Ten Commandments of Poker

  1. "Never 3 bet preflop with a value hand in position if you can't call a 4 bet."

    The reason for this is that if we 3 bet a hand that has good value, and we get 4 bet and cannot call, we have essentially turned our value hand into a bluff. Reserve your in position 3 bets for hands that we are comfortable calling a 4 bet or 5 betting all in with, or hands that we didn't plan on calling the inital raise with but that are good candidates to turn into a 3 bet bluff (hands with blockers and hands like offsuit connectors that can still play decent in position if the villain calls our 3 bet)

    Here is an example of a bad 3 bet with a value hand:

    $2/$5 NL

    Villains stack: $500
    Heroes Stack: $650

    Action folds to the hi-jack who raises to $25
    Hero is on the button with 8-8 and 3 bets to $80
    The hi-jack 4 bets to $220
    Hero folds

    This is an example of taking a hand with value like 8-8 and making a bad 3 bet where we can't call a 4 bet. Here, we have turned our 8-8 into 7-2o since we 3 bet and now have to fold without seeing a flop.

    Occasionally I'd 3 bet 8-8 here in position if I knew the villain was prone to 4 bet bluffing very light, then I may 3 bet this player with 8-8 to induce the 4 bet bluff, and then 5 bet all in preflop.

  2. "Exercise patience with hand selection and decision making."

    We all know about exercising our patience in regards to hand selection. For beginner and intermediate players I believe hand selection is the biggest key to being a winner player (though true profits require much deeper expertise).

    The other form of patience we should exercise is in our decision making process. Do not feel guilty or pressured to make your decision at the table. Take whatever time you need to think out a hand before you act. I'm not saying you should Hollywood, but if you have a tough decision take your time to think through all the activity that has occurred. Don't snap call or snap shove all in. Count to 5 first before you make a decision.

  3. "Try to never go broke in an unraised pot."
  4. "Always know how much is in the pot and approximate stack sizes of everyone at the table."
  5. "Trust your gut. If your first instinct is to call then you probably should."
  6. "Never lose more in a single session than you can win in a single session. If the losses pile up sometimes its better to call it a day."
  7. "Play stakes that you can afford. Scared money is drawing dead."
  8. "Be a student, not a teacher. When people at the table start commenting on why they played their hand a certain way, open your ears and listen to what they are saying for more insight in to how they think. Don't be a teacher ad try to explain why they are right or wrong."
  9. "Don't tap the glass! If a fish gets lucky at the table make sure to be cordial and not to demean them or make them feel uncomfortable."
  10. "Have fun. You need to really enjoy poker if you want to win long term. Having fun affords you the best opportunity to profit."