Navigating the many nuances of poker can be tough, but not impossible. Some of it, as this guide shows, can be a matter of common sense. Let’s say that you’ve finally taken the leap into online poker. Things are going good, and you start finding players that are weaker than you. You want to show them that you mean business, so you just string them along as much as possible.
Problem? You bet. Sandbagging in poker is when you have a great hand, and we mean a GREAT hand. Most of the time, you should lead the way by raising. Unfortunately, heavy sandbaggers think that it’s better to just limp in and let other players do the betting for them. This blows up and becomes problematic for a lot of reasons. There are three main reasons why you shouldn’t sandbag people in poker, and these points should be kept in mind if you’re going to play regularly.
1. There Are Better Tactics Out There
Sandbagging isn’t really “psychological warfare”, the way it’s billed online from time to time. It’s a weak strategy that tends to make you too reliant upon it. If it works, then it tends to be a very overused tool in your toolbox. But what happens when it stops working? What happens when people get wise to it?
2. Turns a Social Table into a War Table
In low stakes games, things get more of a social tinge than a competitive tinge. Sandbagging ruins that social feeling and makes it feel like you’re squeezing out any and all chances for other people to make a little money for themselves. There’s plenty of ways to play poker without taking the fun out of it for everyone else at the table. If you want to go head to head, you can do so at other tables. Try to get the flavor of the room rather than just barreling in.
3. Makes You Look Weaker Than You Should
If nothing else, sandbagging makes you look weak than you should. Poker image is something that matters a lot. You don’t want to just glide through the poker room looking like you’re not up on your game. Some players are stronger than you think. If you prove that you’re a weak player, you might be taken advantage of by the very people that you were trying to take advantage of. Be careful out there!
Can you think of other tips that we missed? What do you think? Should we embrace sandbagging, or are we right to skip it? Talk to us in the comments, we would love to hear from you!