In one of the recent Bonds vs Brady posters I said we pretty much removed the fan factor. Just taking the argument seriously, you’re holding a losing hand so there’s really no “value” in holding one in the first place. Any Bond who’s ever played hold em will tell you that the flush draws are often over looked. When you are holding a Bond card you are at worst a 63% favorite. That’s not the worst odds in the world of course, but if you get sucked out on you are pretty much assured to lose your shirt. You can be assured there will be many occasions where you will win less than your fair share of hands, simply because you will simply beat the imbecile.
This principle is also applied to poker with sometimes hands you would automatically fold due to no real reason, but for some reason you will always call a bet by politely asking the question, “How much?”. This comes back to the point made earlier, you will not win every hand. In order to statistically minimize the luck factor, you need to reduce the randomness of the hands you play. I heavily rely on the “poker rag” to improve my play, and always advise my players to do the same. If you want to know how to win guaranteed every time, I advise you find the right mentor. The right mentor, the one who allows you to discover your own style of play so you can become a stronger player, one who can tell you he’s out it’s better, than he is in. You can do this by finding a mentor, learning from him, and letting him or her guide you to the places where you can improve your poker play. You can fold a hand, or not, based on what your opponent will do. You’re playing the right cards, and making the right moves. There’s only one conclusion, and that’s winning. You can’t get the perfect play, the one that guarantee’s every time, but you can consistently play the right cards in the right situation. That’s what’s important.
There are many different ways to get to that situation, but you have to start with open ended pots. Oftentimes players start in late position and the small blind, or the person to their left in the big blind, calls the Egp88. Sometimes you know what you need to do, in other cases you don’t know what you need to do, but you do know what other players are holding. Sit around for a few hands and if you don’t know what to do next most times you should fold. Let’s say you limp in from 75 to a full small bet in the big blind, there are three other people in the pot, the button, the cutoff, and another player to your left the big blind calls your bet. You are on the button watching this play out. The flop comes 6-4-2, there is a flush draw and a straight draw out there. Should you check, bet, re-raise, etc. This is a tough spot because you don’t know what to do and no one is offering any information that you may be getting from them. You hope with this flop everyone has folded so you only have one opponent. But the player to your left does check, and the Cutoff raises. You’re not quite sure what to do, if anything you should probably check and hope he has the Q.
When there are only two players in the pot it’s easier to get into a heads up situation. The first thing I want you to do in this particular spot is loosen up your play. If you’re at a table where many people are playing tight, or tend to wait for a better hand than others, try raising here. This will pave the way for more folds, and most importantly it’ll increase the size of the pot. You wont get a lot of raises if everyone folds, but most people will fold if you bet out (making it reshuffle). This increase in hands played and the size of the pot will buy for a better chance at winning. You win more chips, and with all of the extra chips you have people will give you more respect.
As well you can increase your stack by taking more chances. Pay attention to your position in the table, and where your opponents are sitting in relation to you. If you are “on the button” you have the advantage of seeing what the other players all chose to do first. This is information you can use against your opponents later, in addition you may want to try and discern the fact that players have “lied out” or are “scared money” and less willing to put money in with terrible hands.
Before I go on to discuss opportunities later on in this article, take some time to appreciate the art of folding. First, it is important to note that the button is the strongest opening position.