$1/$2 No-limit Texas Hold'em is by far the most popular poker game being played in live poker rooms around the country. For the average poker player $1/$2 cash games are the bread-and-butter of their weekly poker fix. For someone who's up to speed on the basics of good cash-game strategy, it's also the main source of their poker profit.
From Vegas to Atlantic City and everywhere in between, the average live $1/$2 No-Limit Cash Game table features a motley crew of fish waiting to give their money away. With a little help from this article, you'll get your fair share of it.
Note: $1/$2 No-Limit Holdem strategy has changed A LOT over the course of the last decade or so but some basic principles will always hold true. Take this advice with a grain of salt and realize it won't apply to the toughest $1/$2 games you can find. But ... you can still find plenty of $1/$2 games that play very similarly to what's described below. This is a simplified, easy-to-follow guide for beginners to use and improve their odds of making a profit in a single $1/$2 cash game session.
The Chevy Cavalier of Poker
The game is $1/$2 No-Limit Texas Hold'em, the Chevy Cavalier of poker. The minimum buy-in is $40 and the max $200. $1/$2 is the smallest No-Limit game run in most casinos and for that reason the games are very, very soft.
$1/$2 games are inhabited by everyone from 60-year-old nits to first timers to gamblers who raise every hand to young, sunglasses-wearing wannabe pros. Some of these players are actually good; most are not. They're first-level thinkers, thinking only of their two cards and nothing else. They're clueless to the fact that you've folded the last 30 hands and are now betting hard into them.
What they're thinking is, "I has a pair of jacks; how much?" and then pushing the required chips into the pot. These players are your targets and the source of the bulk of your winnings. Loose-passive $1/$2 cash-game players have two major weaknesses:
- They call too often before the flop
- They take their hands too far after the flop
You'll often hear new players lament about how it's impossible to beat fish because all they do is call. This sort of thinking is so fundamentally wrong it's laughable. Players who call too much are the ATMs of the poker world, readily dispensing money to whoever has the patience to wait for a good hand.
Your Ideal $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'em Strategy
You play tight, you make top pair or better and you bet! Not exactly groundbreaking stuff. Play ABC poker, make your good hands and bet them. Loose-passive calling stations will do what they do best: call. So let them call, stop bluffing them, and value bet your good hands relentlessly.Best $1/$2 Cash Games
When you play tight before the flop you make your post-flop decisions easier. By playing solid hands before the flop you will make solid hands after the flop. When you eliminate marginal hands from your repertoire you'll find yourself with fewer difficult decisions after the flop. Your goal is to flop top pair with a good kicker or better. You have to avoid getting caught up in the table flow.
Just because half the table is limping in up front with K♥ 3♠ doesn't mean you have to. Stick to playing tight and focus on playing hands that can flop big.
- How Not to Suck at Poker: Play Fewer Hands
- How Playing Tight in Poker makes Your Decisions Easier
- The Value Bet for Poker Beginners
Playable Hands in $1/$2 No-Limit Cash Games
Big Pocket Pairs (AA - TT)
These hands are already made for you. A single pair is often good enough to win at showdown so when you start with one you're ahead of the game.
Big pocket pairs are such big favorites that you should always raise them for value when nobody has raised in front of you. With aces, kings, queens and even jacks you should often even reraise.
The profit in these hands comes from when you flop an overpair to the board or a set. When you do, bet. Your loose-passive opponents will be more than happy to call three streets with worse hands.
Good Top-Pair Hands (A-K - A-J, K-Q)
Top-pair hands are hands that make top pair and when they do so, do it with a good kicker. In a game where most of your opponents are loose-passive your kicker will make you a lot of money. For example, if you have K♣ Q♣ and the board comes king-high, you can bet three streets for value against a loose-passive player.
They'll be more than happy to call all the way down with K♦ 9♠ only to find his kicker is no good. Good top-pair hands are good enough for a raise when the pot has not been raised before you. Top-pair hands do better against one opponent than many so keep that in mind when choosing your bet sizes.
These are hands that are rarely going to win at showdown unimproved but when they hit they make big-pot hands. A big-pot hand is a hand like a set, a full house, a straight or a flush. Holding these hands, no matter what the action, you're ready to put your stack on the line at $1-$2 cash games.
They are speculative hands because they have to hit before they'll be worth anything. They rely on the implied odds that you win your opponent's stack when you do hit. Ideally you would like to see the flop as cheaply as possible with these hands. Speculative hands do best when played in position, so be wary about playing them from up front.
Pocket Pairs (99-22)
Pocket pairs make huge hands when they flop sets. Sets are often hidden and you can easily stack someone who has top pair or an overpair. For that reason it's OK to limp pocket pairs from any position. When facing a raise you have to think about your opponent. If he's a tight player and unlikely to pay you off when you hit, you're best off folding.
If, however, he's a loose player (or you're multiway with more than one loose player), you can call a reasonably sized raise to play for "set value." The main thing about pocket pairs is that when you hit a set you should almost always be looking for the best way to get all your money into the pot.
Suited Connectors, Suited One-Gappers (Q-Js - 67s, K-Js - T-8s)
Suited connectors are great hands -- played within reason. They do make both straights and flushes which are both big-pot hands. The problem is they don't do it nearly as often as you might think.
When you're in early position you're best off folding low suited connectors. If your table hasn't been seeing too many raises before the flop you can limp the best suited connectors like J♥ T♥ or Q♠ J♠. All others should be folded.
Suited connectors are hands that play well in position. More often than not you're going to miss the flop or hit a weak one-pair hand. Playing them from out of position, in contrast, is going to put you in too many marginal spots after the flop.
So suited connectors should rarely be played versus a raise unless you're on the button and it is a multiway pot or the raise is very small. (Note: This can definitely change depending on the game you're in. Suited connectors have much more value these days and are a viable hand to play from more positions and facing raises.)
Suited Aces (A-9s - A-2s)
Suited aces are decent speculative hands because they can flop the nut-flush draw and they do have some high-card strength with the ace. Nut-flush draws obviously have value because you can stack smaller flushes. The problem with flushes though is that they are right there in the open. Everyone is always aware when a flush draw comes in and as such it's sometimes difficult to get paid.
Suited aces are good hands but not good enough to limp in from any position. You should be more willing to limp the closer to the button you get. Against a raise suited aces should seldom be played. You're not going to flop a flush nearly as often as you flop a pair of aces with a weak kicker. A weak pair of aces can be a curse. You feel like you have top pair and should see a showdown but by the time you get there you find yourself outkicked and half a stack short.
Weak Top Pair Hands (K-Jo, Q-To, etc.)
These are hands that you want to steer clear of for the most part. They are dominated hands and should be avoided at all costs unless you can get in cheap from late position. From early position and/or against a raise they should not be played at all. They don't make many straights or flushes and when they hit a pair you'll find yourself on the losing end of the kicker battle more often than not.
Everything else is trash and should not be played even if it is suited. Suited trash is still trash. $1/$2 No-Limit Holdem players get themselves into trouble all the time playing weak suited trash because they think they're going to make a flush. You don't make a flush with weak hands nearly as often as you may expect (See our Beginners Guide to Equity in Standard No-Limit Holdem Situations) and the rest of the time you're bleeding money. Stop playing them.
Position, Position and Position
The importance of position can't be overstated. Many people think they understand the concept of playing in position but they routinely call raises with marginal hands only to play the rest of the hand out of position. This is a leak that costs you money. When you're out of position you're playing a guessing game - you have to anticipate what your opponent may do.
They dictate the flow of the hand: if they don't want to put more money in, they don't; if they want to bet three streets, they do. Which is why being in position is so important: it puts you firmly in the driver's seat. You get last say on everything.
If you want to see a free showdown you do; if you want to value-town someone, you do. Your opponents will be guessing, just as you are when you're out of position. As the better player, with the advantage of being in position, you'll ensure that they're guessing wrong more often than right.
Can I Really Crush Live $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'em with This Strategy?
Yes, likely. While the average $1/$2 live cash game has evolved tremendously since the early days of the poker boom the essence of this strategy is still relevant. The most important skill you can have at $1/$2 is patience. Sit back and wait for a good hand. You should still be folding 80% of your hands. Most $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'em players are still prone to playing too many bad hands and playing them way too far.
The patient $1/$2 player will still win the most over the long term! Don't get involved just because you're bored. Start with solid holdings and make solid hands after the flop.
When you're card-dead, don't sit around watching TV. Pay attention to the game and your opponents. Profile them in your mind; identify who the weak players are and what their tendencies are. If you know who the loose players are and who the tight players are, you'll be able to understand their bets and raises and what they mean. Once you figure out your opponents' tendencies the rest is just a waiting game. Make your big hand and value bet. Exploit the calling stations and force them to put their money in with worse hands.
More Tips for Beating Live $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'em
In a typical live $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'em game it's still common for 3-8 players to see a flop regardless of the pre-flop action. Dwan-level bluffs are rare at $1/$2. Having four or five players all call a 10BB raise is not only possible but almost common. But 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 still assume that many players at your table bet when 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 isn't the most likely option. 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.
Drawing with Bad Odds at $1/$2 is Contagious
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. 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 that 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.
An Important 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.
Making Sense of Your True Out Value
Before you can begin to assign values to your outs you need to have a handle on three concepts:
These concepts are fundamental to understanding how to put value on your outs. Once you're comfortable with the ideas in the above articles, read on.
An Odd Relationship with Odds at $1/$2
Beginners - and even most intermediate poker players - have a very one-dimensional view of outs. In this view outs are very black or white. You hit the out to win the hand or you don't hit and lose. Some poker players will never progress beyond this simplistic view. The next step in thinking about outs comes with the understanding of pot odds and implied odds.
In the early stages of poker thought these will do nothing more for a player than to allow a logical reason for when and why to chase outs and a basic understanding of when to fold. The truth is, not all outs are made the same.
The Value of Outs
Take a look at the following hand:
10 10 8 8 3 3
Q Q J J
A A 10 10
In this hand you held 17 outs to the best hand:
- Flush draw: 9 outs
- Over cards: 6 outs
- Gutshot: 3 outs (we counted one of them already for the flush draw)
As you can see this adds up to 18 outs. Subtract the one club in our opponents hand and we're left with a total of 17 outs. Thinking one dimensionally we can say your 17 outs gives you a 59% chance of winning the pot ( (17*4)-(17-8)=59% ). The only question worth asking at this point is how the 59% translates into $. If we assume our opponent is a tight-aggressive "decent" player, and we're seen as being about the same, we can make the following assumptions:
- If we hit the flush draw, our opponent will check/fold the following streets.
- If we hit a pair, we might get one or two small bets out of our opponent.
- If we hit our gutshot, we stand to make a lot of money.
Once the outs are broken out like that you can see that in #1, the flush draw must be played exclusively on pot odds. Our opponent will not put in a single dollar after we make the flush, meaning our implied odds are effectively zero. If we hit a pair as in #2, we have a chance at making a little bit of money, but not much at all. No tight-aggressive player is going to commit large amounts of money to a pot with nothing but second pair.Play $1/$2 Holdem 24/7. We need pot odds, since our implied odds are small. But this makes #2 applicable to both types of odds.
Finally, #3 is our meal ticket. If we hit the nine for a straight, there is a good chance that we will get one or two medium to large bets out of our opponent. There's even a chance they'll assume we're bluffing after a raise, giving us a large pot - or even his stack. Situation #3 will almost never have pot odds involved, but the implied odds can be through the roof.
In this hand you're hoping to hit your gutshot. This is one of the only scenarios in which you can draw at a gutshot since you have the pot odds on your other draws to make the long shot gamble profitable. Basically you're subsidizing your gamble at an infrequent big pot with the semi-regular small-to-medium pots you'll win from your other outs.
- Flush draw: 8 outs: 26%: Small pot
- Over cards: 6 outs: 20%: Small-to-medium pot
- Gutshot: 4 outs: 13%: Medium-to-large pot
41% of the time you lose money but if you have pot odds for the call you make a small amount of money in the long run by hitting your flush. Every time you hit an overcard for the win you win a little bit more money. Finally, when you hit your gutshot, you get paid. This is the biggest secret to a poker professional's success in cash games.
Although it may seem like players are getting lucky chasing gutshot draws they're actually putting you on a specific hand and counting all of their outs to beat that hand. Simply put, once you understand how each out helps you and to what degree, you'll be able to make stronger decisions in your play and more acute value bets when you hit.
You Play Poker with Chips Not $1 or $2
To be successful at poker you need to come to terms with the idea that you're playing for chips. Chips are worthless pieces of clay (or plastic), their only purpose that of keeping score.
Deviating from this simple idea is the catalyst for the majority of money-based mistakes at the lower levels of poker like $1/$2 No-Limit Hold'em. As soon as you start to worry about how the current pot will affect the weight of your wallet you're almost certain to make serious mistakes in your play at the table.
You must separate yourself from the money you use to buy in to the table before you even sit down. Whether you win or lose in this single session should be absolutely irrelevant to your immediate financial situation. Your buy-in is an investment in your own skill and competency - nothing more.
Make Little Goals at $1/$2
If you make a full $200 buy in to a $1/$2 No Limit Hold 'em game you'll be sitting with two stacks of $5 chips. You post for your first hand and this becomes one stack and change. Say you hit a few hands, make a few bucks, and are now sitting with $450. You're now sitting with four 20-chip stacks making a symmetrical square with some change on top.
This looks good to you, and when your own stack looks good, you feel good. Everything is going well. Now the next pot you play you lose $60. You're still sitting with $390, up almost a full buy-in. You're technically doing really well but now your square of chips has turned into three stacks and change.
Even though you're still up, and you haven't taken much of a loss, your chips don't look as good any more. Typically humans like to set goals and continually advance toward them. For this reason most No-Limit poker players are hoping to double up and make a buy-in.
Once you build your stack to over $400 you've reached your first little goal. You now want to make another buy-in to get to $600. You're feeling great because you've completed a little goal and are working toward the next. Once you lose enough chips to put your stack below your first goal you start to feel bad. You now have to work just to get back to where you already were before you can even think about completing your $600 goal again.
These sorts of mental traps can force a player to try and "force the action." Once you start trying to make things happen, instead of letting the game progress naturally, you are almost certain to make mistakes, letting your lust for chips blind you.
Don't Separate the Profit!
Typically after being stuck a buy-in or more, players will be almost overwhelmed with a sense of pride/relief once they become unstuck and grind a standing profit. All just one lifetime session.
The feeling of being stuck is not one that any player enjoys; it's something we all go to great lengths to avoid. When a player finally gets out of the hole and sheds the feeling of being stuck the very last thing they will want to do is to let the feeling return. To avoid it players will separate, either mentally or physically, their chips into two piles: buy-ins and profit.
A player with this mentality will make their choices based on the relation of the current bet to their profit-only pile. If they think raising is the correct play but raising would cost them more than the profit pile can allow, these players may opt to just call instead. If you're not willing to put all of your chips across the line at any time you should stand up from the table - simple as that.
It's All One Big $1/$2 Session
Mike Caro preaches this point constantly: all the sessions of poker you play are just segments of one long, lifetime poker session. Your results from any single $1/$2 session are completely irrelevant. This means your play should not change regardless of whether you're stuck or up. The cards, odds and (you hope) the other players don't have any idea if you've won or lost your last 20 sessions. And they don't care.
Play Mistake-Free Poker Regardless of Outside Factors!
One of the byproducts of thinking about poker on a per-session basis is "manufacturing wins." This is when a player wants to finish "up" on a session so they will play only to that end. Players like this may leave a good game prematurely for fear of suffering a loss. Or, worse yet, they may rebuy multiple times into a game they can't beat.
To be successful in poker you have to think of the chips as nothing more than a scorecard. You need to make the best decisions you can in every situation without ever letting the thought of money impede your thought process. Save your thoughts of money for the drive home. Until then you play to win, one pot at a time.
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Wondered if anyone had thoughts on how much the top 10 starting hands in the article end up being high card and that’s it and between the 8 other limp-iners at the table one of them’s got a full house 2s over 7s and you got 2,7,10, AK suited. Bet pre-flop you say to get rid of all the limp-ers, sure then everybody folds and you don’t get to play the hand after folding the last 10 (all the while seeing the board make huge hands from the “trash” that you folded). And when everything finally does happen 40 hands later and you hit your Ace high flush and make a bet, who are these people who watched you fold 50 out of 60 hands and are now calling you? I’m sorry if that means I’m not a real poker player if the prospect of this style of play sounds like a boring way to $5 an hour but come on depending on position and how aggressive pre-flop betting is, getting to see cheap flops that can pay off just as much as any other hand, and that you can fold at any time seems like a good reason to loosen up slightly on starting hands. If you have top pair and your kickers no good if nobody else has a better hand then what difference did it make in the end. And I think you are not giving people enough credit if you think they won’t notice how much you fold pre-flop and fear when you do call and bet when the flop is Ace King King. Not saying it’s a bad article or strategy but I think it does over simplify things a bit in stating that basically pocket over cards are an automatic win. Not a bad article though I guess I am more frustrated with 1-2 than the author.
Try to act too! But really quick! Dont make a stupid scene.when in a big pot and either a flush came on the turn or river make a face gesture that you missed but it has to be so quick one tent of a second kind of like having the other player see u( just enough so that he thinks he just saw a tell or something)just a little and have him think u really missed but instead u have the nuts! Also if it didnt work he will at least proceed with caution while betting! I have gotten paid likenthis so many times Everywhere! You have to master how to make your good made hands look like total bluffs! That’s the difference between you making $5/hr or $30/hr. This is going to have you make changes to your game! One major thing this article failed to mention, MIX IT UP! If you follow everything this article said, youre probably not going to make money at least not with most players! If you fold 80-90% of your hands youre not taking my money at all ill guaranteed you that, because ill just keep folding to your raises u less i have aa or kk! I will most likely fold kk to you too, if youre ultra tight! Raise once in a while and with anbad hand 56 off or suited and tru to take the pot and then show your hand specially if is a bluff! Then after a couple of times just play your a game not doing crazy thing like that! You will get paid big pots! Pots! Just look a tom dwan how he destroyed the big legends playing differently! RAISE WITH HANDS THEY WOULD NEVER EXPECT YOU TO RAISE WITH! Obviously dont play all night like this you will be in the red long term! But if you hit your hands you will get the big pots all the time!
Patience is what it’s all about. You can’t be a good poker player if you can’t be content sitting there and waiting for good hands. I’m one of those players that is never bored sitting at the poker table and can always find something to keep myself patient and happy waiting for good hands.
Some days I seem to run hot playing smaller crap hands 7-4 etc. I can hear people on the table whispering to each other that I am a lucky donkey etc.
What is your opinion about playing your hot streaks in position vs sitting around waiting for good hands that keep missing the few times you get them in 8 hours of play?
There are times I play for 8 hours and get maybe 10 hands better than A-10 the whole time and when I do the flop is always 9 high with 3 callers in the hand.
It is hard to isolate in the 1/2 games I play in as well, some times you raise $7 to $10 and get no callers, than raise it to $20 or $30 with 5 limpers in front of you and get 4 callers. Even with position it is not likely you are going to win without making a hand in that scenario.
You forgot one thing that benefits tight play, you are taxed less. Tax = rake. Rake is a tax on winning a pot (since its a deduction from winnings). If you play a lot of pots, you lose more, and win a lot of small pots – but you are taxed on all those small pots, making it a net loss. If you only play tight and win big pots, your tax rate is reduced than a lot of smaller wins – because if you win a $300 pot with a $5 rake, your tax rate is way lower than winning $50 pots with $3 rakes 6 times ($18 tax vs. $5 tax!).
pocket Js are a tough pair to play…but my personal opinion is you played wrong … if this guy is a loose player he might have any Ax or Qx so you should fold after the flop cause he will never fold an A or a Q …he showed you he was connected with the board with his bet sizing so you should fold mate.
never ever slowplay pocket rockets … all in preflop …you played them well dude…you want to get called by AK KK QQ JJ TT or any other pocket pair and avoid get called by QK KJ JT 9Ts …
bet size tells everything …when you flat call and you shove on the river or you over bet the streets …yeap you got the set…when i started playing poker i had the same problem against sets …now i know…then i had a problem with full’s now i know to…then i had a problem hiding my sets or fulls …no i can hide all my hands to the river
you moron…you had KcQc and because you hit top pair you lost your money? Obviously someone would have the AK …you are an ATM
You can tell by opponents bet sizes.
Wait for the nuts, with those kinda players.
You are not going to win all the time maybe you are just a bad player.
Thanks for posting I already was aware of this but sometimes a I get bored and play hands I shouldn’t.
lol there is nothing “ultimate” about this “guide”. its a quick, brief, little article. there are virtually endless nuances to consider in order for something to be the ultimate guide.
lol he’s only talking about the winning hand, he forgot to put the most IMPORTANT RULE IN POKER! learn how to fold if you think your hand is beat..
Hi , thanks for the tips. sometimes I sit at a table and you got what seems to be all either pros or maniacs with $30 pre-flop bets then another re-raising him to $60 to take it down. You can have like 2 or 3 re-re-raises pre-flop. I’m just a at a loss and leave the table. What do you make of this?
up for a chat about poker, life and whats more important for young kid than cash in life? Would be grateful for 10mins of your time, Steve!
poker is not for retarded
im having difficult time in playing poker tournaments
I do real good in cash games,double triple my money,but tournaments totally different game….I cannot make it to final table,,,ive played like 50 tournaments and have not made it to final table once ,,,seriously any suggestions
Also, when a guy sits down with sunglasses on, that’s an immediate tell and it’s gonna take at least an hour before I give him any respect.
So true. I’ve learned to subtly give off classic ‘fish’ tells when I’m in a big hand and want the person to call or throw them off. The first time I successfully pulled it off I was all in on a massive pot with a made nut straight and the guy deciding stared at me forever, called me and flipped up two pair and said ‘can you beat that?’ before I could show. I showed and he jolted back in his seat and was like ‘no way!’ He said he could see the fear in my eyes and thought I was scared to put all those chips in. haha
The eyes being visible are such an asset to have in poker. Once you determine how each player that’s trying to read tells makes of your body language you have one up on them. Glasses I get for players who can’t control their looks but it’s an easy soft way to plug that leak rather than learning to control them. Hoodie’s I do understand but if you’re wearing the hoodie up and not covering your neck I know I have you too. There is so much information when a hand isn’t being played. There was a heated disagreement at a table a few weeks back and almost all players showed their reaction to conflict at the table unknowingly. Every hand is conflict lol. May favorite is the player who doesn’t realize the slight smirk they have when working with a made hand. I love the game. NEVER bored
If you’re not bored, you’re a losing poker player.
Have yet to see a sunglasses-wearing guy at the table with skill.
Lol, a mix between what you said and what the article talks about I just became the megalodon of poker at my tables. Ty very creative writing on your part
If you have AA against me and I somehow flop a set heads up, you are going to really be able to tell that I have a set. Hmmmm. Well, you must be a superpsychic genius.
How on earth can you determine this? Using psychic powers? You are going to ‘know’ when to fold AA? You can never base any decision in poker with certainty. Simply not possible to do what you claim to do. More likely that after playing for long periods of time you make less mistakes, don’t get emotionally reckless. And you can only win ‘if’ the table plays a certain way. If every player gets involved in almost every hand then it matters little at all what you do, so you can guarantee nothing.
If you really want to become a long term winning player…
You must play for BIG pots. Learn to give up small ones, the blinds in 1/2 mean absolutely nothing to your win rate. Pre=flop play is almost a non issue anymore, everyone knows when to 3 bet. Usually when you see a 3-bet you can safely assume AK or better.
And depending on the person making the raise, sometimes you can narrow the range down to KK or AA. Which is good for you. SET MINE.
A lot of these players just CANNOT FOLD AA OR KK. and slow playing your flopped set of 9’s is usually an easy way to get all the money in the pot. They will overvalue their hands against you… Thats thier mistake. Capitalize on it
Try yourself to 3-bet near the button with suited one gapers or something similar, your going to get respect, they will fear your C-bet almost everytime.
Play for big pots, these are the pots they WILL make mistakes in.
Learn to not care about the one buy in thats in front of you. You care about longterm percentages. Thinking “If I made a large raise here on the turn, how often would my opponent fold his range?”
Also… heres the biggest tip I can offer you….
LEARN FROM YOUR MISTAKES….
Sounds easy huh? But people, you first half to recognize and admit to yourself when a mistake was made!!!!
Scrutinize every hand you play after its over. Think about what other routes you could of taken. What bets would of worked, which didnt.
If you learn how to spot a mistake, and make note to correct it the each time a similar situation happens, YOU WILL MAKE MONEY.
Im going to share a tip with all of you.
I am an extreamly good 1/2 and 2/5 player, I am the guy you dont want to see come sit at your table. Just take my word on that.
The advice laid out here is old, very old news.. Most players you will come across at these games will be playing ABC themselves. Yes, there are exceptions, but you should start off by assuming everyone knows the basic fundamentals of the game.
Now what you have to do, is play beyond what they expect of you.
Your goal, is to get a reputation at the table of being able to have any two cards at showdown, being able to be bluffing at any spot… This will get you more calls. Which is always your goal.
However, bluffing is extreamly important, use it wisely, pick your spots, dont just say screw it im gonna bluff this guy out here, know what range your opponent has by watching him play, learn to judge people on wether or not they are capable of making a bluff on you.
Learn how to tell a story based on your bets. Also how to read one.
Every hand tells a story.
The winning players understand this.
? is for steve
steve in vegas ive hesrd they play extremely high limit private invitation only poker games
saw on u tube,have u ever heard of them and if so how high r the blinds
also have u ever played them
Ps. I ONLY played Big Pocket Pairs (AA – TT) and Good top pair hands ( A-J, K-Q). I didn’t play anything else. It took a few hours. I folded, folded, folded, but never lost.
Before reading this, I was playing way too many hands and was an ATM, but didn’t realize it.
Following your advice strictly, I took my $100 to$300 at s 1-2NL table. Then my $300 to $900 at a 2-5NL table at the MGM Grand table last weekend loaded with WSOP players. I folded about 90% of my hands. Checked about 9%. The THREE hands that I did play, I won and tripled my money.
I beat the boredom between hands,by reading a book. The hands I didn’t play just didn’t matter.
Woof! Woof! Woof! Meow!meow!meow! Underdogs and Overdogs. Cats and Dogs. Dogs and Cats. Know when the chips rains… it pours! Take the time to utilize a stack of chips you would not mind risking all of it at anytime… pre or post flop. If you can play without ‘scared money’ you can be a big wild wolf dog and eat up all the other wild and wooly animals of the poker tables. From cute Kitty Kat LadyPoker Queens that dream of playing like the pros and young rascal loose aggressive rabid Donkey Dogs to the tight selective aggressive Donkey King Kongs! Pick and choose your battles with any amounts of chips you ammo up with and just don’t be afraid to 3 or 4 bet on pure bluffs to nut hands too! Ya animals! Its a wild fun game if you loosen up and not play with scared money! Really! So break outta the caves and cages and bet it up! 😉 ;-):-):-)
been playing lot of 100/200 nl in vegas ,sorry went to Europe few months ,haven tbeen updating, any????
It is good article for who knows how play poker. Still need a good stratagy after the flop but is much easy make decisions with big hands.
very good synopsis, but does make for boring time folding 80% . but UTG betting $12 BLIND is difficult when your AK loses to 69
Shut the fuck up bob you ignorant piece of shit,. This was a rather good article with some valid info. you make an article, a better one if your so good. Rude cunt.
Just be selective and know who to play against and who not to… understanding betting strategies and levels of play…. making the best educated guesses on what hand your opponents play particularly heads up is one other key concepts to win and cash out asap in cash game poker at any limits.
I don’t know who u r reffering to but sounds like u need a professional therapist than hooker lol
Im play the top pairs wit top kicker like say you and i get the $hit beat out of me. I take my savings to casino after work and piss it all away on you advice. first i wait for almost 3 hours for pair better than 9s and during that time i lose over $30 in blinds plus the players trick me to bet this straddle BS but i don’t play any hands so I throw away another $50 with this before i quit it. Now I’m down $80 and i decide to play Kc-Qc, like you say and son of betch with A-K rocks my world when K hits the boards. After that hand i have only $8 left. Now, I look down and get pocket rocket and snap shove all in. The entire table call me and crack my weapons of mass destruction. Player with 8-3 off beat me!!! I lose my stack like this 2 more times and then i’m out $600, plus $40 for table massage, another $30 for tips and $200 for hooker to make me feel better and all we do is talk, then i find out i have to pay for room, which is another $140 and they say no comps because you play poker so i no get to eat nothing!! I lose all this money and now i can’t pay rent. Im piss at you! Why you give such bad advices.
very good question.implied odds and betting ranges as u know 2 totally different things
my experience tiill 2/5 nl games thinking levels are very basic but surely in higher nl games implied odds magnify
just to give u an example playing a hand against tom dawn u gotta b very careful as he has that maneauvering ability you have to watch out.
for bigger pots he can out play you and kill your betting ranges.so yes implied odds ,depending who you playing against can wash away or shake your betting ranges
like in smaller nl games we see the betting ranges,do implied odds over come those betting ranges in larger or bigger nl games
So wearing sunglasses makes one a target? I will definitely start wearing them then. Come and get it 🙂
and comment of boredom was for stu not art I mis typed arts name
comment was for stu sorry
its funny been there done that the boring part
that’s time u need a break and do some thing else.
like a hobby or physical sports,just give u an example I work out 5 times a week 2 hrs a day,i enjoy it
I also play basket ball once or twice a week
so my point is don’t get burn out on poker don’t play that many hours a day where its boring
pls don’t play every day,as I use to ,got tired of it now I play may b three times a week 4 hr session max
kind of 50/50.yes playing against a player likethe famous poker pros u named its always psychological pressure
and other side to coin is that uplay your best just ignore their names
I have played some pros and believe me,in the beginning I was intimidated too. but as the time passed I learned that u treat them like any other players,play your a game
update me on carbon poker pls
I don’t play on line at all
isnt online poker games banned in us? will carbon poker still work?
hi steve I have a question also,very different one
I have been playing poker for almost 10 yrs,mostly 1/2 and 2/5 nl,,,before I use to play tournaments once a week for almost 3 or 4 yrs,,it was fun ,,won quiet a few then start loosing ,lost lot of entry fee u know what I mean
then decided to play cash games for last like 3 or 4 years played almost every day like for 4 yrs almost 10 hours a day so much so thet at night I dream of sitting at poker table.made good money but now feels like its so boring so monotonous,no fun just sit down kind of thing,so boring feels like im gonna have a heart attack ,,, any suggestions
have you ever played famous players as I play at wynn las vegas and some time I see pros on my table.My buddys always say its psychological advantage of a pro,i believe there is no such thing if chris money maker can beat all the top players like phil ivey,johnny chan and howard ledererer then I can beat those small pros on my table.
I get nervous though specially playing heads up with them any suggestions
I understend the downward spiral,believe me,been there done that.
there is no set formula,just depends on your and your bankrolls comfort level.
most people recommend that play like 5% to 10% of your bank roll I recommend as being conservative only use 1% to 2%..thanks
hi chris I don’t play on line but asked my friends they recommended carbon poker
Hi Steve, what’s a good poker site to play for cash?
been playing 5/10 nl for quiete a while,wondering when is the right time to switch to 10/20 nl
is there a particular method or formula for this change from 5/10 nl to 10/20 nl. keep in mind I don’t want to make same mistake some of my friends make of switching to a higher game and then coming back u know the downward spiral ,comment pls
thanks steve appreciate that
question about slowplaying,slowplaying can win u one pot out of ten,a small pot ,and loose rest 9 out of the 10(big ones). u do the math. u played the hand right ,what if utg catches a 3 on flop and take all your money. think about that. no slow play with aces
my younger brother did same thing,quit his job,started playing poker on line,
he was making same amount of money that he was making working(job)
he told me poker more stress full though for him.
my cousin did sme thing only difference,he owns a gas station like truck stop.so no matter what his monthly income is like 20 k from truck stop,so even he is loosing,his income is still there from truck stop,
my other friend he use to work at burger king,like minimum wage ,hes been playing poker on line for last 5 years
made lot of money owns two of his own burger kings,multiple houses he really made lot of money,,he is ten ytime discipline than me, I guess its all about discipline
no matter what frank u have to make this descision. good luck
I work for an accounting company and been playing small poker games on line,i work for literally minimum wage and while playing on line I make almost same money,u think I should switch and play full time as my job is boring and poker is fun pls advise thanks
last night in 5/10 nl, utg raised 5 times big blinds every one fold except me I had aces, I reraised like 5 times his raise he folded,and showed pairof 3’s,.now I did not have a hand for like 2 hrs so I thought I wll bank on these aces but with my raise the utg folded,,so I did not make any money .
uthink at this point since I had position on him could slowplayed my aces and see the flop,and then raise to get more money out.
needless to say I did not have a hand after that for another hour so I blinded out .lol
pls advise on that situation thanks
I cant remember how many times on my full house some one slammed me as they have quads its couple of dozen times,if not more.
now the difference is on river,its happened to me before if my set and that’s how u feel what your opponenet has,how good of a read u have on them,again if your set is higher then them,dont slow play infact bet out and scare them.
on smaller bet most of 2/5 nl players not gonna go anywhere they will try to stick with set,and give you hard time,as they only think of their two cards,believe me I use to play 2/5 nl,and I have played hundreds of players like that, once u hit the set and your set is higher out bet them all in, just to give you an example I was playing hand against the best readers in the world last night I had a set higher than his set on flop ,, he had a read on me and he folded,u know if he did not fold I could have made an extra 250,000 from this guy, so its all about reads
but coming back to your ? if u have set higher than your opponent and u have a read on him go ahead all in .don’t wait longer ,no trapping thanks
Thanks 4 your last reply. have a question recently like last night got beat by 4 of a kind 3 times in 2/5 nl.every time had full house, every time they rivered it ,all 3 times believe me,,,lost like $1000 in one hour.
what shpuld I do do avoid that ,keep in mind always on river
any suggestions advisejQuery1110028675451001981294_1415050640348?
On line is as u know totally different from live games
My advise is no matter what your bankroll is start with playing very small limit games like 1/2 nl
U will see the difference,the speed of game ,the live moves players make on each other,just watch what hands players are raising with,how they move their chips,i personally prefer live games,as I enjoy that aspect of poker.,u might u might not.
every body is different. iknow a guy made like 3 million in on line games and then lost every thing in cash game as it was not his style. so pls try smaller games,see if u like it,if u enjoy it aand then decide. good luck
when I use to play 2/5,nl..cant even remember how many times these loose players go crazy on hands like these,
u played hand right again shoving it with 120-150.u r right on getting called by weak ace,,happens all the time,
Situations like this u make the best decisions with the situation and move on.
player is loose ,he will take unnecessary risks,over bet the pot, .my advise because somebody playing loose and foolish,u stick to your standards. over the long run u will win. good luck
Hi Steve, im mostly grinding on Stars NL2. Been on it for quite a few months and it has been a fantastic learning journey.
I wonder how if one will, to switch from grinding online to live cash games. As i understand from others, online games are harder then live ones.
I cant use the auto top off feature like how i can online
(i assume we cant)
And also we will be stucked with only one tables, and the games are much much slower.
So, what are the steps one should take if they were to make the switch?
Hi Steve, here s one hand at aria 2/5 game: UTG raised to 15 (loose player, calling station, gambler type) I am at CO with JJ 3bet to 50, he called heads up. Flop AQ 3 rainbow. he bets 35, I called. Turned blank, he bets 35 again and I poped to 85, he thought for a few secs and called. River another blank, we both checked and he won with Q4.
I thought about betting maybe 120 – 150 on river (he s got about 350 ish left) but I might get called by weak Ace or shove and I will be forced to fold. Any thoughts? Do you have twitter? Thx
sorry took me long time to reply.very busy in vegas
10/20 nl is not a pro game its like a mix,my advise sit down on table take only 15 minutes not an hour as u r right ull loose lot of money in blinds if u wait,,then see how table is playing I know its sounds repetitive advise. then if u in one of last positions like button or one two spots behind,raise on two pairs,,no one pair raisinfg as people trap a lot in those games,believe me I ve played lot of hours in 10/20nl,,,i use to call 10/20nl trip trap game,,as people trap u wiyth trips,
hope that helps,if u can tell me specific situation I can help
been in vegas last 2 weeks,playing 100/200 nl,been fun,making mistakes,learning ,and making them again,gl to all
poker is continuos learning game
My other question is in a cash game like 10/20nl.I loose lot of my money in blinds,any suggestions,as In those games if I wait for good cards I loose lot of my money,i mean premium cards,thanks
withonly5 players ,depending on payout ithink u did the right thing
usually in last stages of tournament where blinds too high,u gotta take some chances,waiting for primecards can hurt u,u did the right thing
I have a question ,I was playing in a tournament on the final table yesterday. 5 players,left the guy under the gun raised with jacks,,like 5 timesbb,lady afterhim reraisedwith 9,10 offsuit,iwasonbuttonwith2tens, icalled and surely jackcameonflopandilost90% of my stack, and ended 5th position,u think with raise,reraiseshould I have folded in last stages of tournamenyt,,,pls helpthanks
hi ned ,
yes any advise u can contact me,
like I said in my earlier posts,God has blessed me with lot of things in life,nice family,great friends,health and material possessions,,so I do this absolutely free,no charge,if u want my opinion if u can donate to good causes like charities st jude cancer ,and Ronald mcdonalds,only if u believe in it,,,its wqhat u believe in,,like till in poker I didn’t believe I can win iwas loosing all the time,,till I start believing I can win,now I win most of time,not all the time,as who ebver te;lls u they win all the time r lying,thanks
going to las vegas next week to play 100/200 nl this week,wish me luck,
hi ron,1/3 no limit and 2/5 no limit the pots r relatively small,its all relative ,may b to me and u pots r small,to other they r not,,,like I said its all relative,,find players who will fold on your high ace and mid pair,,,ron if u tell me exact situation I can help,like position ,how u raised,chip comparison,.players betting ranges(most important to me),gl,i can help always
Hi, any tips/ strategy for 1/3, 2/5 games? I get bored at 1/3 most of the time because the pot is so small and not many actions, so I float and tend to v bet on turn or river but often to get caught by mid pair or ace high. Do you think playing abc poker is the best way to go with 1/3 game? thx
If you play 40$ buy in no limit games at a casino, what is the etiquette on when to leave the table? Can you simply sit, clean up and cash out?
hi my name is ned,,,,I saw some of your comments,,,,if I needadvise can I also contact u,,,,and why u don’t charge anything,,,nothing is for free,,,,,no disrespect just a question
hi david u can post your questions right here and I will answer,,,,,remember I charge no fee at all,,,,no catch,,,,,just true advise,,,,lets get that out of the way,,,,thanks
Steve, how can I take you up on your offer ? how do I contact you ?
still in vegas,,,,playing at bellagio a lot ,,,,,,like 25/50 nl,,,,,,doing pretty good,,,winninng almost 80% of time,,,,lost big yesterday though ,,,one hand had full house got beat by quads,,,poker,,,,,it happens,,,hurts more when there are like 5000 dollars in pot,,,,,sad but true,,,,,,,i will be careful next time
hot hot hot in vegas,,,,,played at aria,,,and Bellagio,,,,noticed one thing that on bottom pair I raised ,,,people get out of pot,,,,,,played 10/20 nl,,,,,veruy serious plyers ,,,not friendly at all,,,,specially when u beat them in big pots,,,,,had more fun playing 2/5 no limit at wynn,,,,,fun table,,,but 10/20 nl was boring ,,,,although I played for 3 hrs ,,,approx….and won like 5000,,,,,,specially in one hand when a guy raised a,k spades and on flop I flopped straight flush ,,,,he kept raising and lost like 2000 in one hand……after that he did not speak to me for like an hour,,,,i said no problem ill take this money spearmint rhinio,,,the club,,,and gave it to dancers,,,,not all just small amount ,,,,,,ill go play at Bellagio again,,,,,tonight like 20/40 nl,,,,,
played at winstar last night ,,,some good plyers from texas…..lost one hour in 2/5 nl,,like $1000,,,or so,,,then changed gears,,,,as those players were raiseing,reraising every hand before the flop,,,,then i got hand,,,where guy at dealer button had aces he raised to $100,,,guy under the gun with 2tens,,,called ,,,,and next to him guy called with 2 9’s,,,,,,after this ihad 2 7’s,,,,,,flop came,,,,779,,,,we all checked guy at dealer raised to 300,,,we all called,,,,turn was 10,,,,,now guy at 10 went all in,,,,,,guy with 9,,,full of 7’s all in,,,i went all in,,,,and the aces guy went all, in,,,on river finally ace came out,,,no use though as i won with quads,,,,it awas almost $2000 pot,,,,,,,,,made me feel good then after may b 2 hands,,,ironically ,,,,,got straight flush with 2 people having flush like a,9 and other guy k,q,,,,,buy thew way flop was spades 456,,,i had 7,8 in my hand it waas like 1500 pot alsoo….it was just lucky i believe,,,,gl,,,,im going to vegas next week,,,to play 10/20 nl,,,wish me luck,,,,
any one wanna play like 10/20 no limit,,,riverwind ,Oklahoma,,,pls,,,post,,,,thx,,,,,
and anotheradvise,,,sometime loose somelittlehands,,,,,,,,and show them,,,,i triedlast night in a 2/5 game,,,lost like 2 or 3 40 or 50 dollars hand,,,,to same player then got him two times 500 dollars each,,,,,found out hes owner of bifgbig autodealership in Edmond Oklahoma,,,,,this guy was tipping the waitresses like 20 dollars for a beer,,,,,,he was drunk,,,,my point find thesekind ofplyers ,,,let them win one or two little hands,,,then get them for big hands,,,,gl
i read the article and comments,,,,,,,real good,,,,,Best one is from DAN the man,,,,i play poker for living,,,,,use to play 1,2 no limit,,,then 2/5 no limit at river wind in Oklahoma,,,,,,,i average about 500 dollars a day just playing 2 to 3 hrs,,,,,,,I lack patience in terms of lonf sitting sessions,,,like tournaments,,,,best comments were from dan the rman……I use to waitt for solid hands and after card dead for hrs and hrs,,,u loose all your money play suited cards bet big even u miss u bluff on river,,,,,,,,,,if need real advise I coach,,,,,for free literally,,,,,seriously,,,no catch attatched,,,,,,as I have made lot of money in last 5 yrs ,,,,have a house in las vegas and oklahoma ,,,and a new one in monte carlo,,,,,, just one condition,,,never play on my table,,,,,,,and if u win,,,,,donate to unicef,,,Ronald mcdonalds,,,and st jude cancer research,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,the amount of your choice,,,whether a dollar or a million,,,,,,god will bless u,,,Thanks
The article is meant for beginners wanting a few pointers for live cash games. Everyone thinks they know how to play better then the other person sitting next to them. Hence, it is what drives poker play. The article is great. I play Live poker all the time. These concepts are good to keep in mind. I would like to input my advice since everyone else has on this topic. Play your hand the way you know how. When you have the skill set to identify what your opponent is holding, you can play any two cards. I called raises with pocket 2s all the time against aggressive players holding AK and cracking them on the river when nothing comes out because they have no choice but to bet with a dead AK. The more hands you play the better you understand where you stand in each pot. I like to play aggressive and sneaky durning each session. I limp with Aces sometimes and Kings, but then I’ll raise with 2-3suited just to mix things up. Use your head not your emotions. Emotions are true coolers. Have a bankroll. Play the limit that won’t break your bankroll. This will give you the edge in a cash game because your not worried or playing tight because you may lose your rent money. Best advice! For example, your bankroll is 10k, so you shouldn’t be playing limits higher then 5/10. If your bankroll is 2k, you should be on 2/5 or 1/2. You have to remember your not going to win all pots. But, if your following basic concepts you should be winning more pots then losing. Scared money won’t win money (tourney advice). Keep building your bankroll and become your personal accountant. If your losing more than winning, practice more and lower your limit from 5/10 to 1/2. Your bankroll is your shield. Protect it. Watch it grow every three sessions. JDmoneybags: Casino 1/2
One major poker attribute I have in mind is that when Ur levels of play is superior to your opponents, U clearly have the advantages to win. And when U play against either heads up or 2or3 handed the Agro or Selective Betting Styles U FIRE YOUR AMMUNITIONS to the pots with insure your victories! U gotta practice READING OPPONENTS in order to get away with a successful bluff or two… and/or win at SHOWDOWNS with Your Monster FULL BOAT or TopPairs against a missed straight or flush draws. It’s all about the reads baby!
Play poker as if your life depends on it! Every chip is your ammunitions for freedoms and redemptions or death debts and the hunger pangs of poverty. I keep that attitude in mind; like a soldier in a foxhole, waiting and being certain and sure who to target and exploit in cash game poker and stay away from those who can outgun me. Yes, it is a game… and nobody actually loses their lives (unless U owe tons of money to bloodthirsty mobster/loansharks and can’t pay back the moneys)… but if U come in with the crafty and patient mentality as if you’re an honorable soldier going to battle and try to gain/earn/
@Dan the man, I dis agree. Idk if u noticed But people aren’t paying attention at 1/2 tables. ABC poker will always be profitable at live low limit Because players are horrible. If people are eating up ABC players at the 1/2 level you’re at, You need better table selection. Or u play in a small Room with No action. Just saying.
The other thing is this article downplays connectors and “suited trash hands.” Wrong. Connectors ARE the cash game. If you flop a strong draw start betting it immediately. Bet every street to the river and sometimes bluff on the river. This will make you more “unreadable.” You can still win the pot if you miss the draw depending on who your opponent is and what he or she is holding. So once again learn what your opponent plays and “how” he or she plays so you can get a good read. Guessing what someone has and knowing how they play is HOW YOU WIN! If you raise made hands and call draws and always play the same cards from the same position in the same way (aka ABC poker) you WILL get eaten alive by a pack a frenzied sharks!
This article is so wrong on so many levels. First you are assuming that the 1/2 tables are full of idiots. Not so. It’s your job as a poker player to identify bad players at a table if there are any. If your swimming in a tank full of sharks then get out! Find the fish tank and do your hunting there instead. Underestimating your opponent is a good way to lose a fight in any form. Secondly, the notion that all you have to do is play ABC poker is absurd. Any professional will read you like a book. You might as well play with your cards exposed! You must find a range of hands on your opponents and adjust your aggression accordingly. By studying there betting patterns and remembering what they play and how they play you can form a strategy of your own to defeat that opponent. e.g. (bluff a nit, milk the calling stations and trap an aggro) This article then goes on to teach you what cards to play. Seriously? If you don’t know what cards to play then stay away from the poker room. You are the fish! If you are on the button, why not limp in with a random hand and raise the flop if you can isolate. Raise it again and take down the pot if your opponents acts weak and you can represent a believable hand. Worst case scenario, you get caught bluffing and show a 7-2. So what! You’ll get a lot more action than these ABC players that “only play good cards.”
Just wanted to add, Gunnz, that is dead on.
I’ve read this article a few times, and although it is A strategy, without perfect patience, tons of time, and a pretty impressive BR to pad the dry spells, it will not work. Poker has evolved, ABC poker is very exploitable. So much good reading and coaching out there, a good player will clean your clock the third time he sees you, or he’ll simply never give you action. And maybe even more important, it buttonholes you into grinding 1/2 for the rest of your life, because if you take your ABC moves to the next level, 2/5, your money will disappear.
Tight/aggressive is good, and it’s a fine way to play initial orbits while scoping out the competition. It’s also good to revert to after pushing people off pots with bluffs. But if you play the same way every time, I guarantee you your chips will be mine, and I’m not a professional.
Mix it up, PLAY POSITION, learn your opponents, pay attention, these are the true keys to winning, and these skills translate at all levels. I spend four months a year in Vegas, playing 1/2 and 2/5 primarily. The Vegas games get tougher every single year. ABC poker will not sustain any form of decent lifestyle.
you guys act like you know evverything but i’m the only one millionaire here and its because of poker 🙂 i am not even that good i got very lucky once and it paid off 655,000$. Rest of the time i’ve been good though
I play in my town at 1/2 always loose aggresive, because there are sitting only stones and very scared persons, who are afraid of everything (except they have the nuts, but they give you then a lot of live reads, when they do) so tight wouldn’t be right there.
It’s the math! The starting hands mentioned in this article have a positive EV. It’s gonna be damned hard to consistantly beat a full-ring-cash-game, investing in negative EV starting hands.
Vs. 8 or 9 opponents, you also better have a plan, lots of discipline, and a leather ass — if you aspire to a long-term positive outcome.
I play profitably in Vegas 1-2 & 1-3 NLHE. I WON’T play against several people using this strategy, there’s just too many better games. Players who get MARRIED to BIG SLICK or IMLPIED ODDS or SUITED CONNECTORS or BLUFFING & SEMI-BLUFFING is where the money is. Please keep it up. And, please continue that honeymoon with your “favorite hand, 7-5”.
I have to chuckle at the poke at “60 year old nits”. You’re talking about the poker-wars SURVIVORS. Maybe there’s a reason so many of these vetrans have adopted this style. I once had your attitude. Sure would like to have a return of the money that notion cost me.
Wow, this article, while primarily accurate, has led to a lot of inaccurate comments.
I enjoy playing poker, and use it as a source to find extra income from time to time. I can’t say I’m a consistent winner as I don’t play often enough to really keep track, but I’ve bought thousands of dollars of furniture and payed for numerous moves playing $1-$2 in Kansas City.
The first thing I have to say is that the style written about above works for $1-$2 games to make a small profit hourly, assuming you have an average, or even slightly below average table draw. I’ve played in $1-$2 games in many cities in this country (Tunica, Vegas, St Louis, LA (granted, it was $1-$3), and a few more, and I can tell you that the $1-$2 and $2-$5 games in KC are tougher than average, so this strategy is tougher to make work routinely.
That being said, if you aspire to play higher, to move up in stakes, then you’re doing it wrong by playing this strategy.
To start with, the comments of people talking about making $1500 a week playing $1-$2 no limit are either lying, or having hot streaks. Anyone who has played a few thousand hours of poker will tell you that the cold streaks are unbearable. You routinely get your money in good, Aces vs Queens, nut flush vs a set, set vs straight draw, and keep getting outdrawn. If your bankroll is as low as some on these comments have talked about (winning a few grand then quitting their jobs to play), they will be rudely awakened a while down the road, when their luck runs up.
The bottom line is that this strategy is exploitable. And while few players will exploit it, you need to be aware of its exploitability, and learn to exploit it yourself.
The first thing to note about this strategy is that there is very little bluffing. When a player rarely bluffs, it’s easy to call pre-flop with anything, and expect to win well over 60% of the time. The ranges specified as nearly always playable (AA-TT, AK-AJ, KQ) give a better than 2-1 weight to the non-paired hands (64 non-pair combos vs 30 pair combos). If you know the player is not paired 2/3 of the time, and you know that a non-pair hand only flops a pair or better about 1/3 of the time, you see that 5/6 of the time when your opponent, using this strategy, sees the flop, he’s going to have nothing but two high cards. This alone is exploitable.
An even bigger exploit is folding. When they bet the flop, then the turn, they have top pair or better, so fold.
The biggest exploit, however, is the turn raise. One thing this strategy doesn’t talk about, but can be inferred, is that most people call with weak hands and raise strong hands. If your opponent is routinely betting 1 pair hands for value on the turn, then they will lose money to someone who is willing to raise them. They will either routinely call off the rest of their stack to the raise, or will routinely fold top pair to a raise. Once you identify which of these two a particular player favors, exploit it. If they fold too often, then raise them on the turn relentlessly. If they call too often, then flat the flop with your two pair/set/straight hands, then if they bet the turn, ship it in on them.
In fact, learning to exploit ABC poker, as is outlined here, is the first step to really learning to play poker. It’s something that has made me a lot of money, supported my family of 4 through 6 months of unemployment, payed for a move and furniture, and can do the same for you. Better players have written better books than I ever could about this subject, but trust me when I say that this strategy, while it will win you a small amount of money over time against really bad players, will not be enough for you to try to turn pro in.
Wow… this guy is loose.
I know it doesn’t sound like it to some of the commenters, but believe me, this guy is damn loose. Tighter than the field these days, but that’s only because since the poker boom the no-limit field is full of maniacs. Most people have no idea how tight “loose” really is.
Those “60-year-old nits” have the wisdom of age. More realistically: to a raise, play only AK, suited or not, and pairs TT or better. Otherwise, in early position, play only pairs 99 or better, or AJ or better, suited or not. Middle to late position you can play AT, smaller pairs, KQo, KQs, KJs, if there’s no raise. Not that you shouldn’t play anything else, but play it seldom, and think of it as a semibluff.
This is a great article for those players who are looking to tighten up their game and cut out some common bad habits. True, it depends where in the world you go to play $1/$2 NL that makes this strategy effective or not. In Vegas, good luck! $1/$2 in Vegas might as well be 1cent/2 cent the way people play it, bingo I tell you! However, where I play this strategy is perfect. 8 out of ten players are solid regulars and then we get the ever revolving door of fish giving away their cash, calling with their “favourite hand” (which never seems to be a good one) and complaining about never hitting their draws. Its relatively easy money.
My favourite hand is AA by the way.
To those of you who get upset when someone is calling you down with garbage, why are YOU mad? I am always happy to have my opponent put their money in bad. Simple. If they catch up, oh well, thats poker for you. But if you can get your money in with best hand more often than not, you’ll come out ahead.
Good luck at the tables ladies and gents!
I have crushed multiple casino 1/2’s. I Dont agree with always 3 betting your 10’s or higher pairs.. your basically flipping your cards over and the only way your stacking someone is hitting a set.. I 3 bet light and hopefully hit a set.. your not making your money on big pairs.. your losing it
SMH… why the hell are you commenting on this article. you should be in bed after taking your medication!!! you are one of the ‘kamikaze spewtards’ that get shafted everytime you pull up a chair at the table. You are an angry soiled little fool who needs to change its diaper! hahaha
Ill put my two cents in. There is NO tried and true formula to win at poker, especially no limit. When it comes down to it, there are two ways to win a hand in poker. A showdown or a fold by your opponents. If your opponents aren’t capable of folding, there goes one of those options. And if there are 5 people chasing the flop each hand, good luck with that on the showdown side. Its not that AA cant hold up against four players going to the river. Its that by that point there are so many mathematical combinations of hands that could beat an umimproved AA that its borderline impossible to know where you stand. And VERY FEW PLAYERS have the discipline after waiting 4 hours for pocket aces to lay them down when necessary. Thats why many people complain about the fish and cant beat them…thus making THEM fish. The players who CAN fold are the ones you need to show aggression to, whether you have a hand or not. I truly think its the knowing of which player it is, how much pressure you need to apply for a fold, without taking too much risk in the process, and the ability to lay down very strong hands when very strong evidence you are beat that separates world class players from everybody else. Phil Ivey often talks about not having a strategy and adapting to what the table gives him.
I agree with this strategy except it does not consider different playing fields. Some casinos are full of wish while others are crowds of good players grinding. I tried this strategy and made far less than average – I
The use and unuse of this strategy is dependant on who you’re playing against.
I have been playing poker for quite awhile now, read this article and I played for a week using this strategy. It’s simple people! Read the players, who is good, who grinds daily and the fish. After playing for a few days at the casino, ive come to know the regulars who I have now made friends with. I made 500 Monday Tuesday, Wednesday made 400 and Thursday 820!! All from 200$ max buy in. Like it says below in a comment you do need firepower. I sometimes have to grind out while not hitting flops. Reload once I hit 150$ from seeing a few flops with only premium hands. All you fresh players that read this… Trust me and this site. They are absolutely right in every aspect of 1/2 strategy. This is the best way to seriously CRUSH 1/2. You just need to learn when to fold. Good luck fishes and thanks for the strategy pokerlistings! I quit my job to grind and so far making 1500+ a week grinding it out. Thanks for my new career!
Wow! A lot of info here but still the monkeys seem to suck out a good amount of the time. Yes I call them all monkeys at the table some of them put me on tilt as soon as I see them sit down. I am working on that. I play 4 nights a week 1-2 or 2-5 I can’t get over the way people call a pre flop raise of 25 with j5 to my ak suited then catch a 5 then call my 35 bet and after flop with my pair of kk catch a 5 I bet 55 monkey calls. I ask why u even call. Answer I had Jackson 5 I love mike. Shit like this puts me in orbit happens all the time. I play at a gambling joint where they take a rake. Lots of calling stations and goofs. I guess my question is does anyone else encounter fools like this. Or we have the all in guys after the flop last night I go all in pre flop w kk 207 2 shorter stacks after me plus a real big stack they fold he calls with qj off of course he goes jj runner runner wtf.
I think calling this article horrible is a little overboard. I am by no means a great player and still have lots and lots to learn about the game. However I have played a decent amount of 1/2 no limit and the basic (even if it is dated) strategy talked about here is the way to go. You say that playing ABC poker is easy to ready and people catch on, which is true against a better player. The thing is, at these levels it doesn’t matter if your play is transperant. Most of these guys are total stations!!! Even when you’re being completely obvious about what you’re doing, they can’t resist calling and hoping to spike hard, even when they may be drawin dead. I watch people all the time calling huge re-raises out of position praying to flop a set, calling down every street trying to hit their gutterball and so forth. So I feel, and according to books written by many high profile pros I’ve read, ABC TAG poker is the way to go at this level. No, you’re not always going to win for a variety of reasons, but you greatly improve your chances which you need to do when the more complex skill of poker is lost on your opponent. One thing about this article I disagree with is betting hard with top pair or better. Even with top pair top kicker, it’s hard to make that the best hand by the river with one or two (at the least) people in the pot chasing something. I prefer thin value bed with my solid pair and two pair, as to not get pot committed while still getting value. A set or better then sure, start pumping it up. I do agree that ego is one of the most damaging things you can add to your game, but to tell a bunch of beginners that might be checking out this site, that sticking to TAG play when starting out is wrong, shows that your ego is getting the best of you right now.
Quick side note: Solly tipped a dealer 10$ in 1-2. #lmao
None of you are long-term winning 1-2 players. Including the author of this article. Seriously, this article is fucking terrible. I want to gauge my eyes out.
What this article should say:
It’s immensely difficult to make a living playing poker, or even just sustain consistent income. While poker is a skill game and any luck is pretty irrelevant, skill is probably the least important part. Patience, discipline, self-control and overcoming insecurities is first and foremost, which most people can’t do.
Then comes the understanding that poker is a JOB. You have to play a minimum of 50 hours a week while limiting your expenses to almost null. If you play here and there just to make a couple of hundred bucks, unless you play 3 times and never play again for the rest of your life, it will catch up to you and you will lose. Poker is not a game you can just play once in a while, you MUST keep your mind sharp to consistently parlay.
It’s estimated about 90% of poker players are losing long-term, but that number is probably much closer to 95%. Low stake NL winners? Probably closer to like 3%, lol.
Even if you started playing poker professionally in your early twenties with a 200$ bankroll and you now have 8,000 to your name, you probably lost hundreds of thousands between 16 – 20 just learning the game.
With that all said, calling people “fish” is an ego thing. Ego + poker = you lose. I have to type the following in caps to emphasize a point:
ALMOST NO ONE YOU EVER MEET WILL BE A WINNING POKER PLAYER, THEREFORE YOU SOUND LIKE A FUCKING RETARD CALLING ANOTHER PERSON A “FISH.” ESSENTIALLY, EVERY TIME YOU PLAY A HAND WRONG (WHICH IS INEVITABLE THAT YOU WILL), YOU ARE A SO-CALLED “FISH” AND VISE VERSA, SO IT’S COMPLETELY REDUNDANT. YOU SOUND LIKE AN EFFING RETARD.
Onto the skill of playing 1-2 NL poker. You can’t play ABC poker and make money unless you literally play over 100 hours a week, your a complete mindless drone with no life outside of poker and you have flawless patience, self-control, discipline. Impossible, literally.
First of all, your play becomes obvious. When your hands become transparent you lose all implied odds. Secondly, ABC poker or tight-aggressive is the average field. It’s a 2yo equation, average vs average = stalemate.
I’m seriously terrified by how fucking stupid the world is that we live in.
I see tons of these types of articles and the strategy works most of the time. The problem I have is that a lot of people are reading these types of articles and the fish are starting to disappear.
Is there any advice for what to do when you’re stuck at a table full of people that play like this.
I’ve heard that playing aggressive when you’re at a tight table is the way to go, but how to do you balance on the thin line between being aggressive and being too loose?
I would win this author so hard! For reals!
Very, very, good posts Gunnz & Solly.
I play in MICH. We have these charity places all over the State.
The trny buy in’s are $20 to $50 depending on the place w/25-70ppl mostly. The charity charges 20% fee on the buy in.
$1/$2 cash games charge 10% up to $6.
There incredibly soft 🙂 I keep coming back to reread this article at least 2/3x a month to keep it fresh.
I also loved the Beginner Poker Tips article on this site too.
I keep my VPIP% under 20-22% most the time.
Well, keep coming back, it WORKS if u WORK it.
This stuff was OK, but there was really nothing contained therein which is not old stuff! Why don’t you tell player wannabees what they can do by dealing out a make believe 9 seat ring cash game, and observing what significant things they see, just in the makeup of the 18 cards that are dealt. Sometimes the jargon that is used becomes corny. One learns, when one actually sees and experiences a particular set of circumstances. Not too many can learn or better yet recall, by just reading!
Very glad I found this article before going to play my first 1/2 50-200 dollar buy in at a friends place… He told me it was a friendly game at first but, come to find I was in a room full of SHARKS!! these guys gamboolers had wads of cash wrapped with rubber bands buying in and raising consistently hard for a fish like me to get into a hand… But, I told myself I will stick to the article and fold 80% of my hands as I did…not only did I take out 4 very good players. I also won the most money that night. I am the harpoon!!!
For many poker is like fishing.. its boring as hell and you just have to sit it out until that bite comes, then the adrenaline starts to flow. As boring as poker can be I love it and would rather be bored out of my mind waiting for a hand than bored working in some company for 8-10 hours a day waiting for my paycheck with the same amount each week\month. Gimme boring any day… I will take my chances at the poker table with all the impatient fish.
I’M VERY PATIENT THROWING AWAY ALMOST EVERY HAND,,AND I CAN TELL YOU IT DOES GET VERY BORING NOT PLAYING,,I FIND MYSELF TAKING CHANCES WITH ANYTHING AFTER AWHILE…
MY NEXT TRIP I WILL TRY T0 STICK TO THIS STRATEGY…
ANYONE ON HERE PLAY $1/$2 IN TUNICA…
just want to win some money
URel pretty much says it all… this is what I do and I regularly make 2 or more buy-ins on each visit to my local casino. Sometimes the players are a bit tricky but most of the time the table and players are very easy to adapt to in order to take full advantage of their generosity.
who the fuck says that you have to be a hero and play like a young gun maniac? If your style resembles that of a 60 year old nit then so be it as long as you are taking money off donkeys, fish, wideboy wanabies. Whatever it takes, just adapt to the table, players and punish them.
Effective in most of these games, but sounds a lot like “60-year-old-nits”
A fair few replies to this article are from the fish that this article discusses. Thanks fish, i really appreciate your ignorance and total lack of any common sense. Thankfully many people are like this and no matter how many decent articles are posted in an attempt to educate them they will never wise up… all winning players need such ignorant fish… so please fish dont ever wise up… cheers.
Good article with solid advice… this style of play is very profitable. This is exactly the way I play and I consistently make money. usually turning £200 into anything from £400-800+ on a saturday night is very much the norm now. Sure, its a grind playing tight but once you suss out the players at the table you can mix up your game a little depending on the situation. If your smart enough you will soon see where your and other peoples leaks are. This article is just a great style to adopt from the outset. I agree with Gunnz and Solly on your points too. I love it when people argue regarding strategy, its usually the ones that have zero patience and keep blaming the loose players for their losses..haha. These are the sort of players you want at your table and if you think otherwise then you are seriously deluded!
Thanks for this great articl,,,,i live in las vegas and most of the time played tournaments and limit games,,,,could not figure out in last 2 yrs why its so hard to win a tournament,,,played 100 win only 2,,,so even if u win just count the lossess….they even out,,,after reading this article ive started playing no limit 1/2,, ireally want to say thanks,,,now its much better,,,better than that limit ,,,fishing as i call,,,,,now i play very few selective hands …avg 1 out of 10 and make better money,,,once again thanks,,,,for this article,,,it increased my profits atleast 6 to 10 times,,,,,
was the best comment 🙂 ….
its poker….peeps get lucky.
“This game is easy”
Great article. I have been playing 1/2NL for about 3 weeks now and this article discribes what I have found to work the best so far.
For those who say you should play looser you are correct and incorrect. Most novice players will do better by playing tight and not getting in tough situations. If you are a very good player and can dance around the other villains then yes play more hands and out play them but you open yourself up for more variance and possibility of costly mistakes vs sitting back and grinding.
I like playing tight at these tables because you establish this tight table image. Once you have that image the good players at the table will fold when you are in a hand (unless they have a very strong hand) and the bad players call your raises like you want. Once this happens you have some wiggle room to open up your range IN POSITION from time to time. You just need to know when to fold. (Please note open up range I mean only play suited connectors, suited gap cards, and 2 face cards can see a limp flop or small raise IN POSITION against weak players).
I like raising when I have a strong pre-flop hand but unless it is very strong I dont raise so much that I get pocket committed before the flop. By this I mean even if you raise 8xBB trying to get only 1 or two callers you could easily get 3-5 callers due to the loose villains at the table. So your dillema is you still need to raise pre-flop when you have a hand but dont bet so much that you (or your villains) get pocket committed before the flop comes out. I like raising 2.5-5x BB with most hands and maybe 6-10xBB with hands I am ok getting pot committed on just about any flop.
In this level it is very important to know who the players are and who the fish are because the skill range is so varied. If you are a good player you can play the player but you need to have the cards to back it up.
Dont be afraid to check if the flop completely missed you in early position and DONT SLOW PLAY unless you are 80% to win.
Play in Position and Play tight.
Poker is about winning money.Your article is very good.Those who think it is not, will not be long term winners.
I read and studied this strategy and i have to say i went to the casino the next week and left with a huge profit. Its true just bet and wait for good hands and have patience, and of course position, position, position.
Thanks for the awesome comment! All really good stuff and so good to hear it from your personal experience. GL at the tables!
I’ve been killing the 1/2 at my local casino (45 table poker room) and I’ve gleaned a few nuggets of wisdom so far for the 1/2 NLHE.
1> Don’t buy in for the table minimum. You’ll need firepower for some situations and a raise with two callers (common situation) means that you will probably have to jam the pot after the flop or slow play which might not work out for you; you need a cushion for the hands that miss or you feel you are losing big with, or even to stand up to the blinds if you go card dead. Besides, a double up of 60 won’t go as far as a double up of 200. Example, i called a raise on the button with 6/7 suited. it was the raisers first hand with a $100 buy in. I flopped a flush draw, called a small raise from the raiser, who only had a pot sized bet remaining. The next card paired me and gave me a gut shot to boot. He raised again, I reraised and got him pot committed. Made the straight to his overpair with one of my 14 outs. If he had bought in proper and 3 bet me hard or all in for like 2 or 3 hundred I would have had to fold. instead he went all in and it was only another 10 bucks for me to call and make my draw.
This rule also means buying back in if you get low on chips. Sitting at the table waiting for a hand with $35 in chips after a bad beat normally will end up committing you to an all in preflop and you might not have the patience to wait for AA KK QQ AKs. Add another 100 or so to your stack and get back in the hunt or pack it up and go home with enough for a tank of gas.
2> If you feel like you have the best hand at that moment, bet or raise, and go big. If they call (and they usually do), then they probably are not getting proper odds to chase and you are more often than not going to get paid. If they fold then your table image goes up. Example, i have AKo in the blinds and check it off with 5 limpers (since i’ll just get 5 callers if I raise and then have to play AKo out of position). The flop hits me with a rainbow broadway which I check off. An early raise, a late position short stack goes all in, and I just call the all in as does the raiser. The next card is a blank and I raise big. like 85% of the pot. The remaining hand calls. The next card is another blank, I bet again but not too big to scare him off. He calls and I show the nuts while he shows two pair. The huge bet on the turm was too tempting for him even though the 10 J Q was on the board and my bets are clearly repping a straight. He was not getting proper odds to call to see the river to make the boat but called anyway. The all in also flopped the str8 but on the small end of it. I tipped the dealer $10. I have many stories like this where I check-raise some absurd amount but they call anyway only to feel committed on the river and then to find out at showdown that they were chasing a two-outer the whole time. Just bet big (especially when you trap them) and the fish will call. Sure, they will hit their miracle 5%, 5% of the time, but that’s poker.
3> When you sit down, always wait for the BB. Buying the button is a bargain for the position it offers and I will if I take a break and the blinds have passed me, but at a new table waiting for the big blind lets you observe the table for a few hands. With 10 seats and only 2 blinds you are more likely to sit outside the blinds when you arrive at the table. Wait for them. You can pick up a lot of info on the table by watching a few hands, especially when the table is soft. If I sit down and each of the 6 hands I see goes with maybe one raise and a bunch of limpers otherwise then I probably sat at the right table. A table full of nits all the way around will make for a slow night and cautious play. A table full of maniacs and I’ll just get up and look for another table (unless the waiting list is long) b/c at that point we are gambling, and I’d rather play poker.
4> Get comfortable. I’m a social guy and I play far better when I’m friendly and talkative, but when I’m quiet and all serious I make dumb moves. If my table isn’t talkative then I’ll talk to the dealers who have to be nice to you, but they usually appreciate polite small talk to break up the monotony of their shift. I wouldn’t ever suggest drinking to get comfy since that can easily get out of hand over an 8 hour session, and a cup of coffee usually does it for me. Tipping the wait staff properly and politely ensures that they will help to keep you comfortable. Being comfy lets me focus on the math and reads on the table. I’ve noticed that being comfy also helps neutralize the sting of a bad beat.
Again, these things make me play better so I try to create the environment that I play best in. If it puts people on tilt listening to me call out their hands at show down, or comment on their game or talk about whatever sport is on Tv then the better is for me. Create your optimal table environment.
I recall a guy once sat down at our table and tried to be a bully. I got in to a hand with him early on and bluffed him off a pot. I made sure to show the bluff. He acted like it was all good but it just got him boiling. He went through a grand in 60 minutes and every other player at the table got paid off. This guy was straddling $35, or blind raising almost every hand. He only got action when someone had him beat and he wondered out loud a few times about how shitty his luck was that night. And it all started with an exposed bluff, along with some trash talking. But that environment didnt just help me grow my stack but everyone else too.
5> Weekends are far more lucrative. A tuesday afternoon will be full of grinders, building their stacks off their initial buy-ins so they can bully and rape the few fish that trickle in on the weekday evenings. Weekends and holiday evenings are when the fish leave their 9-5 and migrate to the 1/2 tables. As long as your poker room is big enough there will be enough fish to go around, just make sure you know who are fish and who are making a living at your table.
The tables I play at are a little differnt its 1-2 no limit but the min is 100 and the max is 500. People play so loose there ive been getting pretty frustrated, about a weak ago i raised preflop 80 with AK and had 2 callers A-3 and k-9 and lost when flop came
k-4-2 off suit and a river a 5
i have trouble isolating people cause people are calling 20 dollors raises with nothing and i have 5 callers into a pot, how the heck can you put 5 players on a hand its tough
This is an excellent article. I’ve never played poker live and I’ve never played poker for real money. I only played online for fun at either Pokerstars or Full Tilt. After reading this article I finally summed up enough courage to hit the $1/$2 NL Holdem table in my local casino in Los Angeles.
Everything this author said is absolutely correct. I can’t believe how it worked to a charm…I bought in for $40 bucks and walked out literally 2 hours later with $160 bucks!! And I was just really going to have fun!! Love it!!
Good Luck guys and stop listening to the haters on this thread!!
I must say this is an excellent simple guide to winning at 1/2 nlhe live. Online however is a different story as you will find much better players even at this limit. As for live this simple strategy will net you win after win even at most 2/5 tables, although at 2/5 you can add a few more bluffs to your game. GL and may your hands hold up against those 2 outters!
See I have a bit of a dalima.. Where I live the casinos have just opened and the poker room is nice small but nice having 16 tables. and $1/$2NLH is the most popular there for most the tables are $1/$2. There are some $2/$5nlh highest is $10/$10NLH never really runnin, there is a $15/$30 Omaha hi/lo limit.
But the poker room is filled with solid players and it seems the solid players are playing $1/$2NLH..So I think that my situation is different
I also agree this author does explain the basics of 1/2, but playing this style and only betting when you flop a big hand, will make you a marginal winner at best in the 1/2 world. 1/2 requires you to mix it up, raise it up, and play much more hands then the author suggests. A good 1/2 players who wins big plays a loose/tight agressive style throughout any session. 1/2 isn’t about the cards your playing, its about playing the players on your table, and using your image to your advantage, while exploiting the donkeys at the table.
i say learn to get away from your hand after the flop when you are against multiple opponents if you dont have much of a hand and get maximum value when you do and STUDY THE PLAYERS TENDENCIES period. position position position
The best thing I’ve learned from anything I’ve read about poker is to take bits and pieces that can help you. Talk all the trash about this and that, thinking your the best player in the world (I love all of you out there that think they are something special. Tell me about the “bad play” I did while I stack your chips!). Poker is a game of situations no matter what your bankroll is.
I see many people criticising this article….and i have the feeling that experianced players shouldn’t even be here reading this,and because of this it just looks like bullshits to me..
Many advice here to loosen up agaist fishes…WRONG!
If you wana take somebody’s stack and he’s a strong player you can consider investing some money in his mind here nad there and eventualy show him the nuts..but agaist fishes?? why would I want to lose stupid pots,we all know they fold hard and on a flop 6 9 K while holding AK he might have K6 or K9….
As a beginer i think this article is great,it acctualy makes you a bit better and after you figure this on your own skin then you might be able to improvise something….but without knowing this you have nowhere to start….
So stop this guys…this article is good.
I actually just got back from a $1/$2 game and left with $580 all because i played tight, waited for big hands and read players so i knew when to fold bet or raise. The key to sucess at poker is PLAY YOUR HAND!!!!!
“They don’t make many straights or flushes”
the article never says they never flop a straight.
how does kjo not flop a straight lol
Not sure you remember me but i’m Ivan’s friend (crazyivan24) and you used to deal me monster hands at Boulevard Casino back in 2005. Really enjoy reading your articles. Drop me a line sometime and we can catch up.
Take care and good luck
YOU SHOULD NEVER OPEN LIMP
What is really funny is that 90% of you who are writing here are the freaking fish we take our money from. Fish always believe that they have all of the answers. What a bunch of tools you are.
This is a solid winning strategy vs very unskilled players. Just pay attention so you know when and on whome to make your moves. It works well for me. Low limit cash games are all about getting maximum value, not trying to out play the fish. I have seen very loose agressive players do well in these games too but they tend to have wild swings. However you play, please don’t tap the aquarium. Be nice when they river a mirical. Please!
Well, all I have to say is…..”there is more than one way to eat a reeses.” I mean, if you are playing against bad players, you can either try to “small ball them” or just wait for “home-run” hands. If the players are truly bad, there is more than one way to beat them. I mean, honestly, if a player is not paying much attention to my pre-flop range and/or my bet-sizing, why risk money on a marginal holding when I can just get them all in with a set against a flush or 2-pair against trips..ect? I do however realize that there is rarely ever just
a full ring of donkeys. I mean, you do have to occasionally just throw a wrench in now and again to be deceptive. I just try to keep an eye out for my relative position to each player and adjust accordingly. I will open up my range if the better players are out of the way or sometimes I will call with hands that I know are beaten or raise preflop to isolate certain players. I think one should always be limber as to the particular situation. For the most part though, alot of you who are hating on this situation are attempting to “out-play” these “by the book” tags and getting caught with 2nd pair and top pair-weaker kicker, so…again, there is more than one way to eat a reeses!”
another thing I like to do alot is know I have the best trips, quads or full houses on the flop and wait for someone to go crazy with a pair. One example I got two As in hand flop comes up A K K, I checked as I sometimes do, one of the fish went all in on A 5 in hand and another went in with K 10, needless to say I took 5x tourney chip lead over 2nd with 30 left on tables.
Actually the only time you should play a little bit looser than usual is when your make it “in the money” which I’m sure you all know that means when you’re in a place where you’re going to get your buy-in plus some back, then it’s only good to play loose if the blinds/antes are half/most of your chips and you’re the small stack.
All in all, I think the author has very good advice for most players. Even Phil Hellmuth when asked, what advice he would give to most non-pro players, to help improve their game said, “Play less pots”. But you have to remember, no matter how tight you or loose you play, this game still has a cretin amount of luck involved. So at a home game or in most 1 & 2 games anywhere, there will be more luck involved than there will be sitting at a high stakes game you watch on TV. But most of us, especially the one’s reading this article play for the entertainment and the competition. It’s just that the entertainment part, doesn’t fit well with being patience, and wait for a quality starting hand. In essence, it’s gambling, and if you don’t control how you play, you could end up in a world of hurt.
“Big Papa” Texas Dolly” said the WSOP Main Event was like playing the lottery. The Pro’s, (meaning guy’s who know what their doing) Just have more tickets.
I think its great advice for anyone, if you want to be conservative regarding how much money you’re willing to risk. All in all, I think the author has very good advice for most players. Even Phil Hellmuth when asked, what advice he would give to most non-pro players, to help improve their game said, “Play less pots”. But you have to remember, no matter how tight you or loose you play, this game still has a certain amount of luck involved. So at a home game or in most 1 & 2 games anywhere, there will be more luck involved than there will be sitting at a high stakes game you watch on TV. But most of us, especially the one’s reading this article play for the entertainment and the competition. It’s just that the entertainment part, doesn’t fit well with being patience, and wait for a quality starting hand. In essence, it’s gambling, and if you don’t control how you play, you could end up in a world of hurt.
“Big Papa” Texas Dolly” said the WSOP Main Event was like playing the lottery. The Pro’s, (meaning guy’s who know what their doing) Just have more tickets.
I think its great advice for anyone, if you want to be conservative regarding how much money you’re willing to risk.
i’ve turned $40 into $1k in 2 days LIVE
first i played 1-2 then 2-3 then 3-5
never been able to match that session again
Very good piece. The whole concept is making your post-flop decisions almost automatic. Throw in too many A6o’s and variance goes through the roof.
I couldn’t help but notice Andy’s comments. Silly post. Using post-flop skills against a fish who has no clue what you are trying to do is futile. You know he’s not folding top pair so why try to be a hero with a kicker that’s going to be out-kicked more than half the time against someone who won’t fold? If your post-flop skill is good enough to know when your outkicked, try not getting involved.
But then he goes on to say “I play tight against the fish and loosen up in position”. So if your only loosening up in position and a good position only comes around 3 times per revolution, how loose are you? Sounds a bit contradictory to me.
What sums it all up is this. Everyone has an opinion. Some agree some disagree, that’s why we are here. But not once, BUT TWICE, he goes out of his way to comment on how he thinks the author barely beats the 1/2 games and can’t win on a higher level. Exactly what did that accompolish? A pride boost. Nothing more, nothing less. Nothing destroy’s the validation of a comment like self-promotion.
This article summarises the strategy I (a beginner fish, basically) used to build up my play-money bankroll: play tight & don’t raise from the blinds pre-flop (except with monsters), & bet your hands post-flop.
This is of a far more basic level than most of the articles on this site.
Well if you play more than 20% range that will include a lot of weird hands.
For example; a 30% VP$IP should include hands like K5s, A2s, Q7s, T9o, J8s, A9o, A8o, J9o, K9o, Q9o, A5o etc.
So playing those hands and others similar makes you pretty loose already..
Not to mention VP$IP of 40%+ which is actually a maniac loose style.
According to my calculations, approximately the top 11% of the hands are always profitable in every position in the long run. That includes hands like AJo, QJs, ATs, 99, 88, KJs etc.
A great article, totally agree with the view that TAG is the way to go and that you should only be playing 20% of your hands. I also have found that at these tables as per some of the other comments you can’t bluff or push these types of players off the board. The number of times I’ve had nuts flush on the flop and some calling station has called through all of my big raises to pull a fullhouse on the river is unbelievable. I have also found slow playing an effective tactic with the players at this level.
Who else would really like to be at a table with Andy?
I think a TAG style, playing around 15 – 25% of the hands is ideal, yes of course you want to play more hands against the fish, but it can be difficult to establish their range, since they can inevitably play anything. Like the article said, you want to make your post-flop decision easier, against level 1, level 2 players, you can play more hands against them because their range is a little easier to establish….of course against the fish, in position, i’ll call their raises or play pots in position against them with a pretty wide range of hands, knowing that they can take overpairs, top pairs, and weak two-pairs for almost their entire stack, but I think 15% – 25% is about right on, no need to get involved in too many hands against fish and not know where you are sometimes since their range is too far and wide
I don’t agree with this at all, I happen to think that you should play more hands against the fish, because of the ability to outplayed the fish after the flop, in my home game, we have a few fish and I play about 35 percent of my hands because I know how to read the player, this is how you when, by putting people on hands, not waiting for aces or A,K all the time, I do agree that in an aggressive game where the preflop raise is to $15 or more than you have to wait for better hands as you are not going to when as much
I agree that there a lot of fish at the table who just have no idea what there doing. I’m all about limping in with almost any two in late position and knowing when to get away postflop. These guys make so many mistakes on the flop that you have to take advantage. From time to time i can see you losing a pot when you think you got it but, this is where the skill comes in. You need to be able to get away from a hand when you just limped in for 2 dollar. Dont be going broke in a limped pot.
definitely good basics to start… lets see how they fall into play… Im more of a tourney player who plays hyper-agressive almost raising most pots, and I win a lot of chips this way especially early in the tourney when players are hesitant to put there chips in with anything worse then AJo so lets see how this patient strategy pays off… off to the BAR down in ONA.
this article is right on. He is talking about most 1/2 tables, and the skill of players at these tables. They play too many hands, call to much, and bet poorly. If you play tight you can value bet them to the poor house. Bluffing, is not smart at a 1/2 game, if you are new . It is easier to bluff a good player than a bad player. This is because good players think about odds, their cards, your cards, previous play, etc. Bad players do not. They only think about their cards, and the pile of money. Thats not the guy I want on the other end of my bluff. This style is good if you are playing fish, which makes up 50+% of most 1/2 games. Once your game evolves and you can classify good and bad players and their styles, you can practice playing them differently. If you plan on moving up in stakes then you will need this skill.
this guy hit the nail on the head! I played this way last time I was at the casino and took $80 and turned it into $417!
Mike Caro plays even tighter than this.His pre-flop hands are very hard to stick to but since I have been doing so I have turned $50 into $1200 in 4 weeks @ the 50c/$1 no limit tables.
I have played microstakes online for several years and have been breakeven or small loser, recently our town got a casino with etables 1/2 nlhe, and usuing this or even a bit tighter in 1 night i set a 200 dollar goal, and 3/4 or better i reach it, usually leaving the game premature, and when i lose i have a max loss of 200 so doing the math i expect win 400 or more in 4 nights or roughly a 100 night, i have read books that say you should play hours not results, but i don’t make 100 day at my 9-5 so the extra income is a blessing, this sounds very much the way i play, and im a winner in the game, 100 a day to me is crushing the game , so i do believe this strategy takes a beginner and turns him into winner,
This article is spot on for the most part. Most of the players at this level are unobservant and play their cards and not the situation. You need to value bet against them relentlessly. Attempting to bully the table or trying to bluff players out of a pot usually doesn’t work very well at these levels. Once you have observed these players for a while and find their tendencies, you can loosen up a bit, but a TAG style usually works best.
nice information, i will test this statergy, thanks
This is a very good article. Playing only 20% of the hands is a good target. I actually look for more like 15%. 30% from the blinds and 10% elsewhere. When I check my stats I’ve usually had a bad nite if I’m over 20% and I make money around 15%. Playing only premium hands in low blind games will make money consistently, if you can stand the boredom and resist the temptation to jump in to get what looks like easy money by playing loose, if you do then YOU become the fish.
What this article doesn’t address is how to play AFTER the flop. That is where you really make money by getting max value out of winners and cut losses. In a 1-2 game you can call into every unraised preflop pot and do ok if you get max value when you hit and know when to get out of beaten weaker hands.
I actually think folding 80% is right about dead on. If you’re playing this very TAG style you’re literally only playing the hands talked about in the article. This means premium hands you play from any position, and then a bunch of marginal hands you’ll only play from position.
You only get 4 hands at a full ring game where you’re in late enough position to play the marginal hands, and you’re only going to be dealt a top 10 hand 6% of the time (169 starting hands 10/169 = 5.9)
So you get a top ten hand about 1/16 hands on average. If you only played top ten hands you’d be folding 93.75% of all hands.
as you can see 80% actually isn’t extremely tight, it’s just solid TAG.
This is a good article for beginners. It’s about the basic strategy of poker. You should not play with marginal hands, even when in good position, specially if you are a beginner. However, and this might just be an unvoluntary omission, you should play some marginal hands to mix your game and not become predictable. Even though, the author includes a very wide range of hands you could play; maybe the 80% folding situation is a litle bit exaggerated.
Nice article. I play regularly at 2/4 and 5/5 tables with the same characteristics, and as long as I can keep focused and not become to creative, I go away with a few hundred per evening. I get in trouble when I start stealing blinds, and bluffing the wrong opponents.
Perhaps it make sense to state explicitly that this is NOT for 1/2 NLHE online. There, the level is a lot higher and you can’t win money that easily.
Yea, or this author was writing an article for beginners who may not know what the best strategy is.
chances are if you are looking for a strat article about beating live 1/2 you don’t play well enough postflop to play more than 20% of hands.
This article is actually fundamentally wrong, although it won’t be immediately noticeable to the beginner. It is actually WRONG to be playing only 20% of your hands as this article suggests, even if the table if full of fish. BECAUSE they are fish, you want to play more pots against them especially if stacks aren’t shallow, and use your better postflop skills to take more money from them. This article is so NITTY it makes me think that the author barely beats the $1/2! I play tight against fish, loosen up in position, and play loose-aggressive against the better players at the table. Why play just one nitty, tight, boring style? This author has to be a VERY MARGINAL winner in low stakes which makes him a loser anywhere up.
theres a great 1/2 in San Diego…Baronoa…on a saturday night there’s an average of about 5 fish per table…ATM machines…
Haha, yeah that was a good one.
“The game is $1/$2 No-Limit Texas Hold’em, the Chevrolet Cavalier of poker.”