Sports & Games

Multi-way Dynamics

Daniel Negreanu

Lesson time 13:47 min

When the number of players at the table increases, your strategy should change to keep up. Daniel explains the nuances of multi-person pots and teaches you how to adjust your play for this unique situation.

Daniel Negreanu
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So most of the concepts we talk about involve you in a heads-up situation, right? So a lot of poker today, you'll find heads-up pots. But you're also going to find yourself in a lot of multi-way pots where there's three people in the hand to as many as eight or nine, and it's very important to notice that everything changes, frankly, from how often you should continuation bet to how strong your hand needs to be to continue against a bet, the average strength of the winning hand by the river, the likelihood of someone hitting the flop. All that changes drastically and we have to adjust our frequencies accordingly. So for example, if there's seven-way pot and the flop comes seven, eight, nine of hearts, and you have ace king of spades-- ace king of spades is a very pretty hand-- it is no longer worth a penny. It is no longer worth anything. You just can chuck that hand in and don't want to waste any chips trying to bluff at a seven, eight, nine of hearts flop. You'll hear the term-- if you've watched poker on television, you'll hear the term "polarized" a lot, and essentially what that means is a bet, for example, after the flop is going to be sometimes polarized where it's, like, either this player has a really, really strong hand or absolutely nothing. It means basically that they're not usually betting the middle hands. Now, typically, the more players in a pot, when you're dealing with a multi-way situation, the more polarized the bets are going to be. You're rarely going to see people betting the marginal hands, but they're going to bet the better hands and occasionally you'll see the bluffs. But really, I wouldn't even describe it as polarized. It's just way stronger, right, because overall, if you're betting into seven people, you just need to have a stronger hand because by the river, the average hand that you're going to win with is much stronger when there's many people in a pot. So obviously in multi-way pots, people's ranges are much more honest. You know, they're not going to be bluffing as often, and that holds true even more so when you're talking about a player in a short stack. So imagine the pot is 2,000 after a bunch of limps and a player goes all in for, like, his last 400. Like, he's not bluffing. He clearly likes something on that board, otherwise probably would have went check fold. So you can extrapolate information from stack size as well as multi-way, being that the ranges are going to be more honest, and especially when you combine both of them, then you can just assume that that player who's betting his last chips is going to have something that at least has some equity going forward past the flop. So as we've established, when you're in a multi-way pot, you want to be bluffing less, but not 0%, necessarily, because if you're bluffing 0%, guess what? Now everyone knows, when you bet, you have a super strong hand. So what you want to incorporate into your bluffing range here is what we call semi ...

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

I was always good at poker, I've just always had a knack for reading people. This class opened up a whole new world of poker to me. I never knew how much the numbers really ment until I took this class! Thank you so much Daniel!

Great class. Love Daniel's passion and insights.

Absolutely loved this class and was the whole reason I joined Masterclass. I've watched all the videos through and there's a lot of information. Now I need to go back through all the lessons and do the grunt work and apply all the things I've learnt.

Awesome...gave you a five in the hopes I learn enough to enter serious tournaments one day.


A fellow student

For some reason I can’t cast your lessons on to my TV but I can cast Phil Iveys???

Peter M.

Very helpful lesson. Helps put in perspective all the previous lessons up to this point. My confidence is increasing with each video.

Alex K.

I really enjoy the lessons and this one i think was by far one of the most important so far, however, as a player who always plays $300 - $400 events and rarely $1000 or higher, I would want to ask Daniel about his comment on this - where he says he would just chill back and wait for the card to come to him. Most of these smaller buy in events are 20 -30 min levels vs 1 hour - 2 hour levels in $100,000 events. With 20 min levels - how can you sit back and let the cards come to you? I did not understand that comment at all. Please advise? Otherwise - great context in the class so far.

Michael S.

I loved the specific information detailing the difference between multi way hands vs heads up or vs three way. I am truly enjoying the way Mr Negreanu explains, in detail, a thought process from a professional. Money well spent!

Andy C.

Great video - my biggest question is for example between 6:15-6:26, all players checked but one of them checked on purpose and actually had a strong hand, you in position raised and he/she calls then you fire a double barrel and they called again, would it be best to fold or continue the story assuming the board is still in your favor?

Jason L.

I like how Daniel talks about playing against "bad" players and I wish he continues on with this in another lesson. I play online a lot and one of the things I consistently see against lower ranked guys is they're going to go all-in when its just two people left. Your options are to either fold and lose about a third of your chips to the blinds or call and gamble your chips, but then you're at the mercy of the dealer. As I type this I am just coming off a loss where I was put in this situation and its very frustrating to play the whole game right and practice the lessons Daniel discusses while also losing because of the other person betting like a jackass. One of the things that Daniel talks about here that are extremely helpful is to fold when you're in a multi-way pot. Odds are that your bluff may fool one person but not several - especially if two of them have better hands.


I was just about to make the bubble sitting in CO position with 18 BB. Chip leader in position 4 bets de bb and i go all in with A´Q off suit. He calls shows pocket 10´s flop comes 3 4 9 rainbow turn 7 river 2. Was that that the right move?

Andrew G.

Chapter 14 and I still don't have any answers to what that line graph is in the background. I need to know!


Beginner player here with question - wouldn't bluffing from out of position (SB) not be the worst thing? Since it may give the impression you MUST have a monster hand to the in-position opponents?

Sam K.

Thank you Daniel, you open many doors for me, but i should say for bluffing like what you said on the boars with QJ3 and you have 56 the middle playe with J10 , most of the time on online when i do that the player with the jack called me and i lost it. I think what you said is correct but with professional player. Thank you again Sam