So I played my first live tournament at the weekend and must say, I had a lot of fun. There was one thing I noticed with my play and was wondering if you guys have any tips.

I was dealt a hell of a lot of bad hands. I folded a lot and played relatively tight. I also made a few noob mistakes which would have definitely given away that it was my first time. Such as putting in blinds before my turn.

Anyway when I finally got good hands I often got reraised preflop and faced big bets on the flop. I didn't often hit on the flop so usually folded when this happened. Is there a good way to defend from this? Any advice on how to play when you're not getting good hands? How do I improve my image on the table?


1 Answer 1


My comment on your previous post was about this very phenomenon! You will not get "good" hands at anywhere close to a desirable frequency and the blinds will increase quickly.

You've asked a couple questions here, each of which is worthy of its own question, so I'll just make some brief points:

Called 3-bet pre-flop and faced big flop bet

Players will recognize early that you seem to be playing fit-or-fold when you fold to flop continuation bets with high frequency. Some opponents will feed off that with any two cards. You will not hit the flop often enough to justify this strategy, so a combination of more pre-flop folding and in-position play will help improve your chances against players like this. Playing fewer hands means that you waste fewer bets pre-flop when you're just going to fold to any flop bet, and it means that you have a stronger range post-flop. Being in position against opponents like this means you get to see their action first. Also, you should consider 4-betting against a player who 3-bets frequently.

Getting blinded down

When stacks get lower, remember that fold equity should be a huge component of your strategy. Once you get blinded down to a couple bb's, you won't have any meaningful fold equity, so don't let that happen. Your starting hand requirements should get lots wider as your stack size diminishes. Look into Nash shoving charts to get a ballpark figure on how your shoving/calling ranges should change as your stack size decreases. These are generally calculated for heads-up play, and the optimal decision will change when players are added, but it's a good way to see the general patterns. Here's an example:


Remember that when you're the aggressor, there are multiple ways to win. First, your opponents fold and you pick up the blinds and antes. That's a great outcome. And if they call, even the worst hands have about 1/3 equity against any other non-paired hands, so the odds aren't terrible. When combined, the fold equity plus your equity when called make it a good decision to push what you might otherwise consider crappy cards, especially when you're guaranteed to be isolated against a single player or when folding will leave you with virtually no fold equity.

  • 1
    +1 nice answer ;) Commented Sep 29, 2015 at 7:53

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