Avoiding reads

smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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Ive recently been studying reads and have alot of fun getting as much as i can every game i play, but one thing that im always afraid of is getting read myself. I try and play everything the same to counter observant players but recently ive been told its much better to "mix it up" and play everything differently and i just cant get my head around it.

I see many players here in cardschat that talk about how they always "mix it up" to avoid getting read, up until this point i have been using a similar style of play for every hand regardless of the cards, can any experienced players tell me if this is making me vulnerable?? I think every hand differently puts too much variance in my game and its much easier to play everything the same.

Anyway my question is whats the best way to throw-off observant players??
 
smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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wow not one reply, anyway i studied the subject, through my good friend harrington and trial and error i have come up with this:

try to play every hand with a % call %raise ratio / %call %fold, i have different ratios for every hand i play but mostly will play according to position. If i feel someone is catching onto me i will change up the %'s accordingly.

The super-useful way of working out how to play your percentages is with the harrington watch method, for those of you who havent read the hoh books (and i suggest you do) here is the example:

Harrington on Holdem said:
If you know that you want to raise 80% of the time with a premium pair in early position and call the rest, just glance down at your watch and note the position of the second hand, since 80% of 60 is 48 if the second hand is between 0 and 48 you raise and if it is between 48 and 60 you call.

I find the above technique very useful, it may be frustrating to do this through the whole game but its definetly something i suggest you start doing when the competetion starts thinning out and you know that you are playing against more observant players.

The key is to being able to appropriate proper ratio depending on the strength of the hand, the position and the circumstances, its definetly something you get a feel for after you start doing it more often.

Apart from this its suggested that you never play one style, but merely use it until you sense people are catching on until you switch, i have found that you will make most of your chips when you switch your style as it often throws off players who have tuned their style to your previous style.

If anyone has anymore contributions they are warmly welcomed, good luck and have fun avoiding those reads!!
 
D

Dr_Dick

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Ive recently been studying reads and have alot of fun getting as much as i can every game i play, but one thing that im always afraid of is getting read myself. I try and play everything the same to counter observant players but recently ive been told its much better to "mix it up" and play everything differently and i just cant get my head around it.

I see many players here in cardschat that talk about how they always "mix it up" to avoid getting read, up until this point i have been using a similar style of play for every hand regardless of the cards, can any experienced players tell me if this is making me vulnerable?? I think every hand differently puts too much variance in my game and its much easier to play everything the same.

Anyway my question is whats the best way to throw-off observant players??

Smokin-Aces,

You are placing too much emphasis on what you should be doing verses what you are learning from your opponents. Checking your watch to decide if you raise AA from early position is a bad idea if you know there is a LAG that loves to raise every hand if it gets to him unraised. "Mixing it up" is really a way of saying I adjust my play to fit the dynamics at the table. You can't use a watch to do that. Opponents come and go at tables, dynamics will change, and you should adjust your play based on the idea you will use the style that is most effective at that specific moment in time.

Included in "mixing it up" are factors like how much you raise preflop. Do you make continuation bets? Do you come over the top with a semi-bluff? Do you dare fire a third barrel with nothing? Do you limp with AA or play 72 on the button just to see if you can hit a flop? What types of hands do you show, never, only when you have a great hand, or do you show the bluff? Once again, all of these factors should be based on your opponents, not on some system that says every time I have AKs I raise x4bb and AK x5bb, and every third time I limp.

If your opponents can figure out that one time you played JT and checked it down because you were up against a calling station and you had nothing even though scare cards kept hitting, but the next time you fired a 3rd barrel with the same nothing JT when a scare card hit against a tight player, then I would avoid being in pots against those opponents. I would also recommend they go pro and write a book.
 
WVHillbilly

WVHillbilly

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"to counter observant players"

What stakes are you playing? I'd say at micro stakes there are VERY few observant players to worry about. Just concentrate on getting the most value you can out of every hand you play and you'll be fine.
 
AlexeiVronsky

AlexeiVronsky

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Rather than playing the same hand different ways it's also often better to play different hands the same way. I generally preserve mixed strategies for later streets while playing virtually all my hands preflop similarly. Preflop I usually only change from standard behaviour because of factors aside from my cards, such as the big blind being shortstacked. The only time I generally alter that strategy is when I don't think that information can or will be used to my detriment. Such as getting moved to a new table, where no one has a line on my play yet I might make a bigger raise with a hand like AA or KK than I normally would to get more chips in or otherwise manipulating pot odds, then moving into information hiding mode as I play more hands. It's also less important to use information hiding practices in a lot of tournaments where tables are breaking up quickly, you want to play a much more straightforward game.
 
Egon Towst

Egon Towst

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The Harrington wrist-watch method is a sound one and a useful weapon in one`s arsenal in certain circumstances.

I use this system sometimes in the late stages of my regular tournaments, where the table includes other regulars, people whom I know to be sound players and with whom I have played hundreds of hands.

It is very important in such situations to be somewhat unpredictable, as those players are observant enough and have enough history (quite possibly using Poker Tracker) to be able to make accurate deductions otherwise.

It is not necessary to adopt such complex deceptions in most small-stakes online tournies, however. It is worth bearing in mind that Harrington was writing about the sort of tournies in which he plays, where the opponents are often world-class players.
 
T

TheDoc

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You could be overthinking it. Heres my philosophy. Just being aware that you should mix it up sometimes, and keep it the same in others, is probably enough. Sometimes, I think my play is worse when I'm consciously thinking "I should mix it up" - because when I thinking that, I'm concentrating less on what is actually in front of me.
 
smokin-aces

smokin-aces

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WV: I only play low-mid stakes games (mostly low) very occasionally ill play a high stakes tourney if i qualify through satellite. I agree that it may be excessive to implement the harrington watch-method unless playing against serious competetion.

Thanks for all the input, you guys rock :)
 
R

redfish99999

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My son(good player) says I (bad player)......

My son(good player) says I (bad player) says that I cannot be read........... He says it's because I don't know WTH I'm doing therefore no one else can tell.........

He could be right......
 
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