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

Maybe that’s why it works routinely here.

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True. You also get better value by betting & being aggressive Vs playing passive, defensive and calling.

Your also much more likely to get paid off. Give action = get action. It’s fairly easy to fold to passive Villain that mostly only bets the nuts.

The other aspect of being aggressive is defending your hand against draws. Rarely give free cards, make em pay. IMO this is an important aspect of aggression.


@Punlsher Thanks for your contribution.

Bet sizing is very important & I’ll also add Value bet. Keep in mind this is a beginners guide. I would encourage beginners to learn to bluff, but IMO its a new lesson and might complicate their basic starting poker learning experiences. Also its not important/necessary to start out as a noob & win on RP IMO.

I’ve noticed players on RP often just bet 100% pot or 50% the rest of the time with occasional 1BB bets & min raises etc. Bet sizing for new players is an issue & lesson not learnt.

I know players that have played for years have learnt basic poker strategy & yet they never bluff. They still play reasonably well & win but it is a significant hole in their game.

Before considering this bluff to to value ratio I think a small lesson first on bluffing would be great. I’m not great at bluffing though I do use it more often than most players & will use it increasingly if I can get away with it.

It would be great if someone could make a basic bluff lesson, as @yiazmat has done.

I’ll add my 2cents worth on bluffing with some do’s & don’ts and try to keep it as ABC baby food as possible. Please correct or make a better bluff tut:

  • Bluff strategically
  • Don’t bluff calling stations
  • Do bluff players that over fold
  • Do bluff hands with very little showdown value but Don’t bluff hands with decent showdown value
  • Rarely make random river bluffs out of nowhere bc they look like bluffs & will get called
  • Adjust bluff size accordingly & try to bluff profitably
  • Don’t be overly discouraged by getting called bluffing & losing; your not playing Live on TV & your ego probably isn’t as fragile as Phil Hellmuths.

Strategically bluffing missed draws in big pots can be extremely profitable. Having said that my recommendation would be start by learning to bluff small pots strategically.

Thoughts & Ideas?



Thanks again for your work.

As said this is a beginners guide. My intent was to make a very simple & fun step by step guide for new players that’s easy to learn. New player: never played or watched poker before. I was also hoping to list suggestions, tips, rules etc 1-10 or even 1-20. It would be great if you or others could do similar.

I would add your tips thus far as my personal preference. I have renamed a few but they mostly remain the same.

1. TAG - changed the title/name but I think it represents most of what you’ve expressed without detracting or altering too much.

2. Bankroll Management - great suggestion bc it’s stupidly easy to understand, learn & implement and essential.

3. Position - I skipped to this as 3rd bc its ABC poker & simple. It’s easier to grasp learn, understand & implement IMO than the suggested adaptability.

4. Basic Maths - Again I’m skipping to maths bc this tip was very good & simple. I’m not great with pot odds calculations, TBH I’m bad - but ur summary is very ABC easy. I can weigh up a reasonable call Vs a terrible call considering pot odds. Even players like Hellmuth & Phil Ivey have been critiqued & criticised for their poker maths. Having a reasonable working understanding of poker maths is essential but other poker skills will be far more profitable.

5. Poker Psychology 101 - Almost all humans & poker players are extremely susceptible to the psychology & emotions of poker. I’m not going to fully expand on this topic but IMO understanding & learning this is more important than basic poker maths IMO. Learn & understand yourself & opponents.

6. Adaptability - Understanding poker psychology better puts Hero in a better position to adapt IMO. Adapting is based on facts & understanding (info) which to some extent requires PP 101 and responding accordingly.

I’ll leave off at 6 and it’s not written in stone, so I’ll adjust & am interested in others suggestions.

Ok, Im not going to alter but 6 should be bet size simply bc I see most of RP bet sizes are without thought or intelligence. I forgot about this but remembered @Punlsher comment.

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This post is about basic RP poker discussion & strategy. I’m deff an advocate for aggressive poker play. Here is a hand I play with KK in the SB losing half my stack with aggressive play. It hurt a little but surprised me more.

Here is the hand I lost which IMO is fairly significant for many reasons:


Despite the fact I lost I would still argue that aggression is more profitable. I don’t think I played the hand badly. I played against Villain previously & expected V to possibly have a set on the flop after the call. I still bet the turn bc its deff a possibility but not likely. The rest is history. I did save half my shocked stack.


Keep in mind this is poker tips, rules & advice not a bar to tell your bad beats over a drink.

I appreciate your an advocate for slow play. It’s a great tip. The greatest tournament player of all time loves to slow play. He is an addict. He tells everyone too!!!

I’m using the nuts loosely as many decent poker players will understand.

If your going to post hands then at least offer some tips, rules, advice or analyses. This isn’t a place to find a shoulder to cry on. In any case:

Your bet sizes are bad. Mostly 100% pot & too often. This might seem insignificant but its important. Pre flop raise was min & ALL IN.

A shove on the button is gambling so you get what you give. All in & called to lose Vs better hand, standard poker. Yes a little unlucky but not great play.

The min raise should be fold or bigger or I’ll accept a limp. Limp is bad but min bet is prob worse, UTG prob a fold in MTT. Why 100% pot bet the flop? Check & slow play or value bet it. Betting 100% folds almost everything you beat.

You show every hand, play passively & expect to get paid? I notice you show your hands a lot, & only show the nuts? I’ve never seen you show a bluff, maybe I missed one? This kills your action. It means OFC your not getting paid often bc of passive/weak play. When you bet you always have the best hand. Your incapable of bluffing.

I honestly think bluffing is more overrated than “playing aggressively” as you yourslf mentioned. Here is the thing tho. If you only show the nuts & only get caught with the nuts it means your almost never bluffing almost always value betting. Any half intelligent player wont call you very often.

Bluffing is completely unnecessary against RP players IMO to be a good winning player (unless playing HU or shorthanded). Never showing a bluff but often showing the nuts kills your action. Why keep showing the nuts all the time?

I only show occasional bluffs for poker psychology 101, strait flush or quads for fun or extremely rarely strong hands to get respect etc. I always have a purpose for showing except for extremely rare hands, purely for fun.

If your capably of giving up on blaming luck or RP and trying to learn better poker ABC strategy you could improve your game a lot. Its fairly simply but it is much easier to make excuses.

This is a good basic look into strategy. Slow play the “nuts”. You have little to nothing to lose (low risk) & gain more with slow play.

I’ve done the opposite to this by betting the flop with the “nuts” Quads or FH & checked the turn to get value. OFC it depends on leading or defending & position etc. C-bets are often called with little respect bc they are so often used. This sometimes entices bluffs etc.

Talking about shutting down? Here is an example: I took the lead with 99 on the button (6MAX).


The flop was good. Only 1 over card & backdoor straight draw. Was I overly aggressive IMO a little? But to some extent I would say not aggressive enough. So why?

Honestly you hit the nail with your basic ABC bluff guide, you really have a nice thread going on for a beginner player to carefully study.

ill try my best to give some more insight about Semi Bluffing, the only way to bluff.
Like you said, we must bluff strategically and semi bluffing is the way to do just that.

Semi Bluffing is when we bet when we don’t have the best hand but we have outs which are cards to come that can make us the better hand.

For example:
a Flush Draw has 9 outs
a open ender straight draw has 8 outs
a inside straight draw has 4 outs

When we miss the flop but we have a draw and we were the aggressor preflop, we can C-bet (continue betting) at a high frequency. If we get called and miss the turn, we can continue betting our draw on the turn if we are out of position and check back sometimes if we are in position.

There are other advance scenarios where we can bluff successfully.
If our opponents over fold we can bluff them with all of our range.
we can bluff with back door draws.
we can bluff when we gain equity in our hand.
we can bluff when the board texture favors our range.
do not bluff if our opponents are pot committed.

Just to summarize only bluff when we have outs which is a Semi Bluff. do not bluff if you completely miss the flop.

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Yeah, I have taken the same line too. I don’t “always” do the same thing. Still, if you are going to trap, it’s usually best to do it with very strong hands, not the midling “top/top” type holding.

I’ve said before that bets make a statement, while betting lines tell a story. Successful bluffs usually tell a story that is consistent on every street. Any deviation from what a player holding the nuts would do lowers your chance of success. Of course, this assumes your opponent is actually trying to put you on a hand. Don’t bother trying to bluff someone who is only looking at their own hand.

I will bluff with any 2 cards if folded to me and the player(s) to my left are folding too much. I do this without mercy, over and over and over. Since “wait for a hand, then play” is such a common tactic, it’s not hard to know when to slow down. If they play back at me, I can release the hand, but I will be right back at them the next chance I get.

As a tournament player, bet sizing is critical. If someone will fold to a min raise, I will min raise them. I generally try to risk the least amount of chips I can to accomplish a given goal. I often use the same bet sizings when I have a strong hand too, at least preflop and flop.

You should also be aware of a player’s bet/call tendencies. For example, I see a lot of people who will call the flop, call the turn,. then fold the river. Obviously, you want to save your bluffs for the river if you are playing someone who frequently follows this pattern. Board texture makes all the difference here.

I consider bluffing to be more art than science. There are a lot of subtle factors that go into a successful bluff. Some of these are hard to quantify. If you want to get better at bluffing, learn to pay very close attention to what your opponents are doing.



Thanks for your bluffing tips. I don’t really consider betting draws or a Cbet a real bluff, but more standard ABC poker play as I’m almost always betting them & playing aggressively. I was looking more at betting the river with nothing to force folds etc. Having said that, as I’ve said previously this is supposed to be a very simple & basic ABC poker guide for beginners. I don’t think new players need to bluff to be a decent winning players on RP. I do think its important that players learn to Semi Bluff so thanks for your guide. It’s perfect.

Good tip. I’ve started trying to do this more recently. A few times I’ve bet the turn in position & faced a hefty check raise. If I checked I could have drawn for free etc. Now I’ve got a tough & costly decision to make.

“Do not bluff pot committed opponents.” I totally overlooked this point…

Poker pro Joe Hachem said don’t bluff with no outs. It’s a very good beginners rule.

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I will bluff with any 2 cards if folded to me and the player(s) to my left are folding too much. I do this without mercy, over and over and over. Since “wait for a hand, then play” is such a common tactic, it’s not hard to know when to slow down. If they play back at me, I can release the hand, but I will be right back at them the next chance I get.

This is fairly standard play for good tournament players. Its very difficult to consistently survive multiple MTTs without good play & stealing the blinds. This basic ABC poker instinct/intuition is much more of a conscious effort for ring players, from my perspective.

As a tournament player, bet sizing is critical. If someone will fold to a min raise, I will min raise them. I generally try to risk the least amount of chips I can to accomplish a given goal. I often use the same bet sizings when I have a strong hand too, at least preflop and flop.

So many players make no insightful effort regarding their bet sizing. Its extremely common across RP.

For example, I see a lot of people who will call the flop, call the turn,. then fold the river.

I have seen a few players that consistently act like this. I’m rarely ever three barrel bluffing but against a few select opponents it will work fairly consistently. It only takes a little aggression from Villain to counter this but they seldom will.

Of course, this assumes your opponent is actually trying to put you on a hand. Don’t bother trying to bluff someone who is only looking at their own hand.

Intelligent players that actually think about the game tend to be easier to bluff that those that don’t. I’m often gobsmacked by the ridiculous calls players make with bottom pair no kicker hands on extremely risky boards.

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Learning to take “ownership” over my losses has improved my game the most. In all losses – this includes bad beats – I now think about the errors that I made that resulted in the loss. This involves both hand analysis (Replay is perfect for that) and also a deeper contemplation into how I might be perceived at the table. When I lose, it’s never because of bad luck. It’s always because I played the hand, the opponent, and/or the situation badly.




Very good point. I can think of a few times I played great and was very unlucky against someone that was very lucky & played really bad. The vast majority of the time after reflection & hand analysis my biggest losses were bc I didn’t play very good. Some of the best players in the world like Doug Polk & Jungleman spent a lot of time analysing hands, learning from mistakes & developing a strategy that was superior to opponents.

I’m not sure at what point I started to use ownership to try and actually improve my poker and stop making excuses for losing. Great point & top 10 for sure.

yw glad you like it :slight_smile:

fully agreed :+1:

i agree this one might be the hardest to learn of those 6 things, but lemme explain why i put that one first. in my first post i intended to put as much as possible into as few information as possible. the tag is to get the fundamentals for ABC poker, the BRM is to make winnings consistent and adaptabitliy is about knowing when not to follow the general rules. in other words if as a beginner you start to focus on those 3 things you got all the first steps covered and once you know then you can work any way from there. i completely agree math and position are all essential parts of the game that can’t be missed, but to understand position you need to know first what hands to play otherwise you can’t arrange your hand ranges to your position either. as for the math, when you get into a spot with something like a draw where you need pot odds, there was a reason why you should have played a drawing hand in the first place, and if there wasn’t a clear reason you already lost long term even before you came into the situation. the reason why adaptability is so different is because it’s about psychology and knowing when to do things you generally shouldn’t be doing.

actually the reason why i haven’t add anything at all about bluffing is because it’s not yet nessecary for a beginning player to learn as they still need to focus about how to play good hands well and how to avoid playing bad hands. bluffs are getting more important when you have at least medium strength players. but vs weak ones all you need is having patience for good hands anyway. besides, a good bluff already requires you to know several aspects of the game. for beginning players it usually seems like making crazy bets to chase someone away at all costs but that would be burning money unless you really know what you’re doing.
as for the bluff guide itself you mentioned, i have to agree with punisher you already did a very great job about it yourself, all you mentioned is straight to the point, easy to read and obviously all true. don’t think i could do any better so instead i only add one thing i feel is missing. which is making it believable. when you bluff you are trying your opponent to get away but to do that he needs to believe that he loses if he stays. so try to think of a hand you could be having it this situation and play it exactly like you would if you actually had that hand. example: you raise 45s from the BTN, the BB calls. flop is AQ8 rainbow. BB checks and you bet about 40% of the pot. of course you have nothing here, but the big cards aren’t very likely to be in your opponents range since he just called preflop from the big bind. on the other hand, even though you are on the button where you can raise a lot wider, it still means your good hands are in your range, and Ax hands are played often. so betting here you are trying to rep the ace. have to add a Cbet from the BTN is quite common so not everyone will fold that easily, but since your opponent isn’t likely to have something either you could still double barrel the turn on many potential cards and get him away then

agreed this one is also important, but it’s a hard one to explain easily since there are a lot of different situations which require different sizings. i could maybe say something like have a general rule of 70% pot bets as it would cover most situations, but still there are many other situations where you would want a different amount.
the best baselines i can think of would be something like bet higher on wet boards, bet lower on dry boards, bet similar to your bluff/value hands, vs opponents that don’t pay attention to your sizing abuse it as much as possible and make your semibluffs and your valuehands on drawing boards a similar size


When I exercise patient.

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In hold-em, the most common mistake is to enter the pot with weak cards. For a long-term winning strategy, the best advice is to play every hand as if it were the only hand you’d ever get. Imagine playing a million hands with 7-2 offsuit. You’d almost always fold, right? That’s how you should approach every hand. Sounds boring, right? Well most of poker IS boring.
People who play for excitement, based upon “gut instinct” or “feeling lucky,” will be losers in the long run.

I’m currently ranked around 3900 on Replay, and have never bought a chip. Someday I hope to be in the top 1000, or even the top 100, but I’m not going to play reckless poker in an attempt to get there. And if I never get there, so what? Who’s currently #1 on Replay? Don’t know? My point exactly.

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Its a very good point & fairly accurate. Yeah I have heard that basic statement before Poker is hours of boredom and nothingness mixed with minutes of pure terror & anxiety. OFC its a little bit of a joke & humorous.

Better cards will beat worse cards more often etc, but this is where better players come in. There is a poker saying you make your own luck. This is IMO particularly so if your an aggressive player etc. Whilst I don’t overly buy into it this concept that “you make your own luck” there is something to be learnt from the concept.

Annette Obrestad apparently played almost an entire online tournament without looking at her cards and did very well. That means she basically played position & tried to evaluate opponents. Im not sure how much truth there is in this story but it very well illustrates that its not just the hole cards that are important.

I deff agree. Play a reasonable hand range. I hate 72 & will fold it in a heart beat. Playing to get lucky, is a great way win & lose a lot. I had a friend that loved to say fortune favours the brave. He did win some good pots but he also lost quite a few too.

Patience, good cards, and staying relatively sober.


replay forums


Always bet on Pairs You’re dealt, Bet higher after a good flop & so on.

Royalty (Non-Pair) is the same story, Yet be more carefull, there’s a bigger chance of losing.

Don’t bet on everything you’re dealt until You have a higher comfort zone $$$$$$$$$$$$$.

Don’t ever go ALL IN till You absolutely know ALL the ways You can lose, Bluffers lose a lot.

You’re All Welcome!