What's your Next Move?



Cardschat Elite
Silver Level
Oct 23, 2005
Total posts
Howdy Roy,

I have a dilly of a pickle here. At early stages of a
tournament or in small stakes ring games, do you recommend
raising with big non-pairs such as AK or AQ, and do you keep
pressing if you miss on the flop?

You are only going to hit a pair on the flop like 36% of the
time or something, and I find that the people who are
calling my significant pre-flop raises have:

A) Ginormous hands they are going to ravage me with (AA, KK)

B) Any other pair that they could hit trips with and destroy
me if I do hit a pair, or

C) They have a Johnny Callsalot attitude about life and that
2, 8, T on the flop could have hit them in which case their
stubbornness won't allow them to toss it even with a big bet
facing them on the flop.

What do ya reckon? Should I stop raising the AK and take the
beats when Loose Lucy limps with her A6 and hits two pair to
my one pair? Thanks Roy!


Busted in Buffalo


"Dilly of a pickle"?

"Ravage me with"?

"Johnny Callsalot"?

"Loose Lucy"?

You are one strange dude, my friend.

It sounds to me like there's something "not quite right" in
the Buffalo water these days...

But since you took the time to write, I'll be a nice guy and
answer your question. The key is to think more about

Spot the "Johnny Callsalot" and "Loose Lucy" BEFORE getting
involved in a hand with them...

When you pick up A-K, raise the pot and narrow the table to
one or two callers. No matter what hits the board, represent
the flop if you're first to act.

If you're not first to act, get a read on your opponent.
Compare his behavior to what he did PREVIOUSLY in the game.

Keep in mind that RAISING the pot is one of the fastest ways
to put your opponent on a hand. For example, let's say
you've got A-K in late positioning. You make a pre-flop
raise and get one caller (the big blind).

At this point you don't know what your opponent is holding.
He may have just called your pre-flop bet because he felt

The flop hits: 9-4-Q

Your opponent fires a reasonable bet. Now what?

Does he have something? Or is he just representing the flop?

The answer would depend on who your opponent is, how many
chips he has, what type of game you're playing, how many
players are at the table, and so on.

But for the sake of example, one way to FIND OUT is to RAISE
his bet. (Not a "wuss" raise, either.)

Let's say he bet $100 and you raise it to $300.

Now you've put HIM to a DECISION for his chips.

He'll probably do one of these three things:

1. Call your bet, then check the turn card.
2. Raise your bet, then bet the turn card.
3. Fold.

Option 1 suggests he DOESN'T have a strong hand. And that
means you can probably buy the pot on the turn.

Or you can check the turn and see a "free" river card...
which is a great tactic since you've got two over cards. If
the river hits Ace, you're in great shape.

Option 2 means he has something good, and it's time for you
to hit the road.

Option 3 means you just took down the pot with your Ace
high... and you can thank me later.

The WRONG thing to do is just keep calling or check-calling
your opponent. Because that won't give you any information
about his hand.

Try this out and see how it goes.


Hey Roy,

Just signed on with you and I have enjoyed your tips you
send e-mail. Today I entered a online tournament where I was
up to 4000 dollars and in 2nd place within the first hour. I
lost 1500 in chips playing solid hands after awhile and fell
into 29th position.

I have an on the button play with a small raise of 120 in
early position. I call 120 to see flop. I am holding KQ
unsuited, the flop falls 6-3-K. I am checked by the early
position (who by the way is my only opponent.) I Raise 300,
he raises all in. All my chips if I call.

I feel I can move into a good position in the tournament if
I win this hand. I call and see the damage. He is holding
6-3 in his hand , I am now out of the tournament. I was very
mad Roy. What should I have done?



OK, here's where you went wrong...

First, you said you "fell into 29th position" after being in
second place.

That immediately tells me you were probably on TILT. You
took a big hit and wanted to get BACK in the lead... so you
weren't thinking straight.

Second, you said, "i feel i can move into a good position if
i win this hand".

No, no, no, no!

Don't think this way!

Wrong attitude my friend. Where you'll be in the tournament
AFTER that hand is completely irrelevant. It doesn't matter.

ALL YOU SHOULD BE THINKING ABOUT is whether your opponent
has your top pair beat. Period.

Since you were in a multi-table tournament (MTT), you
probably couldn't have tracked that opponent's betting

That's OK.

Here's what you SHOULD have done...

1. Playing K-Q with a small pre-flop raise isn't necessarily
WRONG... but it's not always smart either.

If it's a 10-player table, someone could easily have A-K,
especially if they raised from early position.

In fact, that's the hand I would have been worried about the
MOST in your particular situation.

2. With that being said, when your opponent checked you were
right to throw out a bet. Good job not "checking" and trying
to "slow play" the top pair...

"red flag" was up.

A check-raise is almost always a SUREFIRE SIGN that your
opponent has a really strong hand. It's VERY, VERY RARE for
someone to check-raise and bluff.

Think about it:

To check-raise, the person has to be SUPREMELY CONFIDENT in
their cards. They're checking-- HOPING YOU'LL BET, that way
they can raise you.

(The exception to this rule is if you had thrown out a
"suspicious" bet-- either too big or too small-- after your
opponent checked. In that case he might have sensed weakness
and raised in order to buy the pot. But that's not what

So here's everything you did wrong:

You got caught up in your emotions... you weren't thinking
enough about the exact SITUATION... you called when you
should have folded... and you lost the tournament.

But I've got good news:

I just saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by
switching to Geico.

OK, OK, I'll be serious. The GOOD NEWS is you're not alone.
We've all done it... and now that you RECOGNIZE the error of
your ways, you can FIX IT.

Now go out there and WIN dammit!


Great book. initially i didn't want to buy it, thinking it
was gimicky. but i did and i'm glad!

it's very easy to read and the examples are crystal clear.
this baby has paid for itself, ten times over! i'm doing
very well in ten man sit-n-go's. i mainly compete in the
$30+3 buy-ins and win about two thirds of them. and it's
been a breeze placing third (normally worse case; bad beats
do happen).

if anybody wants a more in-depth review, have them email me
at [email address withheld]. serious poker players need to
add this to their arsenal.

NOW MOVING ALONG, i do need help with one aspect of my game.
i'm doing well when i play heads up in the five man sits,
but i'm not doing as well as i would like playing in the
one-on-one sits. heads up should be heads up, right?

why am i struggling? im only winning about 60% of the time
in the one-on-ones and i would like to get that average up.
please help.

Cedar Rapids, IA


Thanks for the great comments. Sounds like you're making a
lot of progress...

Your point that "heads up should be heads up" is actually a
very common misconception.

The most important feature of a heads-up match (besides your
opponent) is the BLINDS.

For a five-player Sit and Go, the blinds will be QUITE HIGH
when it gets to two players. If you're doing good with these
types, it means you know how to make "big plays" at the end
of the game...

For a regular HEADS-UP SIT AND GO, however, things are
different. The blinds start out very LOW, which makes the
game much more PSYCHOLOGICAL.

It's a WAR between you and your opponent. "Good" cards don't
really matter much... each hand is mostly a battle of who
DOESN'T have the WORST hand.

Here's a neat tactic I like to use online...

On the VERY FIRST HAND of your heads-up match-- BEFORE it
begins-- type this into the chat box:

"Hey dude, let's both go all-in on the very first hand and
just see what happens."

This alone will confuse your opponent. And he'll think
you're a complete jackass.


Go all-in!

Remember... a "good hand" could be any pair, any Ace, or any
two high cards.

Now here's why this tactic is so powerful:

1. You won't get to go all-in very often. I'd say you'll get
a STRONG FIRST HAND about 10% of your matches...

2. BUT WHEN YOU DO, the reaction is INSTANT TILT from your
opponent. Very funny to watch I might add.

I've gotten comments like:

"I can't believe I sat down with you".

"*#*# #@* *#$@#*@*^*@*#".

"This game is gonna be easier than I thought."

"I guess you don't care about money."

And so on...


If they CALL, you've got a huge statistical edge because you
went all-in with a good hand heads-up.

That means you'll probably win the game in one hand! (Which
has happened to me quite often.)

If they FOLD, you've set yourself up for great action later.

Either way it's all in good fun and works to your advantage
at the table.

Remember-- your problem right now is not adjusting for the
blinds structure.

With low blinds you can "play around" a bit... set yourself
up later... and work on CONFUSING your opponent.



I've been playing for 2 years. I don't play online and am
suspicious of all the "tips" and "books" on texas hold 'em.
To be honest, i don't remember how I signed up for your free
email tips but I can tell you that they won me over

I just bought your new book and am excited to read it.
Thanks for having one of those rare business models that
puts out truly good advice without expecting anything in
return. Regardless of my future success, you've made me feel
more comfortable at the tables. I won four tournaments in a
row and placed second in the last one.

Watch out buddy, I just may be coming after you next.

Again, strong thanks.



Haha... Bring it on!

Thanks for the email.


Hi Roy,

After receiving so many helpful hints from you by e-mail I
went ahead and ordered your book. I spent 1 day reading the
entire book from front to back.

The following day I went to my favorite poker site on the
net and began to play with my new found knowledge. I am a
low stakes limit player. Within 3 hours of play I made $350
and I only played the $2 $4 tables. I was amazed at how many
pots I was raking playing in the style you taught me.

Thank You Roy. Your book was the best investment I could
have made.




Even though I focus on NO LIMIT in my eBook, a lot of the
strategies can be used for LIMIT poker as well.

I'm glad you were able to "pick out" the right pieces and
use them successfully. Keep it up!



First of all, thanks for the emails. The lessons really help
me keep my focus. Second, thanks for the tip on Hold'em
Genius. I have just recently been a net-positive player on
other poker websites, but after making my first deposit at
[casino] and then using the software, I have more than
doubled my account in less than a week. I have the statement
to prove it.

I play both cash and SNG games, and like them both. What I
didn't expect was the boost in confidence this software
gives me. I don't always "follow the rules," but just
keeping an eye on hand rankings, outs, pot odds, and
statistics from flop to river is an enormous help. It
definitely does NOT take the art out of the game, but
definitely, ABSOLUTELY improves my intuitive feel for the

It is especially helpful knowing how my hand turns out after
I fold, enabling me to refine my "feel" even more. In an
uncanny sort of way, it also assists me in knowing when to
change up my game-- and this alone has been worth the hassle
of opening up yet another poker account. The software also
works on many other sites, including all the other sites I
have accounts on. I have seen better results at those sites,
as well.

So, again, thanks. I'm sure I'll have my down days, but at
least I'll be making the right decisions. And one day, when
I finally learn to figure all these things out in my head
and trust my instincts, I'll head to the casinos and learn
the art of face-to-face poker among the real players. You
know who I'll be giving the credit to. (And it's not the




Awww... don't emails like this just make you feel "warm and
fuzzy" inside?

Maybe it's just me.

OK... seriously... thanks for the great success story.
You've described EXACTLY my favorite parts of the Holdem
Genius program.

It's the "intuitive feel" you get for odds and statistics
that makes the tool SO POWERFUL.

If you haven't done so already, NOW GO PLAY A LIVE GAME and
see what happens... You'll be amazed at how much knowledge
you've gained at a "gut level".

poker odds is kind of like MUSIC...

If I gave you a sheet of lyrics and told you, "Memorize this
entire thing", it would take you quite awhile.

But when you HEAR THE LYRICS WITH MUSIC, your brain absorbs
all the words much faster... and you end up memorizing
hundreds upon hundreds of songs UNCONSCIOUSLY... without
even knowing it!

It's the same way with odds. To "memorize" all the formulas,
equations, and scenarios requires unreasonable amounts of
time and hard work...

...But by playing with Holdem Genius, you can literally
"absorb" the information unconsciously.

Next thing you know, you'll be "reciting" stats and
percentages without any effort! (And winning more pots, of


Hey Roy I would like your opinion on how to play AJ and KQ
in early and late positioning. I like to raise with AJ about
3x the blind in late positioning and sometimes I raise with
it in early position if I have enough chips. Hope to hear
you soon.

New York


Great question. Ace-Jack and King-Queen are TOUGH HANDS to

Your strategy should depend on the number of players at the
table, how well you "know" your opponents, and your chip

If you're going to raise with your A-J pre-flop, do it with
good positioning and lots of chips. Because if that flop
hits with an Ace, you've GOT to bet big.

With an Ace on the board, you need to do whatever it takes
to either scare away your opponent, or figure out that he's
holding A-Q or A-K.

With K-Q, it's the same way. I don't like playing K-Q at a
10-player table unless I've got good positioning with a
solid chip stack. If the flop gives me top pair, I'm going
to represent my hand aggressively.

That way if I run into A-Q or A-K, I'll KNOW IT. This saves
me from losing MORE money on the turn and river.

Remember... if you have a hand like this, you've got to
develop a solid prediction for what your opponents are
holding. Otherwise you'll lose all your chips when you run
into someone with the higher kicker.

With low-stakes online poker you want to be even MORE weary
of how you play a hand like A-J. A lot of players think that
"anything with an Ace" is good-- even at an 8-man or 10-man

Sometimes I'll put my opponent on something like A-K, only
to watch him flip over A-5 or A-10.

The biggest advice I can give you is to KNOW AHEAD OF TIME
that playing A-J can get you into trouble... so be careful.

Leverage your positioning, chip stack, and the betting
patterns of your opponents.


Hello Roy,

Well, I have been interested in texas hold'em for about 2
years. Only played a few real games up until about two weeks
ago. I moved to Fla with my work and am close to the Hard
Rock "casino". So I have been going often. Walking in I
thought I knew so much from watching wsop on TV. Well, I was

Every night I lost. Sometimes I was just lucky but in the
end I lost it all. Finally after about $200 I went online to
look for help. I came across your website. I didn't buy yet,
because I am waiting for my paycheck to clear this week, but
you did send me the 10 mistakes and how to fix them for

I followed #1 almost 100% faithfully. I was up and down of
course, but after 5 hours, I was only down $5. And the only
reason I was down was because I was to tired to be playing
and should have quit when I was up $20. Of course, like
said, it's not much but so much better then before. I know
when I buy your information I will start winning instead of
just being even.

Well, it's 3:30 in the morning and I must go to bed for
tomorrows trip to the casino. I look forward to your
information, and I know that eventually it will make me the
poker player I want to me. (Doyle Brunson perhaps. Or Phil
Hellmuth. Well minus his "bratty" attitude.)

Ok. I look forward to hearing from you. Good bye for now.



YES... Mistake #1 (playing too many hands) is very

What you're going through is very common. The problem is
what happens when you "learn" a lot about poker by watching
it on TV.

The world series of poker and World Poker Tour don't show
every hand. Not even CLOSE. They actually only show about 4%
of the entire game.

And what 4% do you think that is?

The most EXCITING PART, of course!

That means you MISS all the hands where the pros patiently
fold hand after hand after hand...


The poker you see on television is the FINAL TABLE of the
major tournaments. The final table is where the blinds are
HIGHEST... which encourages more action and misleads you
EVEN MORE as to what poker is all about.

The truth is, watching a real poker tournament is
B-O-R-I-N-G. It's even boring to play, most of the time.

So keep challenging yourself to "re-learn" poker OUTSIDE of
what you saw on TV... and be patient!

You'll get there. Thanks for the email.



My name is M. and I have been playing at PokerRoom for over
a year now. I am, at the time, about even in my "bank
account" there. I figured that since you play there a bit
that you may be able to give me some advice.

I like to play 5 and 10 dollar Sit-n-Goes as well as the
heads-up sit-n-gos. I was wondering if you had any advice on
how I should play these tables and what strategies I should
use to win at these tables. Thank you very much. Your
e-mails are very insightful and have helped me to do much
better at my game, both online and with my friends.



Here's my top three pointers for $5 and $10 Sit and Go's at

1. The players are BETTER here than at most casinos, which
means you'll suffer through fewer "bad beats" and manics.

2. Don't bluff until later stages of the Sit and Go. When
you bluff, you must risk a LOT of chips for the best

3. Start with a "tight-aggressive" playing style until there
are about 6 players left. Then slowly transition to a
"loose-aggressive" style for the remainder of the game.

This will allow you to patiently build your chip stack in
the beginning, and then buy pots and bully opponents when
the blinds get higher.

After that you'll have a strong chip stack that will get you
"in the money" no problem.



I just wanted to also say thanks for the info on this Holdem
Genius. When you said free, most logical people would know
what you meant. And it is free. Depositing money is still
your money. And I didn't know the tables... were so easy.
Made $50 in my first hour. But back to the Genius, it has
continued to help my game although, I still haven't
conditioned myself to look at all the time yet. Anyway,
thanks again for your aid in helping us up-in-comers in the
game with your newsletters.

You have helped my game with your tips and just yesterday...
after almost 5 months of playing... I turned my $50
investment in to $1000. Seriously, thanks a million... or
should a say, thanks a thousand.



Glad you liked it.

Keep me posted when you DO hit a million, OK?



As always, great column.

When I play tight(er) I usually place in the top 5% of the
big freerolls. Get loose and it's "night night".

The more I play and the more I read the more confused I get.

A couple answers would help a LOT. I don't understand the
"squared" part of "tight aggressive squared".

Next. I totally understand "position" the way you have
explained it on numerous times. So in my questions I
understand the "position" part.

Some of this I just need your confirmation on as to being
right or wrong. Here we go.

Pocket pair (pre-flop) mid to small pair always raise before
the flop and if you don't trip up on the flop, fold to any
bet? If you are raised should you call or fold or reraise?

Same as above except big pair (queens and up) either all in
or play it slow (your choice)? if you are raised (same ? as

Unsuited A-7 or above, before the flop and good position...
always raise the big blind? Then if you get raised do you
call or fold?

If you have time to answer these questions it would be
great. I sincerely enjoy your email column. One of these
days all of the pieces will fall in at one time. "Oh that is
what he has been talking about" duh

thanks Roy,



I hate to do this to you... but I have no choice:

You've just hit upon some GREAT QUESTIONS and situations at
the poker table that MOST PLAYERS don't know how to handle.

AND KNOWING WHAT TO DO in these particular scenarios is what
separates the "fish" from the "sharks"...

Fortunately, there are step-by-step, easy to learn SYSTEMS
for each of the questions you just asked.

Once you know these systems you'll get a HUGE EDGE over the
competition... and you'll start taking down more pots

But here's the bad news. Each of those scenarios would
require discussions of how many players are at the table...
your positioning... the game type you're playing... and so

There are no "short answers" I can give you.

When you read my course you'll get the "big picture" of WHAT
you should do, WHEN, and HOW.

There's tactics that you can use to start WINNING NOW.

So if you've waited long enough, and you're ready to play
poker with the "big boys", it's time you got this.

OK, that's it for today. I'll talk to you soon.

Your Friend,

Roy Rounder



Rising Star
Bronze Level
Jul 17, 2009
Total posts
haha this is good...thank you


Silver Level
Sep 29, 2007
Total posts
holy long post batman.........i would raise with these hands.....based on what i c...u need to improve ur postflop play


Rock Star
Silver Level
Jul 10, 2009
Total posts
I'll admit I only read 1/3-1/2 of the post but nice from what i can tell. With those hands I raise preflop and then what i do next depends on who calls. I have to have a read on the player.