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In fact, they beat most of their US brethren by launching it back in Full tables are not displayed, which is a first to me. There are also no waiting lists , which, again, is probably tied in to Ignition Poker wanting to keep the games loose. How does displaying less information help keep games loose? Average hands per hour is also not shown, although it has always felt snappy enough in my time with it. As for the actual table experience, I find Ignition Poker extremely intuitive and attractive.

The felt and carpet can be changed to a half-different colors and the table shape from racetrack think old Full Tilt if you were around back then to one big segment with line dividers. One is the rabbit card , which shows the next card that would have been dealt if a hand ends before the river. The other is the ability to show only one card after a hand ends, which is always vastly entertaining to me.

Each window can be resized from the default size, which is fairly low in total resolution. You can watch hands play out move by move, which shows you exactly how the hand played out. The only knock that I have on the software that brings the score down a bit is the occasional connection glitch. Other players have reported similar random lapses. For me, closing and reopening the software was the only way to resolve it. Anonymous tables put it over the top. Ignition Poker recently made another change that should be the last piece of the puzzle in deterring advanced table-finding tactics. Even though bum hunting following players identified as weak from previous sessions and sitting at their tables was already foiled way back in via anonymous tables, smart players could still hunt the lobby for open tables with better metrics.

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No more, as the software now only allows you to pick your game, stakes, and table size. The seating is left to to the Ignition Poker software algorithms. Players can no longer target tables with better metrics , namely higher flop percentages and average pots. For some reason, most online gaming outfits try to get away with not providing a telephone number. Phone support is open hours every day of the year. The e-mail support is very-good-to-excellent.

I sent in several test questions and had delays of: 2 hours, 1 hour, and 20 minutes before I received an adequate reply. I figured I would get all this out there before I received the next one. This is the most popular one:. The algorithms are biased to reward bad players to keep the action up! Dead cards and bad beats are in your future. Just low-stakes players with sob stories about how some guy made a ridiculous call and sucked out on their pocket Aces with offsuit.

I get the frustration. You do remember that poker still has luck involved, right? I would put my entire bankroll in their hands without a second thought. If you think all online poker is rigged, then why play anywhere? Do what feels right to you. Well, think about the psychology behind different types of players. Players who make better decisions are likely to be longer-term players than those who rely on sucking out. Recreational players are less profitable for online poker sites like Ignition Poker overall so, if anything, financially they would rather keep good players than bad ones.

A small portion of every pot that goes to a flop is withheld and kept by the poker room. If they could find a scam more than a decade ago, I trust those noble watchdogs to find it today with the largest US poker site there is. On the 5. All merchants pay fees on credit card transactions. Providing payments for US-facing online poker sites?

Payment processors charge substantial fees and Ignition Poker eats most of those. Just my opinion. Besides, I bet you could get Ignition Poker to reimburse you for the fees if you asked nicely with a cherry on top. Cash transfers? Of course they want players to deposit and play because they make their money on the rake and tournament fees. If the argument is that they want players to lose so they have to deposit more, well what about the winners? Someone has to be winning the hands that put the bad beats on you.

One of my favorite arguments for Ignition Poker being rigged, which you also hear for every single other online poker room, is that you would never see this kind of play in live games. There must be bots or screwy random number generators for online poker rooms. Seriously, it feels to me that live poker and online poker sort of swapped player bases in the late s to early s when games tightened up considerably online.

Many casual poker players are intimidated by the process of playing online and stick to live buildings with chips and cards. Contrary to the caterwauling by a vocal minority, live games are honestly your best bet at really bad players these days. I recently had an Ignition Poker player write to me complaining about a in which a player went all in with pre-flop and cracked his pocket Jacks after spiking two pair. According to him, that would never happen in a live game, so it showed the Ignition games are rigged!

The best part? I had pocket and re-raised a poor early position player pre-flop to see a flop of He check-called a big bet from me on the flop, then went all-in with what he had left on the turn when a 6 fell. The river saved me when the board paired with another 2. The guy had the nerve to be frustrated, curse, and leave the table. A good friend of mine is a poker lifer and has literally been playing for about 60 years.

A company called Cyberoad is founded, launching one of the first online sportsbooks. There was strong indication that this was a dummy purchase and that Cyberoad was already the real owner. Calvin Ayre was the link connecting both entities. Players from one of the sportsbooks previously owned by Cyberoad receive an email from the new sportsbook called Bodog. It informed them their usernames and passwords would work on this new site. Bodog Poker launched. Professional players David Williams and Josh Arieh were signed to represent the site. Bodog faces serious legal troubles, as they are faced with a patent infringement lawsuit.

The bodog. Although technically the same company, Bovada is not owned by Bodog and the two are not officially connected. Bovada sells its poker player base to Ignition Casino. Save yourself some money and do it with a smaller bet of 2. Your ego might want you to punish them for a possible re-steal, but just fold right there if you have a weak hand and were on a steal attempt yourself. Tend to play a straightforward game in Zone. Just bet for value. Unfortunately, you have zero reads in Zone Poker and another hand is always a second away.

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Just bet your strong hands for value or make minor stabs at uncontested pots. There are enough poor players that you can see incredible profit simply from letting them make their own mistakes. Play at Ignition Poker Now. Josh H Owner and Editor-in-Chief A lifelong poker player who moved online in , Josh founded Beat The Fish in to help online poker players make more-informed decisions on where to play and how to win once they got there. He hopes to counter the rampant dishonesty in online gaming media with objective reviews and relevant features.

Tech nostalgic. Loving your in depth articles. I assume BTC? Its market cap is a lot lower and is accepted at much fewer merchants, including online poker sites. Nice read and very complete. Am going to play this site. I play at WPT[for free or satellites] now and win regularly so why not.

Compare this board to something like Qs8h4s where there are tons of straight draws and a flush draw your opponent may hit. It's also a bit more likely that your opponent would just call you pre-flop than re-raise you with a hand containing a queen. This makes his range slightly richer in Qx hands than it may be in Ax hands. Obviously, these examples are speaking in generalities and each player's ranges will be different, the idea is that there are few or no examples or cases to examine that will hold for every single player.


Your opponent's position pre-flop is also going to be a major factor in how often a continuation bet will take down the pot and how well his pre-flop range will connect with certain board types. If your opponent is in position and you're opening in late position, his calling range should be fairly wide given the position from which you have opened and the position from which he has called.

The earlier the position you open from, the less likely you will be to win the blinds outright and this means that your opponent's calling range should adjust to your stronger pre-flop range from early position. Your opponent should be calling less often for fear of being dominated and having poor reverse implied odds post-flop. In short, we have determined that you will see more folds to your continuation bet the less connected the board 6.

How should I react against a flop raise of my continuation bet? Generally, if you have to ask yourself this question and are legitimately confused about the answer after having continuation bet a given hand, you have made a mistake by continuation betting in the first place. Ideally, we want to be able to predict our opposition's raising frequencies well enough, bet hands with which we know how to react, and check hands with which we know how to react to a bet in order to check-raise, to check-call, or to check-fold.

Against a very good player who balances his flop calling and raising ranges well for bluffs and for value, there are inherently going to be tough decisions for his opponents after they continuation bet. For other considerations on raising flops and what to do when raised, such as how your opponent, history, flop texture, certain hands, and position should affect your decisions, see the below section on bluff-raising and how to react to frequent flop raises.

When should I not continuation bet? What should I do with my hand if I check the flop as the pre-flop- raiser? This is a question for which the answer will be dependent on your history with your opponents and your reads on their tendencies when the pre-flop-raiser checks to them. This board on which your opponent's range may play aggressively and trickily may be a good time to check and represent a slightly weaker hand like JTo. You'll also get more value if someone is trying to bluff you off of a Tx hand and believes that they need to bet the flop, turn, and river with a bluffing hand to fold out the weak-made-hand you're representing with a flop-check.

If the board turns out to be unfavourable by the river, then check-calling again may become more of a read- based play than a trap. As more and more of your opponent's perceived range connects with the board, you should usually be more likely to fold a marginal hand, especially in the cases when playing an opponent you believe to be randomizing bluffs by equity. If our opponent randomizes his bluffs with how well his hand connects with the board, then the more draws that hit the board, the stronger his range will be. However, if our opponent simply bets when checked to every time, the scarier the board gets, the more likely he is to keep betting his pure air range and therefore over- compensate for how often he is actually value-betting.

When done properly this play should induce an overaggressive opponent to have too much air in their range by the river, making call downs extremely profitable, especially as the board gets scarier, which will induce your opponent's air combinations to bet with extremely high frequency. In this case, you should adjust your play based on his likelihood to continue semi bluffs.

If he'll call a check-raise and bluff shove over a turn bet with all of his draws, maybe check-raising the flop and belting the turn to induce a raise is the best line. There are definitely many different lines that could prove the most profitable against a particular opponent at a particular time. Some of you may realize that check-raising the turn will likely fold out his weaker draws and pure air that would continue to bluff if the board gets scarier.

The reason we raise here is that we may also choose to take this line with a draw of our own. Raising also might induce lots of action from a hand like a flush draw on the flop that may choose to take a free card later on in the hand instead of continuing to bluff on blank turns and-or rivers If we are check-raising or check-calling in this spot with only strong hands, an observant opponent will notice and adjust his game plan. You win extra money from a lot of his range that would have probably otherwise folded the flop. Even if your opponent is only betting all his gut shots and flush draws when you're checking, realize how much of his range only those few hands make up compared to the value portion of his range.

To practice the effects of a check-raise versus different opponent types, try the following: 1. Write out villain's flop range from the JJ example on a piece of paper and list all possible outcomes for when we check to him note the fewer combinations of Jx hands, which may influence our decision to bet or to check on the flop. Now write out his range of hands for when we continuation bet below the first range you've written. Compare the ranges and the combinations of hands you've written to see the likelihood of a bet in each case. Which is more profitable? How situational is your comparison?

Give yourself different "reads" on your pretend opponents and manipulate his ranges accordingly. This exercise will mimic how you should be thinking while playing poker. In position, especially when our opponent assumes that we are going to continuation bet, we might want to balance a checking back range in order to avoid the tough spots he'll create by check-raising if he is assuming that the majority of our air range will be betting a certain flop texture and not continue after being raised.

This worry can be compounded on draw heavy boards on which many turns would be scare cards for our specific hand. If our opponent has more information about our frequencies than we have on him in a certain spot, then we need to change something in order to avoid him taking advantage of our tendencies. In this case, continuation betting some boards textures too often may be easily exploited by smart and aggressive opponents.

It's important to include some hands that would almost welcome two streets of action in a check back range in order to bluff catch confidently on the turn and on most rivers and to have our opponent realize that simply because we have checked back a flop that betting the turn and river with his entire range isn't necessarily going to be profitable. Because checking back stronger hands will make your opponent more hesitant about bluffing you on the turn and river, you should realize that your flop continuation bet range will be perceived as more polarized, and probably weaker on the boards on which you choose to check back given that your best chance to win the pot may be by continuation betting your air on the flop when it's very likely you'll be bet into on the turn.

For this reason, it's important to mix in some delayed- continuation bets, or checking back air that we plan to bluff with if checked to again on the turn.

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Checking back the flop as the pre-flop-raiser is a useful play to utilize if you feel exploited on the flop or like you're getting the worst of a continuation bet dynamic on a certain board texture with a marginal subset of your pre-flop raising range. Because you have the need to check back marginal hands in your range, you should also have stronger hands to balance with these marginal hands and total air hands to strengthen your delayed continuation bet range.

If you don't know how to react to flop check-raises, but feel comfortable against a turn and river leading range on most turns and rivers, then checking back the flop is almost always the obviously correct choice for the situation. If you're mixing up your play with good and bad hands, you'll have to be wary of how to navigate your opponent's adjustments. How often and with what types of hands you should be checking back the flop is dependent on how often you expect to be check-raised on a given flop, your ability to withstand that potential check-raise with your specific holding, and how often you expect to be lead into on certain turns and rivers.

You will also have occasion to bluff-raise some turns and rivers that hit your checking back range hard and that are unlikely to hit your opponent's calling range. A common example of this scenario is when we raise on the button and we are called by one of the blinds. Almost all of these hand types will also be put into very difficult river spots, especially because we, as the pre-flop-raiser, control the betting size and frequency on certain river cards.

How does my position influence my continuation bet frequency? We touched on this question while explaining what to consider after question 5. To elaborate, if you have position on your opponent you will have more information to use when making your strategic decisions post-flop. For example, if your opponent has a strong leading range, then you can discount his future value range that checks to you because some of it should be leading into you to balance his blurt leads.

If your opponent rarely check-raises, you're able to bet your weaker made hands and weaker draws on the flop without fear of being put into a tough decision against a well-balanced range of hands. Also, realize that you're opening wider ranges from later positions as there are fewer people who have yet to act and there is a higher likelihood that you will steal the blinds and antes uncontested. This means when you're called and see a flop, your opponent may be smart enough to realize that he may be able to get away with some bluffs if you're opening very a wide range and continuation betting too often for how much air is in your range.

It's difficult to come up with an exact number for the percentage of times you should check back, either with made hands or to give up. In order to balance your play due to the many dynamics one should consider when you are thinking about checking back. The answer to this question is a concept that took me quite a while to understand. Sometimes, your opponent will allow you to do whatever is best for the situation you're facing. In other words, due to lack of perception, monetary attachment, or ability to make adjustments, your opposition's tendencies will make it so that your flop decisions as to whether or not to continuation bet will be drastically skewed to one end of the betting or checking frequency spectrum and you will have an easy flop decision about whether or not you should continuation bet.

There are times when you can routinely bluff and your opponent will fold everything but top pair or better. Other times, your opponent will never fold, so you just have to wait until you make a hand to value bet and maximize value when called. Better opponents are going to use a hybrid of these two cases to make it difficult for people to play well against them. However, if you spot a person who plays closer to one of these ways, adjust accordingly and you will be doing much better than using some default well- balanced range. Balance is an extremely important idea, but against someone who isn't paying attention to how you play certain hands, it's nearly or completely irrelevant to balance, assuming playing an exploitative style will net the most profit.

Remember, poker is not a game based on systems and set ranges in certain spots. Almost everything in the game should be adjusted at some point or another based on the information at your disposal. Flop Texture During the section on continuation betting I briefly mentioned flop texture as a determining factor of how to react on certain boards.

It is an important factor because some boards play differently than other boards and you need to know why they are different. The most important takeaway from a discussion of flop texture is the fact that different boards foster action with different combinations of hands. Some boards give many combinations of hands enough equity to call or semi- bluff raise, to continue in some way, while other boards that are more disconnected, are likely to foster straight forward play for a few reasons: 1. Disconnected boards do not present many possible value combinations and therefore, are generally bad boards on which to bluff or at least with the same frequency with which you'd bluff a more connected board.

Your bluffing frequency should be a function of how often your opponent will fold to your bluff. How often a good player will fold is based on how often both of your perceived range hits a given board, along with meta-game considerations and several other factors. All other things being equal, flop texture is going to have a lot to do with how often someone will give you credit for a hand and so very connected boards require a different kind of balance than less connected boards.

Your opponent should be checking the more connected boards, anticipating being played at if he elects to continuation bet. Because he's checking to give up some of the time, he should also be checking some good hands and the adjustments continue.


Floating Floating is a call on one street typically, not necessarily, with decent equity against an opponent's range in order to take the pot away on a later street by bluffing. Floating is a more specific type of call because the play will only be profitable in terms of future expected value and in terms of how often you'll be able to take the pot away from your opponent if he makes some display of weakness and you are better able to bluff on a later street. Let's clarify our definition a bit more and examine how to employ floats in our game plan in order to win more and to make our strategy difficult to combat.

The idea of a float is that it is a multi-street play, so it cannot be discussed in full in one chapter of this book the way I have chosen to order the chapters. So for the reader's ease of comprehension, I will herein discuss floating in full detail of its implications for multiple streets of play and for future hands. Future Expected Value of a Float Obviously, we might hit our weak draw and stand to win a large pot because of both the deceptive nature of the draw and the likelihood of its connectedness with our opponent's range of hands if he continues to bet into our newly strengthened hand and range.

Something that may be less evident about the theory and reasoning of floating is how the image of these floats will garner us more action in the future. If we call on the turn with a hand like 8s9s, especially against the right type of opponent who is adjusting to what happened in the Qcjd hand, then our equity versus his range should be significantly higher. If our opponent perceives our range to be comprised of a lot of floats and not many kings, given our passive pre-flop play, he should adjust his turn barrelling range to one that is extremely wide in order to fold out our queen high and jack high floats.

The above example shows that the results of floating are much more than a hand-by-hand expected value calculation. We'll be making money from folding turns we miss with our floats, even though we lose that specific hand, because we'll be fostering action against observant opponents on boards on which we have hit against their increasingly wide turn and possibly river barrelling ranges. The answer to the question of "should we bet? Question 1: How often is your opponent check- raising the turn or check-calling to induce you to betting from your hands that floated the flop?

If the answer is "never," especially in regards to the check-raise part of the question, then the decision to bluff becomes a much easier one. A turn check from an opponent likely to take this line with his entire range is the perfect opportunity to make a very profitable turn bet because we will always realize the equity of our draw since we'll never be raised off of it, and we'll gain folding equity by betting into our opponent the times he has chosen to give up on the hand.

However, most opponents who realize what's happening when your bet frequency is high in spots after you might float and bluff when checked to will incorporate some type of balance in these turn spots, either by check-calling or check- raising more often, in order to thwart your attempts to exploit his turn tendencies. The better and more balanced opponents you will likely face will incorporate check-calling and check- raising on turns following flops which have a large potential to be floated because they realize the board texture and how it will affect your turn betting frequency. In general, the drawier the flop, the more often you should expect an opponent capable of floating to bluff at some point later on in the hand, assuming most people use hands that hit the board to randomize their floats.

The idea of a wider bluffing range on draw heavy boards also means that this type of player should be value betting thinner at some point in the hand in order to balance his bluffing range and to avoid being exploited by observant and capable opposition. For example, if a great bluff card falls and we bluff after having bet the turn with a hand that is totally disconnected with the board and we are called by a better hand, which is much more likely given our wider range, then our perceived range is open to a few different interpretations by our opponent, specifically either our opponent will consider if we will be bluffing too often or we will be bluffing less often after the hand in question is shown down, if you're being double floated or semi-bluff-raised on the turn, your attempts at barrelling even lighter than the default ranges you have constructed that mostly rely on a combination of randomization by equity and scare cards falling are likely to cost you money in future hands if you cannot out-adjust the opponent who sees evidence of your extremely wide turn betting range.

Our opponent may counter our heightened propensity to bluff the turn and to bet the turn for thinner for value by checking turns in order to check- raise a balanced range of bluffing and value hands, in this dynamic, our opponent does not sacrifice balance for exploitation, at least in such a memorable way that might help us to play better against him in the future.

He also does not turn his hand somewhat face up by check-calling the turn, allowing us to play as well as possible against the weak range of hands with which he will be most likely to take this action. Of course, it's possible to check-call strong hands on the turn, but if he chooses to trap in this manner, then it's more likely he is sacrificing value that he would get from betting the turn and then the river or by check-raising the turn with such a strong hand. So far we have outlined a few reasons both to check the turn and to bet the turn on draw heavy boards.

Let's ask a few questions so we can weigh the value of each option and so we can make the best decision about which dynamic to exploit versus certain opponents. Reasons to bet turn: If we're bet into by a tough and well-balanced opponent on a river after checking back a float without showdown value, we will have a pretty tough choice for which the outcome is likely close to breakeven or slightly losing for us.

Our opponent controls the frequencies with which he is taking this line and it is unlikely that we'll be able to play very well against it, especially if he leads us to make false assumptions on the river such as "he will bluff all of his missed draws when checked to. If we wait until the river to bluff, we'll have to balance that by checking back some good hands on the turn from which we'd like value, which we'd get by betting the turn and river.

Also, such a large portion of our opponent's range on the river will be bluffs that we may have gotten more value by betting the turn and inducing a bluff-raise to fold out parts of our assumed-to-be draw heavy range. Reasons to check the turn: We should get more information about our opponent's hand and learn how successful a bluff will be given his reaction to the turn and river cards and how they improve or hurt our opponent's perceived range comprised of draws and weaker made hands. Against a predictable opponent for whom we have solid reads, our river decision will be easy and likely quite profitable.

Question 2: When we are in position, will our opponent check his entire range again on the river? If your opponent will check his entire range on the river to induce a value bet from your probable worse hand that you chose to pot control on the turn or a float that probably missed again on the river, then you should probably lean towards betting the turn with your floats more often when you can represent a wider and stronger range of hands, especially if your opponent is capable of employing the dynamic choices of using a balanced river-check-raise range.

Of course when we are bluffing a wide range of hands, we should also be value betting a wide range of hands. If your opponent picks up on the fact that you're balancing your turn betting range by value betting thinly, then you may want to readjust your turn betting range, since you should expect to be called or check-raised with a wider range on the turn given how wide a range your opponent knows you have on some turns. Question 3: How many floats are in your perceived range on certain turns?

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On a board like Kc9c6h versus your late position flop-call, there are many more combinations of floats than strong value hands in your range. If you're against a perceptive opponent, you should be increasingly wary of bluffing later on in a hand and of his likely adjustments to the board texture to thwart the profit margin of your wide range of floats. You can also tailor your range to your opposition's adjustments by floating fewer hands and bluffing less often if he is playing back often on turns.

However, if we know he doesn't expect us to be floating, then betting is generally going to be our best action. These ideas obviously follow from our above examinations from the opposite point of view. A medium-strength draw's value is different for each opponent you play. The reason for the varying value of a turn semi- bluff is that your equity against your opponent's range of hands he could check- raise your semi- bluff on the turn will change depending on the range with which they decide to attempt a turn check-raise.

A decision for your opponent to check-raise a turn will mostly be a function of game flow, board texture, and stack sizes. Examining the following will help you to determine the likelihood of you being check-raised on a turn against an opponent you may trust to play the same way in similar situations: Question 4: Has he check-folded a turn before? If he has, it may be more likely you will be check-raised, depending on the opponent, of course. Question 5: Are there several combinations of possible floats on the flop that he expects you to call with and then bluff the turn?

If yes, then he will probably be check-raising the turn more often than on a different board. Question 6: Are stacks such that he can fold out your medium strength draws? If once you bet turn you are committed to calling his raise, regardless of its size, with a naked flush draw for instance, then it's most likely he'll bet the turn himself if he wants any folding equity. In this one, his turn check-raise should be viewed as very strong. This means that, in general, people should be bluffing weaker draws to balance with their stronger value hands anything you would want to call a check-raise or that would like to be check-called twice on the turn.

Betting also helps us to avoid being bluffed by a bet-check-bet line. Say we call a Kd7h9c flop with 5c6c and a turn 2d goes check-check. If we're betting into our opponent as a bluff on a non-8 river, we have a pretty tough choice. Our opponent controls the frequencies with which he is taking this line and it is unlikely that we'll be able to play well against it.

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We would also bet the turn if we aren't able to threaten stacks by checking the turn and when we want to avoid having to balance by checking back good hands on the turn from which we'd like value. I believe the dynamic created on the turn by floating, on both sides of the aggression and both in position and out-of-position shows why the spot is so interesting from both points of view.

Turn play is still an unsolved ground in No-Limit Hold'em. After this section on floating, it is easy to see why there is much work to be done considering the dynamics of turn play! Question 7: Do we have showdown value with our float? Let's say that the cutoff raises and we call with AdQd on the button. The flop is JhTd4c. And we call our opponent's continuation bet hoping for a turn diamond, ace, king, or queen. We also intend to continue on some other turns that miss our opponent's semi-bluffing range because we have good equity against a lot of his turn betting range, hands like Jc9c.

Because we are ahead of most of our opponent's semi- bluffing range, we deduce that we have some showdown value with our hand. If he checks the turn, he'll likely be checking a blank river to induce a bluff with his weaker made hands. When considering a bluff when checked to on the turn or on the river, you're getting the worst of both worlds as it's unlikely you fold out anything better by betting as a bluff and the fact that you'll have the best hand often enough in order to show down profitably makes inducing a bluff on the river the likely best play.

Because your opponent is expecting you to bet air like 9d7d, KdQd, and 9h8h, if he checks the river with a weak made hand, then he will almost always be calling your bet. If he is checking the river, it's with a plan to either call or to fold and because we beat all of our opponent's failed turn bluffs, we should just take the showdown with our AdQd.

Bluff-Raising Sometimes boards will come down that hit your perceived range very hard and you will have a hand that has completely missed the flop, if you have a very marginal hand and you're against an opponent who is capable of barrelling as the board gets scarier for the range of hands you're representing by calling a flop continuation bet, you may want to raise the flop as a bluff.

Generally, a flop call, especially on a drawy board, represents a range with marginal strength because many players will give lots of action with a draw on such a board if they think they have good equity versus a calling range as well as some folding equity. Against players who continuation bet and barrel too often, but often enough that you will make mistakes on future streets, you may be best off choosing to raise the flop as a semi bluff. As far as sizing goes, assuming big blind stacks, you do not have to raise to a very large size to put your opponent to a test for a large portion of his range of borderline hands.

A borderline hand is a hand like JsTd on QsTs4h that your opponent continuation bets, expecting you to call with almost all of your range. A large benefit of having a flop-raise dynamic is that you take away his ability to get value in spots like this one with marginal hands and force him to play a more pot controlling style or a guessing game in which you control the frequencies on future streets, which, if you play well, shouldn't end well for him. Typically when we are in position, we will be able to play better after the flop action should our opponent elect to call our raise and so raising in position as a bluff should be more profitable than out-of-position.

Ways in which our opponents will combat our flop-raises have been touched on when I mentioned the pot-control method of polarizing continuation bet ranges. If he can't win in one dynamic, he may try to exploit another dynamic in the same spot. A part of this different dynamic could include checking hands that he wants to check-raise bluff. Hands like gutshots that have some equity, but not enough to continue if raised after a continuation bet, might be best used for this play because we don't mind folding them if three-bet on the flop.

To add to the efficacy of our flop-check-raise-bluff, if our check-raise is called on the flop when we are using a gutshot to bluff, then we have many turns which we may credibly represent when our perceived range is strengthened in addition to the times we hit our gutshot and make a strong hand.

Three-Betting Our Flop- Raise As a bluff or for value, our opponent should start three-betting, or re-raising, our flop raise because our flop-raising range should be wider given that we're widening our flop bluffing range. By anticipating that our opponent will eventually make a play against our flop-raise with a wider range, whether it be with a bluff or with a made hand with which he's taking a stand, our value range should be widened accordingly.

Not Raising as Often Pre- Flop Polarizing Pre-Flop If our opponent is anticipating being put into marginal spots post-flop with his marginal made hands, then he can choose to raise a more polarized range pre- flop. This will assure that he will more often hit a flop either hard or not at all, rather than hitting something mediocre.

A key strategy for dealing with difficult spots in poker is to avoid them in the first place. By the river, we'd like to be able put our opponent on a fairly narrow range of hands based on the way that he played pre-flop, on the flop and on the turn. Narrowing down our opponent's range is going to be important for value-betting and for bluffing.

It is a process that is going to improve with experience and by paying close attention to the examples and questions that I am giving and discussing in each chapter. It's important to remember the general theme of this book: there is no one answer to beating No-Limit Texas Hold'em. Everyone plays differently, often in-line with their personality or temperament. Therefore, your reactions to their perceived ranges, predicted reactions, and adjustments against your ranges will certainly impact the best strategy for playing each hand.

Sklansky bucks, as first defined by David Sklansky in his book The Theory of Poker, shows us the expected value of a single hand against another hand. Galfond Dollars are more applicable to an actual poker game because with G Bucks we consider an entire range of hands against a specific hand. The information we get from G Bucks calculations is a lot more applicable because we are attempting to put our opponent on a range of hands and not a specific hand.

This process of hand-reading will allow us to make better plays against well-balanced players. Well- balanced players will make certain plays with more than a single hand, some as a bluff and some as a value bet. A G Bucks calculation will allow us to decrease our margins of error as well because our calculation is set up in terms of combinations of hands better than a specific hand.

Usually, it is advantageous in practice to choose our lowest and "purest bluff-catcher. If we have 8c8d by the river on a 2c6c7hKdQd board facing a river bet we can take a club out of villain's range as well as the 8c and 8d and which lower his bluffing frequency due to card removal and how many 8x hands villain has by the river that were semi-bluffs continuing river aggression hoping to induce a fold from a hand below Kx. These points will be expanded, but first let us go over a simple example of a G Bucks calculation. The scenario gives our opponent a good incentive to bluff because he should suspect that we are still drawing and he will be able to make us fold with a river bluff a good percentage of the time.

We will assume for this example that he will bluff the river with percent of his turn range. How should we react? We can set our EV equation equal to zero and solve for X in order to figure out the maximum bet size we are able to profitably call because the EV of calling and folding will be the same at the point of indifference, the breakeven point between calling and folding. The calculation here is assuming that the EV of raising as a bluff is less than zero.

Does this mean that if Villain bets enough on the river, we should be folding our entire range, or at least JTo? That depends on a number of factors and a calculation of a range- versus-range analysis that I will not be explaining in this book because it is extremely tedious and inaccurate given small mistakes we make with our opponent's range and our range in a given spot. I would recommend taking the time to consider adjustments to make to someone over-betting their entire range on a given river, especially when a lot of your range will be somewhat face-up bluff-catchers.

Over-betting, for this reason, and the nature of the unpredictability and the timing of the play, becomes something difficult to play well against. Because these calculations are somewhat tedious and complicated, it is very difficult to do them in the middle of a game, especially if you are multi-tabling and have other decisions occupying your time and concentration. I have found that the best way to get a grasp on when you should call and fold in certain spots, other than intuition gained from playing thousands of hands, is to do some calculations away from the table.

We are also not concerned here with calling the turn bet, we are only looking at these calculations as independent river decisions numbers may differ slightly from rounding error and pre-flop range assigned to the SB. When "Board A" is part of a different board's range, that just means that you should append the earlier board's range to that example's range. Notice what changes from board-to-board. One board may be the exact same except for an added flush draw on the turn or a third card of a suit on the river. The type of G Bucks calculation in which an opponent's river range is discounted is what will most often mirror reality and the betting describe problems faced in actual poker games.

In order to make such a calculation, let's arbitrarily assume that our equity is On a blank river, let's assume that our opponent is only bluffing with half of his air hands and so we must discount his river betting range to account for his assumptions about our calling frequencies when all draws miss on a certain river. Therefore, we may simplydivide the 62 combinations of hands we beat in half, so now we only beat 31 combinations of hands, given that he's giving up with his bluffs on a blank river half of the time. We then subtract those 31 combinations from our total of a possible combination to get combinations.

However, counting combinations of hands can be tedious, especially when ranges are wide and there are many combinations. Let's look at another example to show us how to circumvent the tedious nature of this EV calculation.

Poker Book: Small Stakes Hold Em Review

In other words, we will win Most players know intuitively that you should push more frequently when a your bubble factor is greater and b your opponent is more likely to call. But a chart showing the results of the calculations gives insight that can't be gotten otherwise. One short section attacks the myth that the big stack should call liberally to knock out small stacks.

That discussion alone can make the difference between just finishing in the money and making a big win. If you have ever called or raised a bit loosely to knock out small stacks only to find that you've doubled up one or more and made them into real competition while crippling yourself then this section is must reading. I could continue with examples, but the book is only pages - probably shorter than my examples would be. I do have a single criticism. The authors properly use the Independent Chip Model but without fully explaining the assumptions on which it relies.

Like most other authors they do explain that it assumes equal skill for all players. Please review your cart. When you enter the poker room you will notice that there are about A total of elements of poker, each of which can add the pieces of your poker game puzzle together and get your playing better poker. Get that extra bet in when ahead and fold for that extra bet when behind. Mckeesport , PA United States. However, they neglect to mention that it also relies on two other assumptions: If you're in the middle of a tournament, assumption 1 probably doesn't apply for the limited number of hands remaining, and in any given hand other things - tells for lack of a better word - frequently become more important than either of these assumptions.

Do yourself a favor and buy this book. But, be prepared to study rather than just read for it contains more, much more, than a list of starting hands and advice to play a tight aggressive game. Very informative and well written, but I will need to read it again to retain more.

I would recommend this to others that want to aspire in the poker game. One person found this helpful. One of the best poker books on tournament poker. A good alternative if you don't have the time to read "trilogy" poker books like the ones from Harrington or Phil. See all 81 reviews. Most recent customer reviews. Published 8 months ago. Published 1 year ago. Published on July 19, Published on February 10, Published on August 17, Published on June 25, Published on June 15, Published on June 2, Published on May 23, Published on April 13, Amazon Giveaway allows you to run promotional giveaways in order to create buzz, reward your audience, and attract new followers and customers.

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