How to play against people who don’t use ranges? (2 Viewers)

djfayze

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Hey everyone! A little backstory: I host a weekly micro stakes NLHE game with a group of guys every Wednesday. We’ve played together almost weekly for about 8 months. We all started around the same time and I would say as a whole the group has improved. Just because of my obsessive personality, I’ve easily spent the most time studying and learning the game and am probably the most positive as far as earnings since we began. We’re all just playing for entertainment mostly but I do enjoy getting better at the game.

I understand the concept of ranges and feel like I can apply it solidly when I play online. However, the group of guys I play with haven’t studied much and it seems that they will open some wild, super -EV hands from any position on the table. So far my only defense to this has been making big 3-bets pre-flop and hoping to take it down there unless I have a super premium hand. If one or more of them gets past the flop it’s tough because a relatively harmless looking Q-7-2 board could have connected with their Q-2 hand (it’s happened, trust me). Nitting up has worked to take home small wins every week but it makes for a slightly boring game.

In summary: what are you recommendations for playing against people who don’t play ranges? Is the answer either nit up and be bored or play looser and deal with the swings? Or is there a piece of strategy that I haven’t learned yet that’s missing?

Sincerely, a relative poker newbie
 

Highli99

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Everyone plays ranges the only question is how much of the box is colored in! Figuring out each players box and how they operate in it is the joy of the game, as well as developing exploits.
 

LotsOfChips

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I’m no expert, but if they will try to play ATC (Any Two Cards) pre-flop, you’re going to have to make them pay to see the flop, and you are going to have to judge how hard the flop hit them if they do stick around. Easier to do the latter in position rather than OOP.
 

djfayze

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I’m no expert, but if they will try to play ATC (Any Two Cards) pre-flop, you’re going to have to make them pay to see the flop, and you are going to have to judge how hard the flop hit them if they do stick around. Easier to do the latter in position rather than OOP.
This is kind of how I’ve been attacking it, but I definitely need to do a better job of learning how individual players continue after the flop.
 

JMC9389

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Play tighter and try not to bluff as much against the stickier players. I once got triple barreled called down by a villain with a single pair when I tried to bluff on a wet, connected board with straight and flush draws.

Made that mistake once, but when you do hit your cards, you get paid off big time.
 

djfayze

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It depends.

Do they open wide ranges but play very fit or fold post? Do they open wide and hold on with any top pair? Are the aggressive post flop? Passive? Do they always have it if they raise? Are most hands going heads up to the flop? Or multiway?

These are great questions. You’re helping me realize factors that I need to be paying more attention to. I will note that most hands go multi-way to the flop.
 

djfayze

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Play tighter and try not to bluff as much against the stickier players. I got triple barreled called down by a villain with a single pair when I tried to bluff on a wet, connected board with straight and flush draws.

Made that mistake once, but when you do hit your cards, you get paid off big time.
I’ve definitely been in the exact same scenario. Like someone said above when I hit my cards I get paid. Usually if I’ve got anything two pair and above I’m taking that all the way to showdown and winning big unless there are really strong signs I’m beat. It just happens pretty infrequently.
 

djfayze

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Play for larger stakes in your game. Typically this forces most players to take the game more serious. If players are seeing flops with Q-2 off, my opinion is they aren’t worried about losing their money.
100%. I worry about losing players because of higher stakes (we’re all students). Maybe I just need to make the “you’re buying in 2-3 times anyway, might as well double the blinds” argument haha
 

JMC9389

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I’ve definitely been in the exact same scenario. Like someone said above when I hit my cards I get paid. Usually if I’ve got anything two pair and above I’m taking that all the way to showdown and winning big unless there are really strong signs I’m beat. It just happens pretty infrequently.
It comes with experience and practice, but you'll get better at picking your spots as you play more hands and gain more experience, especially if that experience is against the same villains. Just a few weeks back I got paid off big time by the same sticky villain when I had AK suited. I was out of position, but the flop came two of my suit. I kept the foot on the gas and kept betting. I got my gin card on the turn and I kept betting through the river and he paid me off on all three streets post flop. This is something that I know now that when I have the goods against this particular player, unless I'm re-raised, I'm getting paid off.
 

ekricket

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@Lil Tuna

Me and Matt know a player named Betty that you should meet….

my advice is play them carefully and when you are sure of your value bet make it for 80% of their stack. They will call and it will cripple them. That’s the only effective way I know, keep them crippled, so they can’t damage you much when they call your starting raise of 15x the big blind with their J7. This happens.
 

Lil Tuna

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It comes with experience and practice, but you'll get better at picking your spots as you play more hands and gain more experience, especially if that experience is against the same villains. Just a few weeks back I got paid off big time by the same sticky villain when I had AK suited. I was out of position, but the flop came two of my suit. I kept the foot on the gas and kept betting. I got my gin card on the turn and I kept betting through the river and he paid me off on all three streets post flop. This is something that I know now that when I have the goods against this particular player, unless I'm re-raised, I'm getting paid off.
Always good to have a couple “non believers” in your regular game.
 

upNdown

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100%. I worry about losing players because of higher stakes (we’re all students). Maybe I just need to make the “you’re buying in 2-3 times anyway, might as well double the blinds” argument haha
No. I think that was bad advice. Increasing the stakes won’t make bad players better. It will more likely make bad players into broke players which translates to non-players.
 

Highli99

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EC95103D-E74B-4226-A60D-E802B95462FA.jpeg
 

djfayze

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No. I think that was bad advice. Increasing the stakes won’t make bad players better. It will more likely make bad players into broke players which translates to non-players.
Yeah that’s been my worry. As time has gone on stakes have raised slowly, but I’m fine with current stakes.
 

Lil Tuna

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No. I think that was bad advice. Increasing the stakes won’t make bad players better. It will more likely make bad players into broke players which translates to non-players.
You need to increase your “players” pool. I never had a problem getting “bad players” “broke players” or “non players” wanting a seat at my monthly game.
Continuing to play in a game where “players” want to flip with Q-2 off won’t improve your game either.
I’d rather throw dice.
 

trigs

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Punish them preflop and make them pay. After that, you really have to try to learn their post flop tendencies. Will they take top pair to the river no matter what? Will they keep calling even with bottom pair? Does board texture effect their calling frequencies? You can play very loose and be profitable if you are able to play well post flop still. Any two cards are going to hit a pair around a third of the time, right?
 

Legend5555

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Playing against people that are loose and passive can be boring. Usually the winning strategy is to just make hands, bet them, and don't bluff very often.
You need to increase your “players” pool. I never had a problem getting “bad players” “broke players” or “non players” wanting a seat at my monthly game.
Continuing to play in a game where “players” want to flip with Q-2 off won’t improve your game either.
I’d rather throw dice.
I generally just like to win money. And it's easiest to do that against players that play any two cards. So I'm more than happy to play with them.
 

Lil Tuna

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Playing against people that are loose and passive can be boring. Usually the winning strategy is to just make hands, bet them, and don't bluff very often.

I generally just like to win money. And it's easiest to do that against players that play any two cards. So I'm more than happy to play with them.
If you have one or two of those players at your table it’s great. You will never consistently beat an entire table of bad players.
 
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