If you are a poker player, you must have heard by now there are two main styles of playing poker. There is a GTO style, and there is an Exploitative style.
But this is a mistake some players make when they decide to play just one poker style. All the best players in the world use a hybrid style that mixes both main styles.
We should use GTO as our baseline and adjust to one or another side (aggressive or passive action) depending on our opponent. This is where exploitation comes into play.
If we know that our opponent deviates far from the baseline, we can exploit him and increase our win rate.
- To be better at exploiting, you will need HUD. Learn more about HUDs in our article!
Two Ways of Exploiting
Hard Exploiting is exploiting somebody to the absolute maximum at every opportunity.
For example, if somebody is overfolding, you will use every single combo to bluff, even the ones with decent showdown value.
The negative side of this type of exploitation is high visibility, so observing and good opponents can adjust correctly.
Soft Exploiting is more of a silent but deadly style that lets some advantages pass but maximizes the opportunities to exploit in the future.
For example, if Big Blind is overfolding heavily, we will not use any two cards, but we will open a bit wider (use 100 percent of combos that are mixing and top of the range that is folding).
This style is very sneaky and very hard for our opponent to adjust, but it doesn’t squeeze out maximum value.
How to know what type of exploit to use?
Constant exploitation of small leaks is very risky, and slight edges that we are getting can be lost very fast if we overdo it and our opponent notices.
- Find about key ways to exploit in our article!
To decide if we will use Soft or Hard Exploits, we must consider who we use it on. If we are going to exploit a player that we play against all the time, we want to be a bit more subtle, but if it’s some recreational player that we will not play against again, we can go for maximum exploits.