Trick Your Opponents And Keep Them Guessing

Which is your favorite poker trick? Is it one of these?

Every poker player worth their salt knows a trick or two to employ at the tables. Players act strong when they’re weak, and act weak when they’re strong, for example. There are a handful of other tricks to try if you want to keep your opponents guessing.

The Not Buying in Full Trick

Most cash game players buy-in for a set amount at the start of a session. One-hundred big blinds are the most common sum, especially in online poker circles. Sitting down at a $0.50/$1 table with a $100 stack is the industry standard.

Have you ever noticed a player buy in for $92.74 or similar? What was your first thought when you saw this odd amount? That’s correct, that this is the last of their bankroll because they couldn’t afford a full $100 buy-in.

This trick is common online because it gives the impression you’re firing one last shot. It gives your opponents the impression your either weak or on a losing stretch.

Not checking the auto top-up box is advised if you’re using this trick otherwise the software will top your stack up to 100 big blinds at the next opportunity.

The Leaving A Tiny Amount Behind Trick

This next trick is growing more popular in poker tournaments. You will have seen it yourself dozens of time, no doubt. The blinds are 5,000/10,000 and you have a 150,000 stack. The ideal play here would be to raise all-in when first to act because you only have 15 big blinds. Raising to 149,900 is a trick to consider.

It works in two distinct ways. The first is you’re not actually all-in, despite the fact the rest of your stack is destined to go into the middle. This means anyone not paying full attention won’t realize you’ve shoved but not shoved and could fold. Online poker players often play several tables at once so this trick is easy to miss.

Secondly, anyone wanting to raise to isolate you has to put in a legal-sized raise. This can put some players off doing so and can see your pretend shove go uncalled.

The Tried and Tested Stop & Go

The Stop & Go is another tournament trick that has waned in popularity. It’s performed with a stack that should ideally be used for moving all-in with. You make a standard raise, or call a raise, instead of jamming all-in. You then get the rest of your stack in on the flop.

This move isn’t as common as it once was because players push all-in with deeper stacks these days. Still, it’s handy to have in your arsenal to keep your opponents second-guessing themselves.

The Oversized Preflop Raise or Bet

Being able to bet whatever you wish is one of the key components of a No-Limit Hold’em game. The very best players engineer calls and folds by betting the ideal amount for every scenario.

One trick to try is making a vastly oversized preflop raise. Raising 3x or 4x the big blind is a typical preflop raise in the NL Hold’em cash game. Everyone expects this size raise to come at them. Why not pretend you’ve typed in the wrong amount and make a massive raise? We’re talking something like 30x or 40x when you have a super-strong hand such as aces. Some opponent will think you’ve mis-clicked or mistyped your bet and move all-in over the top. Kerching!

The same trick sometimes works postflop. Over-betting when you have a super-strong hand looks like a bluff. For example, betting 320,000 into a 32,000 pot looks like you’ve typed an extra zero by accident. It’s not a trick that always works but pays off big time when it does.

Whatever trick or move you make, always ensure it’s within the rules of the game. Check out the etiquette of the game you’re playing too. It’s important not to cheat or rub opponents up the wrong way!

Matthew Pitt

If it’s something you can play online for real money, chances are Matthew knows a bit about it. He’s been writing about slots, craps and poker for the better part of the last decade. He’s written for PokerNews, PartyPoker and many other respected online gambling websites during the last nine years.


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