Free Poker Strategy Articles

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

Bluffing Multiway Flops

C-Betting Bluffs On Multi-Way Flops

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You raise preflop and unexpectedly get multiple callers. Now you see a flop and totally miss. Should you c-bet the flop multi-way, even though you have a weak hand? Should you bluff on flops with multiple players? It certainly feels weak to keep check-folding Ace-high and weak pairs, but what goes into making a +EV decision here? Continue reading

Poker Inside Straight Draws

How To Play Gutshots In Poker

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Gutshots, also known as ‘inside straight draws’ are just one kind of draw you catch in poker. The typical definition of a gutshot is that you have 4 cards to improve your draw, which is only half of the number of outs you’d have with an open-ended straight draw (OESD).

To visualize this, say the flop is QT6. On such a board, 87 is a gutshot that needs a 9 to improve to a made-straight. And AK is also a gutshot, but it needs a Jack to improve to a made-straight.

Two Gutshots On The Flop

Note that gutshots can also have other qualities (for instance, AK has a gutshot straight draw AND two overcards on QT6). And in some cases, a starting hand can actually have a double gutshot (aka a double-belly buster). 98 is a double gutty here since a Jack OR a 7 would make their straight. 

In this guide, we are going to look at how to play gutshots through the lens of Ace King. This material comes directly from Chapter 11 “When AK Flops A Gutshot” in the book Optimizing Ace King. So without further ado, let’s get into the strategy… Continue reading

Playing Sets Against Draws

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Sets are usually pretty easy to play. Bet them, raise them, and build the pot quickly. But what about the times when the draws complete? What about spots where the board gets ugly?

These “bad” spots can create a “tight is right” mentality – and we want to disprove that mindset ASAP. Let’s explore a single hand, one with bottom set, and see how you SHOULD be playing sets against drawing hands: Continue reading

A River Decision: Bet Or Check?

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Today we’re going to go through a quiz that I posted earlier on YouTube. First, thanks to Will for sending this hand in. Second, many thanks to everyone who responded to the quiz. Your participation is the only way I can make these things happen. And finally, thanks to those of you who spotted a math error in an earlier version of this video – I’ve since corrected it, re-recorded the video, and reuploaded it: Continue reading

Draws Love Fold Equity

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Is there anything more exciting than flopping a draw with heaps of outs? The more often you play hands like suited connectors, suited gappers, and weaker suited Broadways – the more often you’ll find yourself playing flush draws, gutshots, and the like. Having a solid strategy for playing draws, one that capitalizes on fold equity and adjusts when there isn’t much, will make you MUCH tougher to play against postflop.

Today, we will explore an open-ended straight draw (OESD) played at live $2/$5. Dan was nice enough to send this hand in…so let’s check it out.  Continue reading

A Passive Mistake With Top Pair

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Usually, with these posts, we review a single poker hand and try to learn some big-picture lessons. We’re going to do something similar today but through a slightly different lens. This came about when I sent out a hand history a few months ago asking people how they’d play it. I was surprised by the variation in the responses. There is a lot of value in exploring spots where players disagree on a common inflection point, hence this post. Continue reading

Playing Bad Poker (& Still Winning!)

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Poker is such a unique game in that good plays can lose money, and bad poker plays can end up winning money. At the end of the day, our goal is to make the most profitable plays and minimize our mistakes. But sometimes, a bad line can still result in the chips being pushed our way. Regardless of whether you played well & lost, badly & won, or anything in the middle – review your hand and ensure the line you took was +EV.

To put an example to this, let’s review a hand that Alex sent in from a live $1/$2 game. Continue reading

Hero-Folding AA On A Special Board?

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Aces are such a strong hand, but they can find themselves in some tricky situations postflop. Especially if the board texture gets ugly and the action gets weird – it can be tough to figure out what the best line is. Today we will review a hand where AA gets a great price, but we still need to use some hand reading skills to determine if giving action is a +EV idea.

So this hand is from Pat who sent in this spot from a live $1/$3 game in which he picks up AA on the button. Continue reading