This article is going to talk about some advanced level plays and strategies that might help you get maximum value and make the most out of certain marginal spots in the game.
Although these tips are going to be very different from each other, they should help you in improving your strategy and game and increase your chances of winning at No Limit Hold’em.
1. Bluffing With Backdoor Flush Draws:
Betting an unpaired hand with a backdoor flush draw is a good position to bet when you have position over your opponent. You can bet even when you’re out of position but it’s really effective when betting in position.
For example, bluffing with 6♠️7♠️ on a K♠️J♥️5♥️ board is a great spot to bluff.
Betting with such hands is often profitable because there are a lot of turn cards which make them effective bluffs.
- Turning A Flush Draw: If you hit a flush draw on the turn, your equity takes a huge jump. Continue playing aggressively and bet again. Also, if you hit your flush on the turn, you could easily end up winning a huge pot!
- Completing Draws On The Turn: If the turn completes a draw like a 9♥️, you should bet because a lot of times this is a scary card for your opponent that’ll make them fold. Even if you’re semi-bluffing on the flop, your opponent is likely to think that you hit your draws with a card such as this one.
2. Check-Raising From The Big Blind:
You must not let players take away your big blinds too easily. If a loose player is C-betting too recklessly with weak hands, even though they might be weak, they’ll still have equity. If you don’t check-raise them, they’ll realise that equity and continue stealing pots from you. If you don’t pressure your opponents with check-raises, you make their bets much more profitable than they should be.
- Check-Raising For Value: Best spots for check-raising are hands such as two pairs or better. Check-raising on low boards such as 9 high or 8 high with top pair top kicker is also a great spot.
- Check-Raising As A Bluff: The best bluffs are those when you have a decent equity as well as a chance to improve to a straight or a flush. These are generally gutshot straight draws, open-ended straight draws, and flush draws, but having an overcard or two is helpful as well.
Also, do not simply check-raise with all such hands. Find a way to randomize the situation. You could maybe check-raise when you have a straight draw as well as a backdoor flush draw but check-call the hands where there are no backdoor flush draws.
3. Playing Pocket Pairs And Suited Connectors In Multiway Pots:
In multiway pots, everyone knows that more players means that there is a high chance that someone will flop a great hand such as two pairs or better.
Hands like pocket pairs and suited connectors have a higher probability of making very strong hands in multiway pots.
Pocket pairs hit a set on the flop a big 11.8% of the time in multiway pots. Against a hand like JT offsuit which hit two pair or better only a mere 4.8% of the time, pocket pairs are at a huge advantage.
Let’s take Q10 suited and Q10 offsuit as an example to explain suited connectors. (Yes, they aren’t the typical suited connectors but the same logic applies.)
Q10 suited flops a strong hand or a draw 26.3% of the time whereas Q10 offsuit flops the same only 16.9% of the time. That’s a 55% increase in very favorable flops for QT suited (relatively speaking), which will allow it to perform much better in multiway pots.
4. Don’t Be Scared To Check-Raise On 3-Bet Pots:
Playing too timid after calling 3-bet pots can make a significant difference on how many pots you’re winning in such situations. You must check-raise with almost all of your strong hands while creating balanced range with straight or flush draws.
Check-raising with a balanced range will make your opponent’s life very difficult because they can’t know if you have a strong hand or a bluff. However, not being balanced can make your plays transparent and prevent you from extracting maximum value with your strong hands.
5. Make The Most Of Nut Advantage With Overbetting:
Nut Advantage is when you are the only one who’s likely to have the strongest hands. In other words, the board favours your range over your opponent’s range.
For example, you’ve raised from late position and get a call from your opponent. The flop comes K-J-T. On a flop such as this, you will always have the nut advantage because your opponent most likely does not have hands like AA, KK, JJ or TT. All of these hands are most likely going to be 3-bet by your opponent preflop!
Your range when overbetting must always be polarized, i.e, only with strong hands or bluffs. Betting large means that you’ll be getting maximum with strong hands and good fold equity with your bluffs.
The most effective overbet bluffs are usually hands that block your opponent’s most likely strong hands. The best example of this is using the nut flush blocker on a three-to-a-flush board (think A♦ K♠ on Q♦ 8♦ 2♣ 6♦ 3♠).
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