CasinoStop10 | Strategies | How Deception Can Be Deceiving in Poker

How Deception Can Be Deceiving in Poker


During my career as a professional card counter I have played an ongoing game of cat and mouse against the casino.

With rare exception I have managed not only to win consistently but to also maintain my status as a rated player who is not only welcomed to but also rewarded for playing blackjack. I have taken everything from alcohol and pretty girls to good luck charms with me when I visit the tables in order to blend in with the typical high stakes gamblers persona. Sometimes I have gone as far as making (minor) basic strategy errors in order to appear as a less knowledgeable player. In brick and mortar casinos it is necessary to develop a sophisticated “act” in order to avoid being banned from play.
Fortunately for most of you playing advantage games online requires far less effort and deception to stay in business. I have a few basic rules that you should follow in order to keep the welcome mat out. First of all don’t bet exactly the same amount on each hand. If you bet $3 on one hand and $5 on the next you will appear to be gambling. People don’t expect to win every hand therefore they will often mix things up hoping to get lucky. If you lose a few hands in a row you might reduce your bet slightly. Secondly don’t play too long. If you have to fulfill a $3,000 wager requirement to obtain a bonus you don’t have to do it all at once. Most casual players take breaks or play a few times over the course of several days. You want to blend in with them. Last of all don’t play just one game. Spin a 25c slot machine a few times or play a few hands of video poker if you know the correct strategy for the game. You can also try different variations of 21 assuming that they aren’t “bad” bets like Spanish 21 for example. This will help keep you from being labeled as an advantage player and consequently banned.
I started out counting cards in blackjack games to make money. While it was financially rewarding, it also became monotonous. The game of 21 is an exact science based on existing rules and options. In any situation there will be only one way to play a hand correctly. When it comes to poker however, there is a variable present that makes it different than any other casino game. This is the human element. This is what keeps poker interesting. It also allows us to employ deception as a weapon agains our opponents.
In the examples below you will notice one consistency.

You always want your opponent to be unsure of your hand. Often you will want to appear weak when you are strong and vice versa. When your opponents misread your hand they will make mistakes. Their mistakes are your biggest advantage in the game.
In most games the object is to win as soon as possible. But think about poker on the other hand. Let’s say that you flop a huge hand like four of a kind. Your odds of winning justify keeping your opponents in the game as long as possible rather than trying to force them out of the pot. Let’s say that there are two nines on the board and you have the other two. Since you know that no one else has a third nine you have to assume that they will be afraid that someone at the table does. They will not suspect your quads but they might be afraid that they are up against three of a kind. In this case you hope that there are two suited cards on the board so that a flush chaser will try to catch his fifth suited card.
So how would you play such a hand?

The answer is like most answers to poker strategy questions: It depends. How do your opponents play? How much action will they give you? How many people are in the pot? The simple answer is that you play in a manner that will win the most money the most often. This is a rare example but the rule always applies. For the record I would usually check or call in this situation unless I was at a table where no one ever bets trips on the flop. In that case I often bet the flop and then check on the turn hoping to induce a bluff from another player or allow them to improve their hand. At this point you could raise or check raise depending on your position and whether or not you think that most of the table will call. Sometimes I would call in order to represent a drawing hand if I think that someone else will bet and the board justifies my play.
In other situations you might choose to represent a huge hand when in fact you are on a draw.

Let’s say that you flop a flush draw with a Jack Seven Three on the board. If another player raised before the flop and you expect him to have an Ace King or medium pair you might raise him when he bets so that he thinks that you have top pair or better. If he doesnt improve on the turn he might fold to a bet. If he checks to you, you might choose to check behind him in order to see the next card without putting money into the pot. If you don’t make your flush though you will probably have to fold on the river if he bets into you. That is unless your hand improves.

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