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“Poker Heat” Hero or Zero Guide

Poker is my favorite hobby, only matched by my love for video games. I have ten+ years of poker experience to share in my poker game guides!

The "Poker Heat" Hero or Zero table.

The "Poker Heat" Hero or Zero table.

Learn About Poker Heat Hero or Zero

In this guide, I explain what the Poker Heat Hero or Zero game mode is and how to play it.

As the name implies, Hero or Zero is a game mode of playing your hand or folding.

What Is Poker Heat Hero or Zero?

You can only call or fold preflop. On the flop, you must go all-in or fold.

You will make zero decisions on the turn and river cards. You only have one decision to make. Play your hand or fold.

Play Poker With a Good Bankroll

Playing with tiny and weak bankrolls is a mistake many players make.

What is interesting to me is some people will argue that this is not a mistake, to begin with! Some people thrive on risky poker and love winning or losing it all.

Risky players refuse to believe I can get to the chips I have without buying any chips.

These players cannot imagine growing your chip stack slowly. All they know is huge wins and huge losses.

These players either do extremely well or go broke and then play extremely badly.

You want to select a number of buy-ins. This number will be your bankroll requirement. For example, I personally only move up in stakes when I get to 20 buy-ins.

You don't have to copy my strategy 100%. But you need to have some strategy. Even if you are willing to play with only five buy-ins or so.

For this strategy to work, you need to have a drop number. The drop number is the point that you move down in stakes because your bankroll is too small.

Note you must drop in stakes when you get to this number! Otherwise, your bankroll management is pointless.

My drop number is 15. If I start playing a stake and I drop down to 15 total buy-ins, I drop stakes.

Note I recommend playing with an even higher buy-in number than normal for hero or Zero. This is because of how luck-based this game mode is.

Use a Hand Range

Play a Limited Number of Poker Hands

I highly recommend playing Texas hold 'em with a hand range. Playing poker with a hand range will solve a lot of the issues bigger players have.

You want to start by playing very tight and few hands. You can then adjust the number of hands you play based on what the other players at the table are doing.

My Hero or Zero Hand Range

These are the hand I will play. The plus symbol means I will play this hand and all hands better than it.

For the most part, this means pairs and connected hands. I rarely will play a hand that has an unconnected or weak kicker card.

All pairs - 22+

Any two cards higher than eight - T8+, T9+

A2 – A5 suited

I have found this range tends to win often. As players will normally pay little attention to what cards they play preflop.

By only playing cards that are stronger than most of the deck, you give yourself a good chance of winning.

These are a few examples of hands I will play.

These are a few examples of hands I will play.

Position in Poker Heat Hero or Zero

In Poker, you normally want to play as in position as much as possible. This means acting last postflop.

Playing in position means acting last postflop. The player with the button is in position to the rest of the table.

Acting last gives you an advantage over the other players at the table. Seeing what everybody does first allows you to react to what they do.

Acting last in poker might sound small and inconsequential. But many beginners and bad players make mistakes to better players in position.

In Hero or Zero position might not seem as important. Nobody can raise preflop. So there is little pressure postflop. You go all-in with good hands and fold bad hands.

But there are still reasons to want to play in position more. It helps in avoiding risky situations. If the entire table goes all-in, it is better to see this first and then act.

You do not want to be the first person out of five to go all-in if your hand is not the nuts. That is the say the best current hand at the table.

If Your Hand Is Nothing

If your hand is nothing fold! It might seem silly or funny to bluff all-in. But eventually, you will lose to pretty much anything if somebody gets brave and calls.

If Your Hand Is a Straight or Flush Draw

I normally will fold straight and flush draws. I don't like the odds enough to go all-in.

If I have a straight flush draw, I might consider going all-in. If I have a pair and a flush draw, I might call if the pair might win if I miss the draw.

How to Play Single Pair

I will fold any weak pair. Anything that is not a top pair or better is a waste of chips.

I normally will go all-in with top pair. But I will try to make sure I am only calling one other person. If two or more people are already all-in, I will fold.

With overpairs, I almost always go all-in if I get to act first. Again if multiple people already went all-in, I will normally fold.

I don't like the odds against multiple people with only a pair. Remember that pairs are overall quite weak hands.

How to Play Two Pair

I am much more likely to call any all-in with a good two pair. People vastly overvalue draws and single pairs and play these hands way too much.

If the flop looks good, I click all-in without a second thought.

If the flop looks risky and multiple people are already all-in, I might fold. Two pairs are strong, but they are not always the nuts.

But because the number of silly and bad players is so high, I normally will take the risk with two pairs rather than fold.

Understanding Three of a Kind

There are two types of three of a kind hands. Sets and trips.

A set is when you make three of a kind with a pocket pair. If you make three of a kind with any other type of hand, this is called trips.

Sets are always stronger than trips. Often unlucky players will lose with trips to a set that became a full house or if very unlucky four of a kind.

How To Play Trips

If the flop looks like it makes somebody a straight or a flush, I may fold.

I also might fold weaker trips if I think the other player might have something better. Look at the following picture for an example.

Otherwise, I am all-in and happy to often beat pairs and draws.

How to Play Sets

Go all-in! Don’t second question yourself too much either!

Sets are the hands that win chips. For some reason, people never see them coming or just don’t care.

Now there may be chances you lose to draws or higher sets. Don’t let the losses convince you that these are not good hands. You still should be winning many chips with sets.

People are quite static about their poker play. Often if a player thinks they have a good hand, they rarely will fold no matter what happens.

This is why you click all-in!

Now there a few cases I might fold a set. If the flop only needs one card to a flush or draw I have to consider if one of the players already made their hand.

Also, I might not want to risk many chips against a player who previously never made any obvious mistakes.

For example, I might not be too quick about going all-in for say 500 big blinds if such deep stacks were at risk.

Thankfully such deep-stacked play rarely lasts long or happens infrequently.

How to Play Straights

You may find you don’t win too many chips with straights. These hands are much easier for people to see.

So unfortunately if you are lucky enough to flop a straight you might win little with it.

There are a few times I might fold a straight. If flop looks like a flush I may fold.

Also if I have a weaker straight I may fold as well. See the following picture for an example.

This straight is also called the idiot straight. This name is quite mean spirited. But the name reflects the fact that players often go bust thinking weak straights are good.

These are both examples of straights. One is very weak and one is the nuts. Keep this in mind when playing straights.

These are both examples of straights. One is very weak and one is the nuts. Keep this in mind when playing straights.

How to Play Flushes

Everybody loves a flush. You should as well and go all-in! But there are some cases you need to be more careful about.

If you have a stronger or nut flush, always go all-in! You will get calls from many weaker hands.

If you have a weak flush, you might not want to go all-in too fast. See the following pictures for an example.

If you make a flush with only one of your hole cards, this flush will be weaker than a two-hole card flush. People tend to forget about flushes made with suited connectors.

Also, you might be able to call with the nut flush against people with weak flush draws.

This is why I warned you against playing weak draws earlier! You might already have lost or been playing against a stronger draw.

These are two flush examples. Keep in mind not all flushes are the same!

These are two flush examples. Keep in mind not all flushes are the same!

How to Play a Full House

You might think what is there to think about a full house? All-in!

Well, you would be right for most full house hands. But not all full house hands are good. Some are the equivalent of fools gold.

If the flop is trips and you have a full house, you need to be careful. See the following picture for an example.

These hands are always interesting. People often will overvalue the full houses they make here. If you have an overpair that makes a full house, you often will win.

You will want to fold any full house made with a weak pair though. You still can lose to better pairs.

How to Play Four of a Kind and Stronger

Go all-in. Hope somebody thinks they are good and calls.

Also if you want to have fun and annoy people be sure to use the “WOW!” or “Thanks” chat buttons.

Other Things to Consider

Be Careful Around More Players

You will need stronger hands if more people go all before you. Don't play your hands the same if four people go all first!

For example, pocket aces are good against one. Not so good against three.

There are no exact rules for this. You will need to play often and get an idea of what hands tend to hold up more than others.

But I will often ditch pairs if too many people go all-in first.

Play Hands Based on Chip Stacks

You should adjust the hands you call based on the number of chips being risked.

Let's imagine a player goes all-in for say about five big blinds.

I will risk playing some draws I normally fold. I might even call with weaker pairs than normal. The reason is that very little is at risk here.

If a hand requires many chips, I will be more cautious. I don't play pocket aces the same way if I need to risk 300 or more big blinds.

When stacks get huge, I tend to wait for stronger hands before going all-in. In some cases, I might even switch tables to avoid the risk.

Be careful when many people are playing in a poker hand. You will need to fold weaker hands.

Be careful when many people are playing in a poker hand. You will need to fold weaker hands.

© 2020 Eric Farmer