The term ‘fish’ has been adopted as a technical term in poker, but it is still considered a derogatory remark. Tread with caution.
First of all, what exactly is a fish? A ‘fish’ is a poker player who is essentially inexperienced and is often a recreational player who becomes a good target for the skilled players to win some pots.
The most obvious action to take is to play as many hands as possible with a fish, but know when to stop. Try to expand your pre-flop ranges against them, however, don’t go overboard.
In order to play more pots, you should most likely prefer iso-raising. However, in order to play against them, you should know how to identify them on a table.
Recognizing the common tendencies of a weak player:
- There is lots of pre-flop open-limping instead of open-raising.
- Not choosing to rebuy to 100bb when they are losing chips.
- Unconventional hand selection, often significantly too passive or too aggressive.
- Excessive talking (especially online). Experienced players rarely use the chatbox.
- Bluffing aggressively. Unconventional post-flop lines.
What is Isolation Raising?
Also known as iso-raising, it is a technique you can use in which you increase the number of hands you play against a weak player. It is done by targeting open-limpers in the pre-flop round.
Basically, your opponent open-limps, and you decide to raise in anticipation of a heads-up pot against the limper. In cases where the majority of the players are choosing to call your iso-raise, it’s a common practice to increase your iso-raise.
Other Isolation Techniques
Not every recreational player’s mind works the same way. They can even open-raise instead of open-limp. Therefore, you can make small 3bets to isolate the pot heads-up.
SB Completes HU
When the players have folded in the pre-flop round and you’re in the SB, you can expand your ranges when the BB is a weak player. In case you have weaker holdings, it’s better to complete in the SB rather than open-raise. Try to play 100% of your pre-flop hands against an inexperienced player.
Another situation would be when you face an open limper. It is expected from you to enter the pot with a wide range since your opponent is most likely an inexperienced player. Although you cannot always have strong hands to iso-raise, it’s better to complete the SB with a wide range hoping to see a multi-way pot.
An open-raiser in a hand could be a decent player, however, there are still weaker players on the table. You can choose to cold-call wider against a regular’s bet in anticipation of an overcall from the fish.
There is no fool-proof plan to play certain hands or act in a certain way in poker, but to study your opponent and act accordingly helps. All the best for your next game. Leave comments if you think this was helpful!