How to play against people who don’t use ranges? (1 Viewer)

Legend5555

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Sounds like a fun experiment. I’d gladly stake you in a game full of card chasers under the condition that if you lose to them, you owe me back double your stake?
I would love to, but this is really more a thought experiment, no?

Just to entertain this for a minute, when I say a bankroll, I mean I would need like 30+ buy ins. No doubt I'm going to get run down by chasers in any given session, but they can't outrun the math. I played online poker in 2004. I know what playing against a table full of these people is like. Have you read my VFW stories?

It's not that you can't beat them, it's just a volatile path to victory. If I had the roll for it, I'd gladly fold all hands other than AA if it meant going 8-ways all in pre every time I did have them.
 

DZPoker

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It's not that you can't beat them, it's just a volatile path to victory.
I think this is the point worth stressing…

You feel the losses a whole lot more than the wins. You feel like winning sessions should be huge based on your better knowledge but they’re often small. It’s a tough way to play, no doubt about it.

But if you’re playing against the same players who play -EV hand after hand, session after session…and you play well…it should work out. If it doesn’t, they can’t really all be -EV, can they?

I’d suggest you track your actual wins/losses for every single session if you’re not already doing it. If it’s not eventually working in your favor you have to find the hole(s). My guess would be poor post-flop play on your part, but my real guess is you’re probably winning longish-term and just not feeling like it!
 

Lil Tuna

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I would love to, but this is really more a thought experiment, no?

Just to entertain this for a minute, when I say a bankroll, I mean I would need like 30+ buy ins. No doubt I'm going to get run down by chasers in any given session, but they can't outrun the math. I played online poker in 2004. I know what playing against a table full of these people is like. Have you read my VFW stories?

It's not that you can't beat them, it's just a volatile path to victory. If I had the roll for it, I'd gladly fold all hands other than AA if it meant going 8-ways all in pre every time I did have them.
My point being is that being a consistent winning player is more about playing in a game with the proper mix of players to do so.
Online poker and playing live are two different things and the game has changed so much since 2004. I don’t doubt your abilities to come out on the plus side at the end of some set time frame but sitting down at a random table full of terrible players and expecting to win consistently isn’t realistic in my mind.

I just don’t think one improves their play or their bankroll for that matter when they consistently play with “bad players.”
Haven’t read your VFW stories but would be interested some time.
 

djfayze

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I think this is the point worth stressing…

You feel the losses a whole lot more than the wins. You feel like winning sessions should be huge based on your better knowledge but they’re often small. It’s a tough way to play, no doubt about it.

But if you’re playing against the same players who play -EV hand after hand, session after session…and you play well…it should work out. If it doesn’t, they can’t really all be -EV, can they?

I’d suggest you track your actual wins/losses for every single session if you’re not already doing it. If it’s not eventually working in your favor you have to find the hole(s). My guess would be poor post-flop play on your part, but my real guess is you’re probably winning longish-term and just not feeling like it!

So I am winning long term - I’ve tracked my buy ins and cash outs and am up. Like you said, it’s just small wins. I guess I was just seeing if there were ways I could make play more interesting and exploit their tendencies more or if nitting up is the only way to really be a winner in this player pool.
 

AH77

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Use all the tools in the toolbox. There’s a time to play “gto” style poker and a time to use a more exploitative style. If your opponents are making mistakes like playing ranges that are too wide, you can value bet/raise more often and see a profit when you have a hand like QJ and they are playing Q2 on a Q high board.
 

djfayze

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Generally in this game you will win as well as you run. See lots of cheap flops with hands that play well multi way, bet big for value, don’t bluff and think long and hard about calling raises without the nuts.

This is a really great response, thank you! I think the first sentence sums up what drove me to make this post. Nights when I’m on a heater I really enjoy the game because I can actually take big hands to showdown. Last night we played and, while I still made a small win on a couple large hands, the deck was mostly cold for me and any time I tried to make a middling pocket pair win me something it didn’t cut it. Or I’d three bet something pre-flop, get callers, and then one would lead out on a board that didn’t connect with me. I do think I need to start 3 betting larger.

Like I said before, I’m still a newbie mostly - what are great hands that play well multi-way?
 

Lil Tuna

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This is a really great response, thank you! I think the first sentence sums up what drove me to make this post. Nights when I’m on a heater I really enjoy the game because I can actually take big hands to showdown. Last night we played and, while I still made a small win on a couple large hands, the deck was mostly cold for me and any time I tried to make a middling pocket pair win me something it didn’t cut it. Or I’d three bet something pre-flop, get callers, and then one would lead out on a board that didn’t connect with me. I do think I need to start 3 betting larger.

Like I said before, I’m still a newbie mostly - what are great hands that play well multi-way?
One of my personal favorites!
A022500B-6625-4A11-8EEE-BA6F9B59293C.jpeg
 

boltonguy

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Suited connectors, suited one and suited two gappers (e.g. 67s, 68s, 69s), Axs, and pocket pairs all play pretty well multi-way.
 

boltonguy

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The other thing to do, as people have mentioned, is build a profile of your opponents. Your game sounds like my home game and for the most part, people are hard core calling stations - I have seen 3 players call all three streets with A high, so you cant bluff them. However there is one particular player that I know is afraid of me betting big/raising big into him based on history. Last month I ran some big bluffs against him and he folded. I showed one to get him steamed and then overbet with value ... ;) So profile and exploit.
 

boltonguy

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A suggestion I would make - and I did this to develop a strategy for my home game - play Pokerstars online free money Zoom poker. Beat that game and you will do fine in a home game like you describe. It is very similar with 5 way limped pots, people playing ATC, sticky players calling down, very little bluffing, etc. Just dont take that same strategy to the real money games!
 

CrazyEddie

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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?

No need to nit up! The more hands your opponents play, the more hands you can profitably play, and the higher your average win rate will be (i.e. it's +EV when your opponents play wide ranges and it's +EV if you also play wider when they do). But variance will increase.

Read up on bankroll management. Undoubtedly you are properly rolled for your microstakes game, but the point is to understand why and how one is properly rolled. The answer has to do with variance. Variance is a natural part of poker; it is nothing to be avoided or feared, but rather something to be understood and managed. Once you understand bankroll management you'll be able to relax and enjoy losing a ton of money to someone who sucks out on you with Q2o and a miracle turn, because you'll know that you're going to make it all back and then some. You'll be confident knowing that the variance is not disturbing but is instead profitable, and that you can afford the swings because you're properly bankrolled.

Also, share what you learn with your friends! ... assuming you can find an appropriate context to help them build their skills rather than just sounding like a know-it-all. If you can get your friends to be better players, you'll make less money but have more fun.
 

TheDuke

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Players as described in the OP are literally the best players to play against. They may occasionally run hot and win big, but the majority of the time they're going to be big time donors. Over a long timeline, they will go broke.

I'm always a bit bewildered by people who complain about bad players. That somehow playing against competent players is more profitable?

Complaints such as: "I bet every single street and he called me with bottom pair with a possible straight and flush on board!!!" Like seriously? How can anyone complain that such a player exists in your game?
 

djfayze

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Players as described in the OP are literally the best players to play against. They may occasionally run hot and win big, but the majority of the time they're going to be big time donors. Over a long timeline, they will go broke.

I'm always a bit bewildered by people who complain about bad players. That somehow playing against competent players is more profitable?

Complaints such as: "I bet every single street and he called me with bottom pair with a possible straight and flush on board!!!" Like seriously? How can anyone complain that such a player exists in your game?
Ok, maybe I didn’t word my title right. I’m happy to be playing with bad players haha. And I’m positive in the long run. I guess my question I was bringing to the group is what are some additional ways to play against them, have fun, and win more aside from just extracting max value with my biggest hands that only come around rarely. There’s been some great suggestions so far like playing more hands that work well in multi-way pots, bluffing less, and building more detailed profiles on the behaviors of individual players.

In summary, I’m not trying to complain about having bad players in the game, just trying to learn how to be involved in more hands in a profitable way and adapt my play to this player pool.
 

TheDuke

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Ok, maybe I didn’t word my title right. I’m happy to be playing with bad players haha. And I’m positive in the long run. I guess my question I was bringing to the group is what are some additional ways to play against them, have fun, and win more aside from just extracting max value with my biggest hands that only come around rarely. There’s been some great suggestions so far like playing more hands that work well in multi-way pots, bluffing less, and building more detailed profiles on the behaviors of individual players.

In summary, I’m not trying to complain about having bad players in the game, just trying to learn how to be involved in more hands in a profitable way and adapt my play to this player pool.

Sorry, my post wasn't directed specifically to you. So I hope it wasn't taken as a slight towards you.

It was more towards some of the odd sentiment from other replies about a game with alot of bad players being tough to beat.
 

Lil Tuna

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Sorry, my post wasn't directed specifically to you. So I hope it wasn't taken as a slight towards you.

It was more towards some of the odd sentiment from other replies about a game with alot of bad players being tough to beat.
It’s no big deal there @TheDuke, you can always refer to me when ever you feel the need. I simply told the OP that a way to better his game based on his original description of it, was to maybe raise the stakes a bit. Just a simple response that may or may not help the OPs situation as originally discribed.

Next time it’s me and not the OP asking for a little advice on improving my game, I’ll know who to give a shout out to.
 

utgtrash

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Thanks for the help, I appreciate it.
Actually hands like KQo go up in value because they’re not dominated the way they would be in tougher games. it’s not to say you should ever overplay top pair when u do hit it, it’s just that you’ll be getting more value out of it than you would where opening ranges are much tighter.
 

BigJ

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I think you need to adjust your value bet range since you will get a lot of value from hands you usually would not. Sometimes when you will bet your AJ on J106 2 5 for 3 streets, you will find out he rivered two Pair, but more often you will get called by J8 off. Play all the broadway hands, and bluff a lot less often.
 

Eriks

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Players as described in the OP are literally the best players to play against. They may occasionally run hot and win big, but the majority of the time they're going to be big time donors. Over a long timeline, they will go broke.

I'm always a bit bewildered by people who complain about bad players. That somehow playing against competent players is more profitable?

Complaints such as: "I bet every single street and he called me with bottom pair with a possible straight and flush on board!!!" Like seriously? How can anyone complain that such a player exists in your game?
Yes, these players are certainly easy to beat and when playing at a casino or some other place where making money is the number one objective, I love to have them at my table. However when playing in a social game, a home game, where stakes perhaps are smaller I do prefer to play with at least somewhat thinking players as it makes for a more enjoyable game.

Playing against stations is just about getting hands and value betting, wheras vs thinking players you get to use a wider range of strategies. And perhaps even challenge yourself against better players and get better in the process.

If I’m playing $1000 tennis matches I would love it if my opponent can’t return any of my serves but when playing for fun I like to play against someone equally skilled or slightly better than myself. Poker’s no different imo.
 

ekricket

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“These people are easy to beat”
“Just keep raising”
“You want a table full of these”

Loling at these comments.
When you’re actually at the table with these people all I hear is “you played that?”
“Only an idiot would call that raise”
“I thought we were playing poker”
“That’s it, I can’t play poker with idiots like you”
“Ok, ok, it’s on like donkey Kong”
 

Anthony Martino

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Try to play more in position against the field. Focus on developing player profiles. Determine what different players bet sizes mean, if they are passive or aggressive (when and what these changes mean in their hand strength), etc. This will help you to decide how to proceed in specific spots against certain players.

Obviously bluff less, value-bet more as others already stated as well.
 

Burke

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But honestly your expectation for Infrequent casual micro stakes players who are just starting to have ranges is ludicrous.
 
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