ABC Poker: the basics

Image result for poker basics for beginnersPoker is a game of deception and bluffing. It requires ability to be unpredictable, handle rivals, prepare traps and avoid danger. Anyway, between so much trap and dodge, you can get to forget the basics of poker, a game that is basically quite simple. The basic strategy of poker is necessary no matter what level you are playing and it is worthwhile to review it, whether you are new or a player who has been several years.

Here you have, so that you read it for the first time or return to it from time to time the basic ideas to play poker well. These are the foundations on which you can build more advanced concepts such as floating or the semifarol. If you are doing advanced moves but can not explain why a check-raise is the right move in a particular situation, then it is time to familiarize yourself with these fundamental ideas. Read, assimilate and return to the tables with strength.

1. Selection of hands

You have probably read that poker is a game of people and not of cards. To a certain extent, this is true, but it does not mean that you should ignore the strength of your hand and put yourself as a beast when “some fish” does not put you in the monster you have tried to represent. Would not it be better if you present a strong hand and still get the rivals to pay your bets? If you have a solid opening range, including pairs, large aces and some color connector; you will flip flops, you will have a better hand than the rivals with weak aces and you will be rewarded with the odd big pot. At lower levels this is usually necessary for you to have a continuous benefit.

2. Strong hand = strong bet

When you have a strong hand it is very tempting to try to catch the rivals by going to see if they bet on you. There are right times to bet, particularly against aggressive players, but normally you should bet your strong hands. If you have pocket aces or kings, why are you limping and letting the big blind win you by beating something on the flop? If you know that you are winning with your doubles on the flop, why do you pass and give the opponent the option to win? Also, why do not you want to put more chips in the pot when you have a strong hand? The boats that have more chances to win are those in which you have a very strong hand and another player has a project or a good hand, but worse than yours. Do not miss the opportunity to feed the boat from the beginning or you will regret not having won more chips.

If you do not know how much to bet, a normal amount is something in between and the full pot. As a general rule you have to bet more how many more players are in the hand and how complicated are the cards of the table (for example if there are projects of color or ladder).

Do not ever forget that, even if it is tempting, playing a strong hand slowly is the quickest way to lose chips.

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3. Position, position, position

The power of the position in No Limit is never valued enough. There is an important reason why all the strategic guidelines recommend playing the best hands from the first positions and avoid paying increases when there are people left to talk. The earlier the position in which you enter the hand, the more likely it is that you play without position; which puts you at an important disadvantage because you will have to make your decisions before your opponents. The closer you are to the button, the later you will speak in the following streets and the more information you will have from the hands of the rivals before making your decision.

Avoid paying in the blind with weak hands justifying you for having money already in hand. It may seem like a cheap way to see the flop, but you will have to play the whole hand without a position and without knowing the strength of the rivals hand. Many fortunes and many tournaments have been lost in this way. The position is paramount in Texas Hold’em without limit and the moment you forget it is the moment when you start to lose.

4. Know the odds

Playing poker well is not preparing complicated lanterns of several streets, it is paying when you have the right odds to do it, throwing yourself when you do not have them and making rivals pay when they should not. You can check-raises or float, but if you do not know the pot odds you’ll never know if you’re betting the correct amount or not, and this includes when you’re representing a hand you do not have.

If you can only do one thing, learn how to work with pot odds and start using them. On the flop count the number of outs you think you have to complete a winning hand and multiply that number by four to know the percentage of times you will complete it on the turn or on the river; or multiply by two to know the percentage that the next card is the one you need. Some numbers that you are interested in knowing is that you have nine outs for the color project, eight for the two-pronged ladder and four for the triple ladder.

5. Litter less, earn more

When you start playing poker it’s easy to think that the game is about bluffing and watching tells, that’s what they show you on television continuously. But this is not so. The television looks for the most spectacular lanterns and the largest boats, this can make you believe that it bluffs more than what actually happens. Bluffing is one more strategy, and when it is used it is because you have a good reason. You have to assess the situation, taking into account the number of players in the hand, your image in the hand and if your bets are telling a credible story.

6. Banking

It’s not much fun to talk about banking, but it’s not something you can not ignore. If you play at a higher bet level than you can afford, you will enter a tilt, explode and have a bad time at the tables. The same thing you think you can win at the table of € 2 / € 4, and it may be that your results certify it, but if you’re not able to avert a losing streak in which you lose five boxes, then you’re playing at a level in the that you should not There is nothing wrong in lowering the limit to the one in which you are comfortable. If you are able to win € 2 / € 4 then you will also win € 0.25 / € 0.50. Do not be one of those who believe that they can only win at high levels. A good poker player adapts to all the tables and levels. Have a solid base and see growing as your bank does, this is the essence of banking management.

7. Image on the table

Your image on the table betrays every action you take while playing. If you have raised prefop and go all-in on the flop, your opponent’s decision depends on the range of meek you think you have and how you would play it. If you have been playing tight, you will be pulled out of most hands, whereas if you have played supergressive you will pay with a much wider range. The image on the table, both yours and that of your rivals is something to study and take advantage of. (Although this concept disappears if the opponent is not paying attention)

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8. Reasons

Have a reason for every play you make. Do you spend to pay, pull or upload? If you bet, are you going to pay if they raise you? Before you pre-flop with 9c-10c, ask yourself what you want to achieve. Are you going to attack the flop if a passive player pays, but before a tight player you are only going to bet if leagues? Is there a short player in chips with whom you are committed if you go all-in? It is important to start thinking about what other players may have, without putting them in a particular hand, and try to think what they think you have. If you doubt, go back to ABC poker because most players, especially at lower levels, play with their cards face up.

Paul Perkins

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