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All Rights Reserved Robert Eagle 2004 United States of America Unless otherwise noted, all materials contained in this document are copyrighted and may not be used except as provided under these terms and conditions. This document is for personal use only and is not to be redistributed, sold or copied without the author’s explicit permission. Version 4.03 Venetian Publishing INC
Introduction Poker is an amazing game. It allows you to have many freedoms with virtually any style of play that you choose. Your personality definitely and inevitably comes out on the board. The reality is however that there are only a few playing methods that will ever achieve profitability. Many poker players that play often and with the same people can become very predictable. But, it’s the best players that are the one’s who always keep you guessing. They change gears continually and unpredictably. Just when you think they are bluffing, they are holding the nuts. Just when you think they have an incredible hand they are holding a hand that isn’t worth the ink printed on the cards. After it’s all said and done they are the ones holding the chips and you might be the one left holding the bag. This book is based on a system that has helped yours truly become highly successful in the world of online poker. As it turns out the system is strictly for PokerStars.com because of the algorithm (shuffling pattern). However, this book can help you become successful in poker on virtually any online casino. The reason is that I will touch on all points of playing winning poker. The last part of this book is devoted to gaining an additional edge (a mind blowing edge, good thing you found this book) on Poker Stars that to my knowledge you can’t get anywhere else!!! Did you know that only 5% of all poker players ever make money consistently? I don’t say, “win” money because “win” implies luck. Yes poker has some luck, but skill and odds will overcome luck all the time.
Winning gambling is all about having an edge. If you don’t have an edge and you still want to gamble you might as well take your entire bankroll and head to Vegas. Don’t waste any time, just hop onto a roulette table and bet the entire amount on “black”. You almost have a 50/50 chance of winning minus the Houses “edge” of course and see what happens. At least it would save time for some of the poker players I have seen. They would get even better odds doing that than they would ever get playing poker. I don’t recommend you do anything like that of course, but it’s an interesting point. Winners take educated risks, not blind ones. A winner in poker is the one who has the chips and nothing else. It’s not the pots, it’s not the ego, it is the chips. No matter what your playing level, there is something in this book that can and will improve your game if properly applied. Let’s learn how to make and keep those chips. Let me assure you that it is totally possible to make money on Poker Stars.com without the use of this system. However using sound tight aggressive play coupled with this pattern system can give you an edge unlike no other. This edge can be unparalleled and can make a huge difference in your outcomes. The first part of this book is devoted to bringing you up to par and helping you to become the great online player you should be if you’re not already. The second part is how to turn Poker Stars algorithm (shuffling pattern) greatly in your favor.
“Poker Stars Cracked” This is what you have been waiting for so let’s get right to it. This is not some 400-page book that will bore you. It is designed to be brief, effective, and to be easily mastered. Please note the Poker Charts, as you should refer to them often while reading this and playing. I personally have it printed out and taped to the wall next to my computer for easy reference when I gamble online. When I go to the casino and play limit Texas Hold’em I usually win 4 out of 5 times. I play tight and aggressive. When I first started playing online I couldn’t believe how diverse the players and the cards were. I was winning 1 out of 5 sessions online. What a joke I thought. I know I am good but why am I losing so much? Please note, that this book is based on my experience and opinion of Poker Stars. I am not, nor have ever been affiliated or employed by any casino or any online casino at any time! When utilizing the information presented in this book, you agree to do so at your own risk. The author and other parties affiliated assume no liability in the outcomes of your gambling. I would like to assure you, that if you only learn and retain just a few of the strategies in this book, it can more than pay for itself. I think you will have a much better time playing online poker with this knowledge.
Get your priorities straight. In my opinion, the ONLY thing that matters in poker is winning chips. It’s not singling a player out and having an ego battle. It’s not losing most hands just to say you were strong enough to stay in. The only winners at the end of any session are the ones who walk away with more chips than they started with! Please do yourself a favor and focus on learning the repeating pattern cycles. The only way to do that effectively is to write down every starting hand you have and keep track of ALL of your wins and losses. I strongly recommend doing this on PLAY MONEY FIRST for at least 40 hours. It will be time well spent and will really prepare you for REAL MONEY with these new strategies!!!! I must stress that in real life, playing no limit poker, I would not dream of using some of these strategies. Although, I am not a known professional poker player, I am definitely good enough to make a great living playing poker. You are most likely aware (mathematically) of how to properly bet with certain hands in Hold'em. Please remember this book is a strategy to use Poker Stars’ flawed algorithm (shuffling pattern) against it. That means sometimes betting on rags (garbage hands), and sometimes placing improper betting amounts. That means this system is SOMETIMES diametrically opposed to real life betting strategies in some situations.
Have no fear, because not only does this system work, but you can also test this on play money for as long as it takes, before you get the hang of it. Certain positions, you should gladly lay down even pocket Aces. I know that must sound crazy, but the only way for you to realize those situations is to practice using these strategies. Most of the time, you are going to want to use sound playing methods, BUT if you want to take advantage sometimes you will not. If you enjoy playing poker on Poker Stars.com and have discovered the undeniable level of uncertainty in securing more consistent victories, then please allow me to assure you that NOT everything is random about Poker Stars. In fact, the only thing that is consistent in online gaming is the fact that it is not always truly random. The cards follow undeniable patterns over and over again. In my opinion, this algorithm ensures that online gaming continues to attract and retain the largest percentage of players. Not only could you increase your winnings per session when playing No Limit Texas Hold'em on Poker Stars.com, but also you could minimize your losses by applying this knowledge. This book can help you win consistently when gambling online, playing ALL TYPES of poker on ALL TYPES of online casinos. After applying the principles in this book you should be much better off and find your way to the top.
Table of Contents Part 1
The differences between online poker, casino poker, and home games.
The graph and betting / odds for LIMIT Hold’em
Limit verses No Limit
No Limit Strategy & Poker Stars Algorithm
Pattern Introduction & shuffling process
Conclusion and Bonus Codes
Chapter 1 The differences between online poker, casino poker, and home games
Money There are many differences between online poker, casino poker, and home games. In a home game you might just play strictly with cash. It can make you stop and think before you call a $15 raise and have to physically put three more $5 bills into a pot just to see one card that may not even help your hand. In real life at the casino and sometimes at a home game, you usually have to buy chips with real hard cash. There is a certain shift that occurs when this happens. It is psychologically easier to throw three $5 chips into a pot than three $5 bills. Chips make counting and stacking a lot easier but they also disassociate you from real hard cash. Real money can once again become clear for a brief time as soon as you have to buy more chips with real hard cash. It always makes you think when you have to reach into your pocket or purse and grab your wallet. In an online casino, it’s usually just a matter of using a credit card or sending a money order/wire transfer to the online casino to get your virtual bankroll started. There are no real chips, just icons that represent chips, which are in fact virtual numbers. You must have an even greater discipline to respect your money in this scenario.
Time In fact, you don’t even have to push the chips onto the table to make a bet, call a raise, etc. etc. All you do is click a mouse button and you’re done. It can be done so fast that if you don’t take a breath; it’s easy to have your judgment thrown off by emotion. Your play is magnified on an internet casino. One main reason is that the cards and hands are played so much faster. There is very little physical movement, as all you have to do is point and click the mouse. It literally takes seconds. In real life there is the physical motion of picking chips up, counting chips, and placing them in the appropriate place. This all takes additional time and fortunately can help you when having to make a decision. There is no real dealer in online poker other than an icon representing a dealer. That means no tipping. At a $1 or $2 tip per win, this can save your bankroll a lot of money. The rake still exists and actually varies depending on the online casino you choose to play at. The rake should be considered because after all said and done if you break-even while playing, the rake would eventually take all of your money over time. When there is a rake involved in poker it is your responsibility to find and play with players that you are better than. A home game is the only exception as there typically is no rake. If you’re in a heads up game online and your opponent is almost equal to you in playing ability, then you are both going to break even most of the time with each other, and find your bankroll slipping away to the houses rake.
On average, an online poker game will move three times as fast as a real casino. That means your weaknesses will be magnified three times. That means the rake is three times as much. Of course you’re still getting three times as many hands for your money. For some players however, this can be catastrophic. What seems like hours for someone to call a raise may in reality only take seconds in online poker. It’s so easy to get used to this faster type of play, that you can easily lose perspective on the real amount of time passed. To go to a real casino takes planning. For some of you it might entail a flight, for others a lengthy drive. The time that it takes to get to the casino can be very helpful for your mindset because it psychologically forces to give you time to prepare. In an online casino, you can play it right in your own home. What might take an hour or so to get to the local casino or a day or so for some of you, others can get into a Hold’em game online for real money in one minute or less. You don’t have to shower and shave or change your clothes. You simply have to click a few buttons and you’re ready to play. There may be no transition of mind set at all. If you’re in a bad mood or good mood, happy or sad, you will most likely stay in that mood while you are playing until you have time to adjust. If it’s a mood problem, it might cost you an arm and a leg during that transition. Whenever I am driving to a casino, I typically look in the rearview mirror and smile at myself. I then say, “you’re going to win tonight”. I do this several times during the drive providing it is safe. In essence I pump and psyche myself up. It’s one way I personally prepare for poker. I have found that when I expect to do well at something I usually do. If I am angry or have problems on my mind it definitely affects my game and not in a good way.
Distractions Distractions will kill your bankroll. There can be 10 times as many distractions from your home as there can be in a real casino. Here is a list of the most common home distractions that should be addressed and dealt with if you expect to play poker well. The list can go on and on. Sometimes it seems like as soon as I escape into the virtual world to play a few hands, I become bombarded by the impossible. My phone rings off the hook. My favorite song is on. I remember the movie I wanted to watch is starting on cable. I get a business call. My girlfriend says I don’t give her enough attention. My parents call wanting to know when I am going to visit them. The FedEx guy knocks on my door etc. etc. Imagine flopping a nut flush and 4th street pairs the board. You have to analyze your opponent and decide if he has a full boat. With five other distractions hitting you at once, how are you going to make a good judgment? Even as I am writing these words my puppy (she’s a pug) just jumped on my lap and is demanding attention. Do I throw her off my lap? I love animals so I gently put her down on the floor. Now she’s staring at me with a sad look on her face and I am beginning to feel guilty. I am glad I am not in a tough hand of poker right now as it could be just enough of a distraction to make the wrong call. I love a smooth drink just like the next guy. Have a couple of those and win a few hands while playing poker and you’ll feel like you’re on top of the world. Give it 30 minutes and you can watch your bankroll run for the hills. For me poker is so much fun and I live to play it that I never used to think of it as work. The bottom line though, is that if you want to win and win consistently, then you have to treat poker like your job and treat it with respect.
Whether you’re in a home game, casino game, or virtual game; alcohol and drugs should be avoided completely if you expect to win. Now if you have a few buddies over and you’re all drinking having a good time and playing poker, then so be it. Enjoy yourselves. But don’t expect to break all of your friends especially if they aren’t bad players. Below is a list of the three types of games and their potential distractions. Just think if you have encountered any of these in the past and how you could best deal with them to keep from getting distracted in the future. Home Game Alcohol Smoking Friends Other people watching Music TV The opposite sex Real Cash Home Games w/ variations such as wild cards. Real Casino Alcohol Music TV’s Hot Cocktail Waitresses Lights Noises Other Gambling games like Black Jack and slots
Virtual Casino played from a computer Alcohol Smoking Home Phone Business Line Cell Phone Television Radio Spouse Roommate Parents Dogs Cats Multi Tasking on other computer programs Playing two or three tables at once Email Neighbors Door Bell Playing while Working I am not going to address each of these possible distractions individually, but these are many of the one’s I have encountered in the past that have managed to affect my game play. Distractions will affect every player differently and of course it also depends on the type of distraction. If your roommate calls you up and tells you your rent check bounced, I can only imagine that would have an impact on your game. You’ve got to be in the moment. Distractions threaten to take you out of it. So let’s readdress this. When playing at home online you can have three times as many distractions, you can play three times faster than ever possible before since it’s all just a click of the mouse, and you can even play three tables or more at the same time.
It doesn’t take a bean counter to understand that this is a recipe for disaster. I know several people who can play well at a real casino, but when it comes to online casinos their playing ability goes way down. You may be one of the best poker players out there, but with enough things working against you, you might be chopped liver in the virtual world. So what’s the solution? I’ll tell you what works for me. I do this out of necessity, because it works. The changes seemed unbearable to me at first, but after a few weeks I never looked back, and my wins have only grown since. I turn off all of the ringers and announcements on all of my phones (home phone, business line, and cell). I disable my email so that it only gives me new messages when I reboot the mail server. I feed and walk my dog, then run him up and down the street to exhaust him. I feed the cat and clean her cat litter. I call my girlfriend and talk to her for what seems like hours and then let her know I am going to be M.I.A for a little while due to getting a business matter resolved. I literally attach a “do not disturb” note on my door. I close my blinds. I turn my lights up and away from the computer so there is no glare. I position my betting and odds chart for easy viewing. I turn off the TV. I turn off the radio. I typically play in the evening, but not too late because when you are tired you can and will make costly mistakes. After all said and done I get rid of about 80% of the distractions. There is always something that comes up or sneaks up it seems, but I deal with it. I take breaks every 200-300 hands. I’ll explain letter when the best time to take those breaks are so that they are aligned with the pattern play you’ll learn about in Part Two.
Some of you may have pressing matters like kids and wives who demand your attention or who want to use the computer. Only you can best decide how to handle those distractions diplomatically so that you don’t end up in the doghouse or are disowned. The biggest difference, which commands further discussion, is the ability to play multiple games at the same time with online poker. Unlike real casino poker you can play two tables or more on the same online casino or even a different online casino. All in all it doesn’t matter because. To sum it up in 5 words or less: You can’t serve two masters. In fact, whenever you discover someone who is playing 2 or 3 tables at the same time you should highly consider them a target. Many players who play two tables at the same time rationalize that it makes them a tighter player by nature because they play only the best starting hands. That’s fine, but when position comes into play (discussed next chapter) certain marginal hands can become much stronger and even powerhouses at times. It will become very clear later in this book that playing two tables is not advisable and not as profitable in the long run. For starters though, the pattern tracking explained in Part Two will be very difficult if not impossible to accomplish when we take in all the factors that are required for successful profitable play.
The graph and betting / odds for LIMIT Hold’em (See Notes for No Limit)
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These actions are ALL Pre-Flop.
There are only 48 hands I recommend to consider playing of the 92 possible. I won’t even play the non-colored or magenta hands in No limit or a loose table. Position vastly reduces when you choose to play all of these hands. Most players in Hold’em could be decent if they just considered the leverage position has. If you want to be successful you will follow this chart 96% of the time and NO LESS. The 4% are exceptions that will be explained a little later. There is nothing positive that will come from chasing the other starting hands. It will cost you more money in the long run than it will make you. Don’t overplay a hand with an Ace. Many people do and lose to kickers quite often. My rule of thumb is to play any Ace that’s suited, but only if it is cheap enough and I have good position for the lower Ace hands. • Pocket Jacks are tricky. Always use discretion with pocket jacks, as they seem to lose as much as they win. They are one of the best hands, but don’t overestimate them especially in early position. • These hands are in order from the mathematically highest to lowest for percentages of absolute wins. Checking, raising, bluffing, etc. will change the outcomes. That will be explained later. This chart is for LIMIT Hold’em. The No Limit chart is close to this but must be played so much tighter. If you want to be successful in Hold’em you will NOT deviate from this chart more than 4% of the time. Following this chart strictly in limit play alone can make your game profitable. You probably won’t make a killing, but you won’t lose much either. There are many other factors in poker, but the first most important thing in limit is to get your starting cards right. Limit Hold’em is very mechanical and because of that it’s hard to get hurt as much as in No Limit Hold’em. Bluffing still plays a part in Limit Hold’em but to a lesser extent. The worst thing that can happen when making a bluff in Limit play is losing one more bet. In No limit it can cost you ALL of your money at the table.
Texas Hold'em Hand Odds And Probabilities Chart Percentage
Odds of Hitting
Pair pre-flop Suited cards pre-flop Suited Connectors (2/3, KQ, ...) AA or KK pre-flop AK pre-flop AKs pre-flop A in hand pre-flop AA, KK, QQ, JJ Flop being all one kind (JJJ or QQQ) AA versus KK pre-flop (heads up) AK dealt pre-flop and hitting an A or K by the river QQ versus AK heads up till river Two cards pre-flop that are Js or higher
16 to 1 3.2 to 1 24 to 1 110 to 1 82 to 1 331 to 1 5.25 to 1 55 to 1 424 to 1 22559 to 1 even 14 to 11 favorite 10 to 1
Four flush completing (Ts 8s Flop 6s 2s Ad 9h Qs) Open Ended Straight-Flush completing to flush or straight by river Open Ended Straight completing (8,9 Flop 10,7,4, 8,6) Two Pair on flop Improving to Full House Three of a kind on flop improving to Full House or 4 of a kind
39% 54% 34% 17% 37%
3 to 2 1 in 1.85 approx. 2 to 1 approx 5 to 1 approx 3 to 2
Pocket pair improving to three of a kind on flop One pair on flop improving to two pair or three of a kind by river Pocket pair improving to three of a kind after flop Two over cards improving to a pair by river Two over cards and a gut-shot improving to pair or straight Gut-shot straight draw hitting by river Gut-shot and pair improving to two pair or better Backdoor Flush hitting (3s4s Flop 7sKd9c TsQs) Runner Runner Straight (5,6 Flop 3KJ 47) Backdoor Flush and One Over Card improving to that pair or flush Catching Ace on turn or river (A5 Flop T74 KA) Backdoor Flush and Gutshot improving to one by river (Ac4c Flop 3s5cQs) Backdoor Flush And Two Over Cards improving to pair or flush 5 players on flop, that someone has an A when one is on board 4 players on flop, that someone has an A when one is on board 3 players on flop, that someone has an A when one is on board 2 players on flop, that someone has an A when one is on board 3 of one suit on board and another coming (Kd9d3d) if you have one 5 players in with board paired, chance of one of them having it 4 players in with board paired, chance of one of them having it 3 players in with board paired, chance of one of them having it 2 players in with board paired, chance of one of them having it
7 to 1 approx 4 to 1 10 to 1 approx 3 to 1 4 to 3 5 to 1 3 to 2 23 to 1 67 to 1 5 to 1 7 to 1 3.8 to 1 2.3 to 1 1 in 1.7 1 in 2.1 1 in 2.9 1 in 4.3 3 to 2 1 in 2.4 1 in 3 1 in 4 1 in 5.8
Ok, there you have it. That is a simple chart showing you the odds of your hand improving. It really is important to learn the chart or at least have it handy while you’re playing online. (Good luck whipping that out at a real casino. You’d be escorted out pretty quickly chart in hand lol.) This just makes another example of how online poker has its advantages; it’s like taking a test that is open book! When I play online, I always make sure to have access to these charts next to my computer. No matter how smart you are, you probably should too. There is also a thing called pot odds and implied odds. I am not going to go into great detail in this book about them, but I will cite an example. There are some books out there dedicated to these topics. The most important thing is to decide when it is worth drawing to try and make your hand. The biggest mistake most players make is deciding to draw to their hand and then have it hit. The only problem is that it loses to a better hand. This happens quite often with straight draws. If there are two clubs on the flop and three clubs on the turn (4th street) with 3 other players in the hand, then it’s probably a good idea to abandon your straight draw. If it hits you will pay dearly to someone who has made a flush. Ok, so you’re in the big blind in a $5/$10 game and a player raises from middle position and three people call. You call with J, 10 off-suit making four total callers. The flop shows: k - 10 - 2 (different suits) $40 Pot
The middle position guy bets and everyone calls. You can call $5 for $55 giving you about 1/11 odds. There are two 10’s in the deck and three Jacks giving you a total of 5/47 for the turn making it about 8.4:1. So if your hand hits, you will make money by calling once. If you plan on calling till the river for it then your chances of hitting it would be: 5/47 and 5/46 For figuring out odds for a draw that can hit on either the turn or the river, you need to keep calculating. You figure out what the odds are of not hitting it and then subtracting that number by 1. Since 5 cards give us our hand, there must be 42 that don't. Then on the river if we haven't hit there must be 41 cards that don't make our hand. 42/47 * 41/46 This gives us .795; subtract that from 1 to get the percentage of 20%. Flop to River % = 1 - [ ((47 - Outs) / 47) * ((46 - Outs) / 46) ] That means to make your call profit you'll need to get better then 1/5, 4:1 return on your money for the WHOLE hand, not just that card (turn or river). That's where implied odds come in. So that means that if the total cost till the river for you was $35: $10 pre-flop, $5 flop, $10 turn, $10 river you'll have to make back $140. This is where common sense comes in. You really should know the odds, but if you have a general idea you don’t have to be a rocket scientist. Rule of thumb is like this. The harder your draw, the more players you want to be in the pot and the larger the pot you want it be. It’s that simple. If you’re on an open ended straight draw or a flush draw after the flop where you only need 1 card, then you usually only need two other people in the hand calling or betting to the river to justify the odds of drawing to your hand. 23
Position is one of the most important aspects in NO limit poker, and very important in Limit poker as well. It amazes me how many poker players that I encounter who are oblivious to this law of poker. Whoever acts last always has the advantage in poker. In limit play it’s always about saving bets on the hands you lose and gaining bets on the hands you win. It’s really that simple. Position is the key factor in allowing you to save and gain bets. For example when you are the last to move, you have the advantage of raising or folding. You can call or check as well if possible too. Obviously when you raise you are gaining a bet, and if you fold when someone else bets you can “save” a bet by folding. It’s those bets that make up your bottom line. It’s possible to win 7 hands and lose only 3 hands and still be down money. And Vice Versa. There are 10 positions in Hold’em. The dealer has the largest edge, and the Big Blind has the smallest edge when it comes to position. This is why some marginal hands like a suited K, 8 should only be played in late positions. It’s almost worth seeing a flop with this hand every time providing there aren’t a large number of raises. Your goal with marginal hands is to still see flops, but only to see flops that aren’t heavily raised. The reason being again that those raised bets cost you dearly. Also something to keep into consideration is the number of players in the hand. If there are 9 players going into a flop and there is only 1 raise, your K, 8 suited is getting great odds to see that flop. The problem is that if you are in early position it can become very difficult to predict the number of raises especially if you’re up against several large pairs. 24
The bottom line is that it’s all about the odds. You play aggressively, or at least accordingly when they are in your favor, and you lay down (fold) your hands when they are not. Position affects the odds because of potential raises and re-raises. It’s that simple. Now, here’s another reason why position is so important. Let’s say you play your Kd, 8d suited and the flop comes Kc Ac 8h. You have hit two pair. Not the top two pair either. Not to mention there is 2 clubs on the board, which may have given someone a flush draw. If you played this hand in early position and the board has been raised several times, this could be a very expensive hand for you not to mention there are several possible hands out there that can beat you. If you were in late position, your hand becomes much harder to read and you have the advantage to see how everyone else is betting before you have to make a decision.
Limit verses No Limit
Limit play is hard to get hurt on because the betting is typically capped to 4 bets and the bets are typically the same. For example in a $5/$10 limit game the bets stay at $5 until 4th and 5th st when they are $10. The bets are capped at 4 bets each time maximum. When play is heads up some casinos allow the other players to raise each other indefinitely, but that’s about it. In No Limit Hold’em there are no betting restrictions. On PartyPoker.com for example you can buy into a $25 no limit table. The blinds are .25 and .50 and the betting goes from there. The nice thing about no limit hold’em is that you can always bet accordingly to get your odds. On a hand when you have the nuts, you can bet your whole stack, and have no fear if everyone calls. The flipside however is that if you aren’t very good at poker, No Limit will definitely take ALL of your money and quickly. The Limit chart can be applied to No Limit games, but you must tighten up even further. I will only play suited mid to high connectors, and if I get raised heavy going into a flop with a low pair, I am not going to play around with it. I will usually just lay it down. The $25 no limit tables on Parp are usually very loose with a lot of maniacs. That is a good thing especially for pattern play taught in Part 2 of this book. However, when the tables are loose it is your responsibility to tighten up your play with only some of the best starting hands. This way you end up better, and you punish your opponents for playing weak starting hands.
That’s why position is crucial in No Limit. You can’t throw a bet out in early position that might be sound in Limit, because someone might go All IN on you, and for you to call would be shooting yourself in the foot with the odds you’re getting. Odds will make or break you over time. It’s just math. You can watch these maniacs come in with rags and for some reason they seem to win sometimes all day long. That’s fine, but the next day you can watch this same person lose twice as much as they won the day before. The odds catch up to all of us sooner or later!
Chapter 5 Other Tips Taking Notes One great thing about Poker Stars is the ability to use the Notes for each player. This can be one of the most valuable tools in itself. You can note if the player is weak or aggressive, even a fish. The best part is you can note what kind of hands they play. This can be as helpful to your game as many players are very predictable. Now instead of having to have a photographic memory of the hundreds of different players you encounter, you can have the information at your fingertips. I also put the date on the notes each time I make one so I can see if the player ever progresses. Quite often I see the same players again and again. Even if I take notes on a player and it is the only time I ever see them, those notes are good for the entire time I play with that player. Some players have similar handles and the notes really can help you from confusing those players.
Chat Box When people chat while playing using the chat box, they can give away many tells. First of all, most people who chat online during play are experienced. It doesn’t mean they’re good, just means they play a lot. Typically these online chatters are very loose. When someone makes a miracle draw and they are holding “rags”, you should congratulate them on a great hand. This way you are encouraging their terrible play. If you chastise them, it may help them tighten up and become better. When you beat someone and it is a bad beat, you can rub it in by telling them. This will encourage that player to go on tilt and to play worse. Just remember that what goes around comes around, so always use discretion. The best thing you can do if someone asks what your hand was or if you had a specific hand is to lie. They are probably taking notes on you and are testing your playing ability. Always keep them guessing. If you want to put someone on tilt… show your bluffs, brag about your wins, talk about how you’re going to take all of the table’s money with you when you leave, and rub in those bad beats. I don’t personally do this often because I don’t want to be a target, but this can be very powerful against someone who deserves it. Just make sure you really tighten up your play because you’re sure to have a few people come after you on the table. Bluffing Bluffing is very important in poker. It is your responsibility to bluff. In a real casino I bluff just over 10% of the time if the situation is right. Online, I typically bluff only 5% of the time. The reason is that more people bluff online and more people call hands (catch bluffers) online. 28
I usually do not want to advertise my hands too much, but if you don’t advertise your hands and you don’t get caught, you will be labeled as a super tight player, and it can be very hard to get anyone to call your hands. It is important to get paid off on your good hands. “You have to give action to get action.” There are few exceptions. When playing online, the bluffs are much different but they are still noticeable to the trained eye. There’s no eye contact but here are some tells. A delay followed by a check indicates a weak hand. Quick calling is a motive to get you to stop betting. Not betting on weak turn cards indicates a weak hand. When someone is slow to match a bet, or a player who makes a small bet in late table positions, indicates a weak hand. A player who consistently keeps chatting during a hand they are in, indicates a weak hand. Now, here are some indicators of a strong hand. A quick raise on the flop usually indicates top pair. Betting on weak turn cards. An opponent who pauses then raises or re-raises usually has a strong hand. An opponent who uses the “raise” or “raise any” auto button usually has a strong hand. Intentional and noticeable long pauses indicate a strong hand as well. Players who bluff online tend to never use the “auto action buttons”. Be careful of bluffing looser players as they tend to be calling stations. Most of the time the other players are not bluffing, so keep that in mind. It takes a very strong bluffer to call a raise or re-raise. Don’t bluff when the flop has an Ace, Jack, or Ten because those are the hands almost everyone will play. Tight, Aggressive, and Selective Those three words should sum it all up. “The aggressive gain many riches.” This is where your notes come in. When you discover what type of 29
player someone is, you can dominate them or stay out of their way depending on their style. The smart poker player goes after the fish. You can butt heads with a tight aggressive player once in awhile, but if you’re both pretty equal in skill don’t waste your time unless you have the nuts. You can observe and note who is playing rags, who is over protecting their blinds, who plays super tight (making them predictable), and a myriad of different things. Bankroll and Buy Ins A rule of thumb is to have enough money for 100 times the large blind. If you’re playing in a $5/$10 limit game, you should have a $500 budget and no less to accommodate any losing streaks which you may encounter along the way. Poker is said to be one long session. Not a two or three hour session. Unlike casino house games, there is no reason to session play in poker. If you’re having a bad night simply quit. If you’re having a great night stick around. If you’re tired or distracted quit. If you are up against a bunch of weak players enjoy the spoils. If those players leave and are replaced with a few stronger players, maybe it’s time to find a new table as your wins are likely to be less. That’s another thing about online poker, there’s always a different table available in ten seconds or less. I hope one of the main reasons you bought this book is to make money. Let’s keep that a priority. Some people just want to play the game. They enjoy poker and truly love the game. There is nothing wrong with that. If you want to get better however, you have to have as many things going your way as possible. Your environment is one of the most important factors not to overlook in poker. Too many distractions and your playing ability definitely goes down. From my experience those factors are most of the reasons why.
Chapter 6 No Limit Strategy For this entire part of this section, we are going to assume that you’re playing real money $25 buy in no limit hold’em with 8-10 players at the table. Big blind .50 cents Small Blind .25 cents. I don’t recommend playing no limit until you get very acquainted with the pattern play. ****** Do yourself a favor and play $.05/$.10 limit hold’em
tables in the beginning. These tables are typically very loose, and that helps because in order for pattern play to be successful you need to see a lot of flops. These are the parameters I only recommend playing until you master the “online” game. ****** Limit tables are typically more mechanical but can still achieve decent results. You will see a lot of flops also in a $25 No Limit Table, but not as many as you go up to the $200 no limit tables. Keep that in mind. Keep in mind the following betting amount that I use for this type of table is not set in stone. I always change the amount I am betting and strive to play the same hands differently. Position of course is a huge consideration as well. In real life I get so excited when I get a Level one hand! On Poker Stars, I sometimes cringe when I get a Level one hand unless I am in a “cash out” or “pattern” cycle. (explained later)
Am I crazy you might ask? AA KK QQ. Whenever you get one of those 3 hands, two other players will indefinitely have a pocket pair as well a large percentage of the time on Poker Stars. You’ll know by the way, unless you are first to act because the betting will start getting really big pre-flop. This scenario happens very often. I would say that an above average percentage of the time that 1 of the 2 smaller pocket pairs will flop a set (three of a kind), or outright win the hand. This means your AA KK or QQ can be liabilities on Poker Stars. Don’t get me wrong I win with these “great” starting hands but it’s a smaller percentage of the time. Statistically, pocket AA’s should win about 31.00% of the time and that’s if all 10 players stay in the hand in real life. In real life I wouldn’t think twice about going all in on AA. With Poker Stars I will not call a raise, or place a bet more than $5 preflop with AA, KK, or QQ!!!!! (UNLEES IN PATTERN WHICH IS EXPLAINED LATER) If I bet $2 and it goes to $10 I am usually going to lay that hand down (fold) unless I am in pattern. I always bet these hands, but only a few dollars if they are out of pattern. After the flop, if I don’t get a set or appear to have the best hand, I might just lay it down. Patterns will be explained later in the book. I used to raise, call, re-raise, check-raise, you name it with these hands only to be sickened at the outcome in Poker Stars. Here is why this happens in Poker Stars. You will come to a table and after playing for a while with correct strategy you will usually win 3-4 hands and your money will be doubled/tripled on average. (You started with a $25 buy in, meaning you have $50-$75 at the table.) 32
Once this happens, (because of Poker Stars fairness policy), the website will literally COME AFTER YOU. You will start seeing things like getting 3,4, or 5 Pocket pairs, within just 10 hands. (statistically impossible.) This is just one of many things the website will throw at you. Your temptation and possibly greed will be so overwhelming you will be tempted to “go all in” with your pocket Aces, Kings, etc. Watch out because you will see the worst bad beats in history. Here is one example of a bad beat that happens all too frequently. EX: You flop AA and bet $5. You get raised to $25 by some other player. It’s obvious he has a Pocket pair as well. Probably kings or queens. The flop comes and there are no face cards. If he has any money left he bets $10 and you call. 4th Street comes and you notice there are 3 spades on the board. You have A diamonds and A clubs. You don’t know this but your opponent has Q hearts and Q SPADES. 5th st produces a 10 of spades and you lose to a flush with your opponent having the Q of spades. This has happened to me countless times and it will make your stomach turn. You may work very hard for an hour and a half and be up $80 in profit to have most of it go away with one hand that you statistically were supposed to win. Solution: Don’t call AA KK OR QQ with more than a $5 preflop bet. (unless you are in pattern) If you don’t flop the set and the bets are getting big RUN RUN RUN and FOLD! (This is provided that you are winning money on Poker Stars. If you are down money or just getting started, these hands on the flip side produce amazing wins. Once your winning consistently though, these hands will come back to haunt you.)
JJ Pocket Jacks seem to win about half the time in real life and half the time on Poker Stars. One actual congruence. Amazing. I won’t call pocket jacks for more than $4 preflop. If I bet $2 and it gets raised to $10, I am probably going to lay down (fold) the hand unless I haven’t won a hand that I have bet on in what seems like ages. If you don’t flop the set and the betting gets big with over cards, RUN. 10,10 9,9 8,8 7,7 6,6 Some of The best hands in PS (Poker Stars). These hands pay off the best. There are pitfalls. I usually slow play or limp in with these hands but make sure the bet is close or up to $3 per player before the flop. I flop set after set with these hands, and they are the absolute hardest for your opponents to read! Be careful and this is the reason for the slow play. But remember, you have to get something in the pot pre-flop for any hand to pay off. Legend: s-spades h-hearts c-clubs d-diamonds Example: You have pocket 6’s pre flop and there is $12 in the pot. 3 others players are in with you. The flop comes 7s 6h Qs. This is a hand you probably will lose in PS. Here’s why. Either someone has a set of 7’s, or someone is on a flush draw that will probably hit. If you can get away with 4th st for under $2, go for it. If a spade hits on 4th st be careful.
We will touch on bluffing and maniacs later in this book, but in my experience it’s better to play tight and fold unless you have a great read on your opponent and it’s obvious he doesn’t have a flush and was never on a flush draw in this situation. 5,5 4,4 3,3 2,2 These are also great hands because they are almost impossible to read. When you flop a set with these hands nobody can put you on them especially if you slow play the flop. I will call up to $3 but usually $2 on hands like these. Here is one great thing to know about PS and pocket pairs. If you flop a set and there are 3 different suits for the 3 flopped cards and there is only one connected string i.e. 4,5 6,7 8,9 J,Q etc. different suited of course, you are going to win the hand a large percentage of the time. You could go all in but you might scare everyone away, so use tact. You definitely need to bet strong say $4-$7 to scare off the players with 2 suited cards in their hands. The ACE I believe that any ACE, (6-9) in PS is usually worthless. I believe that any ACE, s (s-suited card) in PS is worth up to a $3 call in preflop in late position. Playing hands like these will never be worth a big pot or raise by another player unless you flop 2 pair, or 4 of the same suit or a straight draw (straight draw with an ace is always inside so be ready to run if the betting gets big). Flop a flush draw however and you could be sitting on the “nuts” potentially.
When you flop 4 of the same suit you have roughly a 1 in 3 chance of making your flush. It is practically worth chasing (semi-bluffing) that hand all the time. Do your best to keep the betting moderate until the flush hits. If the betting is reasonable I will usually stick a hand like that out to see if it hits providing there are at least 2 other players and the betting is reasonable. Another congruence of Real life poker and PS is that you should never chase a hand unless you are getting good pot odds, and you only need one card to hit, and there are a lot of ways it can hit. If you’re chasing a 7 and you have 2 of them, it is NEVER worth chasing unless the table is checking or betting small bets. It’s about a 20 to 1 shot. NEVER CHASE unless it’s free or very cheap. If your opponent doesn’t punish you for chasing by betting several dollars or more, then take advantage of it. (Providing you only need one card, not two) If you need 2 cards to make a straight or 2 cards to make a flush after the flop RUN RUN RUN and fold unless it is being checked to you!!!!!!!! Unless if you think bluffing might take the pot. Suited connectors 10,J 8,9 7,6 etc Suited connectors rock and are by far the most fun hands to play in PS because they can hit in so many ways. Besides flopping sets these are the second most profitable hands in PS. I will call up to $4 with these hands preflop with suited connectors 8,9 or higher. I will call up to $2 in PS for suited connectors 7,8 or lower. (i.e. 4h, 5h. Providing they are in position.)
It’s either hit or miss. And you’ll know. There are only three ways to hit after the flop. You either end up with an open-end straight draw, a 4 card flush draw, or two pair. (Naturally you could flop a set, a full house, a straight, a flush, and bigger hands but we’ll touch on those flops later.) If you have 8s,9s and the flop is 10s, Jd, you are looking pretty good. To sum it up, it’s quite simple if you need one card to make the str8 or one card to make the flush, it’s usually worth the ride. Here are some examples where it’s not worth the ride in PS, as these come up all the time. Example: You have 9h,10h and the flop is 7s, 8s, Ad. Be very careful because flushes come out of nowhere in these types of scenarios. What will most likely happen is that someone has just flopped a pair of ACES, and they will start building the pot. Your straight draw is happy to call and so is the flush draw. (If someone has one) If you have been winning a lot you can expect PS to throw a js or 6s on 4th or 5th street. You make your straight and some pud makes his flush. If the betting is reasonable stay in, but if it gets high get ready to run. You’ll most likely be beat. Never chase an inside straight draw unless it’s so cheap (checked to you or .50 cents) that it’s worthwhile and there is no flush draw out there as well. Example (6, 8, 9, 10) you need a 7 to hit. Good luck be cause it rarely ever happens. Another good bluff opportunity if your hand doesn’t hit but you think a bet may take the pot.
Turning The Tables: Here is one very important thing to note.
Poker Stars Algorithm As you win more and more hands in PS. (Real money or play money) a shifting occurs. Level 1 and 2 hands become slightly devalued! Level 3 and 4 hands and worse become slightly more valuable! This shifting happens for several hundred hands at a time and you have to become aware of what is going on! There is one way to turn this around and it is a must if you want to have an edge in PS. You have to cash out often, all the time, and more often. When you cash out, you are in essence helping to reset the system that is keeping track of you. ******CASHING OUT MEANS TAKING YOUR MONEY OUT OF THE CASINO, NOT JUST OFF THE TABLE.******** When you cash out, Poker Stars loses. When you deposit money into PS, they win. It’s that simple. When you cash out, they lose because there is less money in their casino. There is less money for them to rake and less money for them to take. If you never cash out, you will be fighting an uphill battle.
When you cash out, HOWEVER, you generally get worse starting hands and more bad beats for awhile. (Typically several hundred hands) You have about an hour or two sometimes longer from when you cash money out that your (good to great) starting hands will truly NOT be so worthwhile. During those periods is when A,A K,K Q,Q A,Ks etc. will be LEMONS. During those periods get ready to run with those great starting hands, because they can really hurt you. Here is a way to cash out. I don’t know what your bankroll is, so let’s put it in layman’s terms. Let’s say you start an account with $200. Play tight. If you can get up to $300, cash out $150 immediately! When I first discovered the repeating patterns and repeating bad beats, I didn’t realize that cashing out could possibly make a difference. You can even transfer cash to a friend from your account, and the same result can be reached. AGAIN, THE ONLY WAY TO REALIZE A PROFIT IS TO CASH OUT, BUT WHEN YOU DO YOU MUST BE VERY PATIENT AS THE BAD BEATS MAY BE AT THEIR PEAK!!!! “Reward the Raiser” PS is notorious for rewarding the raiser, so get some brass. You still need to be within your “cash out” cycle and your affordable bankroll, or you can’t expect to be able to take advantage of it. The best way to practice these theories is to play on PS with play money. There is no cashing out in PS with play money so look at the below example:
Real Money – Money on Table - Savings Account – Cashing out Play Money – Money on Table – Savings Account. Your savings account in play money equals cashing out in real money. You wouldn’t believe how many people in PS don’t even have a savings account for PLAY money. The reason is they never saved or left the table after winning large at a No Limit table. Or they never even tried playing for play money. The comparison is; the people that never win playing for real money. They never cash out real money after a successful session, only to lose their real money later in a real money session. When I first started playing I never cashed out. I started with $50 and then $50 more. Then $100 more and $100 more. Before I knew it, I was down $700 and had nothing to show for it. At one point I was up $600 but told myself I would cash out when I hit a $1,000 profit. Guess what I never did, and lost all of my real money savings account money. “When I discovered that I had to cash out often to retain any profits, it was a very exciting realization.” The Small Big Blind: I will CALL level 1-4 on the big blind and small blind providing I can do it for a dollar or less. By the way a few hands that are known as trouble hands are: (All Offsuit) A,Q -A,J- A,T- K,Q -K,K- K,T- Q,J -Q,T -J,T- 9,8
The reason is, these hands can help someone else’s hand a lot more than they help yours. Maniacs flock to the $25 No Limit Hold’em tables so you must be careful. I do recommend starting on this table for No Limit real money because there are weaker players as well, and there is less real money involved. Action: “You have to give action to get action” I am not sure who said that, but it’s very true. It’s called no limit hold’em for a reason. If you get a table that is betting 50 cents here and there, and there is a lot of checking, then that’s your dream table. That is what you are looking for by the way on PS. Those people don’t belong on a no limit table. They belong on a .50/$1 table. It is your job and your responsibility to break the entire table. Here is how to do it. You should have enough card theory by now ADJUSTED FOR Poker Stars, So let’s get to the meat of how to make the big money. When you find a table like that, and there are many of them out there…(I just look for the table that has at least 8 players and the smallest pot average ((which is listed under table categories by the way.)) What you do is wait for one of your good starting hands like a medium sized pocket pair or a nice suited connector like 10,J or even an A,x suited hand. Then you bet $2. Most of the table will fold. Doesn’t matter what happens win or lose. Get your next good hand and bet $2 before the flop again. Doesn’t matter what happens. After about 4 or 5 hands that you bet on, which may be 20-30 actual deals the table will start to get acclimated to YOUR STYLE.
Before you got there everyone was calling a $.50 big blind hoping to catch a great flop and then betting $1or $2 after the flop and then like 7 out of 8 players would fold. Loose passive is what it’s called; the opposite of a winner on a NO LIMIT HOLDEM TABLE even in PS. After you start betting your $2-$3 (only on good hands of course) the players who were calling every $.50 bet will start to get bored and impatient because before you got there, they were calling every blind. They will step it up a notch with you, but they are still playing the same crappy hands they were playing before but now with a $2 bet and a sense of having pot commitment. What will happen then is you have to be patient for a really good flop and you just keep betting incrementally higher. Say $3 after the flop $4 4th st and $5 or more $5th st. I always like to mix it up so there’s no one right way. I might just do $3 $3 $3 flop, 4th street, river etc., or $2 $5 $4 etc. with a potential all in on the nuts. People will start to fear you, they will possibly start to get upset at you and leave, only to be replaced by yet another person who shouldn’t be playing no limit hold’em. This strategy works so well that I can usually turn $100 into $400 within just a few hours. Just remember, even though you bet $2-$3 before the flop that if you don’t like the flop get out of the hand or bluff if you think it will take the pot.
Bankroll: Let’s talk about No Limit bankroll. To play tight aggressive no limit poker, you need at least a $500 bankroll on a $25 no limit table. Sometimes I will often drop $50-$75 in the first hour or so that I play priming up the table. Then people get excited and start betting more and more. This is where you take advantage. Now instead of someone calling only a $1 raise they will be likely inclined to call $6 or $7 bets, and even all ins. Keep in mind only consider going all in when you have the nuts or damn close to it. This type of “conditioning” I like to call it will start to win you pots in excess of over $60 each. You are only looking to win 5-7 big pots per night. You can expect to lose 2-3 pots that you play all the way as well. That’s why it is better to lose early as you are acclimating the table, as the pots will be smaller. You can’t quit for an hour and come back, you must get through the hands PS will throw at you. (This is after you cash out!) Remember once you win 3-5 hands you can expect up to an hour of getting second best hands while PS works on evenly distributing your money “fairly” back to the players. After playing for a long time you will begin to recognize the patterns of PS. I think of it like a slot machine. It has payouts and pay ins. PS is so blatant about it that you will hit 4 of a kind say 4 10’s on 4th st only to lose to a straight or royal flush. It has happened to me more than a fair share of times. The inspiration of writing this book came from so many players noting the quirky things that have happened on Party Stars.
More bad beats to watch out for: 4 of a kinds are quite common on PS and it is sickening. I know these types of bad beats happen in real life, don’t get me wrong. I have played thousands of hours in casinos all over the world and have seen many incredible bad beats. BUT I HAVE NEVER SEEN AS MANY BAD BEATS WITH THE FREQUENCY AS I HAVE ON Poker Stars!!!!!!!!!!! ****This takes into consideration that as many as 5 times the hands can be dealt in online casinos verses real casinos.**** I play a lot of $100 no limit on PS and the players are of a different caliber. Regardless, one night I dropped $600 in 30 minutes. Here’s what happened. In 10 consecutive hands I had AA 4 times KK 2 times QQ 1 time and JJ one time, A,Ks and A,K. Every hand lost and 6 of those times it was to a lower pocket pair that flopped a set or caught a flush meaning 4 suited cards on the 5 card layout! Talk about sickening. I was up $500 from a different table that took hours of work, and I lost it all in a twinkling of the eye with some of the best possible starting hands!!!!!! The solution, which I finally found, was to cash out and cash out often in PP. Be very patient however, because generally once you cash out, you are thrown on a “pay in” cycle. You really should cash out because it’s the only way to realize any profits. You just have to be very careful for several hundred hands usually right after!
I also do a lot of trapping. When I start out with the nuts I usually slow play to see where the table is going. Even though you cash out, you still have to be aware of many factors. I literally will have to fold 100-200 hands (sometimes MORE) before I can get back on a recognizable pattern. Here’s my advice; Start with play money. Go into a $25 no limit play money table. The blinds are smaller in play money by the way. (.10 and .25) Find a weak passive table. Check the pot averages to find it. Play aggressive. Play level 1-4 hands, bet no less than $2 if you decide to bet on a hand. (check category 1 hands except J,J and A,Ks) If the flop doesn’t hit, run, but occasionally raise a .50 bet to throw people off your tracks. When you hit a good flop incrementally raise the stakes (a blessing of no limit). I would say that after you turn $100 into $500 on a single table (play money) at least 20 times!!! you are ready for the real thing. I would recommend getting your play money account up to at least $10,000 strictly from $25 play money buy-ins on No Limit Hold’em. That means you buy in for $25 play money and maybe you lose it. Buy in for $25 more, and maybe you lose that. You’ll know you have PS figured out well when you lose no more than $100 ($25 at a time) and have your table play money built up to $500 consistently. I did a test the other day and it took less than 45 minutes per table. I started with $25 play money, and I was able to get up to $700 on the first table. Almost $500 on the second table, and over $1,000 on the third table. It’s not quite that easy in real money because the weak players will usually leave sooner. Conclusion: Specific betting theory: First of all, in my experience one of the hardest hands to draw to in PS is a flush. It is disgusting, so take advantage of it. In other words, if you have 2 spades in the hole and the flop is S S H, expect to hit that flush LESS OFTEN than you would in real life.
It is very important to mix up your bets. So when I give you a hand with a max call amount pre flop, you should check, bet, or raise to get as close to the max call amount with different increments as you can. That way the other players will have a very tough time getting a good read on your hand. What is a HIT? Leave luck to the other players. Luck is a good part of No Limit Hold’em, but rely on it as little as possible. Leave luck for the weak players. Whether you want to play for fun or to make money, or both, do yourself a favor and be a strong player. That means folding hands often if they don’t hit well. Here are the only types of hands you should consider playing out after the flop. Largest Pair on board with a HIGH kicker. Two Pair. 4 card straight draw. 4 card flush draw. Small pair but with a flush or straight draw as well. Straight Flush Full House 4 of a kind Straight Flush or Royal Flush (OTHER HANDS APPLY BUT ONLY IF YOUR ON A CYCLE) (discussed later)
Flopping the straight: Flop a straight and you may have some problems on PS especially if the board is paired. If there are 3 different suits on the flop then bet strong. You will win a large percentage of the time. Flopping the Flush: Flop a flush in PS, and you will lose most of the time. If the board pairs you are probably going to lose to a full house in PS a marginal percentage of the time. Flopping the boat: Flop a boat in PS and you will win a very large percentage of the time. These hands are easy to win money if you follow this strategy. If there was betting action before the flop, then you have pot commitment, and you can bet moderate bets all the way to the end. Say, $2 after flop $4 on 4th st, and if some sucker is still in go all in at the end if you still have the nuts. If you don’t build pots (you need too, to be successful in no limit hold’em), everyone will FOLD when you flop a full boat most of the time unless there are a lot of weak players. Remember, “You have to give action to get action.” Flopping a set that turns into 4 of a kind: When you get 4 of a kind (providing there are no straight or royal flush draws), this is PS’s way of saying we’ve decided to give you a break. Most of the time if the 4 of a kind comes out right, you will be able to get an
all in bet called to pay you off. Although 4 of a kinds are rare, they come up frequently in PS. I typically see two or three quads every night I play on PS. At a real casino, I see them about once every two weeks. Also, I see these quads happen up to 3 times on the SAME table. Give me a break Poker Stars. ******The bigger the hands the bigger the pots. Online casino’s purposefully create those, so they can take BIGGER rakes. It’s that simple. ******
Part Two Chapter 7 Pattern Introduction Example: Let’s say you were able to play out the cards with (5 other players) until the end every time. You would know ultimately who would win every time. Out of 2,000 times that you would win, say 12,000 hands total, here is what happens on PS.
20 Example winning starting hands: AA JJ AK TT A,Js J,Ts 7,7 J,T 5,5 J,8s 5,4s 2,2 Q,8s J,7S 8,5s 3,2s A,9 Q,9 8,7 3,4 You will find that although seemingly random, the starting hands you would win on will get predominately worse as you win more. It’s not this cut and dry but a definite pattern exists. The solution is to give “marginal” starting hands slightly more credit and less credit to “great” starting hands as you win more. You want to get involved with these less than desirable hands for as inexpensively as possible, but you DEFINITELY WANT TO GET INVOLVED WITH THEM. The reason is simple.
Example: Someone has A,K to your 5,4s. If he’s smart, he’s going to bet that hand to try and get drawing hands out. Your job is to make it to the flop as inexpensively as possible to see if you hit. Position is always a factor and so is the “cycle” explained next. In a nutshell: Poker Stars banks on the fact that you will bet big with great starting hands. It’s one of PS’s solutions to redistributing your funds evenly back to the players. Remember, PS takes over 5% of every pot until you go to higher limit tables. It’s in Poker Stars best interest to keep as many players alive with money. That’s the bottom line of Poker Stars existence! To succeed in PS consistently, you have to drastically be able to adjust your playing style. It’s simple to practice this in real money. Get up to $150 in real money starting with $25 buy in. Once that happens cash out and force yourself to fold every hand for 2 hours straight. Every hand you are simply in a learning process. Watch what would have happened to you. You will see that your AA KK TT would have lost miserably (your folding EVERY hand right). Then you will see that your 5,7s, which you probably would’ve folded to a $6 bet, would have hit a straight flush. It can make you feel queasy. Patience and Discipline: These are two things I didn’t have when I started playing poker, and they must have cost me a small fortune. After you get tired of losing, these “unnatural” traits will start to develop. In a nutshell, keep in mind that you may only want to play, actually call a hand 1 out of 30 times on some nights. Naturally you would force yourself to play at least a few “marginal” hands like (K,7s or Q,6s) when they are in cycle just to keep your opponents from thinking you play super tight and are overly predictable. 50
Getting Paid Off: To get paid off well in no limit hold’em, you have to build enough of a pot before the flop to make it worthwhile to the other players to stay in. If you have pocket kings you check them and the whole table checks, you’re probably not going to get paid off if they hit. As soon as you bet after the flop everyone is going to get out. However if you placed a $2- $3 bet you are going to continue to get some action after the flop most of the time. Remember, this is not a tournament, so there really is no reason to go all in before the flop unless you are in a pay out “cycle”. Why have a craps shoot which is luck when you can capitalize on your skill of poker and your know how of Poker Stars tricks? PATTERNS PATTERNS PATTERNS By now you should be familiar with the mathematically correct BEST starting hands in Texas hold’em. You should be familiar with the betting strategies that yield the largest winnings in $25 no limit hold’em in PS. You should be familiar with adjusting those starting hands due to Poker Stars “fairness policy.” You should be familiar with what to watch out for even when it seems you have the most incredible hand. You should be familiar that in order to be successful in PS you still have to cash out often, but when you do, you have to be very patient with what the site will throw at you. Now let’s talk about Poker Stars patterns. Again, these patterns only seem to work in a Table with 8-10 players. This book is not about heads up or playing with just 3 or 4 players. These patterns also seem to hold true in other forms of poker as well as in Poker Stars larger tournaments. (Limit Hold’em is fine especially when getting started; it’s actually much safer).
PS distributes its winning and losing hands in patterns. You want a full, loose table at all times. Below I am going to show you a sequence of wins and losses. This has taken hours and I encourage you to test this out yourself with play money first. Then test it out again with real money. Then go to town. These patterns are predominant and are very easy to recognize. There are several variables so take your time to learn this well. Variable 1: Is it possible for you to win every hand all the time in PS? Well, if everyone folds every time except you then the answer is YES. Variable 2: Is it possible to lose every hand in PS? YES, just fold every time.
Variable 3 Second or third best hands can and do win in poker. It happens all the time when someone bets enough money to get the other player out. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that you have the best hand most of the time? Algorithm:
An online casinos algorithm is man made by a programmer.
A program (The algorithm) is responsible for the shuffling of the cards. ALL programs have deterministic value. Therefore it is possible to simulate randomness but NEVER to achieve it. Poker Stars algorithm can be predictable sometimes. Explanation: The main patterns to look for repeat often in sets of three. For example, you win the 9th hand from when you sit down. You will most likely win the 18th hand and 27th hand (providing you bet on them). It’s also possible for the pattern to win the 8th hand 16th hand and 24th hand. Etc, etc. (Obviously at different times.) All you have to do is note which hands you’ve won or would’ve won. Of course you need loose enough tables that see most of the flops. Also, if you have a table where people are coming and going constantly, this will naturally affect the pattern. The patterns come in sets of two’s all the way to sets of fives. Most of the time, they are in sets of threes however. In my experience, you have about the first 200 hands to be able to consistently track the patterns. After that it is time to move into another table. If the table your at is weak and your making a killing, then there’s no reason to leave, just rely more on your playing abilities than the patterns which may not be identifiable. Also, patterns are trackable about 2/3 of the time. That means that if you go to 3 tables and only stay at each table for 200 hands, you will be able to track patterns on 2 out of those 3 tables. 53
This edge has helped me in tough situations and hits more than it doesn’t hit. The pattern could be the 5th hand 10th hand 15th hand or the 12th hand 24th hand 36th hand. Simply write down every hand and pay extreme close attention. Sometimes I will be in a table and I will recognize that the 7th hand won, the 14th hand won and now I am on the 18th hand with pocket Aces. I would be very hesitant to bet those Aces “All In” as I realize I am outside of the tables’ pattern. If my pocket aces fell on the 21st hand I would be very excited. Not only do I have a great hand, but I am also in line with the repeatable patterns. In that example, the pattern is of 7’s. So 7th hand 14th hand, 21st hand. After the 21st hand I would expect to have to look for and note a different pattern. It may jump to 12th hand 24th hand etc. As far as the pattern is concerned I always start counting from the last hand I won. I truly believe over time even in PS, you can only expect to have the best hand 1 out of 10 times with 10 total players at the table. So if you win the 4th hand 8th hand 12th hand and the 16th hand, you have had you share of wins and may have to wait 50-200 hands to start winning again and get back on a recognizable pattern. Usually it’s not that extreme, however it does happen. The pattern could be as small as every other hand winning 4 times in a row. So the 2nd hand 4th hand 6th hand 8th hand all winning. Another thing to note is when you win two hands in a row. When you’re at a table and winning two hands in a row, that is another pattern and as you win again, you will win two hands in a row quite often (providing your betting the hands). So, if I just won with my pocket jacks and now I have 8,10 suited, you bet I am going to be willing to see a flop (if it’s cheap enough) even in early position. 54
I have found it’s most profitable to rely on the patterns and my good play. If I have 2,5 off suit and I am in early position with a huge raise, I may lay that hand down even if my notes indicate I am in a pattern hand. I prefer to have as many things as possible go my way when it comes to a hand. The patterns are just one more huge edge to add to your arsenal. It is possible to only play patterns and not even bother looking at the cards, but you have to be one patient and disciplined person to pull it off. The reason why is you would only bet on the second pattern set (3rd potential win) each time from your notes. Realistically you would only be betting on 8-10 hands in a 2-3 hour period. For online that could seem very, very boring. It’s also important to note that sometimes you will win in broken up patterns of say 10 or 11. An example would be that the 10th hand wins then the 20th then the 22nd then the 32nd and the 42nd. So you win in patterns of 10 but it is split up a little. If you can’t tell it’s a pattern and your hands not that great, or there’s a huge pre-flop raise just get out of the hand. It doesn’t cost anything to fold. I win more money playing my tight, sound, aggressive game coupled with pattern recognition then just doing either one alone. Not to mention I have a great time doing it. If you only win one extra hand per hour and lay down one extra hand per hour, your outcomes will be vastly different and much more profitable. It is important to note that there are sub cycles. Sub cycles are like Win, Win or Tie, Loss, Win or Tie, Loss, Loss, Win. When these happen you are most likely on a “payout” cycle. You’re usually better off playing your hands and not the patterns in these situations. They can be very hard to track. Winning many hands in a short time will surely be profitable anyways.
Let’s start with a real win/loss chart made up of several sessions. For illustration purposes we are going to call ties Wins.
9d 9c Loss 3d 6c L 3h 9c L 8s 3c L 7s Jh L Big Blind 4c Kc L Small Blind Kh 7d L Dealer 3d Js Win with a pair of 3’s 9s Qs L 2h Kc Win straight (possible win see below for explanation) Ah 8c L Ad Jc L Kc 6s L BB 3h 10c L SB 7c Jh L Dlr Qh 5d L QD 4h ??? NO FLOP I FOLDED 8d 4d L 3h 2h L 8d Ad ? folded to an all in PROBABLE WIN no flop Kd Jh 9d Jh L 56
8d Kd Win tied with a straight 10h 8s L BB 9h 2d L SB Ah 3s L Dlr Kh 2d L 5c 9c L 5s Qc L 2h 8d L Qh As Loss-played to flop (I would’ve played out if 10th hand, I had an open end straight draw that DIDN’T hit by the way.) It was the 8th hand from the last win. Will be explained later. 10c 4s L 10s 8c WINNER with a pair of 8’s (it’s clock work) Js 3d L Jd 2c L Qd 7h Win 2 pair $52 pot Qs 10h L Ah 8h Win A’s 2h 10c L 3d 8d L 7s 4c Win Straight $47 pot Explanation below follow this chart carefully AA Loss Didn’t even call a $6 bet 3c 4s L Js 10s L 7h 10h L 8s 6s L 8s 2s L As 4c L 9d 10h L 8h 4h L 10d 10h L No set flopped, I folded would’ve lost anyways 9h 6s Winner Large preflop bet I folded Would’ve had straight 8s Jc L Ah Jh Winner but I folded a $40 preflop bet (stay sane) 7h kc L
L Win L L TIED Win but folded Win Win Win but I’m sure the hand was 2nd or 3rd best L L L L L L L L L Tie (but folded) 10th win from last win!!!! Whenever this happens you can bet I am going to consider betting on the next tenth hand even If I have something as terrible as an 8,3 offsuit. (at least if I can get in with a cheap flop!!!) L L L L L L L L WIN – 10th hand again by the way! L L L L L 58
35 36 37 38 39
6S 2D 4S JD 3H 5S 3C 4S 7S JH
L L L L TIE!!! 10th hand again by the way! Terrible starting hand but I called to the flop and chased (I WAS DEFINITELY IN PATTERN)and ended up with a straight. Sometimes it takes a few rounds to recognize the current pattern. A great example would be that if a 4,9 off suit would have won and it was the 12th hand since a win, you can bet the farm that I would be willing to see the flop on the following 12th hand even if I had “rags.” Another important thing to note is that a winning “pattern cycle” typically only lasts a few times. Like 2-5 to be exact, and then it switches to another cycle. So, you might have a cycle that wins on the 10th hand 3 or 4 times in a row, and then you might lose 15-20 hands, and then you’ll probably have a few sub cycles, and then the pattern will typically go to something like every 12th hand or 11th hand, etc.
40 41 42 43 44
AS 5C AS 7H 10D QH 4H 3H KC KH
45 46 47 48
10H 2S 7S 5D 3D 5S 10H 9D
L WOULD’VE WON but folded L L Win Do you recognize the sub cycle? The last 3 winning hands were 2 sub cycles. W L W and W L L W !!!!! L L L Win This is a little tricky. Notice a W L L L W sub cycle, This is ALSO the 9th hand won since the last 10th hand cycle ended. Do you see that? Keep reading, it should make sense. Always try to be aware if you are in a sub cycle, a main 59
JH 10H 4S 6S JC 6S AC 8C KC 5H 10H 6S KS 3D 5D 3D 6S 5S
67 68 69 70 71
QD 5C QD JS AC 3S 2S 6S 6D 5S
10C 3S JH AS
cycle, or rarely possibly both. L L L L L L L L Win huge bonus because I paid attention to a possible new main cycle. Sure enough it hit. 9th hand cycle again wins with a straight and another “rags” starting hand. Win Another 10th hand Win L L Win Another sub cycle. W L L W L L L L Win I folded this hand due to a large pre flop bet. But, I certainly paid attention that it was on a 5th hand since a win and sure enough 5 hands later….. (BY THE WAY, I STILL WRITE DOWN EVERY HAND AS I PLAY. IT’S THE ONLY WAY TO ACCUTRATELY KEEP TRACK OF THE CYCLES THAT I KNOW OF.) L L L L Win 5TH hand again. Not a very good starting hand I must add. But who cares, it was in cycle, and cheap enough for me to get a flop to watch this hand develop into a full house and take out a straight and a flush for the largest pot I won in that night’s session! L Win Sub cycle W L W Now the pattern fell apart because it was hard to pick up on for 60
20- 30 or so hands as shown below. L L L L L L Win but I believe it was lost so I paused and bluffed a large bet. He folded. So I am not sure if it was a true winner. W but no consistent identifiable pattern! L L L L L L L L L Win Phew, finally. I am still not 100% sure if I am in pattern yet because the last two hands won were very cloudy. My guess is obviously 10th or 11th cycle. We shall soon see it was the 11th and fortunately my 11th following hand was a J,9 suited making it easier to get involved with the hand! L L L L L L L L L L Win 11TH Hand L L L L 61
107 108 109 110 111 112 113 114 115
9H 8D 6S 10H 9D AC JD 3C AS QC QS 2D 10C 7S 9H 3S 6D 3D
L L L L L L Win 11TH Hand L L
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Kd 4s 3s 3c 2d 2s Ac 9h QsJh AsJd 7s 3d 5c Qs
L L L Win 4th Hand Win 5th Hand L Win 7th Hand Win 8th Hand Note how these wins came two in a row each time. Always track from the first win to the last. The pattern here is every 4th.
9 10 11 12 13
4c 3c 6c Qh 4c 2c Jh Ah Kc Ks
L L L
14 15 16
Qc 8c 2s 3d Qc Js
17 18 19 20
5s Kc 6c 2c 10d 9h 9s 5s
Win 12th Hand so 4th 8th 12th L knew this hand wouldn’t hit. I got in the flop relatively cheap but when the flop had an Ace on board I knew it was time to run. L L Win 16th Hand so 4th 8th 12th 16th It’s interesting to note that after a run like this. I am not expecting to win many more hands for quite some time. I also know that the patterns will be some time before they surface as I am now most likely in a “Pay In” cycle. L L L L 62
L L L L L L L Not a bad starter but I didn’t play it agressively. Hand would’ve lost anyways. L L L L L L Possible win. I was in early position with a decent raise so I didn’t play this hand. If I was in an identifiable pattern, I would have definitely given this hand a shot. L Win I was in mid position and with no huge raises I correctly stayed in and even won. Didn’t need a Pattern for that. L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L L 63
57 58 59 60
Jc 4d 8c Ah 2s 8c Jd Jh
61 62 63 64 65 66 67 68 69 70 71 72 73 74 75 76
6s 10d 6c 3h 9s Ad Kc 6h Jh Qd 5c Kh Jh Qd 5c Kh 8c Kh 5s 2s Jd 8h Ac Qs Qs 2s 3h 2h 10s Ad 3d 9c
L L L Win Not a trackable hand but in Mid position with few raises this is a great hand. L L Win L L L L L L L L Win L L L The rest of the hands at this table only had one more trackable pattern at the 147th hand which was two wins in patterns of 10. If the patterns dissolve it’s still fine to stay in the game if the players are weak.
3h Ac 4s 9h 10s Qc Js 5s 10c 4c 6c 7c As 8s Ah 8h Jh 2c Js 8d
25 26 27 28 29 30
5d 3d Qd Ad 6c Kh 9d 10s 5h 7d Kh 4c
31 32 33 34
QcQs 10s 10d Qh 5h 5s 10s
35 36 37 38
Ac 2d 2h 10s 10h Kc 8h 3h
39 40 41 42
2c 9h 2s 9s 3s 5s 8h Qd
L L L L L L L L L Win This was a late position hand, and although it’s the 25th hand and not the 26th hand like a pattern would suggest, I had a strong feeling it would win because several players had come and gone. When that happens the pattern can definitely be thwarted a little bit. It is definitely something to keep in mind. L L L L Win. I didn’t play these rags, but it would’ve been a full boat. Not in pattern. Loss Loss L Win. I didn’t play this garbage as I was also in early position. L L L Win. I didn’t play this either but it would’ve won to make a flush. I smiled though because I knew that this was a 4th 8th hand and sure enough I played my 12th hand which was marginal at best and not in a good position. L L L Win this was the 12th hand from a 4th 8th 12th pattern. L 65
44 45 46
4d 5s 4h 9c 10h 10c
L L Win. A great hand good position and in pattern. I won a great pot with it too.
Approximately 80 hands later I had one more pattern run in increments of 12 and that was it for that table. This definitely takes some practice. You can do it on play money for free until you get the hang of it.
Chapter 8 Conclusion Again, it is possible to see a losing streak of 50-200 or so losses, especially when you are really up a lot of winnings that you cash out. So watch out. You have to be very patient with poker. Whether it’s online or offline, some nights might not yield a single winning hand. If you are on a PS “pay in” cycle, you might wait hours before you see a hand that would absolutely win! Remember, it’s possible to win every hand or lose every hand depending on who folds and who stays in. That’s called LUCK. But for YOU and I, let’s rely on skill coupled with patterns that repeat OVER and OVER and OVER again! It’s imperative that you practice this for hours. You will begin to get a feel for these patterns like second nature. I started writing them down for a long time to force myself to pay attention. I strongly recommend you do the same thing. Even when I am in a main cycle, I will not always call an all in. It’s not worth it. Patterns can and will help your game play, but use them in conjunction with all of your other skills. VERY IMPORTANT: Don’t hurt yourself by going all in and losing and then having to wait a hand before you can buy in again. I don’t know if that’s a flaw in PS, but you need to see every starting hand you have to track your cycles.
These cycles hold true a large percentage of the time when I play in a full or near full table, so do yourself a favor and perfect being able to spot them. Remember when I talked about sticking to the starting hand chart 96% of the time? Well, patterns are where the 4% comes in.
Recap We have covered the following topics: Mastering Position (more crucial in No Limit) Playing the right starting hands Knowing how to bet (fold, check, bet, check-raise, re-raise, etc) Knowing your opponents Taking notes on your opponents Knowing the odds of hitting your hand Are you drawing with odds in your favor? Narrowing the field Reading your opponents hands Changing gears Playing sound but unpredictable Focus Blocking out Distractions Pattern Tracking Now it is time to put the strategies to use. Here are a few questions that have come up that hopefully these answers will clarify.
Change tables after 200 hands because it can be hard to identify new patterns. It seems easy to recognize them when you start over on a clean slate. Also, if you have a table that is folding a lot of hands, it can be very hard to identify absolute wins and losses, because even though you may have won the hand, it may have been the 2nd best hand if someone would have stayed in until the end! If you want a loose table just look for the highest pot averages. The great news of that, is the fact that a tight player may be the one who keeps folding the absolute best hand pre-flop. You may be the second best and think you’re in a pattern. You may even keep winning each time because of the tight players actions. Keep that in mind as it can go both ways. By "reward the raiser" I mean raising the pot. If you get raised with a good hand that you are in pattern, then re-raise. If you are playing a $25 no limit table and you have say $125 at the table (meaning you are up $100) then get ready for some bad beats to happen to you. So my advice is to cash 25% of your money out of the casino and to change tables and to be extremely patient as you may have to wait 50-200 or so hands to get back onto pattern, or even to consistently win a few hands. Sometimes it is hard to figure out if you’re in a sub pattern or a main pattern, but the best part of that is when they intersect. Like a sub pattern of the 5th hand and a main pattern of every 10th hand So on the 20th hand you have dual patterns, and can expect great results a large percentage of the time. If your disciplined and patient enough, you can hope to win an extra 4-10 hands a night using this system. Those 4-10 hands can make a huge difference in your financial outcomes especially on a no limit table.
FAQ’S ***** This system does NOT work on larger denomination no limit tables. The reason is simple. You will not see very many flops. Therefore, it will become difficult, if not impossible to track patterns. I have found loose games with lots of flops all the way up to $5/$10 limit play and up to $50 NO Limit play. So do yourself a favor and play on loose tables that have a lot of flops. They are out there all the time***** 1. Patterns and cycles are simply another edge that can make a huge difference in your outcomes.
2. ****This system is designed to help you win an extra 3-5 hands per 2-3 hour session and that's it.*** 3. This system is designed to help you also not lose an extra 5-10 hands per session as well, by being prudent and laying down incredible starters like k,k A,ks when you are out of cycle, pattern, and position. 4. When I say cash out, I mean withdrawing funds from the casino, and then re-depositing. There’s no reason to cash out your entire bankroll. Typically it’s best to cash out 25%. 5. This system is based on Poker Stars algorithm. (A fancy word for shuffling process.) Playing poker is not my full time job anymore, because I am involved in several businesses. I have many hobbies and interests in life, and poker is just one of them. I wrote this book because I feel people need to know that in my opinion, Poker Stars algorithm is not truly random. The sub patterns that exist are also truly beyond random in my opinion. 6. I am not concerned if Poker Stars or any other poker casino is investigating me because there is nothing wrong or illegal with using this system.
7. I only discovered these patterns because I was truly sick of winning $400-$500 in a night and then losing all or most of it the next night due to unexplainable BAD BEATS. This went on for what seemed like ages. It seemed like I could never get ahead, and now I know why! 8. I hope this has helped you. and I would love a testimonial from you providing that you can make the system work too.
I hope you find exceptional value from this book, as it could pay for itself many times over. I will put you on my revision list so that you can learn the newest tactics I discover at NO CHARGE for 6 MONTHS FREE.
This is not a very large book because it is simply the guts. Absorb this and you could crack Poker Stars TOO. Remember Poker Stars is interested in one thing. That is their rakes. Their algorithm produces the most money possible. You’ll be able to witness some extraordinary things on PS. Like when a player who has $10 goes all in with 7,8 off suit and 2 people call with AA and KK only to watch the all in player get 4 8’s. Happens quite frequently. I can’t tell you what a good feeling it is to get positive feedback from someone like yourself who applies the knowledge of this book and makes it happen for them selves. I love success stories, so please share them with me. I recommend that you spend no less than 40 hours of playing with “Play Money” mastering these techniques before going to ‘real money.” Even on Real money, start on .02/.04 limit or .05/.10 limit. You have to be very disciplined to play this way, and for some of you, it might take awhile to change from your normal playing patterns. I hope to see you on the tables soon with the new strategies provided in this book. Best of knowledge Robert Eagle