1. Introduction
This is Part 8 of the article series "PLO From Scratch". The target audience is micro and low limit players with some experience from limit or no-limit Hold'em, but little or no PLO experience. My goal with this series is to teach basic PLO strategy in a systematic and structured manner.

As of Part 8 the article series will be all about postflop strategy. Structured thinking and planning have been themes throughout the series, and now we will use the same approach for postflop play. PLO is first and foremost a postflop game, and most of the money is won and lost there.

Preflop play in an important component too, but not because lots of pots are lost or won there (once you get involved, you usually see a flop) or because big mistakes are made there (PLO starting hands run close, so preflop mistakes are generally small, viewed in isolation). The role of PLO preflop play is to set us up for profitable postflop scenarios, and this can't be stressed enough.

If you often face difficult postflop decisions (e.g. when sitting out of position with a marginal hand in a big pot), this can often be traced back to systematic preflop mistakes. So although it is valuable to have the ability to play well in difficult postflop scenarios, it is generally better to avoid putting ourselves in lots of difficult scenarios to begin with.

So even if we will be talking mostly about postflop play for the rest of the article series, we will not forget about preflop play. We will get opportunities to revisit important preflop concepts, and how they lead up to various postflop scenarios. For example, we will often see that the cure for many common postflop problems can be found preflop.

The plan for Part 8 and future articles (probably 3 more articles in the series) is to go from the general to the specific. We start with some general principles for postflop planning, including accurately counting outs and estimating equity.

The topics for Part 8 are:

- General principles for postflop planning
- Evaluating postflop situations

We will use lots of examples along the way. Most examples in this article will be simple, in order to train using the concepts we're discussing. Then we will move on to more specific "real life" postflop scenarios in future articles.

2. General principles for postflop planning
One can write thick books about PLO postflop play, and it's impossible to cover everything in an articles series like this one. But we can say a lot about sound PLO thought processes, and which principles are most important for postflop play.

We'll begin with two very important concepts that are completely general. They can be used for all kinds of decision making and in all forms of poker:

- The Good Poker model
- The Gray Area

Good Poker describes how poker decisions are made, while the Gray Area tells us that there is a limit for how accurate our decisions can get:

2.1 Good Poker
"Good Poker" is a model of poker decision making presented by high stakes LHE player Bryce "Freedom25" Paradis in one of his early videos for Stoxpoker.com. The Good Poker model describes the poker decision making process as a two-step process:

1. Formulate a set of accurate assumptions
2. Find the best play based on these assumptions

Step 2 is the simplest part of the process. Step one can be very difficult, and we have to use a combination of generalized assumptions, specific opponent information and logic. This process is difficult to learn in a systematic manner, and experience is very important. The more we play, the better we get at perceiving what goes on around us.

But when a set of assumptions exists (whether they are good or bad), it's easy (in principle) to deduce the best play based on these assumptions. Going from assumptions to a conclusion about the best course of action is a process governed by mathematics and logic. So Step 2 in the Good Poker decision making process can in principle be done exactly. In practice we rarely find the mathematically best line of play, but we can train ourselves to at least find a find a good line most of the time.

Since improving on Step 1 is a difficult and slow process, we want to put most effort into Step 2 when we want to improve our poker decision making process. Our goal is to always find the best line (or at least a decent line) given what we know, or think we know. If we can get Step 2 right, we will always be able to get the most out of whatever information and assumptions we have. And the more experience we gather, the better our assumptions will become, and the better our poker decisions will become.

Here is an example of the Good Poker decision making process in action:

Example 2.1.1
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop:
Hero ($10) raises to $0.35 with A 8 7 4 on the button, Big Blind ($10) calls. Big blind's HEM-stats are loose-passive with VP$IP/PFR%/AF =50/6/1.2.

Flop: A 8 5 ($0.75)
Big blind ($9.65) checks, Hero ($9.65) bets $0.75, Big Blind calls.

Turn: A 8 5 3 (2.25)
Big blind ($9.65) checks, Hero has a decision to make.

Here is a typical Good Poker thought process for a competent player:

My flop bet was an automatic c-bet with top two pair. Big Blind's flop call is consistent with a wide range of draws and marginal made hands. He can have many combinations of straight and flush draws, possibly with a pair to go with them. He can also have check-called with any top pair hand. I have top two pair, and I should have decent equity against his range. But I don't have a monster hand, and I have to fold to a checkraise.

But I don't think Villain will checkraise anything I beat, so I am not worried about getting bluffed. And since I also believe I have good equity, I should bet. I want to give Villain a chance to fold his 2nd best hands, or pay for the privilege of drawing to a better hand. I only have two pair on a coordinated board, so I prefer he folds. But I'm probably in good shape when he calls. If he calls and checks the river, I'll have a choice between taking a free showdown or value betting. I'll make that decision when I get there.


So Hero bets $2.25, and Big Blind calls again.

River: A 8 5 3 J (6.75)
Big blind ($7.40) checks, Hero has a decision to make

A scary river card, but I don't think he made a flush, because I expect him to often bet his flushes for value (he can't expect me to bet many worse hands if he checks). I think I'm usually ahead here, so should I bet for value? No, that's not a good idea, since Villain probably won't call with many worse hands on a scary board like this one.

He might have called a river bet with top pair and worse two pair hands if the river were blank, But when the flush hits, I assume he will check-fold all his one pair hands and most of his two pair hands, even if he is loose. He probably also has many busted straight draws in his range, but I can't get value from those. So all in all I think I should check behind, since I don't see enough value in a bet (I need to be more than 50% favorite the times he calls)


So Hero checks behind. Villain has J 8 7 6 for a flopped open-ended straight draw + pair. Hero wins with two pair.

Note the assumptions Hero made along the way. These were based on two things:

- Hero identified Big Blind as loose based on his HEM-stats.
- Hero made generalized assumptions about Big Blinds range and tendencies, based on how loose-passive players generally play

Given these assumptions, Hero concluded that he should bet his vulnerable two pair hand on the turn. On the river, Hero concluded that he would not get called enough by worse hands to bet for value, so he took a free showdown. Big Blind's actual hand was one we expected to see frequently, namely a busted straight draw (that stumbled into two pair on the river).

All players use some variation of the Good Poker process when they play, even if they aren't aware of it. We assume various things, and then we try to find out what to do. But by being aware of this process and verbalizing our thought processes, we will have more control over how our decisions are made.

It's important to distinguish between making assumptions and drawing conclusions from assumptions. Separating these two processes makes it easier to identify and correct flaws in our thinking. Mistakes made in Step 2 are generally easy to correct, once you become aware of them. Mistakes and shortcomings in Step 1 are harder to to fix in a systematic manner. But if the problem is lack of information, we can at least find comfort in the fact that we know where the problem lies (we simply don't have enough information to draw precise conclusions).

But no matter how skilled we are at drawing logical conclusions based on assumptions, and no matter how good we get at making accurate assumptions at the table: There is a border that we can't cross. This is because we can never have complete and perfect information about what goes on at the table. In other words: Sometimes we find ourselves in the Gray Area.

2.2 The Gray Area
"The Gray Area" is a poker concept introduced by poker player/coach Tommy Angelo in his article Reciprocality: The Cause of Profit at Poker (an article I highly recommend). Angelo begins by stating that there are poker decisions that are either completely right or completely wrong. For example, it's completely right to openraise A A K K on the button. And it's completely wrong to call a button raise with 2 2 2 2 in the big blind.

Decisions that are either completely right or completely wrong are in the black/white regions. Black/white decisions are simple, and there is only one correct answer. Of course, this doesn't mean all black/white decisions are easy for a beginner. But a lot of the poker improvement process is about learning concepts that are black/white in nature. We learn them, use them, and soon they become ingrained in our thinking.

But not all decisions are black/white. There is a region between black and white where we find many decisions that are neither completely right, nor completely wrong. In this case, it doesn't matter much what we do, since one alternative seems about as good as any other (at least it seems that way to us). For example, openraising a raggedy Q Q 7 2 from UTG is probably not profitable for a beginning PLO player. But it's not a big mistake either, and a good player can probably play this hand profitably from UTG if the table conditions are passive.

When we start out in poker, our Gray Area is big (in fact, when we start out, everything is in the Gray Area). The reason is that we haven't learned about most black/white decisions yet. So we have a huge Gray Area filled with decisions we find difficult, simply because we don't know any better.



And here comes the important part:

As we improve our poker skills, our Gray Area shrinks, while the black/white regions grow (since we get better and getter at identifying decisions as completely right or completely wrong). But the Gray Area never disappears completely!. It doesn't matter whether your name is Phil Ivey, Tom Dwan, or Skjervøy; everybody has a Gray Area that they sometimes walk into. The reason is that the Gray Area is not only a part of us, it's also a part of the game.

Unlike chess, where we have perfect information about the game state at all times, we don't have access to complete and perfect information at the poker table. So even if we perfect Step 2 in the Good Poker decision making process and always find the best line based on our assumptions, there will always be a border we can not move beyond. Simply because we don't have complete and perfect information.

For example:

You're on the button with a raggedy Q T 9 4 and CO has openraised. You don't know CO or the players in the blinds. 3-bet, call or fold er all viable options here. If you'd known that CO opens a wide range, that he plays straightforward out of position, and that the blinds are tight, you might want to 3-bet or make a loose call with this speculative hand. But if CO is good/aggressive and/or the blinds are loose, you should be more conservative and lean more towards folding hands like this one.

Right now you don't have information, so you simply have to choose an action. Not a difficult decision by any means, but you are definitely in the Gray Area here. If you want to play it safe, just fold this speculative hand. If you want to probe your opponents, make a loose 3-bet or call in position and see how they react. What you choose here is more a matter of your default style than what is "correct".

In situations like this one you play a somewhat "ineffective" form of poker until you get to know the opposition better. You can use reasonable default strategies against them, based on generalized information, but you won't be able to exploit their personal weaknesses maximally at this point.

Being aware of the Gray Area will help you keep focus on what's important. Always try to come up with accurate assumptions, and always try to deduce good lines of play based on these assumptions. But if you find yourselves stuck in a difficult spot, unable to interpret your opponents' actions, you have to accept that we sometimes land in the Gray Area without a good plan.

Accept this and don't let it frustrate you while you play. Move on to the next hand, and use the time between sessions to shrink your Gray Area. Analyzing difficult hands after every session is an excellent way to improve. Just mark difficult hands in HEM during session, and look at them later.

When the session is over, you can return to these hands and see if you missed some vital pieces of information, or if the hand was simply impossible to solve (at least with your current skill set). You can also discuss hands with others. Sometimes another player will give you an eye-opening piece of advice. I call these aha-moments "learning to see". Sometimes your understanding of the game makes a quantum leap, and you are now able to see things at the table that were previously hidden to you.

Finally: Keep in mind that the definition of a close decision is that it doesn't matter much what we do. Per definition these decisions don't have much impact on our win rate, unless there are many of them (and if there are many of them, we might have a leak in another part of our game, often preflop).

So don't get hung up in close decisions when you first start out. Get the big things right first. Plug your big leaks, then move on to the small ones, that's a good work model for systematic improvement.

2.3 Play to win money, not pots
Some players seem vaccinated against this concept. The play to win pots, regardless of size, and they pay little attention to risk vs reward. The reason is obviously their ego. Giving up a pot where we have made an investment causes mental discomfort, and we sometimes do stupid things to win the pot so that we can avoid this discomfort. Particularly in heads-up pots, where it's easy to feel "humiliated" by our opponent when he takes a pot away from us.

But regardless of what our ego tells us: If there isn't any money to be made by getting involved, we will retreat gracefully and save our chips.

Here is an example of very poor postflop play that you'll see often at the lowest PLO limits:

Example 2.3.1: Overplaying AAxx on the flop
$10PLO
6-handed

Hero ($10) raises to $0.35 with A A 7 2 from UTG, CO ($10) calls, button ($10) calls, small blind ($10) calls, big blind folds.

Flop: T 9 5 ($1.50)
Small blind ($9.65) checks, Hero ($9.65) bets $1.50, CO folds, button ($9.65) raises pot to $6, small blind folds, Hero (now frustrated) thinks for 2 seconds and pushes, button calls.

Turn: T 9 5 K ($20.80)

River: T 9 5 K 4 ($20.80)

Button wins with med J J T T for flopped top set + backdoor flushdraw + backdoor straightdraw. UsingProPokerTools we find that Hero had 11% equity on the flop:



What happened here?

Hero started out with a correct preflop raise. We have the worst possible AAxx hand, but it's good enough to openraise, and we won't get into tough spots if we use a sound default strategy. If we get 3-bet, we can 4-bet and set ourselves up for profitably shoving any flop if called. If our openraise gets called, we will sometimes c-bet the flop (we prefer a dry flop and few opponents), and sometimes we will check and give up (on coordinated flops and/or against many opponents).

The point is that we are not committed to c-bet any flop after we get called. So those times we don't think it's profitable to continue with the hand, we escape with a small loss (a 3.5 bb preflop raise). This is an acceptable price to pay for the chance to either steal the blinds, get a chance to 4-bet profitably, or see a flop with a chance to hit top set (which is what we're mostly playing for with bad AAxx in a multiway pot).

Hero got called, and the flop was one of the worst possible for his unimproved AAxx. He has a naked overpair, 3 opponents, and he is crushed by the hands that give action on this type of flop. So Hero's postflop plan should be the simplest one possible: Check and give up immediately.

Bu Hero chose to bet. This tells us that he isn't thinking about EV here, but about winning a pot he feels "entitled to" after having raised AAxx preflop. And he is willing to risk his stack to achieve this. He c-bets, gets raised, and gets heads-up with the raiser. Hero now has one last opportunity to fold and escape with most of his stack intact. But instead he reraises out of spite and gets all-in as a huge underdog.

The feeling that we are entitled to pick up a lot of pots with a c-bet after raising preflop is one of the first things we have to get rid of when coming over to PLO from Hold'em. In PLO, there is always a significant chance someone has hit the flop (any flop) hard, and often we simply have to play fit-or-fold. Especially against many opponents, on coordinated flops, and when out of position.

If you have many opponents AND a coordinated flop AND you are out of position, using a fit-or-fold postflop strategy is the only thing that makes sense. This was Hero's exact situation in the previous example, but he let his ego dictate his play, and ended up donating a full stack in a situation that was completely in the black/white-region (all competent PLO players would automatically check and give up in Hero's shoes).

2.4 Don't let your cards dictate your play
This principle is a variation of the previous one. A common "disease" among new PLO players is that they give too much weight to the cards that they see, and don't pay enough attention to other factors. They also don't adjust enough to how their situation changes from street to street, especially when they start out with a premium hand. We saw a typical example of this in Example 2.3.1 where our Hero refused to accept that his AAxx (which does well against any other non-AAxx hand preflop) was toast on the flop.

For a beginning PLO player the cards on his hand and the cards on the board are the two most important factors and nothing else is remotely close. But an experienced player will evaluate each and every situation by going through a long list of factors in addition to the cards. And sometimes the cards will not rank among the most important factors.

Experienced players understand that hand values are relative, not absolute. For example, we don't need a "strong hand" to bet for value, we need a hand that is better than 50% of the hands that call us (whatever they are). An experienced player also understands that sometimes the value he can extract from a situation is independent of his cards (for example, when he is attacking in position against a player he perceives as weak).

Below are two examples to illustrate what we're talking about:

Example 2.4.1: Weak AAxx heads-up in position against loose-passive
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop
UTG ($10) limps, Hero ($10) raises to $0.45 with A A T 3 on the button, the blinds fold, UTG calls. UTG is loose-passive, and we haven't seen him bluff in pots where another player has the initiative.

Flop: K 9 4 ($1.05)
UTG ($9.55) checks, Hero ($9.55) bets ($0.80), UTG calls.

Turn: K 9 4 3 ($2.65)
UTG ($8.75) checks, Hero ($8.75) bets ($2), UTG folds.

Hero raised a so-so AAxx (one suit and little else) in position behind a loose-passive (and presumed weak) player. We succeeded in isolating the weak player and flopped a naked overpair on a somewhat coordinated flop (flushdraws and and inside wrap straight draw are possible). Villain check-called the flop, and we therefore put him on a weak range of various draws, one pair hands, and perhaps some weak two pair hands without backup draws.

Turn was a blank and UTG checked again. Hero now realizes that his mediocre one pair hand is probably still ahead of whatever Villain has. We don't expect to have great equity here, but we are probably doing OK against Villain's range. So we bet again, mostly to give Villain a chance to fold his (probably decent) equity. We don't expect to get checkraised by anything we beat, and we have an easy fold should that happen.

UTG folded to our turn bet, which confirms that his flop check-calling range was weak. But if he had some piece of the board on the flop, he should probably have called again if he had known we only had a naked overpair. If this was the case, we gained more from his fold than by getting called.

In this scenario many new PLO players will freeze up on the turn when they are in Hero's shoes. They bet a marginal hand once and get called. Then they automatically assume Villain has a hand he is taking to the river, and they fear getting called again if they bet again. These players also live in eternal fear of getting checkraised, and fear of getting bluffed (now or on the next street) if they build a big pot with a marginal hand.

But think about the circumstances surrounding our marginal hand on the turn:

- Villain is loose-passive
- We therefore expect him to peel the flop with a wide and weak range
- He checks for the 2nd time on a blank turn
- We don't expect him to checkraise -bluff us, or bluff the river

So Villain's message to us, street by street is:

- He is weak preflop (limps and calls a raise)
- He is still weak on the flop (checks and calls a bet)
- He is still weak on the turn (the turn card was a blank, and now he checks again)

So why not simply believe him and bet again for value/protection? We have nothing to be worried about. If he checkraises, we fold without regret. If he calls and bet the river, we do the same. And if he calls, checks the river, we check behind, and he wins with a two pair hand like 6 5 4 3 , we shrug and say "oh well".

Note that checking behind with a marginal hand on the turn to induce bluffs doesn't do much for us in PLO. For starters, we often induce thin value bets, not bluffs. And we will often be unable to call a river bet anyway, when the river card completes draws Villain could easily have. Finally, it's better for us that Villain folds his marginal hands on the turn instead of getting to see the river for free.

This is because he usually has decent equity against our marginal hand (there are fewer way ahead/way behind scenarios in PLO than in NLHE). By betting the turn with our marginal hand and making him fold his marginal hand, we often cause him to make a mistake (he should have called or checkraised if he knew what we had). Marginal 2nd best hands usually have decent equity against marginal best hands in PLO, and the best hand almost always prefers the 2nd best hand folds on the flop or turn.

Note that having position is very important here. The information we get from Villain when he checks for the 2nd time allows us to bet the turn with confidence. But had we been out of position, we would have been in a tough spot (we don't get to see Villain's reaction to the turn card before we make our decision).

Example 2.4.2: Weak AAxx out of position in a limped multiway pot
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop
UTG ($10) limps, CO ($10) limps, SB ($10) limps, Hero ($10) checks A A T 3 in the big blind. UTG is the loose-passive player from Example 2.4.1, the others are unknown.

Flop: K 9 4 ($0.40)
Small blind ($9.90) checks. What's our plan?

We have the same starting hand and the same flop as in the previous example, but the postflop scenario is different. In Example 2.4.1 we have a hand good enough to raise to isolate a weak limper in position. Postflop we had a mediocre hand, but it was strong enough to extract value heads-up in position against a weak player who kept signaling weakness by checking to us. So on the relative scale of hand values our hand was strong enough raise preflop and then bet twice postflop.

Here we don't have enough hand to raise preflop, since we are out of position in a multiway pot. So we start with a check preflop. Postflop we have the same absolute hand value as in the previous example (our cards are the same and the flop is the same), but on the relative hand value scale our hand has dropped a lot. We're not heads-up and in position, we are out if position in a multiway pot, and we have zero information about the hands we're up against. We can assume that the Small Blind is weak after his check, but everything else is covered in darkness.

Betting to protect our weak-but-possibly-best hand against draws doesn't do anything for us here. The pot is microscopic, and there's nothing to protect. And we have a weak hand against 3 other hands we know very little about, and we have close to zero outs when behind (in the worst case we're drawing to only A ). And even if we bet the flop and get called by weaker hands, the turn will be very difficult to play, since we have to act first. Should we assume we're still ahead and bet again on a blank turn? Should we worry about being outdrawn and check and give up? And if we bet the turn and get called, we face the same problem on the river, only this time in a much bigger pot (which makes our river decision out of position with a weak hand even more difficult).

Take some time to think about this, and how the hand will play out on future streets if we decide to bet the flop. You should see that betting the flop only sets us up for either winning a very small pot, or facing tough turn/river decisions out of position with a mediocre hand in a pot that's getting big. This is generally one of the worst situations in PLO. So we look ahead, we see the threat looming in the horizon, and then we check the flop to avoid it:

Flop: K 9 4 ($0.40)
Small blind ($9.90) checks, Hero ($9.90) checks, UTG ($9.90) checks, CO ($9.90) bets $0.40, SB folds. What does Hero do now?

Hero folds. We sometimes fold the best hand on the flop, but "best hand on the flop" doesn't mean much in PLO. The only thing that matters is whether or not we have a hand strong enough to continue profitably on the flop, and we don't. CO is representing a decent hand or a decent draw, and all we have is a mediocre made hand with little potential for improvement. We can't get to showdown if CO keeps betting, and our flop check-call will tell him that he should indeed keep betting to force us to fold (just like we did against UTG in Example 2.4.1). So we simply fold on the flop and let him have this small pot.

our A A T 3 was a weak but profitable hand in the postflop scenario in Example 2.4.1. But in Example 2.4.2 the hand was weak and worthless postflop. In the first example we set ourselves up for a profitable postflop scenario by isolating a weak player, and then we used position, hand reading and logic, extract value postflop.

In the 2nd example we set ourselves up for a profitable postflop scenario (set mining) by checking preflop and seeing a free flop. We didn't get the flop we hoped for, and our hand turned mostly into garbage. We withdrew gracefully, without spewing chips in an attempt to win a microscopic pot out of position with a mediocre hand and no outs.

In the two previous examples we discussed some of the situational factors we have to think about when planning postflop play. Now we'll look at these factors in more detail:

3. Planning postflop play
We'll now discuss some important situational factors that you always have to take into consideration when planning postflop play. We always start planning before we put the first chip into the pot on the flop, and we want to have a postflop plan before we move on from the flop to the turn.

Note that our postflop plan often follows directly from our preflop plan. Remember that the purpose of our preflop strategy is to set us up for profitable postflop scenarios. So most of the time we see the flop with a broad picture of what we are going to do on different types of flops.

A consequence of sound preflop play is that we also think through the probabilities for ending up in various postflop scenarios (beyond what we flop). For example, before we make a speculative 3-bet heads-up on the button, we have to think about the chance of getting called by the blinds (should be small), and also the tendencies of the raiser (he should play meekly from out of position).

The list of situational factors to assess can be made long, but we will limit ourselves to the most important ones. Train yourselves to think through all of them each and every time you see a flop, and your postflop decision making will get easier. Below is the list of factors to assess:

1. The number of opponents
2. Position
3. Stack sizes (measured by SPR)
4. Our estimated equity (given by the cards we can see and our assumptions about our opponents and their ranges)

We have reserved this article for general discussion of postflop planning, so we will go through 1-3 here. In other words, the situational factors besides the cards and the information we have about our opponents. We save the discussion of equity for Part 9. There we will learn how to estimate our equity based on the cards we can see and assumptions about the opponent ranges we're facing.

3.1 The number of opponents
The number of players that see the flop is very important for relative hand strength, as illustrated in Example 2.4 1 and Example 2.4.2. This has consequences for how much hand strength we need to continue profitably beyond the flop, and how aggressively we play with various types of hands.

A frequently occurring postflop scenario is c-betting on the flop after we raise preflop and get called by one or several opponents. As a starting point (before we look at flop texture and other factors) we can use the following guidelines:

- Heads-up: C-bet most flops
- 3-way: C-bet many flops, but mostly check coordinated flops without a strong hand
- 4-way: Play mostly fit-or-fold

Heads-up and very multiway pots generally give us the simplest c-bet decisions. Who wins the pot in a heads-up confrontation is strongly correlated with preflop initiative and continuing to show aggression postflop. Both players know that the other guy can have almost anything on any flop, so aggression is often the tie breaker in pots where both players miss.

In a very multiway pot, the preflop initiative is less important. As a rule of thumb, against 3 or more opponents, you can just ignore preflop initiative in your postflop decision making. If you raise preflop and miss the flop against 3 or more opponents, just check and give up immediately. And if you call a raise in the blinds and flop a monster in a very multiway pot, it's fine to lead the flop. You don't want to risk the flop checking through, and you can't trust the preflop raiser to bet your hand for you against many opponents.

We'll talk more about c-betting in Part 9, but below are 3 examples of c-betting decisions in heads-up, 3-way and 4-way pots:

Example 3.1.1: A c-bet decision in a heads-up pot
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop:
CO ($10) limps, you ($10) raise to $0.45 with K K T 8 on the button, the blinds fold, CO calls.

Flop: A 8 3 ($1.05)
CO ($9.55) checks, you ($9.55) bet $0.80, CO folds.

Here is a situation where PLO differs from NLHE. In NLHE we often check good underpairs on ace high and dry flops. The reason is we are in a way ahead/way behind scenario with a hand that has some value. We can check behind and induce bluffs that we can call on later streets, or we might get an opportunity to valuebet.

This way of thinking does not transfer well to PLO. One reason is that when our opponent has 4 cards on his hand, it's less likely that we are way ahead or way behind. For example, if he has JT98 on this flop, he has 11 outs to two pair or trips, and he can also pick up straight draws on the turn. So we generally don't want to turn a marginal hand into a bluffcatcher in PLO when we suspect our opponent is weak, we'd rather make him fold. Since his marginal 2nd best hands often have decent equity against our marginal best hand, he is often making a mistake by folding, which is exactly what we want.

Also, note that when we induce a bluff, it's often a bluff we can't call. Villain can represent a lot of hands on the turn and river and any turn/river card can beat our marginal hand. Again, remember that PLO hands are rarely way ahead/way behind on the flop, so Villain can easily represent a strong hand on the turn and river (which is much harder for us to do, after revealing weakness by checking the flop).

As a rule of thumb, if you have a mediocre hand with some showdown value, and you expect Villain's range is weak, you should usually bet and force him to fold his weak hands. This is generally better for you than sneaking to showdown in a small pot. Even if Villain is far behind on the flop, he often picks up outs on the turn, so why let him improve for free?

Example 3.1.2: A c-bet decision in a 3-way pot
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop:
CO ($10) limps, Small Blind ($10) limps, you ($10) raise to $0.40 with A K J T in the big blind, CO calls, Small Blind calls.

Flop: A 6 5 ($1.20)
Small Blind ($9.60) checks, you ($9.60) bet $1.20, CO folds, Small Blind calls.

The preflop raise is standard with a premium double-suited Broadway hand. You are out of position, but you'll hit a lot of flops hard, so you raise purely for value.

We flop top pair/top kicker + backdoor straight draws + 2 backdoor nutflush draws. A naked top pair is not enough to get to the river in a multiway pot, but here we have top pair with decent backup. By betting the flop, we're setting ourselves up for profitably continuing on a lot of turn cards:

- Any A, K, Q, J T
- Most spades
- Most clubs

We have to be careful on turn cards that pair the two low cards on the board, or fill a straight draw, but more than half the deck will be good for us. In other words, we expect to often pick up more equity on the turn. This means that even if we don't have enough hand to get to the river now, we will often have enough hand on the turn.

Therefore we don't expect to set ourselves up for many tricky turn scenarios with an unimproved naked top pair if we c-bet and get called, even if we're out of position. So we are happy with building the pot bigger, based on value (and of course we won't mind picking up the pot on the flop):

Turn: A 6 5 K (3.60)
Small Blind ($8.40) checks, you ($8.40) bet $3.60, Small Blind folds.

You hit one of your many good turn cards, and now you have top two pair + nutflush draw + gutshot. Small Blind continues to display weakness, and we have a clear turn bet for value. It's very unlikely he has us beat at this point (he needs a set), and if he is drawing we want him to pay for the privilege. If we get checkraised, we of course call with 16 outs to nutflush, nutstraight, or a full house.

Example 3.1.3: En c-bet decision in a 4-way pot
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop:
CO ($10) limps, you ($10) raise to $0.45 with A 8 7 5 on the button, Small Blind ($10) calls, Big Blind ($10) calls, CO calls.

Flop: K J 6 ($1.80)
Small Blind ($9.55) checks, Big Blind ($9.55) checks, CO ($9.55) checks, you ($9.55) check.

The preflop raise is a standard raise to isolate a limper with a solid hand. We don't get the postflop scenario we had hoped for (heads-up with position in a raised pot), and we see the flop 4-way. This is of course fine with us, since we have a nutty coordinated and double-suited hand that plays very well multiway. But it means we have to adjust our postflop plan accordingly. Instead of c-betting most flop heads-up, our plan is now to play fit-or-fold multiway, and we won't c-bet unless we hit the flop in some way.

So is this flop fit or fold for us? We have the nutflush draw and a backdoor straight draw, but we definitely don't have enough hand to bet and get the stack in on the flop. And we don't expect to pick up the pot often on the flop, since we expect our opponents to often hit a piece on a K J x flop. So we simply use our position to take a free card and hope to improve for free.

Flop: K J 6 Q ($1.80)
Small Blind ($9.55) checks, Big Blind ($9.55) bets $1.80, CO folds, you fold.

The turn card didn't help us, and now Big Blind bets pot. All we have is a naked nutflush draw without anything extra, so this is a simple pot odds problem. We need more than 4 : 1, and we're getting 2 : 1 with presumed poor implied odds, so we fold. Can't win them all.

Note that position made this hand much simpler and cheaper to play than if we had raised from UTG. Here we got a free card on the flop, but someone would often have bet behind us if we had checked this hand from out of position. This would force us to either pay to improve, or fold decent equity if we didn't believe we had enough pot odds + implied odds.

3.2 Position
There are two kinds of position:

- Absolute position
- Relative position

Absolute position is our position relative to the button. Relative position is our position relative to the preflop raiser (or other players who we expect to bet).

When it comes to absolute position, we prefer to act last, and this is extremely important. Relative position matters less, but we will always keep it in mind when planning our play.

The first mantras a new PLO player learns are "position is everything" and "position, position, position". Beginners of course understand that position is important, based on common sense. But they don't fully understand just how important position really is in this game until they have played a few thousand hands and felt the effect of playing in and out of position.

They quickly discover how much more betting you can do in position, due to the fact that players out of position are forced to reveal weakness first. For example, marginal hands that you have to check out of position after betting the flop and getting called, can often be bet twice in position. They also experience the discomfort of sitting out of position with a so-so hand, particularly when an aggressive and competent player has position on them.

Two key concepts for understanding the importance of position in PLO are:

1. The players out of position are generally forced to play a more straightforward game
2. The players out of position are often forced to limit their range first

Both factors cause information to flow from the players out of position to the players in position. PLO is a game where anyone can have (or represent) anything at any time. Because of this, there isn't much naked bluffing in PLO, unless the pot is heads-up. Also, if you have the best hand on the flop, you can easily get outdrawn.

So if we find ourselves out of position with a strong hand, we rarely slowplay in a multiway pot. Both because we can easily get outdrawn, and because we can't trust the players behind us (for example, the preflop raiser) to bet a worse hand and give us a chance to checkraise. This means the players out of position often bet out with their strong hands, even if they didn't raise preflop. This benefits the players with position, since they now get a lot of honest information about the strength of their opponent's hand.

If we are weak and out of position, we will rarely make big moves to win a pot. This is because any of the players behind us can have flopped a big hand, and we don't have any information about where the strength lies (since nobody has acted before us). But in position with a weak hand, we can sometimes put in a well-timed bluff, after our opponents have revealed weakness by checking to us.

A big part of the postflop game is based in simple assumption about strength, where we don't necessarily think about the details of our opponents' ranges. Betting and raising, followed by more of the same on the next street, signals weakness. Betting followed by checking signals weakness. Calling is weaker than betting and raising, but does not necessarily mean weakness.

Let's look at a common postflop scenario that illustrates the ills of playing out of position:

Example 3.2.1: Playing out of position with a limited range
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop:
UTG ($10) raises to $0.35, button ($10) calls, the blinds fold. UTG is a straightforward TAG, and button is unknown (both to us and to UTG).

UTG raise represents a strong range weighted towards suited and coordinated high card hands. Button's call represents a weaker range (since he didn't 3-bet), but he will never be a big underdog against UTG's range (PLO starting hand values run close).

Flop: A 8 4 ($0.85)
UTG ($9.65) bets $0.70, button calls.

UTG's flop play did not limit his range. His range for c-betting heads-up is probably identical to his preflop raising range, so he can have anything from top set to air. Button's call tells us that he has hit the flop in some way. He isn't representing a monster by calling, but he isn't necessarily weak. He could be slowplaying a monster, or he has a medium strong hand that does well in this scenario (heads-up against a wide range that didn't necessarily hit the flop). Remember, we expect UTG to c-bet a lot of air on this flop.

But as a starting point we expect button to mostly have a moderately strong hand since he didn't raise, and since there aren't many monster hands possible on this dry flop. Button could also be floating (calling with a very weak hand, planning to steal the pot on later streets if UTG checks and gives up). At any rate, we expect his range to be fairly wide after the flop call, and it's difficult to say anything precise about his hand.

Turn: A 8 4 K ($2.25)
UTG ($8.95) now has an important decision to make

If UTG checks this turn, he limits his range, while button still has a wide range. The board isn't very draw-heavy, but a flush draw and some weak straight draws are possible. So if UTG has a strong made hand, it will rarely be strong enough to offer button a free card (unless UTG expects button to bet a lot when checked to, so that UTG can checkraise). Therefore, with a strong hand against an unknown player on the button, a straightforward TAG would simply bet again most of the time. He could be going for a checkraise, but hands that are strong enough to checkraise don't come around all that often.

Therefore, if UTG checks this turn he is sending button a lot of information about the strength of his hand. Basically, he is telling button that he probably isn't strong enough to make it to showdown. A thinking player on the button can now use this information to his advantage. He can create a lot of leverage by betting the turn against a presumed weak range.

If UTG has a marginal hand that he would like to take to showdown, he is now faced with the threat of having to call two big bets. He might get to a showdown by calling only one bet, and he might not. Only button, who now is in control of the hand, knows. This threat forces UTG to give up on the turn with a lot of marginal hands. He is weak, and by checking he has told button that he is weak. Button now has the power to muscle him out of the pot by making a big turn bet and threatening to follow up with an even bigger river bet.

Let's say UTG has A Q Q 9 and checks the turn. He now has top pair/top kicker on a somewhat coordinated board, where button probably has a medium strong range (mostly various marginal made hands or draws). But button could have a strong hand, and he he doesn't, he might improve to one on the river. So what is UTG supposed to do if button bets after his check? Check-call down? Check-call one bet, and then check-fold the river?

UTG's problem is that he has revealed weakness by checking. And if he check-calls the turn, he confirms he is weak. Button can now read UTG's hand pretty accurately as at best a marginal hand with showdown value that would like to get cheaply to showdown. Button should then realize that UTG probably can't call two big bets to get to a showdown. So he can create enormous pressure on UTG by betting big on the turn.

Since UTG knows that button knows that UTG probably can't call down, UTG has to realize that a turn check-call (to keep button honest) is unlikely to do much for him. If UTG starts check-calling turns with marginal hands, but folding them to a river bet, he will simply donate chips against an observant opponent. But if he decides to check-call all the way down with these hands, he will get value-bet to death. So a static strategy where UTG either check-calls once, or check-calls down, will not do him much good.

Therefore, when UTG has limited his range to weak hands by checking the turn, he will be better off by simply check-folding his marginal hands instead of trying to sneak them to showdown in a small pot (which is out of his control). If UTG thinks it is a good idea to put more chips into the pot with a marginal hand on the turn, it will generally be better for him to bet himself (and keeping his range unlimited) instead of checking to button and revealing weakness.

A turn bet would then be partly for value (we might get called by a weaker hand), partly a semibluff (we hope button folds, but we might improve to the best hand when he calls with a better hand), and partly to stop him from bluffing (we risk getting bluffed out after a check, since we can't really check-call).

At any rate, the morale here is that as a general rule you don't want to play passively out of position with a weak range. You will get bet to death by competent and aggressive players with position on you. They can read your range for what is is (especially when they have seen you do this a couple of times), and they will make your life hell on the turn and river. They know more about your range than you know about theirs, and they can easily represent strong hands (especially of you keep checking).

NB! This does not mean that you should keep betting marginal hands on the turn any time you are afraid of getting bluffed if you check! The cure for this problem is found on the previous streets. You have to look ahead and see the problems that come from:

1. Playing a lot of non-nutty starting hands out of position preflop
2. Betting a lot of marginal hands out of position on the flop

For example, let's say you get a free flop with Q 9 6 2 in a 4-way pot, and you flop bottom two pair on a coordinated board like J 9 2 . Don't bet out with this hand out of position in a multiway pot, simply check and fold. Your hand is extremely weak, even if it might be the "best hand" on the flop.

You will sometimes get raised and have to fold. And you will often get called, and then you will unavoidably have to check a lot of turns and be faced with unpleasant decisions when the opposition bets. Just count all the nasty turn cards that could come, and you will see that betting this flop can only lead to misery on later streets. Sure, you will sometimes pick up the pot on the flop, but it's a tiny pot. And you risk losing a lot when you get action.

Understanding and exploiting position is in my opinion the most important skill to train when you want to master PLO. We have talked about position throughout this article series, and we will continue to explore position and its uses in future articles. In Part 9 we will talk more about hand reading and using information and "betting leverage" in position (a topic we touched on in Example 3.2.1).

3.3 Stack sizes (measured by SPR)
The third factor that we will use in postflop planning is the ratio of stack size to pot size on the flop (and only on the flop). We call this "SPR" (Stack-Pot-Ratio). If the players have different stack sizes, there will exist an SPR value between each pair of players.

Here is an example:

Example 3.3.1: SPR in a multiway pot
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop:
You ($20.50) raise to $0.35 with A J 9 8 from UTG, MP ($8.20) calls, button ($2.60) calls, Big Blind ($21.50) calls.

Flop: x x x ($1.45)

Below are the SPR values between you and each opponent (remember that effective stack size between two players is equal to the smaller stack):

- Hero ($20.15) vs MP ($7.85): 7.85/1.45 =5.4
- Hero ($20.15) vs button ($2.25): 2.25/1.45 =1.6
- Hero ($20.15) vs Big Blind ($21.15): 20.15/1.45 =13.9

We remember from Part 5 that we loosely defined 4 categories of SPR values:

- Ultra low: less than 1
- Low: less than 4
- Medium: 4-13
- High: more than 13

We note that the SPR values 1, 4, and 13 correspond to needing exactly 1, 2 and 3 pot-sized bets to get all-in. Scenarios with high or high/medium SPR typically occur in limped and raised pots. In 3-bet pots we usually have low or medium/low SPR. In 4-bet pots we usually have low/ultra low SPR

In the example above we have medium SPR (5.4) against MP, low SPR (1.6) against button, and high SPR against Big Blind. If we want to be a little more nuanced, we can say medium/low against MP, low/ultra low against button, and high against Big Blind.

Now we know how to compute SPR values and categorize them, and the next step is to learn how to use this information in postflop planning. The principle is easy to understand:

The higher the SPR, the lower effective pot odds we're getting for going all-in postflop, and the more equity we need to get profitably all-in- Conversely, the lower the SPR, the less equity we need to get profitably all-in

We can illustrate this concept in a simple way by computing how much equity we need to get profitably all-in heads-up on the flop with different SPR values:

SPR =1:
We risk 1 to win 1 + 1 =2, so we're getting effective pot odds 2 : 1. We need 1/(2+1) =33% equity.

SPR =4:
We risk 4 to win 1 + 4 =5, so we're getting effective pot odds 5 : 4. We need 1/(5+4) =44% equity.

SPR =13:
We risk 13 to win 1 + 13 =14, so we're getting effective pot odds 14 : 13. We need 1/(14+13) =48% equity.

In other words, the higher the SPR, the more important it is to be a favorite on the flop (e.g. more than 50% equity heads-up, more than 33% 3-way, etc.). The reason is that when the SPR increases, there is less overlay from dead money on the pot. Therefore our EV is depends more on having good equity when the money goes in.

We don't always play to get all-in postflop, but this principle hangs over our heads any time we get involved on the flop. If we're in a scenario where we either get all-in on the flop, or set ourselves up for getting all-in on a later street, we have to make sure our equity correlates well with our SPR.

The higher the SPR, the more important it becomes to have the nuts or draws to the nuts when we build a big pot. This is even more important in multiway pots where the risk of running into the nuts is far greater than in heads-up pots.

We will now look at 4 examples where we operate with different SPR values, and we'll discuss the consequences this has for postflop play. To keep things simple, we'll assume all players have the same stack size.

Example 3.3.2: Postflop planning with high SPR
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop:
UTG ($10) limps, CO ($10) limps, you ($10) limp K K 7 5 on the button, Big Blind ($10) checks.

Flop: J T 6 ($0.45)
Big Blind ($9.90) checks, UTG ($9.90) bets $0.45, CO ($9.90) calls. What is your plan?

Let's go through the 3 postflop factors we have discussed in this article (number of opponents, position, and SPR). We have 3 opponents, and we have the best absolute position (but not the best relative position, since we're not closing the betting). SPR is 9.90/0.45 =22 (very high).

A high SPR in a multiway pot where 2 players have already gotten involved on the flop means we need nutty hands/draws to be happy playing a big pot. And on a draw-heavy flop like this one, we want nut potential before putting a single chip into the pot. Having position makes it easier to get to showdown with hands that can't be raised for value, but this is not an argument for getting involved with weak hands/draws in this type of scenario.

The most important factor in a high SPR scenario that is heading towards a showdown in a big pot is our nut potential. We also have to think about negative implied odds when we get involved with marginal hands/draws. And this is precisely the case here.

We flop a mostly naked overpair (we can almost ignore the low flushdraw in a multiway pot) on a very draw-heavy flop. There is a bet and a call in front of us. We have:

- A weak hand without much potential for improvement, and no nut outs
- A high SPR, which means a poor risk/reward ratio in a big pot
- Good absolute position, but this does not help us much with a hand this poor

Conclusion: Fold on the flop

Calling a bet because we think we often have "the best hand on the flop" will only lead to problems. For starters, we're far behind monster draws, and our flushdraw is worthless. Furthermore, we can't keep calling unimproved with our weak hand/weak draw if UTG keeps betting. And finally we don't have any outs that give us a hand we can be confident is best. So fold, fold fold.

Example 3.3.3: Postflop planning with medium SPR
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop:
UTG ($16) raises to $0.35, you ($16) 3-bet to $1.20 with A A 8 8 on the button, the blinds fold, UTG calls.

Flop: J 9 6 ($2.55)
UTG ($14.80) checks, what is your plan?

The postflop factors in addition to our cards:

- Heads-up
- In position
- Medium SPR (14.8/2.55 =5.8)

The first two are very good for us, and the third is neutral before we look at the cards. By neutral we mean that SPR doesn't have any advantage or disadvantage in and of itself. What matters is how we adjust our postflop plan according to the SPR. When we look at our cards and the flop, we can make good and bad decisions, relative to our SPR.

So let's see what we have equity-wise. Not much. We have a naked overpair without draws on a very coordinated flop. We have a little extra from two blockers to the straight draws out there, but that is all.

So we basically have to choose between two lines:

- Bet-fold the flop
- Check the flop and hope to check the hand down (but reserving the right to bet the turn if Villain checks again)

Here we have stumbled into the Gray Area, and we have to play poker as best we can. But note that if we stick to one of the lines above, the potential for self-inflicted damage is limited. The only catastrophically bad thing we can do is to put more than one bet into the pot, and that is not an option.

Using position to take a free card and hope to check the hand down is a good plan here. If we elect to bet, we have to fold to a check-raise, since our equity is very poor against Villain's check-raising range (mostly strong combinations of made hands + draws). To be happy about getting all-in with naked AAxx on this flop, I would want an SPR below 1. For example, a 4-bet pot with 100 BB starting stacks where we have committed ourselves to get all-in on any flop.

Example 3.3.4: Postflop planning with low SPR
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop:
UTG ($10) raises to $0.35, button ($10) calls, you ($10) 3-bet to $1.50 with A A 8 7 in the small blind, UTG calls, button calls.

Flop: T 6 3 ($4.60)
You ($8.50) act first. What is your plan?

Postflop factors in addition to the cards:

- 2 opponents
- Out of position
- Low SPR (8.50/4.60 =1.8)

The low SPR value (less than 2) means we don't need a monster to bet out and commit ourselves on this flop (we should not bet unless we are willing to get the rest of the stack in). Having two opponents is an argument for caution, but this is less of a concern with such a low SPR. We are out of position, but this is not a big problem either, since we're not planning to give up at any point in the hand, if we have a hand good enough to bet.

So do we have enough hand to bet here? Definitely. We have an overpair + nut gutshot draw + 2 backdoor flush draws. We usually have the best hand on the flop, and we have decent equity against better hands, should we clash with one. We have about 2 + 4 + 2x1 =8 nut-outs (for about 4x8 =32% equity) against most better hands, so we're not too worried about running into a better hand.

We expect to often pick up the pot on the flop, and we never have very bad equity when we don't. So this is a clear bet-and-get-it-in flop scenario.

Example 3.3.5: Postflop planning with ultra low SPR
$10PLO
6-handed

Preflop:
CO ($10) raises to $0.35, you ($10) make a speculative 3-bet to $1.20 with J 8 7 5 on the button, the blinds fold, CO 4-bets to $3.75, you call.

Flop: K J 6 ($7.65)
CO ($6.25) pushes, what do you do?

Postflop factors in addition to our cards

- Heads-up
- In position
- Ultra low SPR (6.25/7.65 =0.82

We note that in ultra low SPR scenarios the two other factors become unimportant. The reason is that with less than pot-sized bet left in the stack we only have a pot odds decision to make. We get it in with sufficient equity, and otherwise we fold.

Here we're getting pot odds 13.90 : 6.25 =2.2 : 1, so we need 1/(2.2 + 1) =31% equity. We assume CO almost always has AAxx here, so we need to flop two pair or better, or a draw with at least 8 clean outs (for 4x8 =32% equity according to the 4x rule).

Here we have one pair (9+2 =11 outs to two par/trips) + backdoor straight draw + 2 non-nut backdoor flushdraws on a not-too-coordinated flop. As shown in examples in previous articles, we reduce the two pair/trips outs from 11 to 8 to account for the redraw that AAxx has against our two pair, and the equity AAxx gets from the unknown side cards. The 1 + 2 =3 backdoor outs to a straight and 2 non-nut flushes should also be discounted a bit because of the lack of nut potential. We exercise some judgment and count 2 backdoor outs. Our final estimate is 8 + 2 =10 presumed clean outs on the flop.

This gives 4x10 =40% estimated equity on the flop, so we're well above the 31% threshold, and we have an easy call. A ProPokerTools simulation confirms our estimate:



Turn: K J 6 T ($20.15)

River: K J 6 T A ($20.15)

CO wins with A A 7 6 . We had 41% equity against his actual hand on the flop.



3.4 Summary of postflop planning
We have decided to focus on the following factors when planning postflop play on the flop:

1. The number of opponents
2. Position
3. Stack sizes (measured by SPR)
4. Our estimated equity (given by the cards we can see and our assumptions about our opponents and their ranges)

In this article we have discussed 1-3, and we save the discussion of equity for Part 9. By separating the general factors (everything except our cards) from the specific ones (the cards), we're underlining the importance of looking up from the cards and paying attention to the other things going on in the hand. A poker hand is not the cards we see, it's the cards we see in the context of all other available information. The more information we can gather and process, the better our decision making will be.

A good exercise to train the understanding of factors outside of the cards goes as follows:

- Ignore the cards
- Think through all the other factors
- Decide what kind of hand you need to get involved on the flop
- Look at what you actually have, and decide whether or not this is good enough

For example, you have overlimped some hand xxxx behind CO on the button, and both blinds come along. You see an X X X flop in a 4-way pot. Small Blind bets, and CO calls. Everyone has a full stack, so the SPR is high. Which cards do you now want to see?

It should be fairly obvious that we want a nutty hand here. Either a strong made hand (preferably with backup draws) or a strong and nutty draw. If you now see 9 8 7 6 on a 6 5 4 flop, you are happy. If you see K K J 7 on a K 9 6 flop, you are happy. If you see A K T T on a 7 7 6 flop, you hold your nose and fold.

You can also pick a hand you have played previously and play the "what if?" game. What should you have done in this scenario, the way it was? What should you have done with another type of hand? What should you have done if your position had changed? And so on and so forth.

Practicing postflop planning away from the table will increase your ability to think and plan at the table. You want to see your cards as a part of a bigger whole, and you want to understand how the different postflop factors are connected.

4. Summary
In this article we have built a minimalistic theoretical framework for thinking about postflop scenarios and planning postflop play. We made a list of 4 important factors (number of opponents, position, SPR and equity), and we discussed how these factors guide our postflop decision making.

We illustrated sound PLO postflop decision making with many examples. The examples were kept simple to stress important concepts, but we will get to more complex "real life" scenarios in future articles, and we'll see how our model for postflop planning can be used there.

In the next article we'll end our discussion about postflop planning with a thorough treatment of equity and equity-related concepts. Among other things we'll learn how to count outs for various draws (including big wrap straight draws) and how to quickly and accurately estimate equity on the flop. Then, when we have learned how to analyze and plan hands on the flop, we will start discussing some specific and common postflop scenarios.

In a few days I'll also post blog #3 for the practical part of the article series. There I will present results from the lowest PLO limit ($5PLO) we have played through. I'll also talk about my experience with this limit (general comments on the limit, the most common mistakes players make there, and how to exploit these mistakes).

Good luck!
Bugs