How To Exploit Online Poker Players

How To Exploit Online Poker Players

Most poker players do not read or study the game, even some of the ones that study do not pull the trigger when they recognise a scenario. The population of players in online poker is very often stuck in its old ways, whether playing in cash games or tournaments. Let’s have a look at how to exploit the population when playing online poker.

Exploiting Online Poker Players Preflop

The majority of online poker players do not three-bet enough, as most players struggle to find bluffs. If in response we overfold against three-bets preflop, the best value hands in their range will lose a lot of EV as they are not going to get any action. With the lack of three-bets from opponents you should strive to three-bet preflop as much as possible with the intention of betting most flop textures. 

Properly Exploiting Online Poker Players On The Flop

Most online poker players when in-position will go for a range betting strategy on the flop. By using an aggressive check-raising strategy, especially when taking a flop out of position and heads-up, you can easily exploit the population of most online poker sites. The population is not checking back enough top pairs on the flop. Checking back with hands like top pair-bad kicker with the intention of not folding is a great way to exploit the majority of online poker players. 

Exploitatively Check-Raising

In general, the online poker players does not check raise enough. Utilizing a Game Theory Optimal (GTO) strategy, the global check-raise frequency is about 20% of their range on the flop. You have to work hard to achieve a 20% check-raise frequency. It is safe to assume that no one really checks-raises that much, unless your opponent is loose and aggressive, defending the fringes of your ranges against this line may not be ideal. If you overfold the worst hands that need to call in your range against a check-raise from the population, the best hands in your opponent’s range will lose EV as they are not going to get paid by hands that should pay them in theory. 

Once population check turns after check-raising, you should consider throwing out a 65% or 80% pot sized bet. The online population is extremely straightforward on the turn after check-raising so a check basically means the villain is giving up a lot when this line is taken. As a friend likes to point out regularly, solver is betting often on this line when we are training with GTO solutions and it matches a spot where the online population plays poorly.

Can you bluff with the best of them? Take the quiz that tells you!

Navigating Three-Bet Pots

The online population does not defend enough against continuation bets in three-bet pots,  so we can exploit that by betting a little bit more often than GTO solutions. By expanding your three-betting range, you gain extra EV every time your opponents fold more than they should.

The majority of online poker players do not bluff enough preflop from the big blind, so it is a prime spot to widen our range and three-bet. The population is not folding to a raise very much in three-bet pots so raising as a bluff is not ideal, raising for value becomes optimal in these big pots. 

Properly Exploiting Online Poker Players On The River

Most of the players you will face will not bet the river for thin value often enough, especially in single-raised pots. Only the toughest and most competent opponents will, as they should, relentlessly bet for thin value on the river. In response, we should consider way overfolding against river bets. The population loves to trap and play slow with the top of their range which results in them leaving a lot of EV on the table.

You should strive to be the player who always bets for super thin value on the river and the one who never pays off the river bets against opponents that don’t pursue thin value enough. Experiment with 10x pot river jams when you have the nuts. The online population loves to call river bets and your opponents might level themselves into calling a lot more often than you may think especially if you make this play at a high frequency.

Playing Dry Boards

The online population does not double-barrel often enough on dry boards compared to GTO solutions. As a result, fold more often with hands like second pair or weaker holdings as their double-barreling range is overly weighted towards value.

Being Mindful Of The Independant Chip Model

In general, the population of players playing online poker is not very aware of Independant Chip Model (ICM). They are likely to call off too wide on ICM points. They overvalue high offsuit hands like ace-jack offsuit and small pairs. As they are not going to call off correctly, some of the jams suggested by ICM models and different software should be taken with a grain of salt. The wider your opponent calls on ICM points, the tighter you need to be. Expanding your value range in this scenario will cost you a lot of money.

The best exploit on most ICM points is to actually get out of the way and do nothing. Let them collide with each other, sit back and watch the table burn. Another great exploit against the online population is to three-bet small on the final table with suited-wheel ace hands and suited king hands.


Despite it being the same game, how one exploits the online player pool greatly differs from exploiting live players. Properly exploiting online players starts with recognizing what they fail to do. When the players at your virtual poker table don’t play well against three-bets, you are in prime position to expand your preflop three-betting range and exploit their weakness. If they fail to go for value on the river but are all of a sudden throwing out bets on fifth street, recognize their strength and make exploitative folds. Study the tips from this article, and you will be crushing the online felt in no time.

Scroll to Top