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How to Experiment with “New” Poker Strategies the Smart Way


Sky Matsuhashi

on March 15, 2023

It's time for you to experiment with “new” strategies. I'm purposefully using “new” because the strategies you need to experiment with are probably not really new. They're just strategies that you don't often do, so your expertise is probably low.

It's “new” to you.

For example, donk betting. You probably see lots of donk betting in your games, but there's a good chance you never do it.

And what about making large 3bets to 12 or 18bb's? Do you ever do that? You've seen it, but you may have no experience with it.

The 3 steps I outline below will have you experimenting and building your skills with your very next session.

Watch this podcast episode on YouTube:


Download the audio podcast for this episode here and follow along below.


Experiment with “New” Poker Strategies


1. Choose the “New” Strategy

Here are some strategies that you may want to experiment with:

  • Donk Betting
  • Cbetting (especially bluffing)
  • Check-Raising Flops
  • Bluff Bet/Raise Rivers
  • Floating Flops/Turns/Rivers
  • Probing Turns/Rivers
  • Detailed Schemes – Examples: Bet small flop, bet large turn; limp-raise 4x to steal with a specific range of hands, etc.


Two great reasons to experiment with new strategies:

  1. You add another weapon in your player exploiting arsenal.
  2. By learning how to use it and why it works, you can develop an understanding of how you can counteract it when they use it against you.


2. Study the Strategy

Find one video, course, book chapter, article or podcast to learn from.

Study the item, take notes in your poker journal.


3. Experiment with the Strategy

Keep your notes open as you play and review them for your pre-session warm-up.

Play 1-2 tables so you can stay focused on the strategy.

Purposefully put yourself in the necessary situation over and over. Pull the trigger when +EV to do so. Here are the basic situations you need to be in for each play mentioned here:

  • Donk Betting: be the OOP caller in the blinds or open/call a 3bet from OOP.
  • Cbetting: be the preflop raiser.
  • Check-Raising Flops: be OOP on the flop.
  • Bluff Bet/Raise Rivers: get to the river and need to bluff to win.
  • Floating Flops/Turns/Rivers: IP post-flop so you can bet when they check.
  • Probing Turns/Rivers: OOP, bet the next street when they check-back the prior street.


Pay attention when NOT in the hand. Put yourself in the player's shoes and ask yourself, “Would I make the play?”

Drop down in stakes as necessary.

Don’t experiment willy-nilly:

  • Know who your opponent is.
  • Set a goal for the # of plays made.
  • Tag each hand for review.


2 Birds with 1 Stone

I love doing double duty when it comes to improving poker skills. You can work on a “new” strategy and build your statistical understanding at the same time.

  1. Experiment with the strategy over and over.
  2. At the same time, train yourself to focus on the related statistic. For example, if you're working on donk betting, add Fold to Donk Bet to your HUD:

To help me donk bet effectively, I added Fold to Flop Donk Bet on the far right of my Smart HUD (large font “100” in black on white background). They're both folding 100% of the time versus donk bets.

If you're thinking about experimenting with the strategies listed here, these are the stats you'll want to focus on:

  • Donk Betting: Fold to Donk Bet; Cbet Flop, Fold to Flop Cbet (to gauge their flop honesty)
  • Cbetting: Fold to Cbet by street; Cbet by street (honesty)
  • Check-Raising Flops: Cbet, Float or Bet Flop; Fold to Cbet (honesty)
  • Bluff Bet/Raise Rivers: Bet River and Fold to River Bet
  • Floating Flops/Turns/Rivers: Fold vs Float; Cbet F/T/R and Fold to F/T/R Cbet (honesty)
  • Probing Turns/Rivers: Fold vs Probe


Take Action!

Choose a “new” strategy and experiment.

Follow the 3 steps above and incorporate a HUD stat focus.

Experiment for 3+ play sessions with studying in between.


Support the Show

Daniel Podheiser, Alex Roberts, Benjamin Barzilay, Daikel Paredes, Max Zeißig, Scott Kinder, Sunil Joshi, Jason Mcdermott, Jason Roig, Joel Keinänen and Shawn Bridgland bought the Smart HUD with a 1.5 hour webinar for PokerTracker 4.  It’s the best online poker HUD in the business! 16 elements in the HUD and 7 custom popups. This is what every online player needs to maximally exploit opponents.


Sky Matsuhashi

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