What Is ‘Fancy Play Syndrome’ And Why Is This A Bad Thing?

FPS – Or ‘Fancy Play Syndrome’ Is A Common Phenomenon At The Poker Tables.
Get The FPS Lowdown Here.

FPS or Poker ‘Fancy Play Syndrome’ goes beyond describing making complex poker moves – maybe over the course of several hands or even sessions. This describes making poker moves or plays that are too complicated for the level of opposition you are facing.

Think of it this way, if you make an ‘advanced’ poker strategy play that is totally over the head of your opponent – who calls you anyway, winning the pot – it is you who have made the mistake. The reason is simple, poker is about adjusting to beat your opponents, and if you ‘over-adjust’ then this is simply bad play.

Fancy Play syndrome is largely tied in with the idea of poker levels of thinking – that you should only play one level above your opponent for optimal profits.

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For example if your opponent is a level one thinker, who is only thinking about his own holding, then it makes no sense to raise ‘representing’ that the turn card made you a monster hand. Your level one opponent is not thinking about what you might hold, or whether the turn might have helped you – he is looking only at his own cards. Yes, his call was due to inexperience, however your bet was an example of FPS in action – you were making a ‘move’ that was beyond your opponent’s poker comprehension.

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If you find yourself frustrated or even tilting over the fact that a terrible opponent should ‘never have called’ then you are probably suffering the adverse effects of FPS. The solution is to mentally step back and think about how your opponents are viewing the game. If they are not looking beyond their own cards – as in the example above – then you have a very profitable situation, as long as you stick to value betting and cut out those complex bluffs!

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