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Apr 9, 2008

How to prevent bad beats online

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Roy Rounder Poker Tips Newsletter
Issue: January 20, 2008
Next Issue: January 28, 2008
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Steve,

There are two types of bad beats:

BAD BEAT #1...

When you catch a monster hand but lose to a BIGGER monster
hand.

For example, let's say you're holding pocket Aces and the
flop hits A-6-6. That means you've got a full house.

Your opponent goes ALL-IN... and you call. You think your
Aces are the best hand but they're NOT, because your
opponent has pocket sixes, which gives him the
four-of-a-kind.

BAD BEAT #2...

When YOU have the best hand and your opponent has the WORST
hand but your opponent GETS LUCKY and wins the pot.

For example, let's say you have pocket Aces and go all-in.
Your opponent calls with pocket three's.

The flop hits 2-4-5 and the turn card is a 6, giving your
opponent the STRAIGHT and causing you to lose the hand.

Now that's a bad beat.

And let's face it, the SECOND type of bad beat-- the one
where your opponent gets totally LUCKY and outdraws you-- is
the kind of beat that just plain SUCKS. And pisses you off.

In fact, the second type of bad beat is the kind you
REMEMBER the most too. When someone says, "Hey man, how did
your card game go?", the first thing that will come out of
your mouth will be the story of that bad beat.

Am I right?

Now here's what's interesting...

MORE BAD BEATS HAPPEN IN ONLINE POKER THAN IN "REGULAR" LIVE
POKER.

Literally, you'll see more bad beats happen in an online
poker game than you'll see at a local cash game or in a
casino.

If you play both online and offline poker, I'm sure you
agree with this statement.

So what's going on here? Why would it be this way?

There are two popular "theories"...

1. Online poker is rigged.

2. There are more hands per hour, therefore it's an ILLUSION
that there are more bad beats.

My opinion is that BOTH of these theories are WRONG.

Here's why:

First off, I genuinely believe online poker is NOT rigged.
I mean, c'mon... Do you REALLY think these multi-billion
dollar casinos would need to RIG hands?

They make their money from tournament entry fees and
rakes... and trust me, they're making plenty.

OK, so what about the second theory?

Well, I do agree that there are more hands per hour in
online poker than offline poker. There's no disputing that.

But I don't think that's a good enough reason...

Because my belief is that there are MORE bad beats that
happen per X number of hands ONLINE than for offline poker.

For instance, let's say you played 100 hands. And let's say
you caught two really bad beats for every 100 hands at a
casino. That's 2%.

In online poker, you're likely to catch FIVE or even TEN of
those really bad beats per 100 hands. That's 5-10%.

So the fact that you're seeing MORE hands doesn't explain
the HIGHER PERCENTAGE of bad beats.

Still with me?

OK, so now let me give you MY "theory" about this.

It's not really a theory. Just good old simple logic,
actually.

Here it goes:

The reason there are more bad beats in ONLINE poker is
because the very NATURE of online poker leads people to PLAY
DIFFERENTLY.

The CARDS and ODDS are the same.

It's the PLAYERS that aren't the same.

What I mean is that for online poker, a LARGE portion of
players adopt the style of LOOSE-AGGRESSIVE.

Translation? Manic.

They act irrationally... play hands they shouldn't play...
and bet way too aggressively for most given situations.

Why?

Because online poker isn't as "real".

The money isn't as real. I mean, heck... the casinos give
you so much "free" money when you sign up, how COULD it feel
real?

The cards aren't real. The chips aren't real. The table
isn't real. NONE OF THAT STUFF EVEN EXISTS.

All you see when you play online poker are some silly little
animations. And you hear some "clickity-click" sounds of
fake chips.

That's it.

Nothing else.

Period.

And if you LOSE a game, all you have to do is make three or
four mouse clicks and you're INSTANTLY playing another game.

And hell, you can PLAY ten games at once if you want!

You can literally play poker against 100 players AT THE SAME
TIME!

It's a different world, my friend.

Now... let's get back to the bad beats.

The FACT that players are LOOSE-AGGRESSIVE is what leads to
the SITUATIONS where bad beats happen.

Here's why:

1. Players bet their draws more or call large bets with
draws or OK hands (i.e. bottom pair).

2. More players are involved in every pot.

3. The pots are bigger, since players are more aggressive.

When these conditions COMBINE TOGETHER, it creates an
environment where there are a lot of BIG POTS and bad beats.

It's not that the cards are "rigged".

It's that the betting patterns and playing styles are
DIFFERENT than what you're used to.

And when you combine that with the fact that you see more
hands per hour, it inevitably leads to seeing a lot more
"crazy" hands and bad beats than in regular poker.

OK, so now the obvious question becomes...

Is there any way to PREVENT bad beats?

The answer is yes and no.

Ultimately, bad beats will occur NO MATTER WHAT if you're
playing good poker. Because to win at poker, you've got to
be willing to take RISKS.

And most risks have a minimum 20% chance or more of NOT
working out in your favor.

With that being said, there ARE ways to prevent a LARGE
PORTION of the bad beats you'll see online.

Not only can you prevent them, but you can literally turn it
around and make it YOUR ULTIMATE ADVANTAGE.

The key is to "tilt the tables" in your favor and USE the
fact that players are so loose and aggressive to HELP YOU
win more pots.

The way you achieve this is by adopting a SPECIAL playing
style designed SPECIFICALLY for online poker...

My name for this "secret sauce" is this:

TIGHT-AGGRESSIVE SQUARED.

The concept of "tight-aggressive squared" is quite simple...

It starts with the logic that tight-aggressive is the most
effective playing style to use in poker.

Tight-aggressive means TIGHT with hand selection, AGGRESSIVE
with betting.

With online poker, there are more players in every hand.
That means you must play EVEN TIGHTER with your hand
selection.

You should ONLY play monster hands!

Period!

There's absolutely no reason to get involved with "decent"
hands because the odds are against you.

You're bound to run into players who are CHASING or who just
caught an extremely lucky flop.

When you DO get involved with a hand, you must be OVERLY
aggressive. The pot size will be bigger, so you can't lose
many hands or else you'll be out of the game in a hurry.

You must STRIKE... and you must STRIKE HARD.

You must risk ALL OF YOUR CHIPS-- frequently-- in order to
win.

Of course, it's much easier to risk all of your chips when
you have a GREAT HAND than it is otherwise.

You see, the goal is to do two things:

1. Force out all but one, maybe two players for any pot you
get involved with.

2. Have the odds so unbelievably stacked in your favor that
you win far more HUGE pots than you lose.

And when you win lots of big pots, you become chip leader
VERY QUICKLY. And that's how you take control over a poker
table.

The reason you want to force people OUT of the hand is
simple mathematics.

Let's say for instance you get pocket ACES.

Here's what three of your opponents are holding:

Player 1: K-K

Player 2: 10-9 suited

Player 3: Q-10 offsuit

Now, if you went heads-up against any of these hands
ONE-ON-ONE, your odds of winning would be about 80%. They'd
be 85% against Player 3.

BUT...

If you went up against ALL THREE of these opponents in one
single hand, your odds of winning is just 58.5%!

That's just over 50/50 with the absolute BEST starting hand
possible.

Get my point?

So when you GET pocket Aces, you need to FORCE OUT all but
one caller.

You've got to be VERY AGGRESSIVE.

In low stakes Sit and Go's and ring games online, that quite
often means going all-in.

Like I said, you've got to risk ALL your chips.

Now if you go all-in and one of those players makes a CALL,
you'll win four out of five times.

So if you get five big hands a game, you only lose ONCE. Of
course, that one you lose USUALLY won't wipe you out,
because you'll have more chips from the OTHER big hands...

Get my drift?

Literally, if I play low-stakes online Sit and Go's, here is
what my betting pattern looks like:

Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
Limp-in
Fold
Limp-in
Fold
Fold
Fold
All-in
Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
Fold
All-In
Fold

And so on...

I'm serious!

THIS IS HOW YOU WIN. It seems kind of "strange" to think
about, but this is it!

Now... when you get down to just a few players in a game,
it's time to bust out the strategies, bluffs, trick plays,
and so on.

BUT WHAT GETS YOU THERE is this TIGHT-AGGRESSIVE SQUARED
style of play.

OK, so now the question becomes...

If all you did was ever FOLD or go ALL-IN, why would anyone
ever CALL your bets?

What a great question.

And we've already gone over the answer...

It's because online poker isn't the same as offline poker.
The people on there are DISTRACTED and often STUPID and VERY
LOOSE.

That's all there is to it.

AND THAT IS PRECISELY WHY ONLINE POKER IS SO MUCH EASIER TO
MAKE MONEY AT... ONCE YOU LEARN THESE SECRETS.

Once you "crack the code", it's amazing how SIMPLE it is to
win at online poker.

It's actually SO SIMPLE and SO IRRATIONAL that I'm not sure
it will always be this way. It seems that all those fish out
there have GOT to go broke sooner or later.

But until that day comes, I'll be making hay while the sun
is shining...

And I recommend you do the same.

So, you've learned the basic style of play for online poker,
which is "tight-aggressive squared".

Use it, go win some pots, and let me know what you think.


I'll write to you again soon.


Your Friend,

Roy Rounder