Okay, here are the basic criteria for a "good strategy post". Some are optional, others are mandatory. If you have all of these in your post, you get a gold star. If you have some, you get a silver star. If you have none, your post sucks and that's probably why you are reading this thread, so listen up and get better.
1. One hand only per post
We are all volunteers here, none of us (not even the mods) are paid. So when you come to us with a post that contains 34 hands, you look like a rude, self obsessed and ignorant fool, because it looks like you expect someone to actually sit down and trawl through your dross, like we have nothing better to do with our time. If you have almost no posts, if looks even worse. Keep your posts to one hand at a time. If you have a recurring problem, then post one hand and say "This keeps happening to me, how can I stop it?". If the hands are similar, there is no need to post more than one.
There are exceptions to this rule. If you have history with a player, it is often extremely beneficial to post the hand which gave you your read, or which you feel got under his skin and put him on tilt, or where he stacked off light etc etc. You can say "I noticed such and such about this hand *post hand* and now onto the hand in question". This helps us all to understand your reasoning. Or, you can post two hands where you have the same hole cards, and similar action, yet you are in different positions. You can say "how does my being in position in this hand *post hand* make the optimal play different than when I am OOP in this hand *post hand*?.
Use your brain. The practice of posting more than one hand when the hands bear no relation to one another is frowned upon and will negatively affect the quality of the advice you receive.
2. Convert your hand history
It is simply not good enough to post a raw hand history into a post and expect people to decypher it. They are very hard to read and most people will just ignore your post and you wont get any replies. Converting your post is very easy. Just go to the Legopoker Hand History Converter
, pase in your raw HH, make sure your output is set to "2p2", press "convert" then copy and paste the output straight into your post body. Easy as pie.
Some smaller poker sites are not supported by Legopoker, but most big sites are. If you cannot convert your hand, at least make an effort to tidy the hand history up a little. Remember that I'm telling you this for your benefit - if nobody can read your post, they wont bother to reply to you.
3. Give reads
Poker is a dynamic and fluctuating game where observing your opponent, as well as yourself, plays a crucial part in determining the best course of action in a particular hand. Thats why we supply reads with our posts. Here's a good checklist of questions to answer in your post body:
1. How have you been playing? (Loose/Tight, Aggressive/Passive)
2. What are your PAHUD stats for this session? Overall?
3. How has villain been playing?
4. What are villains PAHUD stats for this session? Overall?
5. Have you noticed any betting patterns which villain has? (Calling station, bluff maniac etc)
6. Have you tangled with villain before? Does he have a reason to think a certain way about you?
7. Has villain shown down any odd or non-standard hands, and what did you deduce about this?
8. Is villain playing multiple tables?
etc etc etc.
You get the picture - the more information you can supply us with, the better we can form our own conclusions about the hand.
4. Outline your thought processes
We need to know why you did a certain thing in the hand, if it isn't immediately obvious. If you raised the turn when you normally call, tell us why. This doesn't have to be extremely detailed, just tell us what you're doing. For example "I usually would just call the turn with TT here but I decided to raise because vs this guy I feel like he can call off with his straight draw, which would be +EV for me. What do you guys think?".
5. Do NOT post results!!!
Don't include the results (i.e. your opponents final action) when you post your hand. This influences the responses you will recieve because people get results oriented, which is very bad poker. You should chop your hand history at the point where you want to ask what to do. For example, you get bet into on the turn, and you want to know whether to fold, call or raise. In reality, you folded, but if you put that in your post then people will see that you folded and make all sorts of judgements about what you should have done and how you play weak etc etc. If you just leave it so you don't show what you did, your responses will be much more positive because people will be forced to think about what they
would do, rather than what you
Again there are exceptions here. If you want to ask about a line, ie. all decisions which you took from beginng to the end of the hand, then post the whole hand. BUT - STILL DONT POST RESULTS. You can reveal results to everyone once the discussion has run its due course.
6. Dont make your thread title obvious
You may have been able to establish by now that the objective of good posting in this forum is to disguise the results of the hand you played so you don't influence the minds of those who are responding to you. So when you post a hand with a subject of "Anything else I could do here?" or "Bad beat or bad luck"? or "Could I get away here?" or "Played wrong?" you automatically let the poster know that you lost the hand and you think that you misplayed it. Dont do this. You must keep your title non-specific, like "50nl: AA facing turn raise" or "50nl: Strong draw gets a lot of action on the flop" or something like this. Just describe the situation you are in, and then in the thread, ask what you think you should do. Don't influence the minds of the posters, give them a chance to think for themselves.
6. Do not post boring and standard hands
Of course this is subjective, but only to a certain point. If you're unsure about a hand, you should post it, but if you post about something that has been gone over a million times, like "Should I fold KK preflop?" or "Should I stack off with middle set"? then you'll probably have your thread locked. If you have a really, really standard spot that you're still not sure about, but it doesnt warrant its own thread, post it in the microbrew thread! That's what its there for.
6. Do not post one word replies
Read this thread
That just about covers it. I'm going to start a new thread where you can all discuss what I've laid down in this thread. You can suggest things you think you could add to it or tell me that you think something is unfair, or whatever. You can find the thread HERE.
In the meantime, have fun, enjoy the forum, and good luck at the tables.