How To Win In Poker Texas Hold’Em?
How to become good, or at least less terrible, at Texas Hold ‘Em: A novice’s guide It’s no surprise that in the past month, in the midst of our national lockdown, to the tune of a roughly 43% overall increase, with a 255% jump in first-time poker players.
I’m one of the rookies, and my game is Texas hold ’em. For lack of my usual entertainment options, I began playing with a group of friends on Pokerstars (the group is about 30-strong, at this point), some of whom were newbies like me, and some of whom were very good, very experienced players that have played poker for a living in the past.
I knew the game, and all its rules, so it wasn’t like hold ’em was completely foreign to me. Nevertheless, during the first few days of the quarantine, I lost early and often, to the point that even though the games were only five, um, fake dollars apiece, I found myself down almost 40,
- Fake, dollars.
- Granted, it was no more expensive over that time span than a dinner out, or a couple of movies, so it wasn’t like I was breaking the bank, but it was frustrating.
- I consider myself a smart guy, so it was hard to admit that I sucked.
- But there was no getting around it, so after a particularly bad performance late one night, I decided to quit.
One problem—bad as I was, the game intrigued me. It made me mad that I couldn’t crack it. I refused to believe I was too stupid, or too emotional, and so it picked at me. Since a couple of the very good poker players were friends, I decided to ask them for tips, and I also observed their own play more closely.
Before long, I’d had a series of revelations that completely changed how I looked at the game. More importantly, it changed how I performed. Now, I’m not going to sit here and pretend that I’m great at hold ’em after a month. I’m not. But I now consider myself a decent player, and as of Thursday night, I had gone from down $40 (fake) to up $63 (fake) against the same group of people.
It all happened within four weeks—I won a number of tournaments, I finished second or third in others, and it got to the point that each time I sat down to a nine-person table, I felt like I had a good chance to win or come close as long as I kept my emotions and impulses in check.
More satisfying still, I began to feel like I understood the game for the first time, with all its nuances, strategies, and frustrations. I am not somebody who calculates odds, or has studied poker tactics in books or videos. I still don’t know all the lingo. The tips that follow are meant for fellow novices, and to help you branch the chasm from “very bad” to “decent” without making poker your new lifestyle.
What follows are the ten tips that helped me. If you’re in lockdown and your new entertainment diet includes hold ’em poker, these are for you. (Note that I’m assuming a basic knowledge of the game hereif you don’t know the rules and want to learn,, Also, these tips are for tournament play, but are, I think, applicable to cash games as well.) 1.
Understand the value of your hand What is a “good” hand in hold ’em? Part of the complexity of the game is that there’s no easy answer to the question. When I began playing a month ago, a big part of my problem was that I thought having one high card at a big table was valuable. In fact, it’s not. You don’t have to understand odds to know that if you’re dealt K4 unsuited, for instance, you are in a weak position in a crowded game.
Even if you hit a king on the flop, with enough people in the hand there’s a good chance someone has you beat, and if there’s an ace on the flop too, god help you—somebody likely has two aces, and you’re beat. Sadly, I didn’t understand this, and would lose money over and over chasing nothing.
In some ways, it was worse when I caught a card, because it increased the chances that I’d bet more and lose. That said, if the tournament is down to two or three people, K4 suddenly becomes a pretty strong hand, and getting a king on the flop makes it very likely that you’re ahead of everyone. So the measure of a “good” hand is situationalwhat’s bad in one position might be good in another.
In general, hands like A5, K3, J9, when not suited, are weak with more than just a few players, and you should be smart enough to fold them in those cases. This will save you money and headache, and learning this was the start of my transformation into a solid player.
If you have two face cards or a hand like K10, on the other hand, you should almost always stay in to see the flop. Interestingly—this also escaped me at first—consecutive low cards like 87 are more valuable than a hand like A4, and are worth playing (especially suited) since most people that stay in to see the flop will have higher cards, and if you end up hitting a straight or two pair, you could take a lot of money from them.
Similarly, know that if you hit a middle pair—if, for instance, you’re holding J9, and the flop comes K94, meaning you have a pair of 9s, with a king lingering on the board—you are very weak at a big table (since someone likely has another king), but stronger in a small group.
Bet or fold accordingly.2. Understand position You know how I said above that some hands are good with only two or three players, but not so good with nine? Well, a nine-person table can quickly become smaller if enough people fold before the flop. Let’s say you’re the dealer, which means the small blind and big blind are to your left.
If everyone else folds, and it’s your bet with just the blinds remaining, suddenly you’re at a three-person table, and the other two people haven’t bet yet. That A6 off-suit you’re holding looks pretty darn good now, and it’s worth calling the blinds or even betting over them to see the flop or win the hand outright.
On the flip side, if you’re to the left of the big blind, and you have to choose whether to call first before the flop, know that unless you raise, you could end up in a hand with eight people. In that case, your middling cards aren’t so hot. Betting first, after the flop, comes with a lot of power. So in the situation where you know you’ll lead the betting post-flop, and there are only a few people playing, you can take a calculated risk and make a larger bet, knowing that in all likelihood nobody has hit the cards they want, and that even if you have nothing, there’s a decent chance everyone will fold to you.
If they don’t, you can see another card and get out—you lost some money, but it was worth the risk.3. Bluff Intelligently In the scenario described above, you “bluffed” the other players in the hand. A bluff is often poorly understood, and a lot of people think of a bluff as going all-in with terrible cards.
That’s almost always a bad idea, even if you succeed here and there, because if you make a habit out of it, eventually you’re going to get crushed by someone with great cards who calls you out. To bluff intelligently, on the other hand, is to understand when you have good position, to understand that on your average flop with a small group, chances are nobody is getting exactly what they want, and to make a calculated bet that looks ominous but won’t break your bank if somebody calls.
The same is true if you’re fourth to bet, for instance, but everybody checks to you. Someone might be playing possum with great cards, but it’s worth putting out a larger bet to see if you can exploit their weakness and scare them into folding. In most cases, you’ll either win the hand, or somebody will call and you’ll at least get to the see the turn (fourth card), which could improve what you’re holding.
And if somebody re-raises, you can flee.4. Make your bluffs look just like legitimate bets That bluff I described above? It should be very similar to how you bet if you have good cards and think there’s a good-to-great chance that you’ll win the hand. This creates a situation in your opponent’s mind that can lead to confusion—sometimes you have the cards, so when you’re bluffing, they might assume you’re strong, and fold.
But one of my favorite pieces of advice came form my friend Jake, who said that if you get caught bluffing, that’s fine too—the next time, you might have great cards, and if you make a similar bet and they think you’re trying to bully them again, you’ll take all their money when they call or raise.
Part of the fun of poker is creating an aura around of strength around yourself. I decided to pursue this after repeatedly playing one of the good players who scared the hell out of me and forced me to fold repeatedly. I wanted to be the scary one. A strong player provokes one of two reactions—people either get scared of you, or they want to defy you and take you down.
And when they make the wrong decision, based on those emotions, you’ll take their money.5. Know when to fold, be willing to get bluffed, and screw hope Playing head-to-head recently with Jake, one of the very good players in my group, I watched him raise me a significant amount before the flop when I was big blind.
My cards were bad—96, not suited. At that point, I had no idea what he had, but I knew based on his patterns that there was a good chance he was bluffing, and gambling that I didn’t have the cards to call him. I felt a surge of defiance—if he was bluffing, I should call! I won’t be bullied! But then I realized that it didn’t matter if he was bluffing or not, because my cards stunk, and I had little chance of success regardless of what he was holding.
It wasn’t worth the possibility that his cards were good. I folded. The point is, there are three emotions that can kill you in poker, and two those emotions are defiance and hope (we’ll get to the third in a second). Defiance makes you want to hold your own against someone throwing their weight against you, but it can lead to disaster if you don’t have the cards.
- Hope is worse—hope is the thing that keeps you in a hand, betting money that you shouldn’t bet, because maybe the turn or the river could give you that straight or that flush you wanted.
- If it’s free or very cheap to see those cards, great, but in a game with strong players, it will rarely be free.
- Every card will cost money, because other players around the table won’t need to get luckythey’ll already have good cards, and they’re not interested in making it easy for you to see more.
Don’t stick around calling just hoping to get that perfect 10 you need to complete the straight, or the two diamonds that would give you the flush, or whatever. That’s how you waste money, and it adds up quickly. Sometimes, you’ll make a smart fold, and the river will come up with the card you wanted.
- That’s okay.
- You made the right move, and in the long run that strategy is smarter even though it stings to know what might have been.
- Now when to fold after a bluff, too.
- Sometimes, a smart player will check when he has good cards, and once you bluff with a strong bet, he’ll either call repeatedly, or re-raise.
In that case, if you don’t have the goods, don’t throw good money after bad. Get out.6. Force yourself to be aggressive when you have the cards One thing I see over and over with certain new players in my group is that they’re content, even when they have good cards, to constantly check.
- Deep down, they’re afraid that if they bet, someone will call them, and then they’ll be scared and have to fold or be forced to call without knowing for sure they’ll win.
- That means that the only time they win hands is when they have really, really good cards, which happens rarely.
- This is the third damaging emotion I alluded to above: timidity.
If you’re timid, you’ll always lose in the long-run, because at a table full of aggressive players, some will flame out, but others will stack their chips and be able to crush you. I played head-to-head at the end of a tournament recently with a timid player who had gotten very lucky with good cards, and we started out even.
I bluffed constantly with controlled but aggressive amounts, he didn’t get the amazing cards he wanted, and he folded so reliably that I no longer cared what cards I had—I just bluffed and bluffed. His stack diminished steadily, and by the time he understood what was happening, he was so low that I could take him all-in on two consecutive hands without risking anything.
Timidity killed him—when you have good cards, or good position, you have to throw your weight around, or good players will crush you every time. On a similar note, always try to reduce the number of players you’re up against. If you have solid cards pre-flop, like AQ, bet enough that the others have to fold, so that by the time the flop comes, you’re only playing two or three others, and there’s less chance that somebody who doesn’t belong in the hand will beat you with an unlucky flop.7.
Understand your opponents Part of the romance of hold’em is “reading” your opponents, and I think this is a little overrated from moment to moment (especially online, but I don’t recommend trying psychoanalysis in person either). However, you can definitely remember patterns. One of the people I play regularly will call just about anything, but will never raise, which means you have to be very careful playing against him, since it’s hard to understand if he’s chasing a straight or has very good cards.
When we’re head to head, I check when I’m uncertain, knowing he’ll check back (and if he actually raises, I run for the hills), but if I have a winning hand, I bet medium amounts because I know he’ll keep calling, and I can take money off him. Other players are especially timid, so if I have a “decent” hand when it’s just me and them, such as a middle pair, and there’s a chance that they could be chasing a flush or straight, or even have the top pair, I’ll make a very large bet to test them.
- If they come back, I know I’m probably beat, but more often they’ll fold and I’ll win the hand.
- Against the very good players, I stick to basics on an average hand—bet large if I have position, be willing to fold otherwise.8.
- Understand the value of pocket pairs AA is supposedly the dream hand in hold’em, but I hate it.
When I have AA, even if this is not the textbook play, I’ll often just go all-in and force the others to call me. Yes, if everyone folds then I’ve “wasted” a good hand, but too often I’ve simply called only to watch the flop destroy me, and suddenly my aces are worthless.
- Because of that, I’d rather take the chance that somebody calls me and I have a great shot at a big payday.
- Good players would probably tell me this advice is stupid, but hey, we all have our hang-ups.) Pocket pairs in general are tricky, but my rule is that with KK or QQ or JJ I’ll make an aggressive bet pre-flop (sometimes it’s an all-in with KK too), and with anything lower than that, I’ll simply call (“limp in”) and wait like a snake in the grass.
The truth is, low pocket pairs aren’t so hot at a big table.55 might look nice, but the minute the flop comes up as AQ10, you’re done—someone has a higher pair. For me, it’s worth sitting back and waiting to see if that third five comes to give me three of a kind.
- If it does, and there’s no straight or flush to worry about, I’ll check or call the bets on the table, waiting for someone to do something crazy, at which point there’s money to be gained.
- Which leads me to 9.
- If you have great cards, play them slow To have the “nuts” means to have the best possible hand on the table, and when that happens, you want to extract as much profit as you can.
In a recent hand, I had KQ of clubs, and the flop came up A75—all clubs. That meant I had the flush, and nothing could beat itand nothing was likely to, regardless of the turn and river. Instead of going all-in or making some huge bet, I just checked, then called a small bet.
I kept doing that through the turn, at which point another player made a large bet that caused everyone but me to fold. I waited 20 seconds, as though I were struggling deep in thought, before calling. Then came the river, which didn’t change my status as the best possible hand (no full house possibility, no straight flush).
I checked, and another big bet came. This time, I raised all-in, and suddenly the other player had to reckon with the fact that he’d bet a ton of chips already. He had to decide if he thought I was bluffing, and if so, whether it was worth it to call to find out.
- There was some psychology at play on his end—the sunk cost fallacy (“I’ve spent this many chips already, so”), ego-related defiance (“I have good cards, can I let him bully me?”), and the looming thrill of calling a big bluff.
- He couldn’t resist calling, and he walked straight into my flush.
- I got all his money, and it was more by far than I could have hoped for if I played the best hand aggressively from the start.
It sounds paradoxical, but put aggression aside when you’re a sure winner.10. Focus and discipline are more important than anything, especially in the face of bad luck or boredom No matter how much people want to portray good poker as clinical and stoic, it’s an emotional game, especially at the amateur level.
Once you’ve synthesized the tips above, it all comes down to discipline. Those words are very easy to type, and very difficult to put into practice, especially if you’re tired or bored. On Friday night, after a run of very good poker, I failed to stay disciplined because the cards were horrible, bad luck cost me a big payout early, and I was starting to get frustrated and restless.
Before long, I’d made a couple of foolhardy, reckless bets, forcing me to re-buy, and then I did it again and lost $10 (fake). It was stupid, I knew it was stupid, but I did it anyway because discipline and focus are hard, and I didn’t have it in me. I was “on tilt,” and not strong enough to stop it.
Human nature will always try to derail you. Maybe you’re a timid player by nature, and you’ll want to play too cautious. Maybe you’re aggressive, and you’ll want to make a bad call or an ill-advised bluff. Maybe you waver between the two. Whatever the case, the temptation will always, always, always be present.
To win at poker, you have to stick to your plan even when it’s boring or frustrating. You have to be willing to fall victim to terrible luck, to lose hands on bad beats when you did everything right—this is a game of skill and chance, after all—and yet remain focused and disciplined afterward.
It’s hard, but it pays off. Ultimately, poker can be a test of, and a window onto, human nature. The element of luck that can bolster or tank even a good player probably makes it more lifelike than most sports, and to to understand the intricacies, and how to become a force at your table, is both deeply satisfying and well worth the gamble.
: How to become good, or at least less terrible, at Texas Hold ‘Em: A novice’s guide
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- 1 What hand wins the most in Texas Holdem?
- 2 What hands should you 3 bet?
- 3 What is the strongest combo in poker?
- 4 What is the unluckiest hand in poker?
- 5 What is the 4 2 rule in poker?
- 5.1 What is the 7 2 rule in poker?
- 5.2 Is a pair of 2s good in poker?
- 5.3 How often does an ace hit the flop?
- 5.4 Does Texas Hold em take skill?
- 5.5 Is poker a skill or gambling?
Is Texas Hold em skill or luck?
Conclusion: Is Poker Based on Luck or Skill? – The answer to whether poker is gambling or based on skill is that it’s a little of both. In order to win a hand, a player will need some element of luck, but they’ll also need to know exactly what to do with the cards and the situation in front of them.
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What hand wins the most in Texas Holdem?
Poker-hand rankings: from strongest to weakest – 1. Royal flush The royal flush sits atop the poker-hand rankings as the best hand possible. It features five consecutive cards of the same suit in order of value from 10 through to ace.2. Straight flush Any five cards of sequential values in the same suit that’s not a royal flush is a straight flush.
It can only be beaten by a royal flush or another straight flush including higher-ranking cards.3. Four of a kind The same card in all four suits. The five-card hand is completed by the highest card among the others on the table or in your hand.4. Full house A hand comprising the same value card in three different suits (three of a kind) and a separate pair of the same rank card in two different suits.
When more than one player has a full house the winning hand is the one with the higher or highest value three of a kind.5. Flush Five cards of the same suit in any order whatsoever. When two players have flushes the flush featuring the highest valued card is the winning poker hand.6.
Straight Five cards of sequential numerical value composed of more than one suit. An ace can usually rank as either high (above a king), or low (below a 2), but not both in the same hand.7. Three of a kind A poker hand containing three cards of the same rank in three different suits. The two highest available cards besides the three of a kind complete the hand.8.
Two pairs Two different sets of two cards of matching rank. The highest-ranked remaining card completes the hand.9. Pair A pair of cards of the same rank in different suits. The remainder of the hand is formed from the three highest ranked cards available.10.
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What hands should you 3 bet?
When should you 3-bet? – It is easy to understand 3-betting for value. When playing solid, aggressive poker, a good rule is to always 3-bet your strongest hands. This allows you to play much larger pots with your strongest hands, and it balances your 3-bet range when you want to include bluffs and weaker hands.
This is just scratching the surface of 3-bet theory, however. When you are deciding to 3-bet, you must look at the hand range that your opponent is opening from each position using the unopened preflop raised statistic (UOPFR). Using a hand range program like Equilab, you can estimate the range of hands they are opening, and decide what range of hands to flat call or re-raise with.
In order to profitably flat call your opponent’s opening range, you ought to have hands strong enough to have an equity advantage against their range. (Equity just means your chance of winning the pot based on the strength of your hand.) This equity advantage combined with your positional advantage postflop needs to be large enough to overcome the fact that you have a capped range against their uncapped range.
When choosing hands to re-raise in a polarized strategy (which will be explained further below), you need to be raising hands that are stronger than their range (value) and slightly too weak to call (your bluffs). It does not make sense to start 3-bet bluffing as a beginner with a hand like 34 suited.
It is much better to use a hand like A4 suited, which does much better against their calling range, while also blocking their strongest hands. For example, if you are all in preflop against KK with your bluff hand of A4 suited, you win roughly a third of the time! The additional advantage of using a hand like A4s in your bluffing range is that it makes it less likely for your opponent to have strong hands like AK or AA, because you have one of the only four aces in the deck. Before you attempt a 3-bet, however, you need to understand the relevant poker statistics and their acronyms in poker tracking software such as Poker Copilot. They are:
Fold to 3-bet preflop in position (F3B IP) ; Fold to 3-bet preflop out of position (F3B OOP) ; Folded to cbet on flop in 3-bet+ pot (FCB_3) ; 4-bet preflop (4B).
What is the strongest combo in poker?
Royal Flush This is the highest poker hand. It consists of ace, king, queen, jack and ten, all in the same suit. As all suits are equal, all royal flushes are equal.
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What is the unluckiest hand in poker?
Dead man’s hand Poker hand purportedly held by Wild Bill Hickok when he was killed For other uses, see, “Aces and eights” redirects here. For other uses, see, Not to be confused with or, The card hand purportedly held by at the time of his death: black aces and eights The makeup of ‘s dead man’s hand has varied through the years.
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What is the best seat at a poker table?
6. Where is the seat relative to the aggressive and tricky players? – Assuming the table as a whole is acceptable, you ideally want the seat to the left of the tricky, loose, and aggressive players. You want the advantage of seeing how they will act before you decide to enter the pot, and before you decide how you will play your hand.
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What is the 4 2 rule in poker?
The 4-2 Rule as mentioned previously – The 4-2 Rule is a way to turn the number of drawing outs you have into your odds of hitting them. It’s times 4 on the flop to hit on the turn or river, and times 2 on the turn to hit your draw on the river. Example: a flopped flush draw is 9 outs.
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When should I go all in in poker?
There are a few basic situations where an all-in bet makes perfect sense: You’re confident you’ve got the best hand and you know you’re going to be called. You’re pretty sure your opponent is one card short of a winning hand (on a draw) and moving all-in will stop him getting the card he needs.
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Does 3 10s beat a straight?
Does Three of a Kind Beat a Straight? Judging by how many people search for “does three of a kind beat a straight” on Google, it’s clear that many people don’t know the answer to this question. In games using standard, both three-of-a-kind and straights are quite strong hands.
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What is the 7 2 rule in poker?
The 7-2 Game A few nights ago I had the chance to play at friend’s home game where we implemented the 7-2 game. For those of your not familiar, this is where anytime a player wins with 7-2, every other player at the table has to give them some amount of money.
In our case, we were playing a deep-stacked 1/2 game with six players and when someone won with 7-2, they would get $10 (5 BB) from every other player.25 BB total is not a bad score, especially when you’re able to take it down preflop. Some people hate the game, others love it, and I certainly fall into the later category.
Anything to drum up action and encourage bluffing is a win in my book. At first, it no one was getting dealt 7-2. After at least four orbits the hand was not shown down and everyone said they hadn’t seen the had once. This makes sense though- of the 1326 possible starting hand combos in NLHE, 7-2 comprises only 16 of them, for a little over 1% of total possible hands.
- After about an hour though of no one getting the hand, seemingly all at once, a very high proportion were getting dealt, and this continued for the rest of the night.
- There were at least 4x as many 7-2 combos dealt as what one would expect based on the odds (I certainly wasn’t complaining about that!).
While the game is normally fun, somewhat loose, with a good amount of aggression, the 7-2 game transformed the table to have a preflop aggression frequency higher than the toughest online 6max games. It seemed like there was a 3bet every few hands with no one ever really choosing to back down with 7-2.
On top of the standard 3 and 4bet bluffs with 7-2, there were also a few notable pots where 7-2 triple barreled on a scary board and got called down on all three streets and where a player opted to flat with 7-2 preflop and make a series of bluffs postflop to take it down. For the home game that this was played in, I think the 7-2 game makes a lot of sense.
Everyone could afford to play these stakes so although the hyped up aggression left some people frustrated by the end of the night, it wasn’t going to make anyone not come back. The only scenario in which I could see the 7-2 game not making sense for one’s home game is if the stakes being played are meaningful to some, and the thought of losing 3 buyins or more in a friendly game is something that would discourage players from coming back (although in this type of case, my recommendation would be to lower the stakes, up the stack depth, and bring on the preflop aggression!).
What I’m excited to further explore is not the merits of whether or not to play the 7-2 game sometimes – unless you hate action and people bluffing more, it’s worth at least trying for an hour or two. I want to look at how this game effects decisions so if you find yourself in a game where people are playing the 7-2 game, you know how to adjust.
I think it’s fairly obvious for those that have played the 7-2 game, most people over-adjust and bluff too much when holding 7-2. I’m going to look at how the reward of winning a hand wth 7-2 impacts one’s EV and your frequencies. For the sake of simplicity, let’s work with the assumption that the reward for winning with 7-2 is 30 BB – 5 BB at a 7 handed home game.
- Let’s say you normally open 3 BB to win 1.5 BB.
- Now with the 7-2 game in play the reward is 31.5 BB.
- So it’s clear even in early position 7-2 is a slam-dunk open.
- Now what about a 3bet? Let’s say you standardly 3bet to 10 BB over a 3 BB open.
- So now instead of risking 10 BB to win 4.5 BB, you’re risking 10 to win 34.5 BB.
At first glance it might seem like we should be 3betting 100% of the time with 7-2. I think in most games this is probably correct, but if you’re in a really loose game where people rarely fold to 3bets, or up against a particularly sticky player, it might be best to just fold against those type of players.
- Because once called preflop, 7-2 has such poor equity against a calling range so without much fold equity postflop, best to just fold pre.
- Note in these games I would have a tiny or non-existent 3bet bluffing range without the 7-2 game.
- Most players will have a frequency that they fold to 3bets, even in a loose, aggressive, and deep stacked game, so most of the time you should replace some of your 3bet bluffs with 7-2.
The key when adjusting for this game is not completely throw off your relative frequencies – if you normally 3bet in late position with 9s+ AQ+ for value and A2s-A5s as a bluff, don’t just add 7-2 to your 3betting range unless these players won’t adjust to the 7-2 game – almost no one doesn’t adjust when playing the 7-2 game, if anything, most players in my experience over-adjust and always “put you on 7-2”.
So against most players you should also add at least the proportionate amount of value combos to keep your ratio of value hands to bluffs the same, if not more value hands due to overadjustment. Now on to 4bet bluffing. If a standard 4bet to a 10 BB 3bet is 35 BB, you’re normally risking 35 BB to win 11.5 BB, and with the 7-2 game to win 41.5 BB.
As you can see, after more preflop betting occurs, you’re starting to risk more to win relatively less. The same logic for when to 3bet bluff with 7-2 applies to 4betting, although because of the price we’re laying ourselves, we need to be a little more conservative than with 3betting.
Against a relatively balanced player, we should be 4bet bluffing all combos of 7-2. But against someone who only 3bets very good hands or is looking to gamble with a merged value range, best to fold all combos of 7-2 preflop. I imagine there aren’t many opponents where it is correct to do anything but fold all combos or 4bet all combos.
It would take a particular opponent who is somewhat balanced in their 3betting range but a little too loose to warrant a mixed strategy with 7-2. Postflop Barreling frequencies with 7-2 postflop are largely dependent on the size of the pot after the preflop betting.
In a similar fashion to preflop, it’s likely correct to cbet 100% in a single-raised pot heads up- if our cbet sizing is on average 1/2 pot, then one is risking 3.25 BB to win 37.5 BB. With multiple players in the pot, it still is likely correct to cbet 100% with 7-2 because of the price. Even if the 3.25 BB cbet only gets through 15% of the time in a 4way pot, it’s still a really profitable cbet because you’re risking 3.25 BB to win 43.5 BB (only needs to work about 7.5% of the time to break even).
If you’re at a table where it’s so loose that cbets don’t go through on the flop when playing the 7-2 game because everyone puts you on it, don’t ever bluff postflop with 7-2 and please let me know if you ever need another player for the game. In a 3bet pot, the same logic largely applies.
In a heads up pot when cbetting the flop you’re risking 10 BB to win 51.5 BB, so you only need the bet to work 18% of the time as opposed to the normal 33% without the 7-2 bonus. Note how much more of an attractive proposition cbetting is in a single-raised versus heads up pot: cbets only need to work 8.5% of the time versus 18% of the time.
And for 4bet pots this then changes to 26.5% which while is better than the 33% that it would need to work without the 7-2 game, won’t change your range as significantly. In a 4bet pot you should probably give up with some combos of 7-2 and replace your worst normal bluffing candidates with 7-2.
Don’t be the guy that makes the hero triple barrel – on each street the extra 30 BB becomes much less of a factor. If it’s a 3bet pot heads up pot with 200 BB stacks to start the hand, and you get to the river with 100 BB in the pot and 150 BB behind. You decide to overbet the river and risk 150 BB to win 100 + 30 BB because goddamnit if you’ll lose with 7-2.
Normally you would need this bluff to work 60%. But with the extra 30 BB, this bet still needs to work 53.5% of the time, not that significant of a difference. If you decide it makes sense to have an overbetting range on a particular river card, it will likely make sense to include at least a combo or two of 7-2, just not all 12 combos.
- Equity when called + fold equity – bet when called and miss + bounty equity = 0
- Equity is when called = x
- % Opponent folds = y
- 7-2 Bounty = z
- So let’s say I bet 50 into 100 on a flop in a heads up pot.
- So the base equation before knowing our exact hands, equities, and bounty is the following knowing the size of the bet:
- x(1-y)*200 + y*100 – 50*(1-x)(1-y) + z = 0
- The flop is Kc6h9c.
- Which is a better c-bet bluffing candidate, 72o or J10c?
Let’s approximate that 7-2 has about 5% equity against a continuing range and J10c has 35% equity. Your opponent will fold 33%, 8% more than optimal. In the home game I played, the 7-2 bounty was 50.7-2,05(1-.33)*200 +,33*100 – 50*(1-.05)(1-.33) + 50 = 57.875 J10c,35(1-.33)*200 +,33*100 – 50*(1-.35)(1-.33) + 0 = 58.125
- So in this case, we’d expect to profit about $7 (answer of equation – the bet) with our best bluffing candidate as well as 72o betting half pot in a medium sized pot for the stake, without much theoretical difference between the two hands.
- Now let’s look at what happens if this flop was bet called and a blank turn comes out.
Which is a better bluffing candidate now for betting 140 into 200? Let’s adjust the base equation for this bet and pot size, how often your opponent folds (33%, a few % less than optimally against this bet size), and updated equities – 0% for 7-2 and 18% for J10c.
X(1-y)*480 + y*200 – 140*(1-x)(1-y) + z = 0 7-2 0(1-.33)*480 +,33*200 – 140*(1-0)(1-.33) + 50 = 117 J10c,18(1-.33)*480 +,33*200 – 140*(1-.18)(1-.33) + 0 = 201.796 As you can see, as the pot gets bigger, 7-2 becomes significantly worse (EV of -$23 in this example) to bluff compared to good draws (one would expect to profit $61 semibluffing J10c here).
Now a note on river play – if you do get to the river with 7-2, then it becomes your best bluff because none of your bluffs have equity but you get the extra bounty with 7-2. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you should always bluff with all combos of 7-2 you get to the river with, but you should defintely bluff all 7-2 combos before adding other bluffs.
- Conclusion The big takeaway is to still be quite aggressive with 7-2 – the extra 30 BB in most circumstances makes it an excellent bluffing candidate.
- This becomes less and less true on later streets, and in bloated pots.
- Just remember to not get too crazy and have it make your ratio of value bets to bluffs go out of whack – with the addition of 7-2 to a bluffing range, remember to value bet extra thinly.
: The 7-2 Game
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Is a pair of 2s good in poker?
A Two Pair is the seventh best possible hand in the poker hand ranking system. Three-of-a-Kind ranks directly above it, with the best 3-of-a-Kind being a Set of Aces or Trip Aces. There are only two hands that rank below a Two Pair. The hand that ranks directly under it is called One Pair.
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How often does an ace hit the flop?
September 30, 2014 “The world is full of kings and queens,” once sang Black Sabbath, “who blind your eyes and steal your dreams.” The song — the title track from their 1980 album Heaven and Hell — might well apply to the situation of being dealt or in no-limit hold’em, hands which can sometimes blind us from playing sound strategy, and steal our dreams, too, especially when a higher card falls on the flop. If you listen to some players, the chance of an higher card hitting the flop when they hold or is 100%. But in truth it does happen fairly frequently — enough that it is definitely worth being prepared for how to proceed when it does. When holding, there’s just over a 22% chance an ace will come on the flop. When holding, there’s a better than 41% chance an ace or a king will flop. But all is not necessarily lost when those higher cards fall.
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Does Texas Hold em take skill?
Are the world’s most successful poker players products of hard work and skill? Or are the highest-earning players in the history of the game simply the luckiest? The debate on whether poker is a game of skill or luck will probably persist for as long as poker exists.
- Like all gambling games, luck does play a major role in poker, especially in the short term.
- Poker is different than any other form of gambling, however.
- Unlike the other games on a casino floor, poker is a game of skill, and the world’s top pros make money because they’re the best players in the game.
Let’s take a look at what makes poker a game of skill:
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Is poker more luck than skill?
Chess requires playing ability and strategic thinking; in roulette, chance determines victory or defeat, gain or loss. But what about skat and poker? Are they games of chance or games of skill in game theory? This classification also determines whether play may involve money.
- Prof. Dr Jörg Oechssler and his team of economists at Heidelberg University studied this question, developing a rating system similar to the Elo system used for chess.
- According to their study, both skat and poker involve more than 50 per cent luck, yet over the long term, skill prevails.
- Whether a game is one of skill or luck also determines whether it can be played for money.
But assigning a game to these categories is difficult owing to the many shades of gradation between extremes like roulette and chess,” states Prof. Oechssler. Courts in Germany legally classify poker as a game of chance that can be played only in government-sanctioned casinos, whereas skat is considered a game of skill.
This classification stems from a court decision taken in 1906. One frequently used assessment criterion is whether the outcome for one player depends more than 50 per cent on luck. But how can this be measured objectively? It is this question the Heidelberg researchers investigated in their game theoretic study.
Using data from more than four million online games of chess, poker, and skat, they developed a rating system for poker and skat based on the Elo method for chess, which calculates the relative skill levels of individual players. “Because chess is purely a game of skill, the rating distribution is very wide, ranging from 1,000 for a novice to over 2.800 for the current world champion.
So the wider the distribution, the more important skill is,” explains Dr Peter Dürsch. In a game involving more luck and chance, the numbers are therefore not likely to be so far apart. The Heidelberg research confirms exactly that: the distribution is much narrower in poker and skat. Whereas the standard deviation – the average deviation from the mean – for chess is over 170, the other two games did not exceed 30.
To create a standard of comparison for a game involving more than 50 per cent luck, the researchers replaced every other game in their chess data set with a coin toss. This produced a deviation of 45, which is still much higher than poker and skat. “Both games fall below the 50 per cent skill level, and therefore depend mainly on luck,” states Marco Lambrecht.
- Skill, however, does prevail in the long run.
- Our analyses show that after about one hundred games, a poker player who is one standard deviation better than his opponent is 75 per cent more likely to have won more games than his opponent.” In principle, the method can be applied to all games where winners are determined, report the researchers.
The percentage of skill in the popular card game Mau-Mau, for example, is far less than poker, whereas the Chinese board game Go involves even more skill than chess. Story Source: Materials provided by University of Heidelberg, Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
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University of Heidelberg. “Skat and poker: More luck than skill? Economists develop rating system.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 August 2020. University of Heidelberg. (2020, August 21). Skat and poker: More luck than skill? Economists develop rating system.
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Can you be good at Texas Holdem?
Texas Hold ‘Em Poker is a game that rewards good play. There’s some luck involved, but a good player will beat bad players the vast majority of the time if you know the rules, To increase your chances of winning the game know some of the key Texas Hold ‘Em strategies, such as understanding your position, focusing on other players’ moves, knowing when and why to fold a hand, and learning how to narrow the field of players.
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Is poker a skill or gambling?
Is Poker Gambling? – The short answer is yes – poker still falls under the category of gambling, despite its status as a game of skill. Consider the Merriam-Webster Dictionary definition of gambling:
Gambling – the practice or activity of betting; the practice of risking money or other stakes in a game or bet.
Poker players of all skill levels gamble every time they play the game. For even the best players in the world, every poker session requires all players to gamble on whether they can win money from other players in a particular session. Any game that involves wagering on an outcome can be considered gambling.
- Poker, along with sports betting, are unique forms of gambling that also qualify as games of skill.
- If you’re talented enough at poker or sports betting you can turn a profit in the long run.
- Both poker and sports betting still involve gambling, however, and even the best players in each category gamble every time they play.
In poker, two players of similar skill levels could play the same number of hands, at the same stakes, and come away with drastically different results. Professional poker players count on the fact that if they play long enough, their skill edge over their opponents will produce a positive win rate.
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