I started learning Poker seriously in July 2019. The goal I had was to initially learn about psychology and decision making. This changed to also include Game Theory, Probability and Statistics and other aspects of the game that were more mathematical in nature.
The goal I have in this document is to create a decision making framework for play decisions. These will not go in depth as there are other books that cover the indepth aspects. What I wanted to cover was the main points of decisions and the tools to make those decisions. Namely, how do you behave in each part of a game and what do you do in each part of the game to make effective decision.
- Start of Game
- Situational Awareness
- Play Style
- Where to Sit
- Pre Flop
- Post Flop
- Post Turn
- Post River
• Who are the players
• What do they do and betting style
• What are the odds
What are the odds?
Continue playing if the odds are in your favor and you are intimidating your opponents.
Stop is the other players are good and you have nothing to do but lose.
Figure out your hourly rate.
How much are you earning?
Make small bets with strong hands initially so you opponent makes bad calls later
---Use the community cards to your advantage. If you bet make the other person believe you have higher cards than you do.
• When you are setting up the ante don’t think about the money you already put into the pot. That already belongs to the pot.
• So it is better to play when you are the blind even if you don’t have good odds since you already largely put in because of being forced and it costs you less to play.
• When you have a high ante play loosely and bet forward, when you don’t have a large ante which are most game play more selectively based on odds and draw out bets to the latter part
• Bet based on pot odds. If you think your odds are better than the bet to pot odd then call
• Know the odds in your favor.
• What are the other people like you are playing
• Are they goofy or not?
• What is the outcome?
Probability = number of desirable outcomes / number of possible outcomes.
Effective stack size
= size of the smallest stack between two different players in a hand.
The most you can win or lose in a hand against any one particular opponent.
You have to do this against every single person as the effective stack size between you and each opponent will yield different outcomes because the strategy will change with the size of the stack.
Example, I have 150 in my stack and my villain has 40. So the effective stack size is only 40 because the villain only has 40 to wager even though you have 150.
Stack to pot ratio = SPR
SPR = effective stack size / pot size
Effective stack size is how much you have
Pot size is what is in the pot
• commit with weaker hands
• Smaller effective stack sizes
• commit with stronger hands
• Larger effective stack sizes
Spr is how commuted we are to any hand. So we need to understand how the opponent is playing and what they SPR is.
Player and Playing Styles
- Avoid getting to a point where you show your hands.
- This gives your opponents clues about your plays so it is better for them to see it
- Rather if you are playing show the strong hands and hide the weak, so psychologically the other person thinks you have strong hands.
- It is war
- It is important to start categorizing the player as a strong or weak player
- Every poker play also has to consider the individual tendency of the opposing player.
- You need to play both the conservative and aggressive styles.
- Vary your style
- If you keep to a single strategy you will give your opponent the nature of your play and you give them information about what you have and most importantly don’t have.
- By alternating styles you make it unpredictable what you have and make it harder for your opponents to read you.
- Balanced Strategy
- Vary both your calls and raises when you have a hand that entails a play
- 80% Raise
- 20% Calls
- This prevents the other person person from knowing what cards you have to play.
- Use a watch Seconds 0-48 → Raise, 48-60 → Call
- Use the OODA Loop.
- Vary your tempo and speed, get inside your opponents OODA cycle then throw them off by playing in a different style.
Plays (Full Table Where You are First to Act in a Table of 9)
Really righty players
They only play strong hands and usually fold
When they play they usually have a strong hand
Only play a limited range of plays.
Tight and aggressive
Play a tight range but not as tight as the nits
They competent in all aspects of the play
They are hard to play against
Able to bluff in opportune spots
Good play to be for most beginners
Poker aggressive play
Good and loose
They play a wider range of hands
Bluff more often
Fight for the pots they are in
Do not fear risky situations and embrace them
The put pressure on their opponents with the worst hands.
Know how to control their aggression to get maximum value.
Bad Player / Loose passive
Bets only to see pre flop
They fit or fold after the flop and will not bluff.
Only raise Preflop at the top of his starting hand range
Bad Player / Calling stations
Like loose passive but hate to fold
Usually only bet with high hands.
Bad Player / Bad aggressive
Don’t control agression
Love to gamble
Can’t really tell what they have or if they are bluffing or value betting
• Decision Making Process
What are the steps to take for any given hand?
Acknowledge the position of first bet when you are big or little blind. The cost of the bet becomes more beneficial to you
• Bet high if you have a good hand.
• This clears the field for you.