Counter Strategies in Poker

In games like poker then what you tend to find is that every strategy has a counter strategy that defeats it. All you have to do is first identify what strategy is working on behalf of your opponents and then counter that.

Let us say that it is folded around to you on the button and you raise with a very wide range because your opponents in the blinds are folding almost all of their range.

You are picking up the blinds easily but then the big blind starts 3/betting you and they are doing it every time you open raise. Clearly if this is an adjustment and they are 3/betting wide then you can either call and play a hand in position against their wide range or 4/bet pre-flop and probably end the hand at that point.

Wide Ranges in Online Poker

Another example could be if you 3/bet late position stealers from the button. This is an adjustment on your part to exploit your opponent’s wide ranges. However if you 3/bet-fold to a 4/bet with almost all of your range then your opponent has a clear counter strategy when they open raise and you 3/bet.

You have to remember that you cannot rely on your actual hand in a poker game. Fold equity will represent the lion’s share of your net profits and not how much you win at showdown. Only in very loose and weak games or if you play limit hold’em will your showdown results have an impact on how you do at poker.

Let us look at another example where your opponent raises from the cut-off and you call on the button and they always c-bet. This is clearly being done with a wide range and so your choices to exploit this are clear.

Bluff Catching Poker Hands

You can call down with hands that can beat bluffs and bluff raise with hands that have some equity like drawing hands. What you need to be aware of though is in playing a strategy that is self-dominating.

This means that your opponent doesn’t have to do anything to gain an advantage. One clear example could be if you raised from middle position with A-Js and the button 3/bet you. Here you have two sensible options and they are to either 4/bet and take the fold equity if you think that your opponent is 3/betting you widely or fold.

You will notice that calling and playing a pot out of position is not an option. This is because position is so vital in no limit hold’em and especially in escalated pots then you cannot willingly enter into situations where you are playing inflated pots when out of position.

So voluntarily entering these situations is simply a self-dominating strategy and one that your opponent doesn’t have to do anything about in which to gain an edge.

They can value bet and bluff more effectively with position on their side. So remember that every strategy in poker has a counter strategy and when you know this then you really shouldn’t fear anybody.