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Old School Poker Stories (pt. 4: Going to War with Nits Continued)

Stoic Poker War with Nits 2

In the last post of this series I wrote about learning over time that being a nit was not the way to be in the poker world. I learned to start playing the way that I wished everyone else was playing. That lead to others wanting to play a more fun style, and feeling like they weren't setting money on fire to do so.

Today I am going to lay out the simple things I do to try and keep nits away from my games. Spoiler alert, the secret is to make it less comfortable to be a nit than it is to play in a way that is good for the game.

The following is my gameplan for Nit Extermination:

  1. Don't be too quick to judge.

    1. Sometimes a new player really is looking down at the bottom 10% of hands for a few hours. Don't attack them based on insufficient evidence.

    2. If they are really a nit, they won't be able to hide it.

  2. Don't be tricked by people showing bluffs in AUTOMATIC spots.

    1. This is a classic nit move. They wait until everyone checks all the streets and take a small stab. That is when they make a huge deal out of it so everyone knows what a bad ass bluffer they are, lololol.

  3. Nits don't like to call big bets.

    1. You can get them to fold all but the top top top of their range if you really go for it on the turn/river. If you nodelock one or two hands of overfolding, solvers start shoving everything.

    2. I do not suggest doing this on bricks, but every draw completer fills the weak heart of all nits with terror.

    3. Show it to them, call them a nit, and laugh.

  4. Remember that their plays mean exactly what you think they mean.

    1. Don't dig deeply into your mental ranges for corner cases. They probably have that overpair or that top top hand you think they have.

    2. If they raise, fold. Sure, they might be bluffing this time, but their overall tendencies offer us a very easy exploit with a super high probability hit rate.

  5. Openly build the 'Us vs. Them' mentality

    1. Not only does this point out to them that they are doing things in a nitty way, it also lets them know that the other players at the table know what they are up to.

    2. It is never hard to do this. A few comments about how nitty a particular nit is, and the losing players at the table will usually take care of the rest.

    3. Don't go to the point of bullying anyone, but help them realize they are not the only one who knows what EV is and they didn't just arrive to a group of mindless ATMs that are unaware of their master plan.

  6. Laser Mucking

    1. When a confirmed nit makes a raise, make a big show out of how over-the-top fast you laser beam your cards into the muck.

    2. One of my favorite players takes this move to the point of saying, "Never Ever Ever Ever...." I don't go that far, but my laser mucking technique is pretty easy to notice.

    3. The goal of the laser muck is to help the less aware, more fun players realize they are dealing with a nit. The best thing you can do is make it so the nit's plans don't work. Taking away their loose action from the unaware players is a fantastic way to help them realize they should try their nitty bullshit somewhere far far away from me.

  7. Celebrate Action in all its forms.

    1. If people are straddling, give them props.

    2. If you see a savage bluff, make a big deal.

    3. If you see a sick calldown, compliment the caller and try to help the bluffer understand that it takes a lot of respect for their creativity for someone to call there.

    4. Rather than being mean to the nits, celebrate everyone else and be coldly indifferent to them. You don't have to be a bully to make them jealous of the other's treatment. You just have to be super awesome to all non-nits.

The last thing I will put on here is the most important thing I have ever learned about dealing with nits. I learned it unintentionally back when I was running games in my younger days. It happened by accident at first, but once I saw the effects it had on nits, I started to realize what I had stumbled upon. Here is my absolute banger of a bonus tip.

  • Build a list of fun opponents you enjoy playing with.

    1. This will give you a rolodex of numbers you can text if you want to get a good game going, or make a bad game into a better game.

    2. A hidden side-effect of being very open about building your list is that the nits will want to play with all the fun people they seeing you get contacts from. There are two ways this works and both are great:

      1. The nit gets mad and maybe tilts a bit because they aren't getting what they want.

      2. The nit might ask you why you never ask them for their contact, and that provides a rare, not rude, method for telling them why they could never make your fun list in their current form.

And the last benefit of building a list like this is that if you need to, you can start running that game. You don't have to do anything illegal, running backroom card games hoping the cops don't show up.

Instead, you can just have a night of the week you all want to play, a list of players to invite who actually lock up seats, and have a chat with your local poker room to see what you can work out. They are almost always easy to work with if you are bringing them a game, and lets be honest... what is more fun than watching the nits sit at the public table while all the players they want to play with come and sit in your game.

I hope you enjoyed this article which was inspired by a comment someone put on a previous post. I aim to please if you are one of my readers this early on -heart emoji- See yall next time.


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1 Comment

Tony Bigcharles
Tony Bigcharles
Jul 08

this doesnt say what u do once the nit makes a big bet, u laser muck and then the nit shows the bluff. it will cause u to lose respect from the other players not as smart and they will think u are a fool

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