Playing opposite from the table was one of the most stand-out strategies suggested in Doyle Brunson´s book – Super System 2. It offers the opinion that if you are playing amongst a group of tight players you should play exceptionally loose, whereas if you are on a particularly liquid table you would do better to play more selectively.
Although the strategy has its supporters and the great man has contributed a lot to poker over the years, there are pros and cons of following this advice, and going against the style of the table may not always be profitable, whether you are playing on land or in the best online casino Australia has to offer.
Playing tight against a selection of loose players is always a good idea. There is hardly anything revolutionary in that suggestion and you will get greater value from your winning hands the more players that enter the pot.
However, playing tight when everybody else is playing loose will mean that you are infrequently entering pots with top hands that have a greater chance of being cracked – effectively, you are not going to win so often, even though you win more when you do so. Ultimately, it descends into a lottery – only by playing tight on a loose table, you have fewer tickets than anybody else!
The reverse scenario – playing loose on a tight table – can create greater damage to your bankroll. Although you are going to steal a fair number of blinds and win the odd pot with a good set of cards, every time one of your opponents gets a premium hand he is going to take on your outrageous betting, and win nearly all the time.
Imagine what happens when you are playing loosely on a full ring table with eight tight aggressive players! Everything you may gain from collecting a handful of blinds is going to be lost, plus interest, to the player(s) with the better cards. On a nine player table, you are going to get dealt the best hand one-in-nine times.
There are little tricks you can apply to influence those odds in your favour, however if you are overstaking your bets to dissuade other players from betting against you, then your odds of winning swing dramatically away from you.
Doyle Brunson´s initial book – “Super System (1) – A Course in Power Poker” – earned a fantastic reputation back in the seventies as it was, at the time, the most comprehensive book on poker. Brunson received a lot of flak from fellow professionals about publishing it, as it gave amateur players an insight into the tips and tricks regularly employed by the pros and enabled them to bridge the void between the two schools.
His second book – “Super System 2”, published in 2005 featured much of the same information, although the inclusion of sections on Stud, Triple Draw, Omaha, Hi/Lo and Flop Limit strategies are useful. Overall, there are better books about poker now available and “SS2” includes many shameless plugs for Brunson´s online poker site. However the original makes interesting reading, and there are some strategies in the follow-up book, particularly amongst the less popular games, that make both books worth a look.