How To Play Poker Strategy

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Poker is still the strategy game it always was, and that also applies to video poker. Players who have a good strategy can potentially win against the house more often than not, in certain types.

  • Avoid bloating the pot with medium-strength hands. Use them to bluff-catch. Medium strength.
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In a prior installment on Badeucey, we established a set of guidelines for the starting hands we should tend to play given that we were the first player to enter the pot. In this issue, the focus will be on what hands are playable when the pot has already been opened, and the factors that should be considered in order to determine if our holding is better played as a smooth-call or as a three-bet.

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Pat Hands

Whenever you hold a playable pat hand, it is almost always in your best interest to reraise the opener and try to get the pot heads-up. A seven low with at a good three card underneath such as 2 3 5 6 7 increases the odds of scooping against a single opponent.

Some caution needs to be exercised with eight lows such as 2 5 6 7 8 and 3 45 6 8 where we essentially have no badugi hand. If we are up against an early position raiser, both of these hands should probably hit the muck.

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This advice may seem overly tight, particularly with 3 4 5 6 8, however a solid player opening from early position will often either have a badugi or a very strong three-card badugi that they mostly plan to showdown unimproved. If our opponent is intent on going to the end regardless what happens in the hand, we are getting freerolled from the beginning.

The situation is different when the initial raiser originates from the cutoff or later position as this range will be weaker and not as showdown bound. In that circumstance, we should three-bet 3 4 5 6 8 in the hope that the pot is played heads-up and our opponent chooses to fold sometime before showdown.

One-Card Draws

Any made badugi that is an eight or lower should be reraised for both value and protection. If the raise comes from a steal position, reraising a rougher nine badugi such as 4 6 7 9 is also correct especially if they are loose and often drawing three. Since the underlying draw of 4 6 7 draw is quite rough, keeping the nine is probably best.

Holdings such as 2 5 6 9 can go either way. In straight Deuce-to-Seven Triple Draw we would always draw two in order to try and make stronger lows and any other nine we catch later on in the hand will help us in the same manner. However, in Badeucey discarding the 9 is forever eliminating one of our better badugi outs.

Therefore, with a hand like 2 5 6 9, we should tend to reraise and be flexible with our drawing decision depending on the remainder of the preflop action. If our reraise is successful in getting the pot heads-up we should probably keep the nine and draw one, and if it goes off multi-way we should opt to draw two.

When you hold very good one-card draws with a tri such as 2 3 5 7 or 2 3 4 8 where you plan to draw one, you also want to three-bet in the hopes of isolating your opponent. Even if we bump into a badugi, with premium draws to both sides your equity and playability is often quite good. In addition, we don’t want our reraising and drawing one range to be entirely comprised of badugis.

Three-Card Badugis (i.e. Two-Card Draws)


With three-card badugis, the decision between three-betting or just smooth-calling is often close. When making it we should take into account the opener’s position, your position, your hand, and the skill level of the players left to act behind you. For example, facing a somewhat tight early position opener with weak players in the blinds, flatting your entire three-card badugi range has merit in order to invite action players to enter the pot.

However, in most other situations it is usually best to reraise premium three-card badugis such as 2-3-5, 2-4-5, 3-4-5, 2-4-6, 2-3-7, and 2-4-7. There’s a value component to three-betting these hands in addition to increasing our scooping chances. In addition, as we discussed last issue, these hands effectively realize their equity relative to our opponent.

In particular, 3-4-5 gains tremendously getting the pot heads-up as it can win the badugi side unimproved, but can struggle to make strong lows due to potential straight draws. Hands such as 2-3-7 and 2-4-7 will not often win the badugi side unimproved, however, these holdings have strong two-way potential and three-betting them helps balance against doing so with only the lowest of our tri holdings.

Weaker three-card badugis should mostly be flatted and which hands are playable are a function of your opponent’s playing style, the position from which he opened, and your position. 1982 wsop. For example, if a tight player opens from first position and we are one seat over in the hijack we should fold a mediocre hand like 2-6-8.

While position helps, it’s hard to envision that our opponent is opening many worse hands thus we should not seek out an uphill battle with so many players left to act behind us. In this situation, the bottom of our continuing range would probably be holdings such as 3-4-6 and 2-4-8. These hands make stronger badugis than 2-6-8 and also have the potential to reduce our incomplete to a three-card four.

Blind Defense

From the big blind you are getting good odds to continue against a single raise, however, it is difficult to defend profitably with as many hands as you can in another game such as Omaha eight-or-better. In Omaha hi-lo, you can take a flop with a somewhat junky hand and have a villain’s A A 2 3 drawing nearly dead once those three cards come down. However, in Badeucey your rough draws will only make rough hands, thus when you are up against the very top of your opponent’s range no miracle can save you.

When an opponent opens from early position, we must respect that range and play somewhat tight. While we can probably defend with any three-card seven or a smooth eight we must resist the temptation to play rougher holdings such as 3 7 8 that have reverse implied odds.

Cutoff and button opens are weaker, thus given the pot odds we can mostly defend any holding that we would have opened from those positions had the situation been reversed. For example, we can defend un-suited 2-3, 2-4, 2-5, and 2-7 holdings as well as a two-suited hand such as 2 3 7. Three-card badugis such as 5-6-8 and 3-7-8 are borderline plays; calling a button raise is fine but it is probably best to fold them against a cutoff open.

It may not seem like we are defending a lot of hands but the responsibility is also borne by the small blind to ensure that an over aggressive late position opener will not automatically profit. Against a very loose raiser the best response is to punish them with more three-bets with your good hands as opposed to loosening up your calling standards significantly. In addition, someone playing too many hands from late position will often get punished later on in the hand as they are usually playing rough draws with reverse implied odds.

In Badeucey, getting too far out of line before the first draw will often cost you money in the later rounds. A solid foundation of starting holdings is required to successfully navigate the later streets. ♠

Kevin Haney is a former actuary of MetLife but left the corporate job to focus on his passions for poker and fitness. He is co-owner of Elite Fitness Club in Oceanport, NJ and is a certified personal trainer. With regards to poker he got his start way back in 2003 and particularly enjoys taking new players interested in mixed games under his wing and quickly making them proficient in all variants. His new mixed-games website Counting Outs is a great starting resource for a plethora of games ranging from the traditional to the exotic. He can be reached at [email protected]

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Bluffing can be a good poker strategy to master once you improve your game. But do not get so wedded to this idea that you are playing an impossible-to-win game. You can also sometimes throw in a little bit of semi-blinds as well.

Bluffing involves using deceptive means to make your opponent think that you are not actually holding a full deck. This trick can be used at both table games and in tournaments. However, you should practice the art of bluffing in the smaller stakes as this strategy can become quite dangerous if you get too aggressive with your bluffing.

For example, when playing Texas Hold ’em or other low-stakes poker games, you are probably going to have some luck in making a big pot because your opponent may be playing some poor cards in his hand. This means that you have to play it cool in front of your opponent. Don’t show any emotion when bluffing. It will not work out for you. If you are still feeling a little bit unsure about your Texas Hold ’em or other low-stakes poker games, you can ask a good friend who has been playing poker for some time and who is now a very professional online poker player.

When you master your online poker strategy, you will be able to bluff your way to the top in online poker. In addition, you will be a little bit more relaxed, because you will know what to look for. The next time you are at the poker table, make sure that you are prepared for this game.

The key to learning how to bluff and playing against good cards in poker is to learn to read your opponents. Many players are not really able to read their opponents’ cards. Therefore, they may get too anxious and raise the ante too high before the hand even has the chance to play its true value.

The first thing you must do to master your bluffing skills in online poker is to know your opponent, so that you can see what kind of cards he holds and to analyze where he has good cards in poker. If he is holding two pairs, you are probably holding one strong hand, which you can raise with a four pair.

If he has three straight, then your best bet is to fold because you cannot beat him with these cards, so he may have either one good cards or two cards which are weaker than the others. The trick is to know what he is holding and bluff it off as a straight. Another trick you can use is to bluff a straight when he does not have any pairs or a four of aces.

Sometimes you will have to play two good cards against two weaker ones or vice versa. Playing these types of hands against a stronger player, you can usually beat him.

Bluffing is all about being a little bit ahead of your opponent. Although a good player will have several cards in each suit, sometimes he may not have any cards at all, therefore, the chances are that he may have a full house card or two pairs or a couple of high cards, depending on his position at the table. It’s important for you to learn to play your hand with confidence and not worry about how many cards you have.

When you’re playing online poker, remember that you need to have a strategy, because it may not work in the real world. There are some players who will not let you bet unless you make a certain amount, such as twenty-five dollars. When you are bluffing, you may need to wait until your opponents don’t have any pairs or a couple of high cards.

It is possible that you will get burned, so make sure you always practice your strategy in the real life as well. You may even want to create a game plan that you can use when you go to the real poker table, because you don’t know how you will fare in the casino. Some strategies you can use at home include raising your hand early in the game, raising all your money and folding the flop to an Ace-King or a seven or a five-card draw.

There is no use trying to memorize a long list of online poker strategy if you don’t know what to do when you’re faced with a hand. If you are playing a real game, you can use the Internet to search for tips and techniques that can help you improve your skills and win more money.