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Learning Poker

July 15, 2009

No Limit Texas Hold’em Poker Button Play

Something that many online poker players could benefit greatly from is varying their play on the button. If you play much online poker, you will run into a ton of players who will always feel the need to raise when they have the best position, on the button. This play becomes way too predictable and at many times, totally unnecessary.

For example, early on in a Sit n Go, what is the point of trying to steal the blinds from the button?  There are no antes yet and the blinds are small, you are likely to make a $100 raise in order to gain $30. This does not make a lot of sense and it is going to set the stage for players in the Blinds to play back at you later on when you need to steal blinds. What can also  happen in these situations is that you get yourself  into trouble for very little gain.

If you raise from the button with Q-3 off suit and get a call or a re-raise, what are you going to do? Hopefully fold because if you call you stand to risk losing even more chips with what is likely to be an inferior hand. Remember, even though a player is in one of the Blinds, they can still be dealt good cards. You should wait to make these button raises to steal the blinds until it is worth it to do so.

The other problem is that (and this is especially in SnG’s or multi-table tournament play) if you make early button raises and do steal some pots, you will set yourself up to be played back at later. Players will remember your stealing ways and they may let you get away with it while it doesn’t mean much, but they will remember and/or make a note and you will find yourself being re-raised all-in later on when you can least afford it.

Button play in online poker has become much like the continuation bet; standard and predictable. If you are a smart player, you will vary your button play to throw your opponents off. I like to make button raises when I have a big hand. Many times you can take down a huge pot this way because your opponents in the Blinds figure you are just making a position play. Another option is to simply call from the button and then take the pot down after the Flop. Remember, you have position, so many times both Blinds will check to you and you will be able to make a nominal bet and take the pot. Try these various strategies as a way to strengthen your button play and you will find that it makes you a better, harder to read, poker player.

To purchase my 224 page ebook The No BS Guide to Winning Online No Limit Texas Holdem or live one-on-one coaching sessions with Chris Wilcox,  click this link:http://www.chriswilcoxpoker.com/category/kickstarter-2/p
Check out http://www.internetpokercoach.com for up to the minute info, tips, and strategy on all things poker related
For any questions, concerns, or opinions,  please email Chris Wilcox at chriswilcoxpoker@gmail.com






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