There’s only one goal when playing poker: winning as much money as possible. All players in the table have the same objective, and the fun and challenge of the game revolve around this common objective.
Exploiting other players is a necessary part of poker. You’ll increase your profits and avoid losses if you take advantage of other players’ weaknesses. It’s crucial that you learn exploits so you can both pull them off and prevent them.
In this blog, we’ll discuss exploitative poker and how to win against these types of poker players:
Players who rarely 3-bet
Players who make infrequent calls
How to exploit aggressive players
Whether you’re playing online or at a real table, you’ll often encounter aggressive players. These folks either bet on every hand or go to a showdown with weak hands.
Playing with loose players may be frustrating, as they keep raising the risks and chipping your bankroll.
However, you can use exploitative poker to defeat aggressive opponents. Most of the time, loose players are bluffing and can be beaten by calling whenever you have a strong hand.
However, you’ll be working on a tight range here since your pre-flop hand has to withstand second and third barrels. If you have a weak hand, you may be more inclined to fold once the villain pressures, especially during the river.
For example, during a $5/$10 game, you’re the big blind with K♣ 8♣. All other players fold except for the cutoff, a loose player who raises to $25. You call.
The flop is K♠ 7♦ 3♠. You check. The villain bets $20. You call.
The turn is J♥. You check. The villain bets $80. You call.
The river is 5♣. You check. Again, the villain bets $200. What should you do here?
You had the top pair during the flop, so it was an easy call. During the turn, you had a middle pair and a gutshot, so it was still reasonable to call.
However, with a 5♣ on the river, it would be advisable to fold in most situations. That is, unless you’re playing with a loose player.
There’s a good chance that they are bluffing you. You can make them fold by raising the bet. And if they don’t yield, you still have a pair for the showdown.
Note that this is a very risky move, especially if there’s a large amount of money in the pot. Only make this call if you’ve gained a good read of the villain.
Exploiting opponents who rarely 3-bet
Alternatively, you may face tight players who loathe calling bets.
These players often fold despite having a strong hand, especially after a triple barrel. Players who don’t bet on marginal hands can also be included in this category.
The best strategy for these types of poker players is to be aggressive and bet on all streets.
They are more likely to make hero folds, so you can bluff on them even though you don’t have the strongest hand.
Here’s an example:
You’re playing middle in a $5/$10 game. Your hand is A♥ Q♠, and you raise $25. All other players fold except for the big blind who calls $15.
The flop is K♠ 5♦ 4♠. The villain checks. You bet $20, and the villain calls.
The turn is T♥. Again, the villain checks. You bet $70, and the villain calls.
The river is 2♣. The big blind checks. What’s the best move here?
During the flop, you’ve had the nut hand on top of a good range. Additionally, the board is dry, which further increases your advantages.
Your hand becomes stronger during the turn, so betting again is the natural course of action.
However, you get to miss a lot of draws with the river. But that doesn’t matter because you have a strong pre-fold hand, and your goal isn’t to show down but to make the villain fold. By going triple barrel, you’ll be able to bluff your way into winning this round.
Exploitative poker against tight players
It’s also possible to find tight players who rarely 3-bet (re-raise before the flop). You can easily spot them, as these are players who haven’t made a 3-bet in the past hour or with anything weaker than 99.
If such a player 3-bets, chances are they have a strong hand. Avoid losses by folding immediately, even though you have a strong hand.
Despite having a K♥ T♥, if such a villain 3-bets, you’ll be better off folding.
Although this goes against pre-flop charts, in the end, your read about your opponent is the better indicator of what to do.
How to Exploit Different Types of Poker Players
Exploitative poker is an important part of the game. It relies on your ability to perceive other players’ tendencies, which requires countless hours on the table.
It’s not easy to exploit other players, especially experienced opponents who can make unpredictable moves. In such cases, you should be careful before making aggressive moves lest you hurt your bankroll.
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To know more, contact us at (916) 446-0700 or email us at [email protected]