Being successful at a poker table against inexperienced players isn’t as easy as you might think. Bad poker players can be unpredictable which makes reading their action difficult. If you aren’t careful, you can end up with a bad beat against a player who doesn’t really know what they are doing. By following these rules and strategies you can show your class against weaker opponents.
How to Play Against Bad Poker Players
There are some important things to keep in mind to prevent yourself from losing money against bad players. The first rule is to never bluff. Bad players tend to call more frequently, as well as rarely folding after buying into a pot. A semi-bluff is also not advised as you could well come away from the hand with a bad beat if your inexperienced opponent hits the card they are waiting on the turn or the river.
You also need to change the way you calculate your odds of winning any given pot, based on how many players remain in the hand. As we’ve mentioned, bad players call more frequently, which often leads to hands where multiple players see the flop. With more people in the hand, your odds of winning are greatly reduced even with a hand like pocket aces. Keep this in mind when betting before the flop.
How to Win
Now we’ve established how to adjust your strategy to ensure you don’t lose, let’s talk about how to extract maximum profit. The key to winning against bad players is tight, aggressive poker. By playing fewer hands you’ll minimize bad beats but you’ll also be able to build up large pots when you get the right cards. Be prepared to lose a few blinds and make your profits by building big pots against calling stations.
Although generally you should be playing aggressively, you should also value bet in the right situation. The more a bad player buys into a pot, the more difficult they find it to fold. Bear this in mind when you are value betting and put in an aggressive value bet if you are confident you have them beat. Just be careful of any re-raises on the river as this tends to indicate that your opponent has landed a hand.
Although in some ways bad players complicate your usual approach, they do give you plenty of opportunities to win big hands. By remaining disciplined and patient you can ensure you don’t come out of the game as a victim of a bad beat but instead with a healthy stack.