Simply put, a coward is a person who folds their hand too often. Cowards are easy to bully and end up giving away more pots than they win. They are the types of players who put up a non-trivial opening bet only to fold to something less than half-pot on the next bet. While the strategy may limit stack size growth, it certainly won’t kill it.
Initially cowards play in a way that’s similar to Hellmuth’s mouse. They won’t play many hands and when they do it means they have something good. They often play out of position and keep a Ced, Cane, Big Slick or even Cardinal on the flop. When threatened they tends to fold a good chunk of the time.
Cowards play too tight. They don’t often raise with less than premium hands and their raises are often for more of a prod to see who is loose. When they do bet they often bet big and bully the table. When threatened it’s back to the dealer for another card.
Many cowards play top pair behind the button because it is an easy to make a cbet of about 75% to 85% of the time. They don’t like to risk losing a small portion of the pot when they hit a good hand. As a result, they are usually not in position when they do play a hand, giving other players opportunities to re-raise, isolate and take down the pot.
The Coward’s biggest problem is that they like to lead, and usually end up putting in a big raise when they have a marginal hand. This puts other players in a situation where they want to fold, but aren’t sure if they should since they invested so much. Losing a key player in a tournament is one of the worst things that can happen to a Coward.
Cowards will often try and get you to take each pot yours without really having a good hand. They try to be smart and tricky and get you to be afraid to play back. This strategy, though, is counter- productive. It’s not very strategic.
The strategy that will help you is to eliminate the weak hands from the game. Don’t play cards that can get outdrawn, like 67s, or 54s, or 22 or AQ. Only play good hands and you will be sure to have a better hand than the Coward.
For example, you have a 58 under the gun. It’s folded around, so it’s +EV. You have a 27% chance of getting the card straight away. You also have a good chance of running into someone holding a better hand. If anyone bets you have a good chance of folding. If nobody bets, then you have a good chance of winning the pot.
If you want the cash, you need to shut your trap. Folding weak hands is the most important part of playing solid poker. During the reload bonus, the only hands you want to be folding are the junkies. Once you have a monster, you can be more patient, but until then play it safe.
Playing tight is the way to win at poker, but you need to take control of your play. Don’t let the Coward in you get you out of your comfort zone.