Home > The Passive Game

In a passive game, you should see a lot of flops. You can do so cheaply compared with the size of future bets, and you're getting good implied odds to play drawing hands, even if the game is tight. If the game is loose, you should play most of the speculative and gambling hands
You should fold most hands on the flop. If you don't flop a very good hand or a very good draw, just give it up and try another one. If there was no raise before the flop, then you won't be getting any pot odds for a draw. Loose pre-flop and tight on the flop is the way to play a passive spread-limit game.

Assuming you are playing at a limit that suits you, the important question is the ratio of bet sizes from early rounds to late rounds. If the betting limits increase drastically from the early rounds to the later rounds, you must play quite a bit differently than if the limits remain fairly steady. In mathematical terms, the greater the escalation of the limits, the higher your implied odds on early rounds. Thus, you tend to play looser early in games where you may win bigger bets later. When we say looser, we mean you take chances with hands that have some chance of improving to big hands. You do not play mediocre hands that can only improve to fairly good hands. In other words, if you cannot be reasonably sure that a hand will be the best hand, even if it improves, that hand is not playable. However, a hand like a high inside straight draw, which you would not play if the bets remained fairly steady, may be worth playing if you figure to win a big bet later on when you hit.

Of course, the games with the greatest escalation in limits from early to late rounds are pot-limit and no-limit. No-limit poker does not technically have an escalating limit since anyone may bet any amount right from the start, but usually the bets become increasingly larger as the hand progresses. Thus, as we saw in Page Seven, in pot-limit and no-limit games implied odds - not the odds a player is getting from the pot -- often become the primary consideration in betting or calling a bet.

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