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Playing Deceptively – Part 3: Adding Deception To Your Game

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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:

  1. Play different hands the same way
  2. 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 :spade: Q :club: . 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.

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2 Responses to “Playing Deceptively – Part 3: Adding Deception To Your Game”

@ Tue Jan 27, 2009 10:35:10 AM

This hand came up the other day and made me think of this post. It was a FR NL game online and there was a preflop raise from MP by a solid player and we called with AQ. The board came something like K93 with a flush draw. The villain bet we called. Turn bricked and the villain checked, we bet, and he called. The river came another brick and the villain checked, we shoved, and he folded. I thought this was a good example of how our villain had narrowed his range to a point to where he has to have a medium strength hand.

Ed Miller
@ Tue Jan 27, 2009 11:30:53 AM

Yup, that’s a really common one, and a river shove there can be very profitable. If you’re against someone willing to shove rivers on you like that, you absolutely have to add a large percentage calling hands to your range if you’re going to play the flop and turn like that.

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