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Playing the Player Rather than the Cards

There are many times in a tournament or cash table when you are tempted to play the player rather than the cards you have in front of you. It must first be noted that you should always be sure that your summary of the player is correct, and you must make the right moves, only then can you successfully play the player. Here, we explore this in more detail.

Never over play your gut feeling

When you do decide to play the player by bluffing a rock or trapping a loose player remember one very vital piece of information, you cannot say for sure what cards they have. This means sticking out a continuation bet on the flop against a rock or check trapping a passive player may be a good idea, but remember, if your player judgement is right and the rock calls your bet, you are probably behind, and you should give it up.

Furthermore, if you check trap a loose player, and they get to see a turn, then you are opening up the amount of outs, so you may start running into trouble.

You should not throw the rule book out the window when you are playing the player. Instead, remember that at any one point any player can have a monster, and you could actually be falling right into their trap.

Keeping notes is the best way to play the player

If you play poker online, then you will come across the same players repeatedly,  especially if you are a grinder playing a smaller site. Keeping comprehensive notes on players is the only way you will be able to make a real judgement when it comes time to trying to outplay them.

For instance, if you have played against a player several times and the most you have managed to come up with is that he slow plays pocket aces, your notes are not really good enough to make a judgement on their ability. If this is the case, avoid trying to outplay them until you have comprehensive notes.

Never play the player all the time

As mentioned before, even the worst player you have ever played against can be dealt or can flop a monster, and because they do not know too much about the game, they will probably play in the very same way that you would expect them to with nothing. By not playing the player all the time you limit your chances of being caught out.

Furthermore, if you do decide to play the player a lot, and they spot it, they will quickly make notes on you, and if they are sensible they will adjust their play so that you fall right into their trap. For instance, if a rock knows you see them as a rock, and you put out continuation bets all the time they could counter that with a re-raise, in which case your original plan goes out the window, and you lose your initial bet and your continuation.






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