Sandbagging in Poker
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If you are familiar with poker, then you must be well aware that poker in general rewards the players who ace at bluffing and deceiving their opponents. After all, as per a popular saying, poker is more of a game of people rather than just cards. Now, one such deception technique that can pretty much tilt the stakes of any poker game in your favor is sandbagging. The name itself sounds interesting enough already? Then keep reading because in this post we have highlighted the meaning and the ideal sandbagging poker strategy.
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In poker, a player is said to be sandbagging when he attempts to play a strongly made hand rather passively in order to deceive his opponent into thinking that he does not hold a good enough hand. To put it simply, sandbagging poker is an act of deception that is mostly employed by players to bluff a strong hand as a weak one. Players who indulge in sandbagging poker first provoke their opponents into betting more by simply calling or checking their bets and thereafter start raising and betting heavily once the pot grows big enough.
Now, let us understand the concept of sandbagging poker further with the help of a short example.
Let’s assume you are playing a game of standard Texas Hold'em wherein you have been dealt Aces of hearts and 10 of diamonds for starting hands. The flop round comes and 3 cards, King of spades, Jack of diamonds and 7 of clubs, are dealt face up. Now, if you look closely you currently hold a straight draw. Hence, you are in a pretty strong position because just one Queen card and you are close to completing a straight. However, instead of betting aggressively, you decide to bet weakly as if you were holding just a pair in hopes that your opponent will take the bait and start raising aggressively. Such an act of bluffing a strong hand is known as sandbagging poker. Now let’s assume your opponent does take the bait and starts betting aggressively. Now all you have to do is keep calling your opponent’s raises even though you can re-raise without any fear. Thereafter, once the pot grows big enough just change the course and start raising and betting aggressively and you will be well on your way to winning the pot.
When a player sandbags, they generally stand a chance to win much more money than they would have made by playing aggressively and just forcing everyone to fold.
There is little doubt to the fact that sandbagging poker is one of the best deception techniques any player can employ in a poker game. But to use this technique effectively, you need to keep some key considerations in mind:
1) You must only indulge in sandbagging poker when you are sure your hand is arguably the absolute best or invulnerable, otherwise you stand a chance of being outdrawn on the later streets.
2) Before indulging in sandbagging poker, always take a brief read on your opponent. Thereafter only go forward once you are sure that your opponent will definitely start paying much wider if you bluff the strength of your hand.
Vital to this, whenever it comes to sandbagging poker, always target the aggressive and if needed the manic league of players rather than the tight ones. Why? Because when you are sandbagging, your sole intention is to build the pot and to do the same, you need someone who can bet aggressively and pay widely.
It is imperative for you to remember here that though sandbagging poker is a great deception technique, it must be used judiciously. Precisely because if you sandbag excessively you stand to hamper this technique’s effectiveness, as after a point of time opponents would easily identify when you are sandbagging.
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