All The Aces Daily Poker Column

Bad Poker

Are YOU playing BAD poker?

Bad Poker
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At one time or another all poker players decide to stick around for the flop in the hope that their mediocre hole cards will suddenly get the injection they need to become winners. That’s called gambling, not poker. But we’ve all done it.

The statistical truth is two times out of three the flop will not improve your hand and you have to fold losing whatever you’ve wagered so far. So you started your hand “loose” by gambling on mediocre hole cards and then you “tighten” when the flop fails and your nerve with it. This is exactly the style of play really cool poker players watch for at a table on or offline. They’ll circle you like a vulture around a dying mouse and eat bits of you all night. Those of you who play most evenings will see this kind of thing quite often. It’s not uncommon for fish to follow their delusion way beyond the flop and into the turn and finally drown in the river. This of course has the sharks salivating. Railbird a while if you’re starting out and watch for these scenarios. If you are a newby go to and play in free money games until these kind of situations become familiar to you. It’ll save you cash in the short term and make you a winner in the long run.

The warnings above don’t mean you can’t play a weak hand. When you have enough skill you can play a mediocre hand with a defined strategy in mind for certain situations. For example, if you have a good position on some obviously weak players, then a raising game may well have them all folding. You need to be a reasonably cultured player to spot these kind of opportunities. Wait until you are.

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ALL THE ACES poker column:
Thursday December 29, 2005: 
Bad Poker