Free Poker Strategy Articles

A collection of poker posts written by poker players for poker players

ABC Poker Strategy

ABC Poker: The Simple Strategy

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The concept of ABC poker is oftentimes misunderstood.  Many players think ABC poker is playing some super exploitable and dumbed-down strategy that makes about 0bb/100.  However, ABC poker is really just a term to describe a simple strategy that focuses on good fundamental play and veers away from FPS (fancy play syndrome).  

In full disclosure, I use an ABC strategy quite often, especially in live games and micro stakes online games.  But if I’m fully capable of using a LAG strategy, why would I use such a simplified strategy?

Imagine playing in a brand-new game.  Every player is unknown to you, you have zero information on any opponent, and it folds to you with T♣8♠ in middle position.  An ABC player would just fold here.  T8o isn’t a default open-raise from middle position and thus it’s an easy fold.  

But if I had information, such as everyone behind me is tight, then I’m going to break away from ABC and raise to try and steal the blinds from a non-steal spot.  This is how I would play as a default too.  With information I’m going to raise and try to pick up the pot preflop…but without information, I would resort to a default strategy of just folding my weak hand because I don’t have information on the other players.  

This, in essence, is ABC poker.

This same concept can be applied to postflop poker.  With information, you may continuation bet more, size your value bets more perfectly, and even run double barrels and overbets more often.  But without information, or even with super minimal information like a sample size of 14, you will oftentimes have to revert back to default lines.  

The ABC Poker Playbook

Since ABC poker boils down to simpler play, their playbook is usually easy. They typically use a small ball poker strategy and utilize an easy bet sizing strategy that prioritizes a single size over multiple. They also avoid mixed strategies and instead use a binary approach when building their ranges.

So what are some ABC lines that players use?

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Understanding 3-Bet Ranges

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As poker matures and aggression increases, it’s very important that you are understanding 3-bet ranges correctly. Today’s players are using advanced 3 bets more often and applying lots of preflop pressure, so it’s imperative that we can handle their 3bets profitably. In this article, we are going to discuss how to analyze a 3-bet range to help choose the best line when facing a 3bet.

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Top 10 Poker Podcasts (Updated 2022)

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In recent years, podcasts have become a hit, and you can find plenty of them in any niche. Poker is no exception, and there are regular podcasts that provide valuable content. Whether it is about strategy, news or anything else, you can learn a lot and have fun at the same time. Many of them will also host special tournaments and promotions, which adds extra value to the whole experience.

So, if you’ve been looking for the best poker podcasts around, here is my top-10 list!

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Free Poker Calculators

7 Poker Calculators Every Player Should Use (Plus Downloads!)

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There are countless advanced tools for studying poker, but sometimes a simple poker calculator is all you need. So I’ve put together a list of the 7 poker calculators that every player should use. Be sure to bookmark this page, or you can even download my entire poker spreadsheet collection for offline usage.

When it comes to calculators, the most important thing is that you are inputting the correct numbers. Each tool includes a quick blurb showing you which numbers you need, where to get them, and how to interpret the output. Have fun playing with each calculator and feel free to tweet at me if you have any questions.

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Live & Casino Poker Strategy 101

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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.

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Practical Range Advantage

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Poker is a technical game, and becoming proficient at it requires a careful learning process. You cannot beat the game, for example, without having a solid understanding of which hands are playable from different positions at the table. But that is just the starting point, both literally and figuratively, of success in a multi-street game.

Fortunately, poker has been subjected to sufficient analysis that these days a beginning player has access to a number of learning short-cuts. Charts of opening hand ranges are commonplace, and simplifications of in-depth computer analysis of postflop play are available to players willing to put in a little work.

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The Double Barrel Checklist

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Pulling off a successful double barrel with an appropriate frequency is pretty important in today’s online no-limit hold’em games. The days of profitably playing your entire range completely straight-forward and face-up after a continuation bet have been long gone for quite a while. However, because firing the second barrel often involves building a pot without a made hand, it’s intimidating for a lot of players. To help make things go smoother, we have a checklist of things you should consider before you double barrel. Continue reading

Memory In Poker

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Since the release of our preflop opening ranges, both in Level 1 of CORE and as part of our ongoing GTO expansion in PRO, I’ve noticed a growing trend. In CORE, in particular, I now get frequent questions about whether subscribers should “memorize all of this” before moving on to Level 2. The follow-up question is often: “If so, how?”

Discussions with Vegas grinders have also revealed a certain level of gloom at the prospect of excellent memory being required for poker success in the solver era. With software tools revealing the objectively correct preflop and postflop play, will no limit hold’em be reduced to a memory contest between players?

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Understanding Your Style – What MMA Teaches Us About Poker

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I’ve been watching MMA for over 10 years at this point, and its been fascinating to watch its “meta game” evolve in similar ways to poker. At the beginning, true to its name, it started with each fighter focusing on their individual martial art; living and dying by its individual strengths and weaknesses.

This is exactly the way poker started, there was little math involved and each player focused on a strategy they believed in. There were no solvers telling us how to play, we simply tried strategies and judged how they performed over time. We watched the best players and tried to extrapolate what they were doing. Most players were easily categorized, I was able to be a serious winner by starting as a tight player and carefully adding as many bluffs as I could. A cautious player constantly adding moves was enough to dominate.

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