strategy

Hand Histories: Why and How

Hand histories are both overrated and underrated, but if done correctly, can be entirely useful for the writer, reader, and all participants. Critics of hand histories or of poker forums, such as Matt Berkey, and no doubt others, have suggested, correctly, that concepts and questions are more important, but what that side of the argument can miss is a deeper truth in their desire to rise above the x’s and o’s:

A hand history is never about the hand itself.

What hand histories ultimately reveal are what players think about. They are samples, and who cares about the sample on its own? Does any one hand ultimately matter, even if the poster thinks it does? (And who cares about that guy.) Why would you obsess over one hand if you played it, and why would you criticize one play in a million if you read about it? You don’t cover your house with the swatch.

The idea is bigger: Every hand you play intertwines with every other hand you play.bedtime

Therefore hand histories, however petty and dismissable by the Big Picture Pandas, are a key, a clue, a window into the mind of a player. Hand histories are the tip of the iceberg, the exposed part of the important, deeper layers worth pondering. That’s why good players and good commenters rarely say things like “I don’t mind”… “Your line isn’t terrible, bro,” “I like a,” “____ing is fine…” etc, etc., because those types, who think they have just been (happily) called by a pollster, the Armchair Quarterback Signal shining above their Poker Gotham, miss the point: hand histories are a biopsy, not a Hot Topic which requires their imperial thumbs up or down.

Even faux scientific poker questions shouldn’t be settled by a vote, and neither should your poker thought process.

The most common lesson learned from a hand history has nothing to do with the poster’s stated question. He or she writes up a hand, wondering about some spot or how they got there. Then it is revealed by commentators that the problem came much earlier, or somewhere else. New ideas emerge, a reference is made, connections form. Perhaps, even, a pattern begins to emerge between hand histories. That’s important and telling.

So hand histories, at heart, really can be about the big questions and concepts, all triggered by the mundane details of a single hand.

That’s why Hand histories remain a powerful learning tool. To reach their full potential, however, the recapitulation has to be done well. How do we (because it’s not just about you) get the most out of your hand history? Well, let’s back up and set expectations more realistically: to even just avoid getting poor feedback (including no feedback), there is important information that is necessary as well as certain standards of content that are required. Let’s go through the most relevant stuff and then look at some examples.

Hand History Guide

  1. Background.
    1. Stakes and type of game. This, combined with something pertinent, often work well as a title.
    2. Gameflow is the trump card of information and necessary for dealing with ambiguous, marginal situations like the ones most of you want to post. What is Gameflow? It is the intersection of the strategic and tactical styles of the players with what has been happening at the table, and further, with what everyone involves thinks about it. It is the game beyond your boring +EV line, and where all the above the rim stuff happens.
    3. Villain description(s). Getting past the generalities of gameflow, our villain is the opponent and deserves special attention. While he may be a crusher or a donator– these and all others are generalities – we need to move past high concept information and now get specific. So say you want to call someone a fish. What does this player do to make you think he is a fish, or a LAG or a pro, or a _____? Answering that question, using this answer as a description, and then removing the general label that created it is the nut high of hand history writing.
  2. The Basics.
    1. Effective stacks if not complete stacks, especially for multiway hands, are the most decisive aspect of a poker hand. Also, it is best to be consistent: if you put one effective stack in the Background, why are you putting another in the Action? That’s just not good organization and makes the reader go back and forth. At heart, NL is all about stack size, and if you blow this one, what does anything else matter? Your cards are just pieces of equity which relate to the stack sizes, yet posters again and again prove they think this is an afterthought by omitting them, all or in part. Try this: run a hand history with cards but no stacks, then stacks but no cards. Which one is much more interesting? Which handicap is worse?
    2. Positions. This one seems obvious right? But EP is less informative than UTG, and CO is more helpful than LP. Can you think of why that is? And don’t forget what position Hero is (besides the center of the universe). Buried in this one should get us Number of Opponents – a small but sometimes vital fact that you need to include if your formatting doesn’t cover it. Positions  tell us about prospective ranges – including your own.
    3. Yes, Cards. However, if you don’t include the suits, players can’t think through all the possibilities of the hand. You’re asking them to think like you do and then want them to give a differing opinion. See the problem? (Actually some of you don’t want a differing opinion. Oy.)
  3. Action
    1. There are various ways to do this, but just like a poker hand, the action will be easiest to understand if you got the earlier streets, what I called the Basics, right. So however you list the action, whether you put comments between the streets or make asides, get this stuff right.
      1. List Pot size on every street. We didn’t come to do arithmetic for you, that’s your job. Are you one of those kitchens that gets a salad order and then puts the dressing on the side? The reader should be focusing on patterns and gleaning information, but then you make him figure out, and often worse, correct your addition.
      2. Clear sequence of actions. You can do this various ways but consistency and simplicity are the watchwords. List each street separated by a space, or, in other words, consider a street analogous to a paragraph.
      3. While listing the community cards on each street, suits are not optional they must be there!
    2. Text
      1. Short paragraphs. There is more than one way to scratch this cat (felines should not be skinned, flayed, or dismembered in any way), but it seems that some people just can’t organize a half-page driblet of information. If people want walls of insane text, they can read this blog. If you have a clear sequence of actions followed by a space, you will have room for pertinent commentary, and your reader will naturally pause to reflect.
      2. English only at the table. Your garbled internetese may work for you and your friends, but you are communicating with people across the planet. Like, literally, man. Some of them are using English as a second or third language. So write coherently with words that are words or expect only feedback from people like yourself. (As as side note, if you spell losing with a word for releasing an arrow I do assume you are a complete idiot.)
      3. Hand Receipts are not Hand Histories. If you’re fortunate enough to be playing online, where everything except your cursing in the chat box is automated, your site or client or HUD will spit out a pile of numbers and names which give a complete overview of the situation. You may have to clean up this poker shopping data, as it’s more of a receipt than a story, heavy on unimportant information, unfocused, and with sometimes, no metagame or statistical info at all.
  4. A note on Results:
    1. Giving the result of the hand prematurely is a gigantic error and pours water on the fire. I recommend an arbitrary waiting period of one week – this may be too long but it’s better than the opposite. Hidden spoilers are not a good idea.
    2. That said it is also error to think that you should never post the results. Learning about what Villain showed up with and reworking his logic is just another aspect of the hand and useful to the people who took their time to help you. (Plus it’s fun to know.)
    3. Results also point to the give and take nature of the hand history: it’s not all about you, and if you spoil the result immediately, we see through your reason for posting.

Hand History Examples

Simple hand history that works well.

No background, missing basic information (suits) make this one less effective than it could be.the mistress

Multistreet hand with exceedingly clear action.

Great hand made harder to read than necessary.

Mixing Background with Action made this one a little hard to follow.

Very clear but note how you have to go to two places to find (only some of) the stacks. Also note staggered action sequence instead of linear description; that works.

Disaster

Tying It All Together

Now we can complete our argument. If hand histories are really not about the hand, we should see evidence of this and in fact learn much about a player by looking at multiple hand histories from one poster. While we do this, consider how valueless the single hand sometimes is. Here are two recent and prime examples of how strung together, hand histories are shown to really be about concepts and questions.

These two hands reveal much about the OP. Separately, we see a prudent decision making process. We can focus on some preflop things or tweak some other marginalia… but something else is going on that is ten times bigger. Can you figure out what it is and how it influences OP’s poker future? Taken separately we might never deduce it, passing over two hands awash in the forum debris.

After a long buckshot series of RC posts, poster Kagey nails down rabid poster Austin as a “Hammer”: together the two players go on to quite the dialogue. This appellation for Austin is useful, because Kagey has used a series of separately uninformative hands to learn something profound about Austin’s game. This, in turn, should allow deeper questions to be asked. How should Austin be playing this short stacked game? Is Austin even wrong to try to eat up equity in a game structure where hands want to fight back by felting themselves lightly? In other words, is being a Hammer in fact right? How is such a game beaten? Separately, Austin’s posts are less valuable, often featuring low information (villian=fish, etc.) and a confirmatory bias, yet taken as a whole a bigger picture emerges. Austin produces a body of work. See how one hand leads into the next. For example, consider a very important one among all these posts, the 98 hand; can you think of why a lead there is not only best, it is fundamentally sound? Clue: Ask yourself what the purpose of a x/r is. And then connect it to this hand, where Austin gives away the game by being indifferent to the options: deep insight into his game and how he might improve it.

Conclusion

Every poker forum is full of these opportunities to get the most out of your single hand history, provided you think beyond the one hand you are posting or responding to, and instead think of a body of poker work. It’s true that with a lack of focus and attention, there is nothing more dull or uninteresting than a hand history; just clicking on a poker forum makes me want to throw up sometimes. Yet with proper formatting and detail, just one hand, and certainly the intersection of multiple hands – can help produce as deep an insight as any other form of poker learning,

The body of work I referenced was not a casual phrase. When you take all these factors, your whole history combined with the history of who you play with, you can begin to find answers that elude you, and more importantly, open up questions you were not even thinking of asking. You can develop a personal style from examining and being examined, one that will lead you well past the shackles of static ranges, “right” play, or whatever has been troubling you. It is from here that you can answer tough questions, even (recent) concrete ones such as when to limp, or when to bet your underpair and why. It is in this way that a seemingly dull hand history, one that on the surface seems undynamic and hopelessly specific, can become the beginning of an insight that will change your whole game and be the difference between long-term winning and losing.

sexy 8

 

This post was shared on Alec Torelli’s Best of Poker Series

 

Nice Hand

15 Comments

  1. You had mentioned at the RCP luncheon that this would be coming, and I said then I sure hoped so. This far exceeds my expectations. A tremendous amount of thought and work has obviously gone into it. I have spent all morning on it, going through the various hands, not only to see your points on presentation, but to also to gain from these terrific hands. This is one of the best posts I have ever seen ANYWHERE! Thank you very much! — Bill Conklin

  2. This was a fantastic post. Very thoughtful. Very helpful. Is there a way for people to post hand histories and get critique on you blog?

  3. Glad to be helpful on all accounts. As for getting critiques, I’ll have to think about how to best handle that, but for now posting on Red Chip and asking for my feedback makes the most sense and I already do it. They have all the cool suit and rank thingamajiggies… I think I need to get some for myself!

  4. As a fanboy I’m honored to have been made a part of the post. May my incompetence serve as a lesson to others.

    — Monad/John

    1. No incompetence there at all, just particular qualities, as with each of us. You bring a high level of competence to the forums.

      1. Thanks :) (1) BTW are you responsible for the creation of all these wonderfully crude back-of-the-napkin doodles? (2) Possible to sum up what stands out to you most in my posts? (I have my own ideas about what “unites them” thematically, but we all have obvious blind-spots when thinking about our own games)

        – Monad

        1. (1) Yes, they are all mine. (2) Off the top of my head, sage, measured play stands out, probably conditioned by what appears to be absurdly loose, occasionally erratic, somewhat face up opposition. In the hands referenced above, your instinct to recognize and respect conditions against you, rather focusing on attempting to overcome them, seems key.

  5. Love it! Thanks for posting. Any chance this could be posted as a FAQ on RCP? Would make a great reference tool when posting a hand history.

    1. Thanks! I don’t write for them so it will stay here, but I think I will take your suggestion and sticky it in some way.

  6. Thanks for loosing this post on us. lt’s great advice for anyone posting or responding to a hand history. Would love for this to be a sticky on RCP (including the MS paints, of course).

    Very persuasive regarding the merits of hand histories. In isolation, I think the big picture approach to learning is more efficient, but BP and HH can work in conjunction- there’s no reason to choose one approach exclusively.

    Many would improve their game just by reading your post. They fail to gather and consider all relevant info in the first place (most often, 1B, 1C, and 2A). Even when game flow and villain description are included, they are often (for various reasons) misinterpreted by the poster.

    I’m skeptical when someone is just blasting the forum with careless, rushed HH. They don’t want to improve, they want a pat on the back. I suppose they can’t be helped but perhaps it’s still worth trying.

    I’m going to try to implement your approach to responding to HH and considering the poster’s body of work, when possible. The implications for how this can improve my own game seem clear.

  7. Great comments. Yes, some posters are going to be helped more easily and/or contribute more than others, for sure. I think we sense who they are and avoid them, at least in part.

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The OOP Lexicon is a user-developed poker glossary.

Absolute Position
Being last to act (e.g. closest to the button) postflop.

Advancing Leverage
Aggressive actions intended to shift the leverage point closer to the current street.

Analog
A bluff or value hand which is a natural candidate for balancing another hand because of their shared qualities, such as AA and AK; usually helps planning range splitting and line construction.

Auto profit threshold (APT)
A bluff made with positive expectation resulting from the opponent under defending vis-a-vis bet sizing. The inverse of MDF.

Balance
Choosing to support either value bets or bluffs with their converse.

Bet
A bet is a proposition.  It’s the first offer on the pot with regard to the outcome of the game. Each player, in turn, has the opportunity to lay or change the price on the pot to the rest of the players. “The language of poker.” The bet, as opposed to the raise, is most often and most easily allied to the merged pricing construction.

Block
To remove combinations of hands from a range based on cards in your hand or on the board.

Blockers
Cards which influence our combinatorial assumptions. Ex: We face resistance on T76ss while we hold As7d. Both our cards act as blockers. Our ace of spades blocks (limits) a number of flush draws our opponent could hold, while our seven blocks a number of two pair and sets our opponent could hold. *See also Block and Unblock

Blocker Bet
A small bet made by an out-of-position player.

Board Texture
The available community cards and the set of conditions which inform its relationship to a logical range.

Bottom
The worst hands in a betting range.  Depending on context this could be the worst hand in a value bet range or the bluffing section of polarized range.

Bounded
A range descriptor indicating a range shape with a specific high or low boundary.  A range bounded high won't contain some number of the best linear hands ranked from the top down.  This is equivalent to a "capped" range.  A range bounded low won't contain some number of the worst linear hands ranked from the bottom up.  This is often useful to describe a range that doesn't include any air or very weak hands.

Capitalization
A strategic mode in which a player is attempting to deny their opponent(s) equity share of the pot through aggression. Often referred to as “denying equity” or “buying up equity”.

Capped
A range is capped when it represents little to no nutted combinations as confirmed by prior action.

Cbet
A continuation bet. A bet made by the player with initiative as a continuation of their initiative on a prior street.

Clarity
The ability to accurately range an opponent based on all available information at a decision point.  An understanding of your hands exact equity.

Closing Action
Acting last where no subsequent action is possible behind you.  For example calling a UTG raise in the BB or calling in position postflop with no players behind.

Cold Call/Cold Bet
An action is considered “cold” when it comes from a player entering into the pot has not previously put chips voluntarily in the pot. Ex: the UTG opens, the BTN 3bets. If the SB were to call or raise, it would be a cold-call or a cold-4bet.

Combinatorics
The branch of mathematics the deals with finite number sets. Used in poker in determining the amount of combinations of certain hands in a range.

Complete
When a blind that is not the biggest blind calls the amount of the biggest blind. Ex: At $2/$5, action folds around to the SB and the SB completes. Meaning they just call. The BB can complete when there is a straddle.

Condensed
A capped range that contains only middling value hands. A range without the polarized portion.

Construction
Logical advancement of combinations across streets.

Dark Side of the Deck
The large swath of hands, often off-suit, that fall outside of conventional playable recommendations. Counter-equity hands.

Dead Money
Money in the pot that is not being fought for.  A passive player creates dead money when they call a bet preflop and looking to play fit-or-fold postflop. Dead Money is often confused with the money in the pot.

Delayed Cbet
A cbet made on the turn by the preflop raiser when the flop checked through.

Delaying Leverage
Passive actions intended to maintain a likely late street leverage point, or possibly to avoid a leverage point entirely.

Deviation
A strategic break from one’s standard construction as an exploit of a particular player’s profile or construction.

Diminishing Medium Value Category
A Seidman concept in which when one’s middling value hand range is too small and transparent to our opponent and thus either that range should be shifted into the top of a polarized range or the nutted portion should be shifted into the medium value range. Ex: AQo or TT being 3bet preflop.

Downbet
A cbet that is less than the preflop raise. Ex: BTN opens to $25, we 3bet to $90 from the SB, BTN calls. On the flop we cbet $70.

Dry Board
A board texture that yields relatively few logical hands value. Often containing one medium or high card and disconnected low cards. Ex: Q53r, T622r.

Dual Mentalities
A Seidman concept in which when we decide to go postflop with a weak hand against a nutted range, we should either be looking to out flop it or steal the pot away. We base our decision against the player type we are up against and never go post with both mentalities at once.

Dynamic Board
A flop texture in which the runout is very likely to change the order of top ranking hands. Ex: 954tt, 742r.

Effective Stack
The smallest stack to VPIP in a given hand. Their stack decides the amount of money that can be played for or threatened before an all-in.

Effective nuts
A value hand that can be played for stacks as if it were the actual nuts.  This is a relative hand ranking based on range assumptions and opponent type.

Efficiency
A measure of how well the equity of a hand is deployed. Efficiency can also be used as a measure of what is risked vs what is gained for a given bet size.

Either/Or Philosophy
A Seidman concept in which a particular street can be a very good spot for value, meaning our opponent is never folding, or a very good spot to bluff, meaning our opponent is never calling, but that those spots cannot be concurrent.

Elasticity
Borrowed from economics, a measure of the sensitivity of a range or hand relative to the price offered.  Ranges (or hands) described as elastic will narrow, sometimes quickly, in response to increases in price.  Those described as inelastic will not.

Equity
The percent pot share of a holding or range on any given street if the hand were to go to showdown with no further betting action.

Equity Pusher
A analytic approach to the game in which a player views the correct actions only through the lens of their hands equity vs. their opponent’s range. Often this player type has a lack of understanding of overall strategy and plays their range face up with few bluffs.

Expected Value
The mathematical formula for how much a player’s action is expected to make with their hand vs. their opponent’s range. EV = ($towin * %ofwin) - ($tolose * %ofloss)

Face Up
A player is playing their range “face up” when their actions directly correspond with their desired outcome. Ex: A player bets half-pot three streets with a range that has no bluffs. A player 3bets to 7x with JJ.

False Polarization
Otherwise known as Faux-Po; a polarizing action taken with a merged range.

Felted
The result of losing your entire table stakes. All the way down to the felt.

Float
A call of a cbet with a weak holding with the likely intention of taking the pot away when the opponent shuts down. Often done by an in position preflop caller.

Formation
The convergence of positions, stack depths, and preceding actions at a given decision point.

G-Bucks
A mathematical formula developed by Phil Galfond for calculating the expected value of one’s range construction vs. an opponent’s holding.

GIGO
A computer programming term that means "garbage in, garbage out" which also applies to poker forums when a poster seeks an in-depth conversation about a hand, but fail to provide pertinent information such as stack sizes, bets sizes, table dynamics and player tendencies.

Game Theory
The applied science of combining mathematical models with logic to craft winning poker strategies.

Game Theory Optimal
A set of strategies is GTO if no player can unilaterally deviate and increase his average profit. ~ Will Tipton.  GTO does not mean best possible response, highest EV, or maximally exploitative play.

Implied Odds
Additional value likely to be accrued if you make your hand on a later street.

Initiative
Sometimes referred to as the betting lead, a common situation in which the passive player yields to the aggressive player postflop, or the last aggressor continues betting on subsequent streets.

Isolate
A bet or raise intended to force out the rest of the field in order to play heads up against a weaker opponent who has entered the pot through limping, raising, or posting the blinds.

LAG
Loose aggressive player type. Generally overused and inaccurate.

Lead
A bet made from out of position after a passive action. Often referred to as a donk bet on the flop.

Leveling
He knows that I know that he knows I know.

Leverage
A bet or raise that signals the hand will be played for stacks.  Within reason, it is accomplished by betting with a sizing that will create RSP equal to 1 on the following street.

LFI
Limp First In

Linear
A consecutive range of hands decreasing in strength from top to bottom; generally meaning value hands. Equivalent to "merged."

Lockdown Board
A board on which the nuts have often already been made.  More prevalent in PLO but sometimes useful in no-limit, for example on monotone flops and boards with available common straights e.g. JT9, T98, 987, etc.

Merge
1) A range of hands that includes both strong and medium value; 2) in reference to medium value; 3) the merged construction describes the natural representation of a wide range through a bet.

Mini Stop-N-Go
A Seidman concept, a line taken by a OOP PFR where flop is check/called and turn is lead.

Minimum Defense Frequency (MDF)
The necessary defending (calling/raising) frequency to prevent an opponent from auto-profiting.  The inverse of APT.

Natural Action
A check, bet, or raise which is exactly suited to a player's range and situation (e.g. a pfr's continuation bet on AK2r).

Nit
A player who will not put chips into the pot without a very strong and sometimes only nutted hand.

Nuts
The best possible hand.

Nuts-To-Air Ratio (NAR)
In a polarized betting line, the ratio of value to bluff.  As used by Seidman, not limited to polarization but sometimes used to label general opponent tendency of value to bluff.

OMC
Old Man Coffee. Typically an older, retired player that likes to play bingo with ATC, but will only continue with the nuts.

Open
The first voluntary action. The first action or bet to voluntarily enter the pot.

Overbet
A bet that is more than the size of the pot.

Perceived Range
Refers to the range of hands that your opponent thinks you could have in a certain playing situation. This can be interpreted and thus misinterpreted from your playing style and position at the table.

Polarized
A range consisting of very strong and very weak hands.

Post Oak Bluff
A small bluff on a late street that has little chance of winning the pot.  Generally interpreted as “gutless” in the past but now fulfilling certain functions as betting efficiencies are understood.

Positional Protection
When the strength of a range is perceived to be capped or uncapped based on which position an action is taken from.

Protected
When an action or player is perceived to have strong hands in its range.

Protection Bet
A wager which denies equity to hands which will only give action if they significantly improve; "a value bet which does not want a call."

Raise
The rejection of the offered price and the laying of a new higher price.  Raises represent a more narrow range of hands and trend towards polarization.

Range Advantage
Implementation or study tool that refers to 1) most basically, equity measurement of one range against another; 2) or also including a combination of further factors including availability of nutted hands, the nuances of the runout, and positional protection.

Range Manipulation
Deliberate line work/bet sizing made to narrow a range or keep a range wide.

Range Switch
A deliberate change in range composition made to thwart a player who is reading our range too accurately in any spot.  Reduces transparency, fights assumptions, and wins the leveling war if implemented correctly.

Ratio of Stack To Pot
RSP. The stack to pot ratio at any point in a hand, generally used post-flop as opposed to Stack to Pot Ratio.

Realization
Taking a hand to showdown and realizing its full equity.  Generally used with regard to passive actions.

Reciprocity
The mutual exchange of chips resulting from similar play and ideas.  Reciprocity is a common bi-product of group-think.  A true edge by definition cannot be reciprocal.

Relative Position
A player’s position measured against the aggressor's position.  Generally this is used going to the flop.  For example, if UTG raises and several players call behind, calling in the big blind would give you the best relative position.  You will act after seeing how the field responds to a likely continuation from the preflop aggressor.  In the same scenario calling immediately after the preflop aggressor results in the worst relative position.  You will have to act immediately after a continuation without seeing how the remaining players will respond.  Strong relative position confers an information edge.

Retention
The ability of hand to maintain equity across streets against a betting range or as part of a betting range.

Reverse Implied Odds (RIO)
Hands that often win small pots or lose large pots suffer from reverse implied odds.

Robustness
Popularized by Mathew Janda, a descriptor for how well a hand retains equity over streets of play.  Hands described as robust have equity that does not suffer as an opponent's range becomes stronger.  Often these hands are currently both strong and invulnerable, or have the ability to become very strong by the river, relative to the opponent's range.

Runout
Fourth and Fifth Street cards following a given flop texture.

Scale of Protection
Poker theorem which states that the more protected or strong an opponent's range is, the higher the degree of denial or retention a counter will require.

Sklansky Bucks
Dollars won (or lost) in expected value regardless of actual hand result.

Smurf
Any one of many possible poker archetypes found at low stakes games.

Squeeze
A reraise made after a player has raised and one or more players has called in-between.

Static Board
A flop texture in which the runout is unlikely to change the order of top ranking hands. Ex: AK7r, KK4r.

Stop-N-Go
A passive action followed by an aggressive action, out of position.  For example, a call followed by a lead on the next street.

Streets of Value
A crude shorthand measurement for how much betting a hand can tolerate and still be best at showdown more often than not.

TAG
Tight aggressive opponent type. Generally overused and misapplied.

TAG's Dilemma
The paradox created by having a top-heavy range played so aggressively that it misuses equity vis-à-vis position and holding.

The Great Range Fantasy
The common idea that we know our opponent’s range and frequencies precisely; most commonly seen in post-hoc analysis to justify microedge decisions.

Thin Value
A bet that is only slightly more likely to be called by worse than by better. Associated with the merged pricing construction and bet-fold lines.

Three Fundamentals
The most fundamental variables for decision making: position, stack size, and community cards.

Top
The best hands in a given range.

Two-Way Bet
A bet that expects calls from worse hands and incorrect folds at the same time, a simultaneous value bet and bluff line.

Upstuck
The psychological effect of feeling like you’re losing because your stack size isn’t as large as it once was during a session, even though it’s more than what you’re in the game for.

(e.g. You bought in for $100, ran it up $450, but now only have $175 in front of you.)

Unblock
A hand that has no negative card removal effects on the target range.  Bottom set, for example, unblocks top pair top kicker.

Uncapped
A range that is perceived to contain the nuts in any given line.  Capped ranges may become uncapped during transitions for example from preflop to flop, or flop to turn.

Unicorn
A turned nut straight after raising flop with a gutter.

Value Owning
Making value bets with a hand that has less than 50% equity when called.

Voluntarily Put Money In Pot (VPIP)
The frequency at which a player limps, calls, or raises preflop.

Volatile Board
A flop texture where equities will often shift on the turn and river.  See “dynamic”.

Warmer
An illusory cooler where one player makes a massive mistake equity mistake and loses his stack with a strong but second best hand; also known as a Jam Basket.

Wet Board
A board texture that allows for a lot of logical hands to continue. Often made up of medium rank connected cards. Ex: KT9tt, Tc8c6s-7c-Ac.

WIFSUWO
“Walk In, Fuck Shit Up, Walk Out” a hashtag used by instagram poker players.

Winning Player
A forum poster who offers reciprocal advice under the guise of questionable positive low stakes results. A weak player or fish, in general.

YMC
Young Man Coffee. Is very much an OMC, but younger.  They usually only continue with the nuts, often under the illusion of playing a GTO style.