MCU poker tip: Know how your opponent is playing

It’s a mistake to categorize most poker players as loose or tight and respond accordingly without taking into consideration their present frame of mind. There are very few players who consistently play one rigid way.

The exceptions might be the true “rocks” who never waver, only playing their very best hands, and those rare super-loose foes who consistently show no discipline about hand selection. Aside from that, most opponents change their strategy frequently. Sometimes this is calculated and sometimes it is governed by emotions.

Notebooks

I’ve known players who keep notebooks about the way frequent opponents play. And, of course, some players use tracking software to record trends regarding their online opponents decision making. Fine.

Having a history of opponents’ play can help. But it isn’t always accurate. That’s because the poker players are often out of step with their past. Mood changes. Determination changes. Focus changes. And opponents can be playing much better or much worse at the moment then they typically have in the past.

More profitable

The important thing is to adjust your strategy to the way an opponent is playing right now. That’s usually more profitable than adapting to the way an opponent plays on average. — MC

Published by

Mike Caro

Visit Mike on   → Twitter   ♠ OR ♠    → FaceBook

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.

5 thoughts on “MCU poker tip: Know how your opponent is playing”

Leave a Reply to Jake Ferguson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Let's make sure it's really you and not a bot. Please type digits (without spaces) that best match what you see. (Example: 71353)

  1. Hey, give Mike a “waver” on that one… (we read him for his poker, not his punctuation)

    1. Hi, Elliott —

      I corrected the error that Jake tried to alert me about last December. I didn’t see his comment until now. It was your comment that brought his to my attention.

      Thanks for joining our Poker1 family.

      Straight Flushes,
      Mike Caro

  2. There's a typo in the second paragraph; "waiver" should be "waver," I imagine. Great tip!!! Thank you as always.

    1. Hi, Jake —

      Here’s a way-late thank you for catching that spelling/usage error. I’ve corrected it now. I try to read all comments, but somehow I overlooked yours.

      Straight Flushes,
      Mike Caro

Leave a Reply to Jake Ferguson Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published.

Let's make sure it's really you and not a bot. Please type digits (without spaces) that best match what you see. (Example: 71353)