In a poker game, there are always players obsessed with walking on the wild side, so much that they even go too far and end up losing money. And although there can be an optimal rate for playing risky moves because it can win you chips. it’s nearly impossible to calculate a win ratio with any precision because the variables are too many.
Like always it will depend on the particular game you are in, the table you are at and the mix of players on that table.
What we do know, however, is that the rate is not too extreme, meaning that you shouldn’t always play tricky moves, just as you shouldn’t always play straightforwardly. The optimal rate would be something in between and usually fluctuates depending on the situation in which you find yourself. There is no set answer to how often you should bluff or raise with a poor hand, but you definitely should be trying every now and then.
Let’s take an example to make things slightly easier.
If you never make any deceptive plays, it would be very easy for the other players to read you and you’ll find it extremely difficult to get poker winning hands. By not bluffing, never going for a check-raise, or trying to be fake it, your opponents would always follow your move and bet when you check and fold when you bet. Unless they have even stronger hands and take all your money. It would pretty much mean that you’re playing with open cards while everyone else is played with closed cards.
Too Much Bluffing
Contrary to that, if you always play tricky moves, like betting with weak hands and pulling check-raises too often, it will eventually come back to bite you. Your opponents will read you easily, and check whenever you check, and raise whenever you bet. A tough situation to be in. That has happened to so many beginners who think they can bluff the old guys whenever they want – and then find themselves walking out the door to a wave from a 65 yr old sitting with their chips.
It’s pretty clear that in order to get poker winning hands, you must strike a balance between the two. The optimal rate for playing risky moves is somewhere between “never” and “always”. Still, non-experienced players usually tend to lean too much towards the “always” side, meaning they bluff way too often.
Deception is there to be used wisely, and to accomplish 3 main things:
• Hiding your true thoughts in order to avoid becoming an easy-to-read player, meaning that your moves don’t always reflect the cards you have in your hand.
• Getting a poker winning hand when bluffing since your opponents won’t know what you have, meaning that they will sometimes fold a strong hand that could’ve ended up as the winner.
• Getting your opponents to fall for your planned check-raise by checking a good hand and hoping that they will try and take advantage by betting with a weaker hand.
And considering the fact that most players tend to play tricky moves more often than not, you should try and play the majority of your hands straightforwardly, or checking weak hands and betting stronger ones. Avoid giving in to the temptation of the ‘I can with any two cards syndrome,’ a common “disease” among many poker players that want to prove that they can always win by making strong but unsupported plays. Remember, the end goal of a poker game is to win more money than you lose, not make more deceptive moves than the other players.
And yes, there will be a few occasions where playing a poor hand is recommended, but use those situations to provide cover – even going to showdown sometimes to make people think you play weak hand – for when you play good hands. Since most players will try and get poker winning hands by calling and betting too often and try to outplay you, you’d be better off playing a mostly straightforward game with a few deceptive moves now and then.
Of course, this strategy can always be adjusted when you need it, depending on the game you’re playing. If, say, your opponent likes to bluff when you check, you can allow him to bluff and get a few extra bets by then raising on him. And if your opponent likes to fold often, you can bet some hands you’d normally check to collect a few pots that would’ve otherwise ended in his hands, only if he had the courage to call your bets.
It might sound complex but its like knowing how many decks of cards for poker -there is only one – so when you work out when and how to bluff and when and how to play straight, you will be hitting a lot of poker winning hands and dragging in the chips.
Oh and PS I did put the cat picture in to test your powers of poker observation. Whats wrong with this poker picture?