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Winning players 3win don’t stop there – they evolve. That is a good thing, but not a few players go astray. Strategy tips are pounding on us from all directions; Highlight videos on YouTube show how professionals conjure up the most absurd bluffs or even fold the second nuts. It is easy to succumb to the fancy-play phenomenon – to play particularly “artfully” and to forget the basics.
A tight-aggressive style of play works because it gives you a significant advantage over your opponents: you usually have the strongest hand in the beginning. This means that you often have the upper hand post-flop. You can place more value bets and bluff less often.
So you always have two ways to get the pot:
- You either win with the best hand at the showdown.
- Or you can make your opponents fold.
The aggressive approach also means that you build a pot with the (hopefully) strongest hand. By default, you should raise to the pot three times the big blind and one big blind for each limper. So if you play $ 0.50 / $ 1, you should raise to $ 3 – and if someone limps, it is $ 4. Sizing before the flop is a much-discussed topic. With the sizing suggested here, you ensure that players do not get into the hand too cheaply without driving out weaker players.
Playing in the early positions
The goal of an ABC game style is to keep tricky decisions to a minimum. In early position, you have an easy game – only strong hands are good enough. Throw away any hands that are worse than suited and all pairs lower than. If you are itching to raise with a weaker hand like suited, ask yourself what you would do against a 3-bet. Strictly follow the hand selection – so you won’t get into trouble.
Playing in the middle positions
In the middle position, you can start expanding your range and playing more hands. Finally, you have information about the players in front of you, and there are only two or three seats behind you. If someone has raised from an early position, you need to consider which hands are in their range. If he goes into the pot with the above range ( suited + and +), you have to act very tight. If someone just limped in the early position, you can go with all hands that are well suited for multi-way situations – i.e., with pairs and suited connectors.
Playing in late positions
You can see that we still have a very tight hand selection – you still want to get into the pot with the strongest possible hand. Stealing the blinds is important – if not as important as in tournaments – but you shouldn’t start stealing with any hand. If the blinds defend against it, you have unnecessarily many problems post-flop.
Playing in the blinds
Playing in the blinds is not easy. You are tempted to defend the blinds with many hands because you have already thrown money into the pot and do not want to lose it. Defending too many hands will inevitably cause you to lose even more money.
You should be aware of the cost and use your common sense – call when the price isn’t too high. You can defend more hands in the big blind than in the small blind.