1. heres a post i made on another forum, figured id put it in here as well

positive expectation

let's say you are betting a friend \$1, even money, on the flip of a coin. each time it comes up heads, you win; each time it comes up tails, you lose. the odds of its coming up heads are 1-to-1, and you're betting \$1-to-\$1. therefore, your mathematical expectation is precisely zero since you cannot expect, mathematically, to be either ahead or behind after two flips or after 200 flips.

but let's say some imbecile is willing to bet \$2 to your \$1 on the flip of the coin. suddenly you have a positive expectation of 50 cents per bet. why 50 cents? on the average you will win one bet for every bet you lose. you wager your first dollar and lose \$1; you wager your second and win \$2. you have wagered \$1 twice, and you are \$1 ahead. each of these \$1 bets has earned 50 cents.

its in the same way we gamble in poker with positive expectations and force our opponents to take the worst of it. say we hold AA and we somehow know our opponent has a flush draw on the flop. the pot is \$50 and we bet \$50 into it. if our opponent calls this bet, we are making money, whether he hits his flush or not in this particular hand. he is about a 3 to 1 underdog to make his hand, yet he is taking 2 to 1 on his money, which is a losing bet for him. now say the pot is \$50 and we bet \$10, now he is making money if he calls this bet, because he is getting the right price to do so. hes still about a 3 to 1 dog to make his hand, but he's getting 6 to 1 on his money, which in the long run will obviously make him a profit. and thats what this game is all about, the long run.

we've all seen the movies, where some schmuck twitches his ear or scratches his eyeball and this somehow tells our hero he must be holding exactly the A of clubs and the J of hearts... this is NOT how real poker is played. sure, body language can tell us things about our opponents. but we do not put our opponents on ONE HAND. we put them on a RANGE OF HANDS, and then act accordingly. that is, we make the move that is the best move at this time vs that RANGE. we are able to narrow this range the more info we gather during a hand. for instacne if an opponent raises on the button, his range is very wide, meaning he can do this with a shitload of hands. so we dont really know anything yet. but say someone from the big blind (BB) calls and the flop comes T-7-3. BB checks and button bets. BB now checkraises 3 times the buttons bet. the button now calls. this narrows that range of his significantly right? we know he cant have nothing like KJ. he doesnt have a small pocket pairs like 44. his range here mostly consists of overpairs like KK, QQ, JJ. top pairs like AT, KT, QT, JT. middle pairs like A7 or 87 are possible, or maybe a draw like 98. or maybe he flopped a set with 33 or 77. so when he raised on the button, we didnt know anything about his range, just that is was very wide. now after the flop action we were able to narrow that range substantially. i know it looks like we still dont know anything, looking at the sheer number of hands he could have here, but its a great impovement from before the flop. we do the same thing on the next card, narrowing his range even further and further as the hand progresses and more information becomes avaialabe from his actions and the board cards.

there are different 'levels' people are thinking on

level 0: what do i have?
level 1: what does my opponents have?
level 2: what does my opponent think i have?
level 3: what does my opponent think i think he has?

etc etc. the key is thinking one level above your opponent. most players at lower stakes just look at their hands and nothing else when making decisions on what to do. its easy ti play vs these guys. it becomes tougher vs better opponents who think about what is going on and what you could have, what you think they have etc.

position

we assume we are playing in a cash game and everyone on the table has 100 big blinds

from the small and big blinds, you want to make it a habit of playing very very tight. that is folding nearly everything. it is a LEAK to play too many hands from these positions, as you will be out of position for the entire hand, and too many things need to go just right for it to be profitable in the long run. you might catch a full house with your 7-3 from the small blind once, but all the other times it will cost you money by completing and not folding.

position is one of the most important things in this game.. it is paramount. you want to play more hands IN position, and less hands OUT of position.

say you are on a 6 handed cash table w blinds of \$0.50-\$1.00. there are always poor players to be found everywhere, say you are on the button with a J-T. and some loose-passive guy just wants to see flops alot. he limps in (calls) before the flop from early position. these are perfect spots to relentlessly ISOLATE these kinds of players. he calls for \$1. you raise to \$4 or \$4.5 or \$5 in position. it folds around to him, and he calls cause he wants top see a flop and hes an idiot. flop is K-8-2. he checks, you CONTINUATION BET \$8, he quickly folds. this is just a quick easy example but it is one of the most profitable plays availabe in most hold em cash games where plenty of these kinds of players are around, who will be donating money to you like this.

C-betting

the continuation bet is a bet you make on the flop after you have raised preflop. the above flop was very dry, meaning there are hardly any draws possible. which made it an excellent flop to C-bet on. on the other hand, a board like 6 of hearts (6h) -7h - 9s or 9c - Tc - Qs are very drawy boards that are usually less easy to make these Cbets on, simply because there are so many more ways for an opponent to hit something, anything on these flops as opposed to that K-8-2 or something like A-3-2, or Q-Q-6. so take a look at the textures of flops and ways they could be helpful to your opponent before making your Cbets. the one guy described above in the example hand, plays way too many hands and will for that reason, miss more of his flops then someone who only plays premium hands will. generally, you do not want to be Cbetting with nothing into multiple players

big hand - big pot. getting value

generally, dont slowplay! say you raise with 66 and some guy from the big blind calls. the flop comes Q-6-5. he checks to you, you really want to bet here almost always. you would bet your AA wouldnt you? you'd bet your AK or other hands that have missed usually. so also bet your monsters. your oppponent could have a Q, could have a pocket pair like 77, 88, 99, TT that hes gonna stick money in with. he could have some straight draw.

you want to WIN A BIG POT WITH A BIG HAND. the only way to win a BIG pot is to BUILD a big pot. the only way to build a pot is to get money in by betting. say you dont bet, but check behind. turn is Q-6-5-A. what if your opponent held that KQ, or them TT? he is now scared as shit and will hardly put money in the pot, whereas would you have bet the flop he would have.

so slowplaying can kill you by letting your opponent draw out on you for free, but just as important, it can bring ACTION KILLERS in the form of scare cards that will slow your opponent down, which you dont want.

getting value from your best hands is where we make most money laying this game... it is of utmost importance to value bet correctly

pot control

if you always get all your money in with top pair, 100 big blinds deep, you are probably overplaying your hands, and will gegnerally lose lots of money this way. pot control is where we control the size of the pot, to not let the size get out of hand. say you raise with AQ, the big blind calls. flop is K-Q-2. opponent checks. this is a spot where sometimes a check behind is a very optimal play. think about it.
things our opponent could have: pocket pairs 33,44,55,66,77,88,99,TT and K-something. if we bet here, essentially we could be turning our hand into a bluff. we are hardly getting called by anything worse except maybe a draw like JT which we will take in our stride. by checking behind here we:

-induce potential bluffs from air hands
-gain value by letting our opponent think his 77 or whatever is good and make him call us down on later streets with weaker holdings then ours that would have folded to our flop bet
-get one step closer to a showdown without bloating the pot
-lose less money vs a K!!!

note that we dont have a BIG HAND, so we dont really want to play a BIG POT either. so checking is no shame at all. to balance this against good opposition, it rewards at times to also check behind there with all kind of other hands, like Kx, draws or even AA sometimes, just to balance your range

this is one adjustment i made when moving up in stakes, as players get better and better.

2. stopped playing 50NL and micro sng last summer after getting sick of badbeats and crazy variance

i might start focusing more on omaha pretty soon since the game is so fishy its unbelivable !!

heres my small 3 days of sng graph (notice how one badbeat makes me tilt so hard)

http://img220.imageshack.us/my.php?i...aygraphbv8.png

3. Originally Posted by mic-cord-strangler
heres a post i made on another forum, figured id put it in here as well

positive expectation

let's say you are betting a friend \$1, even money, on the flip of a coin. each time it comes up heads, you win; each time it comes up tails, you lose. the odds of its coming up heads are 1-to-1, and you're betting \$1-to-\$1. therefore, your mathematical expectation is precisely zero since you cannot expect, mathematically, to be either ahead or behind after two flips or after 200 flips.

but let's say some imbecile is willing to bet \$2 to your \$1 on the flip of the coin. suddenly you have a positive expectation of 50 cents per bet. why 50 cents? on the average you will win one bet for every bet you lose. you wager your first dollar and lose \$1; you wager your second and win \$2. you have wagered \$1 twice, and you are \$1 ahead. each of these \$1 bets has earned 50 cents.

its in the same way we gamble in poker with positive expectations and force our opponents to take the worst of it. say we hold AA and we somehow know our opponent has a flush draw on the flop. the pot is \$50 and we bet \$50 into it. if our opponent calls this bet, we are making money, whether he hits his flush or not in this particular hand. he is about a 3 to 1 underdog to make his hand, yet he is taking 2 to 1 on his money, which is a losing bet for him. now say the pot is \$50 and we bet \$10, now he is making money if he calls this bet, because he is getting the right price to do so. hes still about a 3 to 1 dog to make his hand, but he's getting 6 to 1 on his money, which in the long run will obviously make him a profit. and thats what this game is all about, the long run.

we've all seen the movies, where some schmuck twitches his ear or scratches his eyeball and this somehow tells our hero he must be holding exactly the A of clubs and the J of hearts... this is NOT how real poker is played. sure, body language can tell us things about our opponents. but we do not put our opponents on ONE HAND. we put them on a RANGE OF HANDS, and then act accordingly. that is, we make the move that is the best move at this time vs that RANGE. we are able to narrow this range the more info we gather during a hand. for instacne if an opponent raises on the button, his range is very wide, meaning he can do this with a shitload of hands. so we dont really know anything yet. but say someone from the big blind (BB) calls and the flop comes T-7-3. BB checks and button bets. BB now checkraises 3 times the buttons bet. the button now calls. this narrows that range of his significantly right? we know he cant have nothing like KJ. he doesnt have a small pocket pairs like 44. his range here mostly consists of overpairs like KK, QQ, JJ. top pairs like AT, KT, QT, JT. middle pairs like A7 or 87 are possible, or maybe a draw like 98. or maybe he flopped a set with 33 or 77. so when he raised on the button, we didnt know anything about his range, just that is was very wide. now after the flop action we were able to narrow that range substantially. i know it looks like we still dont know anything, looking at the sheer number of hands he could have here, but its a great impovement from before the flop. we do the same thing on the next card, narrowing his range even further and further as the hand progresses and more information becomes avaialabe from his actions and the board cards.

there are different 'levels' people are thinking on

level 0: what do i have?
level 1: what does my opponents have?
level 2: what does my opponent think i have?
level 3: what does my opponent think i think he has?

etc etc. the key is thinking one level above your opponent. most players at lower stakes just look at their hands and nothing else when making decisions on what to do. its easy ti play vs these guys. it becomes tougher vs better opponents who think about what is going on and what you could have, what you think they have etc.

position

we assume we are playing in a cash game and everyone on the table has 100 big blinds

from the small and big blinds, you want to make it a habit of playing very very tight. that is folding nearly everything. it is a LEAK to play too many hands from these positions, as you will be out of position for the entire hand, and too many things need to go just right for it to be profitable in the long run. you might catch a full house with your 7-3 from the small blind once, but all the other times it will cost you money by completing and not folding.

position is one of the most important things in this game.. it is paramount. you want to play more hands IN position, and less hands OUT of position.

say you are on a 6 handed cash table w blinds of \$0.50-\$1.00. there are always poor players to be found everywhere, say you are on the button with a J-T. and some loose-passive guy just wants to see flops alot. he limps in (calls) before the flop from early position. these are perfect spots to relentlessly ISOLATE these kinds of players. he calls for \$1. you raise to \$4 or \$4.5 or \$5 in position. it folds around to him, and he calls cause he wants top see a flop and hes an idiot. flop is K-8-2. he checks, you CONTINUATION BET \$8, he quickly folds. this is just a quick easy example but it is one of the most profitable plays availabe in most hold em cash games where plenty of these kinds of players are around, who will be donating money to you like this.

C-betting

the continuation bet is a bet you make on the flop after you have raised preflop. the above flop was very dry, meaning there are hardly any draws possible. which made it an excellent flop to C-bet on. on the other hand, a board like 6 of hearts (6h) -7h - 9s or 9c - Tc - Qs are very drawy boards that are usually less easy to make these Cbets on, simply because there are so many more ways for an opponent to hit something, anything on these flops as opposed to that K-8-2 or something like A-3-2, or Q-Q-6. so take a look at the textures of flops and ways they could be helpful to your opponent before making your Cbets. the one guy described above in the example hand, plays way too many hands and will for that reason, miss more of his flops then someone who only plays premium hands will. generally, you do not want to be Cbetting with nothing into multiple players

big hand - big pot. getting value

generally, dont slowplay! say you raise with 66 and some guy from the big blind calls. the flop comes Q-6-5. he checks to you, you really want to bet here almost always. you would bet your AA wouldnt you? you'd bet your AK or other hands that have missed usually. so also bet your monsters. your oppponent could have a Q, could have a pocket pair like 77, 88, 99, TT that hes gonna stick money in with. he could have some straight draw.

you want to WIN A BIG POT WITH A BIG HAND. the only way to win a BIG pot is to BUILD a big pot. the only way to build a pot is to get money in by betting. say you dont bet, but check behind. turn is Q-6-5-A. what if your opponent held that KQ, or them TT? he is now scared as shit and will hardly put money in the pot, whereas would you have bet the flop he would have.

so slowplaying can kill you by letting your opponent draw out on you for free, but just as important, it can bring ACTION KILLERS in the form of scare cards that will slow your opponent down, which you dont want.

getting value from your best hands is where we make most money laying this game... it is of utmost importance to value bet correctly

pot control

if you always get all your money in with top pair, 100 big blinds deep, you are probably overplaying your hands, and will gegnerally lose lots of money this way. pot control is where we control the size of the pot, to not let the size get out of hand. say you raise with AQ, the big blind calls. flop is K-Q-2. opponent checks. this is a spot where sometimes a check behind is a very optimal play. think about it.
things our opponent could have: pocket pairs 33,44,55,66,77,88,99,TT and K-something. if we bet here, essentially we could be turning our hand into a bluff. we are hardly getting called by anything worse except maybe a draw like JT which we will take in our stride. by checking behind here we:

-induce potential bluffs from air hands
-gain value by letting our opponent think his 77 or whatever is good and make him call us down on later streets with weaker holdings then ours that would have folded to our flop bet
-get one step closer to a showdown without bloating the pot
-lose less money vs a K!!!

note that we dont have a BIG HAND, so we dont really want to play a BIG POT either. so checking is no shame at all. to balance this against good opposition, it rewards at times to also check behind there with all kind of other hands, like Kx, draws or even AA sometimes, just to balance your range

this is one adjustment i made when moving up in stakes, as players get better and better.
This was a good read fam, thanks

4. Props to Strangler for that post. And that graph is amazing.

5. I read my opononts almost purely on betting paterns...it's the easiest for me...

But I got a question...

When someone overbets the pot hugely...what's your first thought?

6. Draw or fast trap with a monster, very few have the ability to shove a huge portion of their stack with complete air

7. Originally Posted by Jeru

When someone overbets the pot hugely...what's your first thought?
it obv depens on the player's style

8. no prob fellas

overbets by good players tend to be value bets mostly imo. ive been experimenting with bluffshoving rivers vs decent players because of that reason lately

heres my no limit cash graph

i think im going pro lol

i might start focusing more on omaha pretty soon since the game is so fishy its unbelivable !!
hehe, if the variance and bad beats are making you crazy, playing omaha is the LAST thing you wanna do

9. Good thread. I have some questions. I just really started playing on the internet. I've read a ton of the books and am starting slow with freerolls and really low stuff.

One thing that is starting to annoy me is the ridiculous bad beats that always seem to happen. I watch people repeatedly go in with absolutely nothing and go on runs where they hit everything miraculously. Yesterday I made it to #80 out of 2500+ in a freeroll tournament which in the past week of these was my best. Today I was ousted in the big blind with KK losing to a 10-8 two pair on the river . Right after that I lost having 55 on the button losing to QQ after both hitting trips on the flop.

What's the best way to play these tournaments? Even playing tight but aggressive ends up with me having a decent stack but then fighting in futility against huge stacks when they hit ridiculous wins while my decent to good cards usually just die. Ha

10. Originally Posted by Dissonance
Good thread. I have some questions. I just really started playing on the internet. I've read a ton of the books and am starting slow with freerolls and really low stuff.

One thing that is starting to annoy me is the ridiculous bad beats that always seem to happen. I watch people repeatedly go in with absolutely nothing and go on runs where they hit everything miraculously. Yesterday I made it to #80 out of 2500+ in a freeroll tournament which in the past week of these was my best. Today I was ousted in the big blind with KK losing to a 10-8 two pair on the river . Right after that I lost having 55 on the button losing to QQ after both hitting trips on the flop.

What's the best way to play these tournaments? Even playing tight but aggressive ends up with me having a decent stack but then fighting in futility against huge stacks when they hit ridiculous wins while my decent to good cards usually just die. Ha
Freerolls are crapshoots...there is no method to play with them. I usually just play the role at whatever my stack is. Your chip amount makes more of a difference in freerolls though and when you are big, people want you to bully them so they have a doubling up chance before getting knocked out. Your time means a lot.

If I am correct, Beautifulrock gave his freeroll strategies using 2 playing methods early in this thread.

11. Originally Posted by Prolifical ENG
Freerolls are crapshoots...there is no method to play with them. I usually just play the role at whatever my stack is. Your chip amount makes more of a difference in freerolls though and when you are big, people want you to bully them so they have a doubling up chance before getting knocked out. Your time means a lot.

If I am correct, Beautifulrock gave his freeroll strategies using 2 playing methods early in this thread.
Ah, I'll go search those posts out. Thanks. I know it's more of a crapshoot and ridiculous things happen, it's sometimes amusing and sometimes quite annoying. Those crazy luck draws to win with crap cards never seem to work for me as much as I see them work for others.

Just tried omaha H/L for the first time. I did well, but it was just at the play money table. I can see how a good player could do well at that game, people just try and go for anything.

12. I will give a full explanation of how to play winning limit omaha hi low, this is especially helpful if you are a player on Pokerstars. Just holler at my pm box.

13. ## Fixed Omaha High Low - Low stakes cash...<\$5 (9 handed)

Fixed Omaha High Low

Confusing game? Not really, in fact once you know the rules inside and out, (YOU MUST PLAY TWO CARDS!!!) it may possibly be the easiest game to read. Why? Simple. Everybody is either playing the nuts or something close to it. With this in mind, your goal is simple. Make the nuts (high, or high and low) also known as a scoop pot. Those that waste their time going after just low, usually get chopped a million ways and aren't very successful. That said, you shouldn't ignore low altogether either. Many times when your high hand doesn't hit, you can still escape with money by stealing all or a portion of the low pot.

This is a game where you want to play behind (passive) as much as possible until you are sure you cannot lose. Raising with draws, no matter how good, is not really a good idea. Sure occasionally you win a big pot, but for the most part, you will not get the exact card you need to make the nuts, and many times you hit the nuts on the turn, only to be redrawn on the river.

So how do you win and be successful?

The way to be better than the rest of your opponents is easy. Play less, spend less, draw less, and make fewer mistakes. The less money you throw away on your losing hands the greater your profit will be in the end. Your opponents will typically play everything in low stakes to their detriment. You want to pick the best hands, and not be afraid to throw away what could be perceived as a strong hand when it doesn't match the board. You need to think two cards ahead on the flop, and think a card ahead on the turn. In Texas Hold em we count outs. In OHL we count nut outs. You can't assume any old flush or straight will win. Generally they won't. You can't assume any old full house will win. Many times the smaller boats get chewed up by larger ones, and this is where you will get killed. Aggressiveness is not a virtue in this game, like it is in Hold em. It will only make your bankroll shrink in OHL unless you get very lucky, and that luck always runs out eventually.

What starting hands do I play?

With so many possible combinations of hands, it must be hard to pick playable ones, right? WRONG. The truth is, like Hold em, you only want to play about 10% of all possible hands, perhaps less. And, we are going for the nuts right? So let's diagnose all the types of hands that can get you there.

High Pairs

GOAL: Make the top full house or quads, or in extreme cases the nuts with a set.

Aces are really the only hand you don't have to think too much about. It's good to have a deuce with them or at least one flush draw, but what you are really looking for is to hit an ace on board with a pair, for the best possible full house, or a set on board, where your aces are the best off pair to the full house. (assuming nobody has quads) Compared to Hold em, Aces are nowhere near at strong in this game. Don't get sucked into the illusion that you are holding something special. You aren't. AA4Q vs T987 is a 50/50 proposition.

Kings and Queens are pretty constricting in high low. The fact you have them makes it pretty unlikely you will hit any low at all, so the only real use for them is to try and hit the boat or quads. Chasing down King and queen high flush draws is usually bad for your health in the long run. Sure occasionally you will win with a shitty flush, but far more often you are just throwing money away. When I have terrible complimentary cards (danglers) to my queens, I usually just fold them. You should get used to doing the same. Remember, this is NOT hold em.

Jacks, Tens, and Nines are absolutely worthless in high low. Think about it. In order to make a winning hand with these you must trip the board, have the board pair, and pray nobody is playing a higher boat if an ace, king, or queen hits. It's too much to worry about. Unless you have great complimentary cards that can make the nut flush or straight, don't even think about it. Dump them.

Eights to Deuces. I strongly advise folding these in regular Omaha, much less high low. Certain hands are killers. Bottom set is a big one. unless you have good straight, nut flush, or low options to go with them, this is an autofold.

Nut Flushes

You want to play suited aces when there are good complimentary cards to go with them. Don't play just any old hand because you have one nut flush draw. You want options. Options for low, options for straights etc.

example

play

Ac 2c 3d Kd
As Kd Qs Td

Don't play

Ah Jh 6d 8c
Ah 6h 6d 6c
As 9h 8s 5c

Nut Straights

In going after hands, straights are the bottom of the barrel. There are two big but easily avoidable obstacles to overcome, pairs and flush draws on board. If there is no pair or three suited cards on board, the best hand is always a straight unless making a straight isn't possible, in which case the best possible hand is top set. That said, here are some examples of hands you might want to play.

Play

T987 - any four running cards is pretty good
KQ98 - this two gapper is interesting, if you hit the middle two cards on the flop, you have what is known as the Maine to Spain draw, any A,K,Q,9,8,7 will make you the straight
A456 - these make great hands when low cards come because it is possible to hit the low straight and the high straight at the same time.

Low

You want to play cards that will make the wheel, ie. any combination of A,2,3,4,5 also known as "perfects" in Razz circles. I almost always play any combination of cards with ace deuce, because this is the easiest way to make the nut low. i hope along the way I can also pick up the high hand if possible. When playing, you should always assume somebody is playing an ace deuce. This will save you money if you are considering chasing a shitty low. Ace-3 Ace-4 and Ace-5 should be played less often as certain requirements need to happen to make the nut low. (gap fillers)

play

A2XX
A356
A456

AVOID

A39Q
A478
A599

Summary of playable hands

AAXX
A2XX
A34X
A456
A567
KKQJ
KK23
QQKJ
QQ23
KQ98
T987
6543
AKQJ
AK34

What to avoid

Low pairs
Low flush draws
useless danglers
bad low cards 6,7 and 8

14. Any idea for an initial stratagem on this limit game?

I flop top pair on early position, I check towards mid, they place a bet, but due to my unusual discretion, I don't normally believe I will have the winning hand throughout the board.

What can I infer from the initial better? Would it make a good choice to check-raise, or better off calling? What about during late position, same situation?

Thanks.

15. Most of the time when I flop top pair I will grind it out....most of the time that is. Not too often I will check and let the A-rag in for the turn.

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