Want to learn holdem


Dormant account
May 20, 2005
I was trying out the free game of holdem and I dont know hot to play it and want to learn it. Since I saw wsop on tv. How do I know if I have a royal flush or any other good cards the flop is shown. Is there anything online that can help me. Any type of software that I can input what I have and what the flop is to see my hand strenght.
There is tons of strategy. I just started learning the last couple of weeks. So far I am averaging about $20 an hour playing very low limit. I am about ready to move up.

Just google hold'em strategy and there are some good sites. There are programs available that tell you your hand strength also.
20 an hour?

you are making 20 an hour playing microlimit?
that doesnt sound right, and if you are, what do you consider very low limit?
He probably means he's averaging $20/hr at 1/2 limit over half an hour of play. 50 hands played, that's the test of time. Better move up to 10/20.
samchopra said:
you are making 20 an hour playing microlimit?
that doesnt sound right, and if you are, what do you consider very low limit?

Its possible if you get as lucky as my missus did last night. I told her to go all in on the flop :eek: :eek: (sidenote: all the players were absolutely awful and I was certain she was ahead. She wasnt!!!)

Game #760327464: Texas Hold'em No Limit (0.15/0.25) - 2005/07/31 - 23:18:22 (GMT)
Table "Charango" Seat 4 is the button.
Seat 1: bloodfire (46.56 in chips) <<<<<<<< The Missus
Seat 4: grogg1 (17.20 in chips)
Seat 5: Switchsid (24.75 in chips)
Seat 7: BetFred (14.45 in chips)
Seat 8: Gatsbyuk (26.27 in chips)
Seat 9: Playpoker (5.30 in chips)
Seat 10: Mimi_me (15.55 in chips)
Switchsid: posts small blind 0.15
Murray003 joins the table at seat #6
BetFred sits out
Gatsbyuk: posts big blind 0.25
----- HOLE CARDS -----
dealt to bloodfire [4s 4c]
Playpoker: raises to 1
Mimi_me: calls 1
bloodfire: calls 1
grogg1: folds
Switchsid: calls 0.85
Gatsbyuk: calls 0.75
----- FLOP ----- [Jc Ac 4h]
Switchsid: bets 0.25
Gatsbyuk: folds
Playpoker: raises to 1.50
Mimi_me: raises to 2.75
bloodfire: raises to 45.56 and is all-in
Switchsid: is all-in 23.50
Playpoker: is all-in 2.80
Mimi_me: is all-in 11.80
Returned uncalled bets 21.81 to bloodfire
----- TURN ----- [Jc Ac 4h][Tc]
----- RIVER ----- [Jc Ac 4h Tc][7c]
----- SHOW DOWN -----
bloodfire: shows [4s 4c] (A Flush, Ace high)
Switchsid: shows [Jh Js] (Three of a kind, Jacks, Ace high)
Playpoker: shows [Ah Ks] (A Pair of Aces, King high)
Mimi_me: shows [Ad 4d] (Two Pairs, Aces and Fours, Jack high)
bloodfire collected 18 from Side pot #2
bloodfire collected 29.25 from Side pot #1
bloodfire collected 21.10 from Main pot
----- SUMMARY -----
Total pot 71.35 Main pot 21.10 Side pot #1 29.25 | Side pot #2 18 | Rake 3
Board [Jc Ac 4h Tc 7c]
Seat 1: bloodfire showed [4s 4c] and won (68.35) with A Flush, Ace high
Seat 4: grogg1 (button) folded before Flop (didn't bet)
Seat 8: Gatsbyuk (big blind) folded on the Flop
****HAND ENDS****
I was consistently making $20 per hour at .50/1 over 3 hour sessions. I stepped up to 1/2 and am doing better now, about 40-50. I am going to step up to 2/4 soon.
No offence Why0why but the best limit players would be making 2BB per hour which would be $4 per table hour. If you are beating that then you are on the positive side of variance. Just beware that odds and variance have a nasty habit of biting players in da ass when they catch up :D :D

Trust the voice of experience on this one. There is no way that all your winnings are from your skill. I've had weeks where I won at the kind of rate you are, and others where I lost even faster

I'm not saying you're a losing player, but you are NOWHERE near as good as you seem to think you are. Unless you're playing 8 tables at once, your win rate is quite simply beyond the realms of the statistically probable.

If you've been playing for a couple weeks, go back to .5/1, spend some of your winnings on holdem books (I reccomend WInning Low Limit Holdem by Lee Jones, and then Small STakes holdem by Ed Miller).

Seriously, I've been doing this for a living for a couple years now, and there is no way ANYONE can win that many big bets an hour.

We're trying to do you a favour. The Internet is littered with people who thought they were God's gift to poker after going on a short winning streak and then lost all their money.
Thanks for the input. I never said I was good. I was just posting my observations so far. I just started playing and that has been my experience. Next weekend, maybe it will be bad.

I didn't just throw money and start playing. I have purchased several books and I have studied them and online tutorials extensively. I am very tight with my cash and I throw away as little as possible.

I have found that I won't sit down and play for less than two or three hours. I play very few hands and have gone an hour without really winning. So it is definitely not profitable if you can't put some time in.

2BB an hour, that is horrible. I hope I can do better than that. My time is worth more than a few dollars an hour. I think this weekend I will play 2 tables and see how it goes. I am very interested in tournament play too.

The amount didn't seem ludicrous to me. If you are playing with 10 players at say 1/2. If you fold most hands it doesn't cost you. You would probably have to post the blinds say, 4 or 5 times and hour? That is $15. Then if you win 2 or 3 decent pots an hour. It seems to add up. I definitely have not been getting excellent hands.

I seriously appreciate the feedback. I am an admitted newb and it is good not to have too high of expectations. I deposited $100 friday and had $316 in my account Sunday afternoon. At least half of my play was on .50/1. I haven't had time to play since. Actually, only $186 of that is winnings, there was a $30 sign up bonus. I had to play 210 raked hands to get it though, so I definitely played quite a few hands.

cash, I would be interested in hearing from you about your experiences as a pro.

Thanks all,

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If you can get your hands on a copy of Holdem Poker by David Sklansky, that would be a good one to help you learn. Don't confuse it with Holdem Poker for Advanced Players by the same author though. One's an introductory text, and the other isn't.
Hey why,

It's good to hear you don't play very many hands, and you're trying to learn. It sounds like you are starting to understand how to play the game on a hand to hand basis but not what it's like on a larger scale. That's fine, a lot of stuff that is second nature to me now was really tough to learn.

2bb per (table) hour is good. Trust people who have been there and done that. It's not just me saying that, it's almost everyone who knows poker. Millions of hands of data stand in opposition to your opinion. Sorry to be so blunt, but I don't want you expecting poker to be that easy.

I would kill to net 2 or 3 decent pots per hour (your assumptions ignore the fact that it's quite possible to lose 10bb in a single hand even if you started with AA). Heck, I'd be willing to inflict serious bodily harm to net one decent pot per hour.

Nobody really makes a living by playing 1/2 (even 2/4 players have to put in a huge amount of hands to make good money). What you do is you use 0.5/1 as a training ground and to build your bankroll. When you're consistently beating the game, and have enough money (at least 200 big bets) to move up, you try playing some 1/2. If you consistently beat 1/2 you grow your bankroll and move up. Always either set aside a certain amount of money as a fallback level so if a move up fails you have money to rebuild at the old level.

I probably wouldn't play two tables yet if I were you. It really slows down the learning process. The more tables you play, the more you are playing by habit and rule of thumb. I would want to make sure your decisions are usually right before you try and make them quicker. Your call though. My advice is that until you know you're a winning player, and almost all your decisions feel routine, you should stick to really thinking about just one table.

210 hands is nothing. Seriously. I'm not trying to put you down or make myself look big, but most of my sessions are over 1000 hands long and even they mean nothing in the scheme of things. The long term in poker is depressingly far away for winning players. Short term variance is all that keeps losing players coming back though.

My experiences as a pro are nothing glamourous. I play two or three tables at once, of which maybe one hand in a hundred is a difficult or clever decision. The others are made pretty much instantly (maybe after caluculating pot odds). Some days I win. Some days I lose. Both affect me less and less now.

Sorry to burst your bubble. I'm not a big name, or even one of those guys making 6 figures a year. I sit in front of a computer and make the same decisions over and over again. I'm hoping to get out of being a "pro" (if the business takes off, I can go back to playing multi table tournaments for fun, and the ocassional cash game).

OK. Maybe I'm being a little negative (it's a nasty sticky hot day and we don't have aircon). Anyway, I hope this post helps.
why0why said:
2BB an hour, that is horrible. I hope I can do better than that. My time is worth more than a few dollars an hour.

2BB an hour is great. A year from now, you will see why I say that. In fact, you better hope you can attain 1BB an hour. :)

Seriously, when you're good enough to make only 1BB an hour, you've accomplished a lot. Trust me.
paul1 said:
2BB an hour is great. A year from now, you will see why I say that. In fact, you better hope you can attain 1BB an hour. :)

Seriously, when you're good enough to make only 1BB an hour, you've accomplished a lot. Trust me.

Sorry, I hadn't read Cashmirrors post above before I posted. Everything Cashmirrors just said, take it to the bank. He's telling it to you straight. :thumbsup:
Thanks again for the feedback. Cash, I like your site. nice design and good luck there. I am a hardware/programmer guy myself. Now I seem to be specializing in database stuff.

I have been studying tons. I had some books, I went and bought Lee Jones book yesterday on your recommendation. My MO is usually to study numerous sources and my mind kind of looks at all of the info and incorporates the info into a strategy for me. This is how I learn most things I am interested in.

One thing that is interesting, almost no one discusses bankroll. I started reading the ITH boards yesterday and there seems to be lots of good info there. I think I am going to continue at .50/100 right now until I hit $500. My bankroll is $250 right now (I cashed out $100 yesterday to cover my initial investment.)

I played for almost 2 hours last night. I was actually below my starting bank with 5 minutes left to play. There were several loose/aggressive players (and I was sitting between them, ack) and I flopped an Ace high straight. Needless to say, I made them pay and won a $40 pot which helped me hold my 20BB an hour average.

I do believe you guys on the long run. But I will keep taking these in the short run and enjoy them while they last! Party Poker has a $5000 new player freeroll every Wednesday, so I am going to give that a shot tonight.

Cheers all, thanks for the insights without being negative. All of your feedback has made me decide to stick at the lower level and play one table for now.

Thanks Paul and why for your nice comments.

Bankroll management is a science (in theory you need to take into account starting BR, Standard deviation, and that sort of thing) and one I'm not too qualified at.

You'll find what works for you. Personally I when I drop to 150BB for a level I move down to the level below (I also play at multiple levels depending on site, my mood, and game texture). When I have 300BB for a level, I bookmark some of my winnings to step up with.

You might want to try the 100BB challenge. Start with 100BB at 0.5/1, when you reach 200BB, move up to 1/2. Win another 100BB and move up to 2/4 and so on (top out at 5/10 if you're a beginner - you pocket a nice sum and get some higher limit experience). Drop down when you fall to 100BB for the level before (so you've lost 50BB at the new limit). It's kinda fun (and frustrating) but it does give you exposure to tougher games. Nowhere near enough to see if you can reliably beat it, but enough to know if you feel out of your depth (in terms of play or bet size).

Freerolls are great fun and might boost your roll a little. You might find you're a hell of a tournament player. I enjoy tournaments to relax - until some f*** (ish) hits a two outer to put you out on the bubble of a satelite.) AUUGH!

You seem to be getting the hang of poker ideas pretty quick (between two LAGs is awful, really have to tighten up, unless you can iso raise the first lag to get position (the guy behind you needs to have some sense so he folds). Then you need to have better postflop skills. It's two potentially big ifs and high variance. Better to tighten up and hope to hit a monster.

Glad I could help.
Well, been playing some more. I placed like 283/1600 in the freeroll. My first experience playing no limit. I may enter some of the cheap tournaments. it was pretty fun. Definitely a different experience than limit/ring.

I played for about 3 hours last night. I stayed down most of the night and finished up OK. Was up about 20BB by the end.

I am getting into the meat of Lee Jones book. I really think I have a good grasp on preflop play. I think I understand position, cards and betting/raising based on this pretty well. I definitely need post flop work. I am not scared to fold if things don't look good. I am definitely not chasing. Although I have to force myself not to sometimes :)

I am using Poker Tracker to check stats. Do you guys use any software for tracking? It is a bit deep. I design software and do database work. I am considering knocking something up that is a bit more friendly. The log files are extremely easy to parse from Party poker.

why0why i use pokertracker along with gametime+. Together they make 4 tabling as easy as single tabling because you can see who the fish/aggresive/bad players are without concentrating on one table :) (assuming you have a decent pc and a 1600x1200 screen :) )

Even with this information 2BB/100 hands is a very good winrate and I have just about attained that after 100000 hands of $1/$2.

Over even 10000 hands the BB/100 can vary hugely so be careful mate
I notice not much has been done to address the original poster's question...

I would recommend starting with something such as Hold'em Poker by David Sklansky. Once you understand it, and have played in some play money games (or VERY small-stakes online games, maybe $.50/1 at most), move up to Small Stakes Hold'em by Sklansky, Malmuth, and Miller, which will probably be your Bible for a while. After you build up your bankroll there and have worn out your copy of SSHE you will possibly want Hold'em Poker for Advanced Players, or maybe Middle-Limit Holdem Poker by Ciaffone and Brier.

BTW, another piece of advice. The poker you saw on TV was no-limit hold'em. Do not start your career with no-limit hold'em! It is a very expensive way to learn. (Pot-limit should be avoided just as much, even though it sounds like it's not as "bad". It is.) Start with limit and then cross over later. When you cross over, for a while you will still be a losing player (no matter how much you win at limit) and you will make errors due to erroneously applying limit poker principles to no-limit play. That will still not be as bad as being completely new to hold'em. This is something I had to learn partly from experience. Hope it helps :)

- Kef
Is there a calculator that can show who will win by percentage. I want one that I can input my numbers, the flop, and taking a guess as to what I think the our players might have.
I don't think you'll find a tool like that -- not one that takes into account what other players may have. Moreover, win percentage is only one aspect of a hand. Some hands will win a small percentage of the time and therefore won't look so good... for instance, flush draws, which on the turn will hit on the river only one time in five. What matters much more is the "pot odds" relative to the probability of winning the hand. In that case, the pot is at least four times what you have to put in to call the next bet, then you should call even though you won't make your hand often.

A good book will probably explain this stuff better than I can. But you don't really need any "calculator" tools. You will get by just fine by printing out a table and referring to it while you play. Eventually you will memorize the table and you won't need it anymore.

- Kef
there are no calculator that I know of close to what you wanna do. there are lots of books out there to learn texa hold em and other poker games, choose one or more. up to you.

go to poker sites that you could practice on without money first (recommend pokerstars.com), practice and practice some more. get poker news and tips plus tournament infos in pokernews.com (they got lots of infos here to learn poker also). know when to bluff and the most important thing is discipline, learn this well.

nothing much to say here, just learn and see what you could come up with.
A program called Poker Spy has a calculator for both your hand and your opponents. I looked at a demo, it was pretty neat.
Be very careful with some of these programs, they are either scams or virii or both (I know nothing about pokerspy but someone recently put a trojan into a carbon copy texascalculatem website).

/paranoid warning

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