What has helped you improve your poker the most?!?!?!

How to Play RP Poker!!!

Please!!! Offer you Best Poker Rules, Tips & Advice that have improved your game as a beginner. Consider it a Poker Life Hack!

It needs to be simple & easy to understand & implement.

The reason I’m starting this Topic is bc poker friends & players have offered basic poker “Rules, Tips & Advice” to revolutionise my game like a poker bread slicer. Most recently as follows:

Fairly recently a RP player said (you know who you are) that leads are often a sign of weakness. Maybe subconsciously I knew & understood this but to have it offered as a basic poker rule or philosophy was invaluable. It takes it from a subconscious/intuitive poker read, gut feeling to a more mathematical/probability insight & advantage that I can develop, strategize & implement.

OFC Rules were meant to be broken, but here are my favourites & most valuable:

  • Don’t draw to a gut shot, inside straight draw (4 outs), open ended has double outs,8.
  • Suited cards are overrated by noobs.
  • Range: better cards beat worse cards more often - despite conspiracy.
  • Cbet bc players rarely hit the flop so even when you miss your still probably ahead or fold out weak hands.
  • Suited cards aren’t as good as they look.
  • Position.
  • Aggression is very profitable. Noobs are often too passive.
  • Poker Psychology: emotions dictate play 1000% Vs GTO & intelligent mathematical play in most recreational games but often even in high stakes pro games too.
  • Slow Play.
  • Check raise.
  • Check to Aggressor.
  • Board Texture: bet size, check or fold accordingly.
  • Value bet & learn to check rivers & call bluffs.
  • Play the Player: Adjust strategy (losse - aggressive) based on players.
  • Learn to bluff.

I’ve noticed some players talk advanced, mathematical & deep strategy and yet fail to grasp some really simple ABC poker rules & concepts & philosophies.

Its easy to pause a game & consider optimal play street by street, but when the kids riot your time to act is short. I think poker philosophy & principles & exploitation will be much more profitable Vs confused GTO analysis.

Please share your insight. Leads are weak was super simple yet incredibly valuable & easy to understand & implement. I would consider leads to some extent a defensive bet. Thanks!!!

The moment you enter a tournament, those chips are gone. Having spent them, they are already lost to you. Thus, you start with nothing, and if you bust out, you lose nothing. Play like you have nothing to lose.

This perspective comes from an old Buddhist teaching…

'One day Ajahn Chah held up a beautiful Chinese tea cup, ‘To me this cup is already broken. Because I know its fate, I can enjoy it fully here and now. And when it’s gone, it’s gone.’ When we understand the truth of uncertainty and relax, we become free." - version by Jack Kornfield (from The Wise Heart)

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Aggression is overrated. Yes, it is important and necessary. It also can get you into trouble. However there are times when it hurts more than it helps. Sometimes you will get more chips out of your opponent by trapping them, looking like you have nothing when you made a strong hand, and rather than give them a good reason to fold by betting, you give them a good reason to bet by checking and let them think you’ve missed, and they can get you to fold with a big bluff. Check-raise, or flat call and let them bet you again. You can get a lot more chips that way, very often, than you can by 3-barreling.

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tough 1 to say since there are so many important things, but since it has to be simple these are the 3 most important things imo, they kinda cover almost everything yet it’s making it easier to explain:

  • play a tight aggressive range as a baseline:
    this simply means you are very selective in which hands you play, but the ones you are playing need to go in with a raise in the very most cases (you still can play a bit wider in better positions). of course i can add a lot more depth in this one since there is way more to it, but this kinda is the most important part of it.

  • play a good bankroll management:
    this means you have to risk only a tiny part of your roll for each buy in. try to have at least 30 BI’s for cash games and 50 BI’s for tournaments. of course also this one has exceptions. when you are completely certain you are crushing the stakes you can play a bit looser since being a (much) better player reduces variance. and the opposite is also true of course, if you are struggling to win at a certain stake (or not winning in the first place) you can tighten your BRM to avoid moving down in stakes as quickly as you have to otherwise. when we take it even a step further, when you are going pro you need at least 100 BI’s for cashgames and 200 BI’s for tournaments. i understand it’s not even close to be required in here but it does give some insight how tight you might need to go if you’re serious enough.

  • adaptability:
    this one means you recognise specific situations and respond the right way to them (you don’t just play your hand but also try to know as much as possible of your opponents hand so you can use it against him/her). in general ABC poker is the best (base) strategy, but vs good players they might see through it and counter your strategy, so in other words, you need to do this as well to keep winning. even vs simple opponents adaptability can drasticly improve your winnings. a few easy examples are like a persons that plays way too tight and overfolds their hands, vs them you don’t need to wqait for premiums, you even can make small raises very widely to keep stealing the blinds with low risk, of yourse you have to fold vs resistance unless you hold a great hand yourself. another example is like when you face a person who calls way too much, here you can also widen your range (but not too much otherwise you make the same mistakes as him) and keep betting when your hand is good (or even at medium strenght depending on how loose he is), they probably overpay for mediocrity or think too easily you are bluffing. simply said play your basic strategy but alter it if you have a good reason to do so.

i realise my post is starting to get beyond the “simple” part i intended so i’ll just leave it at this :slight_smile:

hope this helps,
yiazmat

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I will play a week maybe a month and just see what you all will jump on. You play at the sames times. Then I play a straight tight game and next you know you are buying more chips. Five years just on this account never bought a chip. My account before that well I was banned. Honestly I drank to much then so I deserved it.

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@ManToMonster

lol thanks for you input & entertainment. I’m fairly certain most players commenting in the FORUMs don’t buy chips - kinda irrelevant tho to the Topic although, maybe drinking is!!!

It does relate a little to @yiazmat point about adaptability tho. Players seem to go after players that “Buy Chips.” I’ve been targeted many times & TBH I’ve targeted a minority of players too.

Mostly I adapt to players that are trying to adjust based on incorrect emotional info. They mostly go broke to me, but occasionally they get me & that’s poker.

Getting back to the theme/topic: drinking less deff should be added as a good advice/tips.

@yiazmat

Your summary was very good. It was simple & you simply expanded on basic concepts/rules for understanding purposes. Personally IMO simplicity will be best for most beginners. Basic concepts that can very easily be implemented are much more valuable IMO, than over the top complicated strategies. TAG is a good winning starting strategy. Bankroll Management is incredibly simple & easy to understand & implement. Adaptability is deff the most complicated but the concept is still fairly simple & easy to understand. This is starting to examine the psychology of poker, which IMO will win a lot more than advanced mathematical poker calculations.

Your summary was exactly what I was looking for. A few basic poker principles, rules, concepts with some basic explanation.

Past these three very good starting points what did you learn next or what would you rate as the next best basic poker tip/s. Personally a friend told me that an inside straight draw has only 4 outs Vs open ended straight draws 8 outs. I’m sure this saved me a lot of wasted chips chasing weak draws.

The same friend would also continuously exploit me with basic ABC aggression & Cbets etc. I remember play a game against him & frustratingly saying you can’t hit every flop. Although to some degree I understood he was exploiting me I wasn’t couldn’t counter his aggression or how to play the same aggressive exploitative poker. Understanding 1) aggression 2) Cbets 3) bluffing im sure would have helped me immensely.

Thanks for you contribution.

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@puggywug

It’s funny you say aggression is overrated. Of all the pro poker players Phil Hellmuth & Phil Laak to a lesser degree don’t play very aggressive or often play passive. Yes being aggressive can get you in trouble but I think also the opposite probably occurs more often. Almost always playing passively & always trying to trap isn’t a good strategy IMO. I’ve seen Phil Hellmuth slow play many times & end up trapping himself.

Slow play is a great weapon to use especially against agro maniac calling stations. It was my weapon of choice whilst learning to play poker. I probably don’t use it enough now. Slow play is terrible almost always against passive fish that don’t show any aggression & never bluff. It’s missed value.

I think as a new & inexperienced player being passive & not understanding how to play aggressively is Hero’s biggest weakness.

Reading poker books…betting when the money is right (knowing the odds)…developing patience at the table…acting aggresivelly…

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@county29

Patience is very important. I guess it depends on personality type. I understand its importance but would like more. I’m naturally aggressive but sometimes lose my patience & gamble when I should give up & fold.

@puggywug

I think aggression is very easily confused with agro maniac play, with a disregard to strategy or intelligence. I guess aggression needs to be defined a little more or better than I have tried to do TBF. I’ll start & if others would like to add or improve on my deff then that’s great. Here are a few aspects tho:

  • Open bet (not limping)
  • Cbet
  • Check raise
  • Shove
  • Bluff

Some of the best players use these skills well whilst others very seldomly. If used correctly all are EV+. You will win more using some strategic aggressive tactics than passive non tactics.

I’m not against breaking rules & occasionally limping etc but consistently breaking the rules & playing passively is generally bad & EV-. Its almost certainly more acceptable on RP, but as a general poker strat/rule jus bad.

I certainly haven’t considered everything but even consider good players will play position more aggressively. Deff blinds more in tournaments etc.

Overall aggression is much more profitable IMO than passive play.

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Without aggression, you can only win with your cards. With aggression, you can win with your cards or with your chips.

Having more ways to win is good.

Having less ways to win is bad.

Good is better than bad.

Pretty simple, right?

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No, it’s not that simple.

Be aggressive, yes.

Be too aggressive, and you win smaller pots. Say you have a High ace, and open it preflop to 5BB, isolating to one player. You flop an Ace, and bet it aggressively with a pot-size bet. Your opponent folds. Great, you didn’t get outdrawn. You win a pot that is double what you put in preflop, +1.5BB, so 11.5BB, of which you had put in 5BB preflop + 11.5BB that didn’t get called on the post-flop bet to close the hand. So you risked 16.5BB to win 11.5BB, and you end up with only 6.5BB more than you did before the hand.

Let’s say you don’t rely only on aggression, now what happens.

You raise to 5BB, get one caller, the blinds both fold. 11.5BB in the pot for the flop. You pair the Ace, and the board is pretty dry – rainbow suited, spaced out pretty nicely, a 2 and a 9. You decide to check. Your opponent has hit for middle pair, and decides you missed, and they’ll take this pot from you, so they make a pot size bet. You raise all-in. Opponent realizes their mistake and folds. You take an extra 11.5BB.

Be too aggressive, you win a lot of small pots, and then pay it all back with a big pot later.

You play the first 6 pots of a SNG, getting great cards: ATs, AJ, KK, 99. You open to a pot-size raise on each hand, and the first two times it folds the table, winning you 45 chips each time. The third time, KK, you get a caller who misses the flop and lays down, and you get 180 chips. The fourth time
the flop is 7J7, and you hit for two pair 9977, someone calls you on the flop, holding a Jack for a better hand, but then lays down to your second pot-size bet on the Turn, afraid that you have trip 777s, and you win 360. The fifth time, you miss with KQ, but your c-bet is too strong and everyone gives up. You’ve gotten up +630 chips from your aggressive play. The Sixth hand, you get AKs, your strongest preflop hand yet, and you’re annoyed that you’ve only won small pots so far, so you raise to 350 chips. Someone calls. Pot is 745. You miss the flop, but do catch a draw, QJ6, and so you decide you’re running good, you’ll bet this one down too, so you put in a 2/3 pot bet, 500 chips, and this time your opponent calls, pot is now 1745. You draw a brick on the Turn, and check, now your opponent bets 1/5 pot, about 400 chips. It’s a weak play, so you figure they don’t now how to bet correctly, this is just a feeler, and if you come back strong they’ll surely fold. Besides with the straight draw plus your two overcards, the odds are ok here. You put go to 2000, but instead of folding, they call. Now the pot is huge, you’re both nearly all-in, and still one more street to go. You miss the straight on the river and are looking at A-high. The only way you take this pot is if you bluff them down, but you don’t have the chips to do it. If you bet here, and get called, you’re toast. If you check-fold here, you’ve lost more than what you won through the first five hands of being aggressive. You check, V shoves, you fold. V shows QQ, they hit top set. You’re left with about 800 chips, and now you have to play muck-or-shove until you double up 2-3 times, or bust.

Aggression is good and necessary, but too much can backfire, and having more ways to win also means being able to win through passive plays and trapping, not simply through only being aggressive or folding all the time.

The basic concept of aggression is good, and good is still better than bad. The concept is simple.

Its proper application isn’t always simple.

The hammer is an essential addition to any set of tools, but you shouldn’t use it to cut glass.

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thanks, nice to hear you like it :slight_smile:

since tag strategy is kinda the starting point when you want to play solid ABC poker i would probably add a few more concepts to that. imo the next things after uinderstanding the other 3 points would be to have a basic understanding of math and position, it’s also important not to make too much (or too few) of the same actions (fold,call,raise) i just call this one alteration. since both (like most parts of the game) are actually very wide and very situational, i shall start with the most important stuff you need to know.

  • position: position means when it is your turn to act. the reason this part is so important is because of the information you either have or lack.
    because of this, the latest position (the button) is the best in the game. that way you know everyone’s decision before you have to make your own. of course not only the button matters, every position has a difference, the later your turn the better it is. because of this you can open (playing a hand preflop, usually with a raise) much wider from late position then from early position. an easy example is that you would usually open 9 handed AJ+ from under the gun (the position after the blinds) and you might even open A2+ from the button

  • math: since there are many mathematical parts in the game, i’ll recommend to start with pot odds since you gonna need it the most. it simply means you compare the amount to have to pay to the chance you have of hitting your draw. when the odds are in your favor you call. when they are not you fold. you might want to consider semibluffing and implied odds as well when you get more experience, but for now it’s best to just focus on this. first of all, you need to know the odds of hitting your hand. the easiest way to do this is by the rule of 4&2. it simply means you multiply your outs (leftover cards in the deck that can turn your hand into a winning hand) by 2 to know the odds of hitting your hand on the next card. only multiply it by 4 if it’s for both cards after the flop, but you only need this one if it’s an all-in situation. this rule isn’t 100% accurate but certainly close enough to use it well. after you know your odds you compare it to the % you have to pay. don’t forget to add both your opponents bet and your call to the pot size because if you call they become part of it. example: pot size is 50, your opponent bets 25 (half pot). so you need to call 25 to see the next card. this would be 25% because when you add 50+25+25 the pot will be 100. so if you have 25% or more to hit your next card it will always be a profitable call.

  • alteration: what i mean with this is not to make too much of the same action, or if your opponent does you try to exploit it. people who do this are probably the most common fish (bad players) and most easy to recognise. people who call too much are probably the most common here, they limp (call the blind) hands and call a lot of mediocre hands postflop. so to exploit them you patiently wait until you get a good hand and keep betting at them, the more they call the more they pay you off. you also need to consider your own hand, don’t play massive pots if you also hold a mediocre hand. as for raising too much, the counter is mostly the same, you wait for a good hand and make them pay big when you do, the main difference would be that you might want to call more and raise less unless your strong hand is also vulnerable (something like an overpair with possible draws for example). some players who raise too much might back off if you raise back. if a player folds too much you want to play a more loose range of hands and usually make small raises often. however if a player who overfolds calls or raises back at you then run unless you hold a monster yourself, he probably has one too.
    those are the reasons you don’t want to make too much of one action, you get too easily exploited and you miss equity in spots where you could have got more or lost less.

this one is maybe a bit more complicated then the one before but since it’s based on already having the knowledge of the previous post i assume it’s okay. i still kept it as simple as possible and many parts are just to understand the reason behnd it

edit: it might sound obvious but always try to have a reason behind your action. if you are unsure it’s often a bad (or at least not the best) way to play it. if it’s still hard as a beginning player (or even as an experienced player) to know if you made the right action and why, then consider looking back at your previous hands. there is no time pressure so at every single action you made you can think like why did i do that, what would it accomplish, what could he have, if he has this or that would i have wanted to play like this, is my hand worth this action, and many many more things. the more you learn the more you will probably see to think about. it’s a game with endless situations after all so there are also endless ways to act (the right way) to them.

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What happens EVERY TIME I’m “aggressive”.

I pick the wrong time:

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/616973431

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/616969518

Completely misplayed. DO NOT DO THIS.

The final hand came after two players had shoved and folded the table earlier. It’s my turn, A5s goes right into KK, who not only has KK, but freaking flops KKK and Turns KKKQQ. What can I do.

Not base all poker decisions off of a sample set of 1 hand.

My record on all-in hands HAS to be one of the worst on all of Replay. I probably win less than 10% of the time in hands when at least one player is all-in.

Either they have it, or they hit a freak hand. EVERY TIME.

Here’s some nice AAggression to bag me a whopping 60 chips.

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/616977645

This guy NEVER DIDN’T have Trip 555s when the board came flopping two fives. I of course wanted to end the game at this point with my SUPERIOR AGGRESSION. I literally SCREAMED the F-word while I bet here, but it doesn’t carry through because Replay doesn’t support audio streams. This gave him that courage needed to call my shove with the trips over two pair to win the game.

https://www.replaypoker.com/hand/replay/616984399

It’s important to note that in this game I had gained a 800 chips advantage through the early blind levels, and had AA dealt to me TWICE, raised it, and got him to fold preflop with a 3BB raise, THANK GOD so he couldn’t crack my Aces.

Once blinds went to 100/200, suddenly my opponent found the call button, the raise button preflop, and never didn’t have a better hand than the garbage I got dealt constantly from that point on. I had to fold enough hands in a row to give back all the edge I’d worked up in the early blind levels, and then proceeded to continue giving away my stack until I was down to 1600, at which point, F IT, and CHUCK IT.

Let’s continue burning through my bankroll 100k at a time with some very aggro heads-up play.

ill just add, that you can do the same action at a right frequency, bluff to value ratio. just keep an eye on your bet size.

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You can stop getting aggressive with hands like A5s.

Remember the PokerStars ad that said, “Poker is a game of patience and well-timed aggression.?”

Trying to force the action with A5s is neither.

because Ive played against players like SunPower, and sharon smants pants !!

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There are times you get aggressive and run into a better hand. Poker happens. You have to know when to shut down and throw up the white flag. Don’t go broke just because you want to be aggressive.

And if you do run into a hand, you don’t say, “Oh my, I’m never being aggressive again!” You will lose far more often playing a totally passive game. I will sometimes slow play a flopped boat or quads, but never try to trap with top pair, an overpair, or something like that.

Don’t try to cut glass with a hammer!

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