What is your opponent’s primary mistake?

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Mark | Poker Cash Games, Poker Strategy, Poker Tips

Look for frequency errors

In no limit Texas hold’em depending on the levels that you play, your opponents will make what are called “frequency errors”. This is partly what David Sklansky was referring to when he described his fundamental theorem of poker in his great book The Theory of Poker. In that book Sklansky underlined the importance of exploiting mistakes and reducing the number of mistakes that you yourself make. The most common type of mistake and one that underpins everything that we do is what is termed a frequency error.

Don’t do things too much or not often enough

As a rule in online poker we either do something too often or not enough. Loose-passive players for example limp too much and they call raises too much. Maniacs on the other hand raise, re-raise and bluff too much. Really tight rocks fold too much and so on and so on. Before you sit down in any online poker game then you need to try and figure out just what types of mistakes your opponents are going to make.

Here’s an example

For example if you were thinking of sitting down in a $0.01-$0.02 micro-stakes level then it would probably be the case that your opponents would simply call raises too often and call down with weaker holdings. This means that you can relegate bluffing from your list of weapons simply because when your opponents call more often then by sheer definition, then bluffs work less. So it becomes clear, that if bluffing works less then value betting must be more effective. At higher levels of play – like at NL50 full ring for example – when your opponents appear as if they are looking to stack off, then they will usually have a big hand.

In summary….

So do not expect your opponents to be bluffing in big pots at say NL50 full ring. This is because of the typical style of the full ring game player. The bottom line is though that you need to ascertain what type of mistake your opponent is likely to make and then adjust your strategy around that. This will then help you to select the proper fundamental game strategy from the start.

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