welcome. thanks James
I understand how you feel. The same thing happened to me yesterday. Nothing but rags all day and QQ and AK were no good.
However, what happened to me is that I got pissed off and started gambling with the other fish. Big Mistake. Every time I hit a flush on the river, the board paired and some yahoo filled up with Q3 offsuit.
I lost $170, but I would have lost a LOT less had I stuck to playing extremely tight instead of gambling.
I disagree on not playing drawing hands. With 4 or 5 players raising and reraising you will get the right pot odds to play drawing hands. I do NOT chase, if the flop doesn't fit my hand then I fold.
I realize that I am giving up something by passing on drawing hands in these games.
It's just that when you miss on 4 or 5 draws in a row, or you hit them and someone else improves more, it can take a major chunk of change out of my pocket.
When I get a much bigger bankroll, I will play some more draws.
For now, I have decided to take the smaller wins and keep the swings manageable.
I would also advise beginners to not play too many draws until they have enough experience to correctly assess the situation when deciding whether to stay with a draw.
6-12 game and I am UTG and raise with 10-10. 3 players fold to good player who raises, next player is tight and calls, the button is a manic and caps. I think about it an fold and the other two call. I felt that the VG player had to have at least AA or KK and that the tight play had cards in the same area. I put the manic on any two high cards. Right thinking,right fold?
Flop K-8-6 Capped by manic Tight palyer dropped Turn 7 Just one raise
River 9 Just calling
VG AA Tight ? Manic KJ Me Straight but if I had called the pre flop cap I never would have made it to the turn.
When a very tight player, like an LOL, calls three bets cold it almost always means AA,KK, or QQ. However, I would still call and take a flop because you are already half-way having raised. Once you take a flop you can play very accurately from then on and get out if you don't flop a set or some kind of big draw.
I would not fold here as you are now getting 7:1 odds on your pre-flop call, plus you have great implied odds if you flop a set. given that there are three other players in the hand who will no doubt call the capped betting, you are getting more than enough implied odds to call with your pair just trying to flop a set. plus sometimes you will win other ways, such as if you had a flop of 8 9 J rainbow and make a straight on the turn or river. Folding pre-flop is a bad idea here. Add to this the fact that you will be able to fold with confidence most times that you get an unfavorable flop, and you have a clear call before the flop.
bottom line, don't fold in this situation.
dave in cali
Hello to everybody. A few months ago I started playing online low limit hold 'em on paradisepoker.com I 've read some books on hold 'em and one specifically for low limit hold 'em. In theory everything looks good and sounds reasonable but in practice unfortunatelly do NOT work. i 've been playing on a $5-$10 table with 9 other players and I've been losing constantly eventhough I 've been following guidelines from these books as closely as it gets. The other night I was taking notes from a 200-hands session and here are the results:
- playing time around 3 1/2 hours - 26 'playable' starting hands of which: 11 missed completely the flop
7 remained uncompleted draws
3 were beaten on the river by some 'wild' players
5 won the pot
Total winnings 243 dollars Total losses (including money for BB and SB) 485 dollars Overall -242 dollars!
The game was mostly loose-passive even though some times there were raises on pre-flop (I raised twice with AA and AKs). Problem is on online games people come and go thus making difficult for me to understand their stereotype as much as I wish. Any comments, help are VERY welcome! I 'm thinking about abandoning the whole idea of online poker eventhough I think it's really great specially for people who stay in places with no poker clubs nearby...
Thanks a lot in advance!!
A couple of hundred hours is probably not a big enough sample size for a $5-$10 game to draw any meaningful conclusions. You need about 1000 hours.
If you have a choice, I think playing live poker in a casino or public card room is preferable to playing on-line. It is important to see the other players and how they react to bets and raises.
I have had quite a bit of expereince playing online. I live 2 hours from the nearest casino and although I certainly prefer the "live" rather than the virtual expereince it has to suffice(and this kind of regular expereince playing 5 or 6 times a week I think is immensely valuable). I encountered this same problem when I began playing online. The huge pool of players makes profiling difficult and it seems you can consistantly beat one or two maniacs but to have 4 or five drawing out on your KK is virtually impossible. While no ONE of those loose passive players will beat you(or last very long without getting lucky) the group of 4 or 5 effectively will. What helped me and has been rather rewarding ($) is to aclimatize myself in a lower limit maybe 3/6 or 2/4 (or if you bankroll permits continue with 5-10) and tend to loosen up with hands which play well against many players (suited cards and suited connecters) while tightening considerably on high unsuited cards. I often toss hands such as KJ and AJ preflop when I find myself in a game where it is impossible to move a number of passive callers(another and equally effective strategy is to act very aggressively on early rounds and (if the game is passive enough) check down on the laters. If you are going to play those big unsuits you need to raise and reraise with more frequency(of course only as this effectively elimanates players preflop or early on)otherwise just forget about'em. What has worked best for me though is to play those pocket pairs, suited cards, and suited connectors esp.---fold easily when bet into (assuming that the game is passive) and WAIT for the real MONSTER!...then bet relentlessly as a hand rarely is not called all the way down-it is also essential to use the check raise liberally both to move players and to capitalize on those monsters. (i.e to move players--you hold JTh on button and and flop comes Jc xs 7h I would raise and reraise because for 1 and even 2 bets a good deal of these players will call with any overcard of WEirdo straight chances so with vulnerable hands you must play ultra aggro.)
anyway hope this isn't to obvious, PLease share whatever conclusions you come to as well,
Thanks so far for your answers. Your help is invaluable. Couple of things I forgot to mention:
1. I live in Greece, where there are no poker rooms (it's prohibited, and casinos are too far away from me).
2. I have played many more than 200 hands in paradisepoker.com (I would say well over 1000). I just mentioned that 200-hands session as an example. What I noticed there, seems to apply for all the games I've played so far.
3. The cards I consider 'playable' for pre-flop are:
Early position: AA-TT, AKs-JTs, AQs-QTs,AJs-KTs,AK,KQ AQ
Middle position: all above and 99-88, AJ if there are few callers in front. AA-66,AKs-76s,AK-98,AQs-T8s,Axs if there are 4 or more calles in front. AA-TT,AKs-T9s,AQs,AQ,AJs if there is a raise and 5 or more in front
Late position: AA-99, AKs-76s, AQs-86s, AJs-96s,AK-98 AQ-J9 with 4 or less in front AA-22, KQs-54s,AQs-75s,AJs-85s,AK-76, AQ-T8,AXs-KXs with 5 or more in front AA-99, AKs-76s,AQs-J9s,AJs-Q9s,AK-JT,AQ-QT,AXs
Thanks again for your input.
I'm assuming you're playing out of "Winning Low Limit Holdem" by Lee Jones... If you follow this advice playing 2-4 or maybe 3-6 at Paradise, you should expect to come out a winner, the 5-10 games and most of the 3-6 games are much tougher than casino games that Jones is referring to.
You write below that you feel you are playing too tight, but I promise, you are not. In a PP 5-10 game, you'll save money by folding QTs KTs JTs & KQo in early position. I would draw the offsuit connector line around JTo, and even that only sometimes in late position. Playing AQ (or worse) against an early position raiser will just force you to make tough desicions later in the hand. Even in late position, T7s isn't going to hit the flop often enough to make you money. J8s is borderline. Routinely playing J9o and lower will cost you money. And Kxs is rarely worth it. Some of these hands are worth playing in certain situations, like if you are late position first in and think the blinds may fold for a raise, but they shouldn't usually be played. As a beginning player, you must realize that playing marginal hands will force you to make tough choices later in the hand, and often, you'll choose wrong.
If you play for another year, and continue playing these hands, you'll begin to see what I mean.
I have found that when playing online, the best strategy is to play in two games, but play extremely tight. It is still important to know your players, but since there are so many, it is hard to get to know anybody very well. Also, online players tend to play short sessions. If a guy's only going to sit at your table for an hour, its very rare that you'll get a good line on his play, and then get a chance to take advantage of it.
You can make money in these games, just by being a "seat plug". Play very tightly, and play two games so that you don't have to wait so long for a playable hand. When you do continue past the flop, you'll often have a good enough hand that you don't need to worry too much about an unfamiliar player. They'll still pay you off, because they're too busy web surfing or watching TV to know that you haven't played a hand in half an hour. And don't forget to steal the pot if you sense that your opponents are weak, especailly if you have outs should they decide to call.
Also, play at 2-4 for a while... Granted you'll be sucked out on more often, but that's where the good player's profits come from. Jones's advice will be enough to kill the 2-4 games, and then you can take your profits up to 3-6. If you run into trouble there, drop down again, make some money at 2-4, and take another shot. When you've taken some money out of the 3-6 games, then you take it to 5-10...
Many poker books suggest playing at the highest limit you can comfortably play, to minimize the effect of the rake. While the games at Paradise are still raked, it is significantly less than in a casino. At Paradise Poker, a good 2-4 player can actually make some money! Its half the rake, with no tips. So take your time. Don't think about whether or not Lee Jones's starting hands chart would let you play your hand. Think about what type of flop you want, and how likely it is. If you had this hand in this situation over and over forever, would you make money or lose money?
I really apreciated your answer. Forums like this one show how useful internet is. Anyway.
I'm sorry I did not make it clear enough but my problem is not winning the hands I play. My question is how can I protect myself from the rake (BB&SB). If you read my original post, I mention that out of 485 dollars that I lost, 300 dollars were paid for BB & SB. In order to increase my winnings just to cover the rake, I have to play more hands, don't I? If I play even tighter as you suggest I would have less chances to make up for the rake (even if my cards will have a higher percentage of winning). Thanks again for all your effort.
Makis - the rake is the money that the operators take out of each pot.
The blinds are there because otherwise there would be no game - everybody would wait for AA and there would only be one hand a year when one AA took on the other AA.
In a very tight game you have to defend your blinds at the right times and steal the blinds at the right time. To do this correctly requires good play. In a looser or more passive game, defending becomes much easier and the mistakes less costly. Look for the loose or passive games and if the game you are in becomes to tight you should leave.
Dave is right. Playing more hands will not help you beat the "rake" because the rake is the money that PP takes out of each pot. So really, its the loose players who are paying more rake, since they are contesting more pots. If you folded every hand preflop, you would never pay a dollar in rake.
Your blinds are another story. Over the course of your lifetime, you will lose money when in the blind. You have a forced bet, and you're out of position. The good news is that you only have to pay it 20% of the time.
In a 5-10 game, you're paying $7 per round. So to be a winner, you need to make over $7 per round. Playing extra hands is not the way to do it. The whole idea behind winning at poker is to only play cards that will make money, and play them in the way that will make the most money. All playing extra hands is going to do is drain your chips, especailly if you're not playing extremely good poker once the flop comes.
Just keep studying the game and keep playing. And play in the lowest limit games until you are beating them consistantly, then move up. If you're not a winner at 2-4, you're not going to be a winner at 5-10. Just get this idea about playing more hands out of your head, because if your whole poker education is built on such a weak foundation, you really don't stand a chance.
I definitely have to agree with jim as far as playing online vs. actual cardroom poker, I find it much easier to win playing in a cardroom than online, as I can read people and get a better feel for their play and the overall game texture. In an online casino situation you have to rely soley on betting patterns and your cards, taking out much of the element of "playing the man", I am a confident winner (so far) in cardroom poker, in online poker w/ the exception of tourneys, I have found myself to be losing, now I haven't completed more than 1000 hours and I've had good sessions and bad ones, same as anyone, but especially if your new I would recommend playing in a cardroom.
5-10 online is not at all 5-10 at a Casino. Due to the speed of the game, the quality of the players (losers cannot fund themselves forever on Paradise) and the pool of tough players who can get online any time they'd like, 5-10 plays more like a tough 10-20 in most cases than 5-10 -- or even 15-30 (look at the pre-flop percents, these are usually much lower than a lot of Casinos). People play better and tighter online at every level.
Good luck winning at 5-10: With little or no experience, you have no chance. This is not meant as an insult, since I do not know you, rather, it is simply a fact. Try the 2-4 game, there are always a few very good players there, but also some real fish, thank goodness. If you can beat that game, try the 3-6.
Mark thanks for your response. Problem is same thing happens on 2-4 and 3-6. Even worse cause there you meet even wilder players that might stay in until the river with any two cards. My point is that I think when I follow guidelines from these books I play too tight; and eventhough I show profit from the hands I play, I end up overall loser because I pay too many BB & SB. In my example 300 out of the 485 dollars were lost due to BB&SB. If it wasn't for that (ie if I didn't pay any money for BB&SB), I would be a winner, showing a profit of 60 dollars. How about that?
Again, thanks for your comments.
5-10 at Paradise is a tough game to beat. Last week I had a couple of long sessions on it and I got the impression that everyone was losing due to the rake. ( A few players may have dipped in and out taking a small profit) There were almost no big pots - a pre-flop raise got the BB and perhaps one other with very few postflop mistakes.
3-6 is generally much easier - for one thing the SB is only $1 - this is more suited to a tight playing style. What I like to see in a game is an early position raise being called by 4 or 5. In these games you will pick up the monster hands and monster pots you need to survive online.
Try 2-4. Play by the book, but raise more. You will lose less, but you will lose, I am sorry to say. 98% of beginners play too passively and get blinded to death or run over. You have described that well in your posts.
Here is how to save a ton of money:
Download irc poker (search for Greg's IRC Poker client on the web), it is online poker playing against real people for fun. Play for 1000 hours or so, and develop a strategy. When you are winning at the 50-100 level there (this is for fun, but you 'move up' as your chips grow), then play 2-4 online. You might win money then.
You have been open and honest about your losses, I want to save your bankroll,
Your losses out of the blinds seem to suggest that you are calling with the hands you play from the blinds too often and staying with them too long.
Those $5 calls add up quickly, especially when you apply the 'loose-passive' guidelines to a game that is more aggressive than you think it is.
You are definitely NOT playing too tight.
I felt the same way you do when I started playing poker, I thought the book's advice was too tight. I thought "Maybe I should just throw a call out there and outplay these guys who are obviously far less educated and aware than I am."
In many cases in loose aggressive games in low limits and online, the advice straight from the book is far, far too loose. The books all point this out and try to warn about it, but many new players don't adjust to the game we are in like we should.
The most valued lesson I have learned in mylimited poker experience (about 500 hours) is that you will not become a better poker player solely by reading books or participating in online forums. The ONLY way to improve is through experience, and the experience many times does not come cheap.
You original thread says it all: "Conventional Theory Not Working." Of course it doesn't. There is no theory or advice that you can arbitrarily apply to any poker game.
It is only through playing thousands and thousands of hands that you become more adept at applying the valuable knowledge from the books and the forums in actual games.
My point is: Be careful about applying advice "right from the book", and make sure you ask yourself if the advice you are using applies to the individual situation you are using it in.
1) throw away that lee jones book.
2) 3.5 hours is not enough to judge your results. not by several orders of magnitude.
3) if you're "playing by the book," chances are someone else at the table can figure out exactly which book.
4) online poker is fundamentally different from live poker in that it is more aggressive. this should come as no surprise - people tend to be more aggressive in general when they're not face-to-face [think rude email]. you must adjust to this fact, and be prepared to accept the resulting high variance.
5) consider playing 3-6 for a while.
4-8 HE. Played about 6 hours, ranging from up 60 to down 150. Had to leave and was about 40 down. Played one last round. Nothing in all deals. Player to right is taking blind, last hand for me.
Game was very friendly, lots of humor and kidding.
I look at 34s. What the X!. I raise. Several callers. One off button 3 bets. Blind calls. I cap. Called around. Six players. Nice pots.
Requires miracle draw for me. As dealer is clearing chips ready to deal the flop, blind says to no one in particular, "we're in trouble, he hasn't raised in over an hour" In my mind, this is a good remark for me. Blind and I have been kidding each other.
Flop is 5K3 offsuit. So I have 3's. I hope no one has a K (not much chance). I casually say. "Looks good to me"
Blind checks. I bet. Several callers, one off button raises, blind calls, I reraise. Called around. No one out.
Turn is A (no flush possible.) (A5K3)
I remark, "Well its getting better!"
So, i need a perfect 2, maybe a 3 for trips, and maybe a four for two pair. Not good. Blind checks.
Fold, fold, fold, one player debates for awhile, then folds! (wow!) Blind calls. Heads up.
River is 2. Perfect!
Blind checks. I bet. Blind calls. (Rembember we were doing a lot of kidding) So I said to him, you can't have a 4. He smiles. Says "Could be!" He turns up 24. I say: "you called all that raising with that rag, do you want to chop?" He says, "what, you have 64!" I slowly show my 34.
Everyone howls. Some says, you know this is not 20-40.
I said to blind, "you had it on the turn, why did you just call? He says, I thought you had trips, and was worried about the last card.
We split and then I split. Nice ending!
6-12 8 players, pretty tight game.
Fish limps in early position. I raise with 88 in mid position trying to isolate fish. Button, who is a solid player, calls. Everyone else folds.
Fish checks. I bet. Both call.
Turn: T (still rainbow)
Fish checks. I bet. Button calls. Fish calls all-in.
I bet. Button raises.
Do you raise or call here? Why?
At this point with 126 $ in the pot, I would re raise, most likely scenario being that the button caught a straight, and is making what he most likely percieves to be your 3 j's pay, a slowplayed trips is also a likely scenario in this case b/c of the fact that you said the button is a solid player. However, solid...what is the liklihood that he has AJ or KJ as opposed to JT or J8, or even J3, last I checked with the exception of JT solid players don't play that J3 in this spot would be a joke and J8 is a marginal call of a raise even on the button. Situation like this it all comes down to what is in your gut, how you read the player and what you think he has. and from the way I read the hand, he's either got AJ KJ or hit a straight, all 3 of which you can beat, so in my opinion you raise. Comments on my thought process also appreciated here.
The button does not have a straight. He'd have to have Q9 or 97. I don't know of any rock that would call a raise with this kind of crap.
J8 is not a marginal call for a raise on the button. It is a clear fold, no question about it.
Button may have JJ or TT or AJ, KJ, or QJ. JT? Maybe but most rocks won't call with this hand with only 2 others in in a raised pot. Those are the only things I think he can have. You beat everything but JJ and TT and JT. JJ is very unlikely, TT is somewhat more likely. I think JT is quite unlikely, but it depends on that player. It depends on the rocks perception of you - would he call your preflop raise with AJ, KJ, or QJ?
I'd say the chances are pretty good that you have the winner. If the fish still had chips and he were calling, I would definitely raise because he gives you good enough odds to raise.
Without his chips, I'd say the raise is still worth it. But I don't think it's a no brainer. Remember that the button has to fear that you might have raised with JT suited, if you typically make those kinds of plays.
If you reraise and get reraised again you know you can't win.
Why do you keep assuming the button is a rock??? I see the original post saying he is a solid player but not all solid players are rocks...
These terms are far from interchangable(sp).
Ok I will amend my statement by saying I don't know of any SOLID PLAYERS who will call a raise with J8. In my book, anyone that calls 2 bets cold with J8 suited or unsuited and only 2 people in the pot is not a solid player, end of story.
Well, he's not so solid if he called the raise with 33, JT, J8; and should probably have 3-bet with JJ or TT. This leaves AJ.
That T was about as bad a card as you could have gotton; solid player either has you beat or has a 2-overcard straight or gut shot and in any case isn't going to fold the turn. Check and fold the turn. Now if the turn was an Ace you can bet and hope he gives up KQ or whatever. This paragraph doesn't apply if he isn't so solid.
The only hand a solid player on the button could have to call your raise and not 3 bet would be TT. If this indeed is his holding wouldn't he raise the turn? Maybe he didn's see fish about to go all in and tried to keep him in the pot. I would definately re raise. The button may have Q9s. If he re raise your re raise just call.
Solid Player would call and might not raise with JJ or 10 10, I don't see him calling with AJ never KJ and surly not J 10s all are troubled hands, especially after your raise Pre-Flop. Your beat and should not re-raise.
I am not sure I would have bet the turn here with now two over cards to my pocket pair on the table plus an open pair. A solid player could easily have you beat this point.
On the river, I would just call because the only sensible hand he could have that you can beat is maybe Queen-Nine suited for a straight. With AJ, KJ, or QJ he would have raised you on the turn. But with JT or TT he might well wait until the river to pull the trigger.
No debate -- reraise every time. With any jack and the fish calling all the way and you possibly bluffing, the button should be reluctant to risk shutting down the action earlier. The 8 could also give him a straight. I can't conceive of just calling for fear he caught a higher full.
This hand is a good example of how a hand should not have been played. Holdem experts Louie and Jim are right on the money regarding the turn play as it should be a clear check-fold situation. So here's the result:
I bet my fullhouse. Button raises. I put him on AJs or KJs, and I reraise. Button reraises again! I made a crying call. Button turns over JJ for quad.
Moral of the story here, do not chase with 2 outers. Even if you get there, you may be drawing dead.
If he is solid, he can't have a straight as he wouldn't have called preflop and definitely not the flop.
River raises almost always scream "monster" or whisper "bluff".
I am guessing he had pocket 10's but I will admit that in actual play, I would feel awful sheepish just calling his raise on the river. I would probably reraise and kick myself for it later on.
If the button is a solid player, I definitely re-raise. He could only have 3 hands that have you beat. JJ (highly unlikely), J-10s ( not a good call pre-flop for a solid player), or 10-10 (with which I would expect him to raise on the flop).
This hand came up last night in a 6-12 game at my local card club. The game was mostly loose and passive.
I was in middle position, four off the blinds. Two players to my right limp, I limp with JsTs, two players in late position call and small blind folds.
The flop comes As7s4s. BB checks, UTG checks, player to my right bets, I raise, a late position player calls both bets cold. Everyone else folds except for the player to my right, who reraises, I cap it and the late position player again calls two bets cold.
The player to my right is difficult to put on a hand. He frequently overvalues his hands and will call and raise with a single high suited card. I am worried about the late position player, as he has called both raises cold, but before the turn he starts chanting for the board to pair so I figure him for trips.
Turn is an offsuit rag. Player to my right checks, I bet, late position player calls, and then a raise from my right. I call and the late calls too.
River is a rag. Right bets, I call, late folds. I have the third nut. Kxs and Qxs both beat me. Right of me turns over Ks5s. Pot was about 17 BB.
Comments on my play please.
After the way the flop was bet, I would have put at least one of the others on a flush. With only the jack I would have check called the turn and called on the river. If you win the pot it will a little smaller, but if you lose you save 3-4 bets.
I think you played it fine. You had to pound the pot on the flop so that anyone with a singleton King of Spades or singleton Queen of Spades is paying through the nose to chase you. When the player to your right check-raises you on the turn, you know you are up against another flush and are probably beat but the pot is too big at that point. All you can do is payoff.
You can play ten more years and this will never happen.
Why do say that? I've seen a few posts about how any flush is the nuts. Tonight I saw 3 players hit their flush on the river, and virtually every night I see flush over flush.
I was specifically referring to the top three flushes being out there, not just flush over flush. Even three flushes is relatively rare in one hand.
I once saw 5 made flushes in a passive game at the Luxar, in 9 years of play I seen more royals.
Did you say that Qxs folded on the river?
I find that hard to understand...why would he call all raises on the flop and turn and then fold the river for one more bet?
Your play was fine although I would often just call the reraise on the flop (given that it came from your immediate right) and plan to raise the turn when he bets again (or perhpas fold if another spade comes off). This is a "slowplay" that in fact has the pot being 3 bet on the flop and raised on the turn. In other words, you get all the advantages of a slowplay without losing the benfits of playing it fast.
I think that you have understimate the man at your right , to check-raise on the turn was very bright , he had 3 more big Bet in the pot when he has the nut . He wants you to think that he has KsXx off . There was 4 things possible for the late position : #1 ...he has a set #2 ...he has 2 pairs #3 ...he has a very small flush and he's on a draw for an inside straight flush #4 ...he's a bad player
Greg, when you play a JTs you are hoping for a straight using both cards or a flush with at least two over on board, giving you second nut. Flop it and you should play it fast but if you get resistance or check raised you are usually f--ked already. The smaller your flush the bigger the cards you want to see on the board of that suit. Start thinking in turns of what you really want to see on the flop and evaluate relative to that. Don't draw to anything lower than second nut flush and you'll stay out of trouble. Think how you would have had to play if the flop were 258 all spades, you were pretty much in the same shape. IMHO.
I played the 2-4 at Foxwoods this past weekend, and I encountered a hand where I really had little clue as to where I stood. I'm a beginner to poker, so keep that in mind.
I have 26o in the BB. 6 people or so call and I get to see the flop. The flop comes Q,Q,2 rainbow.
Everyone checks to 2nd from last position, who bets.
Given the looseness of this table, I don't expect that there is an Early queen looking to checkraise or slowplay. But still, there are a lot of cards that I'm not at all happy to see in future rounds. With so many people still in the pot, I can't be favored to come up with the best hand. I thought about raising to reduce the number of players and possibly steal the pot, but I ended up folding.
The eventual outcome was that another 2 fell on the river. By then, most the other players had folded. The post-flop bettor took the pot with twos full, so of course I'm wondering if I made a bonehead play by folding what turned out to be a winning hand.
Secondly, I'm suspecting that if I were a better player with more confidence, raising might have been a good play here. Is that the case?
You played the hand fine. While you did flop two pair you have no kicker with your pair and anyone who has a pocket pair has you beat and drawing very thin. Also if someone does have a Queen you're drawing almost dead. You'll lose a lot more money playing this hand than you'll ever win with it.
You did not make a bad play by folding here. you were out of position with no kicker. you probably had at most three outs, one two and two queens, and for a split at that. perhaps check-raising would work in some situations like this, but not with 62o out of position. you played fine. The result is irrelevant so don't worry about it. once you fold, get on with the next hand no matter what miracles might happen.
dave in cali
In a 15 hour session 3-6 loose maniac game [2 maniacs] others passive, 1 other solid player, i cash out up 700 bucks...[my biggest win ever] because I folded king-ten off [even suited in early/mid pos] and other hands of that sort such as ace-queen off [and other ace-little off] cards in any position.
was this a fluke that i won so much? or is this the way to play...it was HARD folding these hands because the other monkies were playing hands crappier than these and they were catching their hands on the river...but my little note on my lap that said 'play smart, don't play stupid.' 'fold marginal hands' helped me.
my question is did i lose anything not playing these hands? [note, it seemed like all the 'good' hands that i threw away never hit anything, maybe twice they won, but the pots were very small]
i'm just 18 and have been playing since may and the books and twoplustwo have helped because even the dealers are starting to see that i'm cashing out a winner more often now...
i've started to notice that those turkies who play jack-ten off and win a huge pot eventually lose their money back because they're playing way too many hands, and are playing ace-little off and raise with them.
i used to think that if i raise with king-queen off or king jack suited in any position, that it'd be good because i'd be mixing up my play...however, in low limit, i've noticed that these monkies don't notice a stinkin' thing except for the one or two other solids. and those solids just notice a young kid raising w/ marginal junk.
it seemed like everything went perfectly, raise w/ group one hands and they win...
sure once in a while a turkey hit his gutshot on the river and cracked my high pocket pair, but what can i do but get up, go to the restroom, get a drink of water, and wait again for another group 1 hand.
the lowest hand i ever raised with was ace king off. [is there anything wrong w/ that thinking?]
i even folded jack-queen suited in mid position after the lone solid player raised utg and as i threw the cards, it hit the dealer's hand and was exposed and i got a yelling by the monkies who 'play for the jackpot' [i play at an indian casino, san manuel] and lectured me about, that can be a jackpot hand!!! [question, would most fold this hand after a solid player raises in a loose, maniacal game?] [btw, the flop came king high and the pre flop raiser won w/ his aces] the hecklers finally stopped lecturing me after i built a nice picture of a turkey with my chips.
all in all, the point of this post is to get feedback on my play and those couple questions i had...obviously, on LL, one has to show down the best hand, bluffing is not an option as i tried once early in the game before i had a feel for it and a fishy called me down with a pair of twos that he caught on the turn and my ace-king high didn't hit.
also, i'd like to say thank you to the other posters that have helped me and responded to a few of my posts. i guess this is why you guys keep posting and helping out others, because u guys probably get satisfaction in seeing kiddies who are looking to improve their game...
when i turn 21, you'll be sure to finaly see this kiddie up there in vegas to hopefully just break even with u sharkies... =)
OK, some thoughts on your post....
First off, I like your idea of a note to yourself saying play smart! I sometimes make notes for myself when I am trying to work on a particular strategic concept. Just don't let the other players see you making notes, they may catch on that you are playing serious poker and start asking too many questions or not giving you action.
As for your play, folding marginal hands is a great place to start plugging leaks in your game. However, don't just wait for group 1 hands! I don't know the circumstances of your folding AQo, but unless someone else raised, this hand should usually be played, and then it should usually be raised with. Don't take the concept of playing only top level hands too far.
As for your folding QJs, for a raise against a lone player you should usually fold it. It does have jackpot potential, but this is not enough to call with speculative drawing hands BTF in raised pots! QJs wants to get in cheap in a multi-way pot.
You handled your hecklers well, good move making the turkey. Doing stuff like this makes others think you are not really as serious as you are, which is a good thing. Too bad your QJs got flipped over, you don't want people to know you are playing that tight.
You also have a good handle on bluffing: for the most part, don't do it. When you do, it should be heads up against a tight player, not a calling station or fish.
dave in cali
Yes it was unusual to win so much. It is possible but it is also possible to LOSE a ton in games like that. I have been in wild games and only played group 1 hands. I even folded AQ suited in the SB when it was capped before it got to me.
If you get AA 6 times and get it cracked every time, which CAN happen, you will lose a TON of money.
2 BB to see the flop. And since everyone is on tilt and things like pairs of sevens and king high are winning pots, you will probably get stubborn and not fold. So expect to put at least 6 or more BB in the pot each time you get those aces. That's 36BB gone right there.
Now pay your blinds. Thats somewhere around 2 1/2 BB per hour. 15 hours = 37 1/2 BB.
Once in a while you'll get a hand like QQ or AK and you'll want to play those too.
You can see that one session in a game like that can be VERY VERY costly.
Now, you can also have days where you play in a game like that and have all of your big hands hold up. That's rougly what happened to you. That won't happen every time.
Folding AQ offsuit in a maniacal game with lots of raises preflop and lots of people seeing the flop is a GOOD IDEA!!!
There are some people that say that if you are in a really loose game, you will make money by playing just a little looser than they do. I heartily disagree.
Let's say that the average person plays 60% of their hands. Let's say that there are 2 rocks playing 10%, 6 others playing 70%. You decide to play 30%.
You make some money from the looser players but you give it right back to the rocks. Remember that those loose players will get good hands sometimes too.
Of course, if you could get into an infinitely loose and infinitely passive game, you could make a lot of money even if you played 30% of your hands. IE, no one ever bets or raises but they call all bets you make and never fold. As far as I know there are no such games - if there are I wish I knew where!
Yes, in a game with two maniacs, you should be playing very tight. Every hand you play will have lowered implied odds. Very few hands can absorb that kind of loss of odds.
In a game with two maniacs, I wouldn't put in a preflop raise unless everyone else was playing in spite of the maniacs' raises. In that case, your raises may have enough respect to drop a few people.
One of the other responders brought up the topic of loosening/tightening your play according to table conditions. Let me express my theory.
As the game gets more passive, you can/should loosen up. That is, be a bit tighter than everyone else at the table, but you can play all the hands with small EV's. As the game gets more aggressive, then you tighten up considerably. If the game is tight aggressive, find another game.
Just joined a session (so I had to post a bet) and I 'm sitting on the right of the button. The table is $0.50/$1 My starting hand: 9c 10h My guy to the right calls, I check, SB checks, BB raises, two guys call, I call, SB raises, BB caps the pot, two guys call, I call, SB calls. Flop is 6h 7c 6c SB bets, BB folds, guy #1 calls, guy #2 raises, I call, SB calls, guy #1 folds. Turn comes 8d SB checks, guy to my right bets, I call, SB calls. River comes 7d SB checks, guy to my right bets, I call, SB folds.
I show a 6 to 10 straight and the guy to my right shows full of sixes with sevens and wins the pot.
What were the mistakes I made during that game?
thanks in advance
you didn't raise with the top straight on the turn. The other player had trips and was coming anyway, but has only 4 outs and you should make him pay to draw.
Now I'm a newbie, but when a pot gets capped pre-flop and I have T9o, I fold. When I see that the BB capped and then folded after that flop, then I count my lucky stars to be in a game with him!
If I'm the BB and 3 bets come to me, then I better have a GOOD hand or I'm folding. If I do have a GOOD hand then I'm not going to fold after that flop.
So this guy is capping pots in the BB with squat. I'll be following this guy around ;)
Calling the raise was probably a mistake. I do not like to chase for a straight or a flush when there is a pair on the flop especially a gut shot straight. I just get into trouble like you did.
1) Getting involved in a capped pot with T9 offsuit is a mistake.
2) Calling 2 bets cold with a gutshot straight draw when there is a pair AND a 2 flush on board is a BIG mistake. Especially when the pair is touching the singleton card. IE 766. Same thing with QJJ, T99, etc. People are more likely to hold on to connecting cards.
Also, the 2-flush on board indicated trouble. If you make your straight but one of that suit is there you are probably against a flush. So, you have a three outter - and the pair on board means you may be drawing dead. AND, the flush card may come on the river and kill you. I don't like your odds.
I think your preflop call of two raises with 9T offsuit was wrong.
Your call of two bets on the flop with nothing but a runner-runner gutshot was wrong (someone obviously had a 6)
Your call on the turn was wrong
The river play was irrelavent - you should not have been there in the first place.
I didn't see that you hit the straight on the turn.
I still would not have called 2 preflop with 9T offsuit or called the flop with a gutshot.
T9o is marginal to call here. In a passive game (this sounds like it wasn't) you would want to raise in the cutoff seat instead of calling to try to steal; or fold. In an aggressive game like this sounds, I would have folded it.
Once it is raised once, you must give it up; partly because you know then that you are dominated. Partly because you might find it capped. Would you have played this in the first place for 4 bets? I dooonnnn't think so.
Then when this flop comes and there is more raising, you need to give it up.
Then when you get 'lucky' and hit the gutshot, and don't raise, you are letting the set of 6 get in cheap. Then when the 7 hits on the river, you are screwed, and you better know it.
This is why I told you to save your money and play on IRC Poker for free: I have played many years, would not have made any of the mistakes you made on each card, and while I can beat 2-4 and 3-6 online (especially when there are some fishies), 5-10 is full of guys like me looking for newbies who will get sucked into a losing pot like this.
Still trying to save you $$,
Mark (and all the other guys who took the time to answer my question) thanks a lot. Problem is when I play for free I tend to play too careless and lose concentration. So I guess I have to pay to learn! Same as stock market. Most experts advise to paper trade before going for real battle but it's completely different the former from the latter. Anyway, I'll keep reading your posts and RGP, and I hope the lesson won't be ultra expensive... ;-)
playing 6-12 over the week-end. I am on the button with JJ. one player limps, next guy raises, all fold to me and I re-raise. both players call. flop comes Axx. Both check to me so I bet, both call. turn and river are also rags and both the players follow their check and call strategy. At the end the pre-flop raiser turns over KK to take down the pot. I was somewhat shocked and couldn't help but ask why KK didn't raise me at any point during the hand. He just said something about his bad luck etc...
Is there any way to deal with these - IMHO - weak passive players? Should I just be glad to be sitting in the same game with them and continue with my basic style of play? All comments appreciated.
Yes, these players are easy to beat in the long run but it can be frustrating at times when they don't bet their hand. On the specific hand in question, when you get called in two spots with a flop of Ace-high usually one of your two opponents will have an Ace so your are playing two outs. I think betting the turn was questionable and betting the river was very bad here especially against two calling stations. Given the flop,the rest of the board, and the betting action what could they have that won't beat a pair of Jacks?
I was in the same type of game last week, I had AJs, I raised, got two callers; the flop came AQx, I bet got one caller, he called me down to the river, which was another J. He called again. (Ok so maybe I lose to Kx, but he never raised at the end, and he was so weak I had to bet it, I assumed Qj or QT) To my astonishment, he showed me QQ for a set. He didn't raise for fear of AA, then for fear of me having AK or KK on the river (for the str8). I was in shock for about 10 minutes.
I am watching too much 20-40 online, hehe.
I guess I wasn't really afraid of the ace because everyone checked to me. I wasn't really concerned about another high pair because up to that point in the game the preflop betting was such that it was fairly obvious if there was a high pair out there. with only 3 players, if I had pocket Kings, I would have made it 4 bets. Granted, the bet on the river was probably not such a good idea but I'm still learning and I've also felt that I have been missing too many bets because I havn't been betting the river enough.
You can be sure that if I had KK in that hand I would bet into that flop. If you raised me with JJ, and with another caller in the hand, I might well take a check and call approach for the rest of the hand. I have to consider that your reraise may have been with AA or AK.
Can you really expect him to raise with it after the flop? He has to consider that either you have an A or the other guy does and is afraid of his kicker.
If I were in your shoes I would definitely have bet the flop and turn but no way would I bet the river. No one will fold a hand that is better than the one you have, and they probably won't call with a hand that's worse.
basically, if KK had made it four bets I would have slowed way, way down. As the hand was played, I was not getting any info from the other players as to what they had. for all I knew, KK could easily be TT. If he was raising pre-flop with A-high card, well then he would have definitely bet the flop. If he puts me on an Ace then isn't it better for him to bet in to me and if I raise then fold? Why would you just check and call the whole way thinking I had an ace but hoping that I didn't? I know that in a higher level game there are all sorts of mind games you can play, but this is 6-12 after all.
I should have been clearer in my original post. I was surprised that he didn't re-raise me pre-flop and that he didn't bet into me on the flop to find out where he stood.
If he bet, what would you have done?
Many players would raise with JJ and KK might fold.
Sometimes, betting for information can be hazardous because there's no obligation on the part of the informer to tell the truth.
A better bet to see where he stood might be on the turn. There, informers are less apt to see their own noses grow.
with 3 players seeing the flop, one player in early position called three bets, the other player behind who three bets preflop and an Ace card on board, and the game is 6-12, that means someone who call a check raise or raise in this situation does not automatically mean that they have strong hand, i have seen people in similar situation who raise the flop with KT, hence for the KK player to be sure someone has an Ace, he must somehow three bet the flop and bet the turn, that is as much as calling all the way down. Since he has KK, he's not running much risk of giving a free card if he already has the best hand. So assuming the early position limper is a weak player, I think check calling is not all that bad for the KK player(of course it will be different and probably harder to play if he has QQ). If I am playing in this case, I will bet the turn, but not the river.
"I was somewhat shocked and couldn't help but ask why KK didn't raise me at any point during the hand."
Well, there's an Ace on the board so I don't quite understand why you think that the guy with KK should have played more aggresively (save for maybe the preflop cap). I am not saying that he played it perfectly but he certainly played it in a reasonable manner.
In fact, if he has decided not to fold this hand at any point (and I wont comment on whether that is a wise thing to do), he probably did play it perfectly. If he is behind, he is playing a 2 outer and if he is ahead, you are playing a 2 outer (although he has the third fella's outs to worry about as well).
Notice that by calling with the KK he has trapped you assuming that he has the best hand. I frequently make this exact same play.
well thanks for the comments. I guess in retrospect I should've given up on the turn since it didn't look like anyone was going to fold.
I know you have gotten what you want here, but you have to make a mental note of the players that will shrink to a 3 bet, but also who can't divorse a big pair or top pair good kicker...I think the flop bet is a must, but then you are looking for free cards to make your set and have to fold to a river bet from them. Just be thankful you didn't loose more to a check raise from a more aggressive type. Also consider not raising your JJ until you get a flop you like, it's not really that great of a hand if the flop doesn't help or leave you with an overpair. S&M group 1 hand yes, powerhouse no. With JJ you are playing the players and the flop. My opinion is you got played by players who knew you would play all big pairs this way and took the safe way home. Better luck.
I'm missing something here. When did you expect him to raise you? The board contains an Ace, you 3-bet him pre-flop, and another player stuck around. There's a very good chance his hand is no good.
Well who calls all the way to the river if they don't think their hand is any good?
I agree with you there, but in LL you'll find lots of players who refuse to lay down big pairs.
Ironically, iread your post yesterday before going in to play. My second hand I get J-J and raise. BB re-raises and I hit it again. Just me, SB and BB in. Flop comes A-x-x. Checked to me and I bet. Both call. I know I'm beat and I know neither one will lay it down. I check it down (thinking of your post, and knowing I'm going to see K-K) and sure enough the BB turned over Kings. However SB had A-4 and took it down.
I'm glad you saved some chips. SB Calls 4 bets with A-4?
Sometimes players are better than you think. You seem to be suprised when someone doesn't play each hand as you would. The object of this game is to win the most money. This man made the most he could (should) have by playing it in this way. He doesn't have to be super macho man to be the best player. This guy may have been watching your style the whole round. Were you watching his. Will you in the future?
You make a good point. I've also been trying to control my pent up aggression by mixing up my play lately. hopefully to make it tougher to read me.
4-8 Holdíem First let me start off by saying that Iím aware that I should not have played my hand to begin with, but please comment on my play following the flop. The game is loose passive with two strong players (SP) waiting to go to the 9-18 or 20-40 game.
PTR is UTG and makes it live 8. My hole cards are 2c2s and I decide to see the flop for 2 bets thinking that it would not be raised due to the normal flow of the game. Big surprise, by the time it gets back to me the betting is capped at $20. I grumble and put in the additional $12 (Iím thinking to myself ďyou dummyĒ). 6 players see the flop.
The flop comes2h5cQh. PLR bets out and I just call. (should I raise here with my set?) It gets raised I just call again (do I re-raise here?) and 5 players see the turn.
Turn is 5d.
PLR bets. My dilemma here was; do I raise or just call in an attempt to keep the players on a flush draw in the game. I bet realizing that any pair would beat my full house if they catch. The button (SP) says *@#Z!! I trapped myself and calls. (what does he mean by that remark) PTR calls. The 3 of us see the river.
River brings a Jh.
PTR bets I raise and the button folds. PTR calls. I show my pocket 2ís and he says I missed then mucks his hand. I assume he meant he missed a hull house.
All comments appreaciated.
The flop gave you a set, but the two flush means you have to play it as fast as you can. Being cute with a small set just invites your 2's to get cracked. Even so, with so much money in the pot, they probably won't fold, but you might as well jam it as long as you think you have the best hand.
The turn is a somewhat different story. You have a full house, but all the action indicates that there are definitely some 2-pair hands out there. Any one of them catches and your full house is dead. I would jam the turn also.
I think you waited far too long to start raising.
I know I probably sound like a guy who used to get a lot of small sets cracked by slowplaying them in low limit hold em.
First off, your play of taking a flop with 6 players with pocket 22 would not be as bad as you seemed to think if this is really a loose passive game. I will typically play any pocket pair in any position if it is TRULY a loose passive game. However, given that it is capped, ??????
On the flop you have bottom set with a two flush on the board. This is not the time to be slowplaying and just calling. you had two opportunities to raise the pot on the flop. you should have seen to it that the pot got capped on the flop while you had the chance. you will tend to make more $$ by raising and reraising the flop in this situation than by waiting for the turn to raise. Cap it on the flop!!!!!
On the turn, you could consider raising here rather than the river, as most of the time flush draws will call anyway but will fold the river if they miss. You are still vulnerable to quite a few cards in the deck, as your full house could be counterfeited by someone with a five hitting their kicker, someone with a pocket pair hitting their two outer, or someone with a queen or five hitting for a better full or quads. Given this, I don't think it hurts to raise the turn and charge them the max to try and get there.
by raising the river, I think you probably made the same amount as if you had gone for the overcall, so no problem there.
overall, you have to pump those small sets sooner and stop letting those flush draws see extra cards for cheap. If you just always raise the flop when you flop a set you will be doing pretty good. Don't fool around, you will usually win a bigger pot anyway by just pumping sets on the flop than if you try and get fancy and wait till the turn or river to raise.
dave in cali
The game had been very loose and passive and is why I was in shock when it came back capped. The sudden change in regards to the raise and re-raise somehow played on my mind and gave me the feeling that my set of 2ís were to wimpy to raise with. I guess a set is a set.
I did raise after the turn when my thought process got back on track. But all of the respondents are correct in that I should have raised or capped after the flop. That fact that most players on a flush draw will call to the river is something I will have to remember.
The concept of playing any pair in a very loose game is interesting. Do you find this profitable most of the time?
I don't find that calling 3, 4 or 5 bets preflop with a small or medium pair is very profitable.
In a very loose/wild game, I like to stick with the bigun's. It just costs to much to miss with little pairs. Overall, I think it is more profitable to fold.
Consider this hand I was in last night. I was playing on a mostly loose/passive 3/6 table. Not getting very many good hands, but picking up a few pots here and there. After 5 hours, I was up $75 and was ready to pack it in. Then things changed.
2 guys sat down at the table.
Guy#1 was a very tricky player, will act 'maniacal' for show right when he sits down for advertising, then tighten up later. Loves to bet losing hands all the way to the river, then say something like "If you can call, you win!" as he turns over his trash for the entire table to see. Sometimes his trash hits and he takes down monsters, but his swings are pretty enormous. Lately, he's been pretty lucky. The last time I played with him, he capped preflop with 62o and the flop was 226.
Guy#2 will reraise preflop with any Axs or Kxs or any two paints.
So now the table went from loose passive to a split personality table with loose passives and 2 loose aggressives. I decided to stick around for a few hands and see if I can catch some premium hands while Guys 1 and 2 jam with marginal hands.
As I thought, Guy #1, 'pseudo-maniac', immediately begins jamming with trash, trying to advertise for trapping later on. Big pots start being pushed back and forth. Every once in a while, the table calms down.
After a while, I was UTG with 66. I limp in, hoping the table takes a breather, but Guy#1 raises. 2 callers, Guy #2 Reraises. 3 more callers, and it's $6 more to me.
I think to myself: "I know I have Guy#1 and Guy#2 beat, but I probably don't have the other players beat. I also know I am going to have to put another $12 in to find out."
I pass, forfeiting my 3 bucks.
Betting gets capped 7-way. ($109 preflop!)
The flop comes Kd Td xc. Guy #1 bets, maybe one player drops. ~$127 in the pot.
Turn is a 6c. Shit, there's my 6! Guy #1 bets, 3 callers. ~$151 in the pot.
River is a 3h. Guy #1 bets, 3 callers. ~$175 in the pot.
Guy#1 turns over pocket 3's and takes it down.
I went back over my decision - I would have been happy to call one extra bet preflop, but I was not ready to call capped betting with 66. Especially considering that the other 'passive' players at the table would have just called with premium hands, including AA. One guy would never raise preflop unless he had AA.
So I would be going against 2 guys I am pretty sure I can beat, and going against 5 others that would slow play a better hand than I held.
Furthermore, there were two diamonds and two clubs on the board at the turn and if either flush hits, I'm dead.
I think if I call that preflop cap 100 times with 66, I lose a lot of money.
I left immedieatly after that hand and cashed out my $72 win.
In loose passive games, I will play any pair from any position most of the time. This is not to say that I will call three or four bets cold with pocket 22 though. However, if I am pretty sure there will be 5, 6, or more callers, I don't mind calling one raise with my pocket pairs. When the maniacs come and sit in the game, it's time to tighten up though. Now I will only play premium hands up front, and play tighter in later positions as well.
dave in cali
I agree with first two responses. If you have a set on the flop and its unlikely anyone else does, AND its mutiway, not betting and raising allows more opportunity for suck outs againts you. You will have some hands cracked in the long run, but by playing weak you allow the following effect overall: you will lose more often to other players who suck out (the presumption being that when you push some players will fold, son conversely not push allows stayers) and you will win less, because the size of the pot is not max. You have to believe in the long run and be willing to take your bad licks if they occur. Also, when you make a full house and there is an apparent flush or straight, it would even be a stronger reason to raise.
Here's a hand that came up tonight while playing $2/$4 online at Paradise. I'm unsure whether I got too fancy in how I played it and whether I should have heard the alarm bells and pitched the rockets earlier.
As usual, I'll include my thoughts during the hand in italics.
I'm third to act after the blinds with As Ac. Both players in front of me limp, I raise. Unknown player (UP) immediately after me cold calls, rest fold to big blind. BB and limpers call.
I've only played with one of these players before, the player on my immediate left, who I have pegged as a very loose, but occasionally tricky player. All others are unknown.
10.5 small bets in the pot.
FLOP: Qh 7h 4s
BB checks, UTG bets, NP (only guy I know) folds, I raise, UP 3-bets behind me. BB folds, UTG calls 2 cold. I call.
Hmmmm. I wish I had a line on this guy's play. (At this point, I only have about 5 hands worth of observations.) In one of the five hands he had played draw rather strongly, but can I really see him making this play with hearts? Would he be this aggressive with AQ? Possible. KK? Again possible, but he'd probably raise me on the flop. What about 2 pair? I can't see him calling 2 cold with Q7, 74, or Q4. A set might also be a possibility, likely QQ, maybe 77.
19.5 small bets = 9.75 big bets in pot.
This is likely benign. Here's where I make a questionable decision ... I decide to bet it out. If UP is playing KK or AQ ultra-agressively, I get more money in the pot. I deny a free/cheap card if he's on a draw, plus, in the event that UP raises, I hopefully knock out UTG. However, if he raises again, I now have to reassess whether he has a better hand than mine. I still have a fair number of outs against 2 pair (8, although I can't be sure which card on the flop it's safe to have pair), but I'm drawing fairly slim against a set (2 lonely aces).
So when UTG checks, I bet, UP raises. UTG folds, I call.
At this point, I'm starting to persuade myself I'm looking at a set here. But again, I can't be sure. I'm not sure I'm happy with my call here.
13.75 big bets in the pot.
Hmmmm... Well, the flush didn't get there, but a straight did, albeit through the back door. I honestly don't figure him for either draw though. However, assuming I check and he bets, I'm getting 14.75 to 1 odds on a call. Am I 94% sure that I'm beat? No.
I check and call. I'm shown ... of course ... QQ for the flopped set.
What do you think of my turn play against an unknown player? I think both the lead bet and the call of the raise are questionable. Do I check and call the turn and river? Bet, and fold if raised? Any other suggestions?
All input appreciated...
Unless you knew this player was a rock somehow, there was no good way to get away from this hand. Don't worry about it.
Sometimes your opponent flops a set and you lose a few chips.
If you played AA and assumed your opponents always flopped two-pair or a set, you would lose a lot of bets.
I have to agree with Deadbart and PP, you lost some chips here but there isn't much you could have done about it. you can't just fold a big overpair with a board like this every time someone raises you. Sometimes someone flops a set on you and you lose some chips. Unfortunate but not completely unexpected. Look for better places to make great laydowns, this was not one of them. Just pay it off. Your thought process during the hand shows that you have put a great deal of thought into the game. I think you reasoned your play well and don't feel that you were fooling yourself anywhere during the hand. Sh%t happens.
dave in cali
i wont be as nice as the others. you could have clearly saved yourself a bet by just checking on the turn. if he reraised on the flop he obviously wasnt going to fold from a bet when a blank came on the river and he was likely to raise. you only had AA, good but not great. not knowing him, you wouldve done best by switching to check and call mode for the remainder of the hand. at the same time i think you were right not to fold cause people reraise with garbage sometimes online. paradise games are quite tough. ive read, and ill agree, that their 2-4 games play like real life 5-10 games.
I am very new to the game of Texas Hold 'em, with 2 sessions in an L.A. cardroom under my belt. I want to find a good book to help me learn the proper way to play...I already have books by Ken Warren and Lee Jones, but since buying them I've heard quite a few disparaging comments about the advice given in each of those books.
Can anyone recommend a good book for me?
Lee Jones' book is not all bad but don't consider it to be the bible of poker. Get holdem poker by david sklansky and theory of poker by sklansky. then get holdem poker for advanced players 21st century edition by sklansky and malmuth. these are the most useful books, but start with the first one before going on to the next ones.... all these books can be found on this site.
The books that you have read and the books that others in the forum recommend are great. Definitely read them.
However, the only way you will improve as a player is through experience. Make sure you are paying attention to what goes on in the games, especially when you are not in the hand, that is the best time to observe players.
Read all of the Essays on this site. After a few weeks, read them all again. Lots of good info.
Don't read books. They'll only make you change your natural playing style which isn't good for your game.
LOL, someone on Paradise actually told me that after I made some comment about Theory of Poker and HFAP. Of course he also called pre-flop raises with 45o, J6s, etc.
Theory of Poker, HFAP 21st century are must reads. I hear that Super System has quite a bit of good info too, I need to get that one.
Play online(FREE) as if you were at a money table. Sure you'll be folding ALOT of hands, but that's a great time to catch up on this forum or r.g.p. or card player magazines website(they have a huge archive of articles).
First off, I would never mention 2+2, TOP, or anything else about good poker strategy to any of my opponents at the table. Don't spread the good word around about proper playing strategy, or else your opponents will get tougher and play better, and then you will earn less. More importantly, I will also earn less.
Second, super/system is a fantastic book. However, for a beginning player, it will not be of as much use as the other books you mentioned. Also, I believe all beginning players should read Holdem poker by DS before reading anything else, because it is much more designed for players who have not played before, and the other books are pretty advanced. Read those three books, get some practice, and you will be on your way to being the next Matt Damon. Well, almost.....
dave in cali
As someone who is also learning the game I would suggest you read whatever you can, books, essays. this forum etc. Also get Turbo Texas Holdem by Wilson software, the new version with Sidewinder Sid who will analyze your play.
ALSO try "www.hotpoker.com"/ "www.pokerroom.com" all free. I have been playing on these sites for the last two months and have improved my "holdem game tremendously and I am sure you too. Be able to read hands more accurately, play hands to proper position, plug your leaks in your game. For me was calling to many raises with a dominated hand. These two sites I have mentioned are low limit holdem. READ and PRACTICE at these sites for guaaranteed improvement. You'll see maniacs, loose, passive. tight agressive all type of game situations to prepare you better for casino gambling.
I have a question about a play that I made my first time out, last weekend...
I hold TT, I flop a set, with 2 spades on the board. I bet and get called around...the turn card is a third spade. Again I bet (should I have checked and called? folded?), this time it's raised then reraised before it gets back around to me, with everyone folded except the two raisers.
Obviously I'm up against a flush at this point...do I call the two bets, hoping for the board to pair so I get my full house? There were about 5 or 6 players calling on the flop, so there's a decent amount in the pot.
I ended up calling, then called again on the river even after I didn't improve (which I think was stupid), losing to the guy with As. The other raiser had Ks.
I'm pretty sure I shouldn't have called the river, but should I have called the turn like I did after 2 raises? I appreciate any advice. Thanks.
you have to call the turn because you have ten outs and the pot is big enough to justify trying to fill your boat. the river call is somewhat questionable, but with a pot that big you only needed a small chance of having the winner to make a call correct. you can only fold on the river if you are very sure you are beat.
dave in cali
this shows why you need to have a little math in your head. depending on what you read your opponents for it ranges between about 3.2 to one and 4.25 to one against you making the winner. basically use 3.5 to 1 and see if the pot plus what you think you may win on the end justifies the call. thats poker for the advanced players. learn that and then take the next step up. you will do fine if you can master this.
First off, you have the odds to call 2 more bets on the turn with that many players and bets already in place.
With 1 raise on the turn, that person could have 2 pair or a smaller set and decide to raise to make more money. This all depends on the player that raised. Some players I know will never raise without the nuts and some will raise the turn if they hit a pair with one of their overcards regardless if their pair makes someone else a flush or straight. If you were heads up on the river, you would still have to call him down. There's a golden rule saying that if you didn't lose a lot of money playing a set, you didn't play it right.
However with 2 players raising, you can almost guarantee at this point that someone has the flush and that you are only drawing to the boat. if the board doesn't pair on the river...I would muck without a second thought.
I was playing 4-8 hold'em at the Bellagio this week late at night when I was dealt J,Q unsuited. Three callers before me in mid-position, so I called in a game with little before-the-flop raising. Flop comes K,K,10. Guy under the gun bets, both players before me call, I call, guy after me calls. Turn is a blank. Guy under the gun bets, two players fold, I raise. The late-position player folds. Under the gun re-raises. I call. River is an Ace. He checks, I bet, he calls. He turns over K,Q -- I win with the straight.
The guy loses his cool, loudly calls the play a bad beat, says to the other end of the table, "what was he thinking?" He gets up and walks around for a minute, clearly upset. When he sits back down he is very whiny about "bad players."
Here's the thing -- I thought it was a good play, but maybe I'm wrong. I didn't really think he had a king at first, maybe an Ace or a lower pair. I thought my raise on the turn might steal the pot right then, but I also thought that if it didn't, I would be head-up with a guy who would definitely call me if I made my hand. All of those factors made this seem like a good play. I had 8 outs (not to the nuts, but still) and a chance to win outright on the turn.
The player's bad manners made me wonder about this though. Nobody at the table seemed to understand what I was thinking. Was this a bad move?
P.S. -- Later he made an inside straight to draw out on another player and he apologized to the guy, saying "I won the last two hands. I was on a roll so I stayed in." Simultaneously playing badly, but acting as if it is bad manners to make a come hand.
I'm relatively new to this game, but a serious and quick study. Any thoughts would be appreciated.
Pre-flop your limp with Queen-Jack offsuit is fine. When the flop comes KKT and one guy bets with two others calling I would be worried about at least trip Kings from one of the three players. If someone has King-Ten you are drawing dead. If someone has King-Nine you are dead to an Ace. If someone has Ace-King and decided not to raise pre-flop, then you are dead to a Nine. Furthermore, even if you make your straight on the turn, someone with trip Kings has 10 redraws to beat you so you will not win 100% of the time even when you get lucky and hit. This is a small, unraised pot with only about 7 or 8 small bets in it. I would fold and save my money for a better gambling opportunity.
On the turn, I do not like your raise here at all. There are so many limping hands headed by a King and your opponent's lead into a crowd of 5 players on the flop followed by his betting the turn almost certainly mean at least trip Kings. Your raise will not fold him and you run the risk of a re-raise.
Pre-flop your call is ok. There's enough action in front to make Q-J a call. But realize that this is a hand that will make a second best hand many times and cost you. (think about if the flop had come Q high. Now your up against K-Q and a huge underdog).
After the flop there's a bet and 2 callers to you. I get very worried that there is a king in someone's hand with this many people involved. If I'm certain there's a king, I fold right here.
When he bets the turn it all but confirms he has a king (how can he bet into 4 callers without a K or pocket tens). The pots offering you 6 1/2 to one on a 5 1/2 to one shot (assuming your drawing live). This is not a big enough overlay for me, esp. with a player still to act. I definitely fold here.
I'm glad you won the pot, but be aware that when the board is paired it's more dangerous to draw to flushes and straights so the pot has to be large.
UTG's behavior was terrible. Your play wasn't so far out of line that it deserved that kind of response.
plays far enough out of line to "deserve" this type of response should not garner it either. This horse has been beaten so many times that I hesitate to mention it, but I think that opponents should be treated politely at all times. In the case of a bad beat, the opponent is either a beginner who you risk turning off of the game or a fish who may learn something. either way, treating them politely will only serve to ensure that they will continue to play their one, two, and three out hands against you. just my opinion. -2d
I agree 100%. Deserve was the wrong word.
Yeah, that's a pretty tough one for the guy with 3 kings. I would probably have folded on the flop if I were you in that hand.
If your opponent had been a maniac, betting every hand he gets, then calling him down is not too bad of an option. Raising is not an option.
It was a tough beat, but not uncommon at all. Many players just can not be knocked off an open ended straight draw for one bet, whether the board is paired or suited or not. They always remember that one time they folded a gutshot and it hit.
If I was your opponent in this hand, I would have tried to check raise, hoping someone in late postion would bet, forcing you to call two bets. If it checks around, that's life. If everyone folds after the checkraise and I win the pot, fine. Most of the time in low limit 5-handed, someone will be holding a T or put me on a steal and give me action.
His behavior after the hand was pretty stupid. You thought you played the hand well, and his actions had you rethinking your play. This is ridiculous, he should have encouraged you or remained silent.
Had I been your opponent, I would have just said "Hey, you flopped an open ender, good hand - way to stick with it." Considering your report on his subsequent actions, he wasn't that bright.
i agree with the others that your turn raise was awful. however, who played the hand worse; you or utg?
his failure to check-raise the flop suggests that he is a conflicted, passive-aggressive individual who thinks he knows more about poker than he ever will. his actions after the hand support this view.
my suggestion would be to play against this guy whenever you can.
Is flopping trips really the best time to checkraise in a 4-8 game?
Who is going to bet at a flop of KKT? Maybe a ten in late position, but no one early who does not have a K. In a passive game, this one has a good chance getting checked around. Then those QJ hands are really happy. I bet out for sure.
It depends on who you are playing with, but I have played with many, many people at 4/8 who will blissfully bet the flop with a ten, a gutshot or just a plain steal.
I know might not be a good play to bet into that flop without a king, but I try not to play on tables where my opponents make good decisions.
I'll relate a similar situation that might suggest why this is a good play to make maybe 1/3rd of the time...
I was at a 3/6 table, in late position, with a 6-7 suited. I called before the flop and the button folds and there are the blinds, and 2 others in. The flop comes up 5-8-J. First player bets and everyone calls. The turn comes up a blank, so I haven't made, but the first player bets and everyone calls to me and I raise. Everyone calls but the player on my right who folds his pocket Kings (he decided to show, don't know why). I river everyone when my straight card comes up. And I hear from across the table "Sloppy raise". It's true, it's not the best time to raise, but the key is that it makes your betting less predictable the rest of the session. Just so long as you don't do it all of the time, its not a bad type of raise.
You may get the added benfit of putting a player on tilt, as this player did. Later in the game you may be able to use this to your advantage. You made a few mistakes but had good results and have leard from your mistakes. Good luck.
Aaron, big difference in that the board is not paired, you were in last position, everyone had called. Your bet if everyone calls is even money, and with one folder is good advertising.
justwant to emphasize this point - that this situation is totally different.
without a paired board, you have the nuts if you hit your hand. 58J is also a flop that other players would more likely bluff into - and your raise could catch that bluffer.
Your situation is the perfect time for a semi-bluff turn raise, while the KKT flop is a horrible time for it.
well, don't forget that by betting out you're giving the draws correct odds to call. if you can successfully check-raise, it's less correct for the 8-outers to call, but it's now incorrect for the gutshots to call.
if it gets checked around, that's not really a tragedy either. this is because if the turn is a blank, a bet there means the 8-outer would need 4.5:1 to call, while only getting 3.5 to 1. and if the turn is a card which would make a straight, you can check and then depending on the action either fold or draw to your own 4-outer.
of course, in the actual play, i might bet out as well, but i'd think afterwards that i'd made a mistake, not that some sucker drew out on me.
I like your potential as a player. I like your agression. There is a fine line between being overly aggressive and out of control. As your play develops you will hopefully figure this out. The fact that you are thinking about what your opponent has and how you can perhaps steal the pot from him leads me to believe you will become a good player.
OK, I would have to rate your play here as halfway between bad beat and good play.
You limped with a marginal hand BTF, that's OK. No further comment there.
Calling for one bet on the flop is OK.
The turn - Hmmmmmm. I don't like your raise here at all. I think your chances of stealing the pot are not as good as you think. Plus you are likely to drive out callers, which you would do better to keep in with this hand. Another reason that raising is bad here is that you will likely get (correctly) reraised by someone holding a king, which is exactly what happened. I don't like raising on the come when the board is paired, you might be drawing dead already, or your straight card might make someone a full house. People sometimes limp with AK or K9.
dave in cali
Except for the raise on the turn, I don't see too much to berate you for on this hand. As evryone has pointed out, the raise is bad because UTG probably has a King. Once again, this is a "it depends" hand. As for the AK and K9 possibilities, i think they are not as dangerous as you may thing. Some people limp with Ak, but not many. many people who limp with K9 UTG will also limp with more ragged suited kings. in this case, assuming that he has a king, the range of his kicker has also increased, and the chance of his having a full has decreased.
Maybe this hasn't been put in the most eloquent terms, but I think a check call is acceptable here. Of course bet or raise if you get there, but just call if he raises then.
Many issues here. First, calling with QJo after three players call is marginal. What are you hoping for? You really need to flop two pair or a straight draw. You will chase the straight, be up against likely straight draws with two pair, and run a major risk of getting outkicked or having a K or A show up on the turn or river if you only flop top pair. Any way you slice it, you're mostly folding after the flop and have significant downside risk to your desired flops.
Flop comes KKT. What are the odds NO ONE has a king? There's a 57% chance at least one of the other 8 players got a king and maybe a 20% chance all kings would be folded. Either way, conservatively there's over a 50% chance there's no king out. If there's also no flush draw on the board, your straight draw is highly live and you even have a chance of picking up the pot should a Q or J fall. The tougher case is if there's a two-flush. This hand will call and drops your straight outs to 6 AND requires you beat a 4:1 shot on the other card. Your hand is MUCH less valuable if there's a two-flush on board.
When the flop gets to you there are 8 to 9.33 small bets in, depending on whether the blinds folded. In this position, I would call if there's a two-flush on board and RAISE if there's not. In the first case, you're getting (implied) odds to call even with the risk of a raise and risk of making your straight but losing - loose callers keep calling when there's no raise. Why raise if there's no flush draw? First, if there's no king, you may get 2-3 players to dump or may have a perfect moment and get the pot right there (bluffing alone here would be horrible of course). Players dumping significantly increases your odds of taking the pot, especially if the best hand after the flop is kings and tens. Second, you may well get a free card and will check the turn unless you hit the straight, then bet or call for value on the river if the turn or river pairs your Q or J. If reraised, call. If you don't get the free card, calling depends on the flush possibilities and what kind of action you anticipate behind you. A call of a single big bet at that point is fine. By the way, in this game, you should raise the first chance you get if you hit the straight. Call if reraised.
Back to where you were on the turn. Three players left including you, with the UTG a possible bluffer and last bettor a possible draw (you hope). A raise here with two players left and 12-13.33 small bets in is only breakeven or better if you outright win the pot at least 25% of the time. Why just the direct odds and not counting for making the straight and winning that way? Because you run a healthy chance of being reraised. It's expensive, it dramatically increases your variance, and it's a bad or at best marginal play UNLESS you have some very good reason to believe that one of them will definitely fold and that the other doesn't seem set to battle. In that case, it's not so bad. Even if it fails, you get great advertising and probably should show this hand even if you don't call the river. If you raise and both players left to act reraise, I would fold. Two other points: As before, if there's a two flush on the flop, forget raising. You'll get called by the flush draw, and that draw likely has you beat with an ace. The other point is that this kind of play tends to create compounded error because you'll be awfully tempted to beat out against a lone player on the river with 8 to 8.6 large bets in the pot - that's another longshot draw to up your variance.
always say you just felt it coming.
I've noticed that in that card room, at least, people seem to recognize the before-the-flop semi-bluff raise as a standard of the 4-8 game -- a device to steal the pot or to get a free turn card. But a raise on the turn is often taken very seriously (as it should be, I know.) I recognize that my raise on the turn in this case was a bad play given the pair on board, but am I right to feel that given other circumstances a semi-bluff raise on the turn in low-limit hold 'em can yield profits simply because of its scary nature? This assumes that you play tight/aggressive the rest of the time -- you're not a maniac who they would want to call every time. This would have to be done only occasionally, but the idea is to make them think, "it's too expensive to raise here without a made hand, he must have something big."
What I'm getting at is the notion of picking up on the style of a particular game, and using the assumptions that most players have about what is "proper" play against them. As was the case in my story, sometimes there seems to be almost an accepted etiquette on how to play your hands, and if you break it, you're perceived as having done something terribly wrong to the table. It's absurd because, as someone pointed out above, if I'm wrong, I'll pay the table in the long run until I figure out my mistakes. But if you can convince them that you play like them and think like them, maybe they will be easier to manipulate. It's something I've been wondering about based on my observations in this one room at this particular level (and I'm sure it was a factor in my decision to raise in this hand) but, again, I'm not sure about it. Maybe you would just give up too much when you miss or when they really do have it.
Thanks to everyone for your responses. This is a fascinating game with seemingly endless learning curves. I appreciate this forum.
"...am I right to feel that given other circumstances a semi-bluff raise on the turn in low-limit hold 'em can yield profits simply because of its scary nature?"
For the most part, semi-bluff raising the turn in low limit is not a good tactic. The reason for this is that you will very often be called by one more more players all the way to the river no matter what they have. So one of your reasons for making a semi-bluff raise, namely winning the pot outright, is unlikely to happen. Therefore you are losing expected value on your raise. Mostly what you will do by semi-bluff raising the turn is to simply charge yourself more $$ to make your draw.
I feel that the semi-bluff turn raise is more useful in short handed games, or in games that are fairly tough, or perhaps in higher limit games for the same reason). You want to be against opponents that will stand some chance of FOLDING. This is rarely the case in a low limit game with a full table. However, I sometime use this play when the game is short, especially if I am against one or two tight players who I think are capable of laying down a hand. I know a couple regulars whom I would use this play against more frequently because I know they tend to lay down hands more easily, especially if there is a scary board.
Here is an example:
Six handed game. I limp with QsJs 2nd in BTF. Button calls, SB folds, BB checks. 4 players.
The flop is Ts 9d 4h. BB bets, next player calls, I call, button calls.
Turn is the As. BB bets again, next player folds. Here I decide to raise. The button probably would not be in this pot having limped with an ace, as he is pretty tight and usually only plays good aces (and then he usually raises with them). Forcing the button to call two bets cold is likely to make him fold unless my read here is totally wrong. The BB is an OK player, slightly on the tight side. I feel there is a reasonable chance that he will fold here. The combined chance of both players folding, plus my 15 outs with a flush card or a straight card, make this a good opportunity for a semi-bluff raise.
This pot is fairly small at this point. Since it's short handed, most of the pots are going to be pretty small anyway, so your drawing hands are not as valuable as they are in a full game. However, I am adding value to this hand by raising here since it increases the chance of my winning the pot. Keep in mind that against a full table of calling stations I probably wouldn't make this play.
Comments welcome. I hope this answered your question, or at least provoked some more thought on the matter.
Dave in Cali
Good example, I feel the power, even if no one else does. Not to mention the extra bets you pick up if you hit the river perfect.
Hi. Could you care to comment my play as shown below? My question is, should I have raised or not, on the turn?
$3/$6 Hold'em Table "Taha" (real money) -- Seat 5 is the button Seat 1: player1 Seat 2: player2 Seat 3: player3 Seat 4: Makis Seat 5: player4 Seat 6: player5 Seat 7: player6 Seat 8: player7 Seat 9: player8 Seat 10: player9 player5 : Post Small Blind ($1) player6 : Post Big Blind ($3) Dealing... Dealt to Makis [ Tc ] Dealt to Makis [ Ac ] player7 : Fold player8 : Fold player9 : Call ($3) player1 : Call ($3) player2 : Fold player3 : Fold Makis : Call ($3) player4 : Fold player5 : Call ($2) player6 : Check *** FLOP *** : [ 5c Qc 7s ] Seat 1: cardreader ($528 in chips) Seat 2: JOHSA ($235 in chips) Seat 3: ugorp ($95.50 in chips) Seat 4: geraki ($111 in chips) Seat 5: blistex ($145 in chips) Seat 6: fuzzy96 ($249 in chips) Seat 7: Nytric ($205 in chips) Seat 8: marco ($283 in chips) Seat 9: AmericanoKid ($149 in chips) Seat 10: DavidSommers ($89 in chips) player5 : Check player6 : Check player9 : Check player1 : Check Makis : Check *** TURN *** : [ 5c Qc 7s ] [ Jc ] player5 : Check player6 : Bet ($6) player9 : Call ($6) player1 : Call ($6) Makis : Raise ($12) player5 : Fold player6 : Fold player9 : Fold player1 : Fold Makis : Winner -- doesn't show cards *** SUMMARY *** Pot: $38 | Rake: $1 Board: [ 5c Qc 7s Jc ]
I would always raise on the turn unless I was on a very tight table where people fold to any raise.
However, as we have seen in other discussions about semi-bluffing on the turn, many, many players will call a raise on the turn with just about anything - no matter how scary the board looks.
Given that, raising is the best play in my opinion.
Take the pot and be thankful you didn't get rivered. 3 of the last 5 nut flushes I have made on the turn were smashed when the board paired on the river.
It would be much more convenient (and you'll likely get more feedback) if you described your hands by typing instead of using their format which is very difficult to read.
I'm not a big fan of slowplaying, and probably would have raised as you did.
Having said that, however, this is probably a situation where you can slowplay. The fact that is was checked around on the flop suggests that there are no hands out there to call you (much less suck out on you). Perhaps one of the blinds had two pair or a set and was playing for the check and raise, but it is unlikely, and giving them a free card won't hurt too often.
I would have called on the turn and bet or raised on the river. With two clubs on the flop only a very poor player will slowplay top pair, two pair, or trips, especially at a low limit table.
I would have felt confident letting someone draw on my flush in that situation, in fact I find it ideal. Another club or a pair on the board will most likely generate a lot of action from second best hands.
A bet for value in late position on the flop can really help to disguise your hand in these situations.
i definitely would have just called and then raised (or bet) on the river. my experience has been that at paradise (esp. in 5-10 and lower) a raise on the turn or the river is usually taken seriously and most players play tight enough to trust it and fold. so dont raise unless you really want them to fold.
I was playing in 3-6 loose passive game. I have AQh two off the button. There are 2 caller to me I raise. The SB fold, the BB and the other 2 call. The BB is a tight player but the type to protect his blind. The 1st caller is good tight aggessive player. 2nd caller just sat down a few hands back. The flop is Ad,7s, 2c. Everybody check to me, I bet, all called. The turn is Qd. Checked to me, I bet, BB and 2nd caller fold, 1st caller calls. The river is 5d. He checks, I bet, he raises. I can't figure him for three queens because he would have raise pre flop or the flush. I reraise he calls. He turns over J-10d. He wins. Several other players said I should have known he make the flush. I did not think so. Did I make a good play reraising?
What can he have that he can raise with that you can beat? Either a pure bluff or a wonky two pair. The latter is unlikely but not impossible. More likely he has the flush or caught a set on the river. You probably shouldn't fold, but the reraise is out of line.
I would not have re-raised on the river but it is not a major poker decision at this point one way or another. Basically it is a fraction of a bet discussion. It hard to read someone for a runner-runner flush. Your opponent is an idiot. On the flop he had no pair, no draw, and no hand. He had a clear fold on the flop. You played correctly.
Our hero's opponent might indeed be an idiot but I think at 3-6 this is a very common situation. 4 callers for 2 bets preflop plus the buck for the small blind gives $25.00 in the pot. The flop gives the idiot two backdoor straight draws, a backdoor flush draw and two overcards to to 2/3 of the flop. He can see one more card for one small bet and now there is $34.00 in the pot so he is getting 11:1. When he picks up the flush draw the call on the turn is easy. Against one opponent I'm not sure I would have bet the river in 3-6, and if I did I surely would not reraise.
You can't play top two pair weakly just because the widow comes runner-runner for the flush. I would have pegged him for two pair when he check-raised and re-raised him as you did. I believe you acted correctly.
The opponent having two pair is unlikely for two reasons. The first is that the two pairs would be based upon cards unlikely to be played. The second (and more important) reason is that aggression when there is three of a suit on board (even runner-runner) usually means the flush or a bluff representing the flush. Against better opponents, at higher limits, this won't necessarily be the case, but for most low-limit players that's the way it is.
I agree, 7xs and Qxs are long shots, but Axs is definitely not. If an Ace or a King is on the board, I am much more inclined to believe I am up against two pair when someone bets into me on the river, because so many more holds involve these cards.
I want to run 3 situations I had last night for some feedback.
First, I'm in the small blind with K7s, folds all the way to the button who calls, should I fold, call, or raise? I called, the flop missed, I checked, BB checked, button called and took it. I'm feeling I should have raised to knock out the BB, demonstrate strenght against possibly a loose call, and then prepared to own whatever the flop was. What do you think??
Second, I'm on the button with A-10 offsuit, two late callers to me in which I just call. I'll stop there for hand description because the real question I have is how strong is A-10 offsuit on the button, and should I have raised to knock out the blinds and take control of the flop? In retrospect, I think I should have, but I'm a little foggy on just how strong or weak A-10 is. I, frankly, look to raise before the flop when I can. Is this a good time?
Third, let's talk about JJ. With JJ and TT early, I like to limp in looking for two situations on the flop: The first off course is making trips, but also to catch a low flop in which my pair would be the highest. Now even with say one overcard on the flop, it's my opinion I'm still probably alright, so with that further assumption, should I raise early with those JJ's. Once again, the issue of taking control of the flop is being considered.
And one more situation: I have A-5s (clubs) on the big button, with noone raising. The flop comes something like 2c3c6d or 2c3d6c; basically I had the nut flush draw with an inside straight draw and having come in possible junk, should I bet this off the bat, or is this a great situation for a check-raise? I'm thinking it is, and although I rarely check-raise, I want to integrate into my play. How about here??
All right, thanks for any opinions.
JPN in KCMO
On the first hand whether you call or raise out of your small blind when the button open limps depends upon what you know about the button. Many players will open limp on the button with a very good hand like AA,KK, or QQ and raise with everything else. It also depends upon the playing propensities of the big blind. With King-Seven suited in the small blind I want to play and take a flop cheaply but I will sometimes raise to drive out the big blind and play heads-up with the button if the button is truly weak and I think I can get control over him.
On the second hand, you should just limp in from the button with Ace-Ten offsuit after two other players limp. You cannot win the pot outright by raising and your hand is not good enough to pay a lot of money to take a flop.
Third, with JJ or TT you should raise early and try to drive out players. At least make the hands like Ace-Little suited, King-Little suited, KQ offsuit, small and medium pocket pairs, etc. pay double to take a flop.
On the last situation, I like betting with a super draw like yours (both a flush draw and a straight draw plus an overcard). The problem with going for the check-raise is that a flop of all small cards may not get bet by anyone. Players will call with a lot more hands than they will bet with themselves. Furthermore, you may win the pot outright by just betting.
"I have A-5s (clubs) on the big button, with no one raising. The flop comes something like 2c3c6d or 2c3d6c; basically I had the nut flush draw with an inside straight draw and having come in [with] possible junk, should I bet this off the bat, or is this a great situation for a check-raise?"
I'm assuming that at least 4 other players opted to see the flop. With that flop there is a strong chance it will be checked around, especially since YOU are the one with the flush draw. At first glance, that might seem not such a bad eventuality. But what if the turn card is a 4, A, J, Q, or K and a nonclub, you check, one person bets, you call, and everyone else folds? Or what if a club comes, you bet, and everyone else folds? On the other hand, what if you bet the flop and someone with 77 or 88 raises behind you chasing everyone else out? Well, I would argue that the first two outcomes taken together are much more likely than the latter and, besides, your bet on the flop might win the pot without further ado. Also, you might see several players call your lead-bet and a late-position player (with an overpair or a flush draw) raise for you. Another problem with check-raising this flop: what if everyone checks to the button who bets, and the small blind folds? Do you really want to knock out the limpers between you and the button with a raise?
In my opinion, check-raising with a great drawing hand works better when you are situated to the right of the likely bettor (e.g, the pre-flop raiser).That way you can slip in your raise after (hopefully) several others have tossed in a single small bet and gotten tied to the pot.
#1- I let K-7s go in the SB, unless I know I can make money off the button. The pot is tiny, the BB could raise, and it's not a hand easy to hit. You either win a little or lose a lot with this hand. For 2 1/2 small bets I pass.
#2- A-10 is too weak a hand to raise with after 2 have called, just call and see the flop.
#3- JJ is a tough hand to play. It's not quite a big pair yet it's better than a medium pair. I agree with you when you say with one overcad you still may have the best, but it costs a lot to find out. If you can't limit the callers to at most 3-4 before the flop just call with them. With JJ I like either 2 callers or 10, nothing in between.
#4- 50-50. I like to try and get a read on who's betting. If the player to my immediate left is going to I'll usually check-raise and try to trap several players in for 2 bets. If no one looks too interested in this flop (which is frequently the case) I'll bet it.
I'll just answer the fisrt situation in a general fashion. When only one player limps in late there are many hands that you should raise with to knock the big blind out, especially if he is fairly tight. I think the K7s that you give would be a boderline hand in this spot. If you do raise and the big blind does fold your bet on the flop is fairly automatic (unless you make a very large hand).
"With JJ and TT early, I like to limp in looking for two situations on the flop: The first off [sic] course is making trips, but also to catch a low flop in which my pair would be the highest. Now even with say one overcard on the flop, it's my opinion I'm still probably alright, so with that further assumption, should I raise early with those JJ's[?]"
I think it was skp who made a case for just calling with JJ in late position after 3 or more have limped in. With JJ or TT in early position, and with no callers yet, I like to mix it up a bit, raising perhaps 1/2 of the time with JJ and about 1/4 of the time with TT. One of the cardinal sins most low-limit players commit is overplaying these pairs, even calling all the way when two overcards appear. With but one overcard, how I proceed depends upon how many others have seen the flop. Also, I am more likely to contest a flop of Q 9 2 with JJ than I am when the flop is something like A 6 4.
Well it's a 5/10 game that playes tight most of the time.
I'm first in Middle Position with KQo and come in for a raise. All fold to the SB and BB who call. The flop comes 7,8,T rainbow. Check to me, I bet, one calls.
The Turn is a King and the SB (Who I had thought was a tight player) bets into me. I raise, he calls.
The river is an other Ten. He checks to me. I check thinking that if he called he would have me beat more than 50% of the time.
I was wrong this time because he had called my preflop raise in the SB with a K6s!?. I guess I gave him more credit than he deserved and I guess I should have bet it.
When you bet on the flop with the overcards, you disguised your hand pretty well. SB had no reason to believe the King helped you. If he had had the tens he would have let you know earlier, especially with a probable staight draw on the table and considering your pre-flop raise.
Yes because he will call with a worse King which is far more likely given this betting scenario than trip Tens. Even if by some chance he had two pair on the turn his second pair just got overcoated by the open Tens so your hand should be good. I would bet the river here.
This is to both David and Jim,
Yes the Tens did give me pause. The way the hand was played he was probably more likely to have the King than the Ten. Since he probably would have put more action in on the Flop with a ten (or a open ended straight draw).
Here is an interesting question. If he had bet the Flop and not the Turn, would it now be correct to check the end after he checked to me?
I say yes because it is now much more likely that he either has Trip Tens or a Busted Straight Draw.
Yes, this would be a totally different situation. When he bets that flop into a pre-flop raiser he is usually representing top pair. Some players might bet the flop on a draw but many won't when there is a pre-flop raiser because they feel their chances of winning the pot outright with a bet have been diminished. Furthermore, they will frequently get raised costing them more money to pursue their draw. Under these new circumstances, betting the river would be a bad idea for the reasons you mention.
"Here is an interesting question. If he had bet the Flop and not the Turn, would it now be correct to check the end after he checked to me?"
Depends on what you did when he bet the flop. if you called and then bet the turn, chances are that he will put you on AK or KQ and he will be less likely to pay off with a one pair hand. On the other hand, he still has checked the river which generally indicates that he does not have trip tens. He may still call you with a one pair hand though less likely.
I have said it a hundred times on this board and I will say it again: there is just no shortage of reasons for people making that last call on the river. I would make the river value bet against most opponents even if he or she bet the flop.
River checkraises are most often attempted by a player;
1. making trips by pairing one of the bottom two ranked cards on the flop
2. Completing a straight
3. Completing a backdoor flush
Most players do not chcekraise the river when:
1. The top card on the floop pairs on the river particularly after they bet the flop
2. they have completed a flush through the front door.
In a heads up situation, a player is more likely to checkraise after completing a straight when the card that completed his draw is lower than the top card on the board.
Put another way, if the card that makes him the straight becomes the top card on the board (and particularly if it is a high card like a King or an Ace), that player is less likely to attempt a checkraise.
4. Making a hidden 2 pair on the River.
I won't get into anymore "what if" situations of this hand, but I'll keep this disscussion in mind for any hand I think works with or contraditcts these premises.
3/6 passive game at the Mirage. I have As Qh in middle position. The play is normal for this game until the turn. The board is Kd Jh Xh 10c. Everyone checks to me. I bet. A rookie in LP raises, everyone else folds. I put him on AQ for a chopped pot. I decide I am going to keep raising until I (or he) is all-in if he keeps raising. I raise. He raises. I raise. He raises. I raise. He calls.
Would you keep raising until the cows come home in this situation? What if you had a different Q?
I know he cannot have a made straight and be on a flush draw because I have the Qh. In a postmortem of the hand I determined that he could only have three drawing hands that could beat me on the river.
1) Flush draw-8 outs for a prob. of 17% (8/46). If he has the Ah there is an additional 6.5% that a Q hits for a chop. But a chop doesnít hurt.
2) Set-10 outs(21%) for a boat or quads.
3) Two Pair-4 outs(9%) for a boat.
Since under the best conditions for him he has a less than 50% of passing me on the river. So, each additional bet has a +EV. Am I missing anything?
I will post the results of the hand latter. Thanks.
I would keep raising until my opponent called. I have seen some rookies misread the board and toss in quite few bets with Q9 or a nut flush draw.
He might also have fallen in love with a set or top two and is raising without seeing the broadway straight.
I certainly would not have played the turn any different than you did.
Depending on how much cash I had in front of me and the possibility of an opponent's miracle card on the river, I might have stopped raising at some point, but I would definitely be pushing some chips out there.
Sounds like either your opponent had nothing and you wondered what you were worried about or a very nasty card hit the river.
Without looking at this too hard I say if you didn't have the Ace or Queen of Hearts you should slowdown on the 3rd raise of the Turn because he could have been freerolling with the Nut Straight plus Nut Flush draw.
In a loose-passive LL hold-em game. On the big blind, and I get two jacks. About five callers to me, small blind folds: I check.
Flop comes out 7-5-2 rainbow. I lead the betting, one call, a raise, and three remaining players fold to me. I figure that the raiser has top pair with a high kicker (probably A-7 suited). I figure that if he's got a higher overpair he would have raised on the blinds, he would slowplay a set, and it's unlikely he has 7-5. I re-raise. Caller folds, initial raiser calls.
Turn is a 5. I bet, call. River is a 3. I bet, call, and I take the pot.
My main question is whether to call or raise Group 1 and 2 hands from the blinds. On the plus side, you most likely have a much stronger hand than anyone else and can get more money into the pot. On the minus side, 1.) your position is really poor, 2.) you're essentially announcing your hand, and 3.) you make the pot so big right at the beginning that the hand degenerates into a crapshoot: nearly everyone's getting the odds to chase longshot draws.
Right now, I rarely raise from the blinds for the reasons listed above. Would be interested in hearing other people's thoughts on this matter.
Against 5 callers, I would always raise with KK, AA, AKsuited, often raise with AQsuited and QQ, and occasionally raise with JJ, TT, KQsuited, AJsuited, AKunsuited.
I would raise the calling stations. Even if you are not favoured to win you are making a +ve EV play with pocket J's. Against 5 opponents you will not win too often, but you will win more than 1 in 6 times... over time. So build a pot when you are favoured to win.
With 1 caller i raise with any 2 high cards , with 2 callers i raise with any group 1 or 2 hands.
With lots of callers i never raise b/c you make the pot so big they just chase you down. I would like to have a good chance at a med. pot than a small chance at a large pot.
It just depends on how much you like to gamble!
I would raise preflop because you have to make it expensive for the limpers to see the flop with their garbage. Also, showing strength here helps because it may cause a Kx or Qx to fold. If they call they are making the wrong decision. This is what you want them to do. Donít worry about making a big pot. I think that you are confusing making the correct decision on the turn or river with a big pot with making the wrong decision early that will cause a big pot. If the other players want to make the wrong decision and cause a big pot let them. They are losing money with every call.
Nah, only 1 in 10 low limit player will fold for one more bet with all those callers already in. Check and call unless an overcard comes and someone shows aggression. I hate all 1-2 hands except AK suited in late positon with a ton of callers in front. In low limit, you'll win 1 time in 8 for small stakes, however your ace flop gets run down by some guy with K-10 filling a straight etc.
I am going to Vegas this weekend with my girlfriend who has a limited bankroll and wants to play very low limit poker. I am talking about $1/2 or $2/4.
We are staying downtown, so anyplace on Freemont or the Strip would be fine.
Excalibur used to have what it called Kitchen Table poker or some such thing. You may want to check it out.
Put ur money on the blackjack tables or slots.
Even though the house has odds, if you're not a schooled player, those sharkies are going to eat you guys up for all you've got.
If you know what you're doing, then go ahead and play, but if I had a chance to gamble some moola away, I think I'd have better chances against the house.
I thhink 3/6 is about as low as you'll find in LV. I believe they still spread 3-6 at the Mirage. Most places start at 4-8. That's for Hold'em. You can find a 1-5 stud game just about anywhere in town, though.
I personally would look into playing a tournament or two. I've seen a couple trip reports lately with tournament buy-ins around $25.
My wife loved Video-Poker machines and after winning a decent jackpot early, we played for days with the Casino's money.
My girlfriend is looking to play Hold'Em and is not a complete novice. She has done OK in the $1/2 games at the Oaks in Emmeryville and Club One in Fresno here in CA. At least as well as can be expected considering the the high percentage house take at this limit.
Maybe the tournaments would be best for her.
I'll be playing $6/12 or there abouts.
The Mirage can supply you with 6-12 and her with 3-6. The Plaza downtown has 3-6. I don't know anywhere with less than 3-6, except maybe the Excalibur, that had 2-6 spread a while back.
I go to Vegas at 2-3 times a year and have played at the Mirage, Bellagio and Binions. For my playing skills I have had good results at the Mirage and Bellagio. The games at Binions the last 2 times I played there were tough and aggressive and I lost every session. So I will stay away from there for a while.
I play 3-6 Mirage and 4-8 Bellagio.
Good luck and have a great time.
I would suggest the Mirage. The lowest level they have is 3/6 but they also have 6/12 for you. She is most likely to run into rocks and calling stations, with an occasional maniac. If she has competent starting hand selection skills she should be OK. Most players who play donít. If she doesnít, I would suggest that you spend the next couple of days and teach her. This will also pay huge dividends to you. The best way to learn is to teach. I would not be concerned about sharks at the 3/6 tables. I was there last weekend and was completely underwhelmed at the talent pool. I think that the minimum buy-in is $30 or $40. If you have to, front her some money. She may pay it back with interest later. Nudge, nudge, wink, wink :)
I was in LV in February, so things may have changed. I beleive the Stardust has 2-4 games. Circus Circus on the strip and the Plaza downtown has 3-6 games. I hope this helps.
Excalibur does still spread 2-6. I've heard they have poker lessons in the morning followed by a $1-$2 game but I don't know if this is so or not.
You might want to try a 1-4-8-8 game. The blinds are $1 and $2 (same as $2-$4) so they are not intimidating. Most of these games are filled with weak, timid players who rarely raise preflop. Since you can almost always see the flop for $2 your girlfriend could play very cheaply for a long time simply by limping and then folding on the flop if she doesn't hit something good.
Of course this is a terrible way to play spread limit because you want to punish players as much as possible by screwing their odds with raises when appropriate, but for a cheap, easy, passive game it might be the way to go.
If you don't mind cigarette smoke, try Horseshoe. It's downtown. They're very liberal with their comps, too. It's the only place downtown where you can be certain to get a game.
On the strip, go to Mirage or Bellagio. The rakes are very reasonable and you'll be playing against mostly tourists, so long as you're playing LL. The comps are harder to get but are worth quite a bit. I'd stay away from places with only a handful of tables (Circus, Stratosphere, Riviera, etc.). Not as good of an atmosphere, plus higher rakes.
Back from Vegas where we stayed at Binion's.
I found that the Plaza was spreading $2-4 Hold'Em, so my girlfriend got to play.
I played $4-8 at the Bellagio (where I got to briefly meet Mason and he graciously signed my copy of _Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players_ which I am rereading), $6-12 at the Mirage, and $1-4-8 and $4-8 at Binon's.
Ended up down $150 after 27 hours.
FYI..I was e-tilting a little and I had BR shrinkage.
I was on the button Seat5 dealt AsKd. Seat10 calls, Seat4 calls, I call, BB checks, all else fold. Flop is [ 3h Ks 3c ]. BB Chhecks,Seat10 checks, Seat4 bets, I raise, BB calls, Seat10 calls, Seat4 Folds. TURN [ Ad ]. Checked to me, I bet, all call. RIVER [ 8s ]. BB checks, Seat 10 Bets, I call All-In, BB Folds.
Seat10 Shows pocket 8's to win.
I realize stuff like this is going to happen, but could I have played it better?
You could have raised pre-flop which would have made the Pocket 8's think you had an Ace or a King rather than just a bluff, but remember that you are going to see wierd hands in low limit games and AKo is sometimes a payoff hand to those long-shot draws.
I had KK snapped the other night, pushing it all the way. The opponent runner-runnered an Ace high Flush when pre-flop he called my early-position raise with A6o and caught a 6 on the Flop with two of his flush cards. I just sat there and shook my head and told myself that he really wanted to give me his money, but the cards just played out wrong. These things happen all the time.
Only reason I didn't raise Pre-Flop is because this group was really wishy washy. Sometimes they'd play with nothing, though a few hands earlier I open raised 2 off the button with QQ and EVERYONE folded. :P
I guess its back to the bank ;)
When everyone folds and you take the blinds, be thankful you didn't get rivered.
Remember if you had taken the flop, it could have been AK8 or some other ugliness.
When this happens, I think it's a sign to be more agressive in betting, not more passive.
What does the wish-washiness of the field have to do with anything?
You probably have the best hand pre-flop. Make the pot big now, make the trash pay, and control the betting.
Not raising premium hands in LL is just playing scared.
No. At these limits you won't find many players willing to dump 88 they will show down so you just got unlucky on the river.
Again I'd just like you guys to tell me what I could have done better.
I am in Seat5, BB is seat 3. I'm dealt 7d5d (Hey they're suited!). I limp. Seat7,9,10,2,3 all limp. FLOP [ 5c Qd 5s ]. I'm jumping up and down. Checked to me, I bet, all call except for SB&BB who fold. TURN [ 9c ]. I bet, Seat7 raises (all-in), Seat9 calls, Seat10 Folds, I call. RIVER [ Qh ]. I bet. Seat9 calls.
I show (a full house, fives full of queens)
Seat7 shows [ Qc Tc ] (a full house, queens full of fives)
Seat9 shows [ 9d 9h ] (a full house, nines full of queens)
Again I'd just like you guys to tell me what I could have done better.
um...don't play 57d in early position...
but besides that, you probably could've restrained yourself from betting the river, since any Q now beats you and there pretty much isn't any hand Seat9 could possibly pay you off with...but he probably would've bet anyway, though his failure to raise the turn may be indication otherwise.
Don't bet on the river unless you think your opponent will call with a worse hand or fold with a better hand. (see page 101 HPFAP21)
Don't play 7-5.
Don't play 75s in early position. I probably wouldn't even play 75s in late position unless maybe I had six or more opponents and could play it for one bet.
Poorboy, I see in another area, you mentioning this hand as flopping a "set". It's not, you flopped trips, a very scary hand to play if anyone shows strength. A "set" is three of a kind also, but, it is two in the hole, and one on the flop,a very strong hand. Trips on the other hand, is a very weak hand. As for the 5/7s, you already know that was a no no.:) Buckcp
Thanks for the clarification. The problem here is that people do play 75s (I never do), they also play 95o. So when a pair flops and I have trips, how do I figure out if they made a Full House or 2 pair? Should I be betting or checking?
You should be checkraising.
The people who have two pair will call. The people who also have trips, a set, or a full house will reraise.
After the turn and river you have to make a read on what you think they have and play accordingly. I know it's tough because they play anything, but that's what you have to do.
Poorboy, whenever you flop a set, raise any chance you get till the river, if its obvious on the river, someone has you beat, quit raising, but you still have to call on the river. There are no hard and fast rules to Hold'em, but, you will almost never be wrong if you never fold a set. Trips on the other hand are a very scary hand, just as its "almost" never wrong to never fold a set, it's almost never wrong to fold trips if anyone shows strength. Trips are so easily beat, I would always rather make two pair on the flop, then make trips. Anytime the board pairs, and it makes you trips, it just made a dangerous hand for you to play. Hope this helped Buckcp.
Don't play 5-7 (even if it is suited).
Several people responded to PoorBoy's post below with an unqualified "Don't play 57s" flame.
I'm wondering what people think about this hand. In HPFAP21 its at the end of Group 6. This means that you can limp with it in Middle Position in a loose, passive game - which is the style for most of these low-limit Hold'em tables. If its folded to you in late position, 2+2 recommends a raise.
Are people playing this way or are people folding 57s in all these circumstances?
57s does have a place. You are right in saying it is in a loose passive game. You want to play it for one bet against 6 or more people. If you are in middle position, can you be sure you will have this many opponents? That the pot will not be raised? No. Stick to playing these hands for one bet in the cut-off or button after 5 or more limpers.
If everyone is folding to the button, the game is not loose passive. The "any hand worth playing is worth a raise" statement in HPFAP does not apply here, because the conditions that make 57s suited playable (lots of players, no raises) do not apply.
IMO, too many people take the HPFAP rankings too strictly, not noting that some cards play well against a big field, and not others. 75s has no high card strength, something very helpful in trying to beat 2 random hands. What group it is in seems immaterial.
Sound advice, IMO. Unless everybody has limped in before you as you sit in middle position -- how can you be certain you'll get the right implied odds to play such a weak drawing hand, and then how can you know it won't get raised behind you. Not only do you need a loose passive game, but you REALLY need to know the players behind you to play 75s in middle position. I also don't like this as a stealing hand in late position unless the blinds are tight (and when does that happen at this limit?).
DjTj -- I didn't try to flame PoorBoy -- but playing such hands in the wrong position is a fundamental problem that should be addressed first.
Thanks for all the responses to my post - the point that HPFAP is not designed for the low limits is well taken.
Looking at my own game, I definitely always fold 57s in mid-position and I will call with it on the button only if there are like 6 callers or something. I probably throw it away even if its folded to me on the button sometimes since there is a decent likelihood that both blinds will call and 57s doesn't play well shorthanded.
I'm sure that this added tightness with regard to 57s and other low suited-connectors and one-gappers does not lose much profit, if any at all.
Many of these weak sorts of hands I think may not be profitable in the low-limit games. The implied odds are better in these games, but that might not compensate for the reduced ability to bluff and the proportionately higher rake.
I don't think they were flaming Poorboy, just giving him good advice. I don't play 5/7s from mid position, even in a loose passive game. I don't think I'm loseing much by not playing them. I will defend my blind with this hand, and, if I'm in cut off, or button, and lots of limpers, but, these are the only times I see any sense in playing such a hand. Buckcp
I agree with KJS here...
Don't forget that HPFAP was designed for 20-40 hold'em or higher. In low-limit games, things change, a lot.
At a higher level, with usually 2-3 players seing a flop I guess (never played that high) flopping top pair could get you the pot but essentially in low limit you are looking to flop and open-ended str8 draw, a flush draw or 2 pair. If you get top pair you got no kicker and a lot of cards can give your opponents a better pair.
I'd never play 5-7s from middle position unless 90& of the pots had 5-6 players in and no raise pre-flop. Then maybe...And I'd tend to play them from a late-middle position rather than an early-middle position.
The problem with this type of hand is that unless you get a str8, flush or 2 pair, you won't get much money out of it. You'll be afraid to bet or raise it. (as you should against several opponents)
I don't think you are loosing much profit by not playing these hands from middle.
Remember the admonitions S&M gave in that book about using their advice and strategy in the proper game.
I believe the information you quote is referring to a mid-limit loose passive game.
The .50/1.00 game profile probably fits the 'wild/loose' games material much better than the rest of the book.
I don't think people were flaming Poorboy. Playiny 7-5s upfront is a mistake and you don't lose much (if anything) by always throwing it away.
HFAP is a book designed for higher limit games with more sophistacted players involved. Many of the ideas in the book simply don't play well in lower limit/less sophistacated games.
playing 6-12 the other night. very nice game, lots of limping, not much raising pre-flop. I am UTG and have Ah,Jh. I am curious what people think about raising v. limping here. I think the conservative approach would be to raise to hopefully keep the pot short-handed. On the other hand, there is the possibility of winning a monster pot if you limp and get many callers and end up with two-pair or the nut flush. comments?
IMHO, I thinking limping here is the right play based off of your preliminary observation of the game. Would a raise narrow the field that much? Are you fearing a raise? Were the type of players in the game, the type to only call a raise w/ a better hand? All in all, with the type of game you described, you can limp and if the flop comes with say an A and a back door draw then you can hammer it here, AJs is a good hand multiway, but at the same time it can be easily dominated if someone limps with say AQ, AK,. hope this helps
Not mandatory, but my anecdotal results are that when I limp with AJs, I usually regret it.
I'd raise with this hand about 75% of the time in the game you describe - you really want to eliminate some of the field and get maybe 3 handed where you have a bigger chance of a win.
You specially want the Ax players in this hand and your raise just might isolate them.
If two or less loose callers I'd raise if the dealer was left handed (i.e., rarely). With five or more (go ahead and count one of the blinds), fire away in order to build the pot to keep people around in case AJ or the hearts hit. Also, the sharper ones'll learn your raises can mean something other than AA, KK, or AK. But if you (like me) tend to get overly attached to hands you've raised pre-flop, now's a good time to resist raising because you must muck this hand early if the flop is unfriendly. Post-flop I'd raise all heck out of two hearts and bet a top jack, but typically check and call if an ace hits. How would the rest of you play an ace on the flop here? Bet once and call a raise? Cold call a raise to you if there's any coordination to the flop?
Raising here, IMO, works well only if the game is extremely tight or loose. You should limp with AJs utg unless you had pocket queens the last hand and stuffed them in your pocket. Raising brings you closer to the double disaster of knocking out hands you can beat and leaving you up against hands you can't beat. Specifically, AQ will just call and you'll bet his pair of aces all the way, and AK will either just call with the same result or 3-bet, leaving you wondering (and therefore making the occasional bad mistake) if your pair on the flop is good. Of course, these scenarios are infrequent and usually made up for by all the bets you took from the Ax-suiteds and king-jacks. But those guys are gone now.
I am playing 3-6 at the local casino. I sit down at a table with some guys who looked like frat boys, ordering another round of beers every half hour. Im loving this, knowing every good hand will be cashed in bigtime. I got sucked out on a couple of times, though...very frustrating. Anyways, after about 6 hours, I am slightly down, when the hand I am curious about comes up:
Note the table has tightened slightly, but is still fairly loose. I get 10-J offsuit on the small blind. Seeing 7 callers in (plus the big blind), I figure its a worthy drawing hand based on the pot odds. I call, the big blind checks, so we have 9 people in the pot.
Flop comes up J-J-10. What a crappy time to be in the small blind and have to bet first! Given the performance of the table to this point, I decide to check, expecting a checkraise opportunity. What do I see? Check...check...check...check...check...check..check...BET! Finally, the button bets. I raise, and 5 people drop. Now down to 3 other callers besides me.
Turn comes: Q Now I bet. One guy drops (the one who bet the flop). The other two guys stay in.
River comes: 5 I bet again. Both call me and give me the big Chinese "ay-ya" when they see my hand, and muck.
My question is; how could I have played this better? One of the other people in the hand said I should have bet after the flop and saved the checkraise for the turn. I am still not sure... What do you think? I am a bit worried that my frustration with all the bad play got to me and I tried to get too fancy with the checkraise after the flop.
David, I don't think you were getting too fancy, as far as I see it, that was the play, you got a few extra bets, although, since you were hardly in danger of being outdrawn, you could have check called the flop, and check raised the turn, b/c of the 5 that dropped, they may very well have called one bet on the flop (the old "lets take a card off syndrome" prevails at LL) and then when you check the turn, hopefully get an early bet and some callers then you raise, and POOF, you've sucked them in for extra bets b/c it is rare for LL players to have put in one bet on a round then drop for one more, unless they were bluffing on a steal. Let me know if this helps/what you think.
Huff, puff! Gimme a period, fer gawd's sake; I'm outta breath just reading this post.
I would have bet out, as many LL players wouldn't put you on JT. I find checkraising in LL is usually counterproductive -- tightens up the table. Bet out and keep the table loose.
What was your logic on the flop in deciding you wanted to check raise? If you thought an early position player would bet and you could then raise and trap most of the table for two bets then it is the right play, but when you check raise a late bettor you generally check raise here to drive other players out. Why on earth would you want to drive others out? Was the table so loose you expected a bunch of cold callers?
With the pot as large as it was, gutshots were getting correct odds to call. Once you raise they are not plus you are indicating that they might not win if they hit. You want them to make this gutshot call without the thought entering their heads that they are drawing dead. You also want tens to call which is likely at a loose low limit table.
I think you did a poor job of manipulating pot odds to keep people in. UNLESS you thought that the table was loose enough they would call anyway.
Thanks for your comments; they make a lot of sense based on what I was thinking at the time. Basically, based on the table to that point, I WAS expecting an early bettor so I could trap bets with my checkraise. When the checks started flowing, I sort of panicked and quickly checkraised when the bet finally came.
On the other hand, I did expect about half of the people to call my checkraise, since they always called me (although Im not sure why, I was winning about 80% of the hands I played to the river, generally only losing when I got rivered!). It was kind of an odd table; most of the better players were in seats 6-10 and the worse players in seats 1-4 (myself in seat 5 not claiming to stand on either side). As it turned out, it was seats 2-4 who fought to the bitter end..
I appreciate the comments; I knew this hand could be slowplayed, but I'm pretty impatient (not to mention inexperienced). I had a feeling I did it wrong, but wasn't sure exactly how. Thanks for the advice!
If your actions were based on your best estimation of your opponents and what you thought they would do, then I don't think your play was "wrong" it just happened to be incorrect.
Your self-analysis of the situation should ask, did these guys act differently on this hand and why? Was there something wrong with my read or was I unlucky enough that these guys really had nothing that they could talk themselves into continuing with? Perhasp they had been calling two cold but not with a pair on the board?
either bet the flop and just call any raises, or check call the flop and make your move on the turn. This is a hand that can stand some slowplaying.
For the life of me I don't understand why people insist on check raising on the flop when you have a monster it is the kind of move that should be reserved when you want to win it right there. You were better off betting out than check raising.
If you want to squeeze out more money with this monster just check and call on cheap street then hope they catch up a little on the turn to make it worth while the turn is the place to check raise - if it looks like a few hangers on wait for the river where they are likley to call you down.
EXCEPTION to this is if you are playing against GOOD players who will never suspect you of betting a monster so a bet out on the flop is advisable for deception purposes. They would never do it so you can suprose them by betting out.
Your check-raise on the flop was terrible. You certainly don't want to cut down the field here. The only hands you'll get rid of are hands that have virtually no chance against you. Check-raising wouldn't have been quite so bad had the BB been the bettor. That way, you're forcing the table to put in one bet twice instead of two bets once.
the rounder is correct. you have the mortal nuts on the flop. q, a, or k on the turn could have screwed you, but a raising war would alert you to this unfortunate circumstance should it occur.
ROunder wrote: EXCEPTION to this is if you are playing against GOOD players who will never suspect you of betting a monster so a bet out on the flop is advisable for deception purposes. They would never do it so you can suprose them by betting out.
This is so true and I often bet my big hands out of the blind. IF anyone has ANYTHING they will call and if not I would not have made much anyhow.
Not long ago I flopped quads in the BB(board 8,8,8)with 8,4 in the unraised bb. I bet the flop and i came back to me capped, I check the turn and it came back to me 3 bet, I bet again on the river and got raised... If I had check raised the flop or the turn I am sure everyone would have folded but by betting out nobody gave me credit for the case 8.
Yeah, making a good move against the wrong guys is like putting whipped cream on shit.
While I'm not suggesting one should do this very often at all, with 7 players in the hand & J10 is a very good multiway hand, a raise before the flop would not have been completely out of the question. Even given your position. But mostly because you have so many birdbrains in the hand. On the flop check call is the only play I make. That's my only chance to get a bunch more callers. On the turn I do the same unless a new bettor comes out in early position and I get 3 or more callers. If the last guy is the one to bet I look the table over qwickly to see how many have already shown they will call. Usually 2-4 of them will have already indicated what they intend to do. If it looks like I got 3 or more callers I again call only, otherwise raise. River I bet out no matter what flops if the turn bettor was the last to act player, otherwise I take my time to see if anyone will bet for me and allow a check raise. I think you may have missed 30 small bets here.....maybe more.
With JTo multiway a raise is completely out of the question. I suppose if it were suited the occasional flush could mitigate some of the damage you'll do by raising into QJ and KT and so forth, but even then I'd never do it.
I this wasn't the small stakes board I'd think you're trolling. Raising a late opener next on the flop after a bunch of checks with a full house is one of the most insane things I've ever heard of.
On the flop, somebody could have been contemplating a check-raise, figuring that the bettor doesn't need anything in his position to bet. Others are guaranteed to be contemplating calling with junk for that fact alone -- pretty much everyone without "2 pair" has a backdoor broadway draw -- and your call could have them thinking "pot odds." On the turn, somebody could have spiked a lower set or hit an overcard, both of which would have given you good action, and others could have picked up a backdoor draw or even hit a straight and have driven it right over the cliff.
But you blew all that away for the guarantee of one measly bet from an opener that might not be able to call you on the turn. (Are you sure you're not trolling?) The only saving grace is that a lot of aggressives (doesn't sound like they were at this table) will assume for the rest of the hand that you can't have a jack. So you get an F+. Figure that your raise could well have wiped out an average days' win.
After calling the flop, you should bet the turn if a rag hits unless there's a bluffer on your left. If you're raised on your left, 3-bet and carefully consider check-raising the river, thinking hard about what the last card means (tend to bet). If raised on your right, just call and bet the river. With this board, you should tend toward firing on the turn instead of the river because so many people will cold call with crappy draws. With more ragged boards (e.g., 944 to your 94), you want to wait for the river in the hopes that they've picked up a little something.
Bet...Bet...Bet... reraise if raised, you will get more bets this way in low limit games.
you should have just called the flop bet as there was a real possibility of chasing everyone else out. on the turn, it was likely the Q helped one or more hands, so again you should have checked to see if someone new would seize the initiative. if it were checked around to the button again, then a smooth call again might be best. if someone new bet and there were several callers, that would be the time to raise, especially if there were a two-flush or three-flush showing.
Hey David - lot of criticism floating around here. The only way I'd NOT bet the flop is if several players think of you as a guy who only bets when he has it AND will change their actions accordingly. It doesn't sound like that was the case. If you bet, you look like you're bluffing. An early raiser also is seen as a bluffer, and your reraise is just a power bluff, and then the pot's so darn large they just gotta see the river. I wouldn't take any chance that it'd be checked around - just keep firing!
Also, regarding one of the responses above, if you'd had JT suited, a raise would be great regardless of who you're playing against (there are some exceptions if you're short stacked).
I think you understand by now that you misplayed this one. Given the description of your game, it is very unlikely that there is pocket Q's, K's, or A's out there against you. So an overcard will hurt you only if a player holding the other Jack has one of those overcards with it. So essentially you are looking to max the hand out, barring any miniscule chances of remote runner-runner stuff.
I would check the flop. There are several small bets in there, but the pot is not yet that large. When the bet comes late, you must of course just smooth call. as others have pointed out, you want players in this hand, not running away. You might even get someone else check-raising with the Jack if the late position better was stealing or betting a Ten. Then the gloves could come off possibly, depending on how much dead money has gone in. But for the moment, let the overcallers limp in cheaply.
Now hope for an overcard on the turn. This way, you can bet out freely, portraying the overcard. It is a bit of a two-edged sword, as I have pointed out, in that it COULD run you over, but as Roy Cooke eloquently points out in his book, you cannot make your way through the woods looking for Iroquois behind every tree. If a blank comes, and several limpers have overcalled on the flop, I would still bet out, trying to trap their dead money between me and the button. If the button has any sort of clue, warning bells should be going off at this point. "This trey helped his hand?", but maybe he's got A-J and will raise. Now I would probably re-raise, but again, if the turn card looks like it might give a couple of the limpers a chance to make a second best hand drawing dead, smooth-call again. Then bet the river come hell or high water.
There were several options to increase your earn on this hand. Unfortuneately, your's was not one of them. Go get 'em next time.
Fairly loose 6-12 game @ Bay 101. I am 2 positions to the left of the BB. Very loose player calls UTG and a very loose-aggressive player to my immediate right raises. I 3-bet with AQo and the rest of the field folds to the BB, who cold-calls.
Flop is KQ9. All check to me and I bet. All call. Two blanks hit the turn and river. It gets checked to me both times and I checked along. I "chop" the pot with the BB who also had AQ. Turns out I got rid of a KJ pre-flop with the re-raise.
This hand happened last week and it is still bothering me. Did I miss a chance to "scoop" the whole pot by not betting the turn and river?
I was pretty confident that I had UTG and the orginal raiser beat on the flop. But when the BB cold-called the 3 bets and the bet on the flop, I honestly had no idea what he had. Also, another factor was I have not been running particularly well lately and basically "chickened" out.
All comments and criticisms would be extremely appreciated.
I am not quite comfortable with your 3 bet with AQ offsuit. The loose goose will raise with his good hands as well as his not so good hands and your hand is not worth spending 3 bets to take a flop with unless you are pretty sure everyone will fold and you can isolate the raiser with position. The problem is that the UTG will probably call if he is a loose goose as well.
After over playing your hand a little bit, when the King flops I would just check it down like you did. There are just so many hands that players limp in with, raise with, and call raises with that contain a King. They won't bet their top pair but they will call any bet you make. If no one has a King then your hand is probably good since you beat all weaker Queens and no one with a real weak Queen will stay with you here.
Thanks for the response. God, I hate AQ!!
Your preflop play has a lot to with your image and who the initial limper is. If he will fold and not call two bets than raising is OK. I really don't think there is a clear way to play this preflop. A lot has to do with your feel of the game, how tight the game is, the players yet to act, etc. The problem with three betting is if a player behind you calls. In that situation you are typically up against a big pocket pair or AK. Having three bet the hand I think a bet on the turn is mandatory. Your opponents have shown weakness by not raising and you have position. I would check the river.
If you bet both turn and river card, you one; give impression of holding at least top two pair, or top pair with nice kicker, this may cause other opponents to drop, not doing so gives off impression that you do not have top pair.
Why didn't you bet the turn? I can see some merit in just checking down the river if you were afraid that someone had a weak king, or might have made 2 pair, but I don't see the point in not betting the turn.
You are 100% correct. Like I said in my post I "chickened" out. Also, on the flop I saw the BB move for his chips, as if to check-raise and then just call. Like an idiot, I fell for it. The player had just sat down and I had never played with him before.
BTW did you think the re-raise pre-flop was a good move. Is this something that you ever do in low limit?
PS Only a bad player would call 2 bets with KJ.
looking for input on my turn play...
i've got as ah in the bb. i appear to be the rock's rock in this game, as i've gotten so few playable hands. anyway, utg, who appears to be a reasonable player, calls. it's folded to the sb, who calls. i raise, both call.
flop is tc jc 2d. sb checks, i bet, both call.
turn is 3d. sb checks, i bet, utg raises, sb cold calls. at this point, i figure that utg has picked up a flush draw and is raising as a semibluff. i can't conceive of him slowplaying anything, as the board makes his likely holdings (tj, jj, tt) very vulnerable to draws. anyway, i reraise, and both call.
river is ad. sb checks. since a flush or straight will not fold and a lesser hand than my set will presumably not call, i check. utg also checks. sb shows down t5 offsuit (yikes!). utg mucks when i turn over my set.
my questions are: 1) what was utg's most likely holding? given no preflop raise, and sb's holding, i'd have to put him on tj. this makes his call on the flop horrible, imo, and i have to lower my opinion of this player.
2) was my turn reraise correct? if i'm heads-up with utg, i think it's fairly automatic. however, i basically ignored sb in this decision. given that sb cold-called two bets, was my reraise foolish?
You're in the BB with AA. UTG you think holds JT. He flops two pair. You raise preflop and then bet the flop. UTG calls the flop bet with every intention of raising you on the turn if an overcard to the board doesn't come. This seems okay to me. What's your problem with it?
I would put utg on JT or 33. I don't like the reraise too much.
you want to know what the utg was holding? he played to the showdown and then mucked when he saw he lost. you can simply ask for your hand history right after that hand at paradise (click on the chips)and they will send you an email right away (within seconds) telling you what everyone who was in at the showdown had! it's an awesome thing and essential to playing online at paradise.
I am a beginner playing in a $1/$2 game in los angeles...the cardroom where I play recently changed the structure of their LL games (any from $4/$8 down) to having only a single blind, the BB posted by the player to the left of the button.
I am curious to hear if anyone has any ideas about possible effects this could have on the strategy I should be playing, either out of the blind or against someone in the blind.
Thanks for any responses.
in theory, i think you should play tighter since there's less in the pot initially. Realistically, in these games, it shouldn't matter too much. keep on playing T&A (tight and aggressive) and you be playing way better hands than the rest of the field.
Good question, it is important. As the blinds/antes decrease in proportion to future bets, your starting hand requirements go up and you should be playing tighter.
You will usually want to slowplay your big hands because the quality of the holds you are up against will be, on average, poor. Not having to post a small blind will increase everyone's stacks, and most of the other players will probably play a little more loosely.
Any hand you play from the big blind will leave you woefully out of position, so be careful about what you call a pre-flop raise with. By the same token, you should be raising with more hands in late position (Button, cutoff) when everyone folds to you.
This is a great game for the more skillful (esp. tighter) player. The only problem is that looser players may loose their money so fast that the game might die out.
Good question, it is important. As the blinds/antes decrease in proportion to future bets, your starting hand requirements go up and you should be playing tighter.
You will usually want to slowplay your big hands because the quality of the holds you are up against will be, on average, poor. Not having to post a small blind will increase everyone's stacks, and most of the other players will probably play a little more loosely.
I'm not so sure about this, though. I wouldn't start slowplaying excessively unless my raises were getting way too much respect, or something. There will be alot of people in the pots trying to draw out on you and you need to make them pay for the privilege.
By the same token, you should be raising with more hands in late position (Button, cutoff) when everyone folds to you.
I'm not so sure about this either. Since the blinds are smaller, you stand to gain less with a raise. I'd guess that this is about offset by the fact that you'll succeed somewhat more often (because there is only one blind that needs to fold). But when called, you'll never have the bonus "dead money" in the pot from the other blind, either. Try to steal the blinds when conditions are correct, not more often. You are risking two bets to win one, so choose wisely.
Thanks for the responses.
I will certainly try to raise from late position to steal the blind if the right situation comes up...however, after my grand total of 8 hours of total play, I've never gotten the chance. I've never seen less than 3 callers in any hand. I guess that's the way most people play at a $1/$2 table. 6 callers is probably the average, not too much raising going on.
I will certainly try to raise from late position to steal the blind if the right situation comes up...however, after my grand total of 8 hours of total play, I've never gotten the chance. I've never seen less than 3 callers in any hand. I guess that's the way most people play at a $1/$2 table. 6 callers is probably the average, not too much raising going on.
Remember that there has to actually be a chance that the blind (and anyone else between you and the blind) will fold for a raise. This is unlikely to happen. On the other hand you DO want to raise with good hands if everyone folds to you simply to punish the fools who dare to call cold.
Play tight. Play your best hands aggressively. Pay attention. Remember that big draws are huge if the game is loose. You'll do fine.
I did say that you need to play tight, didn't I? :-)
Monday morning, 4:30 am or so. Due to a layover in Vegas, I am at the Bellagio playing 4-8 waiting for my flight. I am curious as to what any other poster would have done with this hand, or if we will all be in agreement.
I have K2o in the BB. 4 limpers to me, SB folds and I check. Flop J 8 4 rainbow. Checked all around. Turn is a two. Even though no one showed preflop or flop strength, I felt I could not be this at all. Figured there may have been a weak Jack, 8 or 4 out there. In addition, there are 4 others in the hand. That is the way this table had been playing - lots of checking all around, then a weak pair winning at the showdown.
River another complete blank - Checked all around. My twos take it.
Would anyone have bet anywhere during this hand? I am curious to hear your comments. Remember, it was a loose/passive 4-8 game.
Tim, asolutley not!!! What could you possibly win by betting this hand? Buckcp
You played correctly. This is a small, unraised pot and when you bet on an expensive street you run the risk of getting called by a better hand or even raised. What do you do when you are raised? Just check it down and hope for the best like you did.
Sounds like a fun little trip.
I agree with the panel so far. No worse hand is going to call you.
PS. Did you play any tourney's at Spirit Mountain last week. Heard they had some biggies.
"No worse hand is going to call you."
That's not the point of the bet. The point of the bet is to take the pot on the turn.
While I agree with the panel that this is probably not a good spot to bet, I would not say that a bet would be utterly foolish. In many instances, I would make it.
I would add that if, for example, I held K5 and the turn was a 5, I would likely bet. If I held K9 and the turn was a 9, I would almost certainly bet.
I would also bet if the turn card was a Jack.
If the turn card was an 8, I would checkraise a late position bettor and check/fold to an early position bettor.
There are lots of creative things you can do from the blinds when so many people have shown weakness on the flop and turn. I would not equate such creative play with FPS; rather, I think it is a necessary ingredient of winning play at least at the mid limits.
I will often let my player reading make this decision if I think no one hit it I'll shoot a bet out there to see what happens if I think someone hit it I'll check and fold.
I see people betting things like this and I think it is one of the most common early position errors that low limit players make.
The only hands that will call you are hands that will beat you. And if they all fold, you still make exactly the same money.
There are a lot of times when I am in the BB and I am pretty sure I have the best hand, but I don't bet because I know no one will call me unless they can beat me. Also, you might induce a bluff - so checking and calling may be in order.
For example. I have Q8 offsuit in the BB. Flop is K22. I check, other 2 players check after me.
Turn is another K making board K22K. I check, checked around again.
Now on the river, an 8 falls. I am pretty sure I have the best hand. But why bet? I may induce a pair of pocket 7's to bet, or an ace high. If I bet I can be sure that everyone will fold, though.
Your case is even more clear cut. An early position player could have an 8 or 4 that they were afraid to bet. When your 2 came you could not bet it.
On the river, you claim that a complete blank fell - but there are no complete blanks on this board. Any card except a king puts a straight out there, and since there was no betting someone could easily have made a runner runner or gutshot straight. And a king is bad news because there is a good chance someone could have one. Any card that falls is an overcard to your little duck, so you can't bet.
"The only hands that will call you are hands that will beat you. And if they all fold, you still make exactly the same money."
I take it that you are applying these principles to river play only; they clearly have less application on the turn.
"And a king is bad news because there is a good chance someone could have one"
...I am assuming that you just made an innocent error here as the King would give our hero 2 pairs and he should certainly bet it against 4 opponents with a high likelihood of being called by someone who just made a pair of Kings.
Bet the flop. Then bet the turn. If someone raises you, don't be afraid to re-raise. You have a very strong hand. Besides, you don't want to give a free card to someone with a three.
I'm kidding, of course.
Agree. The problem is how to get ace-high to come out of his shell while keeping eights or fours in theirs, which is impossible. The only scenario I can imagine for betting is one where you were against players that would always bet second or third pair on the turn if the flop were checked, the river paired the board and you had been caught bluffing.
If you bet the turn, your bet only has to win the pot a small percentage of the time for it to be correct. Part of the reason for this is that if you get called by a better hand you might draw out on the river.
The problem is that there is only $22 in the pot and it costs him $8 to bet the turn. Among 4 opponents if anyone calls they probably have a better hand which means he is playing 5 outs at best which is an 8:1 shot. The other problem is what happens when he gets raised? Well, now there is $36 in the pot against only one opponent and it costs him $8 more to play his 5 outer. Maybe if he can collect a bet at the river he can scrape up a marginal call but he will not win 100% of the time even when he hits one of his outs.
I don't see how leading into 4 opponents in a small, unraised pot with bottom pair on the expensive street can be right here.
>>The problem is that there is only $22 in the pot
That's not the problem.
That's the point.
No Erin that is very much the problem. The smaller the pot and the greater the number of opponents the less inclined you should be to lead with a tenuous holding like bottom pair. It is a risk versus reward problem. Furthermore, your opponents are expecting you to try and steal so you will get called more often than not since it was checked around on the flop. Anyone with any piece of the flop is going to stay with you and there will be a percentage of the time when you will get raised.
I agree with Erin.
You are probably going to win the pot more than 1 in 3 times with a turn bet.
Don't forget that if you think the pot is too small to bluff at, chances are that your opponents are also going to see the pot as being too small to contest particularly when their decision is to call a bet as opposed to checking or betting themselves.
First one in with the money wins in many small pots.
And if you are raised, you should generally throw away because most players will not risk a raise without a real hand when the pot is that small.
"You will probably win the pot more than 1 in 3 times with a turn bet"
Not in the games I play in when you have 4 opponents and the flop gets checked around. By betting you have made the pot bigger so your opponents are more inclined to call plus they will suspect you are weak since you did not bet the flop. If raised, you will be obliged to call since there would be $46 in the pot and for another $8 you are justified in playing your 5 outer. Now you have paid $16 to take a card off.
I might try this move with one or two opponents but four opponents is simply too many to be profitable.
8-to-1 means he has an 11% chance to hit. If everyone also folds 25% of the time that should be enough. He can always fold if raised.
I meant to say 20% not 25%.
20% is marginal. If all his outs are live, this play has slight +EV if everybody folds 20% of the time. But the problem comes in when all his outs aren't live.
But among 4 opponents will everyone fold 20% of the time? The more opponents you have the less likely everyone will fold. Furthermore, since it was checked around on the flop, players are expecting someone to try and steal so you will get called more often than otherwise. I believe if you are raised you probably have to call since there is $46 in the pot (not $36 as stated in my earlier post-an early morning mistake) and it costs you $8 to call so your are getting the right price to play your 5 outer. So now you are paying $16 to take off a card instead of $8.
Well, I suppose it depends on how tough a game you are in. IME, a raise here means a big hand i.e. a set. So, if I took a stab at the pot on the turn with my pair of ducks and were raised, I would fold.
What I don't get is this:
If you think the pot is too small for you to bet your small pair, why wouldn't you think that the pot is too small for someone to take a shot at you with say 98 or something when the board reads J842?
Surely, he has to say to himself "well, Jim's betting from the blinds. He could bloody well have anything as the pot was not raised preflop. I have only got 98. The pot is nothing to write home about. Why should I risk $16 (or even $8) to try and win $30? I will fold (or call)."
You also wrote:
"So now you are paying $16 to take off a card instead of $8."
Are you therefore saying that check/call is the preferred play here?
If so, I disagree.
In this particular situation, I would rank the choices as:
Most successful bluffs come in small pots. It is a rare thing to bluff your way through a big pot (like Carlos did in his hand on the other board). I thrive on stealing small pots and particularly from the blinds.
I was erroneously assuming that if you bet and got raised, you would call. But you are right, if raised you should fold since the pot odds are not there for calling and playing 5 outs (I forgot that 5 outs is an 8:1 shot so you need a $64+ pot to merit seeing the river assuming you have the worst hand.)
I agree that check-calling would be the worst play.
But how do you factor in the number of opponents you have in making these kinds of decisions? You say you would lead into 4 opponents here since you think you can win 1/3 of the time. Suppose you had 5,6, or 7 opponents?
Well, let's take an example.
Let's say the flop is J82. I am in the bb with K7. 7 way action.
I would probably bet if a King, Jack or 7 hit. I would like my bet least in the case of a King!
Notice that although you are up against 6 opponents, you can be pretty sure that the last 2 or 3 players did not pair up on the flop as they probably would have bet the flop from their late position. Accordingly, if the turn card were to be an 8 or 2, I would be alive to the possibility of bluff checkraising a late position bettor.
So really, I would be looking for ways to take down the pot if the turn card were to be a K,J,8,7, or 2.
If any other card hits, I probably have too many opponents to try and win the pot. I am going into checkfold mode. On the other hand, if I have say 3 or 4 opponents, I may run a stone cold bluff if say a 5 or 6 hit. I would do this just a small percentage of the time. If I get a call on the turn and a blank comes on the river, I would be alive to the possibility that my opponent called the turn with a straight draw in which case I would be alive to the possibility of calling a river bet with my King high.
If I have only 2 opponents, I would start to worry when the flop gets checked through. Unless your opponents are very weak players, you have to start wondering why the hell it is that no one wants to bet the flop.
In other words, it is sometimes easier to run a bluff against a bunch of opponents as opposed to just 1 or 2. The rewards are greater too with the bigger pot.
Isn't there some added value here from being in the BB. If you bet out on the turn some opponents may think that you had wished to check-raise on the flop.
At a LL table with weak players, giving them a pissed off look when it checks around and then betting might even scare them away.
In a loose-passive game, you played it right. In these types of games players will check and call with top pair weak kicker or check 2nd pair all the way. Be thankful that you were handed a kittle pot.
Ok I reread everything I could find for the past week and rebought-in today.
Sat down and here are the hands I got to play before everyone left to play in the tourney's :(
Please comment (check out hands 4 & especially 5). I learn lots when you guys flame me ;)
Hand1: I'm Seat10 in the BB, dealt Td9C, Seat1,2,3,SB limp, I CHECK, FLOP [ 8s 8h 5s ],SB checks, I CHECK, UTG Bets, EVERYONE FOLDS, he shows 8d3d.
Hand2:I'm Seat10 SB, dealt 6h6s, Seat4,5,7 Limp, Seat8 Raises, Seat9 folds, I CALL, BB calls, the rest call, FLOP [ 7c 7d Jh ], I check, BB checks, Seat4 checks, Seat5 Bets, Seat7 folds, Seat8 Raises, Everyone Folds except Seat5 who calls, Seat8 Wins with pocket kings.
Hand3:I'm the button, dealt 5s8h, seat8 limps, I FOLD, BB checks.
Hand4:I'm in the cutoff, dealt TsQh, Seat7,9 Limp, I limp, Button,SB,BB call,FLOP [ Jd 2h Qc ],Blinds check, Seat7 bets, Seat9 folds, I RAISE, Button Calls, Blinds fold, Seat7 Calls, TURN [ 4c], Seat7 checks, I bet, Button Raises, Seat7 calls, I CALL (should I have raised?), RIVER is [ 2c ] (I saw suckout coming), I CHECK, he bets, I CALL, he loses with Js4s.
Where did I miss bets here?
Hand5: I'm dealt QhJh, Seat7,8 Limp, Seat9 Folds, I RAISE, Seat1,2 Fold, Blinds,7,8 Call, FLOP [ Ts 3s Kh ], SB checks, BB bets, everyone calls to SB who RAISES, BB calls, Seat7 raises, Seat8 folds, I CALL, Blinds call, TURN [ Ac ] (woohoo!), Blinds check, seat7 bets, I raise, Blinds call, Seat7 re-raises, I CALL, SB CAPS it, Everyone calls, RIVER [ 9h ], SB bets all-in, BB folds, Seat7 calls, I CALL (I'm a moron, should have been raising. I thought we had tied), SB show pocket Aces, Seat7 shows AK, I win $28.75, but how much did I miss?
After that hand the table broke up. :(
Hand 4 you played properly. Once reraised you have to worry about kicker problems.
Hand 5 you had the nuts and should have capped it at every opportunity. Even if you think you're tied just keep betting.
The rest of the hands you played properly.
Hand four: you should have folded pre-flop. QTo against four opponents is a terrible hand. You got lucky.
Hand five: Preflop raise is questionable but not wrong. I think you need more than 2 limpers to raise with QJs. You raise to keep people in if you hit you flush draw. After you hit the nuts why you are not raising is beyond me.
Hand4: Against loose limpers QTo is a marginal hand. Abdul actually talks about raising against loose limpers with a hand like this, but I felt if someone had to call with KQ or QJ then they would be checking me on the flop if I raised preflop (another Abdullian exception). I didn't feel anyone had anything higher than this or they should have been raising ;) I really felt until I was raised on the turn that I had the best hand or at leat a tie, when the raise came I was thinking he had 2 pair, but had to call. The rest is history.
Hand5: Preflop raise is borderline your right. Honestly I did it out of fear, I thought I probably had one of the best hands and wanted to keep a strong hand image. Abdullian preflop strategy against loose limpers is to punish them for limping with trash by raising. In this case I was punishing them for not raising with AA & AK ;) (You are right I got lucky)
Not raising with the nuts was stupid, I guess I couldn't wait to start stacking my virtual chips.
I didn't toke the dealer so it worked out about even ;)
Thanks for the post it made me go back and confirm what I did was along the line of correctness. (Actually it was barely on the line)
I just ran some numbers for the play of AX suited (X = 2-9) and other drawing hands. I don't know why I didn't have this viewpoint before, but I wonder if this hand is even playable in my loose passive 3-6 hold'em game. Some math follows.
The game: loose, passive, with very little pre-flop raising, with 5+ callers (not including me) seeing most flops. When there is no raising, about 4 see the Turn, and 3 see the River, and 2 show down on the River, on average. It always takes the best hand to win; very few pots are given away.
What are the chances of winning the pot starting with AXs? You will make a flush about 5% of the time, but this is an optimistic number, because the 5% includes backdoor flushes that you won't stay around for; I'll use 4% as the number. If you make a flush, it's Ace high, and my guess is about 90% winners. (I'm making up some of these numbers, based upon my game that I sit in.)
You can also win the pot by flopping an Ace (about 17% of the time) and making top pair with a poor kicker. That plays especially poorly in my game, and I give it about a 5% chance (1 in 20) of winning the pot. There are too many ways that you can either get scared out or get trapped in with a loss.
One more way to win is the same chance that any two cards have. You will be hit by a miracle flop giving you 2 pair, trips, or a full house about 1% of the time, and with Aces-Up or better, you will win 90% of these (another guess).
Multiplying and adding the above 3 ways to win, I get an overall probability of winning the pot of 5%.
(.04 * .90) + (.17 * .05) + (.01 * .90) ~= .05
Thus, it appears that I need to average a profit of 20 each time I win with this starting hand, just to break even on playing it. But no - it's worse than that. For every made flush, there were (approx.) 2 busted flush draws that I presumably paid on all the way to the river (the pot odds are usually right). For my passive game, I am going to assume an average of one bet per street: 1 SB on the flop and 2 SB (one BB) on the Turn. So I have paid an average of 6 more SB's on failed draws for every made flush. I add this to the 20 and get a requirement of 26 Small Bets profit for each time I win the pot. Not pot size, Profit.
There is no way to average anything close to a profit of 26 SBs every time I bring in a winner with this or any other hand. Using my model above, if those other players stay in along with me, my profit is their 5 pre-flop, 4 flop, 3 turn, and 2 river bets, which is (after converting 1BB = 2SB) equal to 19 SB. And that's optimistic, because 3 flush cards on board causes everyone to tighten up, and some will fold earlier.
I'm gonna stop playing these. [ Horrors! Is it possible that Rounder was right all along ?? ]
Discussion: I wonder if AXs has been over-rated by some authors because of its far stronger performance heads-up. I know that in tight tough games and in tournaments where everyone is relatively short-stacked, it's a great raising hand (suited or not), mainly because if neither improve, the Ace-high wins it, and if the Ace pairs, the other hand is not likely to also have an Ace. This absolutely never applies to my game. With all those other people in, all of whom would call pre-flop holding Ace-anything, if I pair the Ace I don't consider it of much value. Maybe if it's checked around to me twice.
I am doing a complete 180 on this. I always thought that playing the drawing hands was a cornerstone of my strategy to beat a loose game with a pot rake.
PS - Small & medium suited connectors are slightly better, even when I downgrade the probability of a smaller flush winning; I am going to treat these as late-only, no raise, with at least 6-7 callers, or else don't play. Small pocket pairs, on the other hand, withstand this analysis just fine, winning about 1 in 10 times played, and I'll continue to play them as long as I am getting 4+ callers pre-flop.
you should recheck some of those numbers
Sklansky, Hold'em Poker, p.61: " ...you will flop a flush .8% of the time.... you will flop a split two pair 2.2% of the time."
(you included full house and three-of-a-kind and collectively came up with 1%.)
you neglected opportunities like the following: you hold Ac4c and the flop is Kc Jh 4d in which case your bottom pair with best overcard with a backdoor flush potential warrants calling a bet with 7 or more small bets already committed to the pot. notice also that if a Qc or Tc arrives on the turn, you will have picked up an inside nutstraight draw along with the nutflush draw.
you undervalued the flush draw because you will not have to fill the flush every time to win the pot. there are runner-runner possibilities and snagging an ace (after no ace appears on the flop) usually secures the pot as well.
you also, I think, underestimated the number of times ace with a weak kicker will hold up. often enough a flop with an ace will be checked around (wariness prevailing) and you can safely bet top pair (I seldom see check-raises in low-limit games other than the ones I execute).
I intended that the .8% (I remembered it as about 1%) was included in the overall 5% odds of making the flush.
Our versions of HEP must be different. I have a 1997 edition in which Page 61 is the start of the "Odds and Implied Odds" chapter and doesn't have this statistic. But I believe you that you saw it, and I will try to find it myself. Bear in mind that this is the least important of any of these numbers, as it applies to any two unpaired cards as a starting hand. If this number were really big, all those fools who play any old hand against us would be killing us.
(there is quite a difference between 4% and 1%)
"miracle flops": about 4%
flopping a four-flush and going on to win = .109 x .35 plus the times you'll win without catching the flush minus the times you'll lose when you do: 3.5-4%.
and if you can win about one third of the time when an ace flops, add another 4-5%.
my best estimate is that calling with Axsuited against 5 or more pre-flop callers would be a breakeven bet if you didn't have the potential to win large pots once in a while.
Mark - In my own low-limit game, I have had a lot of trouble trying to play top pair / low kicker or second pair. Following is an excerpt from my essay written a few weeks ago, on my web page, Fixing the Leaks in My Hold'em Game :
Ever since I first planned my hold'em strategy, I have been extremely conservative on the flop. With a high-card hand, if I didn't have top pair, I was out of there (unless I had legitimate pot odds and the board to justify drawing to a split non-top pair with an unpaired kicker, trying for trips or 2 pair). As I have tried to "play poker well," I have tried to identify those times when I thought my second pair, or top pair with poor kicker, was good, and go ahead and play them. Usually when I had good position, if everyone checked to me, or if it got checked around on the flop and then checked to me on the turn, I opened it up for a bet and pushed my pair as if it were boss. This is obviously correct play in higher limit, tougher games, because when you are short-handed on the flop, any pair becomes a good hand.
I am going to quit doing this. The reason is that a number of my opponents, that I call "super-passive," do not play top pair or even pocket Aces aggressively. They don't bet or raise; they just call. They have had their Aces cracked enough times (because, of course, they don't bet or raise to get people out), that when they get them they just kind of put their head under the table and wait for the roof to fall in. But they don't fold either. I have been surprised quite a few times recently at the high-quality hands that people are playing passively. And I, pushing second pair, wind up feeling pretty foolish.
---------------------------------------- end quote ----
So my conslusion, Mark, is that for me in my game, I might win a small pot once in a while with a split pair of Aces and a small kicker, but I will probably lose as many trying, and it doesn't present a profit opportunity for me.
I DO agree with you that if I pair the low card and the pot odds are right, I will draw to my 5-outer. But how much long-term profit is there in that? A little better than break-even, that's all.
"And I, pushing second pair, wind up feeling pretty foolish."
I thought we were discussing top pair/weak kicker exclusively.
after betting the flop, if there were a bunch of callers and you held top pair/weak kicker or second pair/very good kicker and it were checked around again, try checking along. or stop betting the flop to begin with. or try playing only A9suited or better. or, if someone bets a flop with an ace and you hold ace/weak, try raising. this will often freeze the shrinking violet who opened the betting on the flop and allow you see the river for free. sometimes you'll back into a flush or two-pair, and sometimes the board will pair and you'll be able to secure half the pot since your opponent will also be holding a weak kicker.
"I might win a small pot once in a while with a split pair of Aces and a small kicker, but I will probably lose as many trying, and it doesn't present a profit opportunity for me."
or don't change a thing, because
if you are losing only as often as you are winning, then all that pre-flop equity amounts to net profit.
I am astonished that your discussion does not include position! This is a critical point in AXs.
I have to agree with you on this one. I don't think this hand is playable in most games. I think the only game that it WOULD be playable in is the one you describe - very loose and passive.
I think that most people who value this hand have not thought very deeply about it. With this hand you really want to get a flush. But if you only rely on it's flush making potential alone, and neglect the other ways it can win, you cannot win enough with it to justify calling even a single bet preflop.
That means that you have to rely on the hands it can win WITHOUT making a flush. That's why I think A5 suited is better than A6 or A7 suited. You get a little extra value out of straights and gutshot straight draws that may be profitable in loose games.
In order to squeeze that extra bit of equity out of this hand, you must be able to play well. That means you must be capable of laying top pair down with this hand when the heat is on. But that means that you will also be folding the winner sometimes. If you don't fold the winner sometimes you'll find yourself paying off too much.
In short, I really believe that most people lose more with this hand than they win. I am sure that I'm one of them. (Due in large part to one hand where I had A7 of clubs, called a raise from the BB, and flopped top 2 pair when BB flopped a set of aces. :) )
I am going to stop playing suited aces with a kicker lower than T until I can persuade myself that these are profitable hands.
Final note - I don't want anyone to reply to this with the % of times this hand wins against random opponents in cold simulations because this is a TERRIBLE hand to consider with no foldem simulations. You will necessarily be folding lots of winners with this hand - backdoor flushes, 2nd pair, etc. This hand will often cost you a lot when you lose (missed draws, dominated hands) and won't win much when it wins (a three flush on board is an action killer.)
My 2 cents.
"(a three flush on board is an action killer.)"
In the situation you describe, I would play it only on the button in an unraised pot - and the flop better fit my hand very well or I pitch it.
Playing Axs and Kxs too much was one of the more massive holes in my game. I do much better now that I rarely play them.
This is to check if it makes any sense at all to respond to an ancient post.
A2s-A5s have straight possibilities as well.
With A8s or A9s the possibility of flopping top pair best kicker should be included.
But yeah, dump A7s and A6s -)
Thanks for your response. Of course you are right, but I considered the chances of making a straight to be minimal - especially since any draw you get is an "inside" one, only 4 outs. But you are right and it can add to other draws to make it right to take off a card.
As for A9 and A8, yes, they can win, especially in my game where most people play any Ace and hold onto any split pair of Aces, no matter the kicker, all the way. But they present the same problems as A2 with an Ace on board - hard to tell when you are the contributor instead of the leader.
I'll dump those A6 and A7 hands for sure. :)
while I rarely make wheels when I hold A-2, A-3, A-4, or A-5, I think you are mistaken if you consider these holdings as merely gutshots. You still have 3 other outs to pair your Ace! If the flop is a wheel-type flop, then by the turn and the river, your pair-of-ace draw goes up in value, as the other aces with higher kickers are more likely to have left the table. If they haven't, then your straight draw has more value, with more players. And a backdoor flush draw adds additional value.
But you must have position! Go look at Abdul's starting hands chart, he plays these hands in late position, and I agree. I think this is a critical flaw in your analysis. Play them late in large multi-way unraised pots (probably common at your Arizona Casino 3-6 table), or if you can get heads up vs. the blinds.
But I have always wondered why Abdul's starting hands chart rates wheel-drawing A-x hands lower than Ace with 6-8. Abdul?
5-10 gsme and I am in the 6 seat their are two limpers and I call with 4-4, two more callers and the bb raises and we all call. Flop A-7-4 and the bb bets, two players in front fold I raise(correct or not?). I figure that I want to win the pot ASAP and if not heads up with the BB is what I want. They all fold to BB who raises. I win the pot but I did not see the bbs hand but the player to the right of the bb said the he had a 7 and would have played if I had not raise. ( the turn was a 7)
I would raise on the flop. Bottom set is a good hand, but it shouldn't be slow played.
I'm assuming the flop is a rainbow, that makes your hand stronger. Even so, I am inclined to say your raise was correct. You definitely don't want to take a walk down to the river with the pre-flop raiser, or anyone else for that matter. As for the gentleman with the seven, don't worry, you'll get his money soon enough.
I don't like raising on the flop here. You'd have a better argument for it if the flop were 2-suited but I'd still wait for the turn. The problem is that the big blind might not be able to call your raise -- let's say he has KK or QQ -- and you'll certainly drive out any ace that could be behind you, to say nothing of the underpairs that might think they have 5 outs instead of, as was the case, being dead.
As a general rule you never want to risk killing the action with a small set when an ace flops multiway because (1) more than one player might have aces and (2) the ace is a scare card; it often doesn't take much to shut down the hand.
On a 2-4 table, I play early position. I'm dealt KhKs. I raise preflop, two others call, SB,BB,UTG calls. Flop comes Jc 9c Kc. UTG bets, I call, late position calls, button folds. (first mistake?) Turn comes 5s. UTG bets, I call, late-position calls. River comes 10s. UTG checks, I check, late-position bets, UTG calls, I call. late-position shows Ah Qh (straight 10 to ace) and gets the money. Was I too conservative???
Bad play. You have to raise the flop. First of all, there's an excellent chance that you have the best hand. Second, you want to put pressure on any draws. Third, even if you are beaten, you are only a 2:1 underdog to improve to a full house or quads by the river. Therefore, you only need two callers to make a raise profitable. Be aware of the possible made hands, but don't be afraid of them...at least not on the flop.
with the very coordinated flop, you need to raise to find out if anybody has flopped a made hand. Even if you are beaten on the flop, you still have many outs to win - and if you are winning, there are a lot of possible drawing hands that you need to put pressure on.
Unless you have a very good read on UTG and know he won't bet there without a flush or a straight, you really need to raise to be sure where everyone else stands.
You have redraws for a boat. Raise the bet on the flop and maybe, just maybe, late position will fold his gutshot draw. If you're not three bet, you know you're in the lead on the turn as flop better was betting a flush draw. Then, you could either have bet or checked. I would have bet because I have three kings and don't want turkies getting free cards. If he doesn't fold with all that heat you should have put on him, he's an idiot. Later
In regards to Butt Jingles response: If you reraise the raise on the flop and the raiser reraises, assuming you don't know how this player plays, do you fold or limp the rest of the way????
I'd check and call. I flopped a set of kings and there's just one player. [assuming that late position player folds] He's gotta show me a better hand. If there's a gang more ppl in the hand and they're raising each other, maybe, just maybe, i'd fold.
"If there's a gang more ppl in the hand and they're raising each other, maybe, just maybe, i'd fold."
Please tell me your kidding. If there are enough callers you should be RAISING even if you know your beat. You have a draw to the nut full house. If you can get 2 callers, cap the thing on the flop. Two reasons:
1. Even if your beat, you make money if there are two callers. 2. In a 2/4 game you might have the best hand even if its capped on the flop.
Raise to give yourself the best chance to win. If you raise you just may have gotten rid of the A-Q and as you saw this was the only way you could win the hand was to represent the flush. Good luck.
I'd also raise on the flop and on the turn as well. Top set with a uniform board multiway is always a close race and never a place to slowplay.
I would have raised to the cap on the flop and turn in the hand you describe.
I know Lee Jones has taken a lot of heat on these boards as of late, but his book helped me a LOT when I was just starting out and had not even heard of 2+2.
The first thing he says about flopping trips or a set is "Low limit hold em players lose a lot of money by not playing trips fast enough."
He also quotes the saying "If you get a set beaten and you don't lose a lot of chips, you didn't play it right."
A couple times over the last few hundred hours, I have tried ignoring his admonition against slow playing sets - getting cute trying to get more profit.
I regretted it almost every time. Some dork always seemed to go runner-runner for a garbage straight. The times my set did hold up, I made less money by slowplaying.
I have read all the other responses, and it seems to be unanimous that you should put in the first raise on the flop. I also agree. Not to play results here, but you very well might have gotten the AQ out if he had to call two bets. It is only the same as an inside straight draw.
I don't agree with capping on the flop, if that were to come up. A re-raiser is really representing a flush here, and you have to go into check-and-call mode, drawing to your boat.
Having raised the flop, if bet into again, you can really put the bettor on a probable flush, and you should just call. (See, raising on the flop helps you on the turn.) If checked to on the turn, bet it to again put pressure on draws.
On the river, with still a 3-flush and a 4-straight on the board, and with a new lead bettor, you could consider folding if you knew your opponent. But I don't criticize a call because the pot is so big.
I'm at the Taj playing a relatively loose 5/10 HE game (about 4 or 5 callers preflop).
I just sat down and an older guy raises one off the big blind. Everyone folds and I'm in the cutoff with AKo and I reraise. Blinds fold and he just calls.
Flop: A X X
He bets out, I reraise, and he just calls.
He again bets out, I raise, and now he reraises. At this point I don't think he has KK (he woulda folded on the flop with my raise), and I doubt AA cause why didn't he pump it more. I figure we have the same hand. I call his raise and call his river bet when a rag came. If I knew more about the player, I would have known whether to reraise or raise on the turn. Any suggestions on my play (and comments on what he had). Results to follow.
AA or KK certainly seem likely, despite the fact that you have one of each. After you raised him on the flop, you should have been concerned after he bets into you on the turn. With most 5/10 players, it is indicative of a huge hand. The chances of your hand being good are slim. I probably would have called his bet on the turn and river. Seeing that it was heads-up, I see no reason to raise the turn.
I agree with Uston.
He might also have AK. I would call the turn and river.
He turned over AA to kill me. I lost two more big bets than I should have definitely. But don't you think AA would have gone for the check raise on the turn? Had he check raise I probably would have folded. People seem to always check raise the turn with a monster (buckshot-b told me so).
Because of that very reason (most people tend to checkraise a monster) you should bet out even when you flop a boat. The beauty of it is, no one will believe you have it.
Roosh-Don't be fooled by the fact that he bet out. He was probably scared that you would check behind him. Plus, if he read you for AK or KK, it would make no sense for him to check-raise. Why go for two bets when you can have three?
3-6 HE game last night. Usual loose, passive crowd with 5-8 players seeing most every flop. I've been in the game about an hour, and about dead even.
On my recent Vegas trip, I had picked up Roy Cooke's book, and I'm about half way through. Roy, and others here like Jim Brier, constantly preach getting the money in there when you've got the best of it, and I have been trying to follow that advice all along anyway. The corollory, of course, is when you feel you don't have the best of it, get out.
I pick up QQ on the button. Notwithstanding the fact that many of these calling stations will not raise pre-flop with quality hands like KK or AA, ("I always get beat, why raise?") I raise on the buttton with 5 limpers. I do manage to drive out the SB, but the BB of course protects, and 7 of us take the flop of K-8-4 rainbow.
With the overcard, I'm trying to watch from my #1 seat who might have liked the flop. All the sheep check around to a young player in seat #8, who has a bet ready in his hand. He bets. Now I had never played with this kid before, but he hadn't done anything really unusual in the hour or so I had been at the table. My read was that with no str8 or flush draw on the board, he was betting a King. I quickly glanced across the table, and two early position players already had chips in their hand waiting to call.
Now I realize there are 7 big bets already in the pot. IF my read is correct, I am going to have to spike a Queen to win this hand. I figure my choices are at this point:
1) Raise to try to get a free card on the turn. I doubted at this point that my hand was the best. 2) Meekly go into calling station mode, and put in as much as another $15 to have this kid show me his King at the river. 3) Dump it right now. I'm out for only $6, and on to the next hand, right?
Taking this all information into consideration, I figured my choices were either raise or fold. I just hate calling in this situation. These players are mostly the types that will check any sort of King to the raiser, and given the bet into me, and two guys waiting to call, I mucked.
As expected, both players with chips in their hands called. Blank on the turn, a 9 I think. Check, check, player bets again. Both guys call. River is a deuce. Check, check, and bettor now kind of shrugs his shoulders (Oh,Oh, I'm going to be sick), and turns over Q-To!! One guy had 7-4h, other guy had 8-6o and takes it down. I go for a walk.
Now I'm sure I will get flamed for playing this hand like a little girl, but my ego is not that big that I'm not afraid to post this mess here and take the heat. I still don't think I was wrong in raising on the button with a good hand like pocket Q's. I know it's only 3-6 and maybe I should have raised the flop bettor to see where he was at, but I thought I KNEW where I was at, and got out. Obviously, I did not have an accurate read on this kid, and I was mad at myself for getting pushed off this pot so easily. Or did I make a sound decision given the circumstantial evidence that in the long run will save me several bets per hand?
I suppose this kid achieved his objective: he got the guy with the best hand to lay it down. But he still didn't win the pot, so who was the winner at the end of the day? Well, obviously, the guy with 8-6!
Think of it this way next time.
You're supposed to fold a quality hand like that if you get serious heat. One guy betting out and two ready to call is not heat. Let's say it's a raised pot, 7 big bets and you're sitting with A8s in the kids position are you gonna bet? Hell yeah. So why can't he?
I would reraise on the button for no ther reason than to represent AK, AA, KK and take a peek at a turn card for another 1/2 bb. The flop is not the place to fold this for one bet.
OTOH, I did this exact same thing just the other day. I appreciate you posting this to let me vent.
Perhaps I, too, should be hosting a tea party, but I think this is a reasonable laydown. A big reason why is that the bet came from directly on your right. There are a bunch of players that will act after you, which means someone might checkraise. As you said you'll usually have to spike a queen to win, and I hate paying more than 1 SB to go for my 2-outer. Now if the bet had come from the BB, and my call would close the betting, I'd be more inclined to peel one since the pot is fairly big. Also, if the exact same situation came up again I might call since now I know the kid bets with crap.
Good post, Caddy
The fact that the bet came from the cutoff could tip it off as an attempt to limit the field. The button raises preflop, cutoff bets into button so button raises on the flop and everyone else folds in fear of cutoff making it three bets. Give cutoff a middle pair with a good kicker and he wants to be heads up with the preflop raiser who might be playing AQ, AJs.
I think you did fine, under the circomstances...
Maybe later in the game, knowing your opponents better, then a raise would have been in order, IMHO. To get your free card...
I agree that this is a raise or fold situation. The question you have to ask yourself tho, is that even if the 2 players seem to want to call, are they going to if you raise???
With one bettor, 2 players likely to call and maybe a check-raise I would have mucked too. Players (weak ones) with a K and a weak kicker usually will not bet but will certainly call. 3 players in and maybe more, who wouldn't think at least one has a K.
Hey maybe one of the limpers folded a K with a weak kicker (as I would do) when he saw a bet an a couple of callers...
Unless you didn't do your homework well (you didn't study your opponents), I think I would have done the same...Most of the time someone has a K and you are left with a 2 outer...Fold, NEXT HAND!
Dunc, in the games I play in I would fold every time. With this many players involved, a flop of Ace-high or King-high almost always means someone has top pair and you are playing at best two outs. Hands headed by an Ace or a King are the kinds of hands people limp in with. Despite the fact that several have checked, you are still being bet into with a large field behind you yet to act. You could call now and then end up calling a raise from behind. The odds are simply not there for you to play a 23:1 shot.
Tourists and recreational players like to try and make plays here so when they get lucky and win they can go back home and tell people I well they played. They win in one of two ways by either hitting their two outer or just by happenstance they catch 6 other players in a hand with no one having an Ace or a King. At low stakes the enjoyment they get from making plays and having them work out once every so often outweighs the long term cost.
I'm relieved that so far most everybody feels my laydown was at least a reasonable choice. For sure, in your game, the bet would be far more likely to indicate a King. If I was this kid, and I had something like A-8, or 99, I would bet right at the raiser, too, trying to limit the field. But what threw me for a spin was that he tried an outright bluff into a big field that was doomed to failure unless he spiked a Q or T, given the circumstances. I have absolutley no doubt that one or both of the early limpers would have called this guy down at the end had he pushed it one more time.
What I have to try to get away from is the thinking that just because I wouldn't try to bluff into a raised pot with a big field, that someone else might. I'm trying to get into this guy's head to think about what he's thinking about, and these other two guys aren't thinking past "I've got a pair, and I'm calling." Oh well, better luck next time.
By the way, next time you're sitting beside Roy, tell him I am really getting a lot out of his book. I had never seen most of his columns because the rooms here don't often get Card Player, so the material is fresh to me.
I've been reading your posts for a year now and I have come to respect both of your opinions on the matters of low-limit poker. If I may ask a question derived from the scenario Dunc posted:
If you were in such late position, with five limper acting ahead of you and with blinds that defend, is there any merit to playing your QQ like you would a smaller pair? That would mean limping, and getting the implied odds to flop a set. The fact that the late position raise is unlikely to narrow the field plus the odds of an overcard pairing one of the numerous limpers seems to weigh in favor of limping yourself. Comments?
there is a high percentage of flops which don't contain an ace or king. add to these the chance of flopping a set (whether or not an ace or king does flop), and you can see why a raise is in order.
Jim and Mark, thanks for your advice. I can't get over the feeling though that a late position raise with QQ when five limpers have already come in violates the "big pairs play better against a small number of opponents" theory.
I was reviewing Lee Jone's Winning Low-limit Hold'em last night, and Jones stated that with QQ, there is around a 50% chance of a flop containing an overcard. He advocated just calling with QQ in this position.
Limping with QQ in late position? That's the silliest thing I've ever heard. If low limit types are going to take their trash against the 3rd best possible hand I'm gonna make em pay.
Actually given that you have QQ in your hand the probability of the flop not containing an Ace or a King is: (42/50)*(41/49)*(40/48) which is 58.6%. So most of the time your Queens will be an over pair to the board. Furthermore there will be times when the flop contains an Ace or a King and a Queen as well giving you a set. Lee Jones is wrong in advising people not to raise with QQ on the button when many players limp in.
For some strange reason there appears to be many poker experts who feel that because you are an underdog against a collective that you no longer have a positive EV by raising with the best hand. But you are the individual favorite and your raise will pull into the pot another 5 bets in this case. You only have to win a greater percentage of the time than anyone else to have a positive EV by making the pot bigger. When you win, you win a bigger pot as a result even though you may not win as often.
Thanks, Jim. I appreciate your imput. Something else that Jones' may not consider is the chance that raising preflop in late position will allow you to see the turn for free and spike a set then.
I take it you don't think much of Jones' advice?
I think Lee Jones is a good player and his book is good for a beginning player. Lee is addressing people who are new to public poker and his goal is to keep them from losing their shirt when they sit down at a hold-em table. The approach that he discusses in his book will not maximize your EV but it will minimize your variance and still allow you to give a good account of yourself in low limit games. I like his book. But I do not agree with all of his poker advice.
One final thought about Lee Jones. I think Lee Jones is a very intelligent person. I believe that he saw all the books out on hold-em and identified a weakness. There did not appear to be any books that really addressed a complete novice to either hold-em or public poker. He responded to this need by writing a book that is easy to read and gives the novice a simple playing strategy which will allow him to survive in low limit games thereby maintaining his interest in playing public poker. As a result, his book is one of the most popular selling poker books ever written. The other thing is that it has allowed Lee Jones to carve out a role for himself in the world of poker. He is viewed by many as a low-limit poker expert so he gets to write a column in CardPlayer and he can maintain his reputation while just playing in low limit games thereby never really exposing himself or his bankroll in higher limit games. He is one smart guy.
The Lee Jones book is great for beginners, but I universally ignored his advice to limp with QQ.
To clear up any confusion, Lee Jones does NOT advocate limping in late position with QQ. The passage you referred to dealt with early position play in games where a raise won't fold singleton aces and kings.
Not that that makes the advice any more correct. Arguably, it's even more incorrect.
You mean to tell me that you raise pre-flop with pocket queens?!?! You maniac!!! Hehe.
Actually, he does! Check out Winning Low Limit Hold'em, pages 42-43.
No, you are better off raising pre-flop with QQ since you probably have the best hand and you collect 5 more additional bets when you win the pot for only one added bet here. Most the time your Queens will be at least an overpair to the board which gives you a very strong playing hand. The fact that you may be an underdog against a collective should not prevent you from raising with the best hand. When you win, you win a larger pot as a result. However, as your pocket pair gets smaller the need to win by flopping a set increases and the number of flops where you have an over pair decreases. I would raise with AA,KK,QQ, and JJ but call with all the other pairs. Some players might raise with any pair on the button since they would argue with enough players the odds are there to juice up the pot and hope to flop a set. However, I think this is a high variance play.
The table is 'loose passive', 7 players saw the flop for a raise... and he folds on the flop
He should take a card off.
Not sure if I agree with you on this one. I think a raise is in order here. Look at the competition. Loose calling stations. Lots of people to pay you off if you have the best hand/hit your set.
The KEY here is that the bettor acted immediately in front of you, and in late position. He doesn't need a king to bet here. Would you say that the odds are better than 7:1 that he has a pair of kings or better? I wouldn't think so.
Raising is important because someone in early position may have a weak king and may lay it down for 2 bets. I've made this laydown myself countless times. (Note that I will only have a weak king if I am in the blind :) )
I think a raise on the flop is in order - then you can reevaluate on the turn. If someone still bets into you and you haven't improved fold.
If you think that raising on the flop will drive out top pair then it has merit. The problem is that you were the pre-flop raiser so many players will check top pair to you since they are worried that a King-high flop touched your hand in some way (usually they fear big slick). The guy betting may well have a decent King and figure his hand may be good with so many people checking and knowing that you might have raised on QQ,JJ,TT, or AQ. But in these low limit games, these guys will hang on to top pair regardless hoping by some miracle their hand is good. They might not bet their top pair but they will call with it all the way to the river.
You're right about the calling stations, you'll never get them to fold a weak king. BUT, you'll never get them to fold middle pair, bottom pair, pockets that haven't set, backdoor straights and backdoor flushes. As it has often been said, at low limits, you can't put them on a hand, you can't even put them on a thought. As I said before, I'd raise on the flop and fold to a bet on the turn. I might spike a queen and it's oh so satisfying, every once in a while, to suckout on these guys.
Folding here was a bad idea in my book. I think it is actually worse than calling and much worse than raising.
For one thing, you actually have odds to chase your 2 outter here. Plus you said that there were lots of calling stations, so your IMPLIED odds were enormous.
There are 14 small bets in the pot. You will hit your set on the turn or river about 1 time in 12. Add in all the implied odds from all those callers and you have enough odds.
If you raise, you will probably get a free card on the turn and you can check and call to the river if you want to. Also a raise might knock that 86o hand to fold, and you REALLY want him to fold his 5 outter. For him, folding a 5 outter when the pot is this big would be a mistake and you want him to do that.
As it turns out, you would have won the hand anyway.
Now, if there had been a bet and three callers, I'd muck the queens.
Usually when I play big pocket pairs, and I have position like you do, I pump them hard preflop. Then, on the flop, I make the decision whether to pump or dump. IE if I have QQ and the flop comes AK6 and there is a bet a 2 callers I muck. But if I like the flop I will just pump pump pump - I'm not letting anyone run me over or push me off this hand so early on. Then, on the turn, if people are still betting into me, I reevaluate.
"There are 14 small bets in the pot. You will hit your set on the turn or river about 1 time in 12. Add in all the implied odds from all those callers and you have enough odds. "
SmoothB, why do you say that you will hit your set 1 time in 12? I thought it was closer to 1 in 23. Am I wrong?
On the turn and river combined (2 cards) you will hit it one time in 12 (about.)
just brushed up on my combinatorials. You are correct sir!
Smooth, he'll hit his set on the turn 1 in 22 times. He's getting 14-1 on his call (7-1 on a raise). If he just calls he'll likely have to call another bet on the turn offering him around 10-1. Even with implied odds there is no way he is getting the correct price to call/raise here.
If he had a good read on the bettor, a raise may be in order. But with no read and 6 players waiting to act, dump.
There are 2 cards coming.
You do have odds to chase the set.
You also have to factor in the chance that you actually DO have the best hand right now. Add that into your odds too.
If it were checked all the way around to you with those queens, would you bet it or let it get checked through??
If *I* were the person who bet the flop, I would bet a variety of hands here, and none of them would include a king! I'd bet pocket tens, pocket jacks, pocket nines, etc. If I had a pair of kings or better I'd checkraise because
1) I could probably count on the preflop raiser to bet
2) If it got checked through, I'd raise any bet on the turn (unless it looked really scary.)
A raise here is definitely in order - you'll usually get checked to on the turn, and if you don't you know you're beaten and you can fold. And if you DO hit your set, you can bet or raise.
Good laydown. Part of the development process is being able to lay down a hand. With 8 players involved this is a no-brainer. Are you going to lay down the odd winner? Sure. But you'll come out ahead being able to lay this hand down.
I don't think you played it bad. I think you were correct in that it was either raise or fold - calling is not an option.
Lately I have been having a lot of success raising on the flop in this situation, overcard and all. Pretty often they put you on AK and fold on the river when their hand doesn't hit. I have even seen people lay down king-rag on the turn or river in that situation because they figure they are outkicked.
Mind you- I have been playing very tight and people are noticing that I am turning over very good hands.
If you get reraised, you can certainly lay it down without any hesitation whatsoever. I have been betting that type of hand hard until given a reason not to in the situation you describe and it has been working out pretty well.
Even when you lose to a K - rag or garbage two-pair in this situation, playing that had very aggressively (purposefully overagressive) on a loose table gets you a lot of callers later when you have the chasers drawing dead.
This happened to me last night. I had been playing hands very fast and getting caught at the river, people started calling me with no fear.
Later, I caught a couple good hands (AK, AA, AKs) that held up and made up far more than I had lost from the chasers who had seen me playing medium strong hands aggressively.
Yeah, you played like a little girl ;>)
These LL games can drive you nuts. One night everyone calls with second pair all the way to and through the river and you win big pots with top pair, good kicker. The next time, you push your premium hands, get a great flop (Kxx rainbow), and on the river (after two blanks have hit the board) the calling station raises your AK. You call, he shows AA, HAVING NEVER RAISED!! Or you play QTo in the blinds, flop T77r, bet and get called all the way and get shown A7s, again with no raises! Arrgghh!!
I still raise/reraise preflop with my big pairs, push them hard when the board shows no overcards, and usually check-call when the board shows a overcard to my now-not-that-big pair. I feel (I keep no individual hand stats)I win enough hands to pursue the check-call strategy, even tho (flop of Kxx) I am shown Kx (one pair) to beat my QQ.
I enjoy your posts, Dunc; keep 'em coming.
I'm a young kid and play in 3-6 quite regularly. I've seen all sorts of turkies bet and raise with crap.
I usually go into check and call mode in that situation, especially if there was no raise preflop.
This is a kid right? His bet shouldn't have gotten any respect anyways... =) That's why that dude w/ 8-6 called him all the way down.
Someone noted that he'd lay that hand down if faced with heat...[raise, three bet before it got to you] and that's a very good point that I'll take into consideration because sometimes I feel to myself 'i can make a great laydown and save myself money] then i end up kicking myself in the butt because i folded away the winner, especially when i had the odds to call.
anyways, as i try to find my point is this post, oh yes, here it is...you were the pre flop raiser...you post on twoplustwo, hopefully you know what you're doing and that means you have a pretty solid image. your raise preflop indicates a premium hand...or something good [even though you're on the button] or close to it..[if i remember correctly] Keep showing that strength and represent those cards until someone three bets you. Even though you won't get everyone to fold because NO ONE FOLDS IN LOW LIMIT [only competent players] you'll see where you're at on the cheap street.
[look for the kid in san manuel [california] wearing a khaki colored Structure jacket]
I would have done exactly what you would have done and lay down the hand. If I have played with the player before and he is likely bluffing I would raise, but if I don't know him, and there are players behind me, I fold...
I read the Flopping a Full House thread below with great interest, as it reminded me of a hand I played recently. I'll divulge the results in a later post, and for now just assume I either won a huge monster pot or suffered a tough beat. But the results aren't important - I want to know if I played correctly.
Pre-flop: Loose player on tilt (LPOT) raises - he's been raising almost every hand, competent player (CP) cold calls, total live one (TLO) cold calls, I decide to cold call on the button with pocket 6s. I know some may question this call, but I didn't put the raiser on anything special and I expected the loose passive blinds to call. They do and we see flop 6-handed.
Flop: 3c 3h 6c. Blinds check, LPOT checks, CP checks, TLO bets. I decide to just call w/my full house. Someone could have a straight flush draw but it seems unlikely. Anyone w/a higher pocket pair than 6s has 2 outs. Anyone with a 3 needs the case 3. Also there is a remote runner runner pair on the board possibility. I decide it's worth slowplaying because if someone, expecially LPOT or TLO, make a flush or 3s full, they're likely to go off for a lot of bets.
Anyway, blinds fold, LPOT folds, CP calls. We see turn 3-handed.
Turn: Qh. CP checks, TLO bets, I call. I feel like a raise won't fold TLO, and I don't want to slow him down on the river if a blank comes. Also, I sense that CP is going to fold anyway. But he thinks for a moment, and then checkraises! TLO calls, and I now reraise. CP could have pocket Qs for Qs full, but my feeling is he would have re-raised LPOT pre-flop. My read is that he's semibluffing w/2 big hearts, and thought TLO and I didn't have much. Anyway, he just calls my 3-bet, and TLO now folds.
River: Kh. CP checks, I bet. He checkraises. My read is that he probably made the heart flush, and thinks I just have trip 3s. I reraise, and he now 4-bets. Now I'm not so sure I have the winner. Hands that beat me are pocket 3s, pocket Ks, and pocket Qs. Pocket 3s I think he would have folded in early position after LPOT who was UTG raised, but you never know. Pocket Qs or Pocket Ks I think he would have 3-bet LPOT before the flop, but again you never know. I strongly consider re-raising again, but wimp out and just call.
Question: Without knowing the results, was my slowplay here correct or in error? As I said above, I'll post the results later for those interested.
Not raising the flop was fine. It's a perfect flop for you. A raise won't knock out a straight-flush draw and probably wouldn't knock out an overpair, either. I disagree with your slowplay on the turn but it's not relevant because of the check-raise. Slowplaying the turn is seldom correct in limit HE, especially at the lower limits. Let's assume your opponent has a flush draw or a big pocket pair. Slowplaying makes no sense. Make him pay to draw. Get the money on the turn because he's not going to pay you off on the river with a busted draw. If he makes his flush, you may only get two bets instead of three. That's life.
I didn't make this clear in my original post, but TLO was an habitual bluffer. He was more likely to have nothing than any kind of made hand or decent draw.
Well since so many people gave me good advice about what they thought of my full house flop (which I appreciated!), I will toss in a couple of cents here.
First, I am thinking about what CP has done; he knows (I assume) that the other player on tilt is going to drive the betting, and thus increase the pot odds for people to go on draws. So, if he has a big hand to start (say KK or AA or similar), he has to be aware that people are going to be drawing on him, and that his hand may not stand up without further help. However, he also knows that he will not have to represent a lot of strength to build a pot, since the player on tilt will do it for him. So, simply calling preflop seems ok; the pot gets built but not too big, and he doesn't have to show strength just yet.
Now, after LPOT folds, CP realizes he will have to drive the betting. And what card encouraged him to do the betting? A Queen. I'm guessing pocket queens for the competent player. Further, if he is really a competent player, he should be wondering what you are doing in there before the flop with a 3 of any kind, unless you have pocket 3's. So, I don't see why he would assume you have trip 3's, given that there is not really a hand worth playing with 3x (other than 33). So, he is probably putting YOU on a flush draw, and knows he has you beat unless you have 33.
Im guessing you probably lost to QQQ33, because the CP did not start betting until after his "decoy" (the player on tilt who would build his pot) disappeared.
I will say I tend to believe other players too much, and maybe CP doesn't have a really big hand (perhaps AQo). I just don't see him on a flush draw for some reason. I'm also not sure I like his consecutive checkraises...they make me confused. To me, one checkraise is an attempt (either real or bluffed) to show strength. Two checkraises is some kind of desperation confusion ploy.
The competent player had pocket Ks and hit a K on the river to make a bigger full house. In retrospect, I think I should have raised right away on the turn, and maybe he would have folded his 2-outer. I didn't put him on a pocket pair of 10s or higher, as I thought that pre-flop he would have (and should have) 3 bet the loose, tilting UTG raiser on his direct right. In fact, I thought there was a decent chance he would 3-bet pre-flop w/7s, 8s, or 9s also. Perhaps on the positive side I got him to put in 3 bets on the turn when he only had 2 outs, but since the pot was already fairly big I probably didn't want him in there w/any outs. Comments?
If you raise the turn then you most certainly do NOT want the pocket kings to fold. If he cold calls your raise he's getting pot odds of 5.75 to 1 (assuming the original bettor calls, too) to chase a king @ 22 to 1. Even factoring in implied pot odds, it would be a terrible call.
I 'm dealt KK, I play at the button, I raised preflop and the flop comes 2s 8h Ad. Everybody checks to me. 1. Do I check or do I bet? 2. Let's say I bet, and one other calls. The turn comes 5c. The caller bets now. Do I call, raise or fold?
Correct me if I'm wrong b/c I'm here to learn more than I am to teach. Here are my answers to your questions Makis. Don't take them for granted until a few of the other members disect them.
#1 I would bet according to what type of game it is. In a loose game, an Ax tends to be over-played and players who are checking are merely looking for who has high kickers. If it is checked all of the way to you then I would presume that they are seeing if you were raising with AK or AQ before the flop. I would bet incase a high card like K, Q, or J hits on the turn and would allow me to pick up the pot, and ofcourse K would make my set. People with AK AQ or AJ would've likely raised before the flop so I think that it's safe to assume that a face card kicker with top Ace pair is unlikely. Unless, there is a known limper in the bunch and that is where I would go for the free card.
#2 I would fold since the player may have hit two pair or a bycycle. Since he called on the flop, he was likely chasing IMHO and has caught a very dangerous card.
When it comes right down to it though, it comes down to what type of player you are playing against. If he tends to play Ax all of the time, then that flop may have been what he was looking for. Plus, I always assume that lots of multiway means lots of A's. But in a tight game, KK might be a good calling hand with no pre-flop raising.
it would depend upon how many others called your preflop raise. against 5 or more callers, I would generally fold once the single remaining opponent bet the turn. the pot is offering me insufficient odds for my two-outer and he has no drawing hand with that flop (yet he called) and, therefore, is very unlikely to be bluffing or semi-bluffing the turn. (this is even more likely to be the case if he called your bet on the flop from early position.) I would conclude that he's bet the turn in order to prevent me from finagling a free look at the river. also, his hand could be so powerful (trips) that a raise by me would be welcome.
How many opponents do you have? With three or less I would probably bet the flop but with four or more I would probably check but betting may not be too bad. With a rainbow, raggedy board like that anyone who calls probably has an Ace but maybe not. Of course you are playing 2 outs if anyone has an Ace.
When you bet and get one caller I think you should fold on the turn when he leads out. You are almost certainly playing two outs and the pot odds are not there.
4 players called my preflop raise I bet the flop, one called, he bet the turn, I called, river came blank, he bet again, I called, he won the pot with As 3s
thanks everyone for the answers
Jim's response to your question was right on.
Everything played out exactly as advertised. Your bet on the flop chased everyone but the ace-rag and he bet into you on the turn. Folding is usually the best play there.
I would have folded almost all of the time on the turn and raised on the turn against a certain type of player in the right situation
I would raise on the turn ONLY if the flop was not two-suited, the board was not 3 to a straight and I was pretty sure the player would put me on AK and fold right there or on the river if a rag hit. I would also do it if I think my opponent will try to represent an ace he doesn't have when he thinks the flopped ace scared me and he missed his draw.
When I know the player is only playing his hand and could care less what I have and probably doesn't even remember who raised pre-flop, which is often, I fold.
Whether this play works or blows up in my face (it's done both), it is decent, albeit expensive, advertisement.
I get to look like somewhat like a maniac even though I was playing KK. It also scares the bejeezus out of that goofball holding Ace-rag, and sometimes he is a good enough player to lay it down. It is fun if nothing else.
Well sure you gotta bet the flop if you are checked to. Heck, if I have KK in early position and raise preflop, and the flop comes with an ace, I'm still going to bet if I'm checked to even with people left to act after me.
If you are led at on the turn it is probably a good idea to fold. This depends on the player though. I know some guys who will bet out on the turn in this exact same scenario if they flopped a pair and then turned a flush draw. This is a semi bluff, of course. Against an opponent like this you have to make a decision. But against an obvious playing opponent it is probably a good time to fold.
Here's a question on a hand that I know I played too passively. I just don't know when I should have gotten aggressive. The game is 5-10 with normal opponents. UTG calls I call with As6s (I know, this is probably my first mistake but the game was not very aggressive and 4-5 usually saw the flop for 1 bet), Fold, Mid position player (MP) raises to $10, Call, Call (uh oh, two cold callers), Both blinds call, UTG calls, I call. 14 small bets in pot and 7 players.
Flop comes down: Ah Ac 5c
Do I like this or not? with so many people in the pot someone surely has the other ace and I'm probably out kicked. The blinds both check and UTG leads out. I just call (should I raise or fold?). Do I want to get heads up with the 1 other ace and be drawing dead or do I want others around in case I fill, or should I muck and wait for a better day to play? MP (pre-flop raiser) calls, both late position players call, BB fold and SB calls.
20 SB in pot and 6 players (we only lost 1).
SB checks, UTG Bets, I call (another mistake?). Same thoughts, do I want the draws out? the only way I can win is to fill up (or so I think). first late player calls, second folds, SB calls.
15BB in pot and 5 players (lost another).
UTG checks, I bet out (just in case everyone was on a draw, UTG was who I was worried about since he was leading and no one popped the turn). MP calls and everyone else folds.
MP flips over Red Queens and I show my ace for a winner. Did I play this hand too passively. Should I have gotten out earlier?
I don't think you played the hand badly. A6s is close here, given you read of the game. I think, though, you're worried about the wrong player initially. Few 5-10 players will bet UTG when holding the A here. Most will try for a checkraise on the turn. (Giving you too much information, but that's why I usually bet a strong hand from the front;-}) I suspect UTG held two clubs and tried to win the pot on the flop. Your call is fine, IMO. Pre-flop raiser makes the real mistake; this is a definite raise position with his QQ. You're still in a tough postion, though, on the turn, given the presence of the raiser behind you. When he doesn't raise the turn, your A is good. Good bet on the river; now it's obvious you have the best hand.
I probably would have mucked the A6s, but your call isn't horrible given the game you describe. Sometimes when the first players limp in it starts a limping frenzy and causes a family pot.
I would have folded it precisely because of the possibility of a raise downstream, which is what happened. But calling that with 5 other players in is a no-brainer.
I think you are wrong to be too concerned about the other ace on the flop. Alot of people are aware that a paired flop makes it less likely that the flop helped anyone (although this is somewhat less true with A's) and they will get aggressive on the flop with something like a pocket pair. But you most likely have the best hand.
I think you have two choices on this flop. One is to call the flop and then raise the turn. This will have a better chance of getting out any draws that didn't make it on the turn. In some cases it will extract the maximum and it's not a bad choice.
But in this case, with UTG leading into you, I'd raise the flop to see if I could get it heads-up. If it's re-raised downstream, you pretty much know where you stand, but I wouldn't fear an A from UTG very much since so many of the hands he would play UTG would require a raise if he had an A. And if you get a bunch of callers with worse hands, you can't be too upset.
I also like raising on the flop sometimes with this type of hand because it seems to be standard play to call the flop and raise the turn - in other words this play often suckers your opponents into thinking that you can't have an A.
Since you didn't raise either the flop or the turn, the way it played out you almost certainly have the best hand on the river, so your bet there is mandatory.
ROBB, i agree you played part of the hand properly, playing passive on the flop is very good, you will find out fast who is gonna make a run at the 70 in the pot. but on the turn a raise is definitely in order. you are way ahead here and you need to make anyone holding two clubs pay, which if 7 players are in someone is drawing to it.
the raise on the turn will tie in the QQ, and tie in the two clubs to the river, thereby giving you 3-4 extra big bets. if you have a good read over the table you will know who plays the any ace game, and you probably know that even if they hold (A, little) you will split the pot due to the J and 9.
overall its so sweet to look at a board that connects with you so very very well
Pre-flop your call is marginal but okay. On the flop you must raise. There is a large pot out there that must be protected with lots of opponents plus a two flush. There are only 4 Aces in the deck and you are looking at 3 of them. You must raise and force everyone to call two bets cold. You should assume you have the best hand until otherwise indicated. On the flop you cannot be drawing dead. If a Six comes on the turn you have the nuts. Mucking here would be criminal.
On the turn you must raise. Why are you letting these guys off so cheaply? Your mindset is all wrong. The guy has to have the case Ace or be full to beat you. Since no one showed any strength on the flop he is simply betting because the thinks his hand is good. Don't play in fear and give a table full of opponents cheap cards.
You played this hand way too passively.
Before looking at the other responses...
I think if the game was really that loose and passive, calling pre-flop was not that bad.
I think your chance to get aggressive was the flop. You would rather find out NOW if someone else has the other ace. If you raise and then get reraised, you are almost always going to be against the ace and then you can fold the turn if the reraiser bets again. It's cheaper to do this than to just call your way to the river like you did. Plus, if you did have the best hand (like you did), you are letting the flush draws and other trashy hands get a look at the turn cheaply. Raise the flop. Good opportunity to raise for info, it's good info and it's as cheap as it's going to get. Calling to the river costs you quite a bit more to get the same info if you are drawing thin.
dave in cali
I think I can make this simple. Raise, raise, raise. If somebody re-raises you check call to the river. There are to many bets in the pot to let this hand go when there is only one card that beats you. Well, one card and pocket 6's.
Also, most guys wont raise a flush draw with a pair on the board. So you are probably not going to get raised by the flush draw. But you still might!
The preflop call was OK, since no one had been raising preflop. Your call here was further vindicated by the guy just calling with QQ.
The flop obviously hit you pretty hard, which you should like. No, you absolutely cannot check and fold because UTG bets. The two-flush on the flop means you pretty much have to start jamming your hand immediately. Plus, I like to find out if there is another ace out there when the bets are small.
The turn card is great because no one made their flush and again, you should be raising and charging people to suck out on you. With that type of hand, I will raise until given a reason not to.
I was the small blind in seat four with A-Ko. Seat six folded, seat seven raised(who had been raising with substandard hands), seat eight,nine and ten called, seat one and two folded, and seat three called. With five people already in for a raise I chose to just call instead of re-raising. I figured I can't isolate the seventh seat anyway. Do you think this was the right choice? All comments welcome.
I am asking myself a question and wonder what you all think...
We say that position is the most important principle in hold'em... I agree...So far so good.
Hands change in value depending on the number of opponents in the hand... So 8-6 suited is better in a large multiway pot than K-T offsuit... No problem here...
Now here it comes...
You usually want to play a hand like 8-6 suited from a late position. Now say that you don't get as much action as you would like say 1 average player limped, you are on the button with 8-6 suited and you expect the blinds to call, making it a 4 way pot, Do you call here???
Say you have K-5 suited or 9-8 offsuit...
Does the fact that you are going to be the last one to act on the next rounds make up for the lack of players in the hand???
"You usually want to play a hand like 8-6 suited from a late position. Now say that you don't get as much action as you would like say 1 average player limped, you are on the button with 8-6 suited and you expect the blinds to call, making it a 4 way pot, Do you call here???
Say you have K-5 suited or 9-8 offsuit... "
No, No, No. There is one limper to you, not nearly enough of a multiway pot to play these hands. Five limpers to you and I would play them all.
"Does the fact that you are going to be the last one to act on the next rounds make up for the lack of players in the hand??? "
No. You are not getting enough odds or implied odds BTF to bother with such weak holdings. The pot you will probably win will not be big enough to make up for the # of times you will get nothing on the flop and have to fold.
Dave in Cali
Dave in Cali
Fold 8 6 suited if there will only be 4 people seeing the flop.
Same goes for K5 suited.
Never ever play 98 offsuit under any circumstances unless you only have to pay a fraction of a bet in the blind.
By the way, position is not the most important princliple in holdem. Game selection is.
"By the way, position is not the most important princliple in holdem. Game selection is. "
To show an example of why this is so, listen to this story....
Last year, a friend of mine was playing 3-6 in atlantic city. The game was fairly tight but not really that aggressive, with most pots being fairly small. Most of the players were regulars who played at least reasonably well. The lineup did not change for 3 hours. At this time, my friend asked around the table as to how each player was doing. EVERY PLAYER at the table had LOST $$. No one was winning. Obviously, the rake (10% to 4$) was eating them all up, especially since few pots were large (therefore just about every pot was taxed the maximum percentage). Plus, since these were experienced players, no doubt the game moved fairly fast, thus allowing more chances for the house to take a rake.
Game selection is ESPECIALLY important in lower limit games with a high rake. You just can't beat a tight game with a high rake. Loose players make these games beatable. Loose low limit AC games are beatable, but keep in mind they have to be LOOSE! Loose-passive would be better still....
dave in cali
I have a friend that lives in a part of the country where the only poker they have is 2-5 spread limit, 10% rake to $4. Single 2 dollar blind. He does very well in these games on the weekends despite the huge rake because everyone else plays so poorly. I think that far fewer than 5% of all players can consistently win in this game, but he is one of them.
On the weekdays, the game has only a single 1 dollar blind. The game is so tight and passive that I find it hard to believe that anyone can make money at it. I have played in these games while visiting him and I managed to win 15 bucks in the afternoon game.
I don't care how well you play - pick the wrong game and you're toast.
the first game would be beatable for a good player if the game was loose with fairly decent pots. If there was ever a time when the second game was loose, it would be great for a good player. However, regardless of the tiny blind structure in either game, it cannot be beaten if it is squeaky-tight. The rake is just too high.
Think about it, if the rake is 10% to 4$, and the pot always gets to 40$ or less, then the pot is always charged the maximum percentage in rake. However, if the average pot size is 100$, then the rake is only 4% of the pot on average. It makes a difference. That's why the low limit games are beatable, because they are loose. A tight low limit game is just not going to be beatable.
dave in cali
I agree that game selection is the most important principle, but it's the most important principle in all forms of poker...not just hold'em...
What I meant is that I think a novice has to realize that your position is soooo important once you've sat down in a good game. Play a weaker hand out of position and it will eat you...
Don't you agree??
What I meant is that I think a novice has to realize that your position is soooo important once you've sat down in a good game. Play a weaker hand out of position and it will eat you...
In general, novice players gravite toward a loose-passive game. In these games position has very little importance. IMHO
Well, we can always look at the hypothetical 'perfect' game where everyone plays every hand to the river but never bets or raises, but they call all bets. In this type of game position is totally unimportant. Therefore, by extension, the importance of game selection decreases as the game approaches this hypothetical 'perfect' game as a limit. Wow, sounds like calculus. :)
But there are no games like this, and in reality, there are really no games where position is not extremely important.
If I had to rank the skills that one needs to excell at to be a winning poker player, I would rank them like this:
1) Game selection
2)Preflop hand selection (The single most important concept along these lines is knowing what hands to play as a function of position, number of limpers, raises preflop, etc.)
3)Reading hands - and along with that comes the discipline to trust your instincts and fold when you KNOW you're beaten, etc.)
I'm not sure where to put in ability to play well after the flop. Obviously it's important - if you are terrible at it then you can be great at the other 3 and still break even or lose. But the greatest player can be a losing player if he is an expert at everything but is very poor at game selection.
I don't care how good you are at putting people on hands - if you play the wrong hands out of position you are giving your money away.
Don't get me wrong, there are a lot of people who play for a living and do quite well who occasionally play strange hands in strange positions. When they do this they are giving their money away. Their winnings come from their ability to play well post flop, and the fact that others will observe that they play these strange hands sometimes and give them more action.
"Well, we can always look at the hypothetical 'perfect' game where everyone plays every hand to the river but never bets or raises, but they call all bets. In this type of game position is totally unimportant. "
By extension, the more players that enter a pot the less important position becomes and the more passive the game is the less important postition becomes.
So I stand by my original statement of "In general, novice players gravite toward a loose-passive game. In these games position has very little importance. IMHO"
Recently I was cleaning out a desk drawer and I found an unopened letter from fellow AC poker buddy Alan Schoonmaker. It was a copy of Dan Hanson's article "the mysteries of multiway pots". I strongly recommend that anyone who reads any 2+2 forum, particularly the lower limit players (who often will be in very loose games), read this article. FASCINATING.
The article was from the july 27, 2000 edition of poker digest. ABSOLUTE MUST READING.
In an example he shows how the best hand is hurt by the presence of multiple draws, even if one of them is incorrect.
Dan's concept #1 is that weak draws primarily benefit the big draws, often at the expense of the best hand.
For instance, Top pair played against a gutshot alone is a winner. But add in the presence of a flush draw, and all of a sudden the flush draw winds up sucking some of the equity from the gutshot's lost $$ out of your hand. This does not mean that the top pair has no equity at all in the pot, but that multiple draws against him are costing him $$ that he would have otherwise won.
Dan's concept #2 is that in loose games, you want to play hands that can make big draws or big made hands.
Where do you make the most $$ in these loose games? with your flush draws, open-ended straight draws, and pocket pairs (mostly from making sets and boats). Conversly, you lose $$ when you play KTo and other such hands, because the drawing hands are getting implied odds from you BTF in multiway pots. The presence of multiple draws hurts unsuited high cards that are far less likely to make a hand that holds up.
Concept #3 is that when the pots are even moderately large, you generally want to win them right away if you have a hand that can be overtaken, even if it's a fairly strong hand.
i.e. AKo after a flop of Ks Js 8c.
Look at my example here. Say you have AKo and raised in early position, but 5 players called anyway (not that uncommon for low limit games). Let's look at one possible scenario...
Player 1 has ATo (three outs to a winning gutshot) player 2 has 97o (two outs, one is used up in ATo) player 3 has 38o (three outs to non-spade two pair or trips) player 4 has 6s5s (nine outs to a flush) Player 5 has Kd6h (two outs to a non-spade six)
Against any ONE of these players, you are a favorite, not quite 2:1 against the flush draw, and much more against the weaker draws. However, against the entire field, you have 19 outs against you, with two cards to come! More than half the remaining cards hurt you. It is very likely that SOMEONE will get there on thier draw (a good example of implicit collusion). Who has the most reason to continue in this pot? The flush draw by far! He is making a fortune every time this situation comes up. He is profiting the most from the weak callers, at your expense. Does this scenario look familiar?
You will LOSE this pot more often than you will win it! I'm not going to do the math, but perhaps some industrious brainiac would indulge us....
An observation related to concept #3 is that you, with the current best hand, want to win the pot RIGHT AWAY. This is NOT the time to slow play! You want to find some way to get the weak callers OUT of the pot. This might be to raise, check-raise, or reraise. No matter what you do, you don't want to let these players see the turn for a measly one small bet! They are ALL getting close to, or more than enough odds to CORRECTLY call one more small bet! You HAVE to raise the stakes and get players OUT, or at least cut down on their odds.
The flush draw in this example is getting your $$ by all the weak callers chasing their longshots. You AINT gonna make the flush draw fold, but the only way you REALLY do well against the flush draw is if you can get the weak callers to fold.
After reading this article, it has become more apparent to me why you have losing days when you keep getting AK, big pocket pairs, and decent flops all day long. It is also apparent why big draws make soooo much $$ in loose games.
Comments welcome. (I think I got everything right, if not let me know. Anyway, my point should still be made even if there is a small error somewhere).
Dave in Cali
Any way you slice it, the player holding the best hand has to try to find ways to make the chasers pay to draw. I certainly am not going to fold top pair top kicker because a lot of people are chasing me.
I think your example illustrates why big suited connectors are so valuable in the game you describe.
Let's change your example so that the hero holds AcKc and the flop comes AhTc8c. A fantastic flop, but not an outrageous one
Here, the hero benefits enormously from the chasers, especially the goofball holding 3s6s.
I think that, in the long run, having a lot of people chasing you with weak hands is good for you rather than bad. You get hands cracked, but you get paid off much more when your hand holds up.
In my example above, "goofball" should have been holding 3c6c, or some other toilet flush draw.
I agree, in the loose ram jam games I prefere to flop big draws. How comfortable can you be with KK, and a flop of 974 with 8 players paying the cap to see the flop. All my really hugh wins have come when I flop big draws and get there in multiway pots. I have a tendancy to play big draws fast in multiway pots. I'm much more cautious with top pair unless I can push people out of the pot, which is difficult.
Here, the hero benefits enormously from the chasers
Of course he does because you've outlined a situation in which the hero has both the best hand AND the best draw. So you are missing the point.
The best draw takes equity away from the best hand in multi-way pots with worse draws tagging along. The more weak draws that are out, the more you would like to have the best draw, rather than the best hand.
If you have both, then of COURSE it's win-win.
I was looking at it more from a "how good is the game?" situation.
I think you win more in a game like this on the whole, so who cares if your AKo gets cracked every so often by 48s?
You will have streaks where top pair/kicker gets cracked, but you will also have streaks where blanks keep falling and your wins in those situations will far outstrip your losses due to suckouts.
"The more weak draws that are out, the more you would like to have the best draw, rather than the best hand."
I think this says a lot. For instance, if your in a very passive game and you get a flop like -
and these are the hands out:
AcKd Qc8d Qs9s 7h6h Tc5c
In this case you would MUCH rather have the heart draw than the top pair. What happens is that all the drawing hands take equity away from the top pair. They take no equity away from the heart draw. The reason is very simple. Even if they make their hand the heart draw beats them. There is not a single draw out there that can beat a flush. In this case the 7h6h is going to win 43.1% of the time against the AcKd only. But you throw in the other 3 drawing hands and his win % only drops to 41.7%. This slight drop is the very few times that he hits his flush draw but somebody else hits runner-runner to make the full house.
But if any of these same drawing hands hits against AcKd then they are going to beat the AK.
So its a simple concept, but one that a lot of people don't think about.
Forgot one point I wanted to make:
The heart draw is a 3-2 favorite over AK in the above situation.
But the AK is a 3-2 favorite heads up.
I agree that this was an excellent article by Dan Hanson. I think all of Dan's articles are excellent and I believe he is the best poster on the forum. Not having him post any more is a tragic loss.
Concept #1 is really Morton's Theorem. Morton's Theorem states that in multi-handed situations on the flop that additional dollars put in the pot tend to benefit the best draw not the best hand. Concept #2 is actually discussed in HPFAP-New Edition and Dan does a good job elaborating here. Concept #3 has been discussed extensively in Roy Cooke's articles and in his book the "Cooke Collection". When pots are large you want to go all out to win them right away. When pots are small you can sometimes slow play to try and finagle an extra bet or two on later streets.
PS the nt means no text so you shouldn't be reading this.
There were two more concepts in Dan's article which I did not discuss, but were related. Forumites can read the article to find out more.
The Cooke collection is a great book, I would recommend it to anyone serious about poker. Some finicky fellows may find points in the book for which to argue with, but the book is great - it really makes you think.
I have stopped playing hands like 67o and 89o against large fields because even if the flop doesn't yield a flush draw, after the turn card arrives, there will be a possible flush draw out there damn near all the time. now, if I flop an openender with my 89 and there is a 2-flush on board, my number of outs has been reduced from 8 to 6 maybe 35-40% of the time. and oftentimes this opponent with J2suited or some such trash will raise before or after I've acted (or if he doesn't, the yokel with J7offsuit who flopped two pair will do the honors). and if a rainbow flop comes, the backdoor specialists will hang around and draw out enough times to also upset the apple cart.
I rarely play offsuit medium or small connectors unless the conditions are OPTIMAL (such as calling a half bet in the SB with a big field and a non-raiser in the BB). these hands are much more valuable suited, but unless YOU have a flush draw, you will often have these same problems regardless of whether you are suited or unsuited. Such is the nature of the game.
Dave in Cali
I've been slowly reading this message board, and I'd like to say that it has opened up new arenas of thought for me - which is the point, isn't it? Anyhow, I'd like to get opinions on the online poker rooms that Ive visited: Paradise, etc. Are they legit? Any problems? I respect the opinion of many posters on this site, help me out, please.
Welcome to the community...
This question has been discussed, discussed and discussed over and over but since you are new to this you are forgiven...
I will redirect you to the internet poker forum on this site. There you will be able to discuss whether or not it is legit. Posters on that forum essentially only do that...sad...
I don't care if their software is perfect or not or whether there is collusion between 2 players... The thing is, I make money there and that's the point.
Maybe I make less than I should but still...It's better than watching TV.
The essential is that they pay me when I cash out.
On the whole I'd like to point out I believe they are legit.
I play at Paradise.
I Play at Planet Poker exclusively. Although they have intermittent problems with their servers I find the game to be legit, They have Roy Cooke and Mike Caro looking over things.
Their support team is responsive and I've never had a problem that they haven't rectified immediately.
Hope this helps.
I play at Planet and have noticed a mysterious trend.
When I play loose, chase cards, and showdown losing hands, I tend to lose.
When I play a solid, disciplined, and aggressive game, I tend to win.
More study is definitely in order.
If you don't mind I'd appreciate it if you take your disciplined, tight-agressive game over to Paradise.
Ain't you heard about all the quads and the bots!?
PLay online poker a) disabled and lost your weelchair last night's game. b) hate money and very self destructive person. c) live in the dark continental US (i.e. no public legal poker) and no home games either
OR JUST PLAIN FUCKING LAZY !!!!!!
Pokerveteran's real name is Andras Nagy?
I wonder if he's related to John Nagy, the artist.
None of the above. Who is pokerveteran ????? my alias is pokercomedian
I apologize for asking a trite question, and I thank you(most of you) for your patient answers.
Playing 5-10 HE I have AK offsuit and raise in middle position. I have 5 callers. Flop comes 10, J, Q rainbow. I am bet into and I just call along with 4 of the 5 preflop callers. The turn brings in two clubs and I am bet into again. This time I raise and get two callers. The river is a 3rd club. I am bet into once again and I just call. J6 of clubs takes down the pot. Bad beat or poorly played?
You should have raised on the flop.
You should have raised on the flop.
A flopped straight is a hand that often gets cracked or counterfeited. I always play it as fast as I possibly can until the flush hits, the board pairs, or if a higher straight card comes and I end up with "the stupid end."
Sort of a bad beat, but you weren't going to win this hand no matter what you did. I may well have checked on the flop too.
Similar thing happened to me recently. I had KQ UTG and limped. Late position semi maniac raised. BB and I called.
Flop came Kc 9h 3s. BB checked, I bet, semi maniac raised, BB called both bets cold(!) and I just called. I wasn't worried about the maniac, I was worried about the guy who called 2 cold.
Turn was 7s giving me top pair and flush draw. BB checked. I started to think that the BB didn't have a big hand after all, so I decided to check, and then:
1) checkraise if the maniac bet and the BB folded or called
2) call if the BB checkraised the maniac.
Well, it got checked through. On the river another spade came, and the board didn't pair. The BB bet out - aha! Right then I put him on a set of 9's or 3's. I raised, knowing the BB would call, but fearing that the maniac wouldn't call one bet.
Maniac folded, BB called with a set of 3's.
The point is that I wasn't going anywhere after that flop, and I would have called one more bet at any point. Of course my holding was a bit stronger than J6's, but the point is the same.
SmoothB wrote: Sort of a bad beat, but you weren't going to win this hand no matter what you did. I may well have checked on the flop too.
Why do you say this? I think a lot of folks might fold middle pair no kicker on the flop for two bets against a board that is showing a str8 already. IF you raise the flop you may very well lose the dork.
I agree with the other respondents - you should have raised on the flop to try and eliminate any backdoor draws.
It sounds like the J6c bet in front of you thereby preventing you from making him call two bets cold with his 2nd pair and backdoor flush draw. I don't think you could lose him for one more bet on the flop and after the turn card your fate is cast. So, in this instance, it didn't matter what you did - unless you raise and someone behind you now decides to reraise.
A flopped straight is vulnerable to all kinds of abuse. Play it fast and hard.
Standard low-limit result. It wasn't much of a bad beat as far as bad beats go, especially since he didn't face any real pressure until the turn when picked up the club draw.
You played it fine.
I was playing 6-12 HE in a casino this month. Had never played there before. I was playing my "A" game and was up a few hundred. I had just won a pot in the small blind and found myself with 46h on the button. I would normally just muck the hand, but decided this was a good opportunity to vary my play and image. Three people limped in to me so I called. The flop unbelievably came 235 rainbow. Small blind bets and gets three callers to me. I raise. Small blind reraises and everyone folds to me. Small blind was a decent player in my opinion. I merely called because I wanted her to continue betting into me. 7 comes on fourth street. She bets, I raise and she reraises. Once again I call. I put her on an overpair. 7 comes on the river. She bets, I call, fearing a she may have flopped a set. She turns over 77 quads. She was embarressed when I showed her my straight. She said she never would have put me on a 46.
Needless to say, I never quite recovered from this runner runner beat and proceeded to lose all of my chips.
Did I play the hand to passive? Should I have mucked the hand originally? Once fourth street comes she would never drop. Or should I just chalk it up as a learning experience?
I think you played this hand a little too agressively. you flopped the nuts; why not wait until the turn the raise? I also don't think this was too much of a bad beat. IMHO she played the hand correctly. She was able to get the pot heads up with her overpair and she has top set on the turn so any pair on the board will do you in for certain. you had a good hand; she had a good hand and you lost. Such is poker.
I disagree with your advice to wait till the turn to raise. The reason I would not is because the bet came from the SB and hero was on the button, thus his raise will almost certainly tie in any and all callers who have already put in one bet. I feel that this will usually wind up winning you a bigger pot than if you wait till the turn to raise.
In this particular case, he probably would have won (or lost) a bigger pot by waiting till the turn to raise, however, on average I think you will do better to just get the $$ into the pot right now.
I would be interested to hear more opinions on this particular aspect of this hand....
dave in cali
I think the question of whether to raise on the flop or the turn falls into the category of "sometimes do, sometimes don't"
If playing against decent players then raising on the flop is a good idea because they will put you on the standard free card maneuver. raising here will also help you in the future when you actually are trying for a free card.
Against the massive schools of fish I would let them have a cheap card to give them some sort of remote drawing possibilities. but then again if they are really great fish you might as well raise all the time because you will get all the action you need.
In my experience, waiting for the turn builds a bigger pot if and only if you are the last to act, and can gain the calls in between you and the bettor. If you are to the betters left, you will shut out the action on the turn, in which case, raising the flop is a better option.
I disagree vehemently.
"I think you played the hand a little too aggressively. You flopped the nuts; why not wait until the turn to raise?"
Why? So someone can pick up two-pair, a set, or a flush draw? The pot has 10 SB when the action gets to our hero. Plus, four players have already committed money on the flop. It's shaping up to be a nice pot whether you try and maniputlate it or not. I'd raise every time.
"I also don't think this was too much of a bad beat."
Her winning this pot was a horrendous beat. She was a 36:11 favorite to be drawing dead (but still alive for a split-pot) on the turn, for God's sake.
"IMHO, she played the hand correctly."
Not a chance. I don't consider putting four bets in on the flop with 77, bad position, and a 532 board correct. Her play on the turn was questionable. Her river play was impeccable, however.
"I disagree vehemently."
Well you can go to hell. just kidding.
You advocate raising the flop every time in this situation. This certainly is not a bad idea. However, I don't see how you can "disagree vehemently" with waiting until the turn to raise. I think most of the time my strategy, while slightly more risky, will build a larger pot. When you flop the nuts I don't think its such a bad idea to try and build a big pot.
"Her winning this pot was a horrendous beat. She was a 36:11 favorite to be drawing dead (but still alive for a split-pot) on the turn, for God's sake. "
How is she a 36:11 to eleven favorite to be drawing dead?
As for how she played, what would you? folding probably won't cost you very much in the long run but it will cost you. checking and calling here is a terrible play. She did what she had to do to get the pot heads up and maximize her chances of winning. If I had the impression that Kingfish was a solid player I would not be too worried about him having 4-6. Sure she was lucky in this instance but given the information available to her at the time you can't characterize her play as terrible.
Waiting until the turn isn't terrible, it's just not necessary. With his image, I doubt anyone will give him credit for 64 (A4 is certainly possible, though), so he might as well raise. In my experience, it's just a bad idea to mess around on the flop with a straight with 4 opponents.
She's a 36:11 favorite to be drawing dead because...there are only 11 cards in the deck that could save her. Three 2's, three 3's, three 5's, and two 7's. If anything else falls on the turn, she can't win the pot.
What would I have done her spot holding 77? I would have checked the flop, hoping that a late position player bets so I can check-raise. I'd probably bet again on the turn, then call his raise. Then bet the river.
Your play was not that bad, though the pre-flop call was marginal. Given the circumstances you described, I guess it wasn't too bad though.
I think the only real mistake you made was not reraising again on the turn. You had the nuts. The BEST she could have had was a tie, so you should have charged her more to try and draw out on you. I would keep raising all night long in that situation. Even if I knew she had the set, and knew the pot was more than big enough for her call to be correct, I would still keep raising in order to worsen her odds. If I get beat then I get beat, but at least I charged her to try. So I guess your only real mistake was not losing more $$ on this hand than you did.
one thing you said bothers me though...
"Needless to say, I never quite recovered from this runner runner beat and proceeded to lose all of my chips. "
You had already said you were up a couple hundred. You didn't lose that much on this hand, 6 big bets if I counted correctly. 6*12=72$. Your statement above indicates that you allowed this beat to put you on tilt. Take a walk if necessary to blow off steam, but then come back and just keep playing your A game like you were before. Really, it wasn't that much of a bad beat because she played in a perfectly reasonable fashion. There is no way she could have known you had flopped a straight, and she did have an overpair, then a set. It was merely a highly improbable loss, not a bad beat....
dave in cali
"Did I play the hand to passive? Should I have mucked the hand originally? Once fourth street comes she would never drop. Or should I just chalk it up as a learning experience?"
You played a speculative hand in good position and flopped the nuts. Unfortunately, the pocket 7's thought this was a good flop for her hand and decided to play the hand aggressively. Once the 7 hits on the turn, your goose is cooked, nobody is going to lay down top set no matter how you play the turn bets.
I think that once you decided to play the hand, you did nothing wrong except get unlucky.
Better luck next time.
I would chalk it up to "shit happens."
I probably would have kept raising her on the flop and turn, putting her on A4s, a set, or two pair. Your call on the river when the board paired was correct.
Flopped straights get cracked pretty regularly, for me anyway. All you can do is jam them as long as you think you have the best hand. A board flushing or pairing will slow me down quite a bit, though.
I don't think there is anything wrong with varying your play a bit, especially if you thought your opponents were paying attention. Advertising for one bet in a multiway pot on the button is a good way to go.
The really bad part is that you never got over it. Getting a straight cracked is not a big deal. It was a tough hand and a case card fell on the river. She turned trips and rivered quads, it's not like she called some trash hand to the river.
Personally, I find losing a hand like this much easier to deal with than when I get beat with garbage.
Get up, take a walk, take some deep breaths and get back to the game.
Some further information...
I had bought $200 in chips. Couldn't stop thinking about that hand. Played badly and lost all my chips.
I took a break, had dinner with my wife, then returned to the tables. Finished up over $500 before returning home, which included a fifth place finish in a no limit HE tournament(55 players).
I believe I played the hand correctly. My concern was should I have played the hand at all? Once that decision was made, the hand would play the same every time. If I had been more aggressive, I would have lost more money.
"My concern was should I have played the hand at all? Once that decision was made, the hand would play the same every time."
If the table was very loose and your opponents were not paying attention to how you were playing, you should not have played the hand. Advertising does no good if people aren't paying attention.
However, if the table was fairly tight and you felt like you were being scrutinized or being correctly put on too many hands, it was a great play.
"If I had been more aggressive, I would have lost more money."
True, but think about it this way: You are on the button, you have the nuts on the turn and the player chasing you is a massive underdog to hit his hand. He bets into you.
a) Raise every chance you get. b) Call. c) Fold.
Those are your options, which one is going to make you the most money in the long run?
My money is on a.
I'm in a fairly tight aggressive 5-10 game. There is a pre-flop raise about 3/4 the time with 2 or 3 people seeing the flop.
I'm 4 off the button with KJo.
Early player (EP) limps, I limp in from mid position (should i muck this hand with the aggressive nature of this game?), 3 off the button limps in, it's folded to the button who raises to $10, small blind calls 2 cold, BB raises to $15, EP folds, I decide to fold figuring that I'm probably dominated and shouldn't call 2 more bets. Was this the right move?
Button ended up capping it, Final board: K T 9 6 4
BB takes it down with QQ, button had JJ.
It was a good fold.
"I decide to fold figuring that I'm probably dominated and shouldn't call 2 more bets. Was this the right move?"
KJo is called a trouble hand for good reason. You don't want to be calling double raises with this hand. The fact that you would have won is irrelevant.
Good lay down.
This type of play is one that bad players routinely fail to make. Nice job.
You have to muck the double raise, but should you play KJo in a game like this? The statistics on posev.com says that in a TA 10-20 game, UTG you fold ($-.5/hand), but if you do come in it is much better to raise than to call (difference about about $2/hand). The recommendation is to raise, then call one bet, but fold two. So it was very, very correct to fold.
So limping seems to be the mistake... but if it is truly tight-aggressive, consider raising or folding this hand before limping. But again, isn't this the small-stakes room, find a game with drunks ;-)?
K-J is a weak hand in a tight aggressive game. It can be played in later positions when you have most of the action in front of you.
Good move folding pre-flop. Many players will call anything once they've called one bet. You were in a lot of trouble pre-flop but you escaped. Ignore the fact that you would have won.
Same game as described bellow, tight aggressive. usually raised pre-flop, 2-3 players usually seeing the flop.
I'm in BB look down to see AdKh.
Early player (EP) limps, folded to button who raises. SB calls 2, I call, EP calls.
flop comes down: Ts Ks 5d
SB checks, I check (going for check raise), EP bets, button calls, sb calls, I raise, EP reraises, (does he have KT? set of tens? set of 5's?), button and SB both fold. Should I cap it?
Turn: Td I check, he bets, I call (should I have led out or check-raised?)
River: 5s I check, he bets, I call
he turns over As2s and I muck.
This guy is heads up with you after the turn and he has ace high with a flush draw, but nothing else really. He bets into you when he could see for free whether or not he was going to make his flush? You have checkraised once already, indicating some strength, and then you check after the turn, perhaps indicating some worry that your hand is not that great after all. I am not that experienced, but I suggest maybe that you should have bet after the turn, and force him to chase his flush draw in a heads up situation if he wants to. The odds are now only 2-1 in terms of a payoff for future bets, while he has 9 outs and (in his mind) 3 semi-outs out of 46 cards (12/46 assuming he decides his Ace high is not enough to win).
I wonder about your assertion that the game is tight-aggressive? His actions seem fairly consistent up till then; limping with a drawing hand, raising when his draw becomes more favorable, but then betting when his odds of making the draw decrease?
Or am I the one misunderstanding?
Clearly, looking back on it, and knowing his cards, I should have bet the turn and charged him for the draw. But after he reraised me on the flop with 3 other players in the hand, including the button who raised preflop, I assumed he had 2 pair or a set. Is this a value bet with the nut flush draw and 3 potential callers? Was his reraise correct?
I guess my main question is, if someone showed this sort of strength on the flop, would you bet into them on the turn. Imagine you don't know what they have.
Do you think that he would have dropped preflop if you had reraised? This may have move him off his hand.
I doubt it since he had already limped in and probably felt tied to the hand.
You have to bet the turn in this one, your check was crying out for a semi-bluff. Capping the flop heads up for one more bet just sets him up for better odds on the draw so that's good. Only thing that beats you on the turn is a random T or the 55 (would he limp in with TT? prob. not). He'll call with QJ, Kx, or the flush draw. You need to punish him on the draw.
A better question is if he raises your turn bet, do you call him down?
Pre-flop I re-raise making it 3 bets. With only one limper there is a good chance the button has a good but not great hand and is trying to run one thru.
I like the check raise on the flop but if your not going to re-raise, you should come out betting the turn. I need a lot more evidence to put someone on a set/2 pair. More likely I think Q-J or flush draw.
River brings the flush (and a lot of full houses). Check and call.
Fairly average $5-10 game, without too much preflop raising.
I get JTo in the SB. There is 1 fairly loose early position limper(EL), and everyone folds to me. I call, and the big blind, a fairly loose-passive player, checks.
I bet, BB calls, EL raises, and we both call.
Again I bet, BB calls, and EL raises again. I now know that I am almost cerainly beat but stupidly call, as does the BB.
The river is a 5 that gets checked round. I lose to ATo, and the BB couldn't beat me.
Questions: 1. On the flop what should I do when EL raises?
2. How should I have played the turn?
3. After going that far, should I have called a bet on the river?
If you can't imagine a worse hand that would raise in this situation (ie. a semi-bluff draw) you have an easy fold on the flop. If not then, certainly on the turn.
Most of the time, when you play connectors like JT and lower, you are in there for the straight, not a pair. Be disciplined and save these cards for times when the flop hits you a lot harder.
I would certainly bet the flop against just two opponents with top pair. After the raise, you cannot fold. There are 7 small bets in the pot, it costs you one to see one more card. The 3 jacks are outs, probably. Moreover, EL could bet a smaller pocket pair, or raise a straight draw (A4s, or A5s, or even off-suit if EL is really loose) to get a free card on the turn.
However, because of your bad position you are in trouble on the turn if you just call the raise. Either you would have to bet and probably fold to a reraise, or check and run the risk of giving EL his free card. OTOH, if EL does bet after you check, you still don't know what he would be holding since he is encouraged to bet with a smaller pocket pair.
So, I would say the best is to reraise on the flop to see how EL reacts (it's much cheaper than betting the turn and calling a reraise!), and subsequently check the turn.
After you called his flop-reraise and after you bet the turn, I think you can safely fold to his reraise, since there is also still the BB in the pot (who might be slowplaying, and who protects the pot).
For whatever this is worth,
I would have folded on the flop.
Betting out on the flop was good, but calling the raise with a weak kicker probably was not a good idea - Especially since you had no straight or flush draw AND you have bad position.
I think Steven's right. Combine the chances you have the best hand with the chances you get a J and that's better than the odds on the call. Calling the turn raise when you're positive the BB is going to overcall is the mistake; your odds of having the best hand are dramatically reduced, as are your outs.
Folding the JT in the BB when a T flops high rainbowed in a 3 handed pot against the SB and a limper doesn't make sense to me. That's way too tight in most games.
I disagree with Steven and Hamster.
This pot is too small to go into semi-bluff defense mode. Sure, he could be raising for the free card, but the bottom line is your hand is not that good and there is no reason to throw more bets at this pot. There are many legitimate made hands that beat you (AT, KT, QT, 33, 22) most of which are more likely than the possible draws (A4s, 54s).
Hamster fails to mention the raise when he writes: "Folding the JT in the BB when a T flops high rainbowed in a 3 handed pot against the SB and a limper doesn't make sense to me."
Folding on the turn when when no one raised the flop might be too tight, but you were raised on the flop. To me, when the flop is pretty uncoordinated like this means "I have top pair/top kicker or better."
Don't get caught up trying to win every pot in hold 'em. Save your good agressive game for the spots where you really have the best of it. Reraising with top pair/lousy kicker is not one of those spots. I would avoid that leak.
I guess I see your point. Maybe I disagree with Steven and Hamster as well.
Yet, the fact that the pot is small does encourage to bluff more. If noone ever expects a bluff-raise (rather than just a bluff bet) then it would be a hell of a tactic of course.
I think there is more of a chance that you don't have the best hand and would continue to have the second best hand if J does fall. I highly doubt the limper raised with a worse hand in this situation. Now, if the raiser was known to be a very loose person who always bets and raises with draws or weak hands, it's a different story. Usually this is not the case.
Combine that with the lack of position and the amount of money in the pot and the correct play seems to be to fold here. My personal experience has justified this position. If staying in on that situation works for you, by all means go with it.
I try to play very aggressively, but this situation seems a very bad time to go to war.
I misspoke when I said the hero in the hand would be beat if a J fell. A J is a perfect card in that situation.
You should have folded to the raise on the flop because you're at least a 7-dog to anything he'll raise with unless he's bluffing. But if he were bluffing, he'd have to be doing it with two mediocre overcards, maybe just one, in front of a bettor and caller with likely pairs each. It doesn't make any sense. Think about how often you've seen him bluff like this. I know that players will sometimes raise with a pocket pair less than tens, but most of them figure that they'll just get a worse hand to fold while giving a better hand more bets. About 95% of the time they therefore call.
On the turn, your hope that he just might have the one hand you can beat, T9, is dashed. Check and fold.
This was a hand that I played last night and at the time I felt that he should have raised if he was the first one in one off the Button with Axs, or on the flop three handed with an Ace high flush draw.
I obviously mis-read him in that he was more passive than I thought he would be in this situation. I lost an extra $20 because I re-raised the end thinking that it was not likely at all he had the Ace high flush then I called his Re-raise because I thought there was some chance that he would play that way with a lessor hand.
Yeah, the problem was in reraising him. After my post above I was thinking about how his subsequent reraise was the *fourth bet. At that point he's indicating a *very strong hand (like, the nuts). But it's tough not to call, because you sure don't want to make an incorrect fold at *that point. The situations I was thinking about above, where it's a little easier to call the reraise were ones where I had raised or check-raised the river with, say a queen or king high flush, then got reraised. So my opp's reraise was just the third bet. Just one bet difference, but significant. Again, though, it's tough not to call that one additoinal bet if you don't know he's basically incapable of making it without the nuts.
Moderately Tight Agressive, so that would be a (4,6). What could he have? AKo, Axs, QJs, or JTs. If he had AK he would have raised the flop to make you pay for your draw (since you describe him as unimaginative), so you can pretty much eliminate that. So you're raise is to find out if he has Axs, QJs, or JTs. So is the chance that he has QJs or JTs greater than twice the chance he has Axs? So you're raise means you believe the chance that he would raise with the Axs on the flop is small.
I think at this point you need to decide:
1. Do I want to lose more money on this hand?
2. Is this a good bet?
If it were me and I was on a limited amount of play money, I would let it go. There were only two of you in the pot, and better pots are sure to come.
Now some people think this is showing weakness and this is a fault. I think it's a smart move because now they will try to push you around, and you can lead them to the slaughter when you 'know' you have the best hand.
I'm not sure I understand your point, but I was getting 12 to 1 Odds on the end with my "crying call". Since I don't know this player all that well, and I personaly don't like to show that I can make big laydowns. I felt at the time that my plays were correct for the way I read him. Next time I'll give him more respect when he raises.
Judging from the information in your initial post, I read that you felt you were beat in this hand, but there was that glimmer of hope that you weren't second best on the hand. You do hold a possibly dominated hand.
Going from that, I went through what I would do in your situation. If it were me, and I play with a stop loss as my b.r. isn't anything to brag about yet, I would save the raise call money call for a future hand where I _knew_ I had the nuts. The profit is assured.
As for giving the other player more respect, what you do then, I feel is open the door to more aggressive play on his part. If he is playing more agressive, and thinks you are wimp, you have the opportunity to put a big hurting on him and raise your stack. The first time you suck him out he rationalizes it was luck. the second time he knows what happened and feels pretty stupid. Nothing humbles player agressiveness better than getting sucked out big time in front of everyone.
If bankroll isn't a problem, by all means call the raise, and/or reraise. The most you can do is lose the hand and some chips. I didn't think you would ask the question if br wasn't part of the equation
I felt he was hanging in there with at least an ace, from your description of his play. Your choices are limited as to guessing what ace he is holding and whether he thinks you are bluffing or not.
Hope this helps. FWIW, I have only been playing weekly about a year, so I too am on the small end of the learning curve.
Mike writes: As for giving the other player more respect, what you do then, I feel is open the door to more aggressive play on his part.
If he is a good player he will make that change in his play, and I will have to counter with making some loose calls in the future. I don't believe this person thinks ahead that much.
What I didn't want to do was make a scene where everyone saw a big lay-down. Things like that tend to stick in people's minds, and may make everyone more aggressive towards me. Since everyone saw that I was pretty certain I was beat but still made the call, they should be less likely to bluff me on the end later in the game. I can then fold some of my weaker hands when the situation is slightly different. For example: When the pot is smaller and I'm pretty certain I am beat. I can fold since I'm not as worried that people are now making plays at me.
Thatís the Theory anyway.
Here is a hand I just played:Game #29383545 - $0.50/$1
Sorry I didn't convert it from the hand history.
Yes I know better then to play A4o, but everyone was a loose-passive FISH!
Seat 1 is the button Seat 1: tpoberembt ($88.50 in chips) Seat 2: tom147 ($28.75 in chips) Seat 3: rab70 ($81.25 in chips) Seat 4: SandmanTSG ($51 in chips) Seat 5: keno2 ($13.50 in chips) Seat 6: KLAMATH ($38.25 in chips) Seat 7: Emperor ($20.50 in chips) Seat 8: novajo ($2.50 in chips) Seat 9: Younggun2000 ($5.75 in chips) Seat 10: gavin ($51.25 in chips) tom147 : Post Small Blind ($0.25) rab70 : Post Big Blind ($0.50) Dealing... Dealt to Emperor [ 4s ] Dealt to Emperor [ Ad ] SandmanTSG: Fold keno2 : Call ($0.50) KLAMATH : Fold Emperor : Call ($0.50) novajo : Call ($0.50) Younggun2000: Call ($0.50) gavin : Raise ($1) tpoberembt: Fold tom147 : Fold rab70 : Call ($0.50) keno2 : Call ($0.50) Emperor : Call ($0.50) novajo : Call ($0.50) Younggun2000: Call ($0.50) *** FLOP *** : [ Jd 9d 6d ] rab70 : Check keno2 : Check Emperor : Check novajo : Check Younggun2000: Check gavin : Bet ($0.50) rab70 : Raise ($1) keno2 : Call ($1) Emperor : Call ($1) novajo : Raise All-in ($1.50) Younggun2000: Fold gavin : Call ($1) rab70 : Call ($0.50) keno2 : Call ($0.50) Emperor : Call ($0.50) *** TURN *** : [ Jd 9d 6d ] [ 5d ] rab70 : Bet ($1) keno2 : Raise ($2) Emperor : Raise ($3) gavin : Fold rab70 : Raise ($3) keno2 : Call ($2) Emperor : Call ($1) *** RIVER *** : [ Jd 9d 6d 5d ] [ 9s ] rab70 : Bet ($1) keno2 : Call ($1) Emperor : Raise ($2) rab70 : Raise ($2) keno2 : Call ($2) Emperor : Raise ($2) rab70 : Call ($1) keno2 : Call ($1) Emperor said, "OMG!!!!" *** SUMMARY *** Pot: $12.75 | Side pot 1: $24 | Rake: $1 Board: [ Jd 9d 6d 5d 9s ] tpoberembt didn't bet (folded) tom147 lost $0.25 (folded) rab70 bet $10.50, collected $36.75, net +$26.25 (showed hand) [ 7d 8d ] (a straight flush, five to nine) SandmanTSG didn't bet (folded) keno2 lost $10.50 (showed hand) [ Kd 6s ] (a flush, king high) KLAMATH didn't bet (folded) Emperor lost $10.50 (showed hand) [ 4s Ad ] (a flush, ace high) novajo lost $2.50 (showed hand) [ 9c Ks ] (three of a kind, nines) Younggun2000 lost $1 (folded) gavin lost $2.50 (folded)
You should have slowed down just before you pressed the "Post Message" button. Then you should have taken the time to decipher this mess. It just isn't cool asking for help and making it so difficult to analyze the hand.
My humblest of apologies.
I had no idea it would look so horrible when I hit the post button. I just cut and pasted it from my history.
It was very long and drawn out I lost my nut flush to a straight flush. I guess I shouldn't have nbeen capping it when he is re-raising with a possible straight flush on the board.
Thanks for your help ;)
I posted a hand like this about a year and a half ago. One of the frequent posters back then gave me some wisdom that I call on often. Only an idiot puts in 4 bets on the river without the absolute nuts.
Sometimes your opponents actually know what they're doing . . . strange but true.
Guess there were 2 of us idiots on that hand. When I 4 bet I knew the only way I was beat was with a straight flush. What are the odds on someone having a straight flush ;)
Well I was up about 150BB for the session so losing 10BB wasn't nearly as painful as I thought ;) I guess I could have saved 3 bets on the river and at least a bet on the turn.
What about the idiot who was calling with just the Kd!
I posted my admission of guilt and my desire to repent as a rotten hold'em player under the title "Outplaying your opponent" over on the general theory forum.
Here are two hands that got me in trouble at Paradise yesterday.
I'm in the big blind w/A7h. Mid position player limps, SB calls, I check.
Flop comes Jc, 7d, 2h. SB bets out, I raise to get it heads up. Limper folds. SB reraises, I call.
I check and call the rest of the way and get no help. I pay off at the river to gain information I'll probably never use.
I think I should have folded when he reraised. Should I have even played beyond the flop? Meaning, should I have just mucked when the SB bet out?
Second hand: I'm in mid position with T8s, I call with 7 players seeing the flop for one bet.
Flop comes 8d, x, 5d. All check to player to my right who bets. I raise to get heads-up, all fold, he re-raises, I call.
Turn is Jc. He checks, I bet, he calls.
River is 5h. He checks, I check.
Should I have bothered? I had top pair with a weak kicker and achieved my goal of getting it heads up, but what then?
Please help me learn from my mistakes.
Opponents hands to follow.
First Hand: I think I learned something from this one. SB had QQ and I was very surprised. This one was right out of the book though. Was his play good? Or should the SB have raised to get rid of me and isolate the mid position limper? I thought he might have a J or just overcards. Figured an A would be good or runner runner hearts.
Second Hand: My worthy opponent had 85s and showed me the strange full on the river.
I knew there was no hand he would call with on the river that I could beat and he was obviously going for the check raise on the river because I had bet the turn. Checking behind him on the river may have been the best play I made yesterday.
David, in the first hand you have 2nd pair in a small pot. If you figure that you have to hit to win, the pot is not big enough to chase. If you know that the bettor would bet a worse hand than yours (or lay down a weak jack) it's a good raise on the flop. Otherwise you should have been out of this hand on the first bet. Since you raised and got re-raised you can now safely assume you're beat. However a 7 is almost certainly good and an ace may be an out for you so with 8 small bets in the pot you can call and take one off.
In the second hand you called pre-flop with a piece of trash hoping to get lucky on the flop. Given that 7 players called and no one raised you your okay. When you play these types of hands you are looking for a big flop: two pair, trips, str8 draw, flush draw. You missed the flop, get out now.
SB should have raised preflop. Calling is ok when just against the big blind, as it helps protect the weak hands you might want to play in the small blind. However with the limper protecting the pot, he wants to make everyone pay as much as possible to see the flop. Giving you a free chance to flop an ace is clearly wrong.
Your opponentís play was far to passive. His failure to raise on the turn gave you a free chance to suck out on him with a T or J. And the problem with his check on the river is fairly clear.
I am assuming you are playing very low limit here (2/4 or below)
I would not have raised on the flop without the flush draw. I definitely would have folded to the reraise. I also might have just folded to the SB here because of the small amount of money in the pot. Calling to catch an A, in which case you are dead to AJ, is an option, but not a real good one in my opinion.
Sure, the SB might be on a steal, but I would let him steal such a little one and save my ammo for a future battle.
I liked the way you played the second hand much better. You raised with a weak kicker on the flop, but it did the job you wanted it to do by knocking out everyone but the bettor. I might have put the re-raiser on two pair, or a diamond draw while calling his reraise.
When he checked the turn, he is either trying to trap you with a reraise, or he wants a free card. Checking on the turn with two pair or top pair is just a bad play by him. I would bet here. He just called, still indicating a 5, a low pocket pair or a flush draw. If he checked with a J, he sure let you have a cheap river card.
Then he checked the flop when a second 5 hit. If he had a busted flush draw, I would expect a bet from him because he knew he could not win by checking and would hope to scare you by betting the 5.
A check is either an attempted checkraise with a 5 or an indication he is also has a pair of 8's with a bad kicker. He might also have 99.
I'd probably bet the river, hoping his reraise on the flop was a semi-bluff to get a free card on the turn, and forcing him to think real hard about calling if he also has a pair of 8's and a low kicker. I would want him to put ME on two pair or trips with the bet.
However, just checking on the river is not a bad play if you really suspect he is trying to trap you. It would depend on how you had seen him playing in the past.
That's the thought process I might have went through, but I have been known to be wrong!
In these kind of head up situations knowing the opponent is all-important. However first assume we can take the raise on the flop on face value, i.e. top pair.
You have about 6.5 outs. Three aces, two sevens and a back door flush. This suggests you need pot odds of around just under 7 to 1. You have pot odds of 6 to 1. A marginal fold, however any chance that he is bluffing and it becomes a clear to take at least one card.
If he is a tricky player that might be semi bluffing with something like T9c you might consider reraiseing. This could buy you a free card on the turn if he has a weak jack or a pocket pair between J and 7.
Alternately if he is one of your typical Paradise maniacs that consider bet/raising compulsory when heads up on the flop, then just let him bluff himself out calling the whole way.
Usually I think it will be best to call on the flop and give up on the turn if no improvement.
Not sure I would call with T8c in middle position. How many people in the pot when you called? How passive was the game?
After the flop I think you played this ok. I would probably do the same thing. Often it does not work, but my feeling is that this sort of play makes a small profit. Also it makes you more difficult to read.
I think some question should be raised about your re-raising motivations.
You seem to feel that being heads up is a good thing; I am not sure I agree. The only time I like being heads up is when I have a weakish hand that I am sure is better than the guy's hand I am against. If I have the nuts, I want everyone in to build me a big payoff. If I am on a draw, I want lots of people in to give me the necessary pot odds to continue the draw.
I don't think either of your raises post flop.
In hand one, I chuck it immediately after the flop. Your hand is pretty close to made, and its still not that good. I would be thinking "I don't know what everyone else has, but I don't have much". You are chasing here, and with only a couple of callers, its a long run loser for you.
In hand two, I'd say the preflop call was dicey given your position. Your reraise here is interesting and possibly good, considering your position now (ie, people have not invested the small bet yet, so they have a big call to face), but it didn't knock everyone out. Oddly, I think you would probably have taken hand two if a third diamond had hit, as your one remaining opponent had most likely put you on the diamond draw after the flop. It didn't hit, so he had nothing to worry about. I'd say the raise is a very risky proposition given that your 8's have little chance of holding up to the river.
Overall, I'd say to reconsider the value of playing heads up, and the tactic of using early raises to get there. But thats just my inexperienced opinion, and may be incorrect.
I play in a $1/$2 game in Los Angeles where the button collection is $2...that is much higher, proportionately, than games at other limits, from $2/$4 on up.
My question is, can this game be beat with a collection that high? I haven't been playing long enough for my results to have any significance (35 hours total, and for the record I'm down $73 after a couple nightmare sessions this weekend)...I chose to start playing at this limit while I'm learning, but I don't want to waste my time if I don't have a realistic chance of at least breaking even. I'm curious to see what others think.
That is an insanely high collection to overcome. Your opponents had better be horrendous if you hope to beat that game.
The rule of thumb for mid-limit holdem is that top players will make between 1 to 2 big bets an hour.
In a 1 - 2 game maybe a good player might make more than 2 big bets an hour - I don't know. Let's assume one could make 3 big bets an hour - $6. The collection per player in a 9 handed game would be $8 an hour if an average of 36 hands an hour are dealt. I don't think this game can be beaten.
I would recommend moving to 3-6 where the collection is $3 I believe and you have a fighting chance to break even or win a little. Keep in mind that part of beating low limit games in Southern California is to play very very tight. This is because the games are so volatile.
Thanks for the advice...your post falls in line with my suspicions. According to the numbers you gave, I could be a decent player and still be losing as much as 1 BB per hour. To me that seems like a waste of time.
If I'm going to be playing 3-6, what size bankroll would you recommend I start with, considering the volatile nature of the games around here?
I would recommend at LEAST a $2000 bankroll to play 3-6 long-term. You can easily go on an extended losing streak playing wild - low limit hold'em and there goes most of your bankroll. It is totally conceivable to have back-to-back 5 rack losing sessions in a row and be the best player at the table. If you have any kind of bankroll at all you should start out playing the highest limit you can afford.
You need about 300 big bets as a total bankroll to start, so about $1800.
What I'd suggest is to keep a spreadsheet around of all your sessions keeping track of the date, game, club, win/loss record, and time elapsed. Then you can enter in the formulas derived by Malmuth to calculate std devation, bankroll required, and hrs required for a win. And you can determine these things based on all the factors (I used mine to figure out my best play is at Bay101, worst is at the Oaks, etc.).
I made my own based on a spreadsheet I found online but it's really quirky (i.e. it's setup pretty much solely for my 6-12 play). You could ask on the "General Theory" board to see other people's samples.
And a $2 drop is horrendous. The collection in the 1-2 game at the Oaks in NCA is $2.5/halfhr, which is still way too much to win.
This game is not beatable short of getting lucky.
Is it better to play in a game with 6-8 loose-passive FISH, or with 1-2 maniacs on crazy monkey tilt along with 4-6 FISH?
Personally I would rather play without the maniacs as they tend to redistribute my money around the table ;) Variance is ridiculous.
FISH just tend to give me thier money ever so effeciently.
I like 1-2 maniacs at the table - it is easier to isolate them and take them down. More than 3 adds to the dificulity since you are going against a lot more collective outs.
The problem with maniacs,is in the games I play, it is nearly impossible to isolate them. Especially if the field knows you are trying to do so. They tend to call with thier drawing hands anyways. Next thing you know your KK's you re-raised with to isolate, see a flop of 789 all of one suit.
The good thing about this is, now you have a pot that justifies calling 1 or 2 bets to see if you can make a set, flush, or boat.
If your playing on Paradise you have to call because you know that for a couple bets its worth seeing 2 more K's on the board to make QUADs!
The problem becomes if the maniacs are MANIACS post-flop, then you have NO IDEA where you stand. Usually the loose-passive FISH just flopped a set and is scared to death of the MANIAC. So they slow-play everyone out of turn and river bets. VERY ANNOYING.
Give me nice comfortable loose-passive FISH any day.
3-6 HE game last night. I pick up KsKc in middle position after two limpers, and I pop it. Everyone folds to the button, and to my surprise the SB 3-bets. I have played against this guy some, and my take on him was that of a pretty solid player, so I was not expecting to see a pot-building piece of crap from his hand. BB cold calls, one limper folds, and one calls. I just call, partly to disguise my hand somewhat, and partly because I had some respect for a 3-bet out of the SB from a decent player.
Flop come down Qh-8d-4d. SB bets, BB calls, limper folds, I raise. SB re-raises, BB calls, and now I am in serious fear of AA, but unwilling at this point to release on overpair to the board in a 3-way pot. BB by the way is a very weak player who sees virtually every flop, and is in the middle of burning up over two racks after hitting several hands early in the sit.
Turn card is another small diamond, the 3 I think. SB bets out, BB calls, and I probably made a mistake here by calling. I'm either beat by AA in the SB, or a made flush. However, the pot has become pretty big at this point, and despite the fact I do not have the Kd, I call. I'm not liking it much, and this is possibily a leak I need to plug; not being able to get away from big pairs when it becomes pretty obvious I'm beat. What hand could the SB have at this point in the betting sequence that I can beat?
River is the Qd, both pairing the board and putting a 4-flush out there. The SB bets again, and the BB folds. I think about this for about 10 seconds, and lay it down. If I wasn't beat by before, I am virtually certain I'm beat now, and decide to save the bet. SB shows me AA as the dealer pushes him the pot, but neither one was the Ace of diamonds.
I said, "nice hand", but I also made a short comment to the SB that I thought his river bet was pretty aggressive considering he didn't hold the diamond Ace. Other than making a stone-cold bluff, I'm thinking 'what was the point of that bet? Who would call him with a hand he could beat?' With two players still in the hand all the way to the river, could the SB realistically expect anyone to lay down a hand that contained a diamond? Would the better play be to check and call a single bet just to make sure he wasn't getting bluffed out?
Now here's the catch - this play worked!! The weak player in the BB had chased all the way with the Td in his hand, and even though he made his flush at the river, he folded faced with the river bet combined with the possibility of me yet to act behind him. The BB said out loud that he was certain one of us contained a big diamond. The SB said that was why he bet the river. Did I miss the nuances of a top level thinking play by the SB at the river, or did he just get lucky that the BB folded? Thoughts, please.
P.S. Flame away about talking strategy at the table, but I'm going to post a hand after lunch that came up further on in the session with the same player that I won because of this discussion. Stay tuned.
I think it's a good bet if he's willing to muck his AA when he gets raised. I mean, at least theoretically, it costs him the same either way, but he gives a small flush the opportunity to make a mistake and fold.
Not many people would lay down a flush for one bet here, though. And if you dump AA on the river alot, people will start to take advantage... So I don't think this is a bad play, necessarily, but I wouldn't do it routinely.
The BB is an idiot.
It's a bet I make all the time and it's a bet I think he has to make. You pointed out that he got the 10d to fold. If you had had a Q with no diamond would you have called? Now next time you can raise him when this situation comes up.
If Dunc had trip queens and no Diamond, he should call the river bet.
The AA's bet is very close to mandatory! He knows he will call a single bet if he checks, the $ is the same. He cannot get raised except by the dia A or a full house. If he doesn't bet he has very little chance of winning but a bet could (and did) get the pot.
Yes, you were too aggressive.
His play is not really that strange. Slowplaying a full house made on the turn is very typical of how someone might play in a low limit game (or any other game for that matter). However, when you got raised on the river, it was definitely way too aggressive for you to three bet it. What did you think he had? He had the nuts. Your jack kicker was certainly not enough to three-bet the river. In this situation, when raised, make a crying call.
dave in cali
Small Stakes Hold'em
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