Low Stakes Ring Games – Hand Examples (Part 2) by William Austin
William Austin is back with part two of his series on how to crush the low-stakes ring games at Replay Poker. Take a moment to read some specific examples of how he beats the competition at these tables.
Author’s Disclaimer: This guide is mainly meant for people that play at play-money poker sites such as Replay Poker. If you are playing low stakes real money poker, this post is probably not for you.
Low Stakes Cash Games at Replay Poker – Hand Examples (Part 2)
This article is part two of a series where I show people how to beat the low stakes cash games at Replay Poker.
If you haven’t seen part one already, click here to do exactly that. It will help you understand this follow-up.
As part of this series, I played lots of hands with low stakes players. I took lots of notes. And I’m here to show you what you can learn from me.
I will show you four different hands which I played at the low stakes at Replay Poker. Using what we learned in Part 1, you’ll see how I got lots of chips from my opponents.
Let’s remember the three main tendencies of low stakes players at Replay Poker.
- Low stakes players play too many hands
- Low stakes players call too much after the flop (so bet around 90-120%, or even more after the flop)
- Low stakes players are either too aggressive, or not aggressive enough
With that knowledge in mind, here are four examples where I exploit these tendencies. I’ll share my thought process, and some of the mistakes I made while playing there.
Note: You may find some of what I’ve done confusing at first, but it’s part of the learning process. If you’re stuck, have a look again at Part 1 for some help. Then, if you’re still stuck, feel free to use the Replay Poker Community Forums for some help too.
Hand #1 – Folding a Mediocre Hand Before the Flop
Let’s start off with a very simple hand. I chose to fold this hand, Ace of Clubs and Two of Hearts, even though your average low stakes Replay Poker player would likely call to see a flop.
Now, you may think that my Ace of Clubs and Two of Hearts is a very good hand, but it’s not that great. Consider the following:
- With six players total in the hand, there is approximately a 50% chance that one of my opponents could have an ace (source: The Poker Bank).
- If one of my opponents has an ace, then their second card (also known as their kicker) will likely be better than mine. This means that I will likely have a worse hand than my opponent.
- If there is an ace on the flop, I will have top pair. Because top pair is a decent hand, I might lose some of my chips to someone who has a better ace. This concept is called reverse implied odds.
- I will not have favorable position after the flop. This means I will not get the privilege of seeing what every one of my opponents do before it’s my turn. Click here to learn more about position.
With all those negatives, what did I do? I folded the hand.
Remember how I told you to play around 20% of hands at a 6-handed table? Well, this hand isn’t actually in the top 20% of poker hands. So I folded it. You must also have the discipline to learn how to fold mediocre hands like this.
A lot of knowing when to hold ’em and when to fold ’em comes with experience. Listen to how professional poker players talk about when to fold and when to call — especially for “microstake” hands. And this way, you’ll learn a lot about when to call and when to fold.
Hand #2 – Getting Maximum Value from a Big Hand
I am in the small blind and have been dealt a big hand – two Queens.
We have two people that have called the big blind (limped), and one person who has min-raised in front of me. But I need to get more chips into the pot.
So I choose to raise it up to 28 chips. A bit on the big side, but still a good idea. I get one caller.
The flop comes Ace of Clubs, King of Diamonds, Five of Diamonds. I’m not happy about the flop, as it’s likely my opponent could have an Ace or King. This means I currently have a mediocre hand.
Because I have a mediocre hand, I exercise caution and choose to check. I remember the guideline: small hand, small pot. My opponent is nice and chooses to check back as well.
The turn is a Queen of Spades. I’m very happy about this turn, because I now have a big hand. All I need to do is bet big. And I remember the rule: big hand, big pot.
So I do exactly that. I bet 69 chips into a pot of 59 chips (116.9% of the pot). I get called by my opponent and we see a river.
The river is an inconsequential Six of Hearts. My opponent will probably not have improved his hand. And so all that’s left for me to do is bet big. So I do. I bet 225 chips into a 190 chip pot (118.42% of the pot). My opponent chooses to call with whatever they have, and I win a big pot. And that’s because I bet big.
Hand #3 – A Really Big Bet in Weird Circumstances
Here’s an example of where I call with a suited connector, and win a big pot. I also break a guideline I state in my previous article while I’m at it.
I was given the Seven of Spades and Six of Spades. I am the first person to act and I choose to call for two chips.
At the lower stakes at Replay Poker, people will not raise you enough if you call the minimum bet before the flop (this is called limping). This means you can call like I have profitably. However, if you were to play against really good players, you should not limp like this. But that’s for another day.
We get a few other callers and we see a flop.
The flop comes Jack of Spades, Eight of Clubs, Seven of Hearts. I have a pair of sevens. I check and call a really small bet from one of our opponents. He obviously didn’t get the memo: bet big when you are at the low stakes.
My call I made is okay, because my opponent is betting so small (my pot odds are 7:1 to call). If I improve my hand to two pair or three of a kind on the turn (the chance of this occurring is approximately 8.5:1), I could get lots of chips from my opponents. The board could also put two spades on the turn and river, and I could have a flush (chance of this is about 4.16%). Having the ability to get lots of chips from your opponents if you improve your hand is called implied odds. So for such a small bet, I choose to call.
The turn comes a Ten of Spades. This brings a potential for me to have a flush. However, if someone has a nine then they’ll have a straight. Anyway, I check and everyone else checks.
The river comes a Five of Spades. I have a flush now. And here’s when things get REALLY interesting. Because I do something that seems really stupid.
I bet 250 chips into an 18 chip pot (1388.89% of the pot!). And here’s why I break my guideline of betting 90-120% after the flop.
If someone has a nine in their hand (a straight), then they most certainly will call whatever I bet. As I said earlier, people at this level find it hard to hit the fold button. So therefore, they will find it near impossible to fold a straight in this scenario. I don’t blame them.
Even though everybody checked on the turn, I know that these low stake Replay Poker players aren’t usually aggressive enough with their big hands. So I know it’s quite possible that someone would have checked a nine on the turn. So hence, I choose to bet this really big amount to take advantage of this.
I get called by one player and I win a big pot. And I think it shows that sometimes guidelines in poker are just that: guidelines.
Hand #4 – Taking Advantage of Too-Aggressive Poker Players
This hand is a bit more complex than the rest of them, so I’ve left it for last.
I have the Ten of Hearts and the Eight of Clubs. Normally I would fold such a hand, but I’m getting a very cheap price to see the flop. So I opt to call here.
The flop is Queen of Diamonds, Ten of Diamonds, Ten of Clubs. I have a BIG hand. But there are two diamonds on the board, and I don’t want a third to come, because then my opponents could potentially have a flush. I bet 43 into a pot of 38 chips (113.2% of the pot). I get two people to call my bet.
The turn is a Jack of Diamonds. There may be three diamonds on the board, and a potential straight. But I know that my opponents are not too likely to have either at that moment. My opponents are more likely to have a queen, a straight draw, or even ace high. And I know one of my opponents from past experience LOVES to call with just top pair. So I bet 188 chips into a pot of 161 chips (116.8% of the pot). I get one person (and I know this person specifically loved to call with top pair) to call my bet.
By doing this big betting, I am punishing anyone who wants to chase a flush or a straight. If my opponent is hoping to reach their flush, they will only do so 19.6% of the time on the river (using source: Pokerology). If my opponent has a king and they want to hit a straight, they will only do so 17.4% of the time (using source: Pokerology).
The river is a Four of Clubs. I know that there is a chance that my opponent may have a flush or straight. But I know from seeing this player previously that this opponent is very likely to have a queen instead. So I bet 400 chips into a 518 chip pot (77.2% of pot).
I actually get raised to 800 chips, and I choose to call this bet. Sure, my opponent could have a flush or straight, but I know from seeing this opponent previously that my opponent actually could easily be raising here with a queen. I know my opponent is too aggressive. So I call.
Turns out I’m right: my opponent just has a queen. So I win the pot.
As a general rule, players at the low stakes will over value their hands. Do keep this in mind if you do get raised, like I did.
That was my analysis of four different hands I played at the low stakes. Not all of them were simple hands, but I do hope that they’ve taught you something.
What have you learned from this article? Would you like me to cover the medium stakes at Replay Poker next? Let me know in the comments below. Replay Poker will be awarding two random players who comment with 50,000 chips!