Sports & Gaming

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.

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Topics include: Bets Become More Polarized • Players Are More Honest • Incorporate Semi-Bluffs Into Multi-Way Pots • Exploit Openings to Apply Pressure on Opponents • Capitalize on the Opportunity to Bluff When in Position • Don’t Slow Play as Much.Steer Away From Putting Opponents on Specific Ranges • Focus on Hands That Are Easier to Play • Extract Extra Value at the Lower Stakes • Variance in Multi-Way Pots


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 ...

About the Instructor

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.”

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Daniel Negreanu

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