Play Better Online Poker

Finding a weakness in your opponent and then exploiting it is the very definition of poker.

When you come up against a player who calls when he or she does not have the requisite odds to do so, be it implied or pot odds, is defined as a weakness.

These players are called Calling Stations, and here is a little bit of advice on how to approach them during sessions on popular poker sites like 888.

Firstly, as the name implies these types of players are not going to be folding often, meaning they are not prime candidates for bluffing.

Make sure you have a solid hand range and only bet for value. When you are betting for value, they are the prime candidates to over bet with your strong hands.

Not only are you going to garner more chips, but the other players seated around the table will see that you are capable of over betting the pot, something that can be used to your advantage, later in the tournament.

Over betting the pot is a great technique against calling stations but you do need to keep an eye on their stack size.

The shorter the stack becomes, the more likely they are to fold, thus losing you value.

This is because tournament preservation will be priority in their minds. So, when dealing with the short-stacked calling station, bet sufficiently enough to leave them with around 25% of their stack.

Last but not least, always try and exploit these players in the early stages of an 888 tournament because they are not likely to be around long!

A monotone board is a board where each card contains the same suit, and they can be a little tricky to play. The board can mean flop, turn or river and it is a term used in relation to where you are in the hand.

Imagine you are the pre flop raiser in a 888poker event and you receive one caller. The flop is [Qs] [8s] [Ts], you bet and are raised. What thought process should you apply in this spot?

It is more likely that your opponent called with a suited hand than a non-suited hand, as it is optimal game theory (suited hands give you more post flop equity). So players are not raising that often with their one-spade hands. It’s true that your mind will often trick you into believing this is the case, but the maths just don’t stand up to scrutiny.

Your opponent is very likely to have great equity. Unless you are involved in some sort of levelling war, players generally steer clear of bluff raising on these types of boards.

Players often get their thinking skewed in these types of spots. They think that because there are more draws than flush hands that they should call the raise, but they are not taking equity into consideration.

Look at it a different way, from the perspective of the 888 poker blog, Imagine we have flopped ace-queen on the same type of board (with no spade) and we face a raise.

We need to be right a large percentage of the time in order to call, and we just aren’t going to find what we are looking for. Monotone boards are tricky, and always remember there is a hand waiting just around the corner. If you get raised, then fold, and wait for a better spot.

Carl Sampson is an online poker player and poker ambassador for 888poker

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