Exploiting Your Opponents Part 2 : Nits
Ok, so now that we know the why of exploitative play, let's get in to the how. We'll start with something very basic and a player type that is becoming more and more prevalent in todays micro stakes game.
First off, what is a "Nit"? Rock, set-miner, nit, whatever you wish to call them. Very tight players that don't play anything but premium hands. Generally will have stats like 9/7 to 12/10.
Their Gameplan :
1. Only play premium hands. Usually only PP's and AK/AQ and sometimes AJ and KQ.
2. See cheap flops with smaller PP's and look to flop sets.
3. Only value bet, never bluff.
Their Weaknesses :
1. Plays too few hands.
2. Doesn't adjust to increased aggression.
3. Very straight forward and predictable.
Our Basic Gameplan :
1. Steal excessively when they are in the blinds.
2. Isolate extremely wide when they limp. (And look for spots to double/triple barrel)
3. Play a lot of implied odds
type hands in position when they open if stacks are deep.
1. Steal excessively when they are in the blinds.
This is pretty self explanatory and I don't believe requires any examples or an in depth breakdown. Simply put, they are not going to adjust at all if you are constantly stealing from them. They are going to fold so often that opening ATC is usually going to show an immediate profit. They also are going to fold so many flops that you're always going to making money when stealing from them and c-betting. You should ideally always be looking to sit in spots where you have a nit in one of the two seats to your left since all the steal opportunities are def. going to pad your WR.
2. Isolate extremely wide when they limp. (And look for spots to double&triple barrel)
Now this may seem counter intuitive at first. They are nits, when they limp they obviously have some sort of hand. So isolating very wide seems pretty spewy. And double or triple barreling them seems like suicide. But just step back and think about it for a minute. What hands are they limping? Almost always, it's going to be a small pair, like 22-99.
When you know fairly well what type of hand your opponent is playing, exploiting them becomes a fairly simple task. Since we know they have a small PP and most likely won't continue on most boards without a set, isolating wide and c-betting pretty much every flop is obviously going to show a profit since they are only going to flop a set like 12% of the time.
Now obviously there are some times when they are going to have a small PP and flop an overpair (like with 88 or 99) or just not want to give up a flop unlikely to have hit us, like a 27Tr board. This is where we should be looking to double or triple barrel them if necessary. Look for good turn and river cards to fire another bullet at, like A/K/Q/J/T. Sometimes you don't even need a particularly good turn or river, just the bet alone is enough to convince them.
I couldn't come up with a ton of great examples of this since my DB is still pretty limited but here we go. Just keep in mind, the hero's hand is virtually irrelevant for these examples.
Here's our first example :
This falls slightly in to both of our first two categories here since we're stealing instead of isolating. Villain in BB is 10/6 over 235 hands, so clearly nittish. Since he doesn't 3-bet I put him on either AQ/AJ or a small PP. This flop is great for me vs. that range since almost none of it connects with that flop. My only real concern is if he plays KQ here or if he flats AK. So once he flats my c-bet, there's no way I'm giving him credit for a K and he's most likely just floating me with a small pair. The T is a pretty good card on the turn to fire another shell on since it hits quite a bit of my btn range and is another overcard to his PP. So I fire again, and he folds.
Second Example :
Villain is 13/5 over a smallish sample of 44 hands. Not exactly sure what the villain was thinking here floating a flop like this, but generally when a nit calls a C-bet instead of raising, they are weak. This is a very tough board for them to continue on without a monster and since he didn't raise it's tough to give him credit for a big hand. So turn up the heat.
Third Example :
Really good example here. Villain is 9/5 over 165 hands. There's just pretty much no way he EVER limp/calls with an ace here. So we just pound on him and force him to fold.
3. Play a lot of implied odds type hands in position when they open if stacks are deep.
Nits only open with very strong hands. And generally they overplay them after the flop as well, so playing hands with a lot of implied value in position vs. them is going to make you a lot of money.
A) When you flop a big hand, you're likely to get paid.
B) Using your position, you can also take some pots away when they give up.
Here's a good example of B :
Villain is 12/8 over 600+ Hands. I called here because both of the blinds were very loose and I figured at least one of them would come along. Neither did, but that's ok too. Pretty good flop for me as I flop an OESD on a board that is likely to have hit the villain pretty hard. I get like 2.5:1 immediate which isn't great, but the fact that his overall range is so strong here, I'm clearly getting the implied odds to continue. Now, once villain checks the turn, I'm going to win this pot like every time. It's clear he's not very strong, so I fire and pick up the pot.
Example 2 :
Villain is 11/8 over 126 hands. I normally wouldn't raise this flop here vs. more loose and aggressive players since it's sooooo dry, it's unlikely to have hit them at all. But since QQ+ and AQ make up such a large portion of this guys opening range (like about 1/3 of it), I bump it up and hope to get paid. Unfortunately, he doesn't have a hand this time and I take down on the flop.
Nits are very easy to exploit. They like to fold, and only put a lot of money in the pot with big hands. Pound on them when they look weak, and stay out of their way when the look strong. Steal from them and isolate them relentlessly, they just aren't going to adjust or fight back at all unless they have a big hand and that's not gonna happen often enough to be a concern. When you flop a big hand vs. them, play it fast. Look for spots to make big hands cheaply and get them to pay you off. They generally over value overpairs and TPTK type hands so small pairs and connectors are your best friends in position. So go out, find some nits, and pound the piss out of them.