Free Poker Strategy Articles

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

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? Are you going to 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

JJ In A Tough Spot Postflop

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Pocket Jacks tend to create a ton of heartache for players. Most of the time JJ cannot handle a heap of preflop pressure, it faces an overcard on the flop a ton, and even when the flop does cooperate it doesn’t mean the turn and river will. But like any other starting hand, good play means understanding what goes into making solid preflop and postflop decisions, and then utilizing that strategy at the tables.

To help us do that, let’s breakdown this hand sent in by Anthony. Here, we have to make some serious postflop decisions when JJ faces a really ugly turn card… Continue reading

free poker tool

What Is A Poker Fold Equity Calculator?

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I use many tools when analyzing poker hands away from the table…but one of my favorite tools is the fold equity calculator.  This tool only requires a few simple inputs to give me information about how often my opponent needs to fold in order for me to run a bluff.  This is super helpful when going all-in preflop, semi-bluffing draws postflop, and increasing your overall aggression.

This free video will show you what fold equity is, what a fold equity calculator is, and how to use this tool on your own.  As always, if you are a reader make sure to check out the script below.  Enjoy!

(Turn the video to 720p and sub for more poker videos)

Hello, and welcome to today’s Quick Plays video on using a fold equity calculator.  There are so many different poker tools available, but this is one tool that I use quite often.  In this video, I’ll show you what a fold equity calculator is, how it’s useful, and show you how to use it with some examples! Continue reading

Playing Overpairs On Wet Flops

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Overpairs are usually very easy to play. Be aggressive preflop, continue being aggressive postflop, and aim to get looked up by someone who couldn’t fold their second-best holding.

But sometimes the board is less than ideal, and sometimes draws complete. And in this hand – BOTH of those things occur! So let’s breakdown how to play overpairs on wet flops (and as-played, when draws get there)… Continue reading

Playing Overcards With A Gutshot

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More often than not, unpaired hole cards are going to miss the flop. But bigger unpaired hands, like AK, AQ, and KQ, are going to be overcards to the board – making them far different holdings than undercards. While it’s typical to just fire these overcards, especially when they have backdoor draws and/or flop a gutshot, there is some nuance to handling these hands.

To highlight this, let’s breakdown a hand that Alex sent in and see if semi-bluffing is the right approach… Continue reading

river donking hand example

Facing A River Donk (Hand Analysis)

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Many players get confused when facing “odd” actions, such as donk bets.  So I wanted to analyze a spot where I faced a river donk bet and had to make a decision.   A donk bet is a bet made into the previous street aggressor.  Since I had bet the turn and he bets into me on the river, his river bet is called a “donk bet”.

In this hand the BB was an unknown player, so I have no info on him and subsequently he had no info on me.  Here is the hand history: Continue reading

Setting Up Your Poker HUD Stats

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A HUD is a very helpful tool that is unique to online poker that helps us visualize real-time data about our opponents. Poker is a game of information, and the more we have, the better we should be able to play. So setting up your poker HUD, using the best stats, and gleaning the correct information can give you a huge advantage.

Configuring Your Poker HUD

Using a poker HUD is something you should heavily consider, assuming you are not using one already. But information is useless unless you understand how to utilize it. So this guide will be all about the HUD stats you can consider using – and how to use them better. (And if you don’t already have a HUD, grab a free 30-day trial of PokerTracker 4 and see how great it is playing with one!)

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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 60K subs & 8M+ 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… Continue reading

Top 7 Poker Podcasts (Updated 2019)

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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-7 list!

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SPR Formula

SPR Strategy And Concept In Poker

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SPR, short for stack-to-pot-ratio, is a powerful concept that can help you take better lines both preflop and postflop. If you can understand and apply SPR strategy in poker you will have a mathematical framework for commitment. Here is the SPR formula:

SPR = Effective Stack Size / Pot Size

We simply take the effective stack (the smallest of the stacks involved in a hand) and divide it by the pot size. So if we both have $200 and the pot is currently $10, we are in a 20 SPR pot. Continue reading