There are 1,326 hand combinations in poker. What if you began being creative and changed the way you are playing each hand from time to time? Would that be profitable?
I guess not.
We are dealt Aces for the nth time. We are sick of open raising or reraising pre-flop and we decide to go slow pre-flop and just call. That’s the first mistake; keeping the pot small while we are certainly ahead and not building on our hand’s value.
It’s one of the rookies’ mistakes; Don’t slowplay!
Flop comes rainbow, so no flush draws and no straight draws. For the safest flop in the world, let’s just also assume it’s not a paired flop. Nothing to be afraid of. We elect to continue our creative strategy and avoid putting any pressure on our opponents.
Thus, we check behind or call any bets. The pot is now about 10 to 20% of the effective stacks and we still haven’t taken the initiative.
That’s the second mistake right there; allowing villains to catch up and hit two pair or a set.
On turn there must be some hands that have now picked up some kind of a draw, either a flush or a straight one. It’s now time to be a bit more aggressive and start firing to “protect our hand”. Yet, it may be too late for any kind of protection.
Villains will have an easy task to identify our hand: we were either slow playing to the death, or we ourselves hit a monster hand (like a set). Either way, only made hands will be willing to go to the river. And by that time, our whole stack will be in danger.
And given we just hold an overpair, we are most probably behind and looking to hit one of two outers (an Ace).
Our creativity did not pay off. And most often than not, it won’t when holding premium hands.
Creativity might actually show some profit when we have been playing hundreds of hands against the same villains. Our opponents will surely have picked up our betting pattern and our style of play. So, it’s time for our creative side to kick in and balance our range, mix our game up and do some strange things.
Remember, the creative strategy we are going to apply will only seem strange to those villains. For newcomers, we just seem like a random guy doing random things. This should make us think twice before altering out strategy, if we are not against the regular players in the particular hand.
Keep to the standard winning strategy against new players, until they prove worthy opponents.
But against regulars, start doing the exact opposite of what they are used to. Did you play draws aggressively? Time to go passive. Also it’s time to chase a couple of draws, but be sure to go to showdown, so that villains take notice of your bad play. How did you play sets, monster draws and premium hands before? Just click the button next to the one you used to (bet/raise or call)!
Creativity may also lead you to triple barrel or check raise the river, when you weren’t expected to. Try anything fancy to fulfill your creativity, but keep in mind to do it against opponents that already know how you play.
And make sure they know you switched gears, before reverting to your classic ABC game. It’s now time for your creativity to pay off!