ABC Poker

What is ABC Poker?

ABC poker is a reference to poker played by a beginner, or by an expert who is using a textbook strategy. It means playing according to the fundamentals of the game, and making predictable plays based on how the cards fall. Players often start with an ABC poker strategy while they work out how their opponents are playing, or while they learn the rules of a new style of game. ABC poker play is often more profitable in small stakes games against safe or inexperienced players.

‘ABC Poker’ Explained

When a player refers to ‘ABC poker’, they mean the fundamentals of the game. An ‘ABC poker’ strategy follows the expected gameplay style, with players sticking to the basic strategy when deciding which bets to make. It might describe a player who is new to the game and playing by the book, or an experienced player who is using ABC play as an information-gathering strategy.

ABC poker can help a player get used to the rules when they switch to a different kind of game. It is commonly seen by players in HORSE and its variants, with players moving from ABC play to a riskier strategy only during the games they know well. So-called ‘fancy play’, where a player takes risks for a higher payoff, can pull apart a player using an ABC strategy. However, playing hands by the book can achieve slow but steady wins in games with smaller stakes.

Sometimes ‘ABC poker’ might be used to describe a novice player who stronger players have identified as weak or unsure. A player using ABC strategies can be an easy target for advanced players. However, playing a conservative, tight game is less risky and produces less big losses, while a player who is using a complicated system is more prone to making errors and bad draws.

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