After a few days testing out theories from my previous post (switching between loose and tight gambling strategy), I’ve come to realise more about how to gamble and when.
First of all if you’re a short stack, you will get bullied… why? Because bigger stacks won’t have to commit as many chips (in percentage terms), as a short stack, in order to play the hand and succeed against you. Therefore they will push you around and quite happily lose a little to you to make themselves look weak to others. Then tighten up against the real players (those that could cause them some damage).
So, the HOW of no limit gambling:
You want to get your opponents committed and have them call you for big bets. How do you achieve this? Bet a % of your opponents stack, which if they call, will create a pot so large, it will almost be impossible for them to fold because the pot odds will be so good.
This is the HOW of gambling – you will succeed because you get opponents committed and because you looked weak at some earlier point in the game.
The WHEN? You should use the gambling strategy against tight players, against players you have position on (in some instances) and in instances where you hit a good hand or the hand looks to have turned bad for your opponent.
Instances of where a hand looks to have turned bad for your opponent might be:
four to a flush is on the table – offers too many random possibilities – make a big bet – its very tough for anyone to call a big bet in this situation let alone a good player, but beware, bad players won’t fold because they may not realise the dangers this situation presents.
4 to a medium/high straight is on the table – same as above really but now there are too many 2 pair/set possibilities for an opponent with an over pair and a big bet will usually scare them off.
The board is K 6 5 and the turn is second a 6 or 5 – again its tough for most players to call a big bet here.
When you have an open ended straight can be an ok time to try this gambling strategy since it could pay off if you win without showing your hand, or you get called and hit your draw. If it doesn’t (which is usually won’t) you will look like a gambler and can wait for a hand next and regain your lost ground.
So the how – bet big to get opponents committed for a % of their stack.
And the When – certain gambling situations where you can pick up the pot with a drawing hand, or when its tough for an opponent to remain in the hand, because they will be over committed, or because they are short stacked (vs your stack) and in this case its cheaper for you to make them over committed.
Further to the above, another sure way to get a small win in no-limit hold’em (at least against an experienced player) is to play cards like 89, 9T, JT, JQ, JK, KT, K9, etc. in a small 2, 3 or 4 way pot. These cards don’t win big pots because they are harder to miss unless the flop comes down a certain way that keeps the hand concealed and whenever the board gives you a good hand with these cards they likely cause someone else’s hand to turn bad. The way to win big with these hands is to play them in situations where its likely some one else may flop a very big hand – i.e. in a 5 way pot or more and in position.