How do you play against bad players? (1 Viewer)

ctestb

High Hand
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Buffalo, NY
Just as the title entails, I am part of a whiskey group and there is 10 of us. We meet monthly and I suggested we do a poker game while we meet. Everyone loved the idea - so I get the table and chips setup and everyone arrives and...no one knows how to play. They know what hands win, well, one person had a poker hands chart with him ....Open folding/ folding when they can check,, folding out of turn, 3-4 betting with nothing, playing every single hand imaginable, getting to showdown with K high, etc.

I can't shake off the nit feeling I have from playing 3/5 in my cash game I play in. It's a lot of fun and definetly not complaining, I love the group of guys and it's a low stake $40 game. But two months in a row now I've 3 & 4-bet pre-flop jammed with KK & JJ and both times lost to Q-6 off suit and 9-10 off suit.

The pain is real, maybe I'm just venting
 
YOU CRUSH THEM!!

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Face up, very comfortably. Its okay to vent, but its also necessary to know that type of game has lots of variance but is super profitable. Always stinks to lose jams to crappy hands but gotta keep jamming, and showering them with compliments when they end up winning lol.

Many of them will have ranges that are inelastic: they decided they'll call a raise or a 3-bet preflop, but they don't change that decision based on the sizing. Against good players you have to be careful balancing your bluffs and values, but for many at these easy games, bet a few blinds bigger when you want a call and a few less if you're bluffing. Its situation dependent but at the softer splashy games you can get away with squeezing them for more money with your big hands, and if they're playing passively, you'll lose far less with low block bets. Raises are rare, set your own price: "I was going to bet, but this man bet $5 into the $37 pot, so I'll just call and show him my quads. SUCKER! THAT'S MY $5 NOW!"

If its just a whiskey club, don't get too hard about rules or any of that and give action. In private fun casual games I lose more than I should chasing silly draws, I want to make sure the wealth is spread and the game continues. If they're folding when checked to, oh well, dont have to make them take it back then fold to a bet, let them fold and go get a drink or whatever.
 
Face up, very comfortably. Its okay to vent, but its also necessary to know that type of game has lots of variance but is super profitable. Always stinks to lose jams to crappy hands but gotta keep jamming, and showering them with compliments when they end up winning lol.

Many of them will have ranges that are inelastic: they decided they'll call a raise or a 3-bet preflop, but they don't change that decision based on the sizing. Against good players you have to be careful balancing your bluffs and values, but for many at these easy games, bet a few blinds bigger when you want a call and a few less if you're bluffing. Its situation dependent but at the softer splashy games you can get away with squeezing them for more money with your big hands, and if they're playing passively, you'll lose far less with low block bets. Raises are rare, set your own price: "I was going to bet, but this man bet $5 into the $37 pot, so I'll just call and show him my quads. SUCKER! THAT'S MY $5 NOW!"

If its just a whiskey club, don't get too hard about rules or any of that and give action. In private fun casual games I lose more than I should chasing silly draws, I want to make sure the wealth is spread and the game continues. If they're folding when checked to, oh well, dont have to make them take it back then fold to a bet, let them fold and go get a drink or whatever.
I implemented something called "House rules" that I have to yell at my other buddy who is a very serious poker player (who has also not cashed in any game either) House rules is something I yell when they mess up and I see he is going to say something aka they're allowed to raise smaller than the minimum because they don't know, string bets are allowed if not intended, folding out of turn if it's non intentional (whispering to the guy next to him "hey, fold me, I am going to the bathroom" before action is on him) hell - they played one guy's hand for him when he went to go get food. We take it extremely lax and are there for the whiskey and good times. It is a lot of fun but it's like, you never know if they're coming along because they got something, if they're bluffing, or worse, coming along because they have red cards and it's their favorite color
 
I implemented something called "House rules" that I have to yell at my other buddy who is a very serious poker player (who has also not cashed in any game either) House rules is something I yell when they mess up and I see he is going to say something aka they're allowed to raise smaller than the minimum because they don't know, string bets are allowed if not intended, folding out of turn if it's non intentional (whispering to the guy next to him "hey, fold me, I am going to the bathroom" before action is on him) hell - they played one guy's hand for him when he went to go get food. We take it extremely lax and are there for the whiskey and good times. It is a lot of fun but it's like, you never know if they're coming along because they got something, if they're bluffing, or worse, coming along because they have red cards and it's their favorite color
Excellent. This is the best type of game: you've got a significant edge, sure, but its more about being social and gambling and having fun. Good call on the house rules, I've had to pull "serious" players aside and just talk to them like The Big Lebowski: you're not wrong, you're just an asshole lol.

I bet $5 after the draw, and an old man grins HUGE and raises me $1. I knew I was beat, because duh, but it was worth giving the man the $1 and seeing his face as he drops quads on my ass. I had a straight, would've called $15 but I'm not gonna tell him! Its a win for him, chalk it up! Not a legal raise, but the floor was off-duty, bourbon had taken control of the room.
 
I exploit the shit out of bad players while doing my best to make sure they have a good time.

I also go out of my way to remind them of every time I got whipped by their style of play. I want memories of the "happy" nights I got my guts cut out by AA losing to Q3 and not remembering the nights when AA stacked top pair.

Have fun! It doesn't get any better than this -=- DrStrange
 
I exploit the shit out of bad players while doing my best to make sure they have a good time.

I also go out of my way to remind them of every time I got whipped by their style of play. I want memories of the "happy" nights I got my guts cut out by AA losing to Q3 and not remembering the nights when AA stacked top pair.

Have fun! It doesn't get any better than this -=- DrStrange
It's now a joke in the office with the one coworker who knocked me out last month with Q6o. I had KK. 4-bet shove and he calls and beats me. I (jokingly) pretend I am furious and start Hellmuth-style ranting and asking him why he is in the hand still with Q6o. I then had to be dealer for the rest of the night (insult to injury) and every once in a while randomly would just blurt loudly, like a question "Queen six off suit?!" even though it was way in the past. Would get everyone laughing, and now at work when something crazy/ stupid/ questionable happens we look at each other and go "Queen six off suit?!"
 
Rule #1: Don't get fancy. Do. Not. Get. Fancy. It's all wasted on players like this and will only get you in trouble. Bet your value hands robustly, and try to get to the end cheaply with draws and marginal hands.

Rule #2: Loosen up a little bit. These types of players will make it cheap for you to see flops and play out draws, and you should take full advantage. Hands like suited aces, for example, have a lot more value against a field full of people who will play suited anything and call off stacks with any flush.

Rule #3: A game like this will produce some crazy results that may rub you the wrong way if you're the type who gets attached to big pairs and such. Don't let it show. Don't get angry. Just be cool. :cool
 
Embrace the variance or move down in stakes so that these losses don’t affect you. When you play long enough it’s normal to lose when folks are gambling. As long as you’re getting your money in good, shouldn’t think too results oriented. U rather people fold properly when u have KK / JJ + with one over or welcome the action?
 
Just as the title entails, I am part of a whiskey group and there is 10 of us. We meet monthly and I suggested we do a poker game while we meet. Everyone loved the idea - so I get the table and chips setup and everyone arrives and...no one knows how to play. They know what hands win, well, one person had a poker hands chart with him ....Open folding/ folding when they can check,, folding out of turn, 3-4 betting with nothing, playing every single hand imaginable, getting to showdown with K high, etc.

I can't shake off the nit feeling I have from playing 3/5 in my cash game I play in. It's a lot of fun and definetly not complaining, I love the group of guys and it's a low stake $40 game. But two months in a row now I've 3 & 4-bet pre-flop jammed with KK & JJ and both times lost to Q-6 off suit and 9-10 off suit.

The pain is real, maybe I'm just venting
1. Variance sucks. No matter how 'by the book' you play, you can still lose.
2. Focus on finding better spots instead of pre-flop jamming because beginners are going to be way more likely to call off with anything so a standard 4-bet isn't going to isolate as much as you think it will. They aren't even going to understand that re-raising is attempting to make people reevaluate their hand strengths, they're just going to call it.

Not saying you shouldn't feel good getting it in with KK, but you aren't going to get people who are analyzing what you're doing at all. They're just going to jam it in for fun, so the entire session is going to be way more gamble heavy when they're involved in a pot (which can be good for you if you're playing a tighter range over a long period of time).

I was playing with a friend who had only player poker in his life once. He called me down every street where I raised until the river and then flipped over complete air. "I have all red cards, isn't that something?" - two diamonds and three hearts.
 
It can happen with good players, too. A smart player straddled for 10, another smart player doubled straddled 20. There’s a call, now 57 in the pot including my BB.

I make it 80 to go with QQ.

Original straddler tanks 20 seconds then shoves for ~500. Others fold.

I think a lot; I’ve seen this guy make a lot of moves in similar situations with smaller pairs and middling suited connectors. If he has AK we’re flipping. AQ I’m in great shape. Ditto 33-99, 78s, 98s, etc.

Finally I call.

He turns over 53o.

Flop 5KK. Turn 7. River 5.

Me: Squeezing even lighter than usual, huh?

Villain: I thought you were making a move to steal the straddles and would fold.



Yes, variance sucks. Metagames too.
 
Small ball the heck out of them. Only bet big after all cards are out. They aren’t going to fold so play like they aren’t going to fold and you’re going to showdown every hand. When they start asking questions tell them how to play ‘right’. It’s tough, I’ve been there.
 
Woah, woah, woah! Are we losing our minds? If the villains want to play Q6 vs KK and/or T9 vs JJ for stacks preflop - - - SIGN me up! Both hands have ~86+% equity. What more does a Hero want? Its essentially the same QQ vs 53. Do folks really hate taking the risk, are the stakes too high?

I appreciate the nut peddling, small ball, "old man, w /coffee" approach. But why limit Hero's big gains to nut/near nut run outs? If Villain wants some big gamble and is willing to take the worst of it - fine by me. That is one way I give some fun to my villains. Over pair vs undercards, all night long is going to make a lot of chips of the long haul. 86/14 "flips" will not need that much long haul either.

Pfff - - - give the villains the action they crave. -=- DrStrange
 
Sounds like a great game just play straight forward with solid fundamentals you should print
 
Try playing for play money on any pokersites for experience. It's pretty much the same. Jam all in with nuts even if you have 300bb and there's 8 in the pot. You'll get a call from top pair no kicker. Call low bids with any two and fold against big bets. That makes them unaware of your nittiness. If you fold two pair, show them so they can show their bluff and you fake a "OH NO!".
They want to win pots, not money. You basically have to wait for nuts and then print. Once they start introducing fold to your shoves, adjust and bet 3/4 of your stack instead. Their curiosity will get them and they don't care if they lose 3 BIs as long as they're not bluffed off a hand.

For longevity, you don't want to wipe them all out. They need a winning session now and then. Casinos wants fish to a have plus session 1 out of 3 visits, so they come back (hence the added bonuses such as high hand, BBJ, etc). I suspect the social aspect is more important here so less frequent is probably fine. I assume your goal is to keep the game alive and not max your profit as that will probably kill the game off pretty fast so adjust accordingly.

For those of your players, if any, who wants to improve offer them feedback but if neither of them seem interested - for the love of God, don't lecture them. That kills the fun for them. Those that want to improve, might trigger some competition with some others and they'll find another motivation to come back. And don't worry - the fish will fish regardless of discussion, odds and equity, that's their fun so let them have it and make a big number of it (not Hulk screams, but "OMG YOU DID IT!!") when they suck out. They love that.
 
Holdem? It was designed for such games, to allow poor players some winning night so they come back.
Accept it. Know that the long run profit exists if you play well. Let them enjoy their wins while you take cash in the long run.
 
In general, less FPS and fewer bluffs. Just play them straight forward.
 
I’d say you are not a bad player at all. You routinely win at meetups and almost always win money in our local games. So my answer is I try to play against you like the good player you are.

You should have been at Ross's on Saturday night. I played so bad. I can't even blame it on being unlucky.
 
You should have been at Ross's on Saturday night. I played so bad. I can't even blame it on being unlucky.
First loss of the year, and I'd be willing to bet it was one buy in. Also I feel like I'm criticizing you for being good. That is not my intent. I think there are lots of good players in our crew and you are surely upper echelon of this group!
 
First loss of the year, and I'd be willing to bet it was one buy in. Also I feel like I'm criticizing you for being good. That is not my intent. I think there are lots of good players in our crew and you are surely upper echelon of this group!
I talk the same way to some of my "special" players. Good job keeping the game alive!
 
Play loose and aggressive but fold to agression a lot. Fold mini-raise, any raise river except nuts/near nuts. They won't notice you fold to their raise that much.But they can notice if you are too nit.
Bluff small pots no one care, but be wary to bluff flop turn when money is big.
Most important part: Make the game fun by not ranting when bad players win money. Applaud them, have fun with them because what will make you win in the end is more the fact you can keep the bad players coming than the way you play.
 
I implemented something called "House rules" that I have to yell at my other buddy who is a very serious poker player (who has also not cashed in any game either) House rules is something I yell when they mess up and I see he is going to say something aka they're allowed to raise smaller than the minimum because they don't know, string bets are allowed if not intended, folding out of turn if it's non intentional (whispering to the guy next to him "hey, fold me, I am going to the bathroom" before action is on him) hell - they played one guy's hand for him when he went to go get food. We take it extremely lax and are there for the whiskey and good times. It is a lot of fun but it's like, you never know if they're coming along because they got something, if they're bluffing, or worse, coming along because they have red cards and it's their favorite color

I think this thread already hammered in the idea that these games are for fun.

The only games we play around here are with bros and family. While we are a bit more structured with betting and folding out of turn - when someone fails at that, we use it to poke some fun around.
We've got one guy who plays every single hand to the river, no matter what. We got another that will bet raise $500000000000 on something like 7-3 offsuit and catch a river inside straight, but bets $5 on AK.

They are $20 buys. The point is to have a cigar and a good time, spread the wins around, play often.
 
I implemented something called "House rules" that I have to yell at my other buddy who is a very serious poker player (who has also not cashed in any game either) House rules is something I yell when they mess up and I see he is going to say something aka they're allowed to raise smaller than the minimum because they don't know, string bets are allowed if not intended, folding out of turn if it's non intentional (whispering to the guy next to him "hey, fold me, I am going to the bathroom" before action is on him) hell - they played one guy's hand for him when he went to go get food. We take it extremely lax and are there for the whiskey and good times. It is a lot of fun but it's like, you never know if they're coming along because they got something, if they're bluffing, or worse, coming along because they have red cards and it's their favorite color
I think you’d be better served getting rid of the house rules mentality and actually teaching those players the proper rules. You can definitely show leniency, but they should understand why you are not allowed to string bet, or play out of turn etc. When you clean up the basics, you can get into some strategy discussions if you want, or let them figure it out on their own if you want to maintain your edge and be consistently profitable
 
I think you’d be better served getting rid of the house rules mentality and actually teaching those players the proper rules. You can definitely show leniency, but they should understand why you are not allowed to string bet, or play out of turn etc. When you clean up the basics, you can get into some strategy discussions if you want, or let them figure it out on their own if you want to maintain your edge and be consistently profitable
The man said it was a lot of fun and everyone enjoys it, good excuse to play cards with their whiskey. Why change their game? And don't you dare start talking strategy at the table.

"Sean, you shouldn't have called that bet because of the strength of UTG's raising range, duh!"

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The man said it was a lot of fun and everyone enjoys it, good excuse to play cards with their whiskey. Why change their game? And don't you dare start talking strategy at the table.

"Sean, you shouldn't have called that bet because of the strength of UTG's raising range, duh!"

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I may have misinterpreted the OP's question as "how do i make my players less Bad" as opposed to "how do I beat variance against bad players"

If the game is fun, and people like the wild west atmosphere, then dont change a thing. As long as the House rules are clear then there shouldnt be an issue. I remember a story from Guinness who went to a home game where house rules allowed players go into their pocket mid hand for add-ons. He wasnt aware of this rule, and it ended up not being very fun.
 

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