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Tips For Playing Multi-way Pots Poker
Tadas Peckaitis
Posted on 10 Feb, 2023
By Tadas Peckaitis
On 10 Feb, 2023
By Tadas Peckaitis
On 10 Feb, 2023

Tips For Playing Multi-way Pots

Because of the number of factors that come into play, multi-way pots can represent a challenge even for the most experienced poker players, let alone players who are new to poker.

Multi-way pots are one of the most complex areas of No Limit Hold’em, and they require hours and hours of study and years of experience, so explaining them in one article would be impossible.

With that said, you can still follow some general tips to put yourself in the best possible position to improve in this game segment.

Good Hand Selection

Your poker hands selection is the first thing you want to improve to become better in multi-way pots. Just because you are getting good odds preflop does not mean you should play every hand that looks pretty.

This is a mistake that most players make in these situations because they don’t know that even though they are getting a good price on a call, getting to the showdown with a middle-strength hand or realizing your equity is much harder in multi-way pots than in heads up pots.

To avoid calling preflop just to fold on the flop because your hand is not strong enough against multiple opponents, you should first improve your preflop hand selection. This means continuing only with cards that can flop monster hands or monster draws.

The good idea is to include hands like suited aces, pocket pairs, or big suited connectors. These starting hands can flop flushes, sets, straight or nut flush draws, and broadways draws. In most cases, these hands will allow you to continue or make your opponents have the second-best hand and put a lot of money into the pot.

ALSO READ: A Straight Flush: Fold Or Hold?

Lowering Your Bluffing Frequency

Secondly, if your opponents implement correct hand selection preflop, they will have more hands that can stand multiple barrels than in heads-up pots as well. We are not saying you should never bluff in multi-way pots because you would open yourself to being exploited. What we are saying is that you should be more selective with your bluffs.

Bluffing with hands that have no equity will almost never be the correct play in multi-way pots. However, semi-bluffing with hands that allow you to either take the pot right now or improve on the next streets is a good idea.

In addition to hand selection, you should always consider your position when debating if you should bluff in these situations. The position holds even more power in multi-way pots than in heads-up situations, and your bluffs will be much more successful when you have a position on your opponents.

Protecting Equity

And lastly, protecting your hand in multi-way pots is much more important than in a heads-up situation. While slowplaying might be the right choice when facing a single player, for the most part, you should stay away from it when facing multiple opponents.

The main reason for this is that when you are up against more than one hand, the equity runs much closer, increasing the chance of your hand getting outdrawn. For this reason, when you have a good hand, you should charge your opponents for each extra card they want to see. 

With that said, slowplaying in multi-way pots can be a good idea when you have a lock on the pot, meaning a hand that can’t be outdrawn while facing aggressive opponents.

If you have the nuts against multiple passive players, you should probably lean to betting, as players tend to play even more passively when they are up against several opponents, and the last thing you want to do is play a small pot with a big hand in a multi-way pot.  

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