Firing Into Multiple Players

by , May 19, 2009 | 4:36 am

One of the things you will quickly notice about good players in any variation of poker is how they change their game depending on how many people are in the hand. That great aggressive no limit hold’em player who seems to batter you with bets every time you’re heads up in a pot will probably become a very different creature when they are playing in a four or five handed pot.

This is simply because the more people who are in a pot, the more combinations of hands there are out there, and the more likely it is that someone has a strong holding. As a result of this, you have to be much more careful about bluffing or semi bluffing in multi way pots – you will get played back at a great deal in these spots on the whole.

Most of the good starting hands play well against one or two players in poker, but run into trouble when you start having to deal with four or five players. This is because your own implied odds become horrible. That is, you will typically win a small pot or lose a big one; as when any of those four or five players hit a big hand, they will typically win a lot from you, yet they will be able to just fold when they miss.

It is really hard to lay down aces when you start getting resistance on boards like 10c3h3c, or other, similarly safe looking flops; but often with a lot of players in the hand you just have to face up to the fact that one of them most likely has a three or tens full if the big bets start going in. Although this sort of board is a great one to get it in on when playing a heads up pot, multi way it becomes a much more difficult proposition for you to deal with (a great example of one of the ways to deal with these sort of situations in poker is through using pot control techniques to try and make your life easier).

Always remember that poker is a game where numerous factors should influence your play, and how many people are in the pot is one of the most important. The good news is that multi way pots are one of the key areas bad players make mistakes in, so when you hit big in multi way pots you nearly always get a lot of action from someone overplaying a hand like top pair. The level of strength you need to bet or call raises with increases with each extra player in the pot, and you forget or ignore this simple fact at your peril.

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