In Understanding Deception: Part 2, I introduced the concept of reading your own hand and using that process to identify situations where you tend to play too straightforwardly. In this installment I wanted to offer a few specific examples of how to add deception to your game.
If you’ve read your own hand in a given situation and you’ve come to the conclusion that your range is too unbalanced, you can fix it in one of two main ways:
- Play different hands the same way
- Play the same hand a different way
I’ll present a simple example of each possible solution.
Playing different hands the same way
Recently I played the following hand in a live $2-$5 game. I started the hand with about $600, and my opponents had me covered. I opened for $15 from four off the button with K Q . A loose player called in the cutoff, and the small blind called as well.
I already had some history with the small blind. He was fairly loose preflop, playing more pots than all but one of the other players. In a previous hand I had fired two barrels at him on a fairly drawish board, and he called both barrels. I took a free showdown on the river, and he showed down a weak top pair hand. I had also seen him 3-bet preflop with AQ offsuit from the blinds. Overall, he was splashing around quite a bit and clearly wasn’t too shy about putting money in the pot.
Tags: balancing your play, bluffing, deception, dry boards, hand ranges, no-limit-holdem, poker, slowplaying, turning made hands into bluffs, unbalanced ranges