Poker is a game of intense focus, concentration, psychology, and mathematics. The why chips in the middle of the table, not on the flop, the reason your opponent keeps limping into the pot, or how the slowly playing player keeps raising, check raising, and check folding are as important as how the cards move through the deck. Focus is the KEY in poker.
There is simply too much information going on in the game of poker for there not to be. Intuition and psychology control the majority of the game, as opposed to math or statistics. Poker is a game of percentages. Stud poker is a game of percentages.
Sticking to a basic percentage game, for example if you have AA, and your opponent has 99, you have a 19.5% chance of winning, just by guessing right. (19.5 divided by 99 =.9) But if you know in your core that your opponent has likely got anything (AA watched the flop closely and heard your bets so many times that he is sure you will be folding), you canIntervene in a bluff.
This happens more often than one would think, and usually is pretty obvious. A player might stick around and see a flop, make a bet, and not withdraw. The action is then yours. If you bet for something unfamiliar, the action is yours for as long as you play your hand.
This may seem friendly, but what this really is is a way of protecting your hand when you have nothing, or at least giving yourself a chance to make your hand better, than if you give your opponent a free card.
To learn more about protecting your hand while bluffing, go to Bola88 tournament , Playing the Turn and River in No Limit Texas Hold’em Tournaments.
How to Play Low Pairs in Tournaments
Be aware that a low pair is generally not a strong hand when playing in a tournament. This is particularly true for up to middle pairs. For example, a hand like 66 down to 77 is not a very strong hand. 66 is only moderately strong (30% to edge out the casino, depending on how high you go) and 77 is practically junk. Many players will even call off their own top pair, if offered, in the face of aggression from the loose player. It is worth noting that if offered a low pair, the tight player will likely re-raise with his high pair.
So, holding middle pairs and hoping to flop a big hand, when playing in a tournament, is a bad idea. Unless we are out of position, in which case we can call off our whole stack. Flush draws are common on the bubble in a tournament. Make a strong hand, and a continuation bet here usually (and hope that the loose aggressor bets theirs out first) will take down the pot. If you do not flop a set, and your opponent out bets you big (or your hand is very vulnerable) you are probably better off just calling.
Playing and anticipating your opponents so that you can play your hands better is what makes it worthwhile to play tournament poker. When you learn to do that, you will not be giving away your chips as easily as you think. Instead, you will be able to earn your way into the big pots more often than not.