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What It Depends On

by Steve Zolotow |  Published: Jun 13, 2012

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Steve ZolotowThe most common answer to any strategic poker question is, “It depends.” While this answer is usually correct, it is not very useful. In this column I want to give you some idea of what it depends on. Someone recently started to ask me a poker question. He began, “There is a raise and a call to you in the big blind, and you have…” “Stop,” I interrupted, “start at the beginning.” He looked blank.

Before the hand is dealt you should know exactly what game it is, cash or tournament? What are the blinds? Are there antes? How many are at the table? If it is a tournament, are we close to the bubble or a big pay jump? You should also know your stack size in big blinds or M (antes plus blinds). Let’s say you have 200 BB in your stack? What is your image or how does the table perceive you-weak, tight, aggressive, etcetera? Let’s say you haven’t been involved in many hands, and the one hand you showed down was the nuts.


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