My top 10 holdem tips for Replay

All of this discussion about the site being rigged has lead me to think about how frustrating it is to be a losing player, so I wanted to put out a few ideas about how to win on Replay specifically and to encourage strategy discussion.

  1. If you have a real hand, bet big!
    a. The chips are free so most players are happy to see a flop with any hand that looks pretty (“Sure, I’ll call a raise with QTs; I might flop a flush or broadway!”). You can win a lot in the long run by making them overpay to see the flop. Sure, sometimes they will hit a set against you, so don’t necessarily go crazy when you flop an overpair, but for the most part it will pay off.
    b. By a real hand, I am talking about QQ+, AK with some TT, JJ, AQ, and don’t forget to throw in some bluffs (but only against better, higher stakes opponents who might actually fold).

  2. Always assume your opponent is a fish
    a. Let’s face it, 99.5% of players are not playing even good ABC poker, so it’s a pretty safe bet that they aren’t always making logical decisions and that they are leaving lots of chips on the table through bad calls (mostly) and bad bluffs.
    b. For example, if you hit top pair of jacks with AJ on a dry board, you might think it would seem too obvious to bet the flop, turn, and river, but plenty of players will pay you off with medium pairs and even small pairs or rag aces.

  3. Be happy when you get your chips in while ahead (even if you lose to a bad beat)
    a. Many players on Replay are willing to overpay for a draw or overplay medium strength hands. That often gives you the opportunity to get your stack in while ahead. Sometimes these players will hit a flush or trips on the river, and that’s just poker.
    b. If you can get your stack in with an 80% chance to win, you will still lose a considerable amount of the time (which hurts and many players seem to feel it is unfair), but you are still making a profitable and correct decision.

  4. But, don’t be too quick to go all-in preflop even with premium hands
    a. If you are playing in a tournament or risking a large portion of your bankroll, going all in pre-flop, even when you are quite certain you have the best hand, is a losing proposition in the long run. I get tempted at times in MTTs to go all in preflop with hands like TT or AQ because I know that opponents will call with weaker hands. But tournament poker is all about survival and the chance of winning multiple races when you are 65% favorite each time is not high.
    b. Examples: AA all in preflop against 76s will lose 23% of the time. ATs all in preflop against K4o will lose 33% of the time. AKs all in preflop against 33 will lose >50% of the time.

  5. Almost never min-bet or min-raise
    a. Players on Replay seem to love either betting the minimum (e.g., 60 chips into a pot of 300), which makes it obvious that they are either drawing or not confident in their hand. Many times I have been able to call these bets with nothing and then bluff the river when no draws hit because it is obvious that the opponent either had a weak pair or a busted draw.
    b. Also, when players have strong hands they like to min re-raise (e.g., if your opponent bets 150 chips, you raise it to 300). This play makes no sense. If you opponent was bluffing or very weak, they will immediately fold; if they are extremely strong then you have re-opened the betting for them to raise even bigger; and if they are drawing, it gives them an extremely good price even with weak draws (e.g., an overcard and a gutshot). For example, I might bet a flush draw from early position, get min raised and then obviously call the raise. If the draw hits, I am now going to check to my opponent; they will commit more chips to the pot and then end up in a really tough situation when I check-raise.

  6. Almost never slow play
    a. The chips are free, so players love to call, and you need to punish them for it. This goes along with #1. If you have the best hand, don’t worry about being a little obvious because you will often still get paid off. If your opponents fold, oh well; you actualized your equity and won the pot without having to worry about draws or bad beats.
    b. The only times to slow play are when you completely dominate the board (e.g., flop a full house) or if your opponent is an aggro-fish (the type of player who always bets, but folds when you bet into them). There are plenty of those on Replay. To beat an aggro-fish just always let them be the aggressor, never bet into them. Sure, you can fold to them over and over and over, but they will be small pots, and when you get an actual hand you can crush them.

  7. Range balancing is only necessary against good players who have played against you before (i.e., very few players on Replay)
    a. “Range balancing is where you play the exact same way with a wide range of hands in certain situations”. (Greg Walker, from ThePokerBank.com). Most players on Replay will not remember your previous actions or bet sizes well enough to ascertain what you are holding in a given situation. If you have been playing at the same table for a long time or against skilled opponents, range balancing becomes more important, but it is often possible on Replay to earn more value by playing most hands in a pretty “obvious” way.

  8. Don’t call so wide
    a. The chips are free and it’s just for fun, so lots of players like to see flops. Personally, I think it is more fun to win, so I will not call raises with such a wide range of hands. Maybe you have gone through a long dry spell and are very happy to see KJs, that doesn’t mean it is a good idea to call a raise out of position with it.
    b. In poker you need to have a plan for how you are going to win the pot, and the fact is that most of the time you will miss the flop. Calling raise with a wide range of hands can leave you with some very difficult decisions on the flop. About 2/3 of the time you will end up with no pair (unless you had pockets) and then you pretty much have to fold to aggression, or you could end with top or middle pair and not be sure if you are up against KK+.

  9. Position is king (This is really rule #1 in poker)
    a. Going along with #8 about having a plan, playing from out of position is tough. Nothing is worse than raising big with AA, getting a caller with position on you who calls both streets and then raises the river. They could have top pair, a busted draw, or a monster.
    b. Always think twice about calling raises when you will be out of position. If you are the aggressor you need to be decisive in your betting (don’t overbet your hand strength and don’t be afraid to fold).

  10. Don’t try to bluff too much
    a. There are two reasons not to bluff on Replay. 1) most players are calling stations, and 2) a bluff actually has to make sense.
    b. It is simply throwing chips away to try to bluff when you know your opponent can’t find the fold button. Many times I am in a situation where I know my opponent is weak, and I feel like I have represented enough strength that they should know to fold to my bet (even though it is a bluff), but I will still not bluff because I can tell that they will call anyway. After the hand they will then show a mediocre middle pair that they had no business calling with in the first place, which helps me realize I made the correct decision.
    c. Against a good player, bluffing has to actually make sense. If I have top pair with a decent kicker and my opponent keeps calling a draw heavy board but no draw hits and then they make an overbet on the river, guess what, I am going to call. If your opponent’s bet makes no sense, it is probably a bluff. Successful bluffing is about consistently showing strength or making it look like you hit a particular card, not just about firing wildly. One final caveat is that fish love to overbet. If a really bad player shows a ton of strength in a hand, they are probably extremely strong because they are only thinking about their own hand strength and not a logical action in the situation.

I am sure that some people will say that these tips are obvious or textbook, but since 99% of players don’t seem to follow them, it seems worth putting it out there. Since the chips are free anyway, it would be more fun to play against more competent opponents. I also don’t want to talk too much about specific ranges because I still want to be able to win at the tables!

This site is a great free resource for basic poker strategy, and they also have a great YouTube channel:
http://www.thepokerbank.com/strategy/?layout=table

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no disrespect Joe but wow that must of taken a long time to type:

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happy new year somebody should get more

Yeah, it took me like 30 minutes. It was the middle of the day and I had a blast of inspiration. I can just rattle this stuff off stream of consciousness style.

Couldn’t agree more. SplitSuit’s videos are awesome, something I always appreciate watching.

I’ll add #11 & #12

  1. As a default stay away from low SPR hands
    a. Can’t get much value, cannot bluff.
    b. The exception would be in MTT/SnG if you have a chance to go HU against a short stack (<15BB) late in the game then you shall get into it since he’ll have a wide shoving range and you can eliminate one player which is always nice.

  2. Have a bankroll strategy
    a. yes these are free chips yet one of the most frustrating thing in poker is loosing all the chips you spent so much time on winning. So avoid that by having a bankroll strategy even if it’s free chips.
    b. classic one that I use but a bit more liberally on replay is the 20x which means you can only get in games where you have 20 times the buy-in in the bank (makes it a 5% of your chips). I often use 10x and allow myself some multi table so I might at times have 20% of my stack involved but it’s on several tables so it kinda makes it OK, plus I know there’s the 2,5k a day bonus which adds up quite nicely (at my current chips level).

But these are little details, your top 10 is really great.

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Great stuff!!! Thanks for your insights and info.
:grinning:

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I couldn’t agree more about the importance of bankroll management. People might not be complaining as much in these forums if they didn’t play with such a high % of their bankroll at once. I usually try to make sure that I have at least 20 buy-ins before I play a particular level (e.g., 16 million before playing 2k/4k ring with a max buy-in of 800,000).

Even the best player in the world will go bust if they play with 40%+ of their chips at once. Plenty of players on Replay seem to risk their entire roll and once and then wonder why they always end up at 0. Even with play chips, nobody likes going broke.

Your point about SPR is also very good. It’s not so much that you want to avoid low SPR situations, but know how to approach them. You have to approach it as if you are pot committed, so if you think your hand beats your opponent’s range then it is still a +EV play, but generally, especially in tournaments, I agree that you want to be very careful about when you put yourself in those situations. I have cashed in many tournaments when the blinds get high by getting aggressive preflop with solid but marginal hands (like A9) when I know that I have fold equity and that my opponents may still call with worse hands. It makes a lot more sense to me than limping and hoping to hit when the SPR is already quite low.

By taking away maneuverability, low SPR pots take away your ability to use your skill advantage over your opponents (assuming that we have one lol), that is another reason to avoid them in general. Players on Replay are usually pretty bad (no offense to anyone in particular), so giving yourself space to play poker is usually a good idea if you think they will make more mistakes than you will.

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I’m sure this article is very helpful but could you give us a translation into ENGLISH.
English is my native tongue yet I can’t understand all the jargon so how do you expect a foreign player to improve their game.

Make a list of each and every acronym, term, phrase, concept you don’t get and I’ll try to explain it as best as I can.

By the way I’m pretty sure non native people have less trouble with specific poker slang since it’s usually used “in English” in other languages.

Here is a glossary of terms that were used. I wrote these quickly so they aren’t perfect.

Broadway = a straight from Ten to Ace

ABC poker = simple but effective poker strategy (not possible to explain the specifics succinctly)

Fish = bad poker player (not logical thinker/decision maker)

Hand nomenclature: QTo means Queen Ten offsuit; QQ+ means pocket pairs including Queens, Kings, and Aces.

Flop = when the first 3 community cards are dealt

Preflop and postflop = before the flop after the flop

Drawing = continuing in a hand with the hope of making a straight or flush

Bluff = representing a stronger hand in order to make opponents with better hands than yours fold.

Top pair = a hand including the highest pair on the board (AJ on a 3J6 board has top pair of jacks)

Overpair = pair higher than the board (e.g., pocket Jacks on a 384 board after the flop)

Dry board = board with very few drawing possibilities or high cards (AsQsJs is a wet board, while 2c7hJd is a dry board)

Rag ace = Ace paired with a small card (e.g., A3). I would call A8 or lower a rag ace

Getting chips in while ahead = increasing the size of the pot when you have the greater likelihood of having the strongest hand at the end.

Premium hands = the strongest starting hands in holdem. I would include QQ, KK, AA, and AKs as truly premium hands. Some might include JJ, AKo.

Get your stack in = Go all-in or get all of your chips in the middle by the end of the hand

Race = getting all-in preflop against an opponent

Min-bet/raise = betting the minimum allowed amount (i.e., one big blind)

Overplaying your hand = betting large amounts relative to the pot size with a hand that is strong, but not that strong (e.g., going all-in for 10 times the pot size with top pair with a weak kicker)

Slow play = declining to bet when you have a strong hand in order to fool your opponent

Actualizing equity = winning a hand by betting a large amount to make opponents fold rather than playing all the way to the river in order to attempt to assure that your winning hand now (assuming that you are ahead in the hand) does not get beaten on further cards.

Aggro-fish = an aggressive fish. These are bad poker players who like to bet big and bluff a lot.

Calling wide = calling raises with a wide range of cards. Generally, it is a mistake. Calling a large raise with a hand like King Ten suited is almost always a mistake, but many players do it (especially on Replay) because it is a decent starting hand.

Position = position at the table. The player to the left of the big blind is first to act preflop and is therefore in early position, while the player to the right of the dealer is the last to act throughout the hand, and is subsequently in late position. Being in later position is an advantage because you have more information about other players’ actions.

Overbet = to bet a disproportionate amount relative to the pot size. Betting 1000 into a pot of 600 is an overbet.

SPR = stack to pot ratio. This is the ratio of the amount of chips held by the player with the smallest stack size in relation to the size of the pot. So, if there are two players in a pot with 1000 and 500 chips respectively, and the pot size is 100, the SPR is 5 because 500/100=5. I believe that SPR 7+ is high, 4-7 is medium, and <4 is low, but I could be wrong. Generally, you want to only be involved in low SPR pots when you have an extremely strong hand because your entire stack is essentially committed preflop.

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I think it’s:

  • below 3 low
  • between 3 & 7 medium
  • above 7 high
    but it doesn’t really matter since a SPR of four is the bottom of the grey zone.

MTT = Multi Tables Tournament
SnG = Sit and Go
HU = Heads Up
MW§ = Multi Way (Pot)
BB = Big Blind(s)

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Well done Joe.

WD = Well donked
HCYPCABBWRLTYD? = How could you possibly call a big bet with rags like that, you donut?
rags = crap cards such as 8-2 offsuit
( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) = Hey look, I made a bad call and sucked out
sucking out = making a bad call and getting there on the turn or river anyway
¯_(ツ)_/¯ = What can you do?
IYSOOMOMTISISAK = If you suck out on me one more time, I swear I’ll strangle a kitten!

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I always think that every player has different philosophies and methods of playing. Some people may gauge Success or failure by looking at their chip stacks. Newer players (or less experienced players), will Judge the amount of success they have by equating the amount of chips they have by the amount of time they’ve been playing. Normally a false sense of security of course!. In my experience, Ring games and tourneys require a much different mind set. Tourneys require a lot more patience…imagine a surfer who has to wade out a while and hit so many small waves…but then when they get through a little turbulence to begin with, they will soon find the bigger waves to bring you in. Re: losing a hand that u were sure you had won…and u get that sick and hollow feeling inside your stomach, laugh it off immediately and just focus on the next hand…and think, you have done something like that to someone else in the past.

there is one more button that can be used in those situation and thats the fold button u can do it at any time and move on to next hand, simple…i dont have a ton of chips but i get by and even win once in a while U CANT WIN THEM ALL…if you r doubting your hand then its probably better to fold…bout 80% of the time you will be right :slightly_smiling:

I get fed up with all this "After all, it is FREE CHIPS " crap. THAT is why so many morons will bet anything! That makes it a lottery not poker!

Or just leave and do something you can enjoy…

now thats cool nice job Joe, a player called me that one night playing real cards, fish, didnt know what he meant, thought he was refering to the river . now I know better !!! lol

thanks for the lesson

Thanks so much for this,

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Don’t sweat it harley. I’ve been called that numerous times. I am learning and having fun at the game.