Some strategic poker lingo

Some Strategic Poker Lingo

Let’s consider the various types of poker games. They are divided into two main groups: tournament poker and non-tournament, that is, cash poker or ring poker. Tournaments can be multitable tournaments (MTT) or single table tournaments (STT). Single table tournaments are usually sit and go games (SNG), that it, the game begins as soon as the table is full.

There are satellite game tournaments where players have access to the higher status and higher fee games, or the freerolls, where there is no fee to enter into play, then there are the guaranteed games where a prize pool is guaranteed by the game’s originators. A buy-in fee is mandatory in all but the freeroll tournaments. Sometimes, the house will allow players to purchase more chips using the re-buy or add-on options.

The tables are named for the number of players around it, so long tables include 8-10 players, short tables have 4-6 players, plus heads-up (HU) which are one-on-one.

Now we know the raw basic terms and rules so lets move right along to basic poker strategy. Leading in importance is the concept of odds. The odds are the opportunities you have of receiving a winning card combination throughout all the game’s steps.

These winning cards are referred to as outs. So your chances for hand improvement is dependent upon the number of outs currently in your hand and these chances (odds) can be calculated, put to memory, or read from an odds table.

You must also be able to do the same with pot odds which is simply how the required bet relates to the size of the pot. There are discounted and implied pot odds. The process of discounting involves a decrease in the number of outs that are a boon to the opponents as well as yourself. Implied chances involve not just the current pot and bets, but throw in the possible bets in upcoming rounds.

The strategic possibilities of poker include bluffing plays like: the straight bluff – a bet or raise without any chances of winning in case of a showdown, and the semi-bluff – a raise without a ready hand but with a large number of outs (and thus good chances of improvement). Trickier plays include the slow play or sandbagging – passive play while holding a strong hand in the opening stages of the game, meant to keep players in the game; the free card – a raise from the last position in the flop in the hope of getting checks on the turn and so reach the river without additional expenses (usually used with a drawing hand).

A distinction is usually made between a flush-draw, four cards to a flush, and a straight-draw, four to a straight. Straight-draws can be open ended or gut shot (inside straight) draws. If two specific cards are required to compose a combination, such draw hands are called backdoor draws or runner-runner. When a player still attempts to assemble a draw despite certainly losing to a ready opponent combination, the player is said to be drawing dead.

Now lets talk about the check-raise. This is where a player checks intending to raise after an opponent’s bet. This strategy is generally used during the flop against the preflop-raiser (Preflop-raiser: The player who raises during the preflop round).

Finally there are the blind steals and defense. If nobody enters the game before the flop, a player in late position makes a raise in order to force the blinds to fold and thus to get their bets without opposition. The blinds can retaliate with a 3-bet, which constitutes blind defense.

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