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Balancing Your Play

The key to playing better no-limit hold’em

by Ed Miller |  Published: Sep 03, 2010

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Balancing your play is the key to playing better no-limit hold’em. Many skills in the game — value-betting, bluffing, snapping off bluffs, getting away from second-best hands, and so forth — are components of the larger skill of play-balancing. If you focus on balancing your play, you’ll get better at all of these things almost automatically. What does it mean to balance your play? Your play is balanced if, from your opponents’ perspective, you are a credible threat to have both strong and weak hands. Here’s a simple example: You’ve just pushed all in on the river. What do you have? Is it always a strong hand, or is it frequently a bluff? If it’s nearly always a strong hand, your play is unbalanced. Most live-action no-limit hold’em players play severely unbalanced strategies. Hand after hand, they find themselves in situations where an observant opponent can reliably narrow their hand ...


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