Table of Contents

About David Sklansky ix

Preface xi

Chapter One: Beyond Beginning Poker 1

The Forms of Poker 2

Poker Logic 4

The Object of Poker 5

Chapter Two: Expectation and Hourly Rate 9

Mathematical Expectation 9

Mathematical Expectation in Poker 12

Hourly Rate 14

Chapter Three: The Fundamental Theorem of Poker ... 17

Examples of The Fundamental Theorem of Poker 18

Example 1 18

Example 2 20

Example 3 20

Example 4 21

Example 5 22

Example 6 23

"Mistakes" According to The Fundamental Theorem of

Poker 24

Multi-Way Pots 25

Summary 26

Chapter Four: The Ante Structure 27

Large Antes 29

Small Antes 32

Summary 34

Chapter Five: Pot Odds 35

Calling on the Basis of Pot Odds When All the Cards are Out 35

Calling on the Basis of Pot Odds With More Cards to

Come 36

Exposed Cards 37

Position 41

Extra Outs 43

Drawing to the Second-Best Hand 44

Summary 47

Chapter Six: Effective Odds 49

Reducing Your Pot Odds With More than One Card to

Come 49

Situations When Effective Odds Need Not Apply 51

Calculating Effective Odds 53

Chapter Seven: Implied Odds and Reverse Implied Odds 55

Implied Odds 55

Implied Odds in Pot-Limit and No-Limit Games 57

Factors in Determining Implied Odds 58

Reverse Implied Odds 59

Summary 60

Chapter Eight: The Value of Deception 63

The Cost of Giving Your Hand Away 63

Deception and the Ability of Your Opponents 65

Deception and the Size of the Pot 66

Deception and Bet Size 66

Deception and the Number of Opponents in the Pot... 67

Summary 68

Chapter Nine: Win the Big Pots Right Away 71

Betting When Your Opponent is Correct to Call 71

Betting (or Raising) to Drive Opponents Out 73

Betting (or Raising) With the Second-Best Hand 74

Delaying One Round to Drive Opponents Out 76

Summary 77

Chapter Ten: The Free Card 79

Giving a Free Card 79

Giving or Not Giving a Free Card in Practice 81

Getting a Free Card 85

Position and the Free Card 86

Giving or Not Giving a Free Card With a Marginal

Hand 87

Summary 89

Chapter Eleven: The Semi-Bluff 91

Types of Semi-Bluffs 92

Advantages of the Semi-Bluff 95

Semi-Bluffs and Pure Bluffs 98

When Not to Semi-Bluff 102

Summary 102

Chapter Twelve: Defense Against the Semi-Bluff 105

The Power of the Semi-Bluff 105

The Difficulty of Defending Against the Semi-Bluff. 106 The Semi-Bluff Raise as a Defense Against the Semi-

Bluff 109

When to Fold and When to Raise 112

Exceptions When Calling is Correct 113

Calling a Possible Semi-Bluff When the Pot is

Large 114

Calling a Possible Bet On the Come 114

The Delayed Semi-Bluff Raise 115

Summary 116

Chapter Thirteen: Raising 121

Raising to Get More Money in the Pot 121

Getting More Money In the Pot By Not Raising 123

Raising to Drive Out Opponents 125

Raising as a Means of Cutting Down Opponents' Odds

Raising to Bluff or Semi-Bluff 128

Raising to Get a Free Card 130

Raising to Gain Information 131

Raising to Drive Out Worse Hands When Your Own

May Be Second-Best 132

Raising to Drive Out Better Hands When a Come Hand

Bets 133

Raising Versus Folding or Calling 133

Summary 136

Chapter Fourteen: Check-Raising 137

The Ethics of Check-Raising 137

Necessary Conditions for Check-Raising 138

Check-Raising and Position 139

Check-Raising With a Second-Best Hand 141

Summary 141

Chapter Fifteen: Slowplaying 143

Slowplaying Versus Check-Raising 143

Requirements for Slowplaying 144

Summary 146

Chapter Sixteen: Loose and Tight Play 149

Loose Games 150

Semi-Bluffs in Loose Games 150

Legitimate Hands in Loose Games 150

Come Hands in Loose Games 151

Tight Games 151

Summary 152

Chapter Seventeen: Position 155

Advantages of Last Position 156

Advantages of First Position 157

Adjusting Play to Position 158

Strong Hand, Bettor to the Left 159

Strong Hand, Bettor to the Right 160

How Position Affects Play 160

Position Vis-A-Vis Other Players in the Game 161

Summary 161

Chapter Eighteen: Bluffing 163

The Myth of Bluffing 164

The Reality of Bluffing 165

Optimum Bluffing Frequency 166

Bluffs When There are More Cards to Come 167

Bluffs When All the Cards are Out 169

Bluffing and Position 170

Bluffing Against Come Hands 171

Bluffing Against Two or More Opponents 171

Bluffing and Betting for Value 172

Bluffing According to Your Opponent 175

Bluffing as Advertising 176

Summary 177

Chapter Nineteen: Game Theory and Bluffing 179

Using Game Theory to Bluff 180

Optimum Bluffing Strategy 184

Game Theory and Bluffing Frequency According to

Your Opponents 186

Summary of Game Theory as a Tool for Bluffing 187

Using Game Theory to Call Possible Bluffs 188

Summary 189

Chapter Twenty: Inducing and Stopping Bluffs 191

Artificial Techniques 192

Strategic Techniques 193

Stopping Bluffs 193

Inducing Bluffs 196

Summary 197

Chapter Twenty-one: Heads-Up On The End 199

Bluffing on the End 199

Last Position Play 201

Last Position Play After Your Opponent Has

Checked 201

Last Position Play After Your Opponent Has Bet 204

First Position Play 206

Check-Raising in First Position 206

Playing Fair-to-Good Hands in First Position as a

Favorite 209

Playing Fair-to-Good Hands in First Position as an

Underdog 211

First Position Play in Practice 214

First Position Play in Terms of the Strength of Your

Hand 218

Summary 219

Chapter Twenty-two: Reading Hands 221

Reading Hands on the Basis of Your Opponents' Play and Exposed Cards 223

Using Mathematics to Read Hands 228

Reading Hands in Multi-Way Pots 231

Summary 232

Chapter Twenty-three: The Psychology of Poker 235

Psychological Ploys 235

The Thought Processes of Poker 236

Calling on the Basis of What Your Opponent Thinks 239 Betting on the Basis of What Your Opponent Thinks 241

Psychology and Future Impressions 241

Summary 242

Chapter Twenty-four: Analysis at the Table 245

Analysis in Theory 246

Analysis in Practice 248

Analyzing the Cost of a Mistake 252

Summary 255

Chapter Twenty-five: Evaluating the Game 257

Evaluating the Structure and Adjusting to It 258

The Ante and Other Forced Bets 258

The Betting Limits 260

The Betting Rules 262

Adjusting Properly to the Structure 264

Evaluating the Players and Adjusting to Them 266

Players Who Play Too Loose 266

Players Who Play Too Tight 267

Other Mistakes to Look For 268

Appendix A: Rules of Play 273

Five-Card Draw 273

Seven-Card Stud 273

Hold 'em 274

Five-Card Stud 274

DrawLowball 275

Razz 275

High-Low Split 276

Appendix B: Glossary of Poker Terms 277

Index 295

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