How to ensure you lose to kids but kids don't think you're punting? (1 Viewer)

MrCatPants

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This thread is not a joke although it may seem like it. And poker strategy seemed the best place to put it it - but it's really a question on how to lose, not win.

I was asked to put together my first 'family friendly' poker tournament over the holiday break - it was 3 adults and 6 kids. I tried to play soft (e.g. only min bets, no crazy bluffs, really weak calls) but still ended up crushing, grinding down the soul of an 8 year old girl heads up at the end. Everyone had fun and took it well, but clearly I need a new strategy on how to lose.

Now, before you say "Oh, just fold winners and call with ace high hands and such" - my other issue is that my kids are decent players that can hold their own against competent adults. (e.g. my 9 year old played Big O with us after a tournament and lost $8 over 2 hours at .50/.50) And they are so intense, specifically her, that she gets super angry if she thinks I'm trying to lose on purpose. One of my Ace high calls (that won against king high) she got super angry across the table with me "I know what you're doing, I know you're trying to take it easy on us because we're kids. DON'T TAKE IT EASY ON US PLAY YOUR BEST, DAD!" I'm still hearing about it. "OH, LIKE WHEN YOU PUNTED TO ME WITH BOTTOM PAIR, DAD?"

This tournament was very positively received and everyone had fun. I'm getting asked to do it again with two different groups of people.

How do I adjust to a secret losing strategy? Or should I?
 
This thread is not a joke although it may seem like it. And poker strategy seemed the best place to put it it - but it's really a question on how to lose, not win.

I was asked to put together my first 'family friendly' poker tournament over the holiday break - it was 3 adults and 6 kids. I tried to play soft (e.g. only min bets, no crazy bluffs, really weak calls) but still ended up crushing, grinding down the soul of an 8 year old girl heads up at the end. Everyone had fun and took it well, but clearly I need a new strategy on how to lose.

Now, before you say "Oh, just fold winners and call with ace high hands and such" - my other issue is that my kids are decent players that can hold their own against competent adults. (e.g. my 9 year old played Big O with us after a tournament and lost $8 over 2 hours at .50/.50) And they are so intense, specifically her, that she gets super angry if she thinks I'm trying to lose on purpose. One of my Ace high calls (that won against king high) she got super angry across the table with me "I know what you're doing, I know you're trying to take it easy on us because we're kids. DON'T TAKE IT EASY ON US PLAY YOUR BEST, DAD!" I'm still hearing about it. "OH, LIKE WHEN YOU PUNTED TO ME WITH BOTTOM PAIR, DAD?"

This tournament was very positively received and everyone had fun. I'm getting asked to do it again with two different groups of people.

How do I adjust to a secret losing strategy? Or should I?
I’d just wreck them a couple times
Show cards every time
They asked for it
You learn from your mistakes right

Then tell them
Play Better lol
 
I do not believe you should. When I played with the kids I played as I would anyone else, and then when I won, we'd discuss why I played what I did and how I did. This lead to at least one of them dramatically improving. The other still maintained is ultra agressive play, and is either a big winner or is out quickly, but the middle one takes him time to study the play and review poker vlogs to improve his game.

Unless you have a crysack for a kid, then you should just fold and say good bet.
 
Just deal for them. This way you can watch their play, speed it along and then later point out things you saw to them. Teach your favorite kid, or the one that shows the most interest, even more.
 
I mean they will probably win a decent amount of time anyway unless you are playing you’re absolute A game all the time.

I play family friendly games with people who don’t even know the hand rankings and I still lose when the cards don’t go my way.
 
I predict you are months away from starting a chain asking “what training site will help me beat kids at poker ? I’m getting killed here by these fearless LAGs”

I play war against my kids and let them play open faced. They do very well. Haven’t gotten them into poker yet.

Phycologists have studied this topic in rats and it’s been established that younger rats need to win about 30% of the time when wrestling against bigger rats or they will stop playing. Interestingly the same is true of kids and bad players in poker. If they don’t win at least 30% of the time they stop playing. So you might want to aim a little north of that and you should be okay.

Of your kid doesn’t want to be slow played, then don’t! Only hide the mi or edges you might go for against buddies in the home game.
 
I agree with the "don't play sub-optimal" comments above. My take on teaching kids anything is to just lay it out there in real-world terms and let them figure out what works for them (or doesn't). Ideally the stakes are set so they won't ruin anyone's life, but enough to feel good about winning. So anyone who's inclined to want to get good will be paying attention.

I would say that if you are clearly the (relative) expert here that it would make sense to just talk through your decisions after the hand and show your cards. Doesn't need to be super specific but just enough to show them a new way of thinking about a situation. Something as simple as "last time you overbet the pot like that you were bluffing... same situation here so I called." Could be more elaborate like "I felt like I could run that bluff because I blocked the nut flush with my ace of hearts..."

Also encourage them to seek out your advice away from the table, like if they're watching a youtube video and don't get why someone did something. The more conversations you have with them about serious strategy the better.

Lastly, if you absolutely *need* to handicap this somehow, just give yourself half a stack when you start. Then you'll find a way to play better just to keep up, and everyone will be better off for it.
 
This thread is not a joke although it may seem like it. And poker strategy seemed the best place to put it it - but it's really a question on how to lose, not win.

I was asked to put together my first 'family friendly' poker tournament over the holiday break - it was 3 adults and 6 kids. I tried to play soft (e.g. only min bets, no crazy bluffs, really weak calls) but still ended up crushing, grinding down the soul of an 8 year old girl heads up at the end. Everyone had fun and took it well, but clearly I need a new strategy on how to lose.

Now, before you say "Oh, just fold winners and call with ace high hands and such" - my other issue is that my kids are decent players that can hold their own against competent adults. (e.g. my 9 year old played Big O with us after a tournament and lost $8 over 2 hours at .50/.50) And they are so intense, specifically her, that she gets super angry if she thinks I'm trying to lose on purpose. One of my Ace high calls (that won against king high) she got super angry across the table with me "I know what you're doing, I know you're trying to take it easy on us because we're kids. DON'T TAKE IT EASY ON US PLAY YOUR BEST, DAD!" I'm still hearing about it. "OH, LIKE WHEN YOU PUNTED TO ME WITH BOTTOM PAIR, DAD?"

This tournament was very positively received and everyone had fun. I'm getting asked to do it again with two different groups of people.

How do I adjust to a secret losing strategy? Or should I?

I don't understand this post at all. I taught my son how to play chess when he was 7 or 8. It took him 5 years of playing me once or more a week to finally beat me. He couldn't have been happier knowing that he beat me on his own vs tanking the game.

I say crush them. If they even hint at whining, well, drop the "play better" line.
 
The second or third time playing with my youngest son the little fucker flopped a straight flush and cleaned me out. Now he gets no mercy lol.

You want them to learn the right way to play, if you dumb down your game they could potentially pick up those bad habits / misplays, thinking they're proper because that's how you played 'em. As long as they're old enough to pick up the basic concepts, play it like they're any other player during the hand, and give tips/insights/learning moments after the hand is over.
 
Limp/call a lot pre and call down light on subsequent streets.

Check raise mercilessly once they're 21 and competent players.
 
I don't understand this post at all. I taught my son how to play chess when he was 7 or 8. It took him 5 years of playing me once or more a week to finally beat me. He couldn't have been happier knowing that he beat me on his own vs tanking the game.

I say crush them. If they even hint at whining, well, drop the "play better" line.
Never give an inch. Make them put in the work.
 
Question - are they playing with “their” money or are you staking them? Skin in the game matters some IMHO.

If you are staking them then it’s a free roll, and you can adjust your play to lose or win and it’s all for fun. Nobody is going to learn anything when nothing is on the line.

If it’s their money, crush them. They will learn faster and stronger, not just poker but life. The explanations you offer for winning hands will be paid attention to much more and applied more. Plus it gives them incentive to “get ahead of you” and put more effort into learning independent of you.

IMHO doing without (because you chose to gamble and lost, for example) is a huge motivator to improve.

And don’t give them their money back when they lose and whine. Nobody likes playing with a garrett.
 
If you are staking them then it’s a free roll, and you can adjust your play to lose or win and it’s all for fun. Nobody is going to learn anything when nothing is on the line.

I disagree with this portion. This means I should have occasionally tanked at Monopoly, Chess, or Life? Fuck that lol
 
I disagree with this portion. This means I should have occasionally tanked at Monopoly, Chess, or Life? Fuck that lol

I don’t understand your line of reasoning. Why would you have to tank occasionally in those games?
 
It was in reference to this statement.
I know, I just don’t understand why you think you would have to tank. Do it or don’t, it doesn’t matter is what I’m saying in that statement.
Crush them every game or lose every game to them, or some intermediate where sometimes you win and sometimes you lose, it doesn’t matter when nothing is on the line.
Maybe you play them for money or chores or something, then something is on the line and you should strive to beat them every time. But if it’s just a social two hours that you could have spent doing anything - playing a game or watching a movie- then it’s not about the activity, it’s about the time you spend together, winning or losing.
 
Question - are they playing with “their” money or are you staking them? Skin in the game matters some IMHO.

If you are staking them then it’s a free roll, and you can adjust your play to lose or win and it’s all for fun. Nobody is going to learn anything when nothing is on the line.

If it’s their money, crush them. They will learn faster and stronger, not just poker but life. The explanations you offer for winning hands will be paid attention to much more and applied more. Plus it gives them incentive to “get ahead of you” and put more effort into learning independent of you.

IMHO doing without (because you chose to gamble and lost, for example) is a huge motivator to improve.

And don’t give them their money back when they lose and whine. Nobody likes playing with a garrett.
Just for fun. We did a prize for the best finishing kid.
 
Also, holy shit you guys are merciless.

CRUSH THEIR DREAMS! DROWN THEM IN THEIR OWN VOMIT UNTIL THEY LEARN TO FIGHT BACK!
It's called parenting.

I had this conversation with my Mother after she had fed my kids ice cream from breakfast, lunch and dinner:

Me: "Why the hell didn't you give me ice cream for all meals when I was growing up?"

Her: "Because I'm your parent. Now you're the parent and I can do what the hell I like with my grandkids"
 
Also, holy shit you guys are merciless.

CRUSH THEIR DREAMS! DROWN THEM IN THEIR OWN VOMIT UNTIL THEY LEARN TO FIGHT BACK!

It's nowhere near "CRUSH THEIR DREAMS" and much closer to "Let them learn how to fail and recognize their weaknesses. Give them access to knowledge and skills that will help them learn how to improve. And hopefully you've had enough iterations of this by the time they move out so some of it sticks." I have three kids (21 down to 13 right now) and the number of times I watched other kids' parents just have no idea how to balance this was really enlightening to me over the years.
 
I don't understand this post at all. I taught my son how to play chess when he was 7 or 8. It took him 5 years of playing me once or more a week to finally beat me. He couldn't have been happier knowing that he beat me on his own vs tanking the game.

I say crush them. If they even hint at whining, well, drop the "play better" line.
In my house it's video games. My son and daughter would play Super Smash Bros. against me and started to work together to beat me (they are only 1 year apart in age). Started at 7 and 8 years old. Last year my son turned 16. Should have seen to look on his face when he finally beat me in a game heads up. First time he had even seen anyone beat me in that game and it was him who figured out how to do it. Now it's closer to 50/50 the times he beats me and I couldn't be more proud.

So yea, i'm with the "never give an inch" crowd. Sounds like your kids are already up for the challenge even if they haven't figured out how to exactly execute it.

p.s. I got the biggest laugh when, at a carnival with both kids, the booth operator shamed me for beating my kids so handedly at a game. My daughter spoke up and said, "if we don't beat my dad we don't deserve the toy prize." She was only 6 at the time.
 
Also, holy shit you guys are merciless.

CRUSH THEIR DREAMS! DROWN THEM IN THEIR OWN VOMIT UNTIL THEY LEARN TO FIGHT BACK!
Why should kids be treated any differently than the others I treat at the table?
 
I do not believe you should. When I played with the kids I played as I would anyone else, and then when I won, we'd discuss why I played what I did and how I did. This lead to at least one of them dramatically improving. The other still maintained is ultra agressive play, and is either a big winner or is out quickly, but the middle one takes him time to study the play and review poker vlogs to improve his game.

Unless you have a crysack for a kid, then you should just fold and say good bet.
From now on I will call you daddy at the big boy table

Your formal brother of another mother
 

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