This is the fourth and final article concerning the different table images. My advice would be to master each image so that you can adjust to any table.
Playing unpredictable is definitely a deadly image when mastered correctly. I absolutely hate players who play this way. You can never tell what they are raising, when they are bluffing or when they have the nuts. The problem is that most people get carried away with this style.
When to Play Unpredictable
If you are good, you can always play unpredictable. It is a style that can consistently win, day-in, day-out. The trick to mixing it up is knowing when to do so. You must play the player rather than the cards. You usually want to play unpredictable against really good opponents so that they can't peg you on a hand. Experience will tell you when to switch it up and when to play the nuts.
The key to an unpredictable table image is to always switch gears. Just when your opponents think you are going to play tight, play loose. When you first sit at a table decide what the status of it is. If it is loose, begin by playing tight. Just when they think you are tight, mix it up and play a little looser.
When you are playing loose make sure to bet the flop if it's a heads-up situation. Most of the time you will take the pot since your opponent will generally miss the flop. If he calls and a scare card hits on the turn, such as an ace for a low-card flop, you probably want to fire another bullet on the turn as well.
Knowing When You Are Beat
To become a good player you must know when you are beat, and fold. It takes discipline but it must be done. I will let you in on two really good indicators that you are beat:
- Re-raise on the turn: You are usually beat here. Most players will not re-raise on the turn unless they have a hand.
- Raise or re-raise on the river: 95% of the time when an opponent raises or re-raises you on the river and you are forced to question whether you have the best hand, you are beat.
Learn to recognize these situations and fold. Folding when you have a good hand is tough, but it separates the good players from the bad players.
To recap, always switch gears against the really good opponents. Pay attention to their every move and read them well. Playing unpredictable requires you to read your opponents on the flop, turn, and river. Recognize tricky situations as opportunities to fold.