A HUD is a very helpful tool that is unique to online poker that helps us visualize real-time data about our opponents. Poker is a game of information, and the more we have, the better we should be able to play. So setting up your poker HUD, using the best stats, and gleaning the correct information can give you a huge advantage.
Configuring Your Poker HUD
Using a poker HUD is something you should heavily consider, assuming you are not using one already. But information is useless unless you understand how to utilize it. So this guide will be all about the HUD stats you can consider using – and how to use them better. (And if you don’t already have a HUD, grab a free 30-day trial of PokerTracker 4 and see how great it is playing with one!)
Preflop play should be fairly simple, but most players struggle preflop because they lack a plan. So to make your life easier, I put together my preflop checklist that you can begin using in your next session. This preflop checklist contains just 6 things that will keep you focused on the right information preflop and help you decide if you should fold, limp-behind, or attack with a big raise.
Most players build their preflop strategy solely around a hand chart they found online. Now don’t get me wrong-a poker hand range chart can be helpful. But charts are limiting if you don’t know when (and how) to deviate from them. So instead of trying to remember 128 different ranges from each position – let’s focus on the big 6 things that impact your ranges, sizes, and edges preflop. And to make life easier, I’ve named this the PLANES Method since it’s easy to remember!
So let’s break down each letter in this checklist…
Live poker, and poker played in casinos and cardrooms, requires some strategic nuance to win more per hour. With some basic adjustments and a deeper understanding of the game flow, you’ll find both preflop and postflop much easier to play.
This guide is going to break down some easy adjustments you
can make to your game to capitalize on the uniqueness of live poker games. Learn
how to play in games where players hate folding preflop, playing with different
stack sizes, the mechanics of bluffing, beating slow players, and even how to
craft your own preflop ranges.
EV, short for expected value, is the most vital mathematical concept in poker. When we say that something is +EV it means the play is expected to be profitable in the longrun. Whereas a play that is -EV is expected to lose us money in the longrun.
The Poker EV Formula
The most simple poker expected value (EV) formula is this:
EV = (%W * $W) – (%L * $L)
SPR, short for stack-to-pot-ratio, is a powerful concept that can help you take better lines both preflop and postflop. If you can understand and apply SPR strategy in poker you will have a mathematical framework for commitment. Here is the SPR formula:
SPR = Effective Stack Size / Pot Size
We simply take the effective stack (the smallest of the stacks involved in a hand) and divide it by the pot size. So if we both have $200 and the pot is currently $10, we are in a 20 SPR pot.
Equilab is poker software that 90% of players are using to do in-depth equity calculations, explore ranges, and save hundreds of hours when studying their hands between sessions.
But complex software can be a bit confusing to use, so I made a quick video showing you how to start using Equilab. Whether you’ve been using Equilab for years, or just heard about this software today, this video & guide will help you use this tool more efficiently.
Bluffing is one of the most important skills a poker player can have. Anybody can wait around for a big hand and hope to get paid off – that takes almost zero skill. But knowing what goes into a great bluff and how best to execute a +EV play with weak cards is a key differentiator between winning, losing, and breakeven players.
This video & guide is meant to be a Bluffing 101 overview. We will breakdown the 4 key focal points to good bluffs, give some simple things to memorize, and a framework for approaching bluffing in EVERY session you play going forward. Enjoy!
Small ball poker is a playstyle where your aim is to get involved in many cheap pots and keep those pots small – unless you hit a monster hand and then you build the pot as big and as quickly as possible. This was largely popularized by Daniel Negreanu, and to a lesser-extent Harrington’s books, and is a style adopted heavily by players evolving from fishy play.
As you watch this video or read this entire guide, note that the goal is not to insult players that use this style. Heck, I used to implement a small ball strategy, and my training videos before 2014 reflect that. Instead, the goal here is to explore the pros and cons of small ball poker and get you thinking more deeply about both playing this strategy and exploiting other players that use it.
Your poker mindset and the way you process challenges during and between sessions is a major determinant of your longterm success. There are three kinds of poker players when it comes to the mental game. Essentially, they break down into these categories:
Paired boards are an interesting board texture that all poker players need to understand. First, these textures are more common than you might think. Secondly, players tend to craft their strategies in very predictable ways on these boards. And third, knowing how to choose the best lines when the board pairs will help you become a well-rounded player.
Every board texture brings something unique to the table (do you see what I did there?), so let’s break down this particular texture…