Free Poker Strategy Articles

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

Combo Blocker At Poker Table

Blockers In Poker: How They Work In 2019

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The concept of blockers in poker has been around for a while but, until recently, it’s one that has been far more stressed in Omaha games. Lately, however, we’re seeing the concept applied more in Texas Hold’em as well. While the value of blockers may not be as high in Hold’em as it is in Omaha, they’re still well worth considering as a part of a greater overall gameplan.

Poker Board & Blocker
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Playing Top Pair With AQ

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Ace Queen can be a tricky hand to play. Especially as the action mounts, it can be tough to discern if AQ is strong enough to go all-in with, or if it’s smarter to just fold it and save your chips. Today we’ll look at an AQ hand together and see how our answers compare to over 1K other poker players – and see if going all-in with AQ is actually the best play…

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Crushing Preflop In Fishy Poker Games

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You know the game. The one where everyone wants to see EVERY. SINGLE. FLOP. These fishy games can be extremely profitable, but preflop decisions can be confusing, especially in pots where multiple players have limped before you. Should you raise with your small pair? Should you limp behind with AJ?

Well crushing these games largely comes down to answering questions like these – and this free poker video will get you on the right track… Continue reading

The Most Important Poker HUD Stat: VPIP

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The most important poker HUD stat is VPIP, hands down.  VPIP, short for voluntarily put money in pot, is a preflop stat that tells us how often a player is putting in money given the opportunity.  Limps, calls, raises, and 3bets all count as VPIP, but what is a high vs. low range?  Watch this video to get an idea on how to calculate and visualize this stat.  Or if you are the reading type, the script for this video can be found below.  Enjoy!

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Poker Bluffing 101 (4 Steps To Better Bluffs)

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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. I 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!

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Poker Promotions Strategy

Are Bad Beat Jackpots Worth It? (Strategy With BBJ & High Hand Promotions)

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Many live poker rooms run a variety of promotions to get players into the casino and grinding long hours. While these promotions range from bad beat jackpots (BBJ) to high hand promotions to drawings and lucky seat promotions, they all have the same goal: keep butts in the chair and cards in the air.

But the most important question is should you adjust your strategy at all when these promotions are active? So let’s explore that through the lens of this question:

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The Preflop Poker Checklist (Updated In 2019)

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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 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 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…

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poker potodds

Poker Pot Odds Made Easy

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Poker has a lot of mathematical elements…but pot odds are the most important.  A solid understanding of pot odds will allow you to play draws better, go all-in preflop & postflop, and handle a wide range of decisions with ease. In this video I show you what pot odds are and how to use them using both a preflop and postflop example. There is also a link to a free tool down below that will automatically convert pot odds to percentages and vice versa. Same as always, if you enjoy reading, you can read the whole script below. Enjoy!

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Hello, and welcome to today’s quick plays video on using pot odds in poker.  Pot odds are one of the most fundamental mathematical elements in poker, so understanding them is crucial for your success.  In this video I’ll show you what pot odds are, how to use them, and show some real application with examples.

First, what are pot odds?  You may have heard players talking about “getting 3:1 on a call” or “facing a shove and getting 1.5:1 on their stack”.  These are examples of pot odds expressed as ratios.  Pot odds are just a mathematical expression of risk and reward that can then be used to make better plays both preflop and postflop.

Don’t consider yourself good with math? Let me show you how a simple math-based poker strategy is easy to grasp!

Let’s start by understanding what it means when we are getting 3:1 pot odds on a call.  Whenever you see this kind of ratio it is telling you what your reward is for your current risk.  The first number, which is almost always larger, is the reward and the second number is what you need to risk.

So take a classic example where the pot is $80 and your opponent shoves $40 into it.  That means we need to risk $40 to call his shove, and our reward is what’s in the pot…so the $80 plus his $40 shove.  That means we are getting 120:40, which simplifies down to 3:1.

Betting half pot

Now we can take this ratio and turn it into a percentage.  We simply take risk/(risk+reward), or in this case 1/4, to get 25%.  This is the key part, so pay attention!  This means we need 25% equity, or chance of winning the pot, to breakeven.  If we have less than 25% equity it’s an outright –EV call.  If we have more than 25% equity it’s an outright +EV call.  We should always focus on making +EV plays, and pot odds can help us make them more often!

Let’s look at two examples to show how to apply this concept on the tables…

In this first example the CO opens, and we 3bet from the BB with AK.  The CO shoves for $40 more and it’s back to us.  At this point our risk is how much we have to call, or $33.  Our reward is the current pot, or $53.50.  So we are getting roughly 1.6:1 on a call.  To then get a percentage out of that we take 1/2.6 which gives us 38%.  So if our AK has more than 38% equity against the range the cutoff would shove this is a +EV call.

If you don’t know how to calculate equity you can watch our free video on using Equilab.  But if we assume the CO is shoving a range of TT+/AK we have 43% equity.  And the wider he shoves the more equity we’ll have.  Again, if our equity is higher than the pot odds, it’s a +EV play and in this case we should call.  We won’t win 100% of  the time, but mathematically this is a correct call unless we think the CO is only shoving QQ+.

Ace King Against Strong Range

In this next spot we open 98s from MP, the button calls and we see a HU flop of Q76.  We CBet, he calls.  The turn is a 3, we double barrel, and he raises to $36.  We can use the concept of pot odds even when we are facing a normal raise rather than a shove.  So in this spot we are risking $24, since that’s how much we need to call, to win the current pot of $65.50.  This comes out to 2.7:1 and means we need at least 27% equity here.

Using the simple 4/2 rule to estimate our equity, and assuming improving to any 5 or Ten would give us the best hands, we can times 8×2 to estimate our equity.  That gives us 16% equity here, and given the pot odds we need 27%.  It’s easy to see that we are not getting a proper price to continue with our draw so our best play would be to fold.  The pot odds are incorrect given our equity, there isn’t much money left to win even if we do hit, and thus folding is the default play here.

One last thing if you want to practice this on your own, is the free tool on  Using this tool you can plug in a ratio and get it converted to a percentage, and vice versa.  This is good practice so you can begin to memorize some of the basic ones.

You can use this free tool by clicking here: LINKY

That is pot odds in a nutshell.  The ratio is simply another way of displaying your risk/reward, and the reward is always the pot while your risk is always what you need to call.  This ratio can be converted to a percentage which then gives you the required equity needed to continue in the hand.  There are tangential concepts like implied odds that can help you visualize the future value of drawing…but we’ll cover that in another video.

Spend some time with pot odds so you can memorize some of the basic ones, like 2:1, 3:1, and 4:1…which will make your life at the tables much easier.  Mathematical poker concepts like this never change, so you only need to learn it once and it will benefit you for the rest of your poker playing days!

Same as always, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to let me know…otherwise…good luck and happy grinding!

How Is A Bluff Breakeven In Poker?

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Poker math can be confusing at times. One of the biggest head-scratchers is around the concept of breakeven, or 0EV, and how that really works. Since we either win the hand (making money), or lose the hand (losing money), and pretty much never walk away with exactly $0. So today we’re going to explain how a bluff can end up being breakeven, using some simple poker math.

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free poker sheets

Free Poker Spreadsheets

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Poker contains a lot of repetitive math, especially when studying poker hands away from the table. While you can use software to do a lot of this math, sometimes a good ‘ol fashioned spreadsheet is the best way to visualize and play with the numbers. So to save you a tremendous amount of time, I put together this pack of my spreadsheets that you are free to use while exploring spots!

This is a name your own product, so if money is super-tight, you can even pay $0. But if you want to throw a few chips my way, not only would I massively appreciate it, but I’ll also give you a free PRO video AND over $200 in discounts. No pressure either way – I just wanted you to know your options 😃

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