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How to Bet
  • The bet is the atom of winning poker. The bet is the individual building block on which you must construct your game.

  • Bets are easy to misuse. A bad call here, a poor fold there, a raise missed here, a missed bluff there- you can strangle a whale on ways to misuse a bet. Poker is a card game, but winning poker is a betting game. Unfortunately for most players, they focus on their cards more than their betting, even though a commonly recognized standard for successful poker is to win one bet an hour.

  • Blind-stealing - When you are in the dealer's position, and only you and the blinds are remaining in the game, a raise is often called "blind-stealing". This is because the blinds may fold, whereas if you didn't raise but simply called, the blinds would simply check. It’s a good way to make a buck or two, but will never make you rich. It’s more of a way to end the game fast and have a new hand dealt with more players.

  • Small suited connectors should be played with a good flop that gives you the best draw. With big suited connectors (like AK) you can feel safe with an over pair.

  • I think you know that in most cases you should fold trash hands. No strength. No potential. Fold. But there is a case when you should stay in game – if it’s free for you to see the flop. If the table is tight then it’s almost impossible to get a free card. Easier – at the loose-aggressive table (Loose-passive table is something like Santa Clause). So in case you can check – check.

  • You don't want to be bluffed very often in limit poker. But the weaker your hand, the less likely you should be to try to catch a bluff. There comes a point where your hand is so weak that you can catch an opponent bluffing and lose. And, of course, if your hand is relatively strong, but not strong enough to catch most legitimate bets, you might unexpectedly beat opponents who are too exuberant in their value betting. So, even when you think you are trying to catch a bluff, the stronger your hand is, the more likely you are to win. This is even more important when you are in a situation like Toms. Tom made the mistake of trying to catch a bluff without considering how many players remained to act behind him.

  • If a single player would call only 50 percent of the time, it’s always a good idea to bluff. The pot is likely to be five times the size of the bet. So, if you lose your bet half the time and win the pot half the time, your profit is enormous. You lose $100 on one failed bluff; you win $500 on another bluff that works. That’s $400 profit on two attempts, or an average gain of $200 on a $100 bet a 300 percent return on investment or a 200 percent gain. It’s what skilled players live for.

  • Oftentimes you shouldn’t bet a strong hand if your opponent bluffs too much. You’ll sometimes make more money by checking and letting him try to bluff when he holds a weak hand. The more liberally your opponent calls, the more medium-strong hands you should bet for value. If a player is threatening to call, you should bet all medium-strong hands. When you see this, the player is trying to prevent your bet. That means he’s weak and looking for a cheap showdown, but will often call reluctantly if you bet.

  • Never seek sympathy. Never to complain about bad luck. First of all, nobody really cares. Their inflated memories of personal bad luck dwarf whatever you're complaining about. And if you complain to opponents--such as in a poker game--they're inspired because you're unlucky. They'll think you're not a force to be reckoned with, they'll play better, and they'll cost you money. It's the same in life. There's absolutely no reason to tell tales of misfortune. You'll inspire life's opponents, and you'll lose esteem among life's allies. So, if your luck is bad, keep it to yourself.

  • Keep your hand secret. If you habitually exposed your poker hand before the showdown, opponents would know what you had, and they'd know for certain whether to play against you, whether to raise you, whether to pass. It would be stupid to play poker that way, but people do that everyday in real life. How? They don't keep secrets.

  • Never volunteer personal information to anyone who isn't a friend, unless you know specifically that you have something to gain by volunteering the information. Sound heartless? Well, OK, it's all right to volunteer useful information if it can't harm you. It's also all right to give information sometimes if you're getting information in return. But think back. I'll bet for every time you regretted keeping secrets, there are many more times you regretted telling secrets. People simply give away too much information, and it eventually haunts them. Secrets can seem insignificant at the time they're shared, but later the sharing turns out to be an important mistake. Like it or not, successful people keep secrets much better than unsuccessful people, just as successful poker players conceal their hands better than unsuccessful players. Repeating: It's a fact that people who succeed keep secrets.

  • Don't humiliate your opponents. Always allow opponents to save face, no matter how tempting it is to gloat. When you make it painful for opponents to lose, they play better, but you want opponents to play worse. Additionally, life is complicated enough without motivating people to get even with you. So, always give those you conquer a chance to save face--unless you'll never have to confront them again. In poker, it's the same--unless your opponent is permanently broke after losing this pot, don't humiliate him. Angry players often return to harm you. Don't gloat; win graciously.

  • Never reveal important information about yourself unless you have a specific reason for doing so. Starting now, practice telling yourself mentally why you're giving information before you give information. People talk about their lives and their opinions, giving information that may later be damaging. They do this because they want to seem friendly. But, there's a special way you can be just as friendly and, instead of putting yourself in jeopardy, gain an advantage. How? Instead of giving information about yourself, use the same time to ask other people about themselves.