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How to play low cards profitably?

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  • How to play low cards profitably?

    Hi guys,

    I figured two things out a long time ago:
    1. there are more low cards than high cards in the deck (about 30% more)
    2. most people only play the good cards

    my thought is: if I can play low cards profitably, I will crush everybody in the world.

    The question is: how can low cards in the long run be played profitably?
    At the moment I am trying to work on a strategy that basically limps every single hand preflop.

    Of course I am aware of the risk of ruin that comes with this approach but I feel that I can find a way to play 'bad' cards profitably against 95% of players.

    Before I signed up for pokercoaching my red line was really high whereas my green line was really low but basically what this means is: I won very very much more pots without Showdown before pokercoaching (by instinctual play/soulreading/guessing) so I am pretty sure that because of this I can conclude very safely that the basic-strategy is not an optimal way of playing but at best a good way to play profitable and very boring poker.

    Do you guys have any thoughts on this?
    Any material to recommend for strategies playing low cards?

    PS I know Jonathan says there is never a reason to play trash hands and you just shouldnt.. but still!

    anyone here maybe specialize in this kind of play?

  • #2
    few more brainfarts on the topic:

    if the approach is wrong, why do we play almost every hand from the BB? Yes we have 1BB already invested but thats not a relevant amount and people know you can have anything in the BB. When you limp random hand from any seat you get the benefit of the doubt and the people dont know if you have AA playing it slow or trash or anything. I feel the 1BB you pay for limping a trash hand is worth the price for the disguise.

    secondly I think most people only play their actual hands. Why not play every hand as if it was AA? I have thought about this often because you have this confidence with Aces that you should always have when you play a hand.

    In the next days I will try playing without my cards, cover them up with tape or something and just play position/table dynamics/betsizing game with no regard for actual cards. I hope this will amplify my senses in a way that allows me to get a good connection with my opponents hands.

    This probably sounds silly...

    (i know i have often got top pairs to fold, sometimes even the second nuts with pure bluffs, this is my type of play)


    • #3
      I am just rewatching the fundamentals masterclass and jonathan says here (Master The Fundamentals Preflop Strategy: When Everyone Folds To You):

      "You should raise or fold. Do not limp in, do not Open Limp because it lets the Big Blind" .. "because it lets the player in the Big Blind just check and see the flop for free" but this logic is flawed in the way that when I raise i give information about my hand strength and everybody nowadays calls a 2.5bb raise in the BB. Most people just dont care and know they have enough equity and implied odds with every hand to call.

      Another thing is that this approach in my oppinion assumes we are equally skilled with our BB opponent, which we are not. I assume I can outplay everybody on the later streets.

      I find the pokercoaching approach to be a very conservative one and I am not sure you can win like this.. but maybe I understand it wrong

      I want the Big Blind to call/check with every hand and hope he hits one of his random cards on the flop/turn/river and that I will realize when he does so, because he will let me know by taking an aggressive action


      is anyone with me on this or do you all agree I am silly and that it doesnt make sense what I am proposing here?
      Last edited by Martin Gale; 07-14-2021, 03:41 AM.


      • #4
        I'm going to be perfectly honest, everything you're saying is incorrect.
        • You can't play bad hands profitably, that's why they are bad.
        • The strategies at PC are based on solver work first and logical adjustments based on specific mistakes we either see opponents make, or reasonable assumptions about the population of our game.
          • Against strong players, the solver solution is the optimal strategy, the solver is the closest we have to GTO, and GTO is a Nash Equilibrium. It by definition means you cannot make more my adjusting assuming the other players are strong.
          • Will get to why adjusting to limp calling all hands isn't a good adjustment shortly.
        • We call very often from the BB because folding the BB is default -1BB EV. Acevedo discusses in MPT the idea that we call because many of these hands are slightlyyyyyyyyy more EV when called, but are almost always check folded on the flop.
        • We also only call the BB superrrrr wide when short stacked. When we're deep stacked, the EV of these junky hands goes wayyy down because we realize our equity poorly and we defend BB much tighter.
        • If most your opponents are really only playing their two cards, and will never adjust to the fact that you're obviously playing 100% of hands, and therefore obviously bluffing a ton, then yeah you can do anything you want.

        I'm curious what game you're playing because the softest games I have ever played are live 1/2 and I have never played a live 1/2 where there aren't at least enough decent players who will adjust and crush you if you play like this. If you play every hand, your range is super wide, and the only way those junky hands can win most times, is to bluff. This means you are bluffing wayyyyyyyy more than balanced. Any even slightly studied player will just stop folding to you.

        It seems like you're trying to reinvent the wheel so to speak. But over the last 20 years, a ton of smart people have literally dedicated their life to figuring this out.


        • broke&livin
          broke&livin commented
          Editing a comment
          Very well put, also by playing 60% whatnot, you're setting the bar very high for yourself.

      • #5
        i will think about what you said. Thank you


        • #6
          Hi - Others can do a better job than I can to explain why this is flawed mathematically. What it sounds like to me is playing for the highlights. It's like how you can make any amateur sport player look the best ever by purely showing their great winners, or their goals from distance - leaving out everything that makes them a poor player.

          As you say, if you don't look at your cards and go for what would be bluffs etc you will get people to fold good holdings and if you made a video and just showed these it might be exciting. But you're going to run into people with actual good or even OK hands and they will call or raise and take your stack. Repeatedly. Your strategy also relies on people never learning - if someone has no info on you they might reluctantly fold if they assume you are a solid, tight player but that's not going to keep happening.

          I get the feeling your idea is based on - everyone is playing AA, AQ etc, everyone folds 36 so if I actually play those cards and the flop has low cards I'm ahead. However, that assumes the hand ends there, that you actually hit and that nobody knows your strategy. Anytime any high card hits you're going to worried. It seems designed for a game where a pair of 3s is equal to a pair of aces, yet people are only playing for the latter.

          I do think you'd get me to fold a few hands though, at least for one round of the table! After that, the notes field would be getting populated.


          • Martin Gale
            Martin Gale commented
            Editing a comment
            hi, very nice comment. Thank you. It is indeed how I see it and thank you for your thought provoking input.