In the game of poker you need to be able to adapt your strategy as needed while playing the game. Think of it like shifting gears in a car you change gear to adapt to the speed and terrain you are driving on – the same applies to the game of poker. Being able to adapt is one of the most crucial skills you can learn and use to your advantage. Lets back up a bit and explain why it’s so important so you can judge for yourself the necessity of adapting. In any poker game the situation is always changing – you will be dealt different hands and so will your opponents, you will bet differently and so will your opponents and perhaps most importantly your opponents will always be changing so the game will never be the same twice. Being able to adapt means altering your mindset to fit the particular game you are playing and the players you are playing with – as the situation changes you need to be able to adapt accordingly if you expect to make money with poker.
Now you may be thinking you have a strategy that always works, maybe it’s a “style” you like to play, a certain attitude you like to portray? If this is the case then why adapt to each new game? There are two primary reasons why you may need to adapt your play the first is exploiting certain circumstances you may be faced with. For example, lets say you are playing a game of online Texas Holdem and you are dealt a hand that would normally be an automatic fold for you. The difference this time is that the only person on the table who has bet has a strong tendency towards bluffing – this might be a golden opportunity for you to adapt to a situation and play to your potential benefit knowing the information.
The second reason you may need to adapt your play is so you don’t become predictable (like the player that always bluffs in the above example). Being difficult for other players to read is a huge advantage in any poker game – why give your opponents any advantage over you? If your moves can be predicted then you will have a pattern that your opponents will learn to follow and capitalize on as they counter your moves. It won’t take long for other Poker Online players to learn when to call, raise or fold when playing with you no matter what hand is dealt. If you are willing to adapt to the situation at hand then you become less likely to predict and other players won’t be able to take advantage of any holes in your game.
While the above are the primary reasons for adapting play there are a few other advantages. This may seem obvious but you should be adjusting your play based on how you are doing in a particular game. The obvious being if your bankroll is running low you should tighten up your play in order to protect your chips. And vice versa is true – if your bankroll is looking rather healthy then maybe you should use that to your advantage as an intimidation tactic. You can often steal blinds by making large bets. And to state the obvious – if you have the right cards and you are making large bets then you stand a good chance of taking down chips even if you’re called you still could win the hand.
The final piece of advice I have to share about adapting to play is based on who you are playing with and the number of players you are playing against. The concept is simple, the number of opponents you are playing against will impact the odds of winning your hand. Simple math – your odds will change depending on how many players are in the pot one, two, three, etc. Who you are playing against is also very important – the expertise and habits of your opponents should play a factor in how you adapt to play. Try and identify patterns of play – are they an aggressive or reserved player? Do they have a tendency for bluffing? Is there a pattern to their betting? And any other tell factors you may pick up on and use to your advantage.
I hope this article helped you see all the beneficial ways that being able to adapt play can mean the difference between winning or losing. Flexibility is important when playing poker – especially online as your opponents can change more frequently. Learn to adapt and you will stay ahead of the competition, if you don’t then it will be difficult to make money with poker playing online. It’s evolution – the poker players that adapt will survive and profit.