Have you ever watched a bicycle or auto race? If you have then you’re probably familiar with a racing strategy called “drafting”. It works something like this. Though you may have the faster car, you get behind your opponent. Because he’s in front, he’s expending a lot of energy to cut through the air. You, on the other hand, are conserving energy by staying right behind — following in the slip stream behind him. While he is leading and you are following, he may be convinced that you are weak and unable to pass. But he is using more energy while you are saving energy. You use the energy you saved to pass him near the end of the race, when he is tired from having led for so long and can’t keep up as you go on to win.
A similar situation can arise in poker.
You follow along behind your opponent, not using all of your strength. You lull him into thinking that he is ahead because you are acting weak. But you reveal your stength at the end when it is too late for him to do anything about it.
Consider the following example.
You are dealt a split pair of Togel Aces.
A two, to your left, brings in the bet. Everyone folds to your opponent who has a Queen up. He raises. Two more opponents fold to the raise. The bet is to you.
Conventional strategy says you should reraise here. You’re in the lead. So get more money in the pot while you are ahead.
However, this is an opportunity to do something different every now and again. Don’t take the lead. Draft behind the Queen. Don’t reraise. Call!
The bring-in is likely to fold. So you will play this hand heads up with the Queen.
Now it’s Fourth Street. You CHECK! The Queen is likely to think you had a three flush or a small wired pair or just three high cards hoping to hit a Premium Pair. Usually, the Queen will bet into you. You CALL! You are letting the Queen do the work, while you unconventionally follow behind.
Now it’s Fifth Street. This is when your deception will pay off. The Queen is now fairly convinced that you have a low pair. No matter what you get, you CHECK!. The Queen, whether he’s improved or not, is likely to bet into you, thinking he is in the lead. He’s likely to be convinced that either you’ll fold now for the double bet or that you’ll continue to incorrectly call. Let him believe this.
After he bets on Fifth Street, what you do depends on what you have. If you have improved to Aces up, you can continue to draft behind his bet and just CALL. If, on the other hand, you still only have a pair of Aces, you will RAISE here. You are coming out from behind him and passing him here while you are still ahead.
What you have done is used the Queens speed to get him into trouble. You check raise with your pair of Aces to show him that you made trips — that you had a wired pair from the beginning and just hit your Trips. You hope this will drive him out. It is a play that often works best against good opponents. It corroborates his theory that you were playing a hidden pair with an exposed Ace kicker which, unfortunately for him, you hit on Fifth for Aces up. If he is a good player, and only has Queens, he very well may fold here.
But even if the Queens don’t fold to your check-raise, you still have an excellent chance to win. Unless the Queen shows a pair, you are probably ahead with your pair of Aces. And even if he has hit two pair for Queens up on Fifth Street, you have 11 outs to catch either Aces up or three Aces on Sixth Street or the River.
On Sixth Street and the River, you bet. It’s too late in the race for him to save money by conceding. He will follow behind you now until the finish. Expect him to call you with his pair of Queens, even though you’ve revealed your strength with your aggression at the end.
There’s a strong likelihood that by having your Aces draft behind these Queens, you’ll be able to extract extra bets with very little additional risk. And this play has another advantage. It may slow down your opponents in the future when you want him to call with his Queen so you can see Fourth Street cheaply.
Keep in mind, however, that this is not a play you should make a habit of; but it’s surely something which can help mix up your play once you have some experience under your belt.