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Sports & Gaming

Mixed Strategy

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 18:30 min

A predictable player is an easy mark. Daniel teaches you how to keep your opponents guessing by adding layers to your game and shares his personal method for randomizing sub-optimal plays.

Daniel Negreanu
Teaches Poker
Join Daniel at the poker table. Learn his strategies to advance your cash, tournament, and online play.
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We talk about no always, no never when it comes to poker. And the importance of that is the fact that you don't want to be so easily read. So sometimes, especially today, a lot of players develop what's called a mixed strategy. Essentially, what that means is, OK, so they have King-Jack. Sometimes they call. Sometimes they fold, and sometimes they reraise in the exact same scenario. So to use a real life example, let's say for example, the player next to the button raises, and you're on the button, and you have King-Jack. Well, this is a situation where you may want to use a mixed strategy based on various factors. If you're going to play with this guy or this girl for a long period of time, there is going to be tendencies that you both will give away, right? So one of the ways that you can make it more difficult to be read is to play the King-Jack three different ways. Sometimes, maybe if you feel some strength, you fold the King-Jack. Other times, maybe you just call, and take a flop. Other times, you may actually play aggressively in three-bet. The key thing this does is it makes it far more difficult for your opponent to put you in a very specific range. He can no longer say, well, the player just called, so you know, they can't have aces. They can't have kings. Well, the player three-bet, so they can't have King-Jack, because they normally call or fold. The more tricky you can get, which is essentially what mixed strategy is going to be about. It's about being tricky, adding layers to your game, so you don't-- you're not that player that everyone says, well, they three-bet. They have aces or kings. What is board coverage exactly? Well, when you're a player who plays a lot of hands-- right, you know, you play six-four-suited, or you play 7-3, you play aces, you play kings, you play all those hands-- what that means is that any time the flop comes out, you could theoretically have hit that flop, right? So it's a little more difficult to play against players after the flop when the range of hands they can have is still rather wide, right? So we call that board coverage, right? And you don't want to obviously play hands like seven-deuce and 7-3, because those are a little too wide. But there are some hands you want to add to your arsenal, like six-seven-suited or five-six-suited, pocket sixes, pocket fives that give you some board coverage. Now what that means is if you play a three-bet pot, and your opponent knows that you only three-bet with really, really high cards, when the flop does come 4-5-6, a dangerous board like that, he can eliminate you from having a very, very strong hand. You could still have aces or kings, but that's-- that's the cap of your range. That's the best you could ever have, whereas if you have a much more balanced range in these situations, where you have board coverage, because you're sometimes three-betting with six-seven-suited and seven-eight-suited. Now your opponent can't take such liberties...

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Put yourself across the felt from Daniel Negreanu, the biggest live tournament poker winner of all time. The six-time World Series of Poker champion teaches poker strategy, advanced theory, and practice through hand-reviews of his winning games. Learn how to sharpen your mental game through demos on reading opponents and spotting tells. Join Daniel at the table to increase your win rate, grow your ROI, and get your game “in the money.”


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

Absolutely fantastic course. I haven't played poker since the 7-card stud days, and this was a brilliant, lively and enlightening re-introduction to the game.

Different ways to approach the game and a better mindset

Amazing Masterclass. Useful and full of key takeaways.

learned a lot thanks! I would like to know more on as an beginner/intermediate how to improve. obviously I don't have anything level 4 like u call it and I go to the poker table in the casino quite often but im not sensing any big improvements. sometimes I lose sometimes I win I would say about 50/50


Monica S.

Playing a 1/2 NLH game, in the small blind with a small pair (55 or lower) there are 4 limpers in the pot. Would you recommend raising from the small blind or just call to see a flop? If I were to raise, how much of a raise should I raise to get some people to fold so I have less opponents going to the flop? Small blind is always a tricky position for me.

A fellow student

Hi, I'm a beginner, playing NL2 online and I tried playing TAG, only playing the top 25% of my hands and C-Betting a lot but I actually feel like I'm winning a lot more when playing around 40-50% of my hands and waiting for the flop, hoping for a hit on the board. Is this something that is recommended for a newbie like me? Based on Daniel lesson's, it sounds like I should not bluff at all. Any tips for a lost player? :) Thanks

Bearded M.

Worth noting - when you’re playing *a* weekend in Vegas basically never use this chapter...

Matt G.

The workbook mentions watching games on Twitch.Tv. I went there and it is just a mess. Anyone know any good channels there (or on Youtube) to see a good game?

Paul M.

In the K-Q and K-K example on the 10-6-2 flop, DN says that we should c bet some of the time and check some of the time as to not make ourselves exploitable. However, if we were to c bet 100% of the time with both of these hands, then how can it be exploitable because our range will always consist of strong overpairs, weak overcards as well as a set if we bet all of these hands in the same manner. Obviously I would adjust depending on the playing style of opponent but if you play the same way against a particular player, then why can't it be 100% with this range because they will be guessing whether you have it or not every time? It's like in an earlier lesson where he says we should always make our opening raises a standard size so that there are no hand strenght tells. I have always bet the same amount for each level of a tournament, so if I always bet 100% of the time with big pairs, A-K through Q-J and pocket tens, sixes or twos, then isn't this a balanced range anyway?


I agree with what Daniel says but you have to be playing with decent players. If you are with some players that will NEVER fold top pair, or chase a lot of str8s or flushes, regardless of your bet size, it's hard to incorporate all of these strategies because the other players don't have any strategies other than playing the hands in front of them...they don't even THINK about what you may have.

Mark B.

First Post 1. I am s Novice. 2. Thanks for easily understandable videos. 3. Believing then that I need to do this work *away* from the table, how do I physically do that? WHAT do I do away from the table, and HOW do I begin going about doing it? Thanks.

Bryan I.

Sorry I am not really a poker player but I do not understand the 'fold sometimes' strategy. When you fold you don't show your cards do you? So how do your opponents know what you did? Since they don't know what you folded with, you aren't really accomplishing anything. Unless you show your cards when you fold? Do people really do that? And if you do, aren't you then just calling attention to the reason you are folding? Does that make it as effective as a "believable" fold?

Tessa W.

A mixed strategy works best if you play regularly against a lot of the same people. For a recreational player who plays maybe one 4-hour session per week, the mixed strategy will often go unnoticed.

Scott B.

Thinking about the heads up c-bet situation with AK. If you c-bet 100% of the time (in that situation), I would think your opponent would be unable to extract any information about your hand based on bet-sizing. What is the downside risk that I’m missing? Thanks, Scott B.