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Strategy..   Something for the beginners.  Let me just talk about basic strategy and the way I play.

Im going to really condense this entry.   Basically the first thing I look at is my position.  It determines the hands I will play.  The dealer is the best position because after the flop, this person is last to act.   You get to see how everyone reacts to the flop, whether they check or bet, it reveals a lot of information about their hand, among other things.  So when Im in the dealer position, or late position (one or two spots to the right of the dealer) I loosen my starting hand requirements.  I may call a raise before the flop with 87offsuit.    Now if I was in early or middle position, I probably wouldnt call, or open the betting with this hand.

Basically, If your in early position (small blind, big blind, and the next one to the left) You want to be careful of what hands you play.  You will be among the first to act after the flop, and the way you act will teach the players who act after you a thing or two about your hand and the way you play poker.  It can be intimidating and pressure-some.   Theres a time and a place to limp in, or bluff, and early position is less ideal for this.  You want to have a strong hand to play from here, or atleast be at a tight table of players that you may be able to steal pots from.

After I look at my position, I look at my cards.  If I was in early position, I fold most hands, including a6off, QToffsuit, K9 offsuit.   these may look strong but they are junk.  If you have 5 or more other players at the table and you are in early position with these hands, a fold will do you better.  I may make a small raise with A9suited, but not much WORSE than that.   But if Im going to play a hand from this position and I am first to act at the pot, before the flop, I will raise.

I usually raise 2.5 -4 x big blind whenever I open a pot.  Now later positions, I still fold alot, Im not as loose as some people, but Ive been known to raise with 23suited on the dealer button.  I wont usually play hands as loose as j4off, or k6off, there needs to be something extra in it for me to play unconnected junk.  What I mean by that is it needs to be suited, or it needs to be atleast 2 cards that can make a straight.  If theres lots of people in the pot, and theres a couple raisers, I may even fold A8suited.  I dont always play aces on the button.  They say to do that, but I go with my gut.

You gotta take notes on players.  You need to have as much information on people as you can to help you in the future.  Youd be surprised how many people you play against regularly.  its a lot of work to take notes on everyone all the time, maybe try and single out a few people, quality, not quantity right.  Look for the people who enter lots of pots.  or consistently bet.   When someone shows KK, note how he entered the pot did he call did he raise, what was his position.  Look for the guy who opens the pot with a raise with a3offsuit.  This guy will probably give you easy money when you have a hand.

You cant always wait for a great hand.  Be patient, but dont be a rock.  Rocks wait for AA and fold everything else.  Dont confuse tight with selective.  Be selective about your cards.  You got 87suited?  raise!  you have J9suited?  raise!  You have A6offsuit?  fold.  get it?  Dont get kicked cause the people who call you will be people with AQ and AJ.  I try and never get involved in a hand with a weak ace unless its suited or I can limp in on the small blind to a full table of limpers.  Remember things like A2 suited is better than A7suited, because you can get a straight with A2.  And believe me, when you play an ace 2, you are not hoping for an ace on the flop, you are hoping for 2’s, or 345.

They say aggression is key.  I constantly  go back and forth from tight to loose, but its always with aggression.  Once you have the tables attention, you can raise every hand or two, and follow through with a small bet.  If they call, play with caution, dont get married to your hand if you miss the flop.  But get them in the habit of raising your bets because they think your bluffing.  And fold the ones you miss.  I like small bet poker, its really effective for me.  blinds are 50/100, I raise to 250. 2 people call call the pot is 750.  I bet 300.  If I get reraised I fold and do it again.  If I get called I look at my hand and see if I have anything and play accordingly.  Eventually ill have JJJ and ill bet 300, and some one will raise me and thats when I get my money.   I like to intentionally call bad hands in the first few minutes and show I had 93off and I raised before the flop.  Unless they have notes onn me they will think Im a donk, and the next time I do it Ill have AK 🙂

Check raise is a powerful move but I prefer to bet outright. If I have a hand, even if its bottom pair, I will bet.  I wont necessarily continue betting or see it right to the river, but I will bet, and this works for me.  Too often you see people limp in to a big pot with QQ and the flop comes 10 6 J.  the guy with qq checks and the guy with the jack bets.  I call because I have T9 suited.  The turn comes 9 and QQ checks, I bet big and QQ checkraise me all in.  I call and he goes home.  Dont let people have too many free cards.  You got a hand, bet.  Its a great habit to get into and its the best way to make your money.  By doing this you are asking questions to the other people in the hand if they have something some reason to call a bet.  Do they call?  do they raise?  This is all valuable information to learn how they play.

Some other tips are about stack size.  If you are running out of chips and the blinds are getting big, dont piss around calling every hand with 56hearts.  wait for the right hand and go all in.  Stack sizes are measured by big blinds.  If the blinds are 200/400, and you have 4000 chips, you have 10 BB (big blinds.)  This would be a short stack.  They say if you have 8-12 BB left, then that is a short stack.  They also say if you raise 4xbb, and that amount is more than one third of your chips, just go all in instead.  When your short stacked, look at whos on the big blind.  look for someone who you think will fold, (or call if you have KK) and go all in.  This is called going out with a fight.  Otherwise you will get blinded to death and find yourself all in with 96off with 2 BB left.

Back to 56hearts.  Its a hand i play more than I fold.  Many people pick up on these suited connectors and their true hidden value.   One thing they dont understand is that it is a hidden hand.  Its not an all in hand.  its not a call an all in hand either.  Its meant to limp in for cheap, or to put a raise in with when you have good position or an idea what someone else is playing.  Many times I find myself running out of chips and I find a spot to go all in and my hand is J10suited.  Fucking heros making the big call for 1/3 of their stack with 67spades thinking its some sly play.  They heard good things about 67suited and think its a cointoss.  Well when the flop comes A49 K2, and I win with Jack high, they must feel like asses.  But they dont, cause they dont know the difference.  67 is a great hand, but its hidden.  It wont fair well against 2 overcards in an all in, they are meant to see cheap flops and catch hidden straights.   Do not call my all ins with hidden hands.  call them with strong hands.

Some techniques I like to do myself are these:  Theres the squeeze play.  when two people limp into a hand you throw in a raise to try and narrow the feild down to 2 instead of 3 people.  After all, if theres three people in a hand, you have a 1 in 3 chance of winning right?  So lets cut that to 50/50 if you think some one is limping in weak.  it aslo takes control of the hand.  Meaning youre representing strength, and people will likely check it to you after the flop.

The button steal.  Youre in late position with a mediocre hand.  two people have called the blinds.  you want to play the hand but youd prefer it if you acted last after the flop.  Raise and just maybe the person on the dealer button will fold and when action happens after the flop, you will go last instead of second or third-last. 

The committed chase.  You have KJsuited.  The flop is A910.  You need a queen.  You dont want to call bets all night like a fish, but you think the guy betting has only the 10, or a draw.  He has not many chips left and you have lots.  Fuck it go all in.  or put him all in.  Why beat around the bush, if its only you two in the pot and hes short stacked, put your money in.  If he doesnt have the ace, hell probably fold.  If he has the ace, you can get a Q or even runner runner kings etc.  If he has the 10, you can still beat him with a jack or a king.  and you dont risk to lose a lot of money.  If I think I am behind in a hand, but I dont belive the guy ahead of me is very strong, and I find myself struggling with a decision to make, if I have outs I will bet enough chips to commit me to the pot so a call wont be so frowned upon.  Its like a semi bluff.   If the pot is 6000 and I want to see the river and I have outs and even a back up hand, but i dont want to make a bad CALL, I will bet like half the pot or more so that at this point its a bluff that can win the pot then and there, or else Ill be committed enough into the pot that it will make the call worth it for me. 

If people start bullying you for your chips, dont get frustrated.  fold the shitty hands and then take a hand and put the fucker all in.  Now remember, dont do this with 89suited cause thats a hidden hand.  Do it with KQ, or A10, or 88.  J9suited would do.  It was Doyle Brunson who said as soon as people start to bully his chips, well, its only a matter of time were fixing to play a pot!  Take a stand.  Thats the only way to stop a bully. 

If youre losing.  Stop playing.  or play for lesser stakes.  Do NOT play for more money, longer and longer trying to win it back.  This will fail.  If your winning, DONT stop!  keep going until you lose.  Think about a higher stake.  The cards are coming for you now, the last thing you want to do is not be there when theyre knocking at your door. 

Dont play drunk.  Well, i love having a few drinks, I may not know when to stop drinking at the bar, but I can sure pace myself when Im playing poker.   If your going to drink and play, play for smaller stakes than normal, or else your head might not be the only crippled thing in the morning.

This concludes my basic tips entry for beginners or people who just arent that big into strategy.  Im sure people have different advice and disagree with me on certain things and maybe even think im a total donk, and thats fine 🙂  Id like to hear about it below.

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