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TIGHT GAMES

In a tight games semi-bluffs increase in value, and even pure bluffs can be profitable since tight players are more likely to fold. Paradoxically, though, legitimate hands don't have nearly the value in a tight games that they would have in an average or loose games. The reason should be obvious. When you bet a legitimate hand for value in a tight games, you will be called only by players who have strong hands themselves because tight players starting.

The mathematical principle here is the same as the principle that governs bluffing against more than one opponent requirements are higher. In a loose games an opponent with two small pair at the end will probably call your bet with aces up. But when you bet that same hand in a tight games especially if both of your aces are showing and you get called, you cannot feel too comfortable. The caller probably has you beat.

Many aggressive players fail to devaluate their legitimate hands when they sit down in a tight games. They steal money with bluffs and semi-bluffs, but when they get a decent hand, they wind up losing. Then they mumble to themselves, "If I just never got a hand, I'd be doing great because it's with my good hands that I lose." What they fail to realize is that in a tight games the value of a hand goes down because players who stay in the pot will have good hands themselves better hands on average than players in a regular games would have.

In a tight games, then, you loosen up on bluffs and semi-bluffs, but you tighten up on your legitimate hands. Nor would you play as many drawing hands in a tight games, since you'd be getting pot odds sufficient to make it worthwhile less often, and when you did hit, you wouldn't get paid off as much as you would in an average or in a loose games.

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