ABC poker is – as the name suggests – a simplified approach to the game that adheres closely to certain fundamentals. This style is often recommended to new players as a relatively safe, albeit simplistic and limited strategy that doesn’t involve over-thinking and which avoids making the decision-making process too complicated.
Given that ABC poker is essentially the first ‘serious’, systematic style adopted by new and inexperienced poker players, it is so conventional as to be somewhat predictable in that ABC practitioners can be expected to follow a narrow range of basic lines and plays.
ABC players, for example, tend (or aim) to adopt a tight aggressive (TAG) approach, sticking to a formulaic style that sees them play strong hands aggressively while not getting involved with lesser and weaker holdings.
The ABC game-plan can be stripped down to the following key concepts:
- Hand selection
- Table position
- Learning the odds
- Value betting
- Betting big with big hands
- Minimising bluffing
- Bankroll management
Does ABC Poker Work?
With consistent execution, ABC poker can lead to decent and even very good results against less experienced players, and many of the more serious recreational, fun poker fans are able to come out on top at micro stakes. Indeed, the ABC style can be adjusted and refined to provide the foundations when moving up stakes but, ultimately, there is a danger when facing stronger players of becoming predictable and, as a result, exploitable.
Not surprisingly, it follows that ABC poker can take a would-be serious and ambitious player only so far, and as we gain in experience we should be trying to further develop our game and become more flexible and nuanced in our play. That doesn’t mean abandoning ABC principles altogether, rather using them as the building blocks on which to gradually put together and hone a more complex repertoire of poker weaponry.