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MBA Card Club. Version 1.2 – 01/15/2009 - NT. Agenda. Introduction Hands Position Blinds Starting Hands Counting Outs Pot Odds Betting Opponents Other / Misc. Agenda. Introduction Hands Position Blinds Starting Hands Counting Outs Pot Odds Betting Opponents Other / Misc.

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MBA Card Club

Version 1.2 – 01/15/2009 - NT

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Introduction

• Purpose: The goal of this tutorial is to prepare Texas MBAs for the MBA Poker Championship by providing a foundation for approaching the game.

• Poker is a general term referring to a family of card games including but not limited to:

• 5-card draw

• Texas Hold’em

• Omaha

• 7-card stud

• The most popular forms of poker are Texas Hold’em and Omaha

Introduction

• Many people who have business or mathematical backgrounds have had great success in poker.

Introduction

• This tutorial will center around Texas Hold’em

• There are different variations of Texas Hold’em including:

• Limit

• No Limit (NL)

• Cap-Limit

• Pot-Limit (PL)

• These terms all refer to the betting limitations of the game

• This tutorial will assume No Limit.

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Hands

• In Texas Hold’em you have two objectives

• Winning the pot

• Winning all your opponent’s chips

• Who wins is generally determined by who makes the best 5-card hand.

• Example:

• K-K-A-Q-8

• K-K-A-Q-9

• Because your opponent’s hand is higher, your opponent wins the pot.

• The Flop, Turn, and River are community cards everyone can use

Opponent’s cards

Flop

Turn

River

weakest

strongest

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Position

• Poker is foremost a game of position. Where you sit is very important.

• Your position is dictated by the Dealer button, also known as simply the Button.

• The button rotates clockwise around the table each hand by one position.

Position

• So always be cognizant of where you’re sitting relative to the button and where your opponents sit relative to the button.

• If you’re sitting where the button is, that is the most advantageous position in poker.

• This is because you act last in all betting rounds except for pre-flop. As a result you have the most information while making decisions because everyone else has acted before you.

Position

• In this example:

• SB - wilie62

• BB - far_side1986

• Button – oneofbillions

• In this round, Gojirra is considered in middle position. LARRY COOL, captainkeg3 and oneofbillions will always act after Gojirra in this hand

• This betting round is known as Pre-Flop.

Small Blind (SB)

Big Blind (BB)

Button

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Blinds

• Question:

• Why are they called blinds and what is their purpose?

• The blinds force players to commit an amount of money to the pot. In a sense the player is committed somewhat to the hand blindly. Blinds are similar to antes. Without blinds a player could just sit around all day waiting for premium hands without committing any chips. Paying the blinds is known as “posting” the blinds.

• Poker games are denoted by their blinds. The difference between a cash game and a tournament is that in a cash game, blinds are fixed, meaning they never change.

• In tournaments, blinds increase at set periodic intervals. For the MBA Poker Championships, blinds increase every 30 minutes.

Blinds

• In Vegas blinds can range from \$0.50/\$1.00 all the way to \$2000/\$4000 or more. The notation is small blind/big blind, or SB/BB. So in a \$1/\$2 game, the small blind is \$1 and the big blind is \$2.

• Always think of your stack of chips as a multiple of the big blind. This variable is M.

• M < 30 – short stack

• 40 < M < 60 – medium stack

• M > 100 – deep stack (the term big stack is somewhat relative)

• A good rule of thumb when joining a cash game is to sit with 100 big blinds. So in a \$1/\$2 game, you want to sit with \$200.

• In tournaments, you need to be more conscious of your M because the SB/BB increases every 30 minutes.

• MBA Poker Championships

• Friday your M starts at 50.

• Saturday your M starts at 100.

• Sunday your M starts at 80.

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Starting Hands

• In Texas Hold’em the 1st two cards dealt to each player are face down. These are known as your hole cards since they aren’t exposed. As a result, understanding the strength of these two cards is crucial to success.

• The following slides will give you an idea of how to mentally categorize them.

• Notation

• T = ten

• s = suited

• x = any none face card, ie. 2 through 9

Starting Hands

Credit: Hold’em Poker For Advanced Players by Sklansky and Malmuth

Starting Hands

Credit: Hold’em Poker For Advanced Players by Sklansky and Malmuth

Starting Hands

Credit: Hold’em Poker For Advanced Players by Sklansky and Malmuth

Starting Hands

• Jargon

• AA – pocket rockets, American Airlines, bullets

• KK – cowboys

• AK – big slick

• T2 – Brunsons, named after Doyle Brunson

• 22 – deuces

• Any Two Cards (ATC)

• The nuts – the best possible hand that can be made given the current board

• Other names

• 23,34,78,89, JQ, QK, these are known as connectors. When these cards are of the same suite they’re called suited connectors. They’re connectors because these hands help make 5-card straights.

• Cards like 24 or 35 are 1-gappers

• Cards like 36 or 69 are 2-gappers

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Counting Outs

• Counting outs is a technique for determining what cards can help improve your hand to a winning hand. By definition, an out is any card which can help make your hand a winning hand.

• Counting outs is also is a shortcut for calculating mathematical probabilities of winning.

• Remember there are 52 cards in a deck, so 13 cards in a suite.

• For example: If you are holding 34, and the flop comes 5-6-K. You have 8 cards which can help you make a straight. The 4 remaining 2s and the 4 remaining 7s. This means you have 8 outs or a 32% chance of making a straight.

Counting Outs

• Example illustrated:

Opponent’s Hand

Opponent’s Hand

The Flop

The Flop

• This is an open ended straight draw.

• Because you can make a straight on either end of the 3-4-5-6.

Counting Outs

• Example illustrated continued:

Opponent’s Hand

8 outs total

The Flop

• Currently your best 5-card hand is 3-4-5-6-K.

• What you hope is that a 2 or 7 comes to make a straight.

• Illustrated above, there are 8 outs to make a straight.

• Rule of 4: 8 outs * 4 = 32% chance with two cards to come.

Counting Outs

• There are 3 simple tricks to counting outs

• Rule of 4

• On the flop, take the number of outs you have an multiply by 4 to determine the percentage chance of making your hand with two cards to come

• Rule of 2

• On the turn, take the number of outs you have an multiply by 2 to determine the percentage chance of making your hand with one card to come

• Solomon’s Rule

• This is a more accurate application of Rule of 4. First perform the Rule of 4, then for each out over 8 subtract 1%.

Counting Outs

Credit: Hold’em Poker For Advanced Players by Sklansky and Malmuth

Counting Outs

• Example: You have A5 suited but are losing (behind) to a pair of Kings.

• However you have 12 outs.

• There are 9 remaining clubs which can help you make a flush, and 3 remaining Aces which can help you pair your Ace. 9 + 3 = 12

• Rule of 4: 12 x 4 = 48% (quick and easy calculation)

• Solomon’s Rule: 12 x 4 – (12-8) = 48% - (12-8) = 48% - 4% = 44% (more accurate)

• So you have a 44% chance of making a winning hand.

The flop

Opponent’s hand

Counting Outs

• Outs (20 total outs):

• 9 clubs remaining for flush

• 3 remaining aces to pair your ace

• 8 outs for a straight, 4 sixes and 4 jacks (split pot)

• Because you’re on the turn, use the Rule of 2

• 9 * 2 = 18% of making a flush

• 3 * 2 = 6% chance of pairing your Ace

• 8 * 2 = 16% of making a straight on the board, you and your opponent would split the pot evenly

• So you have a 24% chance of winning and a 16% chance to tie your opponent with 1 more card to come

• Or 20 x 2 = 40%

• The last communal card is known as “The River” or 5th street

Your

hand

The Flop

The Turn

The flop

Opponent’s hand

Opponent’s hand

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Pot Odds

• Calculating pot odds requires 3 simple mental math calculations

• The size of the pot

• The number of unseen cards remaining

• The number of outs you have

1. The size of the pot

• Scenario: The pot is \$20, and your opponent has bet \$5.

• Calculation: The pot is now \$25 (\$20 + \$5). It will cost you \$5 to continue in the hand. Your pot odds are 5 to 1. In other words you are getting 5 to 1 on your money.

• If you call your opponent’s \$5 bet, the pot will be \$30.

Pot Odds

• The number of unseen cards remaining

• Pre-flop

• Pre-flop you are dealt 2 cards.

• So pre-flop there are 50 unseen cards.

• The Flop

• 3 community cards are dealt face up

• So on The Flop there are 47 unseen cards.

• The Turn

• 1 more community card is dealt face up.

• At this point you have seen 2 cards face down, 4 cards face up so 52 - 6 = 46 unseen cards.

• The River

• 1 more community card is dealt face up.

• So 45 unseen cards.

• Calculating pot odds on the river is somewhat moot because no more cards are coming.

The flop

Opponent’s hand

Pot Odds

• The number of outs you have

• Using this example again: You have 12 outs on the flop to make either a flush or a pair of aces. Assuming you have not seen your opponent’s pocket kings, there are 47 (52-5) unseen cards remaining in the deck. So 12 cards out of the remaining 47 can help you make a winning hand. So the odds are 3-to-1 against you making your hand.

Pot Odds

• Putting is all together

• The Flop

• 3 community cards are dealt face up

• So on The Flop there are 47 unseen cards.

• So the odds are 3-to-1 against you winning.

• If the pot is \$20 and your opponent bet \$5, you’re getting 5-to-1 pot odds

• Because the pot odds offered of 5-to-1 is greater than the 3-to-1 against you winning, mathematically you should call your opponent’s \$5 bet.

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Betting

• There are 4 rounds of betting.

• Before the flop, this is known as pre-flop

• On the flop

• On the turn

• On the river

• You can win the hand at any stage

• When betting always use the same hand and the same motion when you bet. This way you aren’t disclosing any information about your hand. Example: Chris Ferguson

Betting

• How to think of your bet

• In terms of multiples of big blinds

• In terms of the size of the pot

• In terms of your opponent(s) stacks

• In terms of multiples of big blinds

• A standard size bet is 3x the big blind.

• If you’re playing \$100/\$200, raise \$600.

• If you’re playing \$1/3, raise \$9.

• A big bet is 6 BBs or more.

• In terms of the size of the pot

• If the pot is \$100 and you bet \$50 you’re betting half the pot. Your opponent is now facing \$150/\$50 or 3-to-1 pot odds to call.

• If the pot is \$100 and you bet \$100, you have bet the pot. Your opponent is now facing \$200/\$100 or 2-to-1 pot odds to call.

• If you think in this way, you are manipulating the pot odds your opponent faces

• Also think in terms of managing the pot size, whether you want a big or small pot depending on the strength of your hand.

• In terms of your opponent(s) stacks

• If you are playing \$1/2 NL and your opponent has \$20, his M = 10. When M < 20 this is considered short-stacked. Therefore if you raise \$10, he/she is more likely to push all-in.

• Always be mindful of your opponents’ stack sizes

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Opponents

• There are 4 styles of playing

• Tight-Passive

• Tight-Aggressive

• Loose-Passive

• Loose-Aggressive

• Tight means that a player does not play a lot of hands.

• Loose means you play a lot of hands

• Aggressive means they bet frequently, passive means they limp a lot (enter the pot by simply calling instead of raising).

• Good players are either Tight-Aggressive or Loose-Aggressive.

• When playing poker against other people, you should determine their style of play and then determine the range of hands they like to play.

Agenda

• Introduction

• Hands

• Position

• Blinds

• Starting Hands

• Counting Outs

• Pot Odds

• Betting

• Opponents

• Other / Misc

Other / Misc

• Proper Shuffling

• In home games, shuffle with you thumbs like they do in Vegas. This is so no one can see the cards as they’re being shuffled.

• Occasionally you should also “wash” the cards. Washing the cards does not mean cleaning them, it means moving them around with your hands in a messy pile face down before organizing them into a deck again for shuffling.

• Rake

• How the House makes money off poker games.

• Chip tricks

• Something to do with your fingers and impress others with. Use YouTube to learn.

• Tells

• Anything that helps you read a player better. See Mike Caro’s tutorials.