Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781880685013
  • Publisher: Two Plus Two Publishing, LLC
  • Publication date: 11/28/1994
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 216
  • Product dimensions: 5.43 (w) x 8.43 (h) x 0.63 (d)

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Odds and Implied Odds

Most players make many of their calling decisions based on the size of the pot related to the current bet. While this does give an indication of what is correct, pot odds should be adjusted based on the expected future action of your opponents. For example, if the bettor is to your right and there are other players who might raise behind you, you should adjust the pot odds considerably lower. Specifically, you would reduce your calling frequency, since there is a possibility of a raise behind you.

Here are two extreme examples of this concept. First, suppose you hold Ac Tc and the flop is As Qs 9d

You should fold if you are in second position, a solid player to your right bets, a number of players are behind you, and there has been no raise before the flop.

A second example is to fold in the same situation if you hold Kd Jd and the flop is Js Ts 8h

Exceptions to folding these hands are when the pot has become very large and/or the game is very loose. (The first condition is often the case in today's games, but don't use this as an excuse to make an automatic call.) Also, remember that calling is sometimes the worst play. That is, folding or raising in these situations is usually a superior strategy. If the pot is large and you are going to play, it is generally correct to raise with these types of hands. You should seldom call, as you cannot afford to give someone behind you who holds a marginal hand the correct odds to draw out on you.

In addition, if you call on the flop and intend to also call on fourth street, keep in mind that the pot odds you are getting are not as good as they appear. The additional call that you plan to make lowers the effective odds that you are receiving from the pot. (For a more detailed discussion of these concepts, see The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky.)

Sometimes, however, the opposite will be the case. That is, your implied odds actually are better than the odds that the pot is offering you. This occurs when you plan to continue playing only if you hit your hand. Otherwise, you will fold. What this means is that the pot does not have to offer you seemingly correct odds to play a particular hand.

An example is to call before the flop with a small pair, if there is little danger of a raise, when you have odds of only about 5-to-1. (The odds against flopping a set are approximately 7+-to-1.) A second example is to try for an inside straight on the flop when you have odds of only about 8-to-1. (The odds against making your gut shot are approximately 11-to-1.) By the way, in a loose passive game, where you anticipate a lot of callers, small pairs can be played up front even if you do not have odds (as yet) as good as 5-to-1.

Specifically, if you hold 6d 5d and the flop is Kc 8s 4h you can call even if you are getting a little less than the required 11-to-1. However, if a two flush is on board, or for some other reason you are not sure that your hand will be good if you hit it, you probably would want odds of at least 11-to-1 to call.

Finally, even if the odds don't seem to justify it, you still should make a loose call every now and then, as you don't want to become known as a "folder." If you are regarded as a folder, other players will try to run over you, and otherwise predictable opponents may turn tricky and become difficult to play against. (Once again, for a more thorough analysis of pot odds and implied odds, see The Theory of Poker by David Sklansky.)

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Table of Contents

Foreword by Ray Zee vi
Introduction 1
Using This Book 5
Why Play Texas Hold'em 7
Part One: The First Two Cards 9
Introduction 10
Hand Rankings 12
The First Two Cards: Early Position 16
The First Two Cards: Middle Position 21
The First Two Cards: Late Position 23
The First Two Cards: Live Blinds 28
The First Two Cards: Late-Position Blind 34
Afterthought 36
Part Two: Strategic Concepts 39
Introduction 40
Semi-Bluffing 41
The Free Card 49
Slow-Playing 59
Check-Raising 62
Odds and Implied Odds 66
Bluffing 69
Inducing Bluffs 72
Folding when the Pot is Big 75
Heads-up Versus Multiway 77
Raising 79
Heads-up on Fifth Street 85
Afterthought 92
Part Three: Miscellaneous Topics 93
Introduction 94
Being Beat on the River 95
Continuing the Semi-Bluff 98
Getting a Free Card 100
Staying With a Draw 101
Playing When There Is No Raise Before the Flop 103
Playing When Two Suited Cards Flop 105
Playing When a Pair Flops 106
Playing Pairs in the Hole 107
Playing Trash Hands 110
Playing Against a Maniac 112
Playing Good Hands When It Is Three Bets Before the Flop 114
Playing When the Flop Is All the Same Suit 116
Fourth Street Play 118
Afterthought 123
Part Four: Playing in Non-Standard Games 124
Introduction 125
Playing in Loose Games 126
Playing in Extremely Tight Games 128
Playing Against a Live Straddle 129
Playing in Short-Handed Games 131
Playing in Spread-Limit Games 133
Afterthought 135
Part Five: Other Skills 136
Introduction 137
Reading Hands 138
Psychology 144
Afterthought 150
Part Six: Questions and Answers 151
Introduction 152
Afterthought 201
Conclusion 203
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