Beginners NL Holdem Welcome FAQ (thanks to liquid_quik from the LHE forums for a lot of this!)
What up people! Welcome to DeucesCracked and the NL strategy forums.
In these here forums you will find a variety of Hand History discussions, theory posts, some low content threads, and a community of poker players and DC coaches looking to better their game and help you better yours.
I'm New to DC and/or NLHoldem - Where Should I Start?
First, you should check out the DC Video Guide, Click Here
Generally, beginners in NL Holdem should start with videos from some of these playlists:
Micro 6max NLHE
Small Stakes 6max NLHE
And most definitely watch "The Haj School"
and Tommy Angelo's "Eightfold Path to Poker Enlightenment"
Once you have a thorough understanding, there are tons of more advanced 6max NL videos to watch referenced in the previously linked guide, as well as videos targeted at heads up and full ring players.
Also, hereâ€™s a great resource for beginners on twoplustwo.com: Click here.
Posting hands is vital to rapid improvement at this game. All of the top players in the world got there starting at the bottom, grinding and posting hands daily. Put in the work, and the work will reward you!
Some Tips for posting hands:
* Use the DC hand converter located conveniently on the right when you are making a post.
* Include all reads you have on the players involved.
* Stop your post at the point of your question... for example, if you are confused about what to do on the turn after getting raised, delete everything after the action gets back to you on the turn. Delete your action from the hand and put a '?' to indicate this is where you are stuck.
* It is also a good idea to try to keep your post as neutral is possible when you are asking a question. The community's response to your hand can be influenced if you give away the results of a hand.
Be sure to check out Manchild's "A Proper Post" thread: http://www.deucescracked.com/forums/8/topics/8234
Videos are a great way to for you to get help with your over all game. Other posters will be able to see the same reads as you, experience hands in the same order and, if you record your thoughts while you play, get inside your decision making process.
Some tips for making and posting videos:
*Shorter videos get more replies. 15-20 minutes seems to be the optimal length.
*Making videos requires screen recording software. CamStudio, which is such a program, is available at no cost and is spyware free.
*You can upload your videos to the DC servers here: http://www.deucescracked.com/forums/22-Member-Videos
*You can post a video and then ask specific questions regarding situations if you are looking for specific feedback
Making Theory Posts
Theory posts take a specific situation and analyze it in depth. A good theory post should:
*Have a clear thesis.
*Integrate logical and mathematical arguments
*Draw on your experience
*Have concrete examples
What do all those numbers mean when people post? Where do they come from?
Check out the beginner's FAQ: Click here.
Most (not all, there are definitely exceptions) serious players own either Holdem Manager or PokerTracker 3. These programs are used to track your hands and results in a database. They also track the results of all your opponents in hands you play with them. See http://www.deucescracked.com/mydc/offers for a Holdem Manager discount!
When you use one of these programs, you are able to have a Heads Up Display (HUD), which shows the stats of your opponents in real time. The basic stats that people will post in their threads will be: Voluntarily Put Money In Pot (VPIP), Pre Flop Raise (PFR), Aggression Factor (AF) or Aggression Frequency (AQ), and often a 3bet stat (3bet%).
There are many ways to be successful at poker and many different playing styles. Some helpful advice â€“ watch tons of videos and master TAG (tight aggressive strategy) first. Then have some fun learning how to play LAG (loose aggressive). A word to the wise â€“ winning players arenâ€™t passive!
It should be noted that as games get short handed your opening ranges should increase and your stats will change dramatically in a 3 handed game vs a 6 handed game.
Bankroll and Bankroll Management
An important factor to consider when starting out is your bankroll. This is the total sum of money you have dedicated to poker. The stakes you play should, in part, be dictated by the size of your bankroll and your comfort level in terms of a Risk of Ruin.
Some generally accepted guidelines for a poker bankroll in No Limit Holdem:
*30-50 buyins seems to be the generally accepted size needed to play at any given stake, depending on your comfort level. So: if you have a $1000 bankroll, your stakes should be right around 25NL. The higher you go, the safer youâ€™ll want to be, as competition is tougher and the swings are, well, swingier!
*If youâ€™re considering going pro: post in our forums! Plenty of would-be professionals ask for the communityâ€™s advice before they take the leap. We also highly, highly recommend watching all the iterations of WiltOnTilt and whiteheatSYDâ€™s epic Real Life NL series:
*What about taking shots?
If you're feeling good about your game and want to try out a new limit, go ahead! These bankroll requirements are guidelines, but nothing is ever set in stone. You should, however, be prepared to move back down if things go poorly, as playing on a short bankroll will increase your variance and your RoR significantly.
Abbreviations You Will Find On The Forum
Check out KeepYourChips
* Rakeback? - get it. DC has a great rakeback provider - Click Here. Consider giving someone in the forum your referral, then multiple people can benefit from it.
* Different Sites? - There is much debate over the idea that players play differently on different sites. Try them out for yourself to see what you think. Factors to consider when making a decision about a site: Rake structure, rakeback, other bonus opportunities, size of the player pool, will games at your limit run, how strong is the competition (it is generally accepted that the non-US sites tend to be softer, but also have less players so the games do not always run at all stakes)
* Heads Up Play? - There's no money heads up, everyone's solid. Just Kidding. HUHU is a great way to learn about hand reading. It is also quite profitable. The games above 5/10 are harder to come by in recent times, but when you can get action, there is a lot of profit to be had. Always start your own table when playing HUHU. The good players are all waiting at their own table, so sitting with them is likely a significant mistake. WARNING: heads-up poker is very complex, and can be very swing-y. It is highly recommended that you become proficient in 6m or full ring before attempting to play HUHU. For some recommended (and entertaining) videos, check out: http://www.deucescracked.com/playlists/4281
Happy hunting DCers!