guerilla book

Welcome to the Guerrilla Poker Strategy Manual All of the strategy articles from this series can be found at: What is Guerrilla Poker? Guerrilla Poker is a collection of guerrilla warfare strategies that have practical applications in the game of poker. We have identified thirteen core guerrilla strategies. Our articles deal primarily with online Texas Hold'em games. Almost all of the strategies on this site are most effective in heads-up cash games and Sit and Go's. However, they are also very effective in six-max ring games and Sit and Go's because the six-max format allows a significant amount of opponent manipulation. These articles are not written with full ring games in mind. Full ring games are more mechanical, and the majority of your opponents will not notice you at the tables unless you are leaking chips all over the place. If this is the case, then you are certainly not playing guerrilla poker. Play Poker at PKR – The Worlds 1 st Interactive 3D Poker Room Amazing 3D Graphics Really Bad Players Click Here to Visit PKR’s Website

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Page 1: Guerilla book

Welcome to the Guerrilla Poker Strategy Manual 

All of the strategy articles from this series can be found at: 


What is Guerrilla Poker?

Guerrilla Poker is a collection of guerrilla warfare strategies that have

practical applications in the game of poker. We have identified thirteen core

guerrilla strategies.

Our articles deal primarily with online Texas Hold'em games. Almost all of

the strategies on this site are most effective in heads-up cash games and Sit

and Go's. However, they are also very effective in six-max ring games and

Sit and Go's because the six-max format allows a significant amount of

opponent manipulation.

These articles are not written with full ring games in mind. Full ring games

are more mechanical, and the majority of your opponents will not notice you

at the tables unless you are leaking chips all over the place. If this is the

case, then you are certainly not playing guerrilla poker.

Play Poker at PKR – The Worlds 1st Interactive 3D Poker Room 

Amazing 3D Graphics 

Really Bad Players 

Click Here to Visit PKR’s Website 

Page 2: Guerilla book

Table of Contents What is Guerrilla Poker?................................................................................................................... 1 

#1 – Forage on the Enemies Resources ..................................................................................... 3 

#2 - Attack the Enemy Where They Cannot Defend .............................................................. 5 

#3 - Remain Hidden to Avoid Counterattack ............................................................................ 9 

#4 - Spread Out Your Forces ........................................................................................................ 13 

#5 - Stay Mobile ................................................................................................................................ 14 

#6 - Never Use The Same Tactics Twice .................................................................................. 17 

#7 - Exploit Weaknesses ............................................................................................................... 19 

#8 - Be Flexible ................................................................................................................................. 22 

#9 - Deceive Your Enemy .............................................................................................................. 23 

#10 - Gather Good Intelligence ................................................................................................... 26 

#11 - Know When to Withdraw .................................................................................................. 30 

#12 - Manage Logistics .................................................................................................................. 32 

#13 - Stay Calm and Focused ...................................................................................................... 33 




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#1 – Forage on the Enemies Resources

Guerrillas forage on their enemies resources. In this way their resources

damage the enemy in two ways:

1) They gain a weapon to use against their enemy.

2) Their enemy loses a weapon to attack them with.

Guerillas go into war with supplies, but try to avoid having to drain their

available resources by instead living off their enemy. This saves your

available resources for a time when they are badly needed.

Forage on Your Enemies Resources

In Poker, it is possible to forage on the enemy by using an effective short

stack strategy. That is, you invest a small amount in the game, and play

using a style designed to get that money in good, and double up.

Once you have doubled up, you are playing with only half of your own

resources, and half of the enemies. You can now use the enemy’s resources

to steal pots on the flop, as well as to double through them again. You may

even consider leaving the table once you have doubled up two or three

times, and starting fresh at a new table.

At a heads up table you can buy-in for a third of what your opponent does,

or less, and you will have much more potential profit than they will. One

double up and you are in a position to deal their chipstack a serious blow.

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Do Not Allow an Enemy to Forage on Your Resources

There are two ways that you can allow an opponent to use your own

resources against you:

1) Playing a player who has bought in for a fraction of your own buy-


The risk to reward ratio is heavily in the favor of your opponent in this kind

of situation. If you buy-in for $50 while your opponent has bought in for $10

they are in a position to exploit you. Their maximum loss is $10, while their

maximum gain is $50. If a player attempts to sit at your heads-up table with

a fraction of your investment, kindly ask that they top up to a reasonable

amount. There is no point in playing a player who will not risk at least the

amount you will be risking.

2) If Your Enemy Takes a Buy-In from You, Reassess the Situation

When your opponent doubles up through you it is time to stop and think for

a second. There are many reasons why it may not be correct to reload and

attack again.

1) Your opponent may have more skill than you do. There are sharks

and there are fish. A guerrilla attacks weakness, not strength. Every time

you lose a buy-in you have to ask yourself whether you are in a profitable

situation. If you can win more from this player than you could from any

other player then you should stay. If not, you should find another player. In

a ring game, you have to analyze the entire table by asking yourself "Are

there better tables available?"

2) Your opponent may know more about your playing style than you

do of theirs. A new game against a fresh opponent may yield better results.

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If you are having trouble reading your opponents bets, and they seem to be

reading your bets well then a new target is the way to go. Don't chase your

losses - find a new target.

If you wish to attack that enemy again you may consider watching them

play another opponent, and learn their strengths and weaknesses. Once that

player leaves, sit back down and try again. Your opponent will rarely realize

that you have been watching them play, and that you have completely

adjusted your playing style. In fact, they may have completely forgotten

that they just played you if you’re lucky.

3) You may be on tilt. In many cases your opponent did not deserve

that buy-in because they got their money in behind, and got lucky. If that is

the case then you likely want to chase your buy-in because they really didn't

deserve to win. However, if you are chasing for that reason you may be

getting ready to play contrary to your usual style. Your head is not clear,

because you are upset that they beat you. If you can't fight with a clear

head, don't fight. A guerrilla fighter only attacks in advantageous situations,

and if you are upset about the last hand you are not in such a situation.

#2 - Attack the Enemy Where They Cannot Defend

Regular wars have traditionally involved two large forces colliding with the

stronger force winning the battle. Guerrilla fighting is different because

guerrillas avoid large conflicts, and prefer to have the tactical advantage by

selecting their fights, and making their enemies respond to them.

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This means that they are ready for the fight, as they know the time and the

place, whereas their opponent must scramble to the location of the attack

because the enemy catches them by surprise at an unpredictable location.

You must avoid strength in poker. There are two main factors that you do

not want your opponents to have:

1) Position

2) The Lead


Being out of position is strongly contradictory to the guerrilla way of warfare.

Guerrilla's attack on battlefields of their choice where their opponent is most

vulnerable. That means it is rarely correct to call a preflop raise if you will be

left out of position. It also necessitates folding some hands, such as KJ from

early positions such as Under the Gun.

Yes, you have to sometimes do battle from out of position. For example, if

you are dealt pocket Aces in the small blind then you really have no choice

but to fight out of position. However, your goal should always be to have

position where possible.

You have to size your raises preflop to discourage action from behind you,

while trying to bring along at least one early position player. In heads up

games, you also want to be aggressively raising on the dealer button, while

being more selective when your opponent has the dealer button.

You have to wait for a better spot with marginal hands in bad positions.

Guerrillas decide their battlefields. If you are unselective about the hands

you play, and the positions you play them from, then you are not playing

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poker like a guerrilla. The deeper your stack, the more of a mistake it is to

play out of position.

The Lead

Guerrilla fighters do everything in their power to attack their enemy, while

simultaneously doing everything in their power to avoid being attacked by

the enemy. The reason is that the attacking force has all of the momentum.

By being the aggressor you set the rules of the engagement.

In poker the player with the lead in betting preflop will win the hand more

often than the player who calls the last preflop raise. The lead goes to the

last player who raised before the flop. Any players who just call that raise

are chasing their hand - that is they must significantly improve on the flop to

be able to continue.

The reality is, even the best hands will not improve to the point that you can

feel comfortable with your hand at least 2/3 times. The lower quality starting

hands miss even more.

A guerrilla fighter would not allow their opponent to be the aggressor while

they donated their resources to them in a series of battles that over the

long-run will give them advantage.

A guerrilla poker player would avoid entering a hand where their opponent

had the lead with a marginal hand. This includes a King with a kicker Jack or

lower, or an Ace with a kicker of Ten or lower. You will also run into

occasional problems with AJ and KQ, but in many situations it is correct to

play these hands without the lead.

The only hands you want to be calling with are hands that will either flop a

big hand (that are likely to be paid off if they hit), or will miss the flop

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completely allowing you to safely fold them without playing a big pot where

you are outkicked.

Avoid Strength

Above all, if you don't have the lead make sure you have position. If neither

of these factors are in your favor then you are letting your opponent pick

where the battles will happen - a poor strategy. When your opponent has

either or both of these factors in their favor they are strong. When you have

them both in your favor you are strong. Avoid strength, and favor

battlegrounds where you have an advantage.

Another time when your opponent is strong is when they are representing

strength. If they raise preflop, and then again on the flop, and then again on

the turn they are showing strength. You have to either test their strength

(raise), or attack them at another time when they are weaker.

Avoid your enemy when they have strength. Attack them when you have

strength. This is how a guerrilla fighter picks their battles, and it is how you

should pick yours.

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Amazing 3D Graphics 

Really Bad Players 

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Page 9: Guerilla book

#3 - Remain Hidden to Avoid Counterattack

Guerrilla fighters go to great lengths to conceal their location and their

identity. If you are discovered, you will be attacked. Therefore, a guerrilla

fighter’s primary objective is to remain hidden.

In poker you also have to be invisible. You do not want people to remember

anything about how you play. This could neutralize any advantage you have

over them, or could even give them the advantage over you. Yet people are

always putting the spotlight on themselves at the poker tables.

The following strategies will help you to remain anonymous at the poker


Do Not Show Your Cards

Showing your hand will almost always do more damage than good. You are

giving your opponents free information about how you play. Some advanced

players skillfully show their cards at the absolute perfect times to set up a

future play. If you can do this then congratulations, you have added another

weapon to your arsenal.

However, the vast majority of people just show their hand when they feel

like it. They may be proud of a big bluff they pulled off, or they may be

upset that they didn't get any action with their Aces. Conceal your cards at

all cost; your opponents will use the information against you.

There is another aspect to this, and this is showing your hand at the

showdown. If possible, avoid showdowns. If you have the nuts you clearly

don't want to be scaring your opponents out of the hand, so you will be

making bets that will ensure you earn some profits from your hand.

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However, in general, it is best to win a hand without having to see a

showdown. When you do this you win in two ways: 1) You win the pot 2)

You conceal your methods. If you do see a showdown, make a quick mental

note of what your opponents have seen, and if possible use that to your


When you do show your cards, whether it be voluntarily or at the showdown,

always make adjustments to your strategy to compensate. If a guerrilla

fighter inflicted damage on their enemy, they wouldn't continue to attack

that same point indiscriminately.

They would acknowledge that their enemy will now make adjustments to

their strategy in response, and they would attempt to predict what those

adjustments are. They would also make adjustments to their own strategy,

and in many cases would abandon that line of attack completely in favor of a

new method of attack.

When you show something about yourself, always figure out how that will

affect your opponents’ strategy, and make adjustments to counter the new


Do Not Chat

Chatting at the table is contrary to a guerrilla style of play in so many ways.

Guerrillas strive to be invisible - indistinguishable from the civilian

population. Your goal at the poker table should be the same.

One thing that can be profitable to say in chat is "nh". Also, if a player

comments on their own play, you may also wish to acknowledge that you

understand why they made the call they did. You want to encourage them to

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make loose calls against you. However, keep it short and simple because

you want to be invisible.

When you berate a player for their loose call they may tighten up their

calling requirements, which benefit nobody. But when you are nice to a

player, and they know that you will not make fun of their play they are

actually more likely to play poorly against you.

Against you they will say to themselves "Well, I have middle pair so I call"

while against a player who makes fun of their plays they will say to

themselves "He's going to make fun of this call if I make it, and I'm probably

beat, so I fold".

Just as guerrillas depend on a civilian population for food, medical supplies,

funding, and shelter you must rely on your opponents to make bad plays. If

a player is rude to those who make loose calls against them their opponents

will subconsciously fear being berated, and they will tighten their calling


At the same time, the player who just berated them for the loose call fails to

take this into account, and figures that player is still playing loose. However,

after being berated they are actually playing tight now, and gunning

specifically for the rude player who thinks they are playing loose. It does not

benefit you to ridicule a player's calls; it only makes you a target.

Chatting also gives away hints about your skill level. Again, a guerrilla

fighter tries to be invisible. You must not tell your opponent anything about


Finally, by chatting you become a target. People take notice of you, and

start to watch how you play. You do not want your opponents to do this. If

necessary, email your poker site and ask them to take away your chat. If

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you cannot stop yourself from revealing yourself at the table, you should

have your chat taken away voluntarily.

Different Usernames on Different Sites

As you progress through the ranks you will become known more and more.

The longer you play the more people will get to know your username. If you

play on multiple sites, which you should to remain anonymous, you should

consider selecting a different username on every site. As you win more and

more money people will start to recognize you, and it will pay to maintain

different usernames.

If your poker site allows you to change your name, or allows you to change

your name at given intervals, you should do so as often as possible.

You should also lean towards usernames that are difficult to remember.

Names such as I-WILL-BUST-YOU screams please remember me. A much

better name would be something very generic that doesn't stick out as

much. You cannot be invisible if your name is easy to remember.

Do Not Use a Picture

PokerStars, and some other sites, allow you to use a customized picture that

appears beside your player ID. Do not use this option. A player playing

multiple tables may notice that you are seated at three or four of their

tables, and may dedicate extra attention to you because you are seated at

so many tables. Whereas, if you did not have a picture, you would have

never been noticed.

Having an identifiable picture on your username will cause people to take

notice of you. You do not want people to remember you the next time they

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see you. You want to be as anonymous as possible. Do not brand yourself. A

guerrilla would strive to conceal any marks on their visible exterior that

revealed their identity to authorities, and you should conceal your identity as


#4 - Spread Out Your Forces

Guerrillas enter an area and they spread out, whereas traditional fighters

attempt to take an area by force, and hold it. Guerrillas hold the area by

remaining concealed and orchestrating well-timed attacks on their enemy

until their enemy is forced to withdraw.

In poker, you have to exercise good bankroll management. You have to sit

with only a fraction of your bankroll, and you must be able to reload many

times if necessary. Risking too much of your resources on a single fight can

leave you with a severe shortage of resources.

You should absolutely never sit with more than 10% of your bankroll. A

smart player will sit with no more than 5% of their bankroll in play in one

game. That is not to say that you cannot sit at four tables with 5% of your

bankroll on each table.

However, if you are going to play multiple tables you should recognize that

your edge is being reduced by playing multiple games, and you should

bankroll yourself accordingly.

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Always ensure that you are able to continue fighting by never sitting with

too much of your bankroll at once.

You also want to ensure that you are not fighting with resources that you

cannot afford to lose. Guerrillas are careful to avoid situations where an

attack by their enemy would leave them crippled, and unable to continue


You will be more likely to lose the money you are sitting with if you are

playing scared because you will be unable to capitalize on situations where

you have a slight edge (such as a 60%-40% edge). If you are afraid to lose

your money you will not be able to take advantage of such a situation, even

though over the long run it is in your advantage to take the wager.

A guerrilla does not risk losing the war. They defend themselves from defeat

while waiting for an opportunity to defeat their enemy. You must therefore

practice good bankroll management. If you sit with your entire bankroll at

one game you are not playing guerrilla poker.

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Amazing 3D Graphics 

Really Bad Players 

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#5 - Stay Mobile

Guerrilla forces are mobile and able to strike anywhere at any time while

larger armies prefer using large forces to overwhelm smaller forces.

Page 15: Guerilla book

Guerrillas perform ambushes and raids on carefully researched targets

where they have a clear advantage.

In addition, guerrillas always have an exit plan in case the enemy delivers

an aggressive attack. They are also able to cover large distances in order to

attack an enemy when a weakness presents itself.

In poker you must also be mobile. Your edge will deteriorate as your

opponents learn your playing style. You may also find that a once juicy game

dries out as new players come and go. There are three essential forms of

mobility that you must practice in order to secure yourself the advantage of


1) Don't Play the Same Players

As mentioned above, your edge will deteriorate as your opponents learn

your playing style. It is even more dangerous with the invention of poker

specific statistical tracking software and heads up displays.

These programs track every move your opponents make, and will place that

information directly into the poker client. This means that as your opponents

play more and more hands against you they have more and more

information available to them to make their decisions with.

You must also avoid playing the same players because you want to be

invisible to them. You do not want players remembering that you constantly

take their money because they may leave if you try to sit with them. They

may also make adjustments to counter your style, and if you do not

remember playing them then you are putting yourself at a disadvantage.

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2) Constantly Switch Games

Poker games constantly go from being profitable situations to having little

potential for profit. All of the poor players may go broke leaving only good

players. If this happens you have to switch the game.

Furthermore, you have to watch for this to happen. You have to be alert at

all times as to the situation of the game, and you have to constantly be

switching to new games when you sense that a better game is available.

Furthermore, the longer you are seated at a game the more information

your opponents will collect on you to use against you. You have to stay

invisible by leaving a game when your opponents begin to understand your

playing style.

When playing online poker you have many options as far as game selection

goes, so you should constantly be evaluating potential games, and have

several options available to switch to when you sense that the game you are

in is no longer a profitable situation.

3) Switch Sites

This is probably the most important aspect of mobility that you need to

practice. With statistical tracking software being used by the majority of

your opponents you have to be constantly switching sites to avoid being

easy to read.

You should maintain accounts at several sites at a time so that you always

have many available options when searching for the best game to join. This

will also reduce the number of hands the regulars at that site are able to

collect on you.

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It is absolutely imperative to avoid being known by the sharks that play at

each site. You should also keep different usernames for each site, so that a

regular at one site cannot quickly identify you at the new site as being the

same player. This is especially true if you have a unique username.

Always be on the move, whether you are avoiding playing the same players,

changing to new games, or switching poker sites completely you have to

stay mobile. Guerrillas use mobility to gain an edge over their less mobile

opponents. You must exercise mobility both to prevent your opponents from

securing an advantage over you, as well as to find the weakest opponents.

#6 - Never Use The Same Tactics Twice

Guerrilla fighters avoid being predictable by constantly varying their tactics.

In poker, it is important to adjust your playing style as opponents make

adjustments. For example, if you are playing loose aggressive you want to

switch to tight aggressive when your opponent starts to understand that you

are raising with a wide range of hands.

Always understand that you are dealing with a person who is making

adjustments based on what they see. If they see you call their raise with 72

offsuit and call them all the way to the showdown with a pair of Twos then

they are going to severely adjust how they play against you.

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It can be correct to use the same tactic twice, but you must use that tactic

under different circumstances. For example, if you check-raise your

opponent on the flop with middle pair, and then it is checked down to the

river, you may want to pull the exact same play two hands later when you

flop a set.

Your opponent will know that there is a wide range of hands you will check-

raise with, so they will dismiss the possibility of a big hand. When you check

to them on the turn they will justify their opinion, and when you check-raise

them again they will be pot committed and will likely pay you off.

Every time you see a showdown ask yourself what adjustments your

opponent is likely to make based on what information you gave away

throughout the hand, and adjust your strategies to exploit those


If you made loose calls throughout the hand be more selective about which

hands you play hard, but when you have a hand worth fighting with play it

fast. If you have only been showing down strong hands then you may be

able to squeeze in a bluff or two.

Page 19: Guerilla book

#7 - Exploit Weaknesses

Guerrillas avoid the enemy where they are strong, and strike the enemy at

points that are weak. Guerrillas therefore put themselves in positions of

strength, and avoid situations where they would be vulnerable.

Focus all of your energy on finding and exploiting weak players. You should

keep note of the weak players you find so that you can find them later. If

your poker site does not offer a hide from search function this is an

advantage that you absolutely have to take advantage of.

You should also have a list of players to seek out at each site you play at,

and you should constantly look for them. When you find them your goal is

avoid being remembered, so don't chat with your targets.

However, you also have to realize that weak players are not free money. You

still have to follow all of the rules of poker to beat them. So many players

depart from their original game plan specifically because they are playing a

weak player. They call them down lighter, they enter pots with them with

weak starting hands, and as a result they play exactly like the weak player.

Stick to your game plan against a weak player. Taking a weak players stack

does not require adjustments. It requires playing solid poker - they will

make their own mistakes.

Also, keep in mind that branding a player as strong or weak is a meaningless

label. Knowing that a player is weak will not assist you in playing against

them, and in many cases it hurts you because you overcompensate for their


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So many players say "Haha, that guy just called all the way to river with A3

with no pair and no draw". Then three hands later they try to pull off a bluff

on that same player. Why would you try to bluff a player who will go to the

river with high card?

You have to make meaningful discoveries about your opponents playing

style. Labels such as "weak tight" and "calling station" are much more

meaningful because there are different strategy adjustments to deal with

each kind of player.

A weak tight player will rarely bet a flop unless they have really connected

with it. When their opponents bet they usually give them credit for the hand

they are representing. A weak tight player should be bluffed frequently

because they are rarely happy with their hand, and will often release some

hands that are beating you.

You should also make continuation bets on the flop most of the time you

have the lead preflop because they will miss the flop more often than they

hit, and they will fold to your bet when they miss.

However, a calling station is exactly the opposite. A calling station loves

trying to see a showdown with junky hands like middle pair. They also prefer

to let their opponent do most of their betting when they have a really strong

hand. Because they call with weak and strong hands alike it is very difficult

to read them.

Also, even though almost all calling stations are losing players they are

actually one of the hardest players to play because most people fail to make

the correct adjustments against them.

When you are dealing with a calling station you have to be selective about

what hands you bet. Pot control is very important against a calling station.

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To control the pot you may waive your option to make a continuation bet on

the flop if the flop misses you completely because you simply don't have any

fold equity.

However, you want to play your strong hands very hard. There is no point

slowplaying a big hand against a calling station because they will pay you

with a lot of hands you are beating. Also, if you get too fancy (check-raising

and slowplaying) then you could spook your calling station.

When you see a player make a mistake, ask yourself how you can capitalize

on that mistake in future hands. Don't say to yourself "He's bleeding chips; I

need to get into a hand with him". Stick to your game plan, and make minor

adjustments that take advantage of your opponent’s weakness.

At heads-up tables it is easier to target weak players because there are no

other players to get in the way, and you meet them in many hands in a

short period of time. At a full table you often have to set with several good

players, several average players, and a few poor players.

However, it is still good practice to identify one, or more, marks who you will

dedicate most of your attention to. You want to learn everything you can

about the mark you have picked. You want to know what kind of mistakes

they make, and how you can profit from those mistakes.

If you pick one weak player per session and focus a large portion of your

energy on them you will find that the majority of the time you end up with

their stack. This can be even more effective at six-max tables because you

play more hands against each player.

Page 22: Guerilla book

#8 - Be Flexible

Guerrilla warfare is flexible. It can adapt to any circumstance. Unlike a

regular force guerrilla forces have a very flat hierarchy. A regular army has

many levels of authority, which makes decision making slow. Guerrillas are

able to make adjustments on the fly in order to capitalize on an opportunity.

In poker you have to be flexible. There is not a single winning strategy that

will work in every situation. Yes, there are fundamental principles that you

must learn and use effectively.

However, overall you have to be able to make adjustments on the fly to take

advantage of opportunities that appear while you are playing.

One crucial adjustment you must make is switching from playing tight to

playing loose. Tight players see very few flops, while loose players see many


The longer you stick with one playing style the less effective it will be. This is

because your opponents will make adjustments to counter your strategy.

The longer you are in a game the more opportunities you have to challenge

your opponents opinions of you.

You have to switch gears whenever you feel that your opponents are starting

to make adjustments. Once your opponents peg you as being either tight or

loose you have to switch gears again, and exploit their assumptions.

Change your betting patterns. This includes the amount you raise from each

position before the flop, your bluffing frequency, the amount you bet with

different types of hands, the way you bet (bet right out from early position,

or check-raise), and anything else your opponents could start to figure out.

Page 23: Guerilla book

You must also be able to adjust your style to the type of players at your

table. Against players who call you down light you have to stop bluffing and

start betting your good hands aggressively. Against players who will only

continue with a good hand you have to be constantly taking pots away from

them by using fold equity aggressively.

Against weak players you have to discover their weaknesses, and make

subtle adjustments to counter them. Against strong players you have avoid

clashing with them where possible while actively searching for situations that

you can do damage.

Against a strong observant opponent you have to determine what they have

seen from you, and use that information against them by switching gears at

the appropriate time.

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#9 - Deceive Your Enemy

"All warfare is based on deception"

- Sun Tzu

Poker, like war, is built around deception. However, it is important to realize

that sometimes deception is simply not appropriate. For example, against an

unobservant opponent deception is both pointless and dangerous.

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It is pointless because your opponents will not notice what you are doing. It

is dangerous because you could deceive yourself.

If you think that you have convinced your opponent that you rarely bluff,

and start trying to bluff them, you have only fooled yourself if they think

that you bluff frequently. When you employ deception always be conscious

of who you are deceiving. Don't deceive yourself.

However, in most games deception can be used. It is especially effective at

heads-up tables where you and your opponent are actively watching each

other’s every move. It is also effective at 6-max tables, but to a lesser


At a full ring game (nine or ten players) deception is close to pointless.

Unless you are in the spotlight for some reason nobody really notices you, or

cares too much about what you are doing. They have enough to watch.

Your opponents at a 6-max table will start to notice you when you start to

play big pots. However, if you have been folding for four rotations you are

probably invisible to most players. When you are in the spotlight keep note

of what your opponents are seeing, and then switch gears to capitalize on

the adjustments they are likely to notice.

If a player mentions a play you made in chat you've been noticed, and you

should immediately challenge whatever assumption they have made about

you. The good thing about this comment is that the other players saw it to,

so they may go back and replay the hand, and they too can now be


Deception is not an easy thing to accomplish. In general, it involves making

a play that is less profitable than the correct play in order to extract extra

bets later in the game. Because you are sacrificing profit you must have a

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plan to recoup your investment. You must strive to find methods that do not

sacrifice a lot of chips over the long run that encourage your opponents to

play poorly against you.

For example, during slow six-max games I have been known to raise the

button every rotation regardless of my cards. I then fire out a bet on the flop

as long as it is checked to me, and there were two or less players who saw

the flop. If I get that far, and nobody has played back at me, I then fire a

pot sized bet on the turn regardless of what I have.

Because I am in position I can usually get to the showdown for free if I am

called all the way. By showing my junky hand at the showdown I usually get

all the action I need for the next few hands. As soon as I show a trashy hand

I switch gears, and return to a tight aggressive style. When I do hit a hand I

bet out, and people come along because they saw my horrendous play

several hands ago.

The added bonus is that you will actually take down the hand the large

majority of the time. Firing three bets will usually win you the pot, so overall

it can be a +EV play, and when it doesn't work you get a lot of action for

your big hands for the next couple rotations. You will usually win well over

50% of the hands you do it with, and when you lose you get a ton of action.

Exploiting false-impressions is also important. You cannot show a big bluff

and then try bluffing or cbetting the very next hand. You showed the big

bluff to convince people you bluff a lot, so don't go bluffing right after you do


That is why showing bluffs are dangerous, because we often need to be able

to sell a bluff. It's an important part of the game.

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Another mistake people make is getting fancy with their cards (slowplaying,

check-raising) when they hit a big hand right after showing a bluff. You

showed that bluff so that weak hands will pay your strong hand. So when

you hit a strong hand bet it. If you are going to set up a play make the


#10 - Gather Good Intelligence

Guerrilla mission rely heavily on accurate intelligence. Informants are very

important to planning successful guerrilla missions.

In poker, most players underestimate the value of intelligence, and they fail

to use the many sources of intelligence that are available to them. This

section will explain the different forms of intelligence available to you in

online poker.

Before we get into what you can see it is important that you have a good

system to look this information up during play. When games get going it can

be tough to do the research this section advises.

I strongly suggest purchasing a second monitor. Monitors are cheap these

days and having two monitors hooked up to your computer makes it easy to

play and research your opponent at the same time. Another solution would

be to learn to take full advantage of Windows by learning to efficiently tile

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your windows in a way that allows you to do multiple things at the same


With that being said, the following strategies will help you to locate poor

players, and exploit them:

Tournament Statistics

First, every tournament and Sit and Go played on an online poker site is

tracked by a number of sites including Here you can look

up your opponents, and you can see whether they are a winning or losing

tournament player. Please keep in mind that cash game statistics are not

displayed here.

However, keep in mind that a losing player is not free money. You should

absolutely sit down with a player who has lost money, but you should play

solid smart poker. You should not tell yourself that it is okay to call them

down light, or to lighten your starting hand requirements. You cannot beat a

player by playing just like them. Just know that if you play a smart game of

poker that you can beat this player.

Search Engines

Another way to find extra information about the player you are playing is to

type their username and poker into a search engine such as Google or

Yahoo. Your search should look like this:

crazyplayer123 poker

This will often pull up hands they have played in the past, often ones they

played poorly, and you can get an idea of how they play. However, always

watch the date the hand happened. A hand that happened a year ago

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probably means nothing. Your opponent could have played thousands of

hands of poker since that hand, and is probably playing a different game.

You may get even luckier and find that players website or forum post where

they give away hints about themselves and how they play. I once found a

blog belonging to a player who I was playing at a heads-up cash game table,

and on it he had described his entire playing strategy. That blog post was

certainly part of the reason he lost three buy-ins that day to me.

Run Their Username Through Two Plus Two

The Two Plus Two forum ( is a great

research tool. Simply run your opponents username through the search

function, and hope that you can find something. Usually you will find at least

a few hands posted by their opponents.

However, sometimes you get lucky enough that they actually used the same

player ID as their Two Plus Two username. In these cases, you can see

everything they've ever posted, and some people are very careless about

the information they give away about themselves here.

Poker Specific Statistical Tracking Software

PokerTracker is the most commonly used program that collects statistical

information for you at the tables. The newest version of PokerTracker comes

with a build in Heads Up Display (HUD). The HUD takes the data that

PokerTracker collects and puts it right into the poker client beside your

opponent’s usernames.

This means that you can see what percent of hands they are playing, how

often they raise preflop, and the ratio they raise as opposed to calling. This

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information is a necessity. Your opponents are using it so you have to use it

as well, or you will be at a disadvantage against many players.

If you prefer to play at a site that is incompatible with player statistics

tracking programs then PKR would be a better site to play at. I have not

found any player profiling software that works on PKR. When you play on

PKR you are playing on an even playing field. The other sites, you are either

at an advantage (by having the software) or a disadvantage (by not having

the software).

Most importantly, it is fully legal to use PokerTracker at most if not all sites.

The major sites (PokerStars, Party Poker) allow PokerTracker. It is even in

PokerStars permitted software list.

When you use PokerTracker you will have so much more information to base

your decisions on. You will know exactly how tight or loose your opponent is,

and how aggressive or passive they are.

Page 30: Guerilla book

#11 - Know When to Withdraw

Guerrillas always have an exit strategy. They know the layout of the land,

and have multiple places to flee in case things get out of control.

In poker, you have to know when to leave a game. There are three main

reasons that a game may need to be left:

1) The game has dried up, and there are juicier games available.

2) Your opponents begin to understand how you play.

3) You are no longer playing at the top of your game, and you need to

take a break.

The Game Dries Up

When you are playing online and there are 10-30 games available at the

same limit at each site you play at there is no excuse to just blindly stay at a

table without looking into your options. For every table you have open you

should have another open that you are scouting.

Some players use the average pot as an indicator of which games they want

to join. This can be a good strategy, and can avoid the need to constantly

have other tables open. However, it is dangerous to jump into a crazy game

without knowing who the crazy players are, and who the solid players are.

You should always be analyzing a second game while you play. You have to

be ready to leave as soon as the weak players leave your game, and are

replaced by better players.

Page 31: Guerilla book

Your Opponents Start to Read You

A guerrilla fighter tries to remain invisible. They like to perform ambushes on

unsuspecting targets. However, they do not like to be unsuspecting targets.

In fact, a major aspect of guerrilla fighting is concealing your identity, and

blending into the surrounding population.

In poker, you do not want to stay in the same game for very long. Again,

there are dozens of games at each limit so there is no reason to sit around

and let your opponents figure you out. Join a game, figure out who the fish

are, take their money, and leave.

If you stay to long your opponents will start to develop better reads on you

using statistical tracking software which displays your stats directly in the

poker client. Furthermore, even those who don't use this software will

eventually figure out if you are loose or tight, and aggressive or passive.

You are dealing with people - people who are trying to take your money.

Don't be an unsuspecting target. Leave before people can figure you out.

Lastly, you don't want to be remembered. If you play with somebody for two

hours they might remember you the next time you sit down. Also, the longer

you stay, the more likely they will be to use their poker sites note feature to

take notes on you. Stay invisible at the tables, and select your targets. Do

not let people target you.

You No Longer Play at Your Potential

Poker is a tough game. We take brutal beats, lose to people who don't

belong at a poker table, and get the first great hand we've had all night

cracked by an even better hand. This stuff happens. It is emotionally

Page 32: Guerilla book

draining, and most people play well below their potential quite frequently

because of this.

You need to have an exit strategy for the night. You need to remind yourself

that if you aren't playing good poker that it is time to step away. Maybe you

will just take a short break, but sometimes you just have to call it a night.

Play when you have a clear head. Play when you are playing great poker.

When you start to get frustrated either calm your nerves and go back to

playing solid poker, or save it for another day. A guerrilla only attacks when

the situation is perfect. You must do the same.

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#12 - Manage Logistics

Guerrillas dedicate a lot of energy to logistics. The availability of supplies is

of the utmost importance to running an effective guerrilla war. This includes

having food, medical supplies, and shelter available to combatants when and

where they need it.

In poker, you need to ensure that you have money when and where you

need it. You must keep a bankroll of at least ten buy-ins on at least three

different poker rooms. There are two main reasons for this.

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1) By playing at multiple poker rooms you minimize the number of people

who start to get to know you, and how you play. If you spread your time out

between multiple sites nobody will recognize you.

2) You always want to be able to find the juiciest games. Some days there

simply won't be any action on one site, but there will be great games on

other sites. A guerrilla keeps their options open, and monitors the games at

multiple poker sites.

Also, if the games at one site start to get overpopulated by sharks, you have

to be ready to move your bankroll to a fishier site. Remember, you do not

want to be out of commission for a week while your poker site processes

your withdrawal.

To make sure you have a constant supply of fish you should always maintain

bankrolls on multiple poker sites.

#13 - Stay Calm and Focused

Two essential qualities of a guerrilla fighter are that they are calm and

focused. Without these qualities they will be unable to handle the missions

they will be expected to perform. Unless they can handle well under

pressure they are useless in a combat situation.

Page 34: Guerilla book

In poker, being calm and focused are two essential qualities of a winning

poker player. You will find very few professional poker players who don't

have these qualities.

When the cards start to mess with your emotions you have to be able to tell

yourself "It's just poker, this happens to everybody". Yes, that last bad beat

makes you want to put a hole in your wall, but crying about it will not make

you any more profitable during the next few hands. In fact, a lot of people

turn a loss of one buy-in into a loss of five buy-ins by playing horribly as

soon as they get hit by a bad beat.

Do not let bad luck cause you to stray from your winning strategy. You know

that you won't win every hand, so don't worry about it. Stay calm and

focused at all times.

Second, you have to constantly remind yourself that you are not gambling.

You are playing a game in which you have an advantage over the long run.

Variance will toy with you from time to time, but poker is not gambling

unless you don't understand the game.

If you don't know the odds and the basic principles of the game then poker

can be gambling. However, poker is not gambling if you play with a long-

term winning strategy, and within your bankroll.

With that said, there are a number of factors that cause winning players to

start gambling.

1) They win some money.

You deposit $1,000 and work it up to $2,000. A week later you back at

$1,000. The likely reason is that you were so far ahead that you decided

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that it was alright to call those river bets by your opponent because there

was a small chance you were good, and it was money you won anyway.

That is not winning poker. Most players spew chips when they are ahead,

but then play brilliant poker when they are in danger of losing their original

investment. You have to play winning poker all of the time.

2) They find a donkey

You've found a donkey so what do you do? Most players can't wait to take

their money. They justify calling the donkeys raise with KJ offsuit out of

position, and get stacked by AJ or AK or KQ, or some other hand that

everybody would raise preflop.

When you find a donkey you don't need to loosen your calling requirements

against them. They are playing bad enough on their own. If you play your

winning style you will get their money most of the time.

Yet so many people act like they have to loosen up and call their bets down

light. Excuse me, but isn't that the same kind of play that made you take

notice of that player in the first place?

Don't stray from your style. Weak players will pay you off. You do not have

to lighten your calling requirements.

3) They Go On Tilt

You've had a rough night at the tables so you decide to gamble it up a bit.

A7 is starting to look like a pretty good hand to raise it up with. Go to bed.

Your night is done. You've lost too much money, and it's not about to stop.

Come back with a clear head.

Page 36: Guerilla book

Another time this happens is when somebody makes a lippy comment in

chat. It doesn't even always have to be lippy. Weird things can set us off at

the tables.

Sometimes a simple "ty" from a person who put a bad beat on you can set

you off. Thank you? For what? For getting lucky? That's it! He's going


If somebody gets to you, just leave the game. You are no longer in a

profitable situation. A guerrilla constantly searches for situations that are

heavily skewed in their favor. A game where you are not thinking clearly -

not skewed in your favor. Find a new one, or call it a night.

Always know when to leave a game, and when to stop playing. As a guerrilla

you need to exploit only the best situations. You need to search for the

weakest games and play when you are calm and focused on winning. If you

are not calm and focused you are playing below your potential.

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