My latest poker strategy article, now appearing in Two Plus Two Magazine, is called Weighing Your Options. It’s about a rule I try to play by, that helps me to recognize the right times for unconventional plays and avoid timing tells all at once!
Weighing your options, even if you end up making the play you were going to make anyway, also helps you become a better player. Outside of “soft” skills like patience and equanimity, the ability to consider all options and choose the best one, even when it is not obvious, is the hallmark of a skilled poker player. Doing this more or less well is what makes one player better or worse than another. Practicing it, even in cases where this practice doesn’t have immediate payoff, is still sharpening one of the most important poker skills there is.
It should come as no surprise that my background in debate is a big part of the reason why I find this a helpful way of framing decisions in poker!