Winning the war of mistakes
In online poker online poker you are forever involved in a battle against your opponents with regards to who can make the fewest number of mistakes. It isn’t possible to play mistake free poker but simply making fewer mistakes makes you a winner overall.
There are many different ways to make money playing online poker but in all forms of poker then you are attempting to perform one very important act and that is to make fewer mistakes than your opponents. To make fewer mistakes than your opponents is your ultimate goal but your ultimate goal isn’t to play mistake free poker. It simply isn’t possible to play mistake free poker because you cannot see your opponent’s cards and if they play poker in a moderately deceptive way then you are going to be making even more mistakes.
Will my actions prompt correct decisions?
Before you make any poker decision then you need to ask yourself an important question and that question is “will this play help my opponent to play correctly”? Let’s face it……if you value bet the river with two pair and you knew that your opponent had a weaker hand that they were about to call with then you would hardly show them your hand would you. The act of doing so would make it possible for your opponent to not only make a perfect poker decision but to be 100% safe in the knowledge that they were actually making the correct play.
Clearly then this is what you are helping your opponents to do in certain situations. Let us say that you have A-Qs in early position in a full ring game. You can either fold, call or raise and folding is not on the agenda with a hand as strong as this. So you want to raise or limp but raising in such an early position in a full ring game tells your opponents an awful lot about the content of your hand.
Position is critically important
Whenever you do not have position on your side then you are missing one of the most vital weapons in a poker game. Essentially then you have four distinct weapons in a poker game. You have position, your chip stack, your hand strength and your playing skill. Depending on how well your opponents play then this may be a skill that is less effective. Also your chip stack may be less of a weapon than what you think in a cash game because your opponents can simply buy back in.
But when you have played your hand in such a way as to assist your opponents in playing correctly and they have position on you then your situation isn’t great. This applies to whatever starting hand you have before the flop…..even aces. Let us say that you raised with the previously mentioned A-Qs and you got three callers. If an ace falls then you are being looked on by your opponents as someone who could have raised with AK or AQ and so any c-bet by you is going to entice a lot of folds except from hands that either beat you or stand a very good chance of beating you.
This is another fundamental problem with being out of position because when you bet then you are betting blind. If you check then you are also checking blind without knowing what your opponents hold or what they are likely to do. It needs to be repeated though that your ultimate goal in a poker game is to try and reduce the number of big mistakes that you make and mistakes overall and induce as many as you possibly can on behalf of your opponents.