View Full Version : Need Help - Beginners Strategy

03-04-2005, 02:57 AM
I've never played poker online before last week. And not much offline,
never played holdenm before playing online. So if this seems obvious or
rediculous, you know why.

I have opened an account at Royal Vegas and am trying to make the most
of my 10,- signup credit.

I'm playing .05/.10 Limit Holdem.

I'd like to run a basic strategy past you guys. To me it seems like a
sensible defensive strategy, but I may be wrong.

In any position:
Pre-flop I only play pairs, T and higher. Aces with any suited face cards.

In late position:
If there are more than 3 or 4 folds. I loosen up a bit; will play pairs
down to 8, As with any suited card, KQs.

Post flop I'm out if I loose the chance to form my straights and
flushes, and raise and re-raise on pairs Q or higher.

(Initially I would occasionally -when I notice everyone is folding to my
raises- I loosen up a bit, wait until they see me lose and a small bet
and revert to my default strategy. Just to keep the pots larger. Not so
any more, I will probably start doing that again when the drop in funds
is reversed. A.t.m. I think it's too risky as long as I'm not confident
in my basic strategy.)

And that's not worked out well. Losing to players lucking out at the
river, I guess that's something that can't be helped.
But I have also lost all plays based on my looser late position plays.
Is maybe this because if there's a lot of folds in these low limit
games, statistically I should _not_ loosen up, because these players are
likely to want to see the flop if they even have one face card?

Or am I just having bad luck.

I'm sticking with the strategy for now, but it's starting to nag at me
that I should not loosen up on these folds, and maybe even play even
tighter if the reasoning above has any truth in it.

I'd appreciate any thoughts/ experiences.


03-04-2005, 04:32 AM
Welcome to the world of online poker. For a beginner, I'd say you are definitely starting out good. Most people play too high limits to start and end up going broke. If you keep studying and slowly moving up the limits, you'll be able to build some nice profits playing holdem. Just joining a poker forum like this is helpful because you can discuss strategy in general and specific hands with other players. There isn't always one right way to play a hand and I think the real key to improvement is playing and constantly seeing all the different ways to approach and hand.

As far as your strategy goes, here is some advice.

>In any position:
Pre-flop I only play pairs, T and higher. Aces with any suited face cards.

A lot depends on if you are the first in. Facing a raise and reraise, you should probably release 10s or Axs. You don't necessarily have to have AJs or better, early position this might be an okay strategy but you should loosen up as you get farther from the button.

>In late position:
If there are more than 3 or 4 folds. I loosen up a bit; will play pairs
down to 8, As with any suited card, KQs.

This seems too tight to me. You have just as much chance of hitting a set with a pair of 2s as with 8s. In these low limit games, 8s will rarely hold up without hitting a set so go ahead and play all small pairs in an unraised pot. With Axs you are hoping for limpers, not a lot of folding. You want everyone in (though no raising) to build a bigger pot. For example, if you are on the button with 5 limpers and holding Ad 3d then you should play it. But if you are in the same position and its folded to you, you are getting as good pot odds and there is probably a good chance since everyone folded to you that a better hand is in one of the blinds.

>Post flop I'm out if I loose the chance to form my straights and
flushes, and raise and re-raise on pairs Q or higher.

What kinds of straits or flushes are you drawing to? In general, you only want to chase open ended strait draws and 4 flushes where you only need one more of your suit on either the turn or the river. The biggest thing is knowing how many outs you have and how much money is in the pot. I recommend reading up on pot outs. Its basic math that is not hard to grasp and will make what used to seem like tough decisions much easier.

At these levels you are going to get drawn out a lot. People are literally playing any two cards most of the time. Just keep playing solid and you'll get the money in the long run. Don't get discouraged if you lose w/ pocket aces three times in a row. It will happen. You'll also win some big pots against people calling with these inferior hands that they should have folded preflop.
The biggest thing is dont try to get fancy. You won't bluff anyone off a hand at these limits and its usually better to bet out with a good hand rather than go for a check raise if you cant eliminate some of the field.

Just keep playing and studying and your game will improve if you stick with it.
The cards will even out and you'll begin to see some profit despite all the bad beats. I generally have at least one bad beat or more every session but I win enough playing solid poker to still finish ahead for the session usually. Better players will take more bad beats than bad players because good players start with better hands and rely more on playing hands that are statistically favored to win rather than getting lucky with any two cards.

03-07-2005, 08:42 AM
Here is the tricky part!

Your starting requirements are super, but will get you run over at the lmits that you are playing. High pocket pairs, even if played in position will get stomped. I favor Ace Rag suited, pocket pairs, and suited connectors at this level. .05/.10cent limit holdem is going to be almost the same as playing BINGO!

Your skills are great in the making, but will be better adept for higher limits, where your AA will not get stomped by 4-8 of clubs.

03-08-2005, 01:27 PM
low limit online poker is terrible for learning how to play the game....raises are not respected, everyone is willing to chase to the river, etc. If you read books, follow basic poker strategy (which you have outlined well in your email) and practice disipline, you can easily move up in stakes to something that resembles 'real' poker. I would suggest moving up to at least $1/2 limit to start to get a basic feel of a real game, and even higher to play against knowledgeable opponents who know how to 'play'. You're less likely to have your AA pre-flop raise get called by J3os at these levels and sucking out weird sets and such to beat you.....not that it won't happen at any level, but at the micro limits, it will happen almost every time.

good luck

03-08-2005, 08:02 PM
That low of a limit table you might as well be playing the free money tables. I tried to play the low limit when I started as well and it realy is not much diffrent from the free money tables. I moved up into the 1/2 tables and I feel that I have a much better chance of winning at these tables. It is a little more nerve racking when you get a lot of money in the pot but your skills will hone faster.

03-09-2005, 07:31 AM
I was once told on a casino trip to play $8/16 limit. I was vexed, why even bother playing with those big boys. At the time I only had about a years worth of holdem expierence under my belt. My friends reasoning was "Its alot easier to win money in $8/16 than it is in $3/6", so I bought in with $200 and true enough it really was.

Low limit isn't ALWAYS the best place to learn. Its a good place to start, but when your ready - move on.


03-10-2005, 11:50 AM
I agree that the micro limits are a crapshoot, but be careful when you try to move up limits with a small bankroll. Playing 8/16 with a $200 roll is dangerous.

03-17-2005, 08:25 PM
I do not agree with the idea that "it is easier to win at higher limits". Some things are certainly true:

1. People will pay a little more attention at a low limit table than they do at a micro limit table

2. Raises mean more at low limit tables than they do at micro limit tables

3. People won't play as many jangly crap starting hands at low limit tables.

4. You get drawn out on A LOT more often at these micro limit tables.

But guess what?

5. There are a huge number of bets in the pot when you win at micro limit tables, compared to any other tables.

6. You will have more favorable pot odds for your otherwise marginal starting hands: low pairs and connectors.

I think the trick is to take advantage of favorable pot odds at micro limit tables and play your good hands very strongly. You should win more bets (over time) if you do. BUT you need to be steady. You can't get all tweaked out when someone draws out on you and start playing like crap.

03-20-2005, 12:14 AM
Micro limits are hard to beat as nickel/dime is cheap enough to see even the river. Y

03-20-2005, 03:10 AM
Good post justbrewit. I agree completely. If you play solid poker and adjust your game somewhat to the table you are playing (but not completely ignoring all the basics) , then playing low and micro limits can be profitable. Yes, it will take longer to build and bankroll and there will be set backs and numerous drawbacks. However, for any player on a limited bankroll, reguardless of talent. I think playing the smaller limits, at least to start is a good idea. For one thing, getting draw out will help you see how you handle it (will you tilt or keep a cool head for the next few hands). Its much less expensive to make your mistakes at a .50/1 game then it is to do the same in a 5/10 game.

Also, I recommend moving up the limits slower than most. In the short term, it probably lowers my win rate as I could probably do as well at higher limits (bb per hour ratio) as I do now. The thing that has keep me going slow is knowing that if I move up too fast, before I adjust to the swings of the new level, I won't play my best. It is a big change going from a table where the most you would lose is probably $20 on a bad night to one where you could easily drop that in a single hand!

I agree with egthareal that low limits aren't always the best place to learn. If you have the bankroll and the talent, by all means play at the highest limits you are comfortable with. It is true that skill increases as the limits go up, but table selection is key as on any giving day online you can probably find a 2/4 table that is easier to beat than a .25/.50 table. Take a moment to see what you are up against before putting your money down and taking a seat. Just because you are the best player at a table, doesnt gauruntee you'll win the most on any given session. In fact, if you get stuck in the mindset of I'm the best so I deserve to win, you will probably end up having more losing nights than you need to. Stay focused and realize that its okay to walk away from a game that isn't to your liking or that doesn't fit with your style of play. For some people, it would be a dream to sit down with nine guys who will raise with any two cards. For me, having a lot of maniacs at a table is going to increase by swings and if the cards are running bad, I know there is a chance it wil throw me off my game.

03-20-2005, 11:06 PM
Personally I think micro-limits are a great place to learn the mathmatics of poker. You can earn a lot (in terms of bets) there by playing good hands. You'll get called to river a lot (by several people), which is a great thing! Sure, sometimes people will get lucky draws, but you want several people chasing a lucky draw when you have a strong hand. More often than not you will win a good sized pot.

Learn the maths, then the psychology. That's my advice.

03-26-2005, 11:38 PM
There are some good advices and also some bad advices in previous posts.

1. Micro limits with lots of bad players are good. You want to play with bad players that do not make rational decisions. It is true you will have more bad beats and you will win less pots but the pots will be larger.

2. I reccomend you read either "Winning Low Limit Hold'em" by Lee Jones or "Hold'em Poker" by David Sklansky. Read either one not both.

That should give the basics needed for games up to $3/$6. From reading your post, you have the right approach but still lacking many basic plays. ie When you have pocket A's, K's, Q's or AKs, bet and raise to the max preflop. Always put in the last raise when you have those powerful hand. That is one of the basics.

As you learn more, come back and post any questions you might have.

Good luck.