Planned Play

I’ve adopted the strategy of making planned plays in Poker. I usually make my concrete plan on the flop, from a loose plan preflop. I’ve found that this strategy takes my play to a new level, and I’m beginning to conjecture why it works so well.

I think the main reason it works well for me is that it takes my mind off my cards, and off the strategy, and puts me in observation mode. It’s the same reasoning as waiting until your turn to look at your cards: it’s not that you give away information when you look, it’s that you miss information being given to you because you’re busy thinking about your hand.

It also allows you to focus on acting and social manipulation without delay. You can convincingly act like you were gold from the flop (only if the flop is paired or scary in some way, though) when the turn comes, because you were expecting to act like that. If you wait until the turn to make that decision, your acting will be nervous and hesitant.

Namaste points out a big flaw in planned plays in poker: anything can happen on the flop or the turn. I’ll point out a key part of my strategy to counter this. My antennae are up when I’m playing. If a card comes that matches a hand I put somebody on, or that is inconsistent with my plan, I make a new plan. Most of the time this plan is to go into shut-down. But if there’s a big pot, then I’ll reconsider everything and think about how I could possibly get this pot.

In general, making plans and deciding when to follow through is just easier than deciding what to do at every stage of the game. That’s why I think it works.

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