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Old 11-02-2016, 05:17 PM   #1
Robredo#07
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FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

Hi I'm new to the forum and new to poker so take it easy on me 😆

My question is this... as a beginner who has started to try to develop my game through online videos/articles I am repeatedly being advised to play tight. To perhaps only play premium hands. My problem is that by folding almost all my hands whilst waiting for my premium hand my stack slowly gets eaten by the blinds/ante. When a decent hand comes along I play aggressively but if I don't win the hand then I'm in even more trouble. How can I play TAG but not just fade away bit by bit whilst waiting for the good hands?

Sorry for the long post. Hope someone has some sound advice. Thanks
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Old 11-02-2016, 06:59 PM   #2
mizstackhaus
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

Assuming you are talking about MTTs, as a beginner player I would recommend playing LAG, concentrating heavily on position and perhaps your read of other players. You will learn faster through trial and error than if you hold out for premium hands.
As you get more experienced you can tighten up your game.
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Old 11-03-2016, 02:45 PM   #3
OmahaFanatical4
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

If you are at a good table you should be able to get action even though you are only playing selectively.
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:23 AM   #4
HyePwrdLady
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

Robredo, I too am a complete beginner myself and I used to find myself in similar situations as you (eaten up by blinds/ante). But depending on the situation, I am no longer folding as much as I would in the past.

Although its best to always play strong hands, even weak hands can grab a win and don't be afraid to play. As the previous poster mentioned, all about trial and error.

I am also developing my skills through online videos/articles/apps as I've grown to really love to play, any advice on what references you've found helpful thus far?
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Old 11-04-2016, 02:54 AM   #5
Robredo#07
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

I have been using the gripsed channel on YouTube and just other articles I've found with Google searches.
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Old 11-05-2016, 04:38 PM   #6
cznsnowy91
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

If you are just beginning definitely stick with a tighter strategy + position as a lot of the marginal hands become unprofitable if you're unsure about postflop lines. As you start to improve you can start to play more hands profitably. A LAG strategy is more profitable if you are competent postflop and is better/more profitable when playing with weaker players at micros as you get to play more pots with an edge. If you are just starting stick to a tighter strategy and as you get more experienced you can loosen up and make more hands profitable
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Old 12-08-2016, 05:54 PM   #7
Robmaf
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

I really like what cznsnowy91 said. TIGHT IS RIGHT! The main reason is to avoid costly mistakes. You will be amazed how many nice looking hands are EV-. Up to nl400 people are just focused on themselves and they don't really care what you do. So just play tight and wait how other players who will play beautiful poker will lose money to you.

If you want to stick to being tight - print all ranges that you play and keep them near PC while playing - it will be very helpful.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:56 AM   #8
Akroma
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robmaf View Post
I really like what cznsnowy91 said. TIGHT IS RIGHT! The main reason is to avoid costly mistakes. You will be amazed how many nice looking hands are EV-. Up to nl400 people are just focused on themselves and they don't really care what you do. So just play tight and wait how other players who will play beautiful poker will lose money to you.

If you want to stick to being tight - print all ranges that you play and keep them near PC while playing - it will be very helpful.
I agree with you but I am wondering what is consdered tight in your mind as different people have different definitions.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:02 AM   #9
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

RFI 13-14/17-18/20-24/38-44/40-45 very tight, solid and working well
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Old 12-10-2016, 06:25 AM   #10
Akroma
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

That is indeed tight But not a bad plan at all for a beginner.
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Old 01-12-2017, 01:02 AM   #11
Yoshi92
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

I've had the exact same problem as a beginner. I was playing far too many hands and when I had a decent hand I would try to "outplay" them by not raising and just calling pre-flop which allowed many players to get in and beat me.
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Old 01-30-2017, 06:02 PM   #12
zeky
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

I know what you are talking about. Im myself a beginner and playing really tight, however getting frustrated as even that way Im still getting beaten. In under one hour I had ace pairs pre-flop in both cases a guy went all in on pre-flop with 4-3 and the second with 4-4. The 4-3 managed to hit 4 and 3 on turn and river. The guy with 4-4 hit a set straight away on flop. Dont know whats wrong or if Im just being unlucky all the time beaten by seemingly weaker hands.
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Old 03-07-2017, 04:38 PM   #13
pikasoo
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeky View Post
I know what you are talking about. Im myself a beginner and playing really tight, however getting frustrated as even that way Im still getting beaten. In under one hour I had ace pairs pre-flop in both cases a guy went all in on pre-flop with 4-3 and the second with 4-4. The 4-3 managed to hit 4 and 3 on turn and river. The guy with 4-4 hit a set straight away on flop. Dont know whats wrong or if Im just being unlucky all the time beaten by seemingly weaker hands.


Sounds like a fluke that won't happen all the time.


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Old 03-13-2017, 06:03 PM   #14
andrew 9780
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

Youtube will guide you in better way.

There is no need to be frustrated initially because everything takes time and few amount of extra practise will conquer it for you.
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Old 03-21-2017, 02:28 PM   #15
MrEvans1981
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robredo#07 View Post
Hi I'm new to the forum and new to poker so take it easy on me 😆

My question is this... as a beginner who has started to try to develop my game through online videos/articles I am repeatedly being advised to play tight. To perhaps only play premium hands. My problem is that by folding almost all my hands whilst waiting for my premium hand my stack slowly gets eaten by the blinds/ante. When a decent hand comes along I play aggressively but if I don't win the hand then I'm in even more trouble. How can I play TAG but not just fade away bit by bit whilst waiting for the good hands?

Sorry for the long post. Hope someone has some sound advice. Thanks
This is a classic misconception, new players often hear such things as "play tight", "always raise on the button" and many other quotes like tht and think it can and should be applied to every game they sit at without knowing the context in which such quotes were made, first of all cash poker and mtt poker are two very different beasts altogether, TAG is imo the best bss strategy for cash games providing you have a well balanced range, but in saying tht ive come across some pretty damn gd cash game LAGS but tht strategy requires much more skill to play profitably, in mtt's youre playing against the clock as well as ur opponents so you cant just sit and wait for premium hands, you have to make ur own arrangements in mtt's, mix it up and steal ur fair share of the blinds, my advice would be dont take the things you hear other players say as gospel

Cash poker = tight is right (but with a balanced range)
MTT's = LAG, find the sweet spot between tight and loose based on what the table will allow u to get away with, ie if the table doesnt fight bk much then steal more, Cbet more, if u meet resistance then wind ur neck in a bit and only battle with gd cards

Hope tht helps some, GL
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Old 04-12-2017, 12:04 PM   #16
Moosenoose
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

This problem spoke to me so directly that I had to create an account and quit lurking. As a disclaimer I'm very much a beginner myself and it's quite possible you've played more hands than me.

I was presented with similar advice and the subsequent difficulties when I made my first foray in to online MTTs. It seemed as though I never found enough strong hands to counterbalance the steady bleeding of blinds/antes. The thing that has improved my game the most is widening my preflop range (when circumstance and position allows), and also scrutinizing each table much more intently.

To be a little more specific; If the action is folded to me I'll often now raise hands I wouldn't have before (suited connectors, 1-gappers, small-mid pockets and even some weak aces), this balances your range so you're harder to predict in the future. If you have already established a tight image at a table and think the players are receptive of that, you can often steal blinds without challenge using this method.

On the second point, when I first started playing MTTs online I incorrectly assumed there was no point in trying to get a read on opponents as table changes are frequent and you'll likely never see that player again. This was probably the single biggest hinderance to my game. Now I've begun paying attention to the action and taking detailed notes on each player's implied tendencies and ranges. Widening your range and playing aggressively is great at tables with tight, scared players. While at tables with LAGs or just plain maniacs you can revert to the strategy of waiting for strong hands or to murder a flop.

I know this isn't particularly high level advice but I hope something helps. Ultimately I believe success comes from being able to read the situation at hand and being versatile enough to adjust your game plan accordingly.

EDIT: Forgot to mention that if I notice a player opening a seemingly loose percentage of hands I will begin 3-betting him preflop. Not only will this often be effective at taking down the pot without action, but it dissuades them from opening so many pots against you in the future.

Last edited by Moosenoose; 04-12-2017 at 12:22 PM. Reason: Left out details.
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Old 04-19-2017, 11:17 AM   #17
Donovan
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Re: FRUSTRATED BEGINNER!!!

TIGHT IS RIGHT RIGHT?
Well,... not exactly, no.

A tight aggressive approach to NLH has a reputation as a good "ABC" style not because it is strictly correct or definitely better than other styles. It worked in circa 2003 because the majority of the players in most games played a very loose passive style. Tight Aggro is very good against loose passive fish. But is it good against maniacs? Not really. Is it a good strategy against super nitty ultra tight players? It's not the best thing you could do.
The style to play is more like Bruce Lee's JKD "Style-no style". You just want to make good decisions as you play. Some times the right way to play will be to tighten up and get aggressive when you do come in. Some times you may want to turn into a bit of a station against a player who is very loose and aggro. Maybe you should become loose and aggro vs a player who is very tight.
The "styles" of NLH make up more of a "rock paper scissors" type "Non-linear Hierarchy" where A>B>C>A

You should try to play a bit more aggro vs nits
play more TAG vs calling stations
Play more stationy vs maniacs

But really just try to play a decent pre-flop strategy that allows you to steal some blinds pre-flop, set up good c-bet bluff and double barrels post flop, but (IMHO) more than anything else you want to focus on the effect your pre-flop ranges has on how you tend to go post flop.

There are three edges you can have going post flop in NLH;
1) Position
2) Post flop skill (taking cleaner default and more appropriate exploitative lines)
3) Card Edge/Card advantage (starting with the best hand/strongest range)

If you have two of these going for you in a given spot you're going to be just fine. If you have none of these advantages you're going to lose money as a matter of fact (long term obviously).

Instead of focusing on "Should I play tight? TAG? Nit? LAG? should I open these ranges or those and how much should I open up from this or that, blah blah blah. Just try (as a beginner) to focus on going to the flop with more of these edges clearly in your favor than clearly against you and a good strategy can't help but flow from it.

Try to use appropriate and efficient ranges pre-flop that will have you 3 betting the right hands and flat calling the right hands from the right positions so you are not turning perfectly good flat calling hands into bluffs but you are still 3 betting light often enough to get value with your big hands (this often means using a polarized 3 bet range especially in position) and you will be well on your way to putting a good approach together.

I really don't think it is all that helpful to try and memorize some kind of strategy or like a "starting hands by position" chart. I think you should just try to get your opponent to fold better hands and call with worse hands when you 3 bet pre-flop and take flops with hands that "split the gap" between villains opens and the hands he will continue with facing a 3 bet. Just really focus on playing an organic and dynamic strategy and figure out where the value really comes from rather than trying to play poker from route memory. You won't be able to just memorize some canned strategy and get very far.

Watch videos on dynamic play, range construction, post flop lines, and post hands, and talk with players who are a bit more experienced than you and play with new ideas. Don't be afraid to experiment and "pay your dues" at the micros losing pennies here and there maybe to lock up the future profits when you can actually play against the stronger players at slightly higher stakes.


I like to think of it like this; You are only every playing one of five hands against one of three opponents
The hands;
Nutted value, value, show down value/bluff catcher, draw, air
the opponents;
overly aggressive, calls too often, makes a lot of folding mistakes

If you know your opponents mistake tendencies and you can effectively frame your hands out post flop (understand when your hand is more like value, bluff catcher, or bluff
then you can use those two pieces of info to come up with good lines post flop.

Here is a teaching tool I came up with called "Navonod's line"

The line is this; (pole) Nutted, Value, SDV, Draw, Air (pole)
you have the most incentive to aggress at the poles, the nearer you are to the poles the more it makes sense to bet/raise.
The closer you are to the center, the less incentive you have to aggress and the more sense it can make to take compliant lines (check-call, check back, pot control lines)
But, your opponent can shift your position on that line by the type of mistakes he is prone to.
Calling stations who do not bet aggressively enough for value or as a bluff but who pay off bets too liberally; shift your position on the line over to the left pole. Decent value hands start to resemble nutted value in the way you ought to play them and draws tend to be played better more like SDV (checking and calling, checking back, just hoping to hit your hand)
The tighter Nits will shift your position further to the right of the line. Against nits it can make more sense to actually get aggressive with some of your, would be, SDV hands because they are more valuable as bluffs and not valuable as bluff catchers and you should be more inclined to play draws aggressively when you will have more fold equity than implied odds.
Very Loose and Aggressive opponents will actually pull you more toward the center of the line. You don't want to take a semi bluff with a decent draw only to be raised off the hand and you maybe would be better off playing decently strong hands as show down value because they end up producing more EV for you by way of catching bluffs than trying to take more common bet-fold lines with them (think top pair medium kicker in a lot of spots).

I've never put this "Navonod's Line" up on twoplustwo before so maybe wait and see if it gets trolled hard, celebrated, or (most likely) something in between.

My big point is this; if you are new, do yourself a favor and stay away from dogma and don't start buying into the idea that the starting hands and ranges you should play are static and indoctrinated. There really is room for creativity, there is value in being able to adjust and play a dynamic game, and memorizing some moderately winning or break even strategy just won't end up helping you as much as you may think because the meta-game (the way other players play) shifts so fast that any static strategy is destined to become ineffective at some point.

Instead, learn how to think about hands and NLH strategy.

Understand WHERE the value comes from in your starting hands. Know why you want to take this line with this part of your range as a pure default and why you may have cause to adjust.

It's not easy. But I really encourage you to avoid the trap of getting inside the box because there will come a day when you'll need to think outside it.
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