In the last articles we covered essential parts of the Texas Holdem strategy so by now you should be feeling very comfortable at your games. However, there is one thing that we have to mention. Today, we will concentrate on learning how to adjust your strategy when playing poker versus different opponents, and how it can drastically increase your results.
Obviously, you will not be able to do much against professional players to exploit them, but if you find someone who is making obvious mistakes, you should understand the best strategies to counter them. This part is crucial for building a winning poker tournaments strategy and mastering cash gameplay, so make sure to learn how to make necessary adjustments.
Exploiting aggressive players
Most recreational players are here to have some fun and like to splash their chips around. For the most part, they come to gamble, and you should let them do it. It is not as easy to play against these guys as it could look, because they will consistently put you to the test and force you to make hard decisions. That being said, there are a few things that you could do to ensure more success against these players.
First of all, you should not get into the preflop war against them. It is not a good idea to 3-bet much as a bluff so you should be mostly playing for value. Well, unless they are opening like crazy and then simply giving up, which is not the case most of the time. On top of that, you should open fewer hands if this guy is sitting to your left to avoid constant 3-bets and save your chips.
When you reach post-flop play, things don’t change much. Your goal is to give them the opportunity to bluff, so whenever you have a made hand, do not try to raise it, and let them dictate the action. Moreover, these are the players you should be looking to bluff. It is true that they are used to an aggressive approach, but they are not used to facing it from someone else. On top of that, they mostly play way too many hands, which makes their ranges weak, and you can easily exploit that by making a bluff-raise on a good run out.
Exploiting passive players
Contrary to the previously mentioned group, passive players try to see as many flops as possible and play relatively weak holdings. It is true, that you should not be looking to play many weak hands preflop as well, but you should be way more inclined to widen your value 3-bet range and raise their limps as often as you can. However, if you use the same strategy post-flop as against aggressive players, you will leave a ton of money at the table. These guys are very unlikely to bluff, so checking your strong hands will not induce them, and you will be losing value.
Moreover, because they want to see community cards, they are way more willing to call your raises with mediocre holdings, so you should play your strong hands faster and do not shy away from raising it and 3-betting with it. Lastly, you have to understand that these guys do not care much about the sizing so you can go very big with your value holdings and try to take as many chips as possible.
As you see, your strategy versus these guys is pretty simple. All you have to do is bet for value yourself instead of trapping, bet even medium-strength hands to extract more value, and do not try to bluff them. Making adjustments versus different players will help you improve your overall game plan and win more money, which is not a bad result!
Check out the other articles in this poker strategy series here:
– Part 1 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #1 | Playing Suited Connectors
– Part 2 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #2 | Check Raising Strategy
– Part 3 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #3 | Slow Playing Do’s and Don’ts
– Part 4 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #4 | Blockers and How to Use Them
– Part 5 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #5 | Limp Pots – When and Why
– Part 6 of our Poker Strategy Tip Series: Poker Tip #6 | Squeeze Play – Top Things to Consider