Laws of Playing live poker with friends or at the casino
You’ve probably heard a lot of advice on how to play against weak live casino players. Some of these tips can be really helpful, but most of them will be outdated junk that live regulars use to justify their bad gambling habits.
Law # 1: Don’t Open Limps
When you see someone open-limping, more often than not, it will be a clear sign that they are a weak player (fish). The main reason good players don’t open-limp is because limping makes it impossible for you to take the pot preflop. In addition, limps weaken your range, take initiative and practically guarantee the creation of a multi-pot. All of this will make life harder for you postflop. In other words, fewer pots win open-limpers.
Law # 2: Bet small in multi-pots
Small bets in multi-way pots will allow you to bet many types of hands on the flop – hands that you would not be able to positively bet for a large size. When you bet in a multi-way pot, your opponents are forced to react fairly straightforwardly without bothering you with bluff-raises as they will have to be wary of other players in the hand. Small sizing in multi-pots should be used online as well, but it is especially effective against live players who tend to make more mistakes. In addition to this, live players tend to have wider preflop ranges that contain more trash, which will cause them to fold more often and you will be less likely to run into strong hands.
Law # 3: 3-bet as often as possible against recreational players
There are several reasons for 3-betting wide against fish: They rarely 4-bet, and when they 4-bet, they do it with premium hands. The low frequency of 4-betting fish allows you to 3-bet them with a very high probability of either taking the pot right away preflop or seeing the flop initiated by the raiser. Both scenarios are good for you. By 3-betting, you give the fish the opportunity to make a bad call or a bad fold. Against fish, we usually use a linear 3- betting range of premium and broadway hands, and add some suited connectors against players who either fold a lot preflop or play fit-or-fold on the flop.
Law # 4: Over-carry against aggression, especially on 3-bets and river bets
It is no secret that live players tend to play too passively in the following two situations:
- 3-betting: Average live players don’t 3-bet anywhere near the frequencies you are used to seeing online.
- River Betah: Live players don’t bluff the river often enough, especially when they bet big or third barrel.
By default, you should re-use in these situations.
In general, the following advice will be useful here:
If the board is perfect for your range and you are showing aggression, but in return you get even more aggression from your opponent, then you should radically rethink your hand strength.
Of course, this advice falls away if you know you are playing against an aggressive opponent who can bluff.
Law # 5: Don’t Be Afraid to Play Deep Stacks
You can increase your edge by playing as deep as possible against the fish. This is without a doubt one of the best ways to maximize your EV at live tables. Deep effective stacks will allow you to get more value when the fish calls too light, and will also allow you to maximize the pressure with your bluffs.