Ace Poker Drills
and trainer is
poker software that is designed to put you in a variety of common pre-flop
poker training situations and test your abilities in a poker test
Pre-Flop Quiz Poker Guide
Most poker players have huge holes in their pre-flop
, but aren't aware of it. Some of this is out of a lack of
knowledge, and for others it can be because of too much ego. Believing you
can play almost any two cards and outplay your opponents ends badly in a lot
of situations. In some situations that may be absolutely true of course, but
in many cases it's not. Everything begins with pre-flop play, and mistakes
made in this part of the game only get compounded on later streets. So
having a solid strategy is paramount in long term success in no-limit Texas
Pre-flop Starting Decisions
Based on my observations and conversations with students, and fellow poker
players, it seems that most players got their understanding of what hands to
open raise pre-flop, cold call, and 3-bet mostly from starting hand charts,
poker discussion, and some trial and error. A lot of players I've asked
started with some sort of hand chart to begin with, and slowly weaned
themselves off into a pre-flop strategy they feel works best for them.
There's absolutely nothing wrong with referencing starting hand charts, and
talking to your poker friends about starting hands from different positions
at the table. What you want to do as a successful poker player though is
make sure you're really taking in all of the relevant and available
information about any decision you're making at the poker table, and making
the best decision possible. Having a process, or poker thought algorithm
PTA, as I like to call it, is a great reference for successful decision
making. A poker thought algorithm for pre-flop play looks something like
What is my hand?
Your actual starting hand and its general strength no matter what position
you open from will sometimes trump all other questions. Mainly when you hold
What is my starting position?
How many players will have position on you, and how wide can you open
considering the positional advantage or disadvantage you will have post
Who opened in front of me?
If your opponent is opening really wide this should expand your calling and
3-betting ranges, or vice-versa if they are tight. How good is the opponent
who is opening?
Who is left to act behind me?
Are the opponents left to act really aggressive? Do they squeeze or 3-bet a
lot? Are they passive and cold call a bunch? Can they outplay me if they
What are the effective stacks of players in the pot?
Is there potential for a really big, small or average sized pot? How good
are the players who have the deep, average, and shallow stacks?
How often do they fold to a raise, re-raise or 4-bet?
If your opponent folds to a re-raise a high percentage of the time, widening
your 3-bet bluffing range is ideal. Can you steal a lot from this player
just by opening?
How aggressive is my opponent post flop?
Knowing how aggressive your opponent is on the turn and river will help you
know what kinds of hands to come along with or dump.
Can I outplay my opponent post flop a decent amount?
This is always a tricky question because of course we all want to believe
yes. Just be honest, and if you're not too sure, then it's usually no.
Is there any relevant recent history?
Do you have some recent information about some hands your opponent has
overplayed that can help you widen or tighten your range? Have you been
3-betting and 4-betting your opponent recently and expect them to react
How do others likely perceive me?
How active or tight have you been at the table? Have you showed down some
big hands or very marginal hands?
You should be asking yourself these questions every time you're making a
pre-flop decision. If you're missing any of them in your thought process,
it's important to take note and make sure you starting asking yourself. Most
of the time your decision will be easy; You'll look down at Ks4s and muck
it. However, in some situations this same hand could be a call or a 3 or
4-bet if the questions are all answered properly.