Sports & Games

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
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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.

Very good general overview. Opened my mind to concepts I need to research a bit more in depth. Look forward to applying some of these concepts in house games with coworkers.

It's been great overall. gave some pointers and new ways to look at things What was mostly missing for me was more hands review

It's a very good course. I'm going to recommend it to my girlfriend who is trying to learn poker. As a low level professional it was a lot of stuff I'd heard before, but nonetheless a good refresher on the fundamentals and a little bit of stuff I hadn't heard.

Access to the mind of a master is pricelss. THAT is the value of these courses. I learned quite a bit from this class. The visual aspect of the training is in some ways superior to book learning in that it adds that extra level of impactful information that you need to go over the top. Well done Daniel.


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.

Michael S.

there is nothing like real life MTT and Cash play with online to back up some tests you want to do. my advice is to go to a low level tourney and try some of the play. but, have a plan and process in mind before and don't just sit down and go willie nillie. flopzilla is good for looking at what if's.

Joe K.

I have found value in adding the suited connectors into my range, I did get in trouble a couple of times playing really small suited connectors but that was a learning experience. I have tried hands like KJo or QTo but I find myself getting beat with better kickers, maybe I am just not reading my opponents well enough yet? Also the lab that he was speaking about, has he referenced that before and I missed it? What type of software is available to use for training? Does anyone know?

Phil D.

What would be your advice for handling MTT's where you may not be sitting with the same people nearly long enough to gather an optimum amount of information?