Anyone can win a big pot with good cards. It is much more difficult to win a hand without good cards, with only the brain as the only aid. Try to do the exact opposite of what you usually do and learn something new. This somewhat special experiment can get you out of your usual comfort zone and give you some new perspectives.

Imagine we throw away the usual templates for what is considered standard games, and you mix things up a bit? Recently, I thought of one of my favorite episodes of the TV series Seinfeld, where George Costanza gets a revelation as he gazes out over the ocean. “Jerry’s not working. It just doesn’t work, ”he tells Jerry Seinfeld. “Why did it happen to me like that? I was so promising. Today it became very clear to me that every decision I made in my life was a mistake. My life is quite the opposite of what I wanted. Every instinct I have had, in every aspect of my life, whether it be clothes or food, everything has been completely wrong ”.

George later tries to do the exact opposite of what he has done before, work, diet and all other aspects of his life are turned upside down. The result seems to be good, and George manages to turn his gray everyday life into something positive.

The question then is, how does this relate to poker? Yes, quite a lot actually. A word that is still circulated in poker circles is “standard”. Everything is standard all the time. Getting all the chips with AK versus QQ is standard. Raising JJ when everyone has limped in is standard. View large bets on the river with two pairs – when straight and flush options are available – are also standard ..

But think about trying to get some more of George Constanza’s revelation in our game. What if we throw away the concept of “standard” and mix up our game, then what happens?

With this thought circulating, I decided to play a poker round where I would do the opposite of what I usually do. In general, I only play poker in the evenings, but this time I played during the day around lunchtime. I also usually play on tables with low or medium bet levels. Now I sat down on a high stakes table. Usually I’m really excited to get started, this time I made some observations on how the players played before I jumped in.

When I start playing, I feel prepared. Doing the opposite was more difficult than I had imagined. I threw my first hand, a 74 off suit. Then I threw my second, third and fourth hand as it was bad starting hands. I reminded myself that now I really should do the opposite of what I would normally do.

My fifth hand was J2 in the small blind, and player A from the first position raised, player B again raised the pot from the dealer button. Now the thoughts began to scream that I had to throw my hand, but I decided to do the opposite, and instead of throwing myself I chose to raise the pot again. Player A thought carefully and chose to fold, Player B immediately did the same. I began to do just the opposite.

This is how my poker session continued. I limped with hands I would normally have raised, and I bid on the river where I would normally have checked. Doing the opposite felt right and comfortable. Of course, it is a dangerous and risky way to play. It may not be durable for long-term poker success, but a perfect way to refresh poker gameplay and increase excitement. Perhaps most important is that you can look at your own poker game from a different angle.

After checking the raiser with a flush draw that did not go in and causing my opponent to collapse, I felt that a thought had taken root. It is a thought I have thought a thousand times, but which I now knew for the first time in my body. I had to write it down: “Win ​​pots with the brain, not the cards. You will get a better result. Anyone can win a pot with good cards. ”Being able to really do it in practice will provide a fantastic advantage in cash games. Test yourself to do the opposite for a period of time and see if your game can get any better.