How to Crush $1/$2 No-Limit Redux: 3 Secret Tips

Almira Skripchenko
Shhh, it's a secret

When it comes to live $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'em, this might be the most valuable strategy article you ever read.

While most strategy articles revolve around broad theories that can give you general assistance with your game, this one will focus on a few simple key points to keep in mind.

In other words: it'll pay for itself in the first session of $1/$2 NLHE you play after reading it.

The Multi-Way Ace

Simply put, don't play against aces.

In a typical live $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'em game, it's common for three to eight players to see a flop, regardless of the preflop action. Having four or five players all call a 10BB raise is not only possible, but almost common.

As Daniel Skolovy implied in his article Tom Dwan's play in season five of High Stakes Poker is a superb example of true bluffing.

Rarely, if ever, will you play with a $1/$2 player strong enough to make real bluffs.

You will, occasionally, come across a player making simple dark-tunnel bluffs. But for the most part you can assume that if any player at your table bets, they simply have a strong hand.

Yes, it's true people will bluff you at $1/$2. But the bluffs are rare enough to pretend as if bluffing doesn't exist. If you make the call every time you think your opponent is bluffing, you will lose far more money than you will make in the game.

Unless you have a very good reason to believe otherwise, if someone bets or raises, just assume they have a strong hand.

Contagious Drawing

When you're stuck in the middle of a run of cold cards, you can find yourself sitting for hours, folding hands and watching the other players play pots.

Many of these pots will be large-sized pots won by players calling off their stacks on a draw.

Liv Boeree
I said contagious drawing, not drooling.

After watching other players double and triple up, and seeing your own stack slowly shrink, you can start yearning to win a big juicy pot. If you're still running cold on cards, it's easy to jump on the bandwagon and push your stack in on a draw.

Just because everyone else is doing it, doesn't mean it's the correct thing to do. Unless you have the odds to draw, or you have some other reason for making the play, you want to avoid chunking off your stack on a 30% shot.

By integrating these three tips into you game you will almost instantly decrease variance and increase profit.

One thing to remember: this article is based on live $1/$2 No-Limit against average to weak players. If you're playing online or sitting with a table of professionals, all the rules change.

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