Poker Tips by Philthy

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ph_il

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It seems to me like a lot of people are asking "how should i play?" or "how would you play x/x hand?" or "what should i do in a situation like this?"...and there isnt a wrong answer, but at the same time there isnt a right answer. Everyone could give their different theory about how someone should play in a given situation and most likely will all be right. There are just to many things to take into consideration the just 2 cards in front of you. Things like: what position are you, how many acted before you, how many are after you, is the pot size worth a call, are you will to call a (re)raise if there is one, who was the original raiser, etc, and no answer is 100% accurate because almost no given situation is entirely the same.

Ive been playing for about 5 years now, so im still learning. i dont consider myself a good player or even a decent player...i think of myself as an advanced beginner. In this thread i'll post some tips/strats, that i have found to be effective in both house games friends and with strangers at casinos. These are tips they look beyond the cards in your hand and on the table. Im not writing them down in a specific order.

1. You dont have to justify your style of play/the hand you played.
If you turn over a below average hand that won a nice pot/lost a pot and someone asks "how did you call [a raise] with that garbage?" you dont have to answer. More likely then not, the person in question could care less about the hand you played. He may be a bit heated, but he is just waiting for you to answer so he can use that information against you. if you say "i was looking for a flush" then he knows you like to chase. at best i wouldnt say anything at all, but if i do respond its something simple like "i guess i got lucky."

2. Know your opponents style.
If you are seated amongst strangers learn how each person plays with in the half hour. find out who likes to go over the top vs a raise and who will likely fold to a reraise, this way you can pick your targets and know who you dont want to be involved in a hand with. i dont believe you have to go up against every single person at the table to make your money. if you can take it from the tight players then do so, if you're not getting anything worthy to go up against an aggressors, then dont.

3. Get to know your opponents.
At casinos, i make it a habit to introduce myself to people i dont know. You dont have to get personal and ask their life story. Just their name, where they're from, and how often do they come to the casino. If they ask you a personal question, then you can ask them that as well. (i usually get asked how old i am or when i started playing, etc) For the most part people who play at casinos are great people. they are there just to have fun and hang out, lose/win some money, so you should show them you are looking to have fun as well. There have been a number times where ive been heads up with someone i met and have talked with a few times and even though i lost a couple hands, i didnt lose as much i would've if i had become friends with that person. its not gonna be the same with everyone you meet, but if some one considers you a friend, their not gonna try and take all your money. and im the same way.

4.Learn how to take a win/lose with dignity.
Everyone loves to win, thats a fact...especially when it comes to money. If you win a huge pot and your hand held up go ahead and celebrate. go ahead and express yourself, but dont over do it. I dont think theres anything worse then someone who wins, then calls his friends over, talks about the hand and how much money he took from other people. if you're gonna do that, wait till after you leave before you start swapping stories. the last thing the person(s) want to hear is about how they got beat. At the same time, take your loses with dignity as well. Losing sucks, but you're not going to win every single time...so you have to be ready for it. ive lost a number of hands against better hands and against lucky garbage, hands...but ive always made it visible to the table that i could take it. Even though im heated and want to scream "How the FFFF do you call a $60 raise with that garbage and call me down to the river? FFFFin' chasers." but i dont. i simply take a deep breath and say "I guess you got me." im even sport enough to shake that persons hand if he killed all my chips or knocked me out of a tournament. the thing with loses are: no one remembers what hand you lost with and they dont care, but they will remember how you acted. if they know you go on tilt easily, then you're a good target for them.

5. None of us are pros.
I meet a lot of great players at casinos who have been playing for years and years, but arent pros in anyway...so why is it that i see a lot of people (mostly young people) coming into casinos, like they're wearing a wsop bracelet? More often then not ill get a player at my table who plays like he is a pro...theres a diffrence between a serious player and someone who is living a poker fantasy. a serious player is just that: serious. he plays tight/aggressive when he needs too, he knows when to call and when to fold, hes not just playing just to play, but to improve his game. the poker fantasy player looks like he plays seriously (and he just might be), but its over serious. he likes to stare down, he likes to chip dance, he over analyzes hands, basically he acts like someone you would see while watching the WSOP or the WPT.
ive even called someone out on it. i raised with Q/Q and "the pro" called. the board came out 7-3-10 rainbowed and i bet into it. "the pro" called time and then proceeded to stare me down like i just made a huge bet for the pot and started asking "what do you have?" then picked up chips like he was gonna reraise and started chip dancing and counting how much he had. he then started analzying how i played which was 1. PFR and 2. bet on the flop. so finally after a while of this BS i said. "Come on, Freddie Deeb..i know you dont have anything so quit playing like you do." i was an ass for saying that, but he was dragging the game along.

6. Make sure your mind is straight.
If you walk into a casino/home game with the words "NEED" and/or "HAVE" in your head, then i suggest you walk out the door. if you walk in thinking "I NEED to make X-amount of money tonight" or "i HAVE to make x-amount of money tonight", then your are setting yourself up for a possible lose. If you cant affort to play, then dont. Playing poker because you NEED money is one of the worse things you can do, because 1. you might not come up. 2. if you lose money, you now have to work to get that back + the money you NEED. if you go to play you should be thinking "i HOPE i come up" or "im going to play my best and hopefully ill make some money." this way of thinking keeps your attitude positive and you're less likely to make mistakes.

7. Go with your gut instinct.
If you played a hand as best you could but is now against an all in and you're not sure about your hand..go with your gut instinct. However, that should be last thing you think about. Analyze the hand in your head and how everything was played out. If you still cant get a read or arent 100% your hand is the best, then go with your gut instinct. i say analyze the hand first, because your instinct isnt going to go anywhere, so you dont have worry about that first. Dont think about how much money you might win if you're right or how much you could lose if you're wrong. If im considering a fold i tell myself "Ok, if im beat then i saved myself a lot of money. if he bluffed, then he made a great play."

i have 3 great lay downs so far by trusting my gut instinct:

-laid down top pair and middle pair vs. someone who made trips on the trun
-laid down pocket kings vs someone who river set of jacks
-laid down flopped boat vs quad 7s. i had 8/8. cards came out 778-7-K opponent had A/7.


i guess thats all for now, i have a lot more ill be posting up in days to come. repsonse and your own tips are welcome.
 
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ph_il

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8. What style is best for you?
In order to find which style of play best suits you means you are going to have to experiment with different types of play. I dont think playing a different style for one game will determine if its right for you or not. Try picking a style and then playing for a month or so and see how well you do. Maybe you dont like to put your chips to the test with bluff, then being aggressive might not be for you. Are you able to sit out of numerous hands, mucking 80%-90% of the hands you get while waiting for a hand to play? if not, then maybe playing tight might not before you. there isnt a right or a wrong style of playing...it depends on how you feel comfortable playing.

im a tight/super tight player. i can muck 90% of my hands if i need to just waiting for that i could play. at the same time, i hardly ever limp in. im either mucking or im betting/reraising...so i play tight, but i have a bit of aggresiveness. its the style that best suits me and has proven to be most effective.
 
Nick

Nick

CC
Administrator
capax said:
Can we put a sticky on this post! Well put!
We sure could, philthy, if you could edit your post with a more descriptive title that would be great, then I'll sticky it.
 
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ph_il

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Poker Tips and Hints

^^^ is that title good enough?

Im glad everyone likes this thread so far, hopefully i can keep it up and i can get other people to post some tips and hints as well.

9. What poker style is best suited for you?
its not only important to figure out what style of play works best for you, but also what style of poker works for you? Do you do better in tournaments, but ok in cash games? then maybe you'll want to play more tournaments then. or do you find your self getting knocked out early in tournaments, but always come up big in cash games? that might the better option for you. Or maybe you play equally well in both and can adapt to different styles of play. I like playing both styles, but my tight game play is more well suited for cash games. I do good in tournaments, but i usually find small self short stacked vs big stacks so its hard to win.

Lately, my friends and i have been play $5.00 buy in Winner-Take-All tournaments. its a nice alternative to our cash games, its still poker and we still have fun. Another good point about it is, no one really ends up losing a lot of money, but all have equal chances of making some quick cash. Where $20.00 is our minimum cash game buy in, its also 4 tournament buy-ins..and tournaments last a while. So..theres something to try out if no one is up for a cash-game.

10. Dont go on self-tilt.
Going on tilt is bad, going on self-tilt is worse. Self-tilt is when you start questioning your actions. You fold a hand and you realize it would have won a big pot, now you wish you hand folded. Dont let you previous actions get the best of you, if you laid it down you must have had a good reason too. If you laid down a gutshot straight draw and it hits...thats just a bit of bad luck, but you more then likely made the right fold. especially if someone bet big for you to draw that miracle card. i cant even count how many times ive laid down hands (preflop) and i hit a straigt, boat, 2 pair..etc. Sure i couldve won if i stayed in, but then its not all those times those hands hit and also i would be straying away from style of play.
 
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ph_il

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lol..havent post on here in a few days. im still working on some tips and stuff so..yeah.

random tip: look at your cards last. it doesnt matter if you look at them as soon as you get them or you wait for both, your cards will remain the same. so, with that knowledge, dont be so quick to peek at what you were dealt. instead look at the other players. look at their faces, their reaction (eyebrows, eyes, mouth) whatever and see if they give tells. then after you see that...look at your cards.

later.
 
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ph_il

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in tournaments your goal is to survive. and the way to do it so to knock out players and to build up your chip stack. the positive thing about tournament play is for a small buy in you can win a big reward. (depending on how many players)...you dont even have to take first to get a nice pay-off. the negative is its sometimes long and if you get hurt (chip-wise) early on you could find it hard to come back up in the end.

when it comes to cash games, its different. the money you can make doesnt come in one large pay-off, rather in pots that you take if you win. on certain nights you can make 10x what you bought and on other nights you could end up losing money. unlike a tournament, you dont have to wait till the end before you decided to cash out. also, you can buy in as many times as you want if you get broke. the down fall of cash games are: coming up isnt guarenteed and you could end up playing with more money then you intended.

another thing is: depending on your style of play..one style of the game may do far better for you the other. if you like to play a tight style i suggest playing in cash games. you can easily sit back and wait before you decided to play a hand. the worst that would happen is you'll lose a few bucks in the blinds whenever the button went around. if you're a tight player tournaments might not be the game for you. sitting back and waiting could cost you because of the blinds raising and aggressive players kicking you out of hands. if you like to play aggressive, tournament style might suit you better because your aggresive style means you are capable of surviving longer because you can steal blinds and take down pots. in cash games, this might work...but you could end up over-valuing a hand against a tight player and end up losing money. If you are able to shift gears and play tight > aggressive, then i dont see why you shouldnt be able to play both.

also, its a matter of opinion on which you prefer to play. i like cash games more because of my tight style of play and the fact that i have the option standing up and leaving when i feel is the right time.
 
S

sese

Enthusiast
what a great post..I learned alot.I seem to do well in tourneys and cash games i get beat everytime.
 
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ph_il

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ok, so i know i havent been here in a while...i hope everyone has been waiting.

(i dropped the whole numbering thing..no need to number these)

-Which poker book is the best?
If you ever go down to a book store and pick out all the poker books that include NL/PL/L hold em, you can skim through it and you'll see that almost every book will tell you the same thing. not only is the set up the same, but for the most part the pros and other authors i've never heard of will tell you how to play certain hands in certain situations (with some minor details here and there) the problem with this is..this is all theory play. Ex: in helmuths Play Poker Like The Pros-he tells us how we should play pocket JJ against an "elephant" player...the problem is, i have yet to get JJ against an player i would call an "elephpant" so its hard to find time to use these kinds of play...especially if you're a new player. There are so many different hands and situations when it comes to this game that books can only give you a handful of examples. no one ever gets the same hand, the action could be different vs a table of everyone holding rags vs everyone holding a strong hand. There is nothing wrong with poker books, i love helmuths PPLTP...but i wouldnt rely on them. Get an idea of how to play/how they play, figure out what you should do, but the book should only be a guide. its gonna take trial and error to figure out what you should and shouldnt do. Anyone after playing for a year could write a decent sounding poker book, they're info might not be right, but at the same time, none of it might be wrong either.

A book i do suggest players pick up is Mike Caro's Book of Tells. This book has actually helped me more then reading poker books and ive read both of helmuths, the hold em section of Super/System, and some other crappy-unknown hold em books. I suggest Caro's book not only because it can improve your game by improving your reads on people, but you might realize some small things you do at the table that gives off tells. so in the long run it could help you by preventing yourself from throwing out signs that indicate the strength of your hand. Read poker books to get an idea of how you should play, but dont rely on them. Pick up Caro's book and make sure you understand what hes saying.

-poker tells
This is a discussion you most likely should have with some of your poker pals, only if you guys like to play seriously, but for fun. (meaning there is no love-loss if someone loses big). Caro's book of tells gives us examples of how the human body will natuarally react, so you can read that for those examples. Here its different: if you known someone for along time, you pretty much know all their quirks and mannerisms they do before they do anything and the same can be applied with it comes to poker. A lot of people dont realize the do minor things that give other player tells. ex: one of my friends likes to start breathing through his nose if he has the nuts, another likes make a face like the turn/river card didnt help him. So its these small things. i say discuss with friends because they'll most likely tell you your odd mannerisms. if they tell you somethings you do, you can use that to your advantage when you play at casinos or other house games. also..you might realize somethings you're doing, but never knew.

-bad plays vs bad timing vs bad decisions
To me there is no such thing as a bad play. Any play a player makes (Fold, call, bet, or raise) shouldnt be considered a bad play because there has to be a reason for that play to have been made. A play where you make an opponent think/consider calling or folding is a good play. you could have a bad hand, but its a good play (bluff).

Bad timing is just that, making a play at the wrong time. you can make a stab at the pot (again, not a bad play), but someone is waiting and is holding the nuts (bad timing). Say you made the play, but the opponent was acting weak and figured you'd eventually stab at it. now, you know you made a play at it and your opponents check raise indicates his strengh and your bad timing, but this is where your bad decision could come in.

Bad decision is self explanatory. you opponent check raises and you push all in, he calls, and you lose? what happened..well you made a bad decison. you knew that the opponent must've been stronger when you reraised you bluff, but instead you decided to risk all your chips and you ended up losing...where you could've easily folded and saved money. thankfully i have a example of bad play, timing, and decision..and its all in the same hand.

I was sitting at full NLH table cash game. i was under the gun and had K/2 off suit and about $80. Normally i wouldnt play this hand, but i had been playing really tight and hitting a lot of big hands that night AA twice, KK, JJ, AK etc and raising really big with them. it had been a while since i played a hand so i thought about raising to act like i had a big hand, then i would raise again on the flop and take it down if i could. if not, ill just take the blinds (.50/1.00). the person in the big blind start threatening me when i he saw me grab chips and warned about how many people where behind who might reraise or go all in, i didnt like it so i knew he hand a hand he wanted to see for cheap. so i made it 10.00 to go. the same amount i bet when i had AA both times and KK. i get one caller and everyone folds.

the flop: K, 2, A

what a lucky ass flop for me. Now since i got lucky i didnt want to take any more of my friends money, so i bet what i thought would be enough to kick him out and show that i hit the board hard. I bet out $15 hoping that he would fold and he'd think that i must have at least an A with a high kicker if i bet big PFR and after the flop, instead he pushed all in and i instantly called.

i showed him my K, 2 and he had A, 7 suited. turn and river were blank and i won the pot. even though i won i didnt like it because i had gotten lucky......really lucky. so its not a win im proud of.

-Bad decision: My preflop raise. While most will call it a bad decison to raise with that hand, i dont think it is because no one knew what i had at the time and the way i've been playing and hands ive showing, no one should've put me on anything less. I also dont think my friends call with A7 suited was bad, becase for a small price he wouldve hit the flush or hit an ace and won it. it cost him little for something he could have a chance to win big.

-bad timing: after i bet on the flop, my friend pushed all in. I think thats bad timing because he had to consider how i had played that hand. i PFR'd and bet big on the flop, so he couldve have put me on anything small. I dont this reraise was bad, cuz of the small chance his A was good, but to risk everything with kicker like 7 and the whole night ive been showing strength indicates bad timing on his part.

-Bad decision i'd have to say my friend pushing all in was his bad decision. in his shoes if i had called A7, i wouldve called the 15 raise and see if improved on the turn. having an A is good, but he shouldve been more worried about the 7 then the A.
 
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acesfulkings

Guest
SUited face cards..

What do you guys think about suited face cards such as K2, K3, K4 Q2, Q3. I like to at least see the flop if its not too expensive. What does everyone else think?
 
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ph_il

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acesfulkings said:
What do you guys think about suited face cards such as K2, K3, K4 Q2, Q3. I like to at least see the flop if its not too expensive. What does everyone else think?
I also like to see the flop for cheap with certain suited face cards, so that means i like to call when i have them in late position. in early position i will normally fold them unless say im holding AQ suited, then i might raise it a bit. if its low/face suit its an easy muck or if i get a cheap look at the end ill call the blinds.

the thing with suited faces is you might win a big pot, but it can also put you a world of hurt. EX you have Q5 clubs: the flop and turn brings out 4 clubs...if someone bets/reraise you you more then likely have to fold you hand because you fear the A and K clubs (with 4 showing). if you had been betting agressively to protect, you just might've thrown a lot of money away. unless you see the scare cards on the board, then you'd have to play smart if the board comes out in your favor, but takes a turn for the worse.

another thing is you might hit top pair and that could tempt you to stay in, the bad thing is if you have a low/mid kicker it could really hurt your chip stack. especially if something like this happens: you have K3 hearts. the flop is: Ks, 2H, 8H. great you flopped top pair and the 2nd nut flush draw, this might tempt you to call a lot of big bets chasing that last heart. if it doesnt hit and your opponent is holding a K, you'd have to hope that kicker doesnt play or his is low enough where he might think its not as good as yours.

I dont like to rely on suited face cards a lot, i think they do more harm then good. if i do every play i like to have them in BB or at least have a decent kicker with them. i think my fav would have to be 10/face or A as a suited hand i like to play. decent kicker, all give me some sort of straight draw if i see a board full of faces, etc...but its not a hand i would play aggresively or call bets all the way down with. nice hand to play, but if i sense trouble its a very easy hand to fold.
 
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ph_il

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heres something that'll hopefully help everyone out:

-Dont measure success by the amount of money you make; Dont measure failure by the amount of money you lost. Instead after all is done look back and think about the way you played. Did you come up big because you were on a draw a few times and got lucky or did genuinely play you hand correctly and simply out played the table? Did you lose big because you were making a lot of small mistakes or playing/calling hands you really shouldnt have been? maybe you were actually playing better then the table, but just ran into a string of bad luck/bad beats. Whatever the case is: Win or Lose, you should look back and analyze how you played that night. think of what you are doing right (and continue that), what you need to improve on, etc. i believe the skill of your game will increase once you learn where you need improvements and minor improvements now can = big rewards in the future. in the long run skill > luck...

um..if anyone has any questions feel free to ask as well.
 
furyious1

furyious1

Guest
That was awesome philthy,thanks 4 all the little quirks...like the one about knowing your opponents style..sometimes its hard to get a read on players if they dont do the same thing everytime.And i have read the Mike Caro's book of tells and it was very helpful i found that after reading this book now when i mplay real poker at the casinos its much easier to tell the bluffers from the player , again nice post and thanks for the tips



furyious on pokerstars...onoudnt8 on tropics....furyious1 on Full Tilt
 
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peter1811

Visionary
Hi philthy,

look like you know a liitle about Poker ... How are you doing at Tourneys ? Did you won some ?

I like most of all Your NUMBER 6 first Thread:

DON'T PLAY IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD IT!!!!!!!!!!!

If you ( i ) go in a Casino i say to myself that the money i bet is gone. Each Cent i bring home make me happy..... Never expect ( Me and my english ) any winnings.
 
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ph_il

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peter1811 said:
Hi philthy,

look like you know a liitle about Poker ... How are you doing at Tourneys ? Did you won some ?

I like most of all Your NUMBER 6 first Thread:

DON'T PLAY IF YOU CAN'T AFFORD IT!!!!!!!!!!!

If you ( i ) go in a Casino i say to myself that the money i bet is gone. Each Cent i bring home make me happy..... Never expect ( Me and my english ) any winnings.
I do Ok in tournaments. i've won on $25 buy in once and a few small $5 buy in tournaments. For the most part i usually place around the middle/high, tournaments arent my tea-of-cup so i dont do particulary well in them.

i dont get why you say to yourself "the money i bet is gone". And each cent you do bring home should make you happy, but just playing should make you happy. Play poker because you want to, not because its a source of income. Play because you are willing to risk X-amount of money and if you lose it, its not going to effect you. you should be playing because you enjoy playing. You should always expect to win (think positive) but not expect yourself to get rich in one night. if you play your best and everything, there is no reason why you shouldnt be able to come up. You should try to come up in winnings, but know where to draw the line and say thats enough. for example: in 4-5 hours of tight game play i usually come up $200-300 (sometimes $400) at a casino in a $100 buy in. to some its not a lot, but to me its a sign of well and smart play. so when i reach that mark...thats when i like to get up and leave.
 
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ph_il

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bpazjr13 said:
are you just posting your writings from some book?
No. If you really think about it all this stuff is pretty basic and anyone could've written it down before i did. I also think some of the general ideas on some of the post ive made could be found in books, but im not copying or rewording anything.
 
katymaty

katymaty

Legend
predictable

dont always raise with big hands.

raise similar amounts when u have big pairs low pairs AK AQ and suited connectors. and also try calling with big pairs as well to mix it up




katy:lollypop:
 
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