Saturday, April 10, 2010

Hard and Fast - just like me

That's right - I'm not above making dick jokes.

I was thinking recently why Hold 'Em is such a difficult game to master - and I always come back to this: There are damn few hard and fast rules. What hands to play, and how? How much to bet, and when? These seemingly simple questions just don't have one easy answer. Everything is dependent on position, stack size, table makeup, position relative to money list - there are more variables than answers.

But there are some hard and fast rules, at least. Not many, but a few. And I'd like to hear yours. My pal Josie is going to tell you this one: Never play Ace-rag, never never never ever never. It's a good rule, one that she taught me over my initial ridicule, and she's proven that she's right. Think about how tough that was to admit!

Here's mine: For real games (not my weekly home game, that's just for fun), when I open the pot, I open for 3x BB. Every time. Not 3.5x, not 4x, and NEVER just call unless I'm heads up and there's a national emergency or something.

If I don't adhere to this rule, I'll find myself telegraphing the strength of my hand with the size of my opening raise. It's tempting to play with the open to manipulate the action - you know, min-raising or even calling to encourage action - but if you stick with 3x BB in all circumstances nobody is going to have any idea what you have based solely on your open. And when you're playing on line, where that's the only pre-flop tell you can throw, sticking with 3x BB is even more critical.

Well, that's mine. What's yours?


  1. I heard Chris Ferguson talk about the raising 3bb style once. I incorporated it into my tournament game -- and have had great results.

  2. I agree with the 3xbb - except in first position...but that's me.

    Guess what?

    Your blog is on Lightning's blog roll. Right underneath mine. Isn't Lightning the best? btw guess who i'm being supernice to for the entire week? The hunky and intelligent Lightning himself. :) One whole week - this just may kill me....nah!

  3. @Josie, I have some experience with you trying to be nice for a whole week. It's 6:5 and pick 'em that you last two days.

    @Lighning, thanks for setting a brother up. I'll return the favor.

    Josie likes you, bro. Be careful. That's WAY more curse than blessing ;)

  4. lol -- Looks like you know her pretty well, huh? *smirk*

    Don't worry -- if she gets out of line I'll sic a cadre of my blogger enforcers after her.

  5. I'm glad to see you're back, honey. I think I'm going to learn too much between you and my sister blogging the poker. Then, you're going to be in real trouble my friend.

  6. When I make that promise it's cuz I've said something that I later feel contrite about....and I usually never make it through the whole week. :) But this is Day Two and I'm doing Great! *fingers crossed*

    @lightning - excuse me...If I get out of line??????????????? *holding my tongue"