Everything In Poker Is Situational There Is No Formula

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poker-situationPoker is a situational game. Among other things, you should be adjusting how loose or tight your play is based on how the particular players at your table are playing. In a loose/aggressive online games there will be a lot of re-raising pre-flop so you should be tightening up your opening raise requirements. However, in a tight/passive game you’re going to be able to profitably open up your raising requirements because you will be allowed to steal more blinds.

Every decision you make in poker is dependent on your special situation that you are faced with at the time. Every situation you will encounter in poker will have its own unique twist and this is why you can’t follow any sort of basic formula at all times. The players who adjust badly to the way the table and certain players are playing are minimizing their potential profits and likely losing players in the game because it’s the players who are capable of adjusting to a player’s tendencies the quickest that end up the winners in the game.

Starting hand requirements change depending on the amount to call, the size of the pot, and the expected future size of the pot and your future costs and what hands are out against you and how many outs you have left in the deck to improve your hand and also a few other considerations that you will need to take into account. You should always be trying to assess every individual situation on its own merits and continually be trying to make adjustments to your particular situation.

I talk about a lot of things on this site that should help steer you in the right direction, but not everything I talk about on the subject of poker is set in stone and there are exceptions to advice I might give about some things. What you really want to do is develop your ability to size up each individual situation you encounter by its own special variables and not always follow some sort of strict guidelines or some sort of basic formula you might be trying to follow.

Let me illustrate this with an example. Some players seem to think it’s fine to set mine with low and medium pocket pairs in 3bet pots. But unless you’re playing very deep stacked with at least 150bb effective stacks, then it’s often going to be best to fold especially when out of position and the 3bettor isn’t known to be spewy post-flop.

As a new player it is probably best to follow some sort of strict guidelines though since inexperienced players are far from having the ability to make good decisions by the independent variables that are involved in any one particular situation. Just try to be aware that every situation is going to be just a little bit different and how you play each situation should vary to some degree based on the special circumstances that you are facing at that point in time.