Select Page

## Bust-Out Blues

Imagine yourself sitting at a crowded poker table, blinded down to your last few chips, all-in on a near unbeatable hand. “Two more,” you think, “two more double-ups and I’ll be back to even.” Then, on the the river, your opponent nails a...

## Poker Hand Strategy | Poker Starting Hands with Deep Stacks

In no-limit hold’em, the most popular form of poker in the world, what poker hands you choose to play pre-flop is mostly dependent on how well the hands are going to play post-flop. How well hands play post-flop depend on a few main factors, like the ability to...

## Revisiting the EV Calculations Tutorial Series

The Most Important Series I’ve Ever Written Back in late 2013, I wrote a five-part series that did something that I still think is pretty incredible: I taught a process for doing complex expected value (EV) calculations without requiring any kind of advanced...

## NLHE Foundations #03: Calling to Close the Action in No-Limit Hold’em

This is the third installment in the No-Limit Hold’em Foundations Course. Before you read this lesson, you should have completed lesson 1 and lesson 2, and this includes doing the exercises and posting them in the forum threads for each lesson. Also make sure to...

## Learning the Other Games

There might be a time in your poker career when you grow tired of playing a certain game. Most learned No-Limit Texas Hold’em first and while it is often referred to as the "Cadillac of Poker" it is actually not the best preparation for other games...

## The Importance of Bonuses and Rakeback

This month at 100nl on PokerStars I’ve paid \$0.056/hand in rake after a sample of ~50k hands. Since I get about 750 hands/hour, this amounts to about \$42/hour. This is also 2.8 ptbb/100. To make sure the peoples of the Beginner’s Circle understand this...

## Playing Small Pairs in NL Full Ring

There is a tremendous sub-culture of players who see small pocket pairs and get carried away with their profit potential. Personally I play pocket pairs very sparingly in full-ring NLHE games. The modern online poker environment is getting tougher by the month and...

## Tactical Thinking – Is It Enough?

Wherever you go these days, be it on poker forums, poker websites or poker magazines, you will be confronted by a myriad of information concerning how to play certain hands in certain situations. Now before I go any further, there is absolutely nothing wrong with...

## How to Decide Which Hands to 3-Bet for Value Pre-Flop

In last week’s edition, we looked at some very simple basics for 3-bet bluffing before the flop. We focused primarily on how new players could start to open up their 3-betting without feeling like they were getting in over their heads. We’re going to...

## The Proven Best Poker Training Books of All Time

Poker is easy to play, difficult to win at, and downright tricky to turn a profit at. For those players looking to go from amateur to profitable, it is hard to know where to start. Well, that’s just what this list is for! Below are the top six best poker training...

## Online vs. Live Poker

In the past when live games became tough to beat players turned to online poker to hone their skills, get multi-table bonuses, and make money. With the games online getting harder by the day it is quite ironic the same players find themselves heading back to the live...

## Pointers for Micro Stakes No Limit Holdem

(This is a post I wrote a while back which I hope will be useful for newcomers to micro-stakes NL. It should be useful up to 25NL, but it’s specifically aimed at the player of a few weeks’ experience, who understands the basics, but doesn’t know much...

## Raising Behind Limpers

I’m going to try to tie this in as much as possible the points I made in my post on blind stealing, Blind Stealing 101. I think that for the people who don’t already raise behind limpers often, it will be best if they think of it as an extension of blind...

## Comfort Zone

Most of my recent blogs have been geared toward live poker. However, since we’re in an online environment, I felt that it was high time that I gave some tips and tricks to help you in the internet age. We’ve all fallen prey to the common ills of online...

## Tactics vs. Strategy (Part 1): The Study of Tactics in Poker

The Fundamental Problem If you’re looking to win in poker in today’s games with the state of the industry being what it is, then you’re going to have to be on another level when compared to the competition. The only way to do this is to seek out as...

## The Essential Poker Tactics for New Players

Introduction During December 2014, I ran a series of articles in this column about the study of tactics vs. strategy in poker. While that series got a lot of attention from intermediate players, it left out a lot of people who weren’t really established with a...

## “To Check/Raise or Not to Check/Raise?” That is Today’s Question

Let’s suppose, just for purposes of illustration, that you and I are both playing in our local casino’s 10/20 Limit Hold ‘Em game.  We both play about the same number of hours per year, and we are similar-style players.  Let’s just be...

## Transitioning from Online to Live Play

For many U.S. players, Black Friday has meant the end of playing poker online.  For those players, the only way to currently play poker without the worry of legality or cashouts is to go to a brick and mortar cardroom and play honest to god live poker.  I happen to be...

## Poker Discipline

Anosmic’s Year One post inspired me to do something for my first FTRnniversary. It’s been a great year for me, poker-wise. I started last February playing \$10 SNGs and 25NL ring with a \$300 bankroll and am now playing 200NL with a \$8k bankroll. I’ve...

## Implied vs. Reverse Implied Odds

This seemingly simple topic might be one of the most misunderstood by beginners in poker. Learning about reverse implied odds was quite eye-opening for me and led to a large improvement in my ability. Most players, even those new to the game, understand what is meant...

## EV Calculations Tutorial 5: Tournament Calculations

This is the fifth part of a series of tutorials teaching people how to perform expected value calculations with a minimum amount of math. Please read through the first four parts of this series before you start into this segment on tournament calculations. While the...

## Practical Game Theory in Poker (Part 1): Attack and Defense

This is the first in a series of articles about building a practical understanding of game theory regarding poker. Game theory is a branch of mathematics that can be used to model and evaluate certain types of games. Poker is a natural target for this kind of thing,...

## The Newbie Circle of Death

I just went through a maddening circle that wasted 3 weeks of my hard work, and nearly washed my entire bankroll down the drain… Hopefully I can give a little insight to prevent someone from going through the same thing… Just a side note, I play the 6 max...

## Texas Holdem Poker Hands Position (Full Ring)

Out of all the strategic aspects at play in any given poker game, there is none more important than table position. Players who can manipulate the hand-to-hand shift in the betting patterns will have a greater chance to be successful, regardless of the cards in their...

## ﻿The True Essence of Poker

The Fundamentals Poker players have a really bad habit of getting seduced by what appear to be fancy tactics like over-the-top bluffs, laying down big hands and making huge calls with weak hands. In an effort to emulate the professionals who they see making these big...

## How to Earn Online Poker Bonuses

One of the biggest mistakes players make when signing up for a new poker site is failing to take advantage of bonus offers. Every site offers some sort of initial deposit bonus to new clientèle, and for those new to the game it can make the difference in having to...

## Bankroll Management: A Basic Concept Revisited

As you can see from my blog roll, not all of my titles are original or catchy, but I do strive for them to be accurate, and this one is most certainly accurate.  We all know about this term “bankroll management”, and if you don’t, allow me to give you a brief idea of...

## Short Stacked and Dangerous

It’s one of the scariest feelings in poker – You’ve just lost a huge pot to a three-to-one underdog and given up most of your stack. As you watch the opponent sort your chips and integrate them into his pile, a sickening realization creeps up on you…...

## The \$6,000,000 Poker Player

There is a growing debate in today’s poker world over who is the best player around. Many names get offered as the best of the best but there is truly no way to know who the best Texas Hold’em player in the world is. As the game of poker has grown...

## What Makes a Player Top-Tier?

I have been thinking a lot lately on self-analysis and focusing on what I need to do to become a better, more profitable player. Tournament play is a very results oriented business and the internet ranking systems and idolization that follows from it make this...

## Implied Odds Plays at 25NL and Below

Over the past twelve months, I have been observing the lower stakes no-limit games and playing in them quite extensively including around 100k hands at NL50. I have been observing the games on Pokerloco recently which is a site that is situated on Ongame. I have been...

## Nine Noobie Myths About Microstakes NLHE

I feel like tons of the noobies in the BC have serious misconceptions about microstakes poker. Here are a few I’ve seen lately. 1. The micros are just too fishy to be beat for any decent win rate. 2. The micros are too hard to be beat since UIGEA. 3. The FTR...

## Texas Hold em Poker Hands Order

Most of us have played poker in one form or another. The game is universal, reaching across the world to unite players of all ages and nations. Let’s get to the basics. Players are each dealt a set number of cards in a predetermined timing system (deal, flop,...

## The Best Time to Bluff

In my last post, I talked about why bluffing is such an integral part of poker.  In this post I want to focus on what conditions we need to make a bluff successful.  Anyone who has played poker for a decent amount of time has had a bluff blow up in their face. ...

## Texas Hold em Poker Hands Position (6 Max)

Online poker has blown up in the past decade. It has become the favorite past time of many people around the world. With the software online poker sites use, tables can be created at no extra cost. This means that online poker sites do not require all tables to be...

## Breaking Down the Non-Hold’em Games Part 2

In Part 1 of this series we looked at the more common non-Hold’em games like Omaha and the Stud variations. Now it’s time to dive into some of the more obscure games, including all of the draw variations like 2-7 Triple Draw, 2-7 Single Draw, Badugi, and...

## Dumpster Diving: A Guide to Playing Trash Hands

We’ve all run across players who refuse to put their money in the pot without the benefit of premium cards. Indeed, players who wait on suited connectors, pocket pairs, or high face cards are practicing sound poker strategy, and will almost always make deep runs...

## Pay Attention and Stop Spewing Chips

You Don’t Pay Attention A lot of your problems in poker could be fixed if you started paying a little more attention. Just ask yourself if what you’re doing makes sense or if you’re just reacting because you think you’re on auto-pilot. For the...

## The Basic Concepts that Drive Continuation Betting

A lot of people get caught up thinking about what cards are going to come after the flop when they are considering a continuation bet. However, it’s usually more important to think about betting and position. When you’re considering making a continuation...

## Taking the Next Step

There are a few moments in a poker player’s career than will define their future. Your inevitable first downswing, that “a-ha!” moment, and moving up in stakes for the first time. Being able to move up to bigger and better games will be crucial in...

## Apply Yourself at Learning Poker

I haven’t made a long post for a while, so I’ll write something down now. This post is primarily aimed at beginners, but it wouldn’t hurt for some of the veterans to read it. So, you’ve just discovered Texas Hold’em. You start playing and...

## Tactics vs. Strategy (Part 2): The Foundations of Strategy

A Fresh Approach As we mentioned in part 1 of this series, there’s a fundamental problem in poker right now where you are facing stronger competition than ever before. If you want to gain the advantage, you’re going to have to learn to use a different...

## Order of Winning Poker Hands – Razz

In Razz Poker, sometimes also known as Bizarro Stud, it can be confusing to the beginner to know what beats what. Unlike standard poker in which the best hand usually forms something nice, like two cards of the same rank together with 3 cards of the same rank to form...

## Modern Blind Stealing for No-Limit Hold’em in 2015

Introduction More than seven years ago, I wrote a post titled Blind Stealing 101. A lot has changed in terms of what’s fashionable and what’s well-known in the online poker world. For a fun piece of evidence of this, note that the standard size of an open...

## Online Poker Multi-Tabling Strategy

When is a good time to start Multi-Tabling? Playing multiple tables has pretty much become the norm for online poker players. Actually, it’s a necessity for serious players looking to build up a bankroll or wanting to earn some regular extra spending cash. This...

## Five Ways To Improve Your Game In 2010

The new year typically brings resolutions in your personal, professional, and more importantly, poker life. Many players view the beginning of another year as a fresh start, a time to get rid of bad habits and to begin implementing changes.  Those looking for some...

## Poker Hand Percentages for Omaha

Pot-Limit Omaha is quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of poker in the world. The game offers recreational players a lot of opportunity to gamble and gives the most experienced professional quite a big advantage in the long run. Understanding Omaha poker...

## The Delicate Nature of Pot Odds and Implied Odds

Introduction Pot odds are one of the first things that players learn about in poker, and they’re usually quickly followed by a brief study of implied odds and reverse implied odds. Unfortunately, a lot of what’s considered common knowledge about these...

## No Deposit Poker Bonuses

Almost every poker site going offers some form of meaty deposit bonus. Invest a chunk of money into a site and they’ll give you the chance to earn some extra cash. However, budding players with small bankrolls may feel that they can’t take full advantage of these...

## Mindfulness and the Manifestation of Mental Weakness in Poker

In a post from a few weeks back, I outlined six items that I feel like cover most of the principles of performance as regards poker. In this week’s discussion, I’m going to look at the connection between points three and five on that list. We’re...

## How the Games Have Changed

It’s common knowledge that the games of 2010 are much different than the pre-legislation games back in 2006. When the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act was passed nearly four years ago the games online were booming. Full of fish and with plenty of money...

## The Principles of Performance for Poker

People who know how I approach things will be able to tell you that I focus primarily on depth instead of breadth. However, this week’s column is going to be a bit different. Over the past couple of months, I’ve been laying out a way to think about the...

## Playing Long Sessions

Whether you are a cash game, tournament, or SNG grinder, putting in time at the tables is a big key to becoming a winning player. It takes hundreds of thousands of hands to become proficient at any of the poker disciplines and to do so you will have to grind. Some...

## NLHE Foundations #02: Basic No-Limit Hold’em Bluffing Analysis

NLHE Foundations Course This is the second lesson in the free No-Limit Hold’em foundations course, and all you have to do to sign up is create an account (if you haven’t already) and post in the forum thread I just linked to saying you want in. I’ll...

## NLHE Foundations #06: Putting Opponents on Pre-Flop Ranges (Part 3)

Introduction This is the sixth part of the free NLHE Foundations Series that I’m running here on FTR. This series is designed to give you a very clear set of tools that will teach you how to study what will really make you a better NLHE poker player. If you want...

Recently the world’s largest poker site, PokerStars, announced the way they were handling the minimum/maximum buy-in amounts at their cash game tables. This mainly affects NL/PL Hold’em as well as Pot-Limit Omaha games as shallow/deep stacks in limit games...

## No Deposit – All Returns: How to Build a Bankroll from Nothing Part I

In today’s world of online poker, it is extremely easy to build up a sizable cash position without ever having to make a single deposit. This proves to be an increasingly attractive alternative as many credit card companies and banks (especially in the US)...

A lot of time is spent discussing proper bankroll management. While this is an important fundamental everyone must conquer, players must also learn how to build their roll to move up in stakes. Between good play, cashing in on bonuses, promotions, and/or rakeback, and...

## No Deposit – All Returns: How to Build a Bankroll from Nothing Part II

This is part 2 in a 2 part series.  Make sure to check out Part I before reading this – No Deposit – All Returns: How to Build a Bankroll from Nothing Part I Freeroll Strategies Whether you are playing the freerolls at FullTilt or PokerStars you have...

## Don’t Be a Poker Pansy

“Don’t be a Poker Pansy.” Apparently you can’t make a post in the Beginner’s Forum without attaching some cheesy phrase to it. That’s probably because most beginners are slow thinkers and incapable of comprehending anything beyond...

## Making Game Theory Easy With Simple Shortcuts

Over the past few weeks, we’ve been looking at an introduction to game theory in poker with a special emphasis on avoiding math. We have been looking extensively at a very specific type of situation over the past couple of weeks where a player bets all-in on the...

## The Efficient Frontier of Poker

euphoricism recently made a post entitled The biggest money-making secret in poker. https://www.flopturnriver.com/poker-strategy/biggest-money-making-secret-in-poker-19084 I’m not going to rehash it here (read it if you haven’t already – it’s...

## No Limit Betting

Beginners generally have trouble knowing how much to bet when they hit a hand. For the most part they know to “take away the other guy’s pot odds,” but there’s more to betting than that. Because… tell me if this happens to you… You...

## ISF – Five Rules To Beating Low Stakes

I have to admit, most of my articles give advice that is hard to understand. When you don’t understand preliminary concepts to the ideas of talking about, it’s almost impossible to truly understand anything I or high stakes players talk about. In later articles I’m...

## NLHE Foundations #01: Introduction to Hold’em Ranges

NLHE Foundations Course This is the first lesson in the free No-Limit Hold’em Foundations course that I’m running here on FlopTurnRiver. There’s a lot more to these lessons than what you see here. If you would like to take part in this, all you have...

## Freeroll Finesse

Whether you’re looking to build a bankroll or stop a losing skid, there is no better way to gain free money than by entering into a few freerolls. These no-buy-in contests have become staple offerings at most online poker sites. Players could, with a large...

## Should You Multi-Table?

If you were to ask this question to any player who is a successful multi-tabler, then they would probably laugh you out of the room. Anyone who successfully plays multiple tables and plays them very well without making stupendously dumb plays and who makes good money...

## Practice makes Perfect

Practice makes Perfect. It’s something we’ve all heard a million times. It’s meaning is obvious! What could I possibly have to add to this catchy, well-informed nugget!? Well, I have a secret: Practice does not make Perfect. Rather, Perfect practice...

## The Process of Learning in Poker

This is the first of a series of poker articles that I’ll be writing each week here at FlopTurnRiver. The objective of this article is to present what I think is an excellent approach to studying poker that will be central to my future articles. The Problems...

## Microstakes Grinding

Most players who are new to online poker will start at the lowest stakes possible, commonly known as “Microstakes”. In general, microstakes are considered to be any poker stakes up to \$0.10/\$0.25 blinds in NL and \$0.50/\$1.00 in Limit games. The concept of...

## Texas Holdem Starting Hands – 19 Hand Strategy

One of the biggest problems new poker players have is that they play too many hands. A simple but effective first step for new players is to learn the 19 hand strategy. This simple strategy forces the new player to exercise discipline and learn a tight game. Aokrongly...

## Poker Hands Order | Poker Hands for Omaha Hi/Lo

There is a poker game growing in popularity due to the recent attention given to high stakes mixed games in Omaha Hi/Lo or what is sometimes referred to as Omaha Eight-or-Better. The “O” in HORSE, Omaha Hi/Lo is a split-pot game which awards half of the...

## Cbets, HUD Reads and Problem Solving

How I used problem-solving theory to study cbets and villain profiles The problem is I suck at poker. But I’m reasonably good at problem solving. George Polya’s quintessential research studied great problem-solvers and suggested this simple format:...

## Please Stop Paying Off Loose/Passives at the Poker Tables

Introduction I’ve seen so many players make this same mistake over the years that it’s almost comical at this point. Hero has some medium-strength hand, some loose/passive player raises against Hero, and Hero calls down anyway to be faced with the...

## NLHE Foundations #04: Putting Opponents on Pre-Flop Ranges (Part 1)

Introduction This is part four in the NLHE Foundations Series. I’ve designed this series to give players a clear path from the beginner to intermediate levels in no-limit hold’em. There’s a lot more to this series than these posts because...

## NLHE Foundations #07: Putting Opponents on Flop Ranges (Part 1)

Introduction I’ve been doing the free NLHE Foundations Course here on FlopTurnRiver to give players a straight-forward path to go from the beginner levels to the intermediate levels with a mind towards being able to systematically improve over time. If you want...

## The Value of a Bankroll

I think that the concept of bankrolls in poker is something that is misunderstood by the vast majority of poker players. In fact I have read more opinions and articles on the subject of bankroll management and earn rates than I can remember. I find most of the...

## Poker Thoughts for Beginners

I’ve been through all the ups and downs of poker. I just thought I’d share some things with some of the beginners to help them not make mistakes early on. We all make mistakes starting out and I was making the same mistakes over and over and for far too...

## Traits of Great Poker Players

While all great poker players are certainly not created equal. Most do share similar qualities in their styles of play. By looking at a handful of the best players in the world, we can draw from what they have in common and apply it to our games. Here are five of the...

## Semi-Bluffing Examples to Build Your Intuition

One of the problems that some players, especially newer ones, run into is that they don’t quite understand the power of semi-bluffing. A lot of these players use the bet/(bet+pot) guideline to figure out about how often an opponent has to fold for a bluff to be...