The Play Every Hand Game

To deflect charges of being “on lockdown” I started up a challenge with two other players at the table to see who could play more hands. I have the reputation of being a tight player and it’s true that I play less hands than a lot of my opponents. Unfortunately, I think this is just the best way to play 10-handed PLO. It’s often not possible to turn a profit with garbage hands, even if you have a big edge post-flop. But a breath of fresh air is always nice and if nothing else it makes the game more fun. I don’t particularly like folding, it just happens to be the right play pretty often.

Like the trips-and-quads game, the no folding game adds a new wrinkle and it can be fun to figure out the best strategies for new rules. I figured I would be giving away some EV, but as things went on I started to wonder if this rule actually helped me. I felt like I might have been adjusting to the new rules better than my opponents. For example, marginal multi-way hands tend to be better candidates for aggression pre-flop, while nutty one-way hands should often be played passively. Something like 9763 double-suited is often a 3bet-or-fold hand. If you’re determined to play every hand, you can 3bet it. On the other hand, something like AT83 single-suited works better as a call. If you want to stay out of trouble you can, and maybe should, fold both of these hands, but if you are committed to playing a lot of hands it helps to know which to raise and which to call.

It also didn’t hurt that I immediately started god moding (straight flush vs. nut flush, etc.). At least one old man quit the game in bewilderment and terror. At the end of the session I was left wondering if I should open up my game more. At the very least, if you’re comfortable in the games you’re playing and can take a losing session or two, I think it’s a good idea to take a session now and then to drastically change your game and see what happens. Even if it doesn’t work the perspective you gain is likely to be very valuable.

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