Today there are a lot of articles on the Internet with original tips and “winning strategies. And on YouTube, videos with big bets and players making spectacular bluffs get a huge number of views. Not surprisingly, many beginners get into trouble trying to play “unusually. That’s why it’s important to remember the basics, as discussed below.
The tit-for-tat aggressive style still works and has many followers. Only play strong hands to gain an advantage over your opponents. That way you can bet based on your cards and bluff less.
There are no secrets or complicated nuances here. Anyone can play tightly and aggressively. First of all, you should be very selective about your starting hands and play them aggressively. That means going into the pot with a rake rather than a call, and you should bet more often than you check. In the end, you have two options to take the pot: on showdown or by making your opponents fold. In addition, you’ll be able to control the pot.
You must enter the pot with a bet of x3 and add a big blind for each limper. So, for a $0.50/1$ game, your starting bet would be $3 + $1 if someone at the table has already taken a limp. Yes, everyone has their own idea of opener, but by sticking to standard tactics, you won’t scare off weak players, and you won’t let others get cheap into the pot.
“World poker legend” Doyle Brunson once said: “If I could always play in the button position, I’d win every game blind.” In poker, information about your opponents is crucial: the more information you have, the better decisions you can make. That’s why the position of the batton is considered to be the most advantageous. He finishes the betting round with the blinds in the preflop and has the final say in the postflop.
Playing without a position is always harder (unless you’re unlucky with a monster hand). In that case, you have to guess at your opponents’ cards. Let’s say you have a 5-6. If you’re on the batton and a few players call before you, you can call too, expecting to get good cards on the flop. But you can’t play that early in the game, because the player behind you might rake. Even if you manage to see the flop, you still have to play the next street out of position.
In a game of nines, the positions can be 1 and 2 are blinds, 3, 4, and 5 are early positions, 6 and 7 are middle positions, and 8 and 9 are late positions.
Playing in Early Positions
The main goal of ABC poker is to minimize the possibility of difficult situations. So when playing early position, it’s pretty simple: you only need strong hands. Fold everything weaker than A-J and all pairs below eights. If you suddenly feel like playing a weak hand like K-J, think about what you’re going to do against a 3-bet. Make only simple decisions, and you won’t have a problem.
Playing in the middle positions
In the middle positions, you can expand your range and play more hands. You’ll already have information about the players in front of you, but there are also 2 or 3 other opponents behind you.
If someone in front of you raises, think hard about what hands they might have. Following from ABC tactics, you should only take a call with A-J+ cards and 8+ pairs. If the player in the early position calls, however, you’re allowed to limp with hands that go well in a multi-pot, such as pairs and one-handed connectors.
Playing Late Positions
Playing in the late position, it is acceptable to have a relatively wide range of hands, as you have an advantage over your opponents. You can play all pairs, from aces with a one-straight kicker under a ten to hands like K-T and one-straight connectors.
As you can see, your hand range remains limited even in favorable position – even here you need a strong hand. Remember that while stealing blinds is an important element of the game, you shouldn’t try to do it with any two cards. If the blinds get protected, you’re going to make life a lot harder for yourself in the postflop.
Playing in the blinds
This is always a tough position to play. Many people try to protect themselves with wide hand ranges because they don’t want to lose their already bet money. But defending too wide will eventually lead to even more losses.
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t give up your money easily, either. Carefully assess the situation and defend, if it can be done with little blood. On the big blind, you can use a wider range of hands than on the small blind.
When to deviate from the ABC-strategy
In the good old days, using only ABC strategies was enough to be a successful player. Today the game of poker has become more demanding, but using time-tested tactics is still enough to win at low limits. ABC-strategy is also very useful to gather information about the other opponents without risk on your part.
The main disadvantage of ABC poker is that it is quite predictable, and good players can figure out your tactics quite quickly. If that happens, you can try to diversify your game with bluff raises with weak hands and raises with small pairs and one-straight connectors in the early positions. Don’t play hands like K-T, which can be easily dominated.
Don’t forget to keep a close eye on your opponents. If you see players to your left playing too tight, you can expand your range in the middle positions. If your opponents, on the other hand, are aggressive, you should finish limping and enter the pot as cheaply as possible.