We’ve all seen it a hundred times. That annoying player who, whenever the game gets short-handed, turns into what appears to be a maniac. He’s betting, he’s raising, he’s re-raising – and completely dominating the game. To the beginner, or to those inexperienced in short-handed play, he appears to have no idea of how to play. You wonder, “What’s he doing raising with K7 สล็อต 888 pg – he must have no idea!” But yet he wins – and wins well. What’s his secret then?
The secret lies in one word: aggression. The short-handed player must – absolutely must – be able to play a solid aggressive game. Whilst you can do well playing passively in a full ring game, where others do the betting for you, when the game gets short-handed (five or less runners), you must be able to change your playing style and be able to bet aggressively hands you wouldn’t even have considered playing in a full game. Unfortunately, if you don’t, the aggressive players will run roughshod over you, controlling the betting to their advantage, and you will find your stack diminishing rapidly.
This is often bad news to poker players, as it takes them out of their comfort zone. However, it is also exciting, fun, full of action and – if one develops and hones the unique skills of short-handed play – can be extremely rewarding. Short-handed games have more variance, which means they have more risk – but with increased risks, come increased rewards.
Playing aggressively encompasses more than simply betting or raising more than you would in a full ring game. It’s about knowing when you have the best hand (remember, in short-handed play, you must lower both your starting hand requirements and the hands you would take to a showdown) – and about taking advantage of those who play too conservatively. You want – through your aggressive betting – to make these people fold at incorrect times and, in doing so, incorrectly give up their equity in the pot. Roughly two out of three times, the flop won’t even give you a pair. The skilled aggressive player realises this, and takes advantage of players who don’t. Skilled aggressive players also know how to determine whether they are in front of their opponents, and thus when to speed up and slow down in their betting.
This may sound relatively simple, but unfortunately, it isn’t. Strong short-handed players are not born, they are made. It’s hard work and it takes dedication and a great deal of practice before you will start reaping the dividends. You will need to be able to take in a great deal more information and, more importantly, you will need to be able to process that information extremely quickly. You must be able to assess your opponent/s styles of play – be they aggressive, passive, loose or tight – keeping in mind there are varying levels of each. Many would consider my play very aggressive, but my play is quite tame compared to that of some of the super-aggressive short-handed players going around. You have to be able to assess your opponents’ styles, and alter your play accordingly. And here’s the tricky bit – you have to be able to do this from one hand to another depending on which opponents you are up against in any particular hand. There is a secondary advantage to be gained from doing this – mixing up your play makes it much harder for your opponents to gauge what you’re trying to do.
Russ Georgiev, one of the most skilled short-handed casino en ligne francaisplayers I have ever had the opportunity to converse with, once gave me this piece of advice: