What are some rules that guide your play?

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StealTheButton

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I am talking about rules other than hand selection/position. I would love to hear from others. My biggest one is to control bet size and pot size. I see very skilled players that do not fully grasp this.

Many players will make a pot sized bet on the flop if they like their hand, or if they think their opponent is weak. This is sooo bad. You are risking way too many chips especially betting into an unknown hand such as in the blinds or in an unraised pot. Also the pot becomes way too big and volatile too fast. If I want to convey strength I will bet a little more than half. But I am not betting the pot unless I am super strong like a set, and there is a wet board and I am concerned about draws. With a hand such as TPTK, if you continue to make very large bets on the turn, the pot is becoming very large in relation to your stack size and you don't want this. Also when your opponent flats your large bet, you have no idea what he has going forward- does he have a pair, is he trapping, or is drawing? WHen he leads on the river, now what do you do? You will fare much better long term if you win a lot of small pots vs having to make lots of decisions for your tournament life.

I can go on for hours about how I would handle certain situations, but I'd like to hear from other people how they size their bets; or other game play rules they abide by.
 
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fundiver199

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As for bet sizes my most commonly used ones are 40% pot and 60% pot with quite a bit of preference for 40% pot in tournaments. I will sometimes overbet jam the turn though especially on wet and dynamic boards like 9h8h5c2s to basically make it a 2 street hand. Not for anything crazy like 5 times the pot but something like 1,1-1,4 times the pot perhaps. I find, that is often a lot more effective than letting another card roll off and then face all sorts of weird and often not very profitable situations. Say I did it with JJ, and my opponent folded some kind of draw, then thats an outcome, I am totally cool with.
 
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Hermus

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There are of course countless nuances to every well-developed strategy. The one that probably made the biggest difference for me is playing a 3-bet or fold strategy from every position other than the big blind (with the exception of sometimes cold calling a raise with speculative hands if every player left to act is a loose passive recreational).

As for bet sizing, I go small if I bet a linear range and large if I bet a polarised range. I size up if I'm value betting into size-inelastic recreational players. Other than that situation, altering bet-size based on hand strength is a recipe for disaster so I don't do it against competent players and regulars.
 
Risto234

Risto234

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There's only one most important rule - there are no rules :cool:
 
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arsenalcho_1

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hi

I am influenced by the rivals mostly, but I play very patiently and try not to lose chips in vain when I don't have to take risks.
 
Phoenix Wright

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I am talking about rules other than hand selection/position. I would love to hear from others. My biggest one is to control bet size and pot size. I see very skilled players that do not fully grasp this.

Many players will make a pot sized bet on the flop if they like their hand, or if they think their opponent is weak. This is sooo bad. You are risking way too many chips especially betting into an unknown hand such as in the blinds or in an unraised pot. Also the pot becomes way too big and volatile too fast. If I want to convey strength I will bet a little more than half. But I am not betting the pot unless I am super strong like a set, and there is a wet board and I am concerned about draws. With a hand such as TPTK, if you continue to make very large bets on the turn, the pot is becoming very large in relation to your stack size and you don't want this. Also when your opponent flats your large bet, you have no idea what he has going forward- does he have a pair, is he trapping, or is drawing? WHen he leads on the river, now what do you do? You will fare much better long term if you win a lot of small pots vs having to make lots of decisions for your tournament life.

I can go on for hours about how I would handle certain situations, but I'd like to hear from other people how they size their bets; or other game play rules they abide by.

Sounds like the cardschat 30 Day Course (free) is worth looking into if you have the time and haven't seen it already :)

https://www.cardschat.com/forum/learning-poker-57/cardschat-training-course-455641/

p.s. You are correct that "when your opponent flats [your bet] you have...[less idea what they have]." Daniel Negreanu's "small ball" strategy is greatly connected to this principle and in effect calling more often to balance your calling range, but naturally many other players use this as well.

We don't have "no idea" going forward what the opponent has after flatting our bet though. We know they likely have something! People rarely flat with nothing at all (unless floating). However, you are correct that by raising (instead of flatting) your range is more polarized :cool:
 
Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright

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There's only one most important rule - there are no rules :cool:

Yes, but perhaps more exact is: "poker has many guidelines, but virtually none seem without exception" :)
 
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StealTheButton

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As for bet sizes my most commonly used ones are 40% pot and 60% pot with quite a bit of preference for 40% pot in tournaments. I will sometimes overbet jam the turn though especially on wet and dynamic boards like 9h8h5c2s to basically make it a 2 street hand. Not for anything crazy like 5 times the pot but something like 1,1-1,4 times the pot perhaps. I find, that is often a lot more effective than letting another card roll off and then face all sorts of weird and often not very profitable situations. Say I did it with JJ, and my opponent folded some kind of draw, then thats an outcome, I am totally cool with.


40% is a sweet spot. Less than that and you are giving your opponent too great odds to call with a lot of hands. I also find that if you bet less than this your opponent will often read your hand as very weak- which you may or not want. I will often lead with small bet when I flop a really strong hand. For one to build a pot, and two your opponent will often misread you as very weak. Donks will often do this when they have jack $hi@ and fear a C-bet.
 
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StealTheButton

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Sounds like the cardschat 30 Day Course (free) is worth looking into if you have the time and haven't seen it already :)

https://www.cardschat.com/forum/learning-poker-57/cardschat-training-course-455641/

p.s. You are correct that "when your opponent flats [your bet] you have...[less idea what they have]." Daniel Negreanu's "small ball" strategy is greatly connected to this principle and in effect calling more often to balance your calling range, but naturally many other players use this as well.

We don't have "no idea" going forward what the opponent has after flatting our bet though. We know they likely have something! People rarely flat with nothing at all (unless floating). However, you are correct that by raising (instead of flatting) your range is more polarized :cool:

Yes, I don't mean "no idea," but it can make the turn more challenging. Donks will often limp on the button with a gazillion hands and when they flat your call from the blinds. You have no idea if they are floating with the 47o they limped with, if they limped with AA, if they have a pair, or they are drawing. Then they will always bet the turn if checked to. I would really prefer to play a more logical player. I almost always bet small into these players, even with my stronger hands.

"However, you are correct that by raising (instead of flatting) your range is more polarized."

Can you tell me what this means?
 
Phoenix Wright

Phoenix Wright

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No problem :) "Polarizing" is some action (or line of play etc.) which puts their range of likely holdings either really good or really bad. They have the nuts (best hand possible) or close to it...or they have very little to nothing (bluff). By them raising instead of flatting, they are less likely to have marginal hands.

Whenever we look at a range of hands, we can break them down further into four categories:

1) Nuts (super strongest hands like Ace high Flush with three cards of the same suit on a non-paired board)

2) Marginal made hands (like bottom pair. Example: Ah 9s 5c and we hold Kd 5d for a pair of fives)

3) Draws (like holding As Ks on a Flop of Qs Td 4h - any Jack hits a straight, two spades brings us the highest flush, Ace and King are overcards and lastly we have the rare Royal Flush possible if the Turn and River bring Js Ts...but if all of these draws miss for us, then we just have a measly Ace-high hand [although might still be enough to win at showdown if the opponent is bluffing with nothing or their draw missed too])

4) Trash hands (hands in range like stereotypical 72o, or T2s)

In "regular" ranges, all four of these categories are likely in some percentages, but with a polarized range, there are very few Marginal Made Hands and possibly few Draws (or missed draws which are now playing like trash hands). The opponent likely has a super strong holding, or very little.
 
Plut41

Plut41

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I play microstakes 6max zoom. So here's my few rules that help me.
1) Take your time, don't make quick decisions.
2) Small sizing works well at my stakes. Particularly 25% - 40%.
3) Obviously don't tilt.
4)Let them bluff, generally speaking people tend to bet if you check after betting flop and turn.
 
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