Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Bug's Poker Tip #25

Don't Pay Off Big Turn and River Bets

This tip is similar to Bug Tip #1: They're Probably Not Bluffing, but is worth repeating/expanding upon here. In fact, besides the adage to play tight and aggressive, this might be the single best piece of technical poker advice you'll ever hear for low and medium stakes games: Do not pay anyone off unless there's a damn good reason to*. When someone makes a big turn or river bet, your one pair-type hand becomes just a bluff-catcher. And, as we said back in Tip #1, they're probably not bluffing. So what are you trying to catch? In other words, in the majority of cases, your opponent won't be making a value bet with an inferior hand to yours. It's not rocket science, friends: either you're beat, or your opponent is bluffing. And if they're not bluffing very much when they bet big, then you're most likely beat. Don't play the sheriff. Don't pay to see what they have. Don't pay them off. Yes, it can be frustrating and annoying and aggravating to feel like you're getting pushed off a hand like TPTK, but at low and medium stakes, most players don't try to push people off hands correctly/enough. They're playing ABC poker, and are simply trying to make a hand, and then when they do, they bet. A big bet from a standard opponent means a big hand. Don't pay just to confirm that fact. Fold. Take a breath. Move on.

All-in for now...

*A "damn good reason" might be that the player is a maniac, is on tilt, or simply doesn't understand the game. Most opponents you usually face are none of these things.

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