Small Stakes Short-Handed (SSSH) Posting Guidelines, FAQ and Essential Reading
Welcome to SSSH! SSSH is a forum for short handed limit hold’em (LH) discussion. If you are a new poster, this guide will: help you know what to post and what not too; answer many of your common questions; and give you valuable information to help improve your game. If you are an experienced poster, I hope this document will provide a reference to help you improve your game.
Those very new to posting on 2+2 and playing poker should also make use of the Beginner’s forum.
This guide has three main sections:
1. Posting Guidelines – What to post and what not to post. 2. Frequently Asked Questions 3. Essential Reading – Great reading for all posters.
Replying to hands posted by others is the foundation of how this forum can make you a better player. Since this is such an important part of the learning process here, you want to be as good at it as possible.
Let’s take a look at the difference between a terrible reply, a bad reply, a good reply, and an excellent reply.
A terrible reply is one that offers no content. It remarks on how bad the poster plays without any indication of what the right play is or it insults the original poster. Examples include:
-“LOL” -“YSSCKY” -“Awful” ect.
Making posts like this is not acceptable behavior. Remember that people post hands because they don’t know how to play them. We all didn’t know how to play at one point or another. So while certain plays may seem obvious to you now, they may not have been when you first started. If you can’t help yourself from making posts like this, 2+2 has generously created a forum for people like you. It’s here.
A bad reply is little better then a terrible one, but at least the intent is good. A bad reply suggests a solution to a given hand but gives no reason for the play or line. Examples include:
-“Call” -“b/c-c/f” -“Easy fold” -“Fold pf” ect.
The reason why these posts aren’t any good may not be as obvious, but you must remember why you’re posting and how you become a better player. In poker, it’s impossible to memorize how to play in every possible situation you will encounter at the table. The core of every good player is their understanding of poker concepts and where to apply them. For more information on this idea read The Bryce’s Theory of Learning.
A good reply contains two key things, advice on how to play or what line to take and why this play or line is the best available. A good explanation of why a certain play is best includes at least one of the following arguments: one based on poker theory, one based on your experience, one based on a mathematical EV calculation. This thread about donking the flop has several good replies in it.
An excellent reply has the things that a good reply has but a little extra. For example, if the question is whether to call a hand on the river, you could talk about how you think other rivers should be played. If the question is about whether to raise, you might want to examine what should you do with a 3-bet. You may also want to put an opponent on a range of cards and calculate out the EV for a situation. In this post StellarWind replies to a thread about when to call down a possible bluff.
Hand posts are the heart of all the strategic forums. They allow you to take a hand you don’t understand and have many very good players give you advice, discuss the concepts that apply to your hand, and answer your questions.
Poker is a game of theory and experience applied to a given situation. Many posters have played hundreds of thousands of hands and have studied poker for years, but that does you little good if you don’t explain the situation you’re in. So how to you do this? Well, here are a few tips:
-Use a converter or make your hand readable. When someone clicks on a thread you want to stay and read it. They’re not going to do this if you post a raw hand history.
Some sites have generously created converters. They include:
If the converter is not working for you, the site you’re playing on may not be supported. If this happens, convert the hand manually by at least replacing the players names with positions, making the action readable, replacing the suits with the suit images located under the posting box, and indicating the pot size on each street.
Make sure you select 2+2 format.
-Include a read. Anything you can remember helps. Ideally, a good read would include:
*Anything you remember about their play or that you’ve taken a note on. Especially something pertaining to the specific situation you’re in. Obtaining and using reads is critical to your development as a player. This is the most important information about your opponent you can provide. For more on reads, see Entity’s When a read is not a read and davelin’s What do you guys "read"? *The stats of you opponents (Usually in the format Voluntarily Put Into the Pot (VPiP)/Pre-Flop Raise (PFR)/Aggression Factor (AF)/Went to Showdown (WtSD)/Total hands) These statistics are complied by a program called PokerTracker (PT) and displayed by a Heads Up Display (HUD) program. For more information about these software tools, you can visit the Software Forum and read the Software Forum FAQ. *Your image, which is how other players view you. Are you up or down? Are you showing down a lot of winners? Have you been caught bluffing? Have you made several folds to raises on the big streets? It would be especially useful to know about any hands you’ve played previously against your current opponents that might affect how they see you. For more on image, you can read Peter_rus’s post on how running bad effects your image.
-Include your thoughts. What were you thinking during the hand? Why did you play the hand the way you did? Do you think you played the hand well? What are some other lines you considered?
-Make sure you ask questions about parts of the hand you aren’t sure about.
- When picking a title for your posts, posts with clever titles often get more attention, but don't be so clever that no one has any idea what your post is about. For a hand post, generally include what your cards were, your position, what street contains the decision you're curious about, and what stakes you're playing. A boring title is better than an obtuse one.
-Don’t post more then one hand unless they are related. If you post multiple hands that have very little to do with each other, you will tend to get short replies and little discussion.
-Don’t post results. Posting results tends to bias the replies you get. Note that posting results includes making a title or posting comments that indicate whether you won the hand or not cutting off the action at the critical decision point. If you want to post results, wait until the discussion in the thread is over or someone asks for them.
-Video’s are a great way to for you to get help with your over all game. Other posters will be able to see the same reads as you, experience hands in the same order and, if you record your thoughts while you play, get inside your decision making process.
Some tips for making and posting videos:
*Shorter videos get more replies. 15-20 minutes seems to be the optimal length. *Making videos requires screen recording software. CamStudio, which is such a program, is available at no cost and is spyware free. *In order to post your video, you need to host it somewhere online. You could, of course, host it on your own server or rented server space. If this isn’t an option for you, you can you use a web-based solution. One free solution is called yousendit. Another is megaupload.
4. Theory Posts
-Theory posts take a specific situation and analyze it in depth. A good theory post should:
*Have a clear thesis. *Integrate logical and mathematical arguments *Draw on your experience *Have concrete examples *Draw conclusions
After doing those two, if you still want to ask a question, make it as narrow as possible.
6. Stat Posts
Posting your stats can help you to a degree, but don’t expect any great insights. To an astute observer, stats will reveal most major leaks and some minor ones, but no one can look at your stats and tell you how to be a winning player. In order for anything at all to be discerned from your stats, your sample size must be at least 10,000 hands with 30,000 being more useful.
-The stakes you play -A screenshot of the “more details” window. -A screenshot of the Position Stats tab -A screenshot of the first section of the Misc. Stats tab is with the box next to “Show Only Hands That Were Not Folded” checked -The word "stats" in the title
What not to post
1. Posts with no content
-This includes: *Bad beats, brags, and general rants. This is a strategy forum. This community exists to learn and improve not to whine. Frankly, no one cares that you got sucked out on. Get over it, and then get better. If you want to make posts like this, there is a non-strategy forum for these types of posts. It can be found here. *Discussion of specific opponents. It’s generally considered to be rude and bad form to post other people’s screen names. *Spam. Spam is quickly and efficiently deleted on 2+2. If you would like to advertise on 2+2, contact 2+2 advertising sales at [Email]firstname.lastname@example.org.[/Email]
2. General questions
General questions tend to get no responses or bad responses because they’re almost impossible to answer. Poker is a situational game. No one can fully explain how to play on the flop or what to do with top pair (TP) when your check/raised (c/r) on the turn.
This also includes posts about what win rates to expect or what sites to play at.
3. Off-topic questions
2+2 is a very large place. If you have a legitimate question, there is a place to ask it. If that question is not about short handed limit hold’em, it does not belong here. This includes:
What kind of bankroll do I need to play X limit? If you play recreationally and are willing to move down if you hit a bad patch, you should have 300-500 big bets. If you are playing for a living, you should have at least 800-1000 big bets plus six months living expenses.
I just won/lost a lot in a few thousand hands. What should I do? You should continue to play, review, post hands, think about the game, and get better.
Should I move up? Only you can make this decision. If you have the bankroll and feel like you can beat the next limit for more in absolute terms then the limit you’re currently playing at, then you probably should. Remember that you do not need to move up all at once, but can take shots and build your confidence.
What’s a good win rate for X limit? If you are just starting out, you should be happy with simply winning. Once you gain some experience, anything between 1-2 big bets per 100 hands (BB/100) is solid. A win rate of 2-3 BB/100 is excellent. If your win rate is above 3 BB/100, then you are either running hot or an outstanding player.
How should I play pre-flop (pf)? This is a far too complex question to answer here. If you’re new to the game, you may wish to use this pf chart.
How does the recent law that was passed in the USA, the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) affect me? Please visit the legislation forum for discussion of the law and its likely consequences. -----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Mr. Wookie for his invaluable help editing and providing ideas for this document.
Private Joker, Evan, btspider, Robk, Big_Jim, ajmargarine, EMcWilliams, lorinda, SamIAm for their work in creating other stickies which inspired this one and proved to be a valuable resource on its creation.
All the great posters of SSSH who are the single most important reason I am the player I am today.
If you have any suggestions for future versions, PM me or post in the Suggestion Thread.