In limit poker, I often play JTs, J9s, T9s, 98s texture of hands as deception hands, playing them aggressively. I only do so in spots where my value of aggression is high. My doing this makes me harder to read pre-flop and I feel I can accomplish that with sacrificing any edge if I pick my spots correctly.
 
My reasoning being is that if I connect with the flop, my opponents will think I might have an AK texture of hand that missed, thereby providing me with good action. And if bigger cards come, I can reasonably represent them. Thereby, utilizing those hands effectively makes me harder to read at minimal, if any cost.
 
But, in NL, when the big bets come out, your solid opponents are likely to call/raise only with a very narrow range. In situations where you hold cards that reduce the likelihood of your opponents possessing holdings in their calling/raising range, your fold equity will be greater and provide greater value to your aggressive plays.
 
Let’s say you hold the Ad5d. The fact that you hold an ace reduces your opponents’ chances of holding AA by 50%, and AK or AQ by 25%. Additionally, with the Ace, the diamonds, the straight and multiple fives possibilities, you’re only about a 2-1 underdog racing 66-KK. In other words, the fact you hold the Ad significantly reduces the chances that your opponent holds a hand with which he will jam, and it gives you reasonable equity against non-AA pairs should they call.
 
All this makes hands like Ad5d a superior 3-bet, 4-bet, and jamming hand than hands like JdTd when you’re in a scenario in which you think your fold equity plus your hands equity is profitable. With this texture of hand, you’ll get called less, and suck out more often when called.
 
And, the “card removal” or “blockers” concept has additional applications. If you hold the Ace of a suit and 3 of that suit hit the board, you’ve removed many of the potential flush combinations from your opponents’ range. It’s much less likely someone has a flush. The fact there are fewer flush combinations, might turn some plays from unprofitable to profitable. Another example is you should tend to be more aggressive with undersets than topsets. Since, when you hold topset you block a great deal of your opponents’ top pair calling range, you’re more likely to get called with second set than top set.
 
I do understand there are many other factors in determining if a play is the optimum play, but many players dismiss the value of the card removal effect of their holding on their opponents’ ranges. You should include any card removal effect of your opponents’ range into weighting your decisions.
 
So, use your knowledge of your cards, and any others you might have seen, to improve your read of your opponents’ range. Then, adjust your strategies to their adapted range.
 
Do it right and you’ll find extra EV in numerous circumstances.
 
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