Marginalpoker

Playing the margin, making the rake

There is an old saying that if you have to make fancy plays in Texas Hold’em poker then you are in the wrong game. A lot of people who read this will hugely disagree but essentially then these people will be successful players at the higher levels but it is these people who are often not the best people to take advice from. I may say an awful lot of controversial things in poker but this is basically because my advice is grounded in reality. It is a bit like trying to emulate top class footballers if your normal level of play is far lower down.

There are simply things that you cannot do and you need to admit this to yourself. You simply have to find your optimal level and this is where you can really start to blossom. At the lower levels then you simply do not need to make fancy plays. Let us look at an example here to show fancy play in action. You open raise from the cut-off with 10c-8c and the big blind calls you. The flop comes Jd-Js-2d and the big blind leads out with a two thirds pot sized bet. You call looking to try and represent a possible slow played jack and to scare your opponent.

The turn is the 4c and your opponent bets again and you raise and your opponent thinks for a while and then shoves all in. You have to fold of course but you could have easily folded to your opponents flop bet. Your opponent flashes you A-J and they simply bet their strong hand on the flop. So you were trying to represent the hand that your opponent actually had which was actually quite funny. But this was a fancy play but yet when you see high stakes games then you often see plays like this but this is because the games at those levels are far more aggressive.

In areas like full ring then you simply do not need to make plays like these. Also if you are making fancy plays like these in situations where your opponents play very tightly then you are going to be bleeding money playing in this way. It is for this reason why I like to play full ring because there tends to be someone somewhere who is prepared to do something that they shouldn’t. In full ring then you obviously have more opponents sitting at your table. In six handed games then you see more hands per hour on your table.

This may seem as though six handed games are better but yet in full ring games then you are compensated by having more players on your table and more players have the chance to make more mistakes. So one form of poker really isn’t superior to another and it is what you really make it and how you fit your own style around that.