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How to use information about your opponents’ non-standard or incorrect game? In other words, how to exploit opponents in poker?
You should understand that you should abandon your habitual strategy to exploit opponents in poker. You have to change some points and adjust your game to a specific person. After exploiting the weakness of other players, your winrate can significantly grow. In addition, you can use this technique not only with weak regulars, but also with the fishes maximizing your winnings in the game with them.
You can use either notes or statistics to notice gaps in the game of your rivals. Using notes is rather simple: try to use your observations in practice. Is your opponent limping strong hands? Narrow the range of the isolating raise. Are they calling with weak hands? Stop bluffing and bet more on value (even second and third pairs).
It is more complicated with statistics. In order to know how to exploit opponents in poker in such a way, you need to know the approximate average indicators. Here is a couple of error examples that are most frequent when playing on microlimits:
1) Too wide (fishes) or too narrow (nits) preflop ranges. Here everything depends heavily on the positions. Nevertheless, the average VPIP/PFR statistics for 6-max tables is 20/17, for 9-max - 14/11.
2) High or low cbet. This is relevant both for flop and for further streets. Cbets which are much higher or lower than 50-60% can be exploited in poker.
3) 3bets. Those who use 3bets too much or too little, can be beaten more by adjusting to them. For the 6-max table, the average 3-bet will be 6-7%, and for the 9-max it will be slightly lower - 5-6%.
4) Blinds protection. Perhaps your opponents protect their blinds too much or, conversely, pay not enough attention to it. Such statistics indicators as BB fold to steal and SB fold to steal will help you to understand this.
In fact, there are much more mistakes, and almost any of them can be used to exploit opponents in poker. However, we will turn our attention to these four. Now let's talk about how to change your strategy to get additional profit against a specific player.
If your opponents have abandoned the standard game strategy, you can also change your way to play so that they start losing more. To do this, you need to increase or decrease the frequency of the action, directly related to the non-standard actions of your opponent. If they have problems with 3bets, you change the ranges of open-raise and of defense against 3bet and 4bet, because all these actions are directly related to 3bet. Open raise precedes 3-bet, while call or 4-bet are possible after it is committed.
So how is it better to change tactics to exploit opponents mistakes in poker? You need to think logically and simulate a lot of situations in your head. For example, if your opponent has a very low 3bet (for example, 2.0%), what will happen if you start to defend more widely with calls against them or use 4bet more? Usually weak hands are more frequent than the strong ones. It is unlikely that this will lead to an increase in profits. And what if you reduce 3bet and 4bet calls? You stop paying for their strong hands. That's how it works. In this example, you will earn much more if you believe in 3bets of such an opponent and give up more often. It's amazing, isn't it? It seems that you began to pay the opponent more often, but the profit increased. Here it is important to understand that 2.0% 3bet means that you will almost never see it. That is why you can safely surrender without having a strong hand.
1) Too wide (fishes) or too narrow (nits) preflop ranges. Against the first you can safely bluff less often or not bluff at all, if they never fold. But when you get a combination of at least medium strength, use value-bets. Do not be afraid to bet more with good hands, as fishes do not like to fold their cards. It will be very difficult to win playing against nits, as they play only with the best hands. On the other hand, you can often steal their blinds, and this will bring a very good profit at a distance. Do not bluff more than one bet when playing with them. If they called once, then, as a rule, they have a strong hand.
2) High or low cbet. The first will start to lose more if you use check-raise in a bluff and call with a strong combination more often. The second ones exploit themselves, giving you free cards. Exploit them by making check-raises in a bluff less often and believing their rare cbets. Do not pay for their strong hands - do not lose money. It's simple.
3) 3bets. Believe players with low 3bet, surrender more often and do not pay for their strong hands. Too frequent 3bet can be exploited by a more frequent call and 4bet bluff.
4) Blinds protection. Those who protect them too often, exploit themselves. Leave it as it is. They will play against you with insufficiently strong hands, so they will often lose them. And it's even easier with the tight guys. No matter what, increase your open-raise ranges when the blind is in their possession, and steal blind after blind throughout the game.
As already mentioned, the list of the game moments in which you can win more is limitless. And they can be exploited in different ways and more subtly. Here you were given a couple of examples. Hopefully, they will help you to start your journey along the road of exploiting your opponents in poker.
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