Originally Posted by Jack Daniels
You've pulled out a few specific hands to ask about, however I think you're looking at it wrong. It isn't about playing different hands different ways. When you're stuck in a rut/pattern (e.g. 5xBB with QQ-AA, 3xBB with suited connectors, limp late with garbage, etc), it won't take long for opponents to peg you. What you should be doing more of is playing different hands the same way. If you're going to raise 5xBB for levels 1-3 of a tourney, then make that your raise regardless of what you're coming in with. AA in early position = 5xBB, KJs in the SB =5xBB, etc. Those are just examples, not direct input on how much to raise. My point is that you need to be consistent in your bets so that opponents cannot put together a betting pattern.
I had a guy at a table recently that was super consistent. He raised about 3.5-4xBB any time he opened unless it was a big starter (QQ+, AQ+ from what I could tell), then all of a sudden he's min-raising his open. And it wasn't about being tricky/trappy, he was playing a specific way and appeared to have no clue the info he was giving away. Had he learned to play those hands the same way he played other hands, he would have taken away a huge read that I had on him.
Yeah, this is something that Chris Ferguson has noted in repeated contexts/places. From this
"Chris explained how “mixing up your play” did not mean playing similar hands different ways. It meant playing different hands the same way, folding or raising a specific amount independent of the hand. One of the most important considerations in executing poker strategy
, he explained, is keeping opponents from knowing what you have. Playing all hands the same (e.g., with 50-100 blinds, raising in late position to 300, whether you are playing 8-7, 4-4, or A-A) accomplishes that better than playing the same hand in different ways (e.g., with 50-100 blinds, limping with A-A 20% of the time, raising to 250 20% of the time, and raising to 400 60% of the time). “If you fold or raise the same amount, your opponents are going to have very little information, because your raises never vary and you make them with a wide range of hands.”