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Pot Limit & No Limit Poker : Play Poker

SHORTHANDED POKER PLAY

    Do you play shorthanded poker? Answer the following two questions before saying “no”. Do you ever play in poker tournaments? Do you ever find yourself one of the last four poker players in the pot, except for the blind or a forced bet? Obviously, you should answer “yes” to at least the second question.

    We all need to know how to play shorthanded whatsoever our proclivities be. Being one of the last four poker players in the pot is somewhat different from being one of the four poker players dealt in at the start. If a number of additional poker players have been dealt in and folded, the remaining deck stub figures to be richer in the desirable cards for that game.

    The degree with which this affects the situation varies considerably with the form of poker being played. At seven-card stud high or Omaha poker, it is a bit lesser in importance but it is especially noticeable at lowball draw and hold’em. However, the other elements of shorthanded poker play with the exception of a rich deck will apply.

    Whether you should play in a game which is shorthanded is the first question you should ask yourself? Obviously, you do not have a choice if it is the final stage of a poker tournament. However, you do not have to play if it is a money game. The types of other poker players in the game are the most important factor.

    You might have a bigger overlay than in a full game if they are inferior poker players. You would ideally want to play against a poker player who plays only his hand without paying much attention to what you are doing. He contentedly checks right along behind you if you check and he has nothing.

    We recommend you take up a game such as scrabble or chess which has much less emphasis on poker game psychology if you cannot beat this kind of weak poker player. You have a bleak future ahead of you in poker. Inferior poker players come in all shapes and sizes.

    You have a good chance of parting the rival poker player from his money in a full game if the rival poker player knows poker well but is very aggressive and has no discipline. It might be you who could be the loser in the settings I have portrayed with the described elements. Many times a shorthanded game arises at either the beginning of a session or at the end.

    As one additional poker player can easily be the difference between having a game or not, there is a lot of social pressure. Rather than succumbing to peer pressure in such scenarios, a smart gambler evaluates the situation objectively. Always keep in mind that all the other poker players’ interests are actually diametrically opposed to yours.

    You want to increase your bankroll whereas they want to diminish it. The right thing to do is to take a break or go home when you are at a disadvantage or have limited amount of capital and feel that your chances would be superior with a full table.

     Never get ego-involved and do not back off in any poker situation. During the World Series of Poker in the early eighties, I was in a fivehanded game with top professional poker players Ray Zee and Steve Lott and a couple of weak poker players whom I do not remember. The two weak poker players left their chips on the table and went for dinner.

    The three of us kept playing as we wanted to hold the game together for their return. Even though shorthanded no-limit poker is not my forte, I am a reasonable shorthanded no-limit poker player. Ray Zee is absolutely a fabulous poker player. However, both of us erred. An absolutely murderous shorthanded poker player -Steve Lott came very close to running over us.

    I had lost back all the money I had won and Zee also had a bad result when they came back from dinner. To rub salt into my wounds, the two returning poker player felt unsatisfied that no new poker players had taken a seat and picked up their chips. The lesson to be learnt from this incident is that you are under no contract to play in any poker game.

    Shorthanded poker play is different from a full game in the following ways and the way casino strategy is affected by it:

(1) Hand values are increased.  A hand that rates to beat two other poker players does not need to be nearly as strong as one needed to beat seven other poker players. For e.g. a top pair at hold’em poker is a good enough hand to play for all your money until the chips are really deep. If there is nothing terrifying on the board, top pair is even a reasonable Omaha hand. For the number of poker players arrayed against you, you need to get familiar with the hand values.

(2) There are more moves. S skilled shorthanded poker player is willing to check a good hand fairly often when he gets one as giving a free card is not as dangerous. This is necessary to stop the aggressive poker players from running over you if you are up against aggressive poker players. Or else, it is very easy for them to adopt the policy of simply betting every time you check.

(3) Here, aggression becomes even more important. There are chances that the rival poker player has a hand which can take pressure, so you bet and raise more often. Before undertaking any aggressive action, the hold’em poker player places a lot of emphasis on having outs. Always keep in mind that for poker casino betting, it is necessary to bet in some chips in front of you.

(4) Every time a new poker player enters or leaves the poker game, you should be able to adjust. For e.g. the number of poker players increase by 25% whenever you go from four poker players to five poker players. It is like going from eighthanded to tenhanded. Always make the required adjustments in hand values and tempo.

    The most important thing to know about being a strong shorthanded poker player will be discussed now. You have a strong weapon in hand as you have the leverage of betting a large amount in relation to the pot. “If you have got a big gun, shoot it.”

    An important part of anyone’s poker education is to know how to play shorthanded poker. As the value of playing in any poker game depends on the quality of the rival poker players and not their number, it is foolish to avoid shorthanded poker play.

    You get to participate far more often in a shorthanded poker game than in a full poker game. Now, you have more opportunities to bring your skills to bear, and makes the poker game more fun as well.



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