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To be honest, we don’t know why the poker rake is so confusing to some players.  Let’s take another look at the rake.  Then let’s pursue a totally different analytical avenue: given that the rake confuses players, how else can a poker player confuse his or her opponents?

What is the Poker Rake?

The rake is quite simply the amount of money Juicy Stakes Poker takes from a pot in order for us to be able to pay our bills.  In fact, we don’t have any stake in the actual outcome of a hand; whoever wins the pot in effect “pays” Juicy Stakes a very small fee.

The Rake is Small

On any pot, the rake will be very small.  As much as our expensed do pile up, we also have many games going on all the time with many players participating.  Juicy Stakes has international reach which means that we have games going on around the clock every day.

That means that there are always a lot of pots to take a rake from!  So, we can easily cap the rake for any pot at $3.00.  There is a formula for how high the rake will be and it is true that the rake as a percentage of the pot will be lower where the pots are bigger.  Still, even in low stakes games, the rake as a percentage of the pot is quite small.

Furthermore, if you as the big blind win a hand in which no one called your bet and there was no flop, there is aloo no rake!

We hope that clears up the idea behind the rake.  Now let’s look at a few good ways to confuse your opponents.

Observe Every Opponent and Define them by Certain Characteristics

If you notice that an opponent can be easily intimidated in early position, then you can force them out of a hand by making a strong raise.  Keep in mind that the term “strong raise” is completely subjective.  It will always depend on several factors:

  1. Who else is in the hand?
  2. How much of your starting budget do you have?
  3. Are you the type of player who can easily make a semi-bluff designed to force a weaker player out of the hand?

These are just a few of the factors involved in trying to intimidate an opponent.  Always remember that a good opponent will always be trying to intimidate you as well!

The Opposite Tactic that Confuses Opponents

Here, instead of raising as a ploy to get an opponent to fold, you call with a powerful hand before the flop in order to keep an opponent in the hand!  When the hand unfolds and your opponents se that you didn’t raise again with a very powerful pair in the hole, they will be very confused the next time you call in late position!

They will ask themselves, “What is going on with these bets?”  The answer, of course, is that you are trying to become unfathomable.  This is exactly what confuses opponents!

Feed on the Aggressiveness of Opponents

You might find yourself in a game with unaggressive opponents.  On the other hand, you might be in a game with several unaggressive opponents and one very aggressive player.  This is the player you will want to confuse the most!

Observe closely this player’s betting practice.  If he or she is aggressive but ultimately just a calling machine, then the best tactic is to raise with strong hands.

Whenever a very aggressive player calls or raises in early position, you might consider calling even with a weak hand.  You might hit it big on the flop but, more importantly, your opponents will not know what to expect from you going forward.

Try to be Inscrutable after the Flop

The flop increases the cards in the hand by 150% for each player!  So, while you might have improved on the flop an opponent may have improved even more.  The idea of making a continuation bet after the flop should be flexible enough for you to check after the flop not as a sign of weakness but as a tactic to make your opponents wonder even more what you are doing!

Develop Skill at Fooling Players with Tells that aren’t Tells

Poker is a game of acting as much as it is a game of mathematical analysis, keen observation, and passive aggressive tactics.  You have to be able to act in order to win regularly at poker against better opponents

All good opponents have learned how to act.  That doesn’t mean that they are reds for Hollywood!  Poker is an entirely different kind of acting!  Just as a good poker actor isn’t ready for the silver screen, most television or movies actors aren’t ready for poker!

Learn from the Success of Others

In American football, there is a play called the misdirection play.  The Washington Football Team (formerly and ignominiously called the Redskins) perfected this play.  Every team in the league tried to implement the play into their own offense but very few succeeded over many years of trying.

The reason was that the misdirection play calls for a form of football acting.  Similarly, poker acting involves many forms of misdirection.  The most common is making an opponent think you have an in-between hand when in fact you have the nuts.  A good, well timed roll of the eyes is often enough to get an opponent with an in-between hand to raise and fall flat.

Another form of poker misdirection is to fake a tell.  Bet too fast or too slow at inappropriate times.  Lean in to look around the table.  This is okay in stud poker but it makes no sense in Texas Holdem!  Therefore the lean in tactic will often fool an opponent and confuse everyone at the table!

Poker is A Very Complex Game

If you look at the YouTube poker clips, you will see that every top poker player has his or her special quirks.  One might be eerie sunglasses, Daniel Negreanu talks a mole a minute, and women often wear low cut tops to get a man’s attention away from the game.

Every ploy has its place.  Trying to confuse opponents is the basis of many winning poker hands.  Perfecting the art of tomfoolery is one of the keys to success playing poker.

Another key to poke success is to play online at Juicy Stakes. JOIN JUICY STAKES NOW!


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