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On the River, and Reading the Maniac

If you play a hand by checking and calling approach you even need to consider the ups and down of betting out on fifth street. The decision on the last card is crucial one, and betting rather than checking and calling might sometimes be correct. Even when you bet for value on the river in this case and are not called, you have certainly lost much as it seems when you consider only that your rival may have been persuaded to bluff had you checked. The reason is that when he folds, you have at least kept your strategies hidden. He does not see your cards and so you have not shown your check and call approach to your rival. He will then be less likely to adjust to it by minimizing his bluffing frequency in the long run.

Recall that because you are up against a player who bluffs very often and can generally be counted on to play aggressively, does not mean you can stop thinking and estimation that you usually put into playing a hand. Do not play what many average players play.

They go for someone as a habitual bluffer, and call him down imprudently any time they have anything with the ace-high or better, irrespective to think how the board develops and how the rival may have adjusted his play. It is often clear that they are throwing money away, for some maniacs do think and do not bet without anything. However, it is not unlikely for a maniac to change his play during the session. Sometimes, they do so as a strategy manipulates, while other times it may be only be a reaction of how much he is winning or losing.

I remember playing against one maniac several times. I made a lot of money against this player, but I was always surprised to see how well he survived at poker despite of his poor play. His secret (I think that he himself was unaware of it) was that players often gave him tremendous action, always assuming that he had nothing. They obviously picked off his bluffs often, but they also paid him off all the way much often than they should have. Also to the extreme, they often took something like high pair with an average kicker and continued in raising attacks with him.

They did not adjust to his play to find when he was more likely to have a real hand or when his raises has exceeded what he would be inclined to do with his bluffs or semi-bluffs. He therefore won many pots that were forced by multiple wasted bets from his rivals.

Always keep reading a maniac's hand despite his illogical starting approaches. Those players who identify that hand reading is useless against a maniac because "he could have anything" are declining the significant part of their edge on such a player. Though, he may be difficult in reading, if you take what you do know about his starting approaches, betting patterns and tendencies, observe the board as it develops and note for tells, you will gain profitable information to use in play against such an "unpredictable" maniac. If you combine with his aggression against him, remember the ideas discussed above, you should have a strong base for your trip "into the storm."

Continue Here: One Reason To Re-raise A Maniac