Most people say they play in a normal style waiting for premium hands and see how it goes.

But I have found out that in online poker tournaments when at least 2-3 people are all-in making crazy calls with low suited connectors or something like QT suited pays me off. The big advantage for me is I play much better with a big stack (I guess everyone does). And, then I become reasonably tight and never worried with getting into trouble with AA or KK as I have got enough chips. Obviously this is a risky style and once you are out you need to start a new tournament. But, in online tournaments I am not worried as there are so many of them - not this one then another one.

What are thoughts about it? In a long run is a normal play advantageous or sometimes gambling is better?

  • Waiting for premium hands doesn't sound as normal style to me ;) Obviously this requires more context. For example, in MTT this is a great loser play as blinds are going to get you, while in a non-turbo SNG is often the winning style in early stages.
    – user1165
    Commented Sep 3, 2015 at 15:25

2 Answers 2


It really depends on your stack. Sometimes you'll get to a point where you just need to gamble. When you have a few BB left you don't have the luxury of time to sit back and wait for solid hands. Also depends greatly on the type of tournament you're playing. A regular speed tournament plays very differently to a hyper-turbo tournament.

Also I wouldn't say waiting for premium hands is a normal style, you'll be missing out on good situations in position, value, etc, etc if you autofold anything that isn't premium.


I played "the barn door" in online tournaments and cash games. This means cards central to the lineup, suited (ideally) and not being afraid to call or bet to the River. 7/8 has probably raked more pots for me than any other two cards. Next would be 9/10, Q/10, J/9, J/7, and the unlikely J/4. Believe it or not I fold pocket Jacks unless I can see a very cheap flop and I treat AA the same way. The fewer the players in a hand the more centrist I prefer to be assigning higher value to 9/10 for preflop raising than AA heads up. If you play much poker I am sure you have seen this very typical "bad play" pan out more often than not, especially in dominant position. One example I can think of was a tournament in which I had been making calls and showing my folds win or loose. The table took note that I was doing this with barn door hands. As I straighted up on an opponents' pocket JJ and busted him calling to the river, he rebought and I got AA the next hand dealt, shoving like a maniac that didn't care, taking advantage of his steaming disposition I busted him twice in two hands, once cracking his pretty pocket pair, and once catching a pretty pocket pair of Aces myself while he called with 8/10 , something similar to what I had just busted him with. The odds were irrelevant to the psychology because it a[ppeared that I was just being a bully deepstacked on the second hand, where I had already taken the tournament lead having 1/2 the chips in play making loose calls and showing marginal hands, so, I manipulated the odds of a call preflop all-in by appearing to be reckless and getting aces UTG1 after attaining a huge chip advantage playing barn doors. "barn doors" as in "can't hit the broad side of a barn" due to bad aim of "bullets", "rockets", etc...

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