Hand Histories and How to Write Them Effectively

August 29, 2023

As we all know, hand histories are an invaluable tool for coaches and teachers.

But how many of us have ever been taught how to write hand histories effectively? I got lucky in the fact that my late coach and mentor, Terry Ring, taught me how to write what he called " proper hand histories".

First, you must know poker shorthand. Poker shorthand is the key for proper writing. Do you recognize these cards? 6h, Kc, 2s, Td. They are: 6 of hearts, King of clubs, 2 of spades, Ten of diamonds.

Step 1 - Lay the foundation. Remember what you were taught in your creative writing class in high school? Who? What? Why? When? Where? How?

The what - tournament or cash games

The where - location

Then when - date

The who - identify the other players. Adding the type of player is key too.

Step 2 - Describe the pre-flop action. Your cards. Observations. Table dynamics.

Step 3 - Describe the flop. Pot Size. Action. Your thoughts and read.

Step 4 - Describe the turn. Pot size. Action. Thoughts

Step 5 - Describe the river. Pot size. Action. Results. Your thoughts.

Step 6 - Ask thoughtful questions about your play.

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