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Juicing a Table
My favorite part of playing poker live is getting to juice a table. You'll see lots of the pros do this as well. Not only does it make you more money, it's just fun.
I try not to stop talking the entire time I'm playing. As long as you aren't pissing people off, it's a perfect way to have a good time. If you're polite, and people like you, constantly talking is just another distraction for the other players.
The first part in juicing a table is keeping the energy up. The more fun you can keep everyone having at the table, the more money you will be able to extract from them.
By far my favorite way to induce action and keep the energy up on a table is to get some prop bets going. If you just want to get some energy into the table, I like to find someone who will play the part at the other end of the table.
Start up a red/black prop bet (if all three cards on the flop are red, he pays you; all black, you pay him).
Every single flop you want to be cheering for your cards; cheer when you hit; get other people cheering with you. Make a presentation of paying and getting paid when you win or lose.
Be noisy, but don't be rude. You don't want to piss people off by being loud, that just gets you kicked out. Your goal is to get the whole table smiling and laughing.
The best prop bet to get action on the table is the deuce-seven game. Thanks to the fourth season of High Stakes Poker, many amateur poker players now know what this game is. Before the show, it used to be much more difficult to get the game going on lower-limit tables.
The idea is simple: everyone who's playing the game on the table agrees that if you win a pot with deuce-seven on any street, they all pay you the agreed-upon amount. This gets people bluffing with deuce-seven, and gets people making big calls thinking you're betting deuce-seven.
It gets the whole table gambling and having a good time. And the best part? It's one more thing for the amateurs to think about. It's always best to have them distracted from the game.
I highly recommend you don't prop-bet amounts large enough to influence the game. You shouldn't affect the way the game is being played because of your antics.
If the prop bet amount becomes larger than the pot amounts, it will affect the game, and not in a good way. You want people to play stupid poker, but if the game changes, not them, they'll notice and get uncomfortable.
If your games need an action injection, then straddling is always an easy way to get that going. If you can get a few people in a row to straddle, it's usually easy to get the rest of the players to do it.
Cheer for the other players when they straddle; make them feel special for doing it. You've just convinced someone who rarely plays a hand to put two bets into the pot in bad position. That's always good for you.
Following the same logic, follow a straddle with a raise blind. On a $1/$2 blind game, the blinds would go $1, $2, $4, $6.
Instead of $3 dead, there is now $13 in the pot. You've just created a pot pre-flop before anyone has seen cards. This induces action, but it's mostly at your own expense.
This move is strictly for action-inducing purposes. It's another way to convince a table you're not as tight as you really are. It looks like you want to gamble if you're making moves like this, when in reality $6 is a cheap advertisement.
Straddling does not give you an advantage. Some people think that it gives them an advantage, because they get to act last pre-flop.
This feeling comes from not being confident to play in early position. But really all you have done is increase the size of the pot for you to play all subsequent streets out of position.
As the majority of hands you can be dealt are rags, you're more often than not doing this with the least hand equity. Therefore, straddling without making a show of it to induce action is adding nothing to your game.
Tilting a player is the favorite pastime of all professionals. An easy way to tilt a player with a huge ego is to bluff them off a pot, then make a deal of showing it to the entire table.
Tilting occurs naturally when people get sucked out on. People will just go on tilt and self-destruct. You want to take advantage of these times. The more money you can take off someone on tilt, the better the odds they'll remain on tilt.
After they recover, some players are even thrown back onto tilt by just bringing up the beat again. "I still can't believe that he hit that two-outer ... that was a huge pot." Be sure to remind them of the money, since losing it is what caused the tilt in the first place.
On the surface, you're being a nice guy at the table; in reality, it gets them thinking about the hand again. When a new player comes you can get the tilted player to tell them the story of the sick beat.
You want players to tilt, and you want to keep them on tilt. Money bet at you in anger and spite is worth just as much as money legitimately bet.
Do yourself, and your roll, a favor. Choose a good table and a good seat, and adjust your game according to the seat you're in. Juice the table to keep the seat profitable, or to change the dynamics at a weak table.
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