There’s a reason why poker pros make a living playing poker and the rest of us write articles pretending we know what they’re thinking. They have knowledge and skills we lack. Knowledge we often ask them to impart.
There’s a limit on how much they’ll share because they have to still keep their edge.
Below are three poker tips that the pros won’t share with you. Even if they did, you probably wouldn’t believe them anyway.
The Worse You Play, The Worse They Play
While it sounds counterintuitive, the fact is that poker pros play as good or as bad as the competition at their table. If you’re at a table where it seems that pros are making poor calls, raising with any junk imaginable or making moves that leave you scratching your head, it is time to look at your play and the play of other players.
Pros and competent amateurs are going to try to get away with whatever the table will allow. If the table is not going to play back at them, they’re generally going to be involved in many hands and ultimately make a lot of moves that make no sense to “educated” poker players.
Want to stop the pros from making these crazy moves? Do what is necessary to punish their “poor play” and make them straighten up. Of course, if you’re the only player that’s punishing them, they are just going to avoid playing you in big pots unless they have an edge.
Don’t Believe a Pro that Says They Don’t Play Rushes
Depending on whom you talk to, you will get differing opinions on whether you should play rushes or get involved if you notice “patterns” in a game. The truth is that many pros will indeed play rushes or patterns that they see in the game, especially if they happen to be one of the better players at the table.
Rushes are pretty self-explanatory. If you’ve won a couple of big hands and think you’re on a streak, you keep playing until you’re proven wrong. However, some players don’t think pros play more often when certain patterns start developing.
For example, if someone points out that a seven has been on the last four flops, you may see a pro float a hand with a seven in hopes that the pattern continues. Personally, I’ve done this a ton in Limit Hold’em when it is clear that certain cards continue to hit hand after hand.
I always prefer getting into a pot against someone noticing the pattern. If that card hits and they don’t play back at you when you bet, this is a great chance to buy a pot.
They Tend to Play Stakes Lower Than Their Ability
If you ask some pros what they play, they will typically tell you the highest game they can comfortably play without going broke. However, if you watch what they actually play on a consistent basis, they will usually play one to two limits below what they’re able.
Why play lower you ask? It boils down to the expected hourly rate. What sounds better to you – playing three games at $10/$20 NL and winning $150 an hour or playing three tables of $5/$10 and winning $250 an hour? Clearly, the higher hourly rate is more appealing.
While it is true that the ego of some will prevent them from playing anything other than they’re capable, the pros looking to maximize profits will play a couple of levels lower against weaker opponents and end up winning more money.