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Playing too tight? Or smart?

Discussion in 'The Poker Room' started by DoctorPong, Jun 2, 2015.

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  1. DoctorPong

    DoctorPong Tourist

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    Gentlemen, and the rest of us...

    Rookie player here. Reading into playing styles and playing around St. Louis and such I scratch my head at the notion that I could be playing too tight (or safe) and maybe leaving too much on the table by not taking much risk. Aside form obvious hands that are excellent no holdem hands such as K/A or Q/Q etc I generally do not play unless I'm the blind. I'll fold nearly every hand until it comes to me. I often don't raise on blinds and I often feel uncomfortable taking a chance on a gap set like 5/7 or 8/10... Once I'm in I'm totally committed and willing to raise and call provided I have the feeling my hand is strong. Just typing this out I"m thinking this IS a tight strategy (of course) and I may take more chances, but isn't it smarter to play tighter earlier and more aggressive once the pot is established?

    When do some of you vets take risk and how "tight" do you play?
     
  2. Gofaster87

    Gofaster87 Low-Roller

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    This is hard to say because it depends on the other players. It takes me many hands to read a table and then i adjust accordingly. Playing at a locals casino is much different than the strip. Locals are mostly tight and the strip is a free for all. Only game I play tight is Omaha Hi/Lo.
     
  3. Snidely

    Snidely VIP Whale

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    As Sklansky would say, enter fewer pots but play aggressive when you do. However, it's easy to get a read on you when you play like that. People will know you have a premium starting hand whenever you enter a pot voluntarily. How do you play 8-9 suited from middle position if no one has entered the pot yet?
     
  4. DoctorPong

    DoctorPong Tourist

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    I'd buy in with a call limit of x4. Assuming I was doing alright. If the chips are low I may go all in to steal the pot. Hopefully.

    I have gotten the notion people are reading me though. I take advantage of it buy bluffing when I'm doing well.
     
  5. sindustry

    sindustry VIP Whale

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    One easy way to break the ice into playing a wider range of hands, and/or trash, aggressively, is to open-raise without looking at your hand. You can pretend to look, but don't actually look. Fire another blind bet after the flop...if you meet resistance, then look at your hand and decide how you want to proceed.
     
  6. bribhoy

    bribhoy Low-Roller

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    Exactly what sindustry says. If you're playing against the same group of regs in your local casino, they will certainly have a read on you, so will always give you credit for a premium hand. So, don't look at the cards and just decide you have a premium starting hand. I do this and my imaginary hand is pocket 10s. I play my cards as if they're 10s and make my decisions accordingly. And, with your table image, it will pay off in the longer term to be caught bluffing occasionally.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2015
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  7. Rubos

    Rubos Low-Roller

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    If I read that correctly you are only playing premium hands or from the blinds?

    If this is the case I think you should reevaluate - in the blinds you will pretty much always be out of position - not a good place to be.

    Just playing premium hands means people will adapt and call in position looking for you to bet, raise or call off with an over pair or TPTK.

    Harrington on Holdem are good books to start with or 2+2 forums a great source of strategy info.
     
  8. DoctorPong

    DoctorPong Tourist

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    Good feedback, thanks!
     
  9. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    The Course by Ed Miller is also a good book
     
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  10. shifter

    shifter Degenerate Gambler

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    you're the definition of a nit.

    they win most sessions, but then they give it all back on that bad beat on a big pot.

    the key to poker is to play the players, not the hand.
     
  11. VegasBJ

    VegasBJ VIP Whale

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    Yeah, I would agree that you are playing too tight, and are much easier to read and your range of hands is more easily defined when you do voluntarily enter a pot. Why do you only play from the blinds? Hold em is a game of position. If you are in the hijack, cutoff, or button, and no one has entered the pot yet, you should enter with a raise no matter what you are holding. Then you have a great chance to steal the blinds with your reputation. position, position, position. The era of tight hold em playing being the preferred way to play has evolved. A LAG game plan is what most of the winning players are adopting now. Much harder to read the player, and you have a really hard time putting them on a range.
     
  12. michaeld04

    michaeld04 Tourist

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    The blinds a horrible place to play without strong starting/drawing hands. You are out of position, and are always at risk of a raise if you bet, or a bet if you check.

    A better solution if you want to play somewhat tight is to raise unopened pots from the button or the position before the button regardless of your holdings. Sometimes you win the blinds, but it will give you a slightly different image at the table....
     
  13. Wanger1969

    Wanger1969 High-Roller

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    Play tight, play loose, but don't play either consistently all the time. Play the people around you and base your play off their actions and YOUR position more often then the cards in your hand. Never forget that the best move in poker is the FOLD. Keeping just a few of these things in mind always keeps me competitive.
     
  14. DoctorPong

    DoctorPong Tourist

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    A lot of comments about position. Never really thought much about it... 2+2 has been ok but the terminology is kinda thick
     
  15. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Position is important because it lets you see what other players in the pot are going to do before you have to act on that round of betting.

    If you connect with a flop and are the first one to act, if you check and nobody else does anything, they all check as well, then you end up giving everybody a free card that could improve their hand or put some new draws out there.

    Or, for the most part players only have about a one in four chance of actually making a pair on the flop... if you are last to act and its checked around to you then it doesn't really matter if you connected with the flop or not: its probably likely that nobody improved their hand and so you should bet irregardless of what you have.

    And then for action flops (all three cards are big and likely to be held by other players) it will help give you an idea where you are at if betting happens before you - if somebody bets and then another guy raises then even if you are holding top pair with a decent kicker its probably a pretty good chance that your hand is no good and you should just fold unless you have some kind of draw to go with it... but if you were first to act then you might have pumped some chips in to the pot to see where you are at.
     
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2015
  16. DoctorPong

    DoctorPong Tourist

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    @Auggie really good feedback there.

    So being the last to act suggests that I should bet in order to see who really has what? Seems like a perfect trap for a slow player. Am I right?
     
  17. Auggie

    Auggie Dovahkiin

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    Yes, somebody could be slow playing there... But you can't really play under the constant fear of being slow played or other scenarios like every time there is 3 of the same suit out there that somebody has a flush.

    And that goes to why you want to pay attention to whats going on, even if you aren't involved in a hand: players generally tend to stick to a playing style and some players are just habitual slow players, just like some guys will always play any two suited cards looking for that flush or some will see Ace-King and thing that no matter whats the action before them or on the flop or the turn just think they have to do whatever they have to do to get all their chips in the middle.

    That doesn't mean that there isn't going to be somebody at the table who just slows plays one time only the whole night, but that by paying attention you can identify the guys that just can't help themselves and are going to slow play every time they have a big hand or catch a perfect flop.


    And there are times that if its checked to you that you might want to just check it and see another card for free: if the flop is ace of hearts, king of diamonds and 9 of clubs and there are three other players in the pot and you have the six and seven of diamonds then you probably just want to check it there if you are last to act: somebody probably has an ace or a king and to see one more card for free is valuable to your hand because an eight will give you an open ended straight draw, any diamond will give you four to the flush, a ten or five will give you an inside straight draw and any seven or six will give you a pair: so 24 of the 47 unknown cards (51%) will improve your hand.
     
  18. bigalbr

    bigalbr VIP Whale

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    If you're only playing premium hands and from the blinds in NL, the first hands you should work into your range is any pair. Particularly in cheap or multiway pots. Suited connectors next, but they're harder to play than pairs. If you're playing a pair of 8s, you flop a set or fold to pressure. You may want to try to steal the pot if it's somewhat large or checked to you, but in general small pairs either flop big or you're done.
     
  19. georgesken

    georgesken Low-Roller

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    No offense man, but if you really have no clue About the value of position and know how to play it, I really suggest you start Reading Some books About poker. This is meant as a good advice.
    And I hope you're not the kind of guy who is afraid to raise his aces because he doensn't wants to scare people out of the pot...

    There was A girl (anette obrestad) once who won an online poker tournament without looking at her cards except for 1 time. She was just playing position and adapter her play according to it. Just to show you the importance of position. You should look iT up once.
     
    Last edited: Jun 5, 2015
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  20. johnvic

    johnvic VIP Whale

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    OP, I went back and reread your original post and it sounds like you never play unless you have premium cards or it gets checked to you in the blinds. You really need to learn some basics. The book I mentioned, The Course, is great because he gives you practical advice about pre-flop, flop and later street play in 1-2, 2-5, 5-10 NL. He discusses pre-flop ranges based on position and how to react to small and large bets in conjunction with flop and later streets.
    If position is confusing you may want to try to get a used copy of Getting Started in hold 'em by Ed Miller. It's a limit book mostly, but he discusses position and other basics really well. Obviously there is no bet sizing discussion. He does have a chapter on getting your feet wet in NL with a short stack strategy. But it is really meant as a means to get your feet wet and not to be a short stacker.
     
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