GTO Made Easy:
(my most popular blog post)
This highlight from my Poker Tips stream discusses how to approximate GTO poker by employing a solid check-raising strategy. To accomplish this, you should look for certain types of flop textures and hands that help you maximize your fold equity on the flop as well as the turn.
For example, you want to be raising with hands that will make your opponent fold hands that dominate you. In this particular video, I check-raise Q8 knowing that my opponent could easily be folding AQ and KQ on the flop to my check-raise.
Another good reason to check-raise flops is if you have a lot of turn cards that will allow you to continue bluffing. Gutshots are nice of course because they can turn open-ended straight draws or “double-gutters”. Also, backdoor flush draws can improve to a flush draw.
One more consideration is that ideally you want to structure your raising range such that just about any card that comes on the turn fits with some portion of your check-raising range. This makes you very dangerous to play against, when your opponent can’t really feel safe on any turn card. There’s always a chance you’re going to continue betting, and when you do, you often have it!
Of course some cards are going to be better for your opponent and his range. When this happens, you have to slow down, possibly dropping all bluffs.
Overall, using this technique moves us in the direction of proper balanced play which in turn gets us closer to approximating GTO poker.
Eventually you should learn the more advanced elements of GTO such as the use of Alpha and 1-Alpha, but if you’re just learning then I suggest a better approach. Find some better players that you trust, and emulate their style. This way you can feel more confident that you’re making the right plays, even if you haven’t fully grasped the theory behind them yet.
Link to this youtube video (for sharing):