Posted Jun 04, 2023
Owner and Lead Pro
Professional Cash game trainer Bart Hanson has been producing strategy content for over fifteen years. He first started on Live at the Bike! back in 2005, then moved on to host "Cash Plays" on Poker Road, then "Deuce Plays" on Deuces Cracked and then to CrushLivePoker in 2012.
In his career as a professional poker player, Bart Hanson has:
-6 WSOP Final Tables
-Over 15 years of experience at the table
-Over $1,000,000 in tournament earnings
-Multiple appearances on ESPN and Poker Night in America
-4th place finish in 2019 WSOP Monster Stack
‘15-25-35’ is a simple rule that allows you to quickly calculate the implied odds you’ll need in order for a call to be profitable, based on your opponent’s bet sizing and effective stack depth. These numbers refer to the amount you need to have in your effective stack in order to realize your implied odds profitably. It’s worth noting that this is more of an old school type of calculation, and only accounts for the odds of hitting a strong hand on the flop.
15x refers to low and medium pocket pairs. You should have at least 15x your opponent’s betsize left in your effective stack to profitably setmine on the flop. 25x refers to suited connectors like 76s, and 35x refers to gapped suited connectors like 97s.
Example 1: Your opponent raises to $20, and you have pocket threes. You would want to have an effective stack of at least $300 (15x) in order to get the correct implied odds to call.
Example 2: Your opponent raises to $20, and you have 76s. You would want to have an effective stack of at least $500 (25x) in order to get the correct implied odds to call.
‘Action killers’ are cards that may come on the turn or the river that will typically slow down or ‘kill’ future action. Typically action killers will bring in flush draws, straight draws, or pair the board.
Example: After a flop of Ad 9s 7s, the turn comes the 8s, bringing in any flopped flush draws, as well as a gutshot straight draw.
Attacking Limped Pots
Because a lot of players at low-mid stakes limp often with weaker holdings, we can attack them aggressively postflop, since oftentimes limping is an indicator that your opponent(s) will be wary of playing a larger pot postflop. Even if your opponent makes a hand and bets, they may be wary of playing a larger pot postflop since their limping range will make weaker hands than their openraising range.
This leaves room to attack aggressively with bets and raises, even with your weaker backdoor draws. Your attacks will be most effective when the top card on the flop is likely to change, like a jack high or ten high flop, where your opponent’s flopped top pairs can easily become 2nd pair on the turn or the river.
Example: Several players limp preflop, and you check the big blind with Jc 9c. The flop comes Tc 3h 2d. One of the preflop limpers bets, and you checkraise with your backdoor straight and flush draws.
Attacking The Field Bettor
‘Attacking the field bettor’ references a situation where the preflop raiser checks, and someone bets into them on the flop. A lot of times at low-mid stakes the preflop raiser’s checking range is weaker than it should be, since they will likely play face-up and check mainly weak hands on the flop. The best time to attack the field bettor is typically when the top pair is likely to change on the turn or river, like on a nine high or ten high flop.
‘Bet/folding’ is one of the primary principles of Crush Live Poker, and refers to a situation where you bet for value with a medium strength hand, planning to fold to a raise. This strategy allows us to get thin value from calling stations at low stakes, but confidently fold to a raise, since our opponents won’t be attacking aggressively enough and are likely to have a strong hand when raising. This is one of the most powerful techniques in live poker, since many players will call down with a wide range of weaker holdings, and are unlikely to raise unless they have a very strong hand.
‘Bet pacing’ refers to how fast your opponent bets on a given street. In live poker you can pick up on timing tells, based on how quick your opponent is to make the decision to bet. For instance, if the river is a card that changes the ‘nuts,’ like a flush card or board pair, and your opponent bets very quickly, it could indicate that they have not taken into account that the board has changed, and are likely to not have improved. When your opponent bets so quickly without much thought on these dynamic runouts, you can often bluff catch, since they should have taken more time to consider the board change.
A backraise occurs when someone reraises a raise after just calling an initial bet. For example, let's say Player 1 bets, Player 2 calls, Player 3 raises, then Player 2 reraises. Player 2 has backraised, since they called Player 1’s bet, then reraised after getting 3-bet by Player 3. Typically backraises occur preflop, where a player flats an open with a big hand, then decides on 4-betting after seeing further action in the form of a 3-bet.
This term likely first originated in Pot Limit Omaha, and refers to specific cards held by a player that prevent another player from having a certain hand. For example, if the board is Q♥ J♥ 3♥ and you hold the A♥, you have a blocker to the nut flush, making it impossible for any other player to currently have the nuts. Beyond blocking the nuts, holding certain cards can make it less likely your opponents have straights, sets and other strong combinations.
Commonly used to describe how connected or disconnected a given board is, board texture is an incredibly important factor when it comes to decision making at the poker table. For example, a J♠ 7♥ 2♦ flop would be a dry texture, as opposed to an incredibly wet board such as K♥ Q♥ J♥. As a general rule, you’ll want to be c-bet bluffing less on wet textures, where your opponent is more likely to have flopped a strong hand.
Another thing to consider with board textures is the likelihood that a board will change on the turn or river. If a board has quite a few low cards, like 9♥ 3♦ 3♠, it can actually be pretty dynamic on later streets, since it’s likely that an overcard may come on the turn or river. A♠ 7♥ 2♦ is more static than this board, since top pair won’t change on later streets.
C-bet Bluffing Matrix
The c-bet bluffing matrix is a method used to figure out whether or not you should c-bet as a bluff as the initial raiser. This is a method that is unique to Crush Live Poker, and contains a number of different factors and variables that you want to look for when considering c-bet bluffing. These factors include the number of players in the hand, your hand's equity, board texture, position, stack sizes, relative hand strength, image and other factors. The matrix helps you to rank these variables on a 1-10 scale to determine your best course of action.
This term simply refers to situations where you’ll want to check your entire range, or 100% of your holdings as the preflop raiser. Usually this will come into play when the flop heavily favors your opponents range. When flops are very good for your opponents range, and not so good for yours, it can often be wise to slow down and check with even your strongest holdings, to protect your range and prevent your opponents from running over you.
An example of this would be when you raise UTG with a tight range, BB defends with a wider range, and the flop comes out something like 6♠ 7♠ 8♥. This board typicall favors the BB much more than the UTG opener, and you may want to check as often as 100% of the time in this scenario, depending on how tight your opening range is preflop. As a general rule, we don't recommend checking 100 against weak passive players but it can be a useful strategy when your opponent is capable of recognizing when board favors them and may apply a lot of pressure with check raises or multiple large barrels to put you in a tough spot.
This is a method taught on Crush Live Poker where the aim is to allow your opponent to easily see the size of the pot by using large denomination chips when betting. For example, if you wanted to bet $85, you might use one black $100 chip and get change back, as opposed to betting with a stack of red $5 chips. Chip spiking can be a powerful tool due to the fact that most live players aren’t keeping track of the pot size, and when you do have a value hand and want to get paid on the river, you’re making it easier for your opponents to see the amount in the middle that is available for them to win.
This term can be interchanged with a simple “call,” but normally is used to refer to a situation where you have a hand that can potentially be considered for a raise, but you decide to just call. It can also be used to describe a situation where you raise preflop and an opponent calls with further action pending.
A combo bet refers to a very rare instance in Texas Hold’em where you place a bet that gets a player to fold a better hand but call with a worse hand. Combo bets commonly refer to turn scenarios multiway where a player takes an aggressive action that can get better hands such as top pair to fold, but can get calls from strong draws that are currently behind.
One of the strongest types of draws, a combo draw is a hand that is drawing to multiple different hands, such as a straight and a flush. For example, if you have 6♥ 5♥ and the board is J♥ 3♦ 7♥, you have a combo draw, since multiple cards can come that will give you either a straight or a flush.
Configuration refers to everyone's position at the table, after putting money into the pot. For example, a tight configuration would be a scenario where UTG raises and UTG+1 calls. A loose configuration would look more like BTN open raising and BB calling. In tighter configurations ranges are much more narrow and stronger preflop, and in loose configurations ranges are typically wider and weaker.
A delayed c-bet is when the initial raiser waits until a later street to continue betting, as opposed to firing out a c-bet on the flop. Typically for this to occur, the flop will check thru, and then action will check to the initial raiser again on the turn.
Delayed Double Barrel
This refers to a situation where the initial raiser bets the flop, checks the turn, then fires a bet again on the river. Normally a delayed double barrel references a situation where you don’t barrel a traditionally good card for your range on the turn, because you want to see how your opponent reacts on the river.
The opposite of polarization, depolarization refers to a situation where you’re betting with a combination of weak, medium and strong holdings. A polarized strategy is when betting with complete bluffs and very strong hands. Especially on the river, many players are only betting with a polarized range, meaning they likely either have a very strong hand or a bluff.
Incorporating a more depolarized betting strategy can be very useful in certain scenarios, since you’re keeping your range wide and taking the same action with a variety of strong, medium and weak holdings. It will be harder for your opponents to bluff catch against a depolarized betting strategy, since they could be up against a medium strength hand that you’re betting for thin value. This term can be used somewhat interchangeably with the term “merged” when describing betting strategies.
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