The metagame, often referred to as “play the game” refers to all the decisions that have nothing to do with the mathematics of poker strategies, which aim to have a psychological impact on the opponent.
To put it another way, every time you make a game that goes against (or ignore) the mathematical foundations of poker strategy, it is likely that you are using the metagame. The strategy of the metagame has nothing to do with the cards, with the size of the stakes or the size of the stack. The metagame is “the thought of the poker players.”
For example, imagine you are sitting at a table for a short time and we’re playing against an opponent who does not know very well. For whatever reason we got to the river with a mediocre hand, we have a bet in front of more than modest size and in any case we are sure that in the long term, based on our knowledge of poker strategy, make a call or play a non- profitable.
However, it is always useful to think of the benefits to be gained from this move “wrong.” We can find at least two: see the cards of our opponent and we get loose image at the table.
See the cards of your opponent is always useful, because it makes us understand what type player is, with the ability to use this information in other hands. Have the image of loose player at the table, calling river bets with marginal hands, it can also be useful in future hands.
So, ultimately, we made a play on the mathematical plane that is harmful, but the repercussions and the information we have collected with this play, they’re going to compensate for the slight loss of chips.
Let us remember, however, some very fundamental points: the metagame should not be the excuse for bad plays, the metagame in poker is constantly changing and the game of metagame is mostly used with opponents family.