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The art of learning how to play poker

My musings as I learn how to successfully play the game of poker
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Nobody wants to be a bully.....

By: auntyrae @ 14:27 (EST) / 286 / Comment ( 1 )

Although this may be true in Real Life its simply not the case in the world of poker.  While doing my research into how not to let myself become the short stack at the table I've come across some very interesting reading on being a bully and how to successfully use the tactic at the tables.  Daniel Negreanu gave some great tips in one article, surprisingly some of the tips had nothing to do with how a weak player plays their hands but more about scoping that player out by their look, admittedly this doesn't work for online poker but I thought it was interesting enough to share anyway

Daniel says:

In order to pound on the weak players properly, the first thing you'll need to do is identify them. There are generally a few clues that you can look for that while not always totally accurate, could be clues nonetheless:

1) How they dress. If someone dresses extremely conservatively they will generally play poker that way! If they dress loudly they'll more than likely play more aggressive or flamboyantly.

2) How they talk. This is in line with the previous clue. If they are quiet or timid in the way they talk, chances are that's how they'll play poker.

One of the main things I have learned today about spotting the weak player(s) at the table is to watch for 'Tells' and what information I can gain about the players I'm up against - (note to self: must remember to always put this info into the player notes)

A great point to remember as a general rule of thumb is that a Strong player will try to act Weak and a Weak player will try to act Strong - this obviously won't be the case all the time but it is a good starting point

That being taken into consideration here are a few things that I'll be making a concerted effort to watch for;

~ the time a player takes to bet/raise/check

- A long pause followed by a raise - could indicate a strong hand
- Very fast raise - could indicate a very strong hand
- Quick Check - could indicate a weak or folding hand
- Quick call  - could indicate a medium to semi weak hand
- Odd number bet  - could indicate a neutral hand
  (I've noticed this happening with a lot more frequency lately so could also indicate the player trying to throw off their tell)

~ the size of the bet

- Very small bets (weak hand, slow playing a monster):

Be careful, a lot more players are doing this on purpose with the hopes of suckering other players into playing  the pot,  best to make sure that there's good info on the other player(s) before trying it in order to make sure its not a trap

- All In bets vs size of pot (monster or bluff):

Make sure I have good reads on the other players to avoid walking into a monster

~ pay attention to other players behaviour and betting patterns

I'll be working hard to make sure that I stop giving away tells on my game by making sure I give myself the same time to make my decision - making every effort to make myself unpredictable, switching up my game, alternating aggressive and passive play - hopefully that will throw others off as my game improves and I'll be the one taking other players chips to the final table.

Oh, and making notes on other players ..... another reminder to self

More to come as I continue reading and learning

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