Archive for the ‘Poker Lessons’ Category

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

Poker is becoming highly competitive, and to stay ahead of your competition, you need to keep improving all the time. Just ask all-time great, Daniel Negreanu, who says he continues to work hard to keep up with the young poker studs. Obviously, you can find a lot of information on how to balance your ranges and you can learn game theory optimal (GTO) strategies to compete with tough players. However, there’s very little talk about how you can exploit your opponents to maximize results.

Do not get me wrong, understanding and learning GTO strategy is essential if you want to play in higher-stake games and grow as a player. But if your end goal is to make more money, you can surely find some spots for that.

Betting versus missed c-bet
Today, I want to talk about one of the most powerful moves you can add to your arsenal – betting versus missed continuation bet. It is probably the most underused play that can change your results dramatically. When your opponent decides not to c-bet after raising pre-flop, you have a great opportunity to steal the pot and, with very few exceptions, should do that almost all the time.The joy of winning after C-Betting

It does not matter if you are in or out of position, playing 3bet or single raised pot. In all of these cases, you can put a lot of pressure on your opponents if your first instinct is to bluff, unless you get a very unfavorable run out.

Most of the time this happens when you defend from the BB versus late position open and then you both check on the flop.?  If your opponent decided to check, he either has a weak hand, total air or he’s trapping, which is going to happen very rarely. Therefore, on most run outs you should fire a bet on the turn and continue barreling on the river as well. The only dangerous scenarios are when the board pairs or an Ace hits on the turn, because many players tend to check back A-high hands. Moreover, when the board pairs, you will get fewer folds because players are more likely to bluff catch with low pairs or even A-high hands so you can let it go.

Apart from that, you should feel free to fire a bet. If you choose to bet 2/3 of the pot, you only need to make him fold 40% of his range to make an instant profit, and that is usually the case. People just don’t have that many strong holdings in their checking range, so you can and should take advantage of that. Even if your opponent decides to call on the turn, he will end up folding most of his hands on the river. Thus, this is one of the spots where applying aggression is going to pay you huge dividends in the future.

Summing it up
As you see, it is not enough to learn Texas Holdem poker rules to make the most profitable decisions and sometimes you just have to think outside the box. Do not try to balance your ranges blindly and if you recognize mistakes in your opponent’s play – take advantage of that.Poker tables from the Texas Poker Store

In the next few upcoming articles, I will show you other profitable spots to exploit your competition at the poker tables, so stay tuned for more!

Send me your thoughts, comments or questions!

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

In my last blog I wrote about the fact that most poker players stick to games they know, like Texas Hold’em, or maybe Omaha or 7 Card Stud. However, there are so many other formats that can bring another level of excitement to your game. So, if you are bored playing the same games or just want to try something new, I highly recommend learning 2-7 Triple Draw Low ball Poker.

Even if you won’t play this game very often, learn the rules and try it out. I really think you’ll enjoy it.

2-7 Triple Draw Low Ball Rules

The game starts when players post the blinds, and everyone gets their five cards. Just like in any popular 5-Card Draw variant, your holdings are only visible to you. Moreover, there are no community cards, so you are just playing your own hand.

Before jumping into game play, I want to emphasize that the goal of this game is to make the worst possible combination! Therefore, if you end the hand having a flush, straight, trips or even just a pair, your holding is extremely weak, and you are unlikely to win. Another rule that is exceptional for this game is that an Ace only counts as a high card. So while in other games such as Razz, A 2 3 4 7 would be a great combination, in 2-7 Triple Draw Low ball it is a weak hand just because of this exception. For this game, the best possible combination is 2 3 4 5 7, and your goal is to get as close to it as possible.

Going back to the game play, as you probably understand from the name, you have a chance to draw new cards. Actually, there are three drawing rounds in total after each betting round, so you have many ways to improve your hand. In each round, you can draw as many cards as you like or stay with your original hand and keep all of your cards. After all drawing and betting rounds end, a showdown follows and the player holding the lowest combination wins.

All you have to do is follow these simple rules to try this game. It is definitely more fun than it sounds from the description and you are doomed to have a good time.

Conclusion

Playing this and other less well-known formats can bring new challenges, as well as a lot of fun, to your games. It is extremely helpful if you choose an online poker site which offers many different games in one place so you can enjoy the action.

Try new games, learn new things and you will start enjoying yourself at the poker tables like never before!

Send me your thoughts or comments!

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

Most poker players choose to play Texas Hold’em or Omaha and ignore the fact that there are so many different poker games which can also be a lot of fun. Obviously, it would be hard to play these games for a living, but they work well if you want to introduce something different into your weekly home game routine. If you feel like trying something new, why not give these two games a chance?

Chinese Poker

Before trying it, make sure to study and understand the rules. It plays very differently from standard poker games and is based on counting points instead of betting and raising as we are used to seeing. Moreover, it has a few different formats, so you have to learn the basics before jumping into this game.

The most popular variant is OFC (Open Face Chinese) poker. This game can be played with two, three or four players and each of them gets a total of 13 cards. The goal is to arrange your cards in three lines:

  • The top line has only three cards, and the best possible combination here is trips. This hand should be the weakest one compared to the other lines.
  • The middle line has five cards and all combinations count like in regular poker. It has to be stronger than the top line, but weaker than the bottom.
  • The bottom line has five cards as well and has to be the strongest one.

If you do not follow the rule for the strength of the lines, you fault the hand and lose at once. Therefore, you have to think in advance and try not to make this mistake.

Before playing the game, you have to decide the value of the points and pay out winning players accordingly. To learn how to count points simply Google “OFC points” and you will quickly get a feel for this game.

Irish poker

This game is much easier because it relies on Texas Hold’em poker rules with some mix of Omaha. We can say it brings the best from both games and combines them to produce maximum fun at the table.

The game play is fairly straightforward; players post blinds and everyone is dealt in. The only difference from Texas Hold’em is that you get four cards at the beginning instead of two and the action starts. The whole beauty of the game appears on the flop, where every player has to decide which two cards he is going to fold and which he is going to keep.

That is the only difference in the game. After seeing the flop and choosing which cards you are playing, you continue as in any Texas Hold’em hand until everyone folds, or you see a showdown.

If you have not tried this game try to explain it to your poker buddies, and you’ll be surprised how much excitement and/or confusion it can bring to your poker routine.

Send me your thoughts, comments or questions!

Tadas PeckaitisTadas “My Poker Coaching” Peckaitis

The first decisions that you have to make in a hand are always pre-flop, and choosing the right path will make your life much easier on the coming streets. Many players make these decisions automatically without even thinking of alternative lines or adjustments that could increase their win rate, and that could cost a lot in the long run.

I strongly believe that you need to have a solid plan with balanced ranges as your starting strategy. If you still do not have one, make sure to grab my poker hands cheat sheet. However, to reach better results, you have to adjust these ranges versus different players,instead of playing it blindly.

Adjusting versus recreational players

One of the most common changes in your strategy should be loosening up and playing more hands when you are up against weaker competition. First of all, you can easily open more hands because these opponents will not 3bet you much as a bluff and play very straightforward post flop, giving you many chances to outplay them. Moreover, their strategy will be very obvious, and you will always know where you stand in the hand.

Thus, when you face a raise from a passive player on the river, you can easily fold all your medium strength hands knowing that it is the right move. Taking into consideration that these players will not give you a hard time post flop, will straightforwardly play their hands and make many mistakes, you can easily play more hands versus them and considerably increase your win rate.

Adjusting versus tougher opponents

There is a whole new story when you are up against someone good. Contrary to the first example, these players will punish you quite hard for any irregularities in your game, and you really do not want to get out of line against them.

The best adjustment is to play a bit tighter and try to gain range advantage over them. If you can do that and have better hands pre-flop, then you obviously will have more made hands post flop as well and can build your stack without taking enormous risks. Apart from tightening your ranges a bit, you should not deviate from balanced strategies. Your best bet is to play in an unexploitable GTO (game theory optimal) way and stay away from  trouble.

If you can do that and exploit all the mistakes of your weaker opponents by changing your pre-flop ranges, you will gain an ultimate edge and be on the right track for success at the poker tables!

Send me your thoughts, comments or questions!