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Sandbagging Is One of the Best Ways to Win at Poker

When you are new at playing poker one of the best things to do is to play a tight game. Poker requires a lot of precisions, quick judgments and body reading abilities that only comes with practice and till then the best strategy is to play conservatively.


Often times while playing a game of poker a player would draw a card take his time to review his cards, ponder over it dramatically and would then check. The opponent would take this as a sure sign that he has better cards than the other and encouraged by this he would place a big bet to scare off the other. At this point however, the power would be back in the game of the other player who would then raise the pot to a very high level and the show time the confidence of the opponent would be broken to shards when he sees that the other person has a stronger hand. He would only then know that he has been conned into thinking that he had the best cards. This is what sandbagging actually is.

Many players think that sandbagging is not sportsman like practice, which is quite untrue. This is actually a very appropriate and widely accepted practice in poker. Although there are a few games that have rules against sandbagging, in the rest of the games where no such rules apply it is perfectly acceptable to indulge in this tactic.

When to use it

The only to loose out here is you, if you do not sandbag you give an opportunity to your opponents to win and bet on hands that aren’t even strong in the first place. In a situation where you check and your opponent places a bet on the pot your immediate reaction would be to call if you have a strong enough hand. However, if you only call the overall amount in the pot would not drastically increase and even if you win the pot it wouldn’t be a large amount to make enough profit.

The ultimate truth here is that if you are up against a strong and a rational opponent and if you never sandbag you provide him with an opportunity to win money from you. The objective of playing poker is to win money, not to let someone else win from you. Sandbagging, when not against the rules is a perfectly ethical practice.

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Tips and advice

Sandbagging against strong opponents would make it a little easier for you to win money. However, try not to do it against weak opponents. Weak opponents would anyways provide you with enough opportunities to win without ever sandbagging. When you sandbag against weaker opponents it would make them more cautious and they would think twice before betting on medium weak hands since sandbagging would make them feel intimidated.

Using complex strategies and tactics against weak opponents is not advisable because not only will take the fun out of the game but it would make them more cautious and they would resort to conservative play. They would stop betting easily on weaker hands and thus less chance for you to win. Using sandbagging against them would only mean teaching them a new trick, and chances are the same trick might be used on you.

So the bottom line here is that sandbagging is a perfectly normal and widely accepted practice and often times it is necessary. Sandbagging against strong opponents can be beneficial but again weak opponents would only mean losses for you.