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Poker For Dummies 101

Discussion in 'The Poker Room' started by StickyFingers007, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. StickyFingers007

    StickyFingers007 Namer of T2V Gatherings

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    Alright fellow poker players, and soon to be poker players, you asked for it, and you shall receive. I am going to start this thread with the few tid-bits of poker related stuff I can come up with. This will be a running thread that will probably end up getting stickied up top, but for now will remain here.

    I will start the thread off with this post, and I encourage everyone to add to it as we go. There is lots of information to cover from terms, abbreviations to poker strategy. I'm sure we can all learn something no matter what our skill level is, so lets dig deep, encourage, inform and share so we can all be winning players!

    Any information added, will get copied into this original post so it will be a one stop shop later on.

    Here is your first hand out.


    Poker terms - commonly used in chat, or poker stories. These are just the terms you may hear poker players use, but might not know the meaning. These are mostly related to Hold ‘em poker as thats the game that I play, and most commonly played poker.
    I welcome anyone who plays the other poker games, to add to this as well, and we will categorize them based on game.

    There will be more terms later on related to specific aspects of poker.

    FLOP - First 3 community cards dealt face up after the first round of betting

    TURN - The 4th community card dealt face up after betting round on FLOP

    RIVER- The 5th and last community card dealt face up

    ACTION - Action is when there are a lot of players in a pot and lots of raises, and calls. If you have a really good hand, you want action.

    ALL IN - Only used in No Limit Hold ‘em games, at any time any or all players can put all their chips into the pot and be ALL IN. If you are playing with someone, and they are all in, you must either call their ALL IN bet, by matching their amount of chips, or call
    ALL IN and put all your remaining chips in as well. If one of you has more chips, the player with more chips, will get the remaining chips back.

    THE NUTS - At any point in the game, your hand ( hole cards before the flop, or the 5 cards you have using your hole cards and community cards ) can be called the nuts meaning, most likely unbeatable. An example of the NUTS could be after the flop, you have an ace high flush. This is likely the nuts and you can slow play and have a nice pay off.

    SLOW PLAY - If you have a super hand say after the flop, you might want to slow down your betting, and let other players in the pot, do some work for you by building up the pot. You might check if your first to act, then just call any bets afterward to hide the strength of your hand. Slow playing CAN work well, but often it can come back to bite you later. It’s important to watch the board ( community cards ) and watch for possible draws that could end up breaking you. Slow playing after the flop can build up the pot, but if a scare card comes on the turn, you might want to open up, and bet or raise big to protect your strong, and most likely at THAT point, unbeatable hand.

    DRAW or DRAWING HAND - After the flop, or the turn, a player with 4 cards that make a straight or flush, has a drawing hand meaning they only need 1 more card to make their hand and possibly best hand. A Straight draw would mean say you have 7 hearts, 9 diamonds and after the flop of J 10 5, you only need an 8 to make your straight. You have a drawing hand, and if you choose to, you may call a bet after the flop or turn, to “ buy “ and 8 and take the lead. Same for flush, if you have 4 cards of any suit after the flop or turn, you have a flush drawing hand.

    SUCK OUT - When you hear someone sucked out, or got sucked out on, it means this. A player who might not know better, decided to call your ALL IN bet with a weak or drawing hand. He might have horrible odd’s ( almost no chance of winning ) but decided to gamble and “ see what happens” If you went all in with 3 of a kind aces, and he called with a straight draw, and on the river he gets the 1 card he needed to fill his straight, he sucked out and won the hand with a weak, or marginal hand. The term suck out can get used inappropriately, and be uncalled for, but it’s common and happens. Thats poker, and it will happen. How you deal with it, is up to you.

    RIVERED or I GOT RIVERED - Much like SUCKOUT above, it happens and usually it’s on the river card which means it’s just more dramatic. A strong hand, goes all in and a weaker hand calls. The weaker hand improves his hand on the last possible chance, and takes the pot. If you had 3 of a kind 6’s and someone called with pocket jacks, and they hit a jack on the river, you got rivered.

    DONKEY or DONK - A player at the table who plays weak hands, drawing hands and is playing in pots that maybe he shouldn’t be. Calling bets and raises when it’s obvious he’s beat. A Donkey might just not know better, and will make wrong moves often, but get lucky and end up winning.

    FISH - If you are playing at a table, you will see many different styles and skill levels of players. FISH are often referred to as players who will chase straights and flushes, and often miss meaning they are paying you off cause they are giving you chips but can’t win. They are playing weak hands and even with scare cards, and big bets, they still choose to stay in, and donate a lot of chips to other players. The saying goes, “ Dont tap the glass “. Many people will moan, gripe and complain about fish, and often make them get up and leave the table. We don’t want to do this!! It’s called tapping the glass, it’s wrong in the pet store, and wrong at the poker table! Why would you want to get rid of a player who easily gives the players their chips? Be nice, and keep them around. You’ll be glad you did.

    SHARK - Opposite of fish, they know what they are doing, can read you like a book and will take all your money and you wont know what hit you. Sharks like to sit down at tables they see as easy, and will bluff, raise, re-raise, call, whatever it takes to win. They might not be the strongest players, but they often rule the table, and walk away with most of the money laid out.

    BAD BEAT - A bad beat, is just that. You either had a great hand like aces, get beat with pocket dueces, you got rivered, or out played by someone with a killer hand like quads

    BLUFF - Bluffing is a tool in poker. There is no right or wrong way to do it, and it can or can’t happen. Some people are naturals at it, and choose to do it, others don’t or will only once in a blue moon. If you are bluffing, you are doing 1 of a few things. You are acting like you have a better hand than the person who is in the pot with you, forcing them to fold what really is the best hand at that time, you are betting big with a good hand, but not the best and you have a good chance at making a great hand so you are semi bluffing. Bluffing is a technique, and can work or can’t. There is no way to really teach how to bluff, or what to do. Instinct, history at the table and cards will be the only tools you have to work with. Try it, or call it.. that is poker.

    BLANK - refers to a card dealt on the board that doesn’t appear to be a card that could help anyone’s hand.

    TELL - A signal be it physical, or verbal a player may show that can help other players identify the strength or weakness of their hand. Usually unintentional, like shakey hands, touching face etc. More on tells later on.

    TILT - When a player has lost a few hands in a row ( usually to donkeys, suckouts or fish) They go on tilt. Meaning, they are playing badly now, might be making stupid mistakes and getting aggressive. A player on tilt can be a good thing, and if you have cards, you might take whats left of his chips. However, a player acting on tilt, CAN actually get lucky and will make a good comeback.

    STEAMING - A player on TILT who’s about to explode. Watch out.. If you’ve ever watched Mike Matasow play, you’ve witnessed mega tilt, followed by steaming many times.

    SHORT STACK - The player at any table, with the least amount of chips.

    BIG STACK - No explanation needed. If your it, well done.

    CHOP ( deal at final table )- Usually in tournaments, when it’s down to the last few players, say 4 or 5 the players will make a deal to divide the prize money up and walk away without finishing the tournament.

    SPLIT POT - Usually means 2 players, in a pot together with the exact same cards and they will split the pot.

    ODD’s - There are a few different ODD’s but the main definition means, the chance a player has to make his hand.

    HOLE CARDS - Your cards dealt to you face down.

    Sit ‘n GO or SNG - These are small tournament type games, that usually are set up to allow the first 9, 18, 27 or whatever the size will be players to sit down, and start as soon as all the require players are ready. Much like a tournament, only no set start time. You simply pay, sit down and go.

    RAKE - The amount a casino takes from each pot or hand played. You don’t really notice it, but if your playing a live game, each round of betting you may see the dealer put a couple chips into a drop box. This is the rake, and it is a small profit for the casino. Usually it’s about 4 or 5% of the pot. If there is 40 dollars in the pot after the flop, you might see the dealer take 2 dollars for the rake. They are great at doing it without much attention drawn to it. Same goes online as well. Each pot in a cash game, has a rake.


    BLINDS - In any tournament or cash game, there are blinds. These are forced bets made by 2 people immediately left of the button position. The small blind and big blind have to put out their bet before any cards are dealt. This forces a pot to be made so even if everyone folds, one of the blind players will get something. If the small blind folds as well, the big blind gets both blinds and the next hand starts. Often, if the table folds around to the blinds, they will chop and each takes their bet back.

    In a cash game, the blind is determined by the limit. Example, in a 3/6 limit hold em game, the blinds will be 1 and 3 (1 being small blind, 3 being big blind ) These are permanent and don’t change. In a tournament, the blinds start low, and will increase ( usually double value ) every level. A level can last anywhere from 15 minutes, to an hour.

    The people placing the blinds for every hand, rotate clockwise each hand same as the dealer button.

    A note about blind position. The small blind will always be first to act after the flop. This is usually an unfavorable position to be in. What you do in this position is up to you and should be played based on the information you have at that time. Before the flop, both blinds have the opportunity to see how many players enter the pot, who raised, limped in etc. The big blind usually closes the action IF there is no raise before him.
    If you are the big blind, and the action comes to you with only say 3 people calling the big blind, you have the option to check ( close action and go to the flop ) or raise, forcing all remaining players to either call your raise, re-raise you ( ouch, watch out ) or fold.

    ANTE - Ante’s are usually only used in tournament poker and not until later in the tournament. Like blinds, they are a forced bet that EVERYONE must make before any cards are dealt. Ante’s usually start in the last half of a tournament, and increase with each level. Ante’s help to eliminate short stack players and keep the tournament from lasting weeks lol. Ante’s always are added to the main pot of each hand.

    example the blinds are 1500 and 3000 with an ante of 500. All players put out the 500 ante (5 players, thats 2500 ) The blinds put out their blinds (2500 +1500 + 3000 = 7000) Player a is not on the blinds, and is first to act puts all his remaining 1000 chips in the pot. He does not have enough to cover the big blind. All players fold except for the blinds, and the small blind finishes the bet by calling 1500 ( the minimum amount to call to play. Each player must at least call the 3000 big blind) Because player a, only had 1000 chips, the pot is divided into two pots. 7000 from the blinds and antes less 1000 making the main pot 6000. The remaining 1000 taken from the main pot will now be the side pot for the players not all in, to continue betting for. The 1000 chips are removed because player a didn’t have enough chips to cover the big blind, so all players put in the same amount for THAT pot, then any remaining chips go to the remaining players.
    More on this later.




    BETTING - Part A, cash limit hold em games
    In cash limit games, bets are limited to the stakes the game is set at. If you are playing a 3/6 limit game, then the small bet is 3 and the big bet is 6. Limit hold em means just that, you are limited to the amount you can bet or raise. Before the flop, players wanting to enter the pot have 2 options; call the big blind ( 3 ) or raise an additional 3 making it now 6 to play. Any player after then has the same options, call the bet already made, or raise an additional 3 and so on. Cash games usually cap the number of raises to 4 or 5 so, in a hot, action pot, the amount to call before the flop could end up being 15 dollars. If you have aces, and you are on the big blind, this is your lucky day!

    After the flop, the bets start at the minimum again. The first bet after the flop will be 3 and any raises will be 3 as well. Same as above, the raises will be capped at 4 or 5.

    The turn card ( 4th card face up ) raises the bet to the big bet now, which is 6. All bets and raises will be in increments of 6.

    The river, same as the turn. All bets and raises will be increments of 6.

    Are you with me? Hopefully.. When your at the table for the first time, don’t worry. The dealer will always help you by telling you what your options are, and amounts to bet or raise.

    BETTING - Part b, no limit hold em.
    In no limit hold em, the betting is not limited.. duh, hence the term no limit.
    There are still minimums such as limit, but at any time, any player can push all his chips into the pot going ALL IN and any players remaining or wishing to remain must match his bet or call all in as well ( you can call and all in bet with less chips than the player before you. More on this later )

    If your playing no limit hold em, and it’s a slow game, the betting goes like this.
    Blinds are posted, players after the big blind either call the big blind, raise (any amount, but must at least be double the big blind amount) or fold. After the flop, like limit hold em, the minimum amount to bet will be based on the small blind amount. A player must bet at least the amount of the small blind, or higher what ever amount they choose. Each remaining player must call the previous bet, raise ( must at least double the previous bet ) go ALL IN, or fold.

    All the action on the table will go clockwise around the table, and will be started by 1 of 2 people*

    In any hold em game, there are 2 seperate positions. Before the flop, the player immediately left of the player with the big blind, will act first. After the flop, and for the rest of the hand, the player with the small blind button(immediately left of the dealer button) will always act first, and the player with the dealer button now has POSITION, and will always be last to act. We like the button, and want to always have position...More on that later.
    ABBREVIATIONS

    HH = Hand History. Online players will often refer to a hand history provided by the software to evaluate their play and cards dealt etc.
    BB = Big blind
    SB = small blind
    OS = Off suit. Usually refers to a players hole cards and the fact that they had 2 cards, different suits.
    OOP = Out of Position. A player that is forced to act early in the hand, based on where the button is. OR, someone who acted when they shouldn’t have like folding before their turn.
    EP = Early position, first to act after the flop
    LP= Late position, last to act but before the button (dealer)
    MTT = Multi table tournament. Any tournament with more than 1 table
    TAG= Tight Aggressive, refers to the style someone plays. They appear to only play strong hands, they fold often but will become aggressive occasionally.
    LAG = Loose aggressive, same as above, only they play much more loosely. They are in a lot of pots, will raise often, go all in often and appear reckless.
    WSOP= World Series of Poker... Way to much to write about here.
    NLHE = No limit hold em game
    LHE = Limit Hold em game
    +/- EV = This refers to your earning potential if you should continue in the hand. If the post size is say, 1500.00 and it’s only 300 to continue, then you have a +EV even if you have a weak hand. If you have no hand, no drawing hand, and no possible outs, then you are -EV and shouldn’t continue. You will end up losing the 300 with no real chance of winning. It’s a lot more complex than that, but this is the jist of it. Don’t give up a good chunk of your chips, when you know you have no way to win even if it’s a huge pot. Save it for another time.
    ROI = Return on investment. It’s a measure used to gage a players ability and can be found online on some poker websites that allow you to search other players. Positive ROI is a good thing, and shows a players strong ability meaning they are winning often, and making money. If they are buying into tournys for 20 dollars, and consistantly winning, or cashing then they have a positive ROI.

    ---------- end of day 1 :) Thank you for attending class. Feel free to comment and add.

    Sticky
     
  2. sunni

    sunni VIP Whale

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    Holy Crap, sorry I asked....:peace:
     
  3. Thor

    Thor Beer Drinker

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    wow! now that's an exhaustive explanation!!!! thanks! great stuff! :beer:
     
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  4. StickyFingers007

    StickyFingers007 Namer of T2V Gatherings

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    Heh.. And thats not even the beginning!

    If anyone has more specific questions, or topics they'd like covered, please ask and we'll try to be more specific in certain posts.

    Sticky
     
  5. warrenwm

    warrenwm Tourist

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    my 15 second poker lesson for newbies

    1) Play a 2-4 or 3-6 low limit game.
    2) See the flop if you have a pair or any two cards that equal 20 or 21
    3) If you have nothing on the flop fold to any bet.

    The biggest thing for poker players myself included , is wanting to play to many hands. In limit holdem you play more hands than no limit or tourneys but still 85-90% of the time you should just be watching others play.
     
  6. efue

    efue Tourist

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    the only chat I get online is ZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzz:cry:
     
  7. marsdude

    marsdude High-Roller

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    I respectfully disagree with pointing new players to a limit game if the idea behind that advice is that they will loose less money (because of their inexperience). In my opinion, limit poker is MUCH harder to play for an inexperienced player than no limit and they will loose much more money over a given period of time.

    I say this because in a low limit game it is near to impossible to push other players out of the pot and odds dictate that, with many players in the pot, your hand will be beaten more often than not. On the other hand a no limit game with a low blind structure will produce better results with conservative play over time.

    I would like to hear opinions from other poker players on this.
     
  8. bigalbr

    bigalbr VIP Whale

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    I under no circumstances advocate limit poker for someone who wants to play no limit. Play what you want.

    If on the other hand, you come to me and say, "I want to play poker, maybe win, but have a good chance to play for a while on $100," then my recommendation is limit.

    If you minimally educate yourself on correct limit play, the structure of a limit game will prevent you from getting crushed on 1 hand. You have 4 rounds of betting with generally a 4 or 5 bet cap on each one. Even if you take a massive beat on the river, it's only 12 or 15 big bets and that shouldn't happen to you more than a couple of times in your life.

    In NL, you run into a hidden flopped set or the short end of AA vs KK preflop and it's bye bye to all your stake.
     
  9. VegasAddict

    VegasAddict Low-Roller

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    That's a good list.. I'll add some simple shit to the list.

    The quickest and easiest way to calculate your odds: Take your outs and multiply by 4 after the flop, and if it doesn't hit on the turn, multiply by 2 for your percentage of hitting on the river.

    My hand: AKd

    The flop: 2d - 10s - 7d

    I have 9 outs to the flush. I am putting my opponent on JJ or QQ, so an Ace or King would improve my hand and doesn't have to be discounted. That means I can assume there are three Aces and three kings left in the deck, or 6 more outs.

    9 outs to the flush + 6 outs to my overcards = 15 outs x 4 = I am around 60% on making my hand. If I don't improve on the turn, then it's 15 outs x 2 = 30% of hitting on the river.

    Now you have factor in pot odds to see if the call is worth making. If you're getting 2 to 1 on a coin flip, you'll come out ahead over the long haul. Also, you have implied odds, which comes down to if you hit, how much more you think you can win.

    Anyway, I just wanted to throw out a simple way to turn your outs into odds and I am making it into more than I wanted to..

    Goodnight.
     
  10. marsdude

    marsdude High-Roller

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    This is in the spirit of discussion, not argument. I took a poll about this at our local poker game (NL) yesterday. Everyone of the 50 people there thought you would loose more money at limit. Now, what may be happening here is that all of us NL players stink at limit (I certainly do) and we prefer NL. That is why I would value others opinions on this.

    My view is that limit poker is a chase to the river, especially in a game with low blinds. AA or KK in limit has MUCH less value than in limit because many more players will be in the pot with connectors, even unsuited and because the blinds are so low will chase the draw. When you have several players on a draw odds of one of them hitting increase. I really believe with very conservative play a newbie can protect his buy in and win an occasional pot in NL. However, it just may be that I think this because I stink at limit. :thumbsup:
     
  11. marsdude

    marsdude High-Roller

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    Very interesting. I have been looking for a easy way to calculate odds. I have some questions though.

    First why multiply by four? It seems you would multiply by two.

    Second, this method assumes that no one around the table folded any of the cards you would need for one of your outs. The odds would change by how many players were in the game and how many are in the pot. I wonder if there is a simple way to account for this with your calculations?
     
  12. Viva Las Vegas

    Viva Las Vegas Ramblin' Gamblin' Man

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    I am a limit player (my preferred game is $4 - $8 or $5 - $10 though I'll play from $3 - $6 through $6 - $12 depending on the action) and I agree on average, there is more money in action at a low level limit game vs. a low blind NL game.

    I played several sessions of NL (non tournament) for the first time during my January trip. I agree it is a totally different skill set. While I enjoyed my time playing, I didn't enjoy being down nearly $200 after my first two hands (both excellent hands, beaten at the river on one) though I clawed back and almost made even.

    I have regular success at limit, have read several books on limit and have played for years. I am OK at tournament play (have only played a few). I don't think I'll play NL again as I feel more comfortable at a limit table which for me results in a less risk, more reward scenario.

    I suggest new players who may be interested in taking up poker on a regular basis in Vegas (or home) pick up a couple of low limit books. I'd start with Sklansky (Hold'em Poker or Small Stakes Poker) or Winning Low Limit Hold'em by Lee Jones. Both are easy to read and the concepts are presented clearly and geared toward the novice and appropriate for the playing conditions found at the typical lower stakes games.
     
  13. bigalbr

    bigalbr VIP Whale

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    Given that you were polling local NL players, I'm not surprised. I'm a converted limit to NL player and I know that I can win more money at NLHE than LHE.

    Regardless, I began beating 3-6 and 4-8 LHE games on the strip immediately after reading my first holdem book. The recommended strategy has a few more rules than warrenwm's, but you can essentially be competitive if not a winner at LLHE almost immediately if you master the concepts and maintain the discipline to use them.

    This may not be true at 2/4 LHE. Depending on rake structure, the house may be pulling between $4-$6 out of the pot. This game may very well not be beatable on a cash basis long term.

    The rule of 4 applies to your chances to hit a hand with 2 cards to come. It works pretty well for most of the common draws in LHE when you have less than 11 outs. The rule of two applies after the turn with one to come. Neither rule is 100% accurate, but generally good enough to make a decision. A bigger key is to identify your outs. If you have a flush draw + overcards, do you have 4 (the overcards), 9 (the flush draw), or 13 outs?

    In your no limit play you probably are correct to use the rule of 2 on both the flop and turn. If the pot is $40 and you have the nut flush draw but think we both know you're behind and on the draw, it's likely that I will bet you out of the pot if you miss and fold if you hit. In this case, the rule of 2 is appropriate since you have to hit the turn to win.

    Edit: As far as the dealt cards go, you have no idea what's dealt, burned, or in the stub. Your oddds are based on unseen cards, not the contents of the stub. At the extreme end of your reasoning, the turn and river were determined when the cards were originally dealt. You're either good or you aren't.
     
  14. marsdude

    marsdude High-Roller

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    Thanks for the info. I think I will pick up a book on limit and maybe give it a go sometime. I would like to be able to play something other than NL.
     
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  15. pywakit

    pywakit Low-Roller

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    Lhe/ nlhe

    This was a great post! I really appreciate the rule of 4 and 2.
    I seem to do better at the low limit sng's and just recently started playing lower limits on LHE.
    Boy am I the Donkey!!!

    Thanks again! And I will probably be back reading this post again in the future.
     
  16. warrenwm

    warrenwm Tourist

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    I still stand by my 15 second lesson if someone wants to really learn poker they will need to go beyond that . However if you just follow the rules of the 15 second lesson you will hild your own . It is based on never beinig able tu push someone out preflop or preturn as is the case in most 2-4 or 3-6 games
     
  17. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Great post, I was familiar with most of the terms and the action, but enjoyed the breakdown and learned some things. Have a couple questions though, perhaps Poker 102. Under the Gun, would this be the same as LP? Also any chance of a description of straddling, I know it doesn't happen a ton, but I'd like to have some familiarity if someone chooses to do so on my next trip.

    Also what's tipping etiquette for live play. Likely 1/2 no limit or a the smallest limit game available.
     
  18. StickyFingers007

    StickyFingers007 Namer of T2V Gatherings

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    Hi Jinx! Glad you got some use out of that post.

    To answer your questions, UTG or under the gun is the term used for the person who is sitting immediately left of the big blind. Pre flop, after the cards are dealt, UTG is first to act. Different people have different views on the pro's and con's of this position, but over time you'll understand how to play certain hands in that position. Usually, it's a given that anyone raising huge UTG has a very strong hand. It's a tough spot to be in. LP I assume you mean late position and this is a spot 1, or 2 people right of the button (dealer). Usually, this is a great spot to be in as you get to see the action on each street and can make your play accordingly. LP is not last to act, but close enough to do some heavy betting to get rid of limpers before you, you can steal the button which is handy at times as well.

    Straddle is the option for the person UTG before any cards are dealt. Once the blinds are posted, the UTG has to act quick, but you can throw the bet which is double the BB out and then the straddle is on. You have to act quick though before any cards are done and announce straddle. Once the straddle has been placed, the limits are doubled. In a 3/6 limit game instead of the bets being 3/6 they are 6/12 for that game. Straddle is a lot like a kill game too. In a Kill game ( if offered, not always the case ) anytime a player wins two hands back to back, a kill switch is placed and this doubles the bets as well to try to change things up and hopefully let someone else take down a nice size pot. If a new player wins the kill pot, the kill is off until a player wins two in a row again.

    As for tipping, this is a personal preference, but I say if you can keep track usually at least 10% of the pot should be a decent tip. If you rake a pot say of 20 - 30 bucks, throw 2-3 to the dealer. 30 - 40 bucks and the dealer is friendly and giving you cards, throw 4 or 5 their way. It's up to you really, but I cringe when I see huge pots being raked and a measley dollar chip thrown back..

    Sticky
     
  19. Jinx

    Jinx VIP Whale

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    Thank you Sticky, appreciate the insight. Now to see if I can put it to good use.
     
  20. bigalbr

    bigalbr VIP Whale

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    Normally a straddle does not double the odds. It's a blind raise that gives the straddler last action preflop. If you raise the straddle, it's 3 small bets ($9 in a 3/6 game). Generally, the cap is increased by 1 small bet also. If you're playing a 3/6 game with a $12 preflop cap, a straddled pot will generally have a 5 bet ($15) cap.

    In Vegas NL, it's normal for the straddle to be limited to 2x the BB in the UTG position, but some rooms will allow unlimited NL straddles. For a NL straddle, if you're playing 1/2 the straddle should be $4 and the minimum raised bet SHOULD be $6. Some rooms will require you to double the straddle and bet $8.

    If you're playing during the WSOP, there may be more straddle options. I'm not sure it's legal in Nevada, but I've heard of side games during the WSOP that allowed either a button or Mississippi straddle. A button straddle works like a normal straddle hand, except that the button can straddle. If UTG has already straddled, he gets his straddle back.

    In a MS straddle, the button gets first option to straddle. If the button declines, the cutoff gets the option. The declined option moves around the table to the right until it hits UTG.

    In general, you should always straddle the button if it's allowed.