The Idiot Approach
Playing Online Poker
MYSTIC – Playing online poker can differ greatly from playing poker on the pro circuit. While on the pro circuit you can get to know the opponents you encounter quite well, and can study and adapt to their personal methods of play.
In online poker, however, the players you encounter will often differ greatly from day to day as new players enter the game. Many of these players will lack skill at the game of poker, backing up bad hands with good money, while still others will be lurking at tables waiting to take advantage of these weaker players. You can take advantage of this
phenomenon by taking the idiot approach.
The idiot approach can give you great results when you’re playing against the weak player or the player who wants to prey upon the weak. It involves putting good money behind bad hands when starting play, then suddenly switching gears to play a much more conservative game – more conservative, perhaps, than even your normal style of play. Basically you want the good players to think that you are a weak player, and the weak players to gain confidence after they win a few beefy pots.
This gambit will lose you money in the short run, but the potential for strong gains in the long run will be increased. If you can throw in a bit of money on a weak hand and play it until the hand is over, then unless you’ve accidentally bluffed your way to a win, your opponents will see your pocket cards and will notice that you are playing money on weak hands.
This could potentially persuade stronger opponents to start putting chips behind weaker hands, thinking that they’ve got pretty good bets against your hands considering that you are playing weak poker. Meanwhile, the weaker opponents will start playing bigger money, thinking that they are on a lucky streak or sitting at a good table due to taking some early wins. At this point, however, you will have tightened your game and will only be playing your better hands.
This poker strategy is weak if you’re playing against excellent opponents who notice right away that you have switched gears, or against opponents who play based on their hands and not based on the actions of the other players at their table. It’s also a bad idea to gamble away too much money up front using this tactic – don’t throw away so much money that getting those initial losses back becomes an insurmountable chore.
But against a table full of random players, a few badly placed bets here and there in the early hands can win you some good money on later deals.