Poker Basics

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Frequent Decisions Are Important

Decisions, decisions, decisions. Poker is a game of decisions. But not all of them are equally important, and not all of them are critical. Things that occur all the time are important. Even when a loss attributed to a wrong decision is small, it eventually adds up.

Always defending your small blind in hold'em, for example, illustrates point. Suppose while playing online in $2-$4 Texas hold'em, with $1 and $2 blinds, you always defend your small blind – even with abysmally weak hands like 7?-2?. Based on the random distribution of cards, you're typically dealt such a throwaway hand about one-third of the time.

At 60 hands per hour - a typical pace online if the games is running efficiently and most players are attentive and have good Internet connections - you're dealt the small blind six times every 60 minutes. If you always call, you wind up calling twice each hour when you really shouldn't.
That's only $2 each hour, but if you play ten hours per week, at the end of the year it can add up to a large loss. Sobering thought, isn't it?

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