Poker

Rope a dope

Marcus Bateman RSS / Marcus Bateman / 26 February 2009 / Leave a Comment

Play Now

You have to be extremely careful who you lay these sort of traps down for - against the wrong player you will actually just end up hanging yourself employing this strategy.

The term 'rope a dope' was first made widely known by Dan Harrington in his excellent series of books entitled Harrington on hold'em.

The term comes from a boxing phrase made infamous by the tactics Muhammad Ali used when he fought George Foreman. By sitting back and boxing extremely defensively, Ali was able to tire Foreman out, and as the rounds dragged on Ali was suddenly able to regain the upper hand and quickly win the fight against the drained Foreman.

The term is useful in poker as it describes a strategy where a player allows the 'dope' to do all the work in a hand, when in reality the player knows they have far and away the best hand right from the start. A classic example of this is when you flop a set against a maniac in hold'em, or when you start with trips in seven card stud. By just calling for the majority of streets you allow the other player to steadily hang themselves while you do your utmost not to scare them off with your monster hand.

This strategy does have some severe disadvantages though. By just calling and allowing the other player to do the betting, you both lose control of the pot odds on offer, as well as allowing your opponent to see more cards for a price of their choosing. Your flopped set might not look so good when the board has deteriorated to four to a flush or straight by the river - by losing control of the ability to protect your hand you can put yourself in extremely difficult spots.

Rope a dope is also extremely player dependent. If you sat down with Phil Ivey without knowing who he was your first impression would probably be that he was a maniac, and you would immediately think that rope a dope would be the perfect strategy to win his chips. The reality though is that Ivey will not be falling for this tactic, and will simply take the free cards and let you trap yourself. You have to be extremely careful who you lay these sort of traps down for - against the wrong player you will actually just end up hanging yourself employing this strategy.

Letting the other player trap themselves is a key part of a balanced game, but it must be applied selectively and carefully. Look for the right opponents and the right spots, do as little as possible to scare your opponent, and let them do all the hard work for you.

Read More Marcus Bateman
Online Poker Blogs

Read More Poker

The Floating Explosion

One of the key changes that has affected all games in the last twelve months or so has been the massive increase in the number of players refusing to believe flop bets. It used to be the case that weak...

Flatting with aces in PLO

This is one of the hardest things to drill into good Hold'em players when they start playing Pot Limit Omaha - learning to flat with aces in many situations. Although there is certainly a time and a place to flat...

How to play a good or bad card on the turn or river

Most players are aware of how 'good' or 'bad' a card can be on the turn or river in Hold'em or Omaha. Good cards can throw up great bluffing opportunities, make your hand much safer to proceed with, or make...

The Three Poker Sites Who May Have Messed It Up For Everyone

For anyone who talked about how softened the internet generation were to gambling compared to the old Texan road players, the events of the last few weeks in poker have certainly hardened everyone who may have not seen the darker...

Post a comment

Get a $50-$2500 Poker Bonus

Play Now

Choose and earn a $50, $250, $500, $1000 or $2500 poker sign up bonus. Turn Loyalty Into Cash and earn up to 40% Valueback in the Players Club.

Join Betfair Poker Now.

Earn £25-£50 for referring friends

Go

With our Refer and Earn scheme you can earn substantial rewards for introducing someone new to Betfair.

Refer and Earn Today

© Betfair 2007–12 | Contact Betting.Betfair team on: haveyoursay@betfair.com

Proud to back    

Betfair UK | Australia | Online sázení | Betfair Danmark | Wetten | στοιχήματα | Apuestas | Fogadas | Ireland | Scommesse | Norge | Онлайн ставки | Kladjenje | Vedonlyönti | Apostas | Zakłady | Vadhållning | 网上投注 | Betfair Corporate | Betting Education