This is particularly true in multi-way pots, where it is likely that one or more opponents will call all the way to showdown.
By employing deception, a poker player hopes to induce their opponent s to act differently from how they would if they could see their cards.
Related is the semi-bluff , in which a player who does not have a strong hand, but has a chance to improve it to a strong hand in later rounds, bets strongly on the hand in the hopes of inducing other players with weaker "made" hands to fold.
Slow-playing is deceptive play in poker that is roughly the opposite of bluffing: Position refers to the order in which players are seated around the table and the strategic consequences of this.
For example, if there are five opponents yet to act behind a player, there is a greater chance one of the yet to act opponents will have a better hand than if there were only one opponent yet to act.
Being in late position is an advantage because a player gets to see how their opponents in earlier position act which provides the player more information about their hands than they have about his.
This information, coupled with a low bet to a late player, may allow the player to "limp in" with a weaker hand when they would have folded the same hand if they'd had to act earlier.
Position is one of the most vital elements to understand in order to be a long-term winning player. As a player's position improves, so too does the range of cards with which they can profitably enter a hand.
Conversely this commonly held knowledge can be used to an intelligent poker player's advantage. If playing against observant opponents, then a raise with any two cards can 'steal the blinds,' if executed against passive players at the right time.
Unlike calling, raising has an extra way to win: An opening bet may be considered a raise from a strategy perspective. David Sklansky gives seven reasons for raising, summarized below.
The gap concept states that a player needs a better hand to play against someone who has already opened or raised the betting than he would need to open himself.
Related to the gap effect, the sandwich effect states that a player needs a stronger hand to stay in a pot when there are opponents yet to act behind him.
Therefore, a stronger hand is desired as compensation for this uncertainty. A squeeze play exploits this principle. Loose players play relatively more hands and tend to continue with weaker hands; hence they do not often fold.
Tight players play relatively fewer hands and tend not to continue with weaker hands; hence they often fold. The following concepts are applicable in loose games and their inverse in tight games: Aggressive play refers to betting and raising.
Passive play refers to checking and calling. Unless passive play is being used deceptively as mentioned above, aggressive play is generally considered stronger than passive play because of the bluff value of bets and raises and because it offers more opportunities for your opponents to make mistakes.
Hand reading is the process of making educated guesses about the possible cards an opponent may hold, based on the sequence of actions in the pot.
The term 'hand reading' is actually a misnomer , as skilled players do not attempt to assign a player to an exact hand.
Rather they attempt to narrow the possibilities down to a range of probable hands based on the past actions of their opponent, during both the current hand and previous hands played by this opponent.
Tells are detectable changes in opponents' behavior or demeanor which provide clues about their hands or their intentions.
Educated guesses about opponents' cards and intentions can help a player avoid mistakes in his own play, induce mistakes by the opponents, or influence the opponents to take actions that they would not normally take under the circumstances.
For example, a tell might suggest that an opponent has missed a draw, so a player seeing it may decide a bluff would be more effective than usual.
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