How to Beat a Poker Bully

A bully is someone who makes you fold when neither of you have the nuts, but the bully has a bigger stack than you. In tournaments it is good to be a bully, because you can win the blinds a couple of times each time around the track and thus stay ahead of the game. The key to being a bully is 1) get a big stack, 2) pick on small stacks, 3) raise with a mix of good cards and bad cards, 4) hit the flop hard occasionally with bad cards, so when you have Q5 off suit and the flop comes A55, you can blow away the small stack who has carefully saved up his cards and is all excited because he has AK. 5) Win nice pots early on when you have a premium pocket pair by raising high enough preflop to deter all but one caller, or possibly two, then put the hammer down on the flop if it comes with three cards lower than yours and no obvious straight and flush possibilities. Occasionally you will run into a flopped set, but mostly not. 6) Back off if you bully and the victim reraises all-in with enough chips to hurt you, but resume normal bullying operations as soon as possible. If you are going to back off, just wait until your hand autofolds and with a bit of luck opponents will think you lost your connection and feel sorry for you.

Remember that a good player is not someone who places high in tournaments only when he/she flops a full house and hits straights on the river, but someone who still wins enough pots to stay ahead of the blinds when they don’t get any decent cards and slaughters opponents when they get good cards. After all, how many times have you slammed in a high raise preflop when you have KK, then a large bet on the flop to fold any remaining opponents and then mucked your cards? If you can do it with KK, you can do the same thing now and again with T3, but it takes guts. But even mighty KK can be a loser if an ace comes on the flop. And with T3, you might still hit a monster, giving you an additional way to win the pot. The thing is that by raising preflop you alert opponents into thinking that if the flop does not hit them, then they might as well give it up, whereas if you just limp in or check a call or calls when you are in the big blind, it is much harder to fake a big hand.


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That covers a lot of ground. What qualifies as being a “bully?” Bullies aren’t the same thing, each is different, so I don;t think they can be the same thing as anything else. I mean, since they can’t even be the same thing as themselves and all.

Other than that, I highly recommend the “get good cards and bet a lot” strategy, but you can sometimes check/call to the river with a bully before, BAM, you lower the boom. That’s the way I roll anyway.

There is actually a big difference in being a Poker Bully and being an aggressive player.

The aggressive player knows hand odds and uses position and stack to maximize bets to get the most from every hand. They fold low value hands and bluff only when there is a solid possible or they are heads up with a weak opponent with a history of folding under pressure.

A Poker Bully doesn’t even need to see their cards and they are not trying to beat you with better cards. Their entire agenda is to bully the bet with huge raises to scare and bully other players to fold even good hands. They rely on bluffs much more than an aggressive player and take big risks on naked bluffs that a smart aggressive player would not even consider.

Poker Bullies generally only do well in the short term with players that are less experienced and on tables where they can use their stack advantage. A Poker Bully will often bring in much more than the table buy in or keep reloading and use their stack advantage to pick on short stacked players.

There are times when an aggressive player may use a bully strategy with inexperienced players to drive them in to a fold but it is not their main strategy while with a Poker Bully that is their only strategy and many times they don’t even seem to know the value or odds of hands and they drive the money off the table with huge bets when slow playing would get bigger pots.

Overall, a Poker Bully loses money in the long term while a loose or tight aggressive player is consistently winning.