3 Ways to Stay Random in Live Poker

Updated: Jan 9

Methods of staying random when playing live poker, Poker Chips, Dice, a watch and playing cards

When you’re sat at a live table, you shouldn’t throw GTO out of the window. Exploitative poker is normally going to be the best thing to do against most of the players you will come up against live. However, what happens when there is a great player at the table? or when you’re not sure of the exploits you should make? When you need to resort back to a GTO strategy- and at some point you will, you are going to need to use RNG. I'll be telling you 3 great ways to stay random at in live poker.

One problem that you will have at a live table, is the task of keeping your decisions truly random. It’s virtually impossible for human beings to do things randomly. For years forensic accountants have taken great pride in finding the subconscious patterns that fraudsters add to their ledgers. You can even try playing a computer at Rock, Paper, Scissors- even if you think you're making a random decision, chances are that you're not!

It’s therefore vital that you have an objective way of generating close to true randomness at a live table- especially when you need to play GTO. You also can’t bring your laptop or roll a dice at the table, every player can see that and you’ll soon be found out. You therefore need to adopt some more covert methods for being a random player.

Today I’ll be going over the top 3 techniques to help you make random numbers at the table without letting the watchful eyes of your opponent’s catch you in the process.

Cards and Colours

A straight flush in poker cartoon

This is probably the most straight forward method of making random numbers at the table. To use the cards and colours method you should select red or black before the session and then a corresponding suit with that colour. When you are in a game and you need to make a 50/50 decision, you look down at the fist card in your hand. If it's the colour you selected prior to the session, you make the action- if not, you don't. This allows you to randomly generate 50% and 25% decisions (or 75% decisions if picking the inverse, i.e. when you don’t have the specific card and suit combo then you make the decision.)

For example, if you wanted to 3bet bluff with A5 suited 50% of the time, you pick red or black before the session- perhaps only bluffing with the red combos. For 25% of the time- it would either be with hearts or diamonds. To keep this hidden for longer you should change the colour frequently, a minimum of every session.