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Tony Murtagh

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The G-Spot: Easy Thievery
9/12/2007 5:05:11 PM

Fullhanded poker games hands populated by loose players are pretty easy; pretty much, you sit around and wait for good hands. It’s quite possible to beat loose fullhanded games without being able to beat any other type of game.

What if such a game isn’t available? Or what if you’re looking for ways to make even more money? To thrive in tough games and extract more profits from easy games, you need to find betting patterns that will induce your opponents to fold when you don’t have a good hand.

Betting Pattern #1: Squeeze Out Preflop Limpers!

Many players who habitually limp preflop will fold to suitably sized preflop raises. If you still have a few players remaining to act behind you, making large raises with any two cards is suicidal. But if you’re on the button or in the blinds, you should think of making a large raise following a limp parade (large meaning slightly bigger than pot-sized).

Be cautious of tight, passive players because these players sometimes slowplay big hands, and don’t employ this raise every time. But use this play occasionally to take down some easy pots.

Betting Pattern #2: Abuse Postflop Checkers!

Players who flop good poker hands will sometimes check the flop, but they’ll rarely check both the flop and the turn. If you’re in late position, and your opponents check both the flop and the turn, consider betting with any two cards. Bet somewhere around 2/3 pot…a bet that they most likely won’t call with draws or speculative hands. (If your opponents will call even much larger bets with draws or speculative hands, then you should abandon this line of play).

This play is most successful from late position since you get information from the double check, but you can also run it from early position when a non-threatening card falls after everyone has checked the flop.

Betting Pattern #3: Takeaway From Straightforward Preflop Raisers

Some preflop raisers reliably check after missing the flop. Whenever such a player raises preflop, call with any two cards if you think you’ll be heads-up. If you’re out of position, check to him on the flop; if he checks behind, then bet the turn unless it’s a threatening-looking overcard. Meanwhile, if you’re in position, bet into him if he checks into you on the flop.

Many more stealing patterns exist, but what’s here will help you build a foundation for playing more insightful, creative poker. It’s tempting to abuse these lines of play, but if you use them too much, they will lose their effectiveness. The key, as always, is timing. When it comes to stealing pots, pretend you’re a snake in the grass. Lie in wait, and then strike. Then lie in wait some more before striking again.

Tony Guerrera is the author of Killer Poker By The Numbers. Visit him online at

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