» Preflop A Heads Up Poker Strategy Blog Wed, 23 May 2012 04:24:29 +0000 en hourly 1 Introducing PokerSage: A Free Tool for Short-Stacked HU Play /2009/02/introducing-pokersage-a-free-tool-for-short-stacked-hu-play/ /2009/02/introducing-pokersage-a-free-tool-for-short-stacked-hu-play/#comments Wed, 18 Feb 2009 00:35:47 +0000 Gugel /?p=135 I wasn’t sure if I wanted to release this tool.  The whole point of this blog is to make you a better heads up player.  Thinking deeply about hands and your opponents is what makes you good and PokerSage takes thinking out of the equation.

With PokerSage, all you have to do is press a button when you (or your opponent) has 7 big blinds or less and it’ll automatically make a mathematically unexploitable decision.  It’s more commonly known as the SAGE system and it’s based on the John Nash’s Equalibrium Theory.

If you do decide to use PokerSage, at least think about why the SAGE system is unexploitable.  Poker is pattern masked in randomness.  Your job is to figure out the pattern.

Click here start using PokerSage.

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3Bet Pots Heads Up /2008/12/3bet-pots-heads-up/ /2008/12/3bet-pots-heads-up/#comments Fri, 12 Dec 2008 02:49:06 +0000 Gugel /?p=46 I make a pretty substantial amount of my profit from 3bet pots in heads-up no limit online texas holdem. While I can’t can’t cover everything about 3bet pots in a single post, my mission here is to give you a good foundation by outlining a standard preflop strategy.

Note: After talking with Ansky, I realized I was making some mistakes in 3bet pots and adjusted this post accordingly.

Top 3 Considerations in 3Bet Pots

1.  You are either 3betting for value (50% of the time) or 3betting as a bluff (50% of the time).  There is no in between.  You should not 3bet hands like 88 or JTs because you can profitably just call with those hands.  Overcards will flop so often and you’ll put yourself into horrible situations.  For example, let’s say you 3bet 88 and the flop comes 3s7dQc and your opponent leads for a pot sized bet.  Do you call and hope it gets checked down the river?  Fold?  Raise?  None of the options are very appealing.  A hand like K6s is a great hand to 3bet bluff because you can’t just call with it profitably.  We’ll get into 3betting value ranges a bit later one.
2.  3bet pots are very opponent dependent.  If your opponent frequently folds to your 3bets, you need to exploit that.  Likewise, if your opponent is 3betting you frequently, you should open up your 4betting range and 3betting calling range.
3.  A standard 3bet size is 11 big blinds.  If you find your opponent is calling your 3bets more than you like, you can start increasing the amount you 3bet.

3Bet Calling Range Heads Up (from the Button)

According to the preflop hand range charts we talked about before, you should be raising the top 80% of hands on the button. Eventually, you’ll face a raise (AKA a 3bet). Here’s the standard 3bet calling range from the button. Again, remember that you have position advantage!

3Bet Calling Range

3Bet Calling Range Heads Up

3Betting Range Heads Up (from the BB)

You should be playing 31% of hands from the BB, but which hands should you just flat call and when should you 3bet? Remember that you are out of position and you’ll be building a big pot that might prove difficult to play postflop if you decide to 3bet. Here’s the standard 3bet raising range from the big blind.

3Betting Range Heads Up

3Betting Range Heads Up

Again, the most important thing to take away is to always remember the advantage of position! And you should always mix up your play, especially against competent, thinking opponents.  These charts are meant as just a general guideline.

We’ll talk more about 3bet pots strategy on the flop, turn and river in future posts.

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Heads Up NL Preflop Hand Ranges /2008/11/heads-up-nl-preflop-hand-ranges/ /2008/11/heads-up-nl-preflop-hand-ranges/#comments Sat, 15 Nov 2008 18:13:22 +0000 Gugel /?p=3 I can almost immediately tell how good my opponent is by their preflop hand selection. A good opponent is aware of the advantages of position. He’ll be aggressive on the button and tight in the BB. Just how aggressive should you be on the button and how tight should you be in the big blind? Well, that’s subject to a lot of debate on the forums of many poker websites.

Some of the best players will raise 100% of the time when they are on the button. Against weak-tight opponents, that might indeed be the best strategy. From the button, I usually throw away complete junk and stick to about the top 70% of hands and I occasionally mix it up a bit.

Preflop Hand Range on the Button:

HU Button Starting Hands

HU Button Starting Hands

It’s important to be a lot tighter in the BB than on the button. I typically play around the top 25% of hands from the BB. Position gives you a tremendous advantage and hands that are quite profitable on the button suddenly become unplayable out of position. Position is the most powerful weapon in your poker arsenal. Always remember that. That being said, here is my typical BB preflop range:

Preflop Hand Range on the Big Blind:

HU Big Blind Starting Hands

HU Big Blind Starting Hands

So if you’re up against an opponent that is as loose from the BB as he is from the button, you hit the jackpot.

If an opponent is tight on the button, he’s giving up the most powerful weapon in his poker arsenal. You can safely assume he’s not very good.

In my next post, I’ll talk about common mistakes people make when analyzing an opponent’s stats in heads up play.

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