How to Adjust Your Poker Strategy to Unpredictable Players

min read
Black and gold casino chips against a black background
BetMGM Aug 23, 2022, 5:41 AM

Poker is never going to be predictable, no matter how much effort you put into improving your online poker skills. Of course, that’s a big part of the reason that the game is so exciting and why it boasts over 50 million players in the US alone!

As all gamblers who play poker know, the game is about so much more than just the cards you’re dealt and the unpredictability of this particular aspect of the game. It also revolves around your people-reading skills and ability to adapt your poker tournament strategy according to the type of players you’re going up against at the table. The good news is that most beginner and intermediate players play their cards in such a way that it’s possible to figure out their “tells.” But what happens when you’re faced with a player who tends to play aggressively, wildly and unpredictably regardless of the cards they’re holding? Read on to find out how to adjust your gameplay approach to increase your chances of one-upping this type of player and snagging the pot.  

How to spot an unpredictable, “wild” poker player

There’s a difference between an experienced player who changes up their strategy as they go, making it tough for you to put a finger on how they make their decisions, and a player who dives ferociously into the game without taking time to analyze their cards or compare their odds. This type of player plays very loose, rarely folds and doesn’t bat an eye when making frequent wild bluffs despite having absolutely nothing to back it up.

Unfortunately, these untamed antics can often lead to the player getting the better of their opponents, all of whom are desperately trying to find a pattern to their behavior. The reality is, though, that there usually isn’t a pattern to find.

The best strategy for beating out a “wild” player

First and foremost, it’s vital not to allow a reckless opponent to throw you off. Keep your head in the game, be patient and make peace with the fact that you’re not going to “figure them out.” All that you can really do is play your own hands to the best of your ability.

Many poker pros insist that the best course of action when going up against an especially loose gambler is to take an approach to your gameplay that is in direct opposition to theirs. Play things tight and proceed only with hands that you feel fairly confident will put you in good standing to rake in a win.

Throwing caution to the wind and playing just as unpredictably and loosely as your challenger is only going to lead to a battle of egos, often resulting in both players forgetting to put their poker skills to good use and relying on the luck of the draw to beat out their opponent.

Finding the balance between wild and unpredictable play

Once you’ve challenged a “wild” gambler at the poker table – whether or not you came out on top – you’ll realize just how infuriating the experience can be and, as such, you’ll probably want to take action to ensure that your own playing style won’t be viewed in a similar light in the future. So, how do you walk the fine line between playing with total reckless abandon and playing more strategically to avoid coming across as “too predictable” in your decisions?

The answer is quite simple: always think before you act! Keep this rule of thumb in mind while also:

  • Mixing up your continuation bets and your raising range.
  • Not making the same types of decisions too quickly or too slowly (such as raising immediately when you’re dealt good cards.)
  • Not raising the same amount depending on the strength of your hands.
  • Barreling with a wider range.

Optimizing your poker skills

There’s no better way to become an unpredictable player and to successfully adjust your poker tournament strategy as needed than by working on optimizing your poker skills. Luckily, there are many opportunities to do this and see a boost in your win rate. You’ll obviously want to practice as much as possible by playing poker games online. If you have a limited bankroll, enjoy a balance between playing online poker for money and playing friendly games with friends and relatives.

Along with playing online casino games for practice, you could also look into hiring a poker coach, signing up to take a poker course and reading books about poker (just make sure they’re penned by respected table game professionals with notable track records!)

It’s also worthwhile to use the various learning tools at your disposal, such as poker analysis software and poker solvers, keeping in mind that some online casinos don’t allow for real-time assistance (RTA) tools when taking part in tournaments.

Play poker games online at BetMGM

BetMGM is your go-to for the best online poker games on the internet. Play Texas Hold’em poker, video poker and live dealer casino games to your heart’s content. Our online casino platform offers access to a variety of online poker tournaments, including 70 daily tournaments and the ever-popular Sit & Go tournaments for the thrill of playing at the final table without having to dedicate more than an hour of your time to take part.

New to the world of poker? Our virtual poker school is full of helpful online poker guides, poker tournament strategy tips and charts to help you get started.

If you’re looking to take a break from your favorite casino table game, we also specialize in a diverse gaming menu comprising online slots, variety games and much more.

Are you ready to explore what’s on offer? Then feel free to register in minutes via our convenient mobile portal. 

About the Author

BetMGM

Read More

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.