Free Poker Strategy Articles

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

Poker Combos & Blockers 101

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One of the most important intermediate skills a player can have is the ability use combos and blockers at the poker table. These technical skills require nothing more than a little counting (if you can handle 4+12, you’ll be fine!), but they can help you find so many extra bluffs and thinner value bets in every session you play.

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Hands To Play UTG In Live Poker

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You are playing in a live $1/$2 poker game. You are first to act UTG and look down at your hand. Do you know which hands you’ll play from UTG? Which hands will you fold? Will you open-limp at all?

Let’s discuss crafting an UTG range that makes you profit, while figuring out when to play tighter AND looser – including the key variables that most players overlook. Continue reading

mathematical approach to poker

Why A Poker Math Approach Is Best

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Poker is a game of math. The math can range from simple things like figuring out the size of the pot to very complex things like calculating the EV of multi-street plays. But poker is also a social/psychological game where tells, psychology, and dynamics come into play (especially in live & casino poker). Players that approach the game solely through the social lens are just as much missing a crucial element as players that solely approach the game mathematically. Like most things, balance is required to be a well-rounded player who can thrive at any table.

While most math-based players understand the value in the social side of the game (albeit, usually not giving it the credence it deserves – myself included years ago), social-focused players tend to ignore much of math side of the game. This is normally due to the fear that the math will be too complex, too cumbersome, and maybe even too nerdy.

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Nitty Poker Is Bad

Being A Nit Is Making You A Bad Poker Player

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Nit: A poker player who uses an extremely tight strategy, who plays very few hands, and who aims to only get involved in big pots with monster hands.

At some point in your poker journey, you will hear the phrase “tight is right”. A nit takes this phrase to an extreme, utilizing a strategy that is about tight as you can get without folding literally every hand. Most players hate nits because they do nothing but fill a seat that could otherwise be filled by a fish. But in the event you are a nit, I’m going to try to persuade to you stop this behavior today.

I run ThePokerBank’s YouTube channel (over 80K subs & 10M+ views), and as you can imagine, the comments on these free poker videos range from really solid players to results-oriented players to fish to ultra-nits. A while back I got into a quick back-n-forth with a player who said we should fold an overpair + flush draw getting 4:1 against our opponent’s all-in. He then went on to make the comment that:

No reads, fold all day in 1/2 or 2/5. Nothing wrong being a nit.

Now, many of my students have been nits. I used to be quite nitty myself. Heck, you can even find some old videos of mine where I offer very nitty advice. But in today’s games, a nitty style just doesn’t cut it. So here are 4 very simple reasons why there IS something wrong with being a nit…

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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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brand new to poker

How Would I Learn Poker From Scratch In 2021?

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When I first entered poker back in 2004, the landscape was quite different than it is today. Back during the ‘Moneymaker Boom’ there were a couple of poker forums worth visiting, a few pieces of poker software, and a limited number of books that deserved a read.

Now, the poker learning landscape is 100% different.

There are a nearly infinite number of poker forums to join (heck, there are Discord channels and FB groups to talk poker in now). There are hundreds of poker programs you can use to train, learn, and tweak various parts of your game. There are hundreds of poker books available, and seemingly a never-ending list of random authors writing new ones every day.

When I ask myself the question ‘would I rather enter poker in 2004 or in 2021?’ I find myself torn.

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poker podcasts 2020

Top 9 Poker Podcasts (Updated 2020)

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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-9 list!

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