Targeted poker quiz 19: Opponents (intermediate)


Note: Not at the old Poker1 site. This 39-part series of quizzes, originally published (2004-2006) in Poker Player, is based on the Mike Caro University of Poker library of research and advice. In each entry, Mike Caro presents 10 questions covering a category of poker, targeted for beginner, intermediate, or advanced players. Answers with explanations appear below each quiz, with the questions repeated for easy reference.


The MCU Targeted Poker Quiz series

(See the index to this series)

Understanding your opponents (level: intermediate)

  1. Tight, conservative players are more apt to dress…

    (a) conservatively;

    (b) in clothes of vibrant color;

    (c) in outrageous costumes;

    (d) with a lot of flashy jewelry to complement their clothes.

  2. Players who bet and tell you something about their hands are…

    (a) almost always lying;

    (b) usually telling the truth;

    (c) almost always break-even players;

    (d) usually playing poker for the first time.

  3. The more things you do after betting big hands…

    (a) the less successful you’ll be in getting calls;

    (b) the more likely you’ll be to win the following hands;

    (c) the less control you have over the outcomes;

    (d) the more likely your opponents are to call.

  4. Most of your opponents have…

    (a) a fear of calling;

    (b) a lot of patience;

    (c) at least 1,000 times the big blind at their disposal that they can easily afford to lose;

    (d) a calling reflex

  5. Opponents who just sat down and started playing are…

    (a) almost impossible to read;

    (b) usually playing more liberally to test their luck;

    (c) easier to bluff;

    (d) seldom concentrating on the game.

  6. Opponents who were losing heavily and playing recklessly, but got lucky and now are winning slightly…

    (a) are likely to bluff;

    (b) can be expected to play more conservatively;

    (c) cannot be bluffed very easily anymore;

    (d) won’t quit the game for another 15 hours, on average.

  7. You should go out of your way to make friends with…

    (a) players sitting to your left;

    (b) the tightest players at the table;

    (c) the worst dressed players at the table;

    (d) opponents who drink coffee.

  8. You should seldom try to bluff…

    (a) loose and carefree opponents;

    (b) players who are losing considerable money;

    (c) opponents who are looking away;

    (d) all of the above.

  9. On average, female players call more liberally than male players…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  10. Relative to young players, older players…

    (a) are easier to bluff;

    (b) play more recklessly;

    (c) are less likely to understand the value of their hands;

    (d) have less patience.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Understanding your opponents (level: intermediate)

  1. Tight, conservative players are more apt to dress…

    (a) conservatively;

    (b) in clothes of vibrant color;

    (c) in outrageous costumes;

    (d) with a lot of flashy jewelry to complement their clothes.

    Answer: (a). Although individual players may differ, usually tight, conservative players dress conservatively. In the absence of other information, expect conservatively attired players to bluff less and play fewer “strange” hands.

  2. Players who bet and tell you something about their hands are…

    (a) almost always lying;

    (b) usually telling the truth;

    (c) almost always break-even players;

    (d) usually playing poker for the first time.

    Answer: (b). Players who bet and tell you something about their hands are usually telling the truth! They often hope you don’t believe them, but they’re hoping to be able to say (or politely imply), “I told you so.”

  3. The more things you do after betting big hands…

    (a) the less successful you’ll be in getting calls;

    (b) the more likely you’ll be to win the following hands;

    (c) the less control you have over the outcomes;

    (d) the more likely your opponents are to call.

    Answer: (d). Most of your opponents are looking for reasons to call. Therefore, the more things you do after betting big hands, the more likely your opponents are to become suspicious — and call.

  4. Most of your opponents have…

    (a) a fear of calling;

    (b) a lot of patience;

    (c) at least 1,000 times the big blind at their disposal that they can easily afford to lose;

    (d) a calling reflex.

    Answer: (d). Most of your opponents have a “calling reflex,” meaning a bias toward calling that is so strong that they often call fairly automatically unless it seems almost hopeless.

  5. Opponents who just sat down and started playing are…

    (a) almost impossible to read;

    (b) usually playing more liberally to test their luck;

    (c) easier to bluff;

    (d) seldom concentrating on the game.

    Answer: (c). Opponents who just sat down and started playing have frequently resolved to play well. They typically keep this resolve for a short time. During that period, they’ll make more sensible laydowns than usual and are easier to bluff.

  6. Opponents who were losing heavily and playing recklessly, but got lucky and now are winning slightly…

    (a) are likely to bluff;

    (b) can be expected to play more conservatively;

    (c) cannot be bluffed very easily anymore;

    (d) won’t quit the game for another 15 hours, on average.

    Answer: (b). Opponents who were losing heavily, were playing recklessly, but got lucky and are now slightly winning will typically play more conservatively in an effort to avoid “getting buried” again.

  7. You should go out of your way to make friends with…

    (a) players sitting to your left;

    (b) the tightest players at the table;

    (c) the worst dressed players at the table;

    (d) opponents who drink coffee.

    Answer: (a). You should go out of your way to make friends with players sitting to your left. That’s because they act after you do — getting to see what you do before they act — and have a powerful positional advantage over you. If they feel friendly toward you, they’re less likely to fully exploit it.

  8. You should seldom try to bluff…

    (a) loose and carefree opponents;

    (b) players who are losing considerable money;

    (c) opponents who are looking away;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (d). Loose-and-carefree players, those losing a lot of money, and opponents who are looking away are all more likely to call and, therefore, poor targets for bluffing.

  9. On average, female players call more liberally than male players…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a). Although there are female players of all temperaments, it’s true that — on average — they call more liberally than males. This is possibly due to the likelihood that they have witnessed males try to bluff them quit often.

  10. Relative to young players, older players…

    (a) are easier to bluff;

    (b) play more recklessly;

    (c) are less likely to understand the value of their hands;

    (d) have less patience.

    Answer: (a). On average mature poker players are easier to bluff than young poker players.


Next MCU Targeted Poker Quiz in this series

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Known as the “Mad Genius of Poker,” Mike Caro is generally regarded as today's foremost authority on poker strategy, psychology, and statistics. He is the founder of Mike Caro University of Poker, Gaming, and Life Strategy (MCU). See full bio → HERE.

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