Poker and Psychology


None of the poker player having self esteem would dream of playing the game without having some basic knowledge about the strategy. 

Many ignorant poker players would not think of anything before sitting down to play the game and risk unusual amount of cash without knowing the human side of the game. Knowing what goes on inside the minds of our illogical opponents is just as vital to winning as any mathematical formula. What’s more, the aptitude to look inside and discover how your own thoughts and feelings control the way you play poker  is crucial if you wish to win in the long run. 

Having a feel for the psychology of the game helps you in two ways. Firstly, better you read your opponents’ thoughts, the better you read his cards. Secondly, a deep knowledge of your persona lets you to play at your total best and ignore the common drawbacks like tilt. Opponents will come and go; hence we start with the one player you can never get away from: you. 

Knowing Yourself 

Poker players are several of the most delusional people on our globe. They don’t play too many hands; players just like to see flops. They don’t raise at the incorrect time; it was the opponent’s fault for not folding when he was supposed to. For every slip we make at the poker table, there is an identical and opposite reason to explain it away. And when all else fails we can hold responsible our bad luck. 

Ego and Competition 

Competition reveals the delicate ego present in each one of us, but there is something about poker that makes the failure even tougher to take. Nobody enjoys losing money, but at times something even more is crucial that money is at stake and that is the pride. Poker is steeped in power, and to admit your opponent may be stronger, smarter or just plain better than you is to allow a terrible weakness. The poker mind will go to unbelievable lengths to prevent such a revolting thought. 

Make no error, confidence is necessary. You can’t be a winning poker player without the confidence. To endure the brutal swings you ought to have complete faith in yourself. But when does confidence cross the line to be overconfident? That is where self-knowledge enters the scenario. At the poker table, the aptitude to be frankly honest is worth its weight in gold. This is easier said than done, obviously.  

Your Own Playing Style 

To look into deep into your poker psyche, you require thinking about your own poker playing style. It comes down to why you play poker in the first place. Do you play to hang out with people? As you like the thrill of contest?  Or to prove something? Whatever the reason, or blend of reasons, your style of play is going to mirror that. 

It does you no good to learn correct poker strategy if you won’t use that knowledge when it counts. You can read books, study hand histories, buy fancy software to calculate percentages for you – but nothing and no one will ever make you into a first-rate poker player game but you. 

Knowing your opponent 

Between the amateur players who think nothing of losing cash as long as he can have fun playing the poker online game and the hardcore ones who hang onto each chip for dear life, there is astounding variety of poker players out there.  

If you want to play poker online at a higher level, you ought to be able to read them all. Just by reading your opponent can you put him on a range of hands, and merely by putting him on a range of hands can hope making the right choice most of the time. 

Adjust Your Play Accordingly 

Once you’ve got a little psychological read on your opponent, put that data to use and bend your play accordingly. Against a poker maniac, know there will be some wild financial swings in your future if you stay in this game. If you can’t grip that, go away. When you can, tighten up, re-raise with your decent hands, and in particular don’t let him put you on tilt. If your opponent is too passive, be more aggressive. If your opponent is too loose, value-bet more and bluff much less. For all flaws, there’s a best way to use that flaw and it’s your job to discover it. 

Putting it together 

Once you have understood your opponents well along with yourself, the true psych out poker games can start off. This includes higher levels of ideas. The very beginner poker players just care about their own cards, while the middle level players at least try to think what their opponents are holding. The expert players consider what their opponents think they have. Of course, this is impossible without having a read on the opponent and more than that, a grasp how a player’s opponent is reading him. 

Your Table Image 

You must have knowledge of your table image. Then if you can put yourself in your opponent’s shoes, figure out how he’s making choices – and not how you would be making decisions if you were in his place – you’re set to play poker as an expert. Assuming your opponent is also playing as an expert, the mind games between the two of you can go on roughly forever. 

The ultimate mind tactics of poker game is bluff 

There are numerous factors that ultimately play into a successful bluffing. However, bluff lives and dies based on the opponent it is targeted at. If your opponent senses what you are up to, if he has got a stronger hand than you figured, if his confidence is puffed up by a few wins recently, you are a goner. The tactic is not just about bluffing the weak players; it is about bluffing players who are feeling weak at the game in that moment. 

Psychology is no alternative for cold hard poker math. But psychology can add an unbelievable depth to your game, and to your wallet, when it’s used in union with a solid poker plan. It forms a one-two punch which is virtually invincible. By opening up your eyes to the human side of the game, even as you keep on to calculate odds, there’s no motive you can’t have the best of both worlds. 

Happy playing!