Playing poker is just one of a number of ways to win money online. But it’s one of the best, and your chances are good if you’ve studied and understood poker strategy. There are many elements of poker strategy to grasp, I’ve covered many of them on articles you might already have read. Here I’ll cover an essential part of your ammunition known as pot stealing.
Pot stealing is leveraging your perceived “fold equity”. If you’re perceived as a tight poker player it can be advantageous to use your image to get more folds from your opponents.
In poker, there comes times when a pot steal becomes a real possibility. Usually the way it works is this: Let’s say a high card appears on the board say a Ten or Jack and because there are only three or four players no one can match the board. This is the big advantage of acting in last position, because you are last to place a bet and no one has yet called one. A bet here can often take the pot down with you holding nothing. Hence the importance of position, these positional bluffs can be very effective.
Now, this works best if your opponents in the pot have small stacks. Most of the time if you have a small stack then it’s a waste of a bet to call an opponent in this position. That bet can be put to much better use when you consider that it will give you another go at finding a decent hand to play with. A bigger stack is also getting better implied odds to call if the pot is big enough.
To pot steal is an important part of the game, it’s just a matter of picking your spots. Whether you’re playing in tournaments or ring games, you’re always looking to add chips to your stack in profitable situations. Once you have done it successfully and it becomes almost second nature then it becomes an automatic reaction and can greatly increase your hourly rate.
If you consistently play high cards then you will be a better pot stealer because the other players will recognize that you will probably have a high card in your hand and they will be afraid to take you on. It is also really difficult for players to call when they have a very weak hand themselves, but bluffing is still useful because you can still get better hands to fold. That said, you see fish calling down light all the time even without solid reads on their opponents. Hence the reason you need good read to attempt a bluff.
In tournament poker it is mainly about going after the dead money in the pot and the most well known instance of this is utilizing the blind steal. Like any pot steal attempt, the blind steal is all about considering risk vs. reward. Stealing the blinds from late position when it has been folded around to you is low risk. It is very unlikely the few opponents still left to act have a playable hand. Even when you do get called, you can get lucky and flop a big hand.
However, it’s important to realize that because of the high turnover of players in your typical online poker tournaments played on the world wide web, you will constantly be faced with new players joining the table, and so it makes it more difficult to read your opponents and their tendency to pot steal.
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