Targeted poker quiz 32: Opponents (advanced)


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)

Opponents (level: advanced)

  1. Even if you’ve been seen making silly plays in an attempt to build a loose image and gain extra calls, you can often bluff a strong player in the same game if…

    (a) the player is on tilt;

    (b) the player has just been caught bluffing;

    (c) the player takes pride in being too smart to be taken in by your antics;

    (d) the player doesn’t seem to care about money.

  2. If you say the words, “call me, I might be bluffing, but I’m probably not” you are more likely…

    (a) to be called;

    (b) to be raised;

    (c) to see your opponent fold;

    (d) none of the above

  3. Beginning players often play even worse than you’d expect, because…

    (a) winning makes them uncomfortable;

    (b) they probably studied advanced sophisticated strategy and understood it at home, but lose their concentration in a game;

    (c) they want to impress you with their skills;

    (d) they’re too busy trying to understand the rules, customs, and environment to fully focus on making good poker decisions.

  4. If an opponent positions a chip very exactly in a pot, it’s a good idea to push it out of its location, because…

    (a) the chip has mystical strength in that position;

    (b) it’s a bad policy to let opponents position their own chips;

    (c) you want to show that you’re even more experienced at positioning chips;

    (d) the exact positioning is probably a sign of superstition, and you can make a player feel unlucky by “accidentally” moving the chip – and he won’t play as well

  5. If opponents see you losing, they’re apt to be inspired and play better against you. Often you can make them less confident by…

    (a) folding your arms and staring into space;

    (b) simply keeping quiet;

    (c) changing seats;

    (d) trying to bluff them frequently.

  6. If someone sympathetically points out how unlucky you’ve been, you should…

    (a) deny it;

    (b) explain that they don’t even know half of it;

    (c) tell them you’re unlucky today, but tomorrow might be different;

    (d) thank them for noticing.

  7. Sometimes it’s almost as easy to bluff two opponents as one, because…

    (a) if the first player folds, the second one doesn’t want to embarrass himself with a weak, losing call;

    (b) when there are two players or more in the pot, it indicates a tight game;

    (c)the pot is usually not big enough to defend with two opponents;

    (d) all of the above.

  8. Against your most deceptive opponents, you should…

    (a) be extra aggressive;

    (b) almost never call;

    (c) let them have the lead by checking often;

    (d) all of the above.

  9. Female players make more money by calling than male players, on average…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

  10. If an opponent bets and is carrying on a conversation that seems forced and somewhat nonsensical…

    (a) he’s probably hoping for a call;

    (b) most likely he hasn’t looked at his cards yet;

    (c) it’s probably a bluff;

    (d) none of the above.


Answers and explanations (with questions repeated for convenience)

Opponents (level: advanced)

  1. Even if you’ve been seen making silly plays in an attempt to build a loose image and gain extra calls, you can often bluff a strong player in the same game if…

    (a) the player is on tilt;

    (b) the player has just been caught bluffing;

    (c) the player takes pride in being too smart to be taken in by your antics;

    (d) the player doesn’t seem to care about money.

    Answer: (c) Even if you have developed a loose image by making strange plays, and most opponents are eager to call your future hands, you can still sometimes bluff opponents who take pride in being too smart to be taken in by your antics.

  2. If you say the words, “call me, I might be bluffing, but I’m probably not” you are more likely…

    (a) to be called;

    (b) to be raised;

    (c) to see your opponent fold;

    (d) none of the above.

    Answer: (a) If you say, “call me, I might be bluffing, but I’m probably not,” opponents often will become confused, curious, and suspicion — and you’re more likely to be called.

  3. Beginning players often play even worse than you’d expect, because…

    (a) winning makes them uncomfortable;

    (b) they probably studied advanced sophisticated strategy and understood it at home, but lose their concentration in a game;

    (c) they want to impress you with their skills;

    (d) they’re too busy trying to understand the rules, customs, and environment to fully focus on making good poker decisions.

    Answer: (d) Beginners often play even worse than you’d expect, because they’re using up a great deal of their evaluation time by simply trying to understand the procedures and the environment.

  4. If an opponent positions a chip very exactly in a pot, it’s a good idea to push it out of its location, because…

    (a) the chip has mystical strength in that position;

    (b) it’s a bad policy to let opponents position their own chips;

    (c) you want to show that you’re even more experienced at positioning chips;

    (d) the exact positioning is probably a sign of superstition, and you can make a player feel unlucky by “accidentally” moving the chip – and he won’t play as well.

    Answer: (d) When you see an opponent place a chip in a precise position, that’s probably a sign of superstition, and you can make the player fell unlucky and play worse by “accidentally” repositioning that chip.

  5. If opponents see you losing, they’re apt to be inspired and play better against you. Often you can make them less confident by…

    (a) folding your arms and staring into space;

    (b) simply keeping quiet;

    (c) changing seats;

    (d) trying to bluff them frequently.

    Answer: (c) When opponents notice that you’re losing, they’re inspired, think they can beat you, and consequently play better. But you can often make them less confident by changing seats. Many players think different seats are hot or cold and erroneously believe your seat change might make you lucky in itself. You can even emphasize this psychological advantage by announcing that you know the new seat will be lucky.

  6. If someone sympathetically points out how unlucky you’ve been, you should…

    (a) deny it;

    (b) explain that they don’t even know half of it;

    (c) tell them you’re unlucky today, but tomorrow might be different;

    (d) thank them for noticing.

    Answer: (a) If someone points out how unlucky you’ve been, your first inclination may be to accept the sympathy gratefully, but actually — because opponents play better against you when they think you’re unlucky — you should deny that you’re running badly.

  7. Sometimes it’s almost as easy to bluff two opponents as one, because…

    (a) if the first player folds, the second one doesn’t want to embarrass himself with a weak, losing call;

    (b) when there are two players or more in the pot, it indicates a tight game;

    (c)the pot is usually not big enough to defend with two opponents;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (a) Sometimes it’s almost as easy to bluff two players as one, because if the first player folds, the second one won’t want to make a weak, losing call that might cause the opponent who folded to question his judgment.

  8. Against your most deceptive opponents, you should…

    (a) be extra aggressive;

    (b) almost never call;

    (c) let them have the lead by checking often;

    (d) all of the above.

    Answer: (c) You should let deceptive opponents take the lead often. That means you should check to them more frequently than you would check to most other opponents.

  9. Female players make more money by calling than male players, on average…

    (a) true;

    (b) false.

    Answer: (a — true).Yes, female players actually do make more money by calling against male opponent ts, on average. That’s because they are bluffed more often than males who play the same style of game. That’s just an average, though, and some males won’t bluff women at all.

  10. If an opponent bets and is carrying on a conversation that seems forced and somewhat nonsensical…

    (a) he’s probably hoping for a call;

    (b) most likely he hasn’t looked at his cards yet;

    (c) it’s probably a bluff;

    (d) none of the above.

    Answer: (c) Whenever you hear an opponent chatter in a way that seems forced, contrived, or unnatural, that’s a sign of stress and it’s a strong indication of a weak hand or a bluff.


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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