Shorthanded Common Mistake Not adjusting to the tempomood of the game

Shorthanded games have different styles. Sometimes they will play much like full games. This can happen when most of the players are taking it easy, trying to play solidly, and no one is trying to be a bully too often. The players may in fact be mostly used to full games, so as a group, they are not as aggressive as most shorthanded players can be. However, there are other times when the game will play much faster, with many raises and re-raises. In these wilder games, it is not rare to see half of the pre-Flop rounds being three bet by one of the players. This means the pot will get big even before the Flop, so raising and semi-bluffing in the later rounds becomes a more important strategy. A fold by any of the players will add equity to any of the remaining players. In a slower tempo game with a more passive mood, semi-bluffs will need to work at a higher rate for them to have value since the pots will typically be smaller.

Generally, when the tempo of the game is faster and the mood is aggressive, semi-bluffing and raising are more useful strategies because the pots will be bigger. When the tempo is slower and the mood is passive, the correct strategy is generally to play more conservatively (of course you can still selectively steal). Some great players have an ability to mold the tempo and the mood of the game in the direction they want. For example, if they want a faster tempo, they may try to trash talk the players they think are susceptible to being manipulated, get them on tilt, and all of a sudden, the game is played faster and more aggressively. It is important to adjust to the tempo and the mood of the game, and useful to control and manipulate it.

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