Had it with bad players making bad calls and ruining your poker game?  Well don’t tell them how bad of a play that was! Like the pros say:
” Don’t tap the tank and scare all the fish!”
Every poker player has had his or her aces cracked by some idiot who called a huge bet from out of position and cracked your monster with two stupid cards that he had no business playing.  The worst thing you can do after a terrible beat is to berate the other poker player for how bad they are.  The reason for this is you do not want the other player tightening up at the game, hanging on to your money, or influencing other players into not making bad calls like he just did because they are afraid you will lay into them.  Let that fish call those huge bets you make, that he/she has no business making, in hopes of winning your money back and then some from the fishy.
I personally never want to make another poker player feel bad at the table because 9 times out of 10 that player is going to do one of a few things:
  1. Leave the table – you do not want a big juicy fish fresh from his basement home game money to leave your table, especially if he just cracked your monster with a total garbage hand.
  2. Tighten up his play – most players when they are embarrassed are going to play much much tighter and stay to themselves.  There will not be a bunch of chit chat and the guy is going to go from super fish, to super nit.  Plus he might cause other players to tighten up and not make bad calls like super fish just did.
  3. The guy follows you to the parking lot to beat the crap out of you for making fun of him in front of the entire table – worst case scenario
The moral of this blog post is not to upset the players that are holding onto your money.  Berating another poker player at the table will not give you any advantages, and it most certainly will have negative effects.  I suggest using some of these techniques to get what you want from bad poker players.
Give a compliment or two:
Any poker player who wants to be successful wants to play with bad poker players, and you want those players to play as poorly as possible.  Being genualy nice to other players will always work to your advantage.  Complimenting another poker player on a big pot, or well played hand is a great way to earn the other players trust, and it will brand you as the nice guy at the table.  And no one wants to take the nice guys money, or at least less than the table jerk.  But be careful to not sound insincere when complimenting your fellow poker player, the worst thing you can do is say nice hand after you take a bad beat.  Everyone knows you are basically saying the poker equivilant as giving someone the middle finger in traffic.  So be nice to the bad poker players, they will always pay you off and they will love you for it.

Don’t Teach or Preach to the table-
Do not discuss previous hands or high level poker strategy when you are sitting at the poker table.  There is a time and a place for hand analysis, and playing at your local charity poker room, or casino is hardly the place to talk about strategy.  There is no reason to point out how much you know about poker to the other players at your table.  All this does it teach the bad players at your table a thing or two, and make you look like a narcissistic jerk who talks to much about how great he is at poker.
Be the crying sholder-
When bad poker players loose a hand, they always perceive it as a bad beat.  “dude I was playing cash the other night and my aces got cracked by 89off”  What the bad player doesn’t say is that he limped into a multi way pot with his aces and got drawn out on when the flop hit 89 in the face.  Remember don’t teach at the table!  Don’t tell your new poker buddy that he should have raised pre-flop to reduce the flop seers down, console him.  Tell him that you cannot believe that happened, and you can’t believe how bad that sucked.  Let the bad poker players continue to believe that they are getting unbelievable bad beats and let them continue to be bad players.

The bottom line for this poker strategy post is to remember the golden rule in poker:  “Don’t tap the tank”.  Poker players spend more time than any other hobbyist on learning this game, don’t just give your knowledge to other poker players without at least winning money off of them.  Remember that you should always be percieved as the nice guy, not the calculating shark that you are!
This is the first of many poker playing tips, and poker strategy blog topics from your friends at Chicago Charitable Games.  If you have a tip or a particular strategy topic that you would like to learn more about, or that you want to share with your favorite charity poker experience feel free to email CCG at Events@chicagocharitablegames.com or post a reply to one of our poker blog posts.