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Miscellaneous Poker Topics

Knowing Your Rivals while playing poker

You will have more advantages in eight-or-better which you normally do not have in any other poker games. By knowing how your different players play and advanced poker players generally have a best idea as to how well they can play and what their approaches are you can qualify your rival's hand.

Suppose, when the tight player comes in a raise, it generally means he has either a high hand and is trying to limit the field or a very strong low hand and is trying to get more money into the pot. Now, you should be very careful and prevent coming in with the second-best hand. You should throw your hands away which appear good in some situations because now they are not an average hand.

The exception to discarding your hand is if you know a rival very well. Suppose, if you are sure that your rival has a high hand, even if a low card is up - that is, he raises only with big pairs in the hole you can call with a low hand. Likewise, if you know he raises only with the low hands and you have a high hand, you can re-raise, limit the field, play heads up against him and make a way to win the pot.

Let's take another example. Suppose you are against a player who usually plays high three flushes and high three straights. Either his hand will turn into the bust, where you can get to jam him with a low hand or otherwise you will get jammed. When you play against such kind of players, you want to have a very good hand that may make the jamming alive because jamming develops frequently. Even when your high hand improves to two pair, they can get jammed in if your rival chases his straight or flush card. You generally do not know where you stand because he might be betting with a high pair.

The player who plays loose will lose at the end. But, if you do not play correctly and adjust your play when one of these players is in, you will also lose.

Furthermore, you will play with different kinds of players in this game. When you play hold'em, you are just playing against the hold'em players, and when you play stud, you are against those players who always play only . However, when playing eight-or-better, you will find yourself competing against many players whose strongest game is either seven-card stud or razz, against some people who play most of the games, and against a few who concentrates in this game. This leads to some interesting approach adjustments.

Especially, seven-card stud players tend to play high hands strongly and to stay with them longer than the razz players or more experienced eight-or-better players. Thus, when you are against a seven-card stud player, remember that he will be a hostile player with big pairs but at the same time very careful with weaker low hands.

A razz player will be just the opposite. He often will be hostile with low hands, especially if they have straight possibilities. It is not strange to see a razz player play these kinds of hands completely to the limit. But with high hands, he will be less hostile when facing hands with low possibilities.

The best eight-or-better has a great combination to their games. This makes it much difficult to know exactly where they stand. They will play low hands both slow and fast. They will do the same with high hands, assuming they play them which they may not do in other games, unless their holdings are best high hands.

But there are many players who want to play more one way or the other. For instance, when the table is full, some players will play very tight, including few hands that they do play are almost all high-quality low hands that are three straights.

When one of these players chases correctly on fourth street poker, you should not give him any chance. This is because he has either a pair or a straight draw and also the low draw. This player will accurately tell of what his hand is by how he plays it. If he checked, he is paired; if he bets out into most players or raises, he has chased somewhat good.

Most of the stud eight-or-better players are very regular in their play. For instance, some players are always hostile on their street with good low hands whereas others will wait until the fifth street to see what they have made.

It is also easy to know where someone stands by his show of weakness instead of strength. This is real for hostile players who often find hard enough to read on an early street.

Raising Aggressively

Sometimes, in seven-card stud eight-or-better, the motive to play aggressively is not only to get more money into the pot but also to drive other players out. If they have a bad hand like a wheel, then you may be betting or raising only to make the pot larger. But, this will not be the case generally. You will not bluff frequently and you will not raise as a bluff. However, you will rarely raise to set up the play, to conceal your hand, or to knock someone out. You can raise sometime to get a free card but this will not be profitable, as many of your rivals will raise back. Consequently, the free cards that you get will not have the possibility as they do in many other games, to make a big concealed hand.

Even when you raise, you will not get any information. When people have a playable hand, they hang on; if they do not, they usually fold. So raising will not identify the strength of your rival's hand extremely well.
The few times that raising does gain you information, it is the kind of information that you could do without. However, you will find yourself calling a re-raise. Now, your raise had better have been on a very strong poker hand, as you have just put more money in the pot and will be forced often to play to the end because of your action.


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