Micro Stakes poker, the lowest rung on the online poker ladder but also the most important one to conquer. The good news is that its that the micro limits are the easiest games to beat, you wont be playing against any professionals, most players in general will suck and if you learn to beat the micro stakes, you could move onto bigger and better things. The bad news is, you still need to pay attention to what Ive got to say, absorb all the information and most importantly, apply it!
The intention of this guide is to teach total beginners the easiest way to beat the micro limits, not the most profitable way. The difference between the two is that if I had to profit at the micro games I would play a very loose style, playing tons of pots and rely on my postflop experience to play a huge selection of hands profitably. However, if you donít have the same level of post flop experience as me, which im guessing you donít, I would suggest that you play a totally different style, the style Iím talking about is the TAG NIT style.
Tag nit means, tight aggressive nit. You will play very few hands. If you don’t make a strong hand you check and fold. If you make a strong hand, you bet it aggressively. This style is exploitable and wont allow you to beat mid stakes or high stakes, however, because everyone sucks at micro stakes, you can get away with it. Below are the hands I reccomend you play as part of the TAG nit style.
Play pocket pairs – Play big pocket pairs to make an overpair and bet bet bet to get value from your opponents calling weekly. Play small and medium pocket pairs the same, your playing for a set, if you don’t, try to get to showdown cheaply and fold if your opponent bets hard!
Play un-dominated hands – Your opponents biggest mistakes will be playing dominated hands like ace rag, queen nine etc. When you play unpaired cards try to have hands that do well against your opponents range, IE ace king, ace queen, ace jack, queen king.
Play speculative hands in late position – These are suited connectors and suited aces. Play them only when you have position and can act last preflop. You want to be making trips, two pair or a strong draw with these hands and play them fast and aggressively. Anything other than that, try to get to showdown cheaply with your medium strength hands, if you cant and your opponent is betting hard into you, just muck them!
David Sklansky has said a lot of retarded things in his career, but one thing he said which was clearly correct and pretty damn smart/fundamental to winning, is that when you have a strong hand, you want to be betting and raising with it. When you have a weak hand you want to be checking/calling/folding. Slowplaying for the most part is wrong!
The biggest mistake your opponents will make is paying you off with far to many hands, when you check your set, or your flush or whatever strong hand you have, you are not exploiting there biggest mistake. Bet your strong hands!
On the other end of the spectrum, you cant go wrong by folding too much with your medium strength hands when someone raises you. People will be bluffing you far less than you think, so dont be afraid to fold a strong hand. In fact, I would go as far as saying, you cannot go wrong by folding very often when you get raised. I cant give you specifics because everything is variable in poker based on your opponents, what you need to know is people will bluff you far less than you think, so fold your hand when raised!
Position in poker is very important, if you look it up in poker tracker, you will profit most from the button and you will loose the most from the blinds. Try and be position orientated, IE you can raise/call more hands from the button than from early position and the blinds. Position allows you to act last postflop, it allows you to take down more pots when you have the worst hand. Acting last is a seriously big advantage, so make sure you do it often!
As well as position, having the initiative is very important. When you bet there are two ways you can win the pot, at showdown or if your opponent folds. Obviously, if you check and call, you can only win when hands get to showdown. Having the initiative allows you to win more pots uncontested when you both have weak hands and your opponent folds to your bet.
Like I said twice before, the biggest mistake of micro stakes players is that they call too many bets. For that reason, bluffing is ineffective in micro stakes games. Yes it is exploitable to check and fold nearly always when you have nothing but it doesnít matter. Players wont be smart enough to exploit you and will be dumb enough to pay you off when you bet hard with the nuts.
For the most part, the most common player at the micro stakes games will be a poor player, someone who plays far to many hands and calls way too many bets. There will however be other players, ranging from tight to loose, passive to aggressive. Its important to categorize these opponents, you may find against certain players you will want to modify the general outlines mentioned in this article. For example, you may find players who are loose and bad, but will fold to your bets, against these players you can continuation bet against them, however against someone with the same preflop stats, who will never fold on the flop, you will never want to bluff them.