Free Poker Strategy Articles

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

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…

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Limping Behind Preflop

Overlimping: When & How To Limp Behind Preflop

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Overlimping, or limping behind, is the act of choosing to limp AFTER one (or more) players have already limped preflop. Not to be confused with open-limping (being the first person to enter a pot preflop by limping in), overlimping can have some serious advantages when done properly.

And while aggression in poker has increased exponentially over the years which has led many players to think that raising/isolating limpers is always better – there are plenty of spots where overlimping proves to be a MORE profitable approach.

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Thin Value vs. Fat Value 101

How To Value Bet In Poker (With Examples!)

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There are three main types of betting in poker: value betting, bluffing, and betting for protection. While bluffing is important and protection is a bi-product of understanding equity – knowing how to value bet in poker is an essential part of improving your winrate whether you play ABC poker or another style. In this guide, I want to discuss what a value bet is, why it’s so important, and some useful ways to improve your value betting strategy.

First, what is a value bet?

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The EV Of 3-Bet Shoving Preflop (With Examples!)

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Aggressive poker is winning poker. But still, most players aren’t super comfortable going all-in preflop with less-than-premium hands. This is an effect of not understanding the EV of shoving preflop, especially since the EV (expected value) of going all-in can sometimes be a bit counterintuitive. So let’s go through a few examples together and see when getting it all-in preflop is totally profitable!

3-BET SHOVING WITH J9

This hand comes from Tim who wants to review this hand played in a tournament. In this hand we have J9s, there’s a $40 ante, the blinds are $150/$300, and in this exact situation there’s a raise from DIOGEN, it folds around and Tim decides to rip it.

So what is the EV of 3-bet shoving here? What even goes into calculating the EV in a poker hand? Continue reading

Poker Folds Correctly

Folding In Poker (& How 89% Of Players Get It Wrong)

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Folding is the least sexy topic in poker. Folding is just so…final. Your cards hit the muck, you concede the pot to your opponent, and you’re off to the next hand.

But the honest truth is that poker players fall into two main categories:

  1. Players that fold far too often
  2. Players that fold far too rarely

There is a third type of player though. A rare-breed of player that folds a correct amount of the time and keeps their continuance frequency right on track.

Folding In Poker

That’s the kind of player I want you to become.

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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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