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Why Play Pot Limit
Comparing Pot-Limit
Poker's Ten
You Playing Style
How Deep Are You
Taking The Initiative
Drawing Hand's
Reading The Opponent
The Art of Bluffing
Betting The Bully
No Limit Play
All In Coups


Using The Material
Pot-Limit & No-Limit
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A 5-10
Big-Bet Hold'em Q/A 11-20
Pot-Limit Omaha
Pot-Limit Omaha Q/A
Seven-Card Stud
Lowball Draw
Key Pot-Limit
London Lowball Q/A
High Low Split
High Low Split Q/A
Strip Deck Poker


  1. Holding ( i ) A-K-J-9 or ( ii ) A-K-J-9. (a) Facing a raise and reraise before you have ever acted. (b) Having stood raise or made it yourself and now facing a reraise in the return action. (c) Facing only the blind bet in late position.

( i ) and ( ii ) – (a) Pass (2). Call (0). Raise (-10). It is all too likely you are facing aces and are getting only 3-2 for your money.
( i ) and (b) Pass (2). Call (1). Raise (-10). Now you have 2-1 or 3-1 for your money, so a call can be considered.
( i )- (b) Call (2). Pass (1). Raise (-10). Of course, it depends on the opponent, but not all players reraise just with aces.
( i ) and ( ii )- (c) Raise (2). Call (0). Pass (-10). Don’t be a sniveling, craven coward.

  1. Holding 8-7-6-5. (a) Facing only the blinds. (b) Facing multihanded action.
  2. Raise (2). Call (1). Pass (-10). You have a premium hand and a raise will disguise it. If you intended to reraise after checking, when somebody else takes action, then we admire your aggressiveness.
  3. Call (2). Raise (0). Pass (-10). A hand as good as this is about as rare as aces double-suited. However, do you really want people to pass? This is a playing poker hand. All-in you are not a 2-1 dog against aces double-suited. But the back-door draw-outs are relatively minor here. Thus, if there is still action, you have the opportunity to outplay the opposition.
  4. Holding (a) A-7-7-2 (b) A-7-7-2. Facing only the blinds.
  5. pass (2). Call (0). Raise (-5). In some ways we think a raise is better than a call, if you are trying to snap off the blinds in late position. The hand is junk. It is almost impossible to hit the nuts.
  6. Pass (2). Call (2). Raise (-10). You can hit the nut flush, and once in a blue moon, you will hit such as K-7-3, Which is quite exciting. Raising is unwise. A reraise will drive you out.                         
  7. Holding 10-8-7-6 (a) facing only the blinds. (b) facing a bet. (a) Call (2). Pass (0).Raise

(-5). (b) Call (2). Pass (1). Raise (-10). This hand isn’t much better than 8-7-6. the broken off spot is too high. 10-9-8-6 is a much better hand.

  1. 5-4-3-2. (a) Facing only the blinds. (b) Facing a raise with several players still to act.
  2. Call (2). Pass (1). Raise (-9). (b) Pass (2). Call (0). Raise (-5). (b) Call (2). Pass (1). Raise

(- 10). This is okay for a tiny all-in coup, but with action to come after the flop, it is well-nigh impossible to hit the nuts.

  1. J-J-9-6 (a) Facing a bet in early position. (b) Facing a bet and raise.
  2. Pass (2). Call (1). Raise (-9) (b) Pass (2). Call (-2). Raise (-10). Basically you are hoping just to hit a Jack. Of course, if you are in a loose game…Change the 6 to the 7 and your hand is more appetizing. Still, you must pass in (b).
  3. This hand made the national press in England, in David Spanier’s poker column in “The Independent.” We will allow ourselves the privilege of seeing all the cards and deciding what action each player should have taken in this actual hand at the Victoria Casino. Dennis, an extremely solid player, first to speak, holding K-Q-J-9 double-suited.

Raise (2). Call (2).Pass (-10). This is a strong hand, concealed by the early attack. Dennis actually raised.
George, an up-and-down player, holding 7-5-3-2 double-suited.

Raise (-10). Pass (2). Call (-5). George called.
I held 9-9-4-4 single-suited.
Raise (-10). Pass (-2). Call (2). I called.
Donnacha O’Dea, perhaps the best in the British Isles, holding kings single-suited.
Raise (-2). Pass (-10). Call (2). He called.
Derek Webb, solid and astute, holding aces.
Raise (2).Call (0). Pass (-10). He had position with the best poker hand, and ineed raised.
Back to  Dennis, with his K-Q-J-9 double-suited.
Call (2). Pass (-2). Raise (-10). Derek doesn’t have to have aces, and this hand is still extremely strong. He called.

Now George, with his 7-5-3-2 double-suited.
Call (-10). Pass (2). Raise (-20). This hand has far too many gaps. George should ha e passed, but was no doubt seduced by the though that most players had high cards.
I, with two pair; 9-9-4-4 single-suited.
Call (2). Pass (2). Raise (-20). Basically I must hope to flop a set, about 22%. I was getting 4-1 for my money. This is rather marginal, and a pass would have been more discreet than my actual call.
Donnacha, with his pair of kings. If he called, the pot would be $1000, and he had only $500 left. Everybody else was playing with much more money.
Call (2). Raise (0). Pass (10). Donnacha actually raised. We hesitate to criticize, but if Derek raises, he has aces, and the best Donnacha can hope for is to be left alone, a severe underdog. Why not take the flop?
The pot now stood at $1500. Derek had $2500 left.
Raise (2). Call (-3). Pass (-20). Of course Derek raised all-in, the full pot, with his aces.
Dennis had $14,000 left.
Call (2). Pass (2). Raise (-10). The hand is becoming rather marginal.
George had $2800 left.
Call (-10) Pass (2). Raise (-12). The odds just aren’t there. I had more than $14,000 left.
Raise (2). Pass (2). Call (-2). The two pair is dubbed “Donnacha’s hand” in England. This is because he once explained, “I don’t want to play guessing games with this holding. I want to see all five cards.” Basically two pair make trips about 34% of the time by the end of the pot. Of course they may not win. The pot stood at $9000 and it was $2500 to me. Clearly I have pot odds if I can reach the river. Donnacha is almost certainly marked with kings, else why did he not raise first time round? Derek has aces. George’s hand is a mystery. But Dennis’s is clearly a drawing hand. Any such holding must be less than even money against any pair. I had to be blocking Dennis’s with at least two cards. It is a much better play for me to raise than just call. In fact, passing is better than calling. So I raised the pot of $11,500. .


Dennis, hanging on.
Pass (2). Call (-2). Dennis should have realized at least six of the cards he was seeking were held by other players. Derek is marked with aces, Donnacha with kings, and I am marked with another picture pair and probably two other such cards. But the heat of the battle went to Dennis’s head and he called. Naturally, George called for his last $300.
The boardcards: A 6 6 8 2. Thus Derek and I each made a profit of about $8,800. Had Dennis played correctly and passed, I would have lost $2500. Dennis grumpily observed that he would have won the side pot if a K, Q or J had come at any stage, and predicted that I would go broke in les than a year. We draw no conclusions. But Donnacha would have played more accurately with more money, and I needed to cover the table for my arguably foolhardy play.  

8. Holding A-K-K-2. Flop K-9-4. Nobody has acted. Bet (2). Check (2). Nobody is going to bet for you here, or on fourth street. Checking will result in your winning a small pot ultimately. A bet may elicit a call from a flush or trips and lead to a big win- but probably not.

Bet (2). Check (2). Nobody is going to bet for you here, or on fourth street. Checking will result in your winning a small pot ultimately. A bet may elicit a call from a flush or trips and lead to a big win- but probably not.

9.A-10-8-5 with a flop of Q-J-9. (a) everybody so far has checked. (b) there has been a bet and a call.

  1. Bet (2). Check (0). Now, if somebody raise, you can pass content in the knowledge you are losing. If you wait for somebody else to bet, they may be on a steal, or have the same hand as you. (b) Pass (2). Call (0).Raise (-5). You may still be winning and you can hit the nut top straight, but let discretion be the better port of valor.
  2. J-J-8-4 with a flop of A-K-J. Facing a bet.

Pass (2). Call (-1). Raise (-5). It doesn’t matter how many people are in the pot or anything. The fact is, you have fourth best. It is quite likely the bettor has opened up with higher trips.

  1. A-A-Q-4 with a flop of 10-9-4. Facing several checks and no action.

Check (2). Bet (-1). This is an action-packed flop. Somebody is probably lurking in the weeds, and may not even raise with trip 10’s. You have only one nut out, the A. If you face a bet, pass.

  1. J-10-8-7 with a flop of 9-6-2. (a) If checked to. (b) Having been bet at, with several other players to come.
  2. Bet (2). Check (1). You have 13 outs and can stand a raise.
  3. Call (2). Raise (0). Pass (-5). Any of the straightening cards leaves you with overcards. Thus, another drawing poker player may be welcome. If you raise and get reraised, that’s a great deal of money to have splashing around with a hand that is an underdog to trips.
  4. Q-10-9-8 with a flop of K-7-6. Facing a bet and raise.

Pass (2). Call (0).Raise (-5). You have 13 outs, but only 9 are the nuts, due to the flush-draw.
A reraise will not put that hand out. Therefore, the most probable scenario is that you are going to have to run over both trips and a flush draw. Why put yourself in such an unenviable situation?

  1. Holding J-10-9-7 suited. You have called a raise and then been only the last raiser remains. There is only enough money left on the table for one final bet.

Bet (2). Check (1).

Against dry aces you have 15 outs. What is more, you may secure the pot uncontested. To check and call a bet is disgustingly bad poker. If this was your intention, deduct ten points. Frankly, you are supposed to play in this type of situation even without the middle-straight possibility.

  1. Q-10-9-8. Board (7-6-2) 5. You stood a bet and raise with this hand on the flop. Now the 5 has arrived, and the first player has bet, while second has called.

Raise (2). Call (-2). Pass (-10). A player with trips must be pushed out. You have only four nut improving cards, but a backdoor Queen-high flush is very substantial.

  1. In the above example, what if the first player reraises and the second passes?

Call (2). Raise (0). Pass (-10). It is possible you still have more draw-out cards than your opponent. Alternatively, he may have the straight plus trips, or the dreaded A-10-9-8. It is impossible to construct a hand where he has 13 advantage cards on you. Also a reraise, likely to be all-in, would sacrifice the advantage you have of position.

  1. K-Q-10-10. Board 10-8-2-9. You did your duty before the flop and raised with good position. You carried on with the good work and bet out on the flop. Now there is a bet and  raise before it ever comes to you, the last player in the hand.

Call (2). Raise (2). Pass (-5). You are going to have to stand all the heat. You should win with two jacks (the other two should be in their hands), any pair (although they probably have one 9 each) and all the hearts. This comes to 18 cards! If you raise, they will probable calm down and just call. You want all the money in.

  1. K-K-8-7. Board (10-9-2) 6. There has been action in the pot after the flop and now you lead out. The sole remaining player raises you.

Pass (2). Call (1). Raise (-100). You idiot! A pass was correct on the flop. You only had three nut outs; both a king and a jack might have made higher straights. Now see what a fine mess you’ve got yourself into. He’s even got poker position.

  1. A-Q-J-7. Board 10-7-4-A-7. Throughout the pot, you have only been up against an astute player who respects you. You checked the flop and he bet. Fourth street you bet out and he calls. On the river you check and he bets out.

Raise (2). Call (-2). Pass (1). He could have fours full, but the most have explanation is he has tens full. From his viewpoint you could have made aces full or four 7,s. He is probably going to pass.

  1. K-10-9-8. Flop J-7-6. No action to you, late in hand.

Bet (2). Check (0). You have 13 nut outs.

  1. Same hand. Board (J-7-6) Q. You bet last time, had one caller who now checks.

Bet (2).Check (-1). You have 20 outs, of which only 6 are not the nuts. ]

  1. Same hand. Board (J-7-6) Q 2, you having bet fourth street. He checks.

Bet (2). Check (-2). He may have a drawing hand and you are winning. Alternatively, he may have a three-card drawing hand and a pair. He may wilt under the pressure with J-7. Sadly, he may call and you can talk about another Big Beat- if that turns you on.

    1. K-Q-10-9. Board J 7 3 4 9. You bet in late position and were raised by the button. You called. You also called on fourth street. On the river, the pot is $2,000 and  there is only $300 left to bet.

Check (2). Bet (-100). We have seen the mistake of betting many, many times by seemingly sensible people. They reason, “I will have to call, so I may as well bet it.” But he will only call with the nut flush. You know he almost surely has the A, but he may be poker bluffing with the dry ace. You must leave him room to bluff. If you choose to put the $300 in, this should be done on fourth street, when if he can fill up, you are making him pay. Had an open pair appeared on the river, you could have tried betting the $300, representing a full house. You may be bluffing is much more likely to succeed if you have a fair-sized cannon to fire.

Score                         Comments

  1.            Find yourself the biggest game you can afford.

65-84                            You still have some technical problems. Be careful!
40-64                      Play very small Omaha and then reread this book.                                                    
0-39                            You haven’t grasped the nuances of the game.
Less than 0                    Play only for match-sticks or chocolate money.


Tournament Strategy
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Odd's For Hold'em
Special Odd's Table
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