Rule 55: When you have an excellent starting hand, don’t just blast

away with bets from that point on until the end of the hand without

regard to what happens next.

This is an approach some players take. They wait until they get a highpercentage starting hand, then they bet away from that point on, without regard to

Advertisement

anything else that happens after that in the hand. They take off like a rocket and

never look back. While this approach may make money over the long run?since

you are always starting with good hands?the fact is, you will make more money

by playing the rest of the hand correctly, too. There are other decisions to be made

Advertisement

as the hand progresses?not just correct decisions at the start.

One other thing worth mentioning: Experts tell us that the optimum style of

poker play is one that is “selectively aggressive”? this is as opposed to being

“blindly aggressive.” One problem with the latter is that it becomes quite

predictable in a hurry?it becomes a pattern that good opponents notice and

exploit. (“He always raises all the way to the end?hmm.”) Then they simply let

him bet away and 먹튀사이트 hang himself, trapping him. Blind aggression is not good. A

Advertisement

determination to “just” be aggressive is not sufficient in poker?more is called for

than this.

Rule 56: If you are betting vigorously and you run into a wall, and it

seems like a wall, feels like a wall, has all the qualities of a wall, and

has other stubborn wall-like characteristics?then it is probably a wall.

For some reason, even the best of us have trouble at times realizing that our

poker hand, good as it is, may not be as good as the other fellow’s, the one who

keeps raising us back and who can’t get his money into the pot fast enough. (This

Advertisement

probably says something about the human capacity for self-deception.)

Be aggressive in poker, but pay close attention to how much resistance

you’re getting. If you’re getting a lot, then it may be time to withdraw to fight

Advertisement

another day.

One common mistake of less experienced players is to push forward, and when

they hit resistance, to push some more, encounter more resistance, and keep on

pushing? all the while failing to see the outlines of what is going on. It’s difficult to

Advertisement

sell them on the idea that there may be a wall there. Pride, ego, and stubbornness become involved. Noticing things like this, swallowing one’s pride and folding, is

one of the things that distinguishes better players from the average player.

Rule 57: Keep opponents on the “guessing” borderline.

It’s a well known poker truism that bets that hurt us the most are ones that

put us “on the fence,” unable to decide which way we should go. Perhaps the best

way to explain this statement is to look at its opposite. Bets hurt least when a

player’s course of action is clear. For instance, if a player bets into you and you

Advertisement

have a terrible hand, you fold. Very simple. You made the correct decision. His bet

didn’t hurt you at all. But if his bet catches you with a borderline “can’t decide”

Advertisement

hand, that is the time you are in danger of making the most costly mistake.

Expert poker players love to put other players on that “fence”? right on that

borderline of decision-making. They love the “fence”? having other players

teetering on top of it, not sure which way to go, for that is when the opponent will

Advertisement

make the largest number of mistakes. However, here’s one note of caution: Don’t

think players are always on it, every time you make a bet. Once they are committed

Advertisement

to a hand, now these opponents may be off the fence again, and your bets may not

be hurting as much as you may think.

Rule 58: Getting opponents to the point where they are guessing is one

thing? maneuvering them into consistently guessing wrong is the real

triumph.

This is the true triumph?the true Holy Grail?to put players on the fence

and maneuver them into going the wrong way. This is a very subtle, complex

mechanism. It means picking up the rhythm of other players when they are strong,

yet getting them to fold, yet, at the same time, getting them to stay to the end when

Advertisement

they are weak. Maneuvering players onto this “wrong rhythm” takes a true master.

“In battle, it is not sufficient for a commander to avoid error; he needs actively to

Advertisement

cause his enemy to make mistakes.”

-Jon Latimer, Deception in War

Rule 59: Be mindful of your opponents’ changing view of you.

Know what hands you’ve been showing.

If you stayed on a hand with bad cards and won, keep in mind where this puts

your opponents’ view of you. Or if you have a “lock” (or unbeatable) hand after

that, and you win, and show it, keep in mind the changing effect this has on them.

Advertisement

Be conscious of their changing short-term view of you as well as of their long-term

view of your game.

Rule 60: Once you can outplay someone and they realize it, it is time to

be careful. From that point on, they may play tighter and sometimes

may not even bet their good hands.

This can be a dangerous point. Beware of your own expertise. You can have

them so scared that they don’t bet even when they have you beat. At this point, you

Advertisement

may start betting right into them.

This rule is somewhat similar to Rule 61:

Rule 61: When you push hard?that is, when you’re representing a

really strong hand?be sensitive to players who are still staying.

You’re looking strong, aggressive, and menacing, but some of your

opponents are still staying. They’re not getting out. This tells you something about

Advertisement

their hand?something bad.

Rule 62: If you call raises with a weak hand, you may as well be betting

with a weak hand.

A lot of players would never think of raising with a weak hand, but they have

no qualms at all about calling raises with a weak hand? even though it amounts to

Advertisement

the same thing. Common sense in poker should always be employed.

Rule 63: A raise or re-raise is often the best use of one betting unit.

Players will willingly put in one bet to call?unthinkingly, automatically, and

forever. They’ll do it all day and all night without a thought, but they won’t put in

Advertisement

one more bet to raise, which is often a much better use of one betting unit. Look at

the things a raise does: It makes everybody stop and re-evaluate their cards, sets

Advertisement

players back on their heels, causes some players to “back off” or even fold, instills

fear, gets more money in the pot, perhaps induces someone to make a mistake,

and changes the whole dynamics of the hand.

Look at the “bang for the buck” you’re getting for this one extra betting unit!

The moral of the story is: Use your chips where they will do the most good. Five or

Advertisement

six passive, grudging $10 calls often do not have as much bang for the buck as one $10 raise.

Rule 64: Don’t bet all the way in a hand, then fail to call the last bet.

This is a mistake we sometimes see (even among more experienced players),

and it’s easy to do if you’re not paying attention. This is how it happens. You’re

Advertisement

playing along, calling the bets, observing the hand as it progresses, and a final

assessment tells you that your cards just aren’t good enough. So you fold, overlooking the fact that the hand was at the end. One more bet and it was over.

Advertisement

Obviously, you should have thrown in that last bet.

Don’t contribute to the pot all the way, then drop out with one bet to go. If

you’ve gone all the way?go the final step. (Assuming, of course, you’ve got any

kind of hand at all.) Surprising things sometimes happen.

Rule 65: Don’t oversell what a loose player you are.

Selling the idea that you’re a loose, gamble-it-up player is not a bad idea. (It

can make you money on the back end when you do tighten up, and it can also lead

to bigger pots when you do have a winning hand.) But don’t over-do it.

Don’t start throwing so much money around that you’ll never recoup that

amount of money on future hands. In short, give the impression that you have a

reckless disregard for money, but don’t be such a good actor that you convince

yourself. Don’t start having so much fun that you become Daddy Warbucks.

Rule 66: Some losses are inevitably incurred in the process of proving

you can’t be pushed around.

These may feel like unnecessary losses?that you are simply throwing money

away? but there is more to it than that. It is occasionally necessary to show you

Advertisement

can’t be pushed around, and won’t be “run over.” (In poker terms, someone who is

automatically going to fold in the face of bets. And opponents will put you to this

Advertisement

test, too.) So this thankless tossing of money into the pot is occasionally necessary,

and while it may feel like bad poker play, it is not quite as dumb as it feels.

Share This Story

Get our newsletter