Psychological Games in Poker

No-Limit Hold’em ring games require more psychological tricks and bluffing skills than any other popular poker games. These tricks should always depend of the opponents you are playing against.

When you play in no-limit areas with low stakes (50$ buy-in or less), then I would not recommend applying psychological games. A bluff on the flop with less players may work from time to time, but usually on those tables your opponent will bet until the end. In such games it is wiser to wait for a good hand and then take their money with pot large bets.

Once you start to play at tables with 100$ buy-in and higher psychological games will play an important role, especially if your opponents have larger stacks (100 * Big Blind and more). First thing you have to do on those tables is to categories the other poker players.

The six kinds of poker players 

  1. Fish
  2. Weak-Tight
  3. Policemen
  4. Tight-Aggressive
  5. Hyper-Aggressive
  6. Tilt Player

Rules of Omaha Poker

Omaha Poker is similar to Texas Hold’em. The difference is that you can usually get better hands, because you can choose from nine instead of seven cards. The procedure is resemblant:

1. Cards

Each player is dealt four cards face down.

2. The Flop

Three cards are dealt face up on the table.

3. The Turn

A fourth card is dealt.

4. The River

Finally, a fifth card is turned face up.

The five cards on the table are community cards. You get the best poker hand by taking two own cards and three community cards. One must always bear in mind that all players can use the five community cards. When played for money, each time after cards have been dealt the poker players have to make a bet (four times).

Poker Table Selection

The selection of the right table is a critical factor in poker. Many new talented poker players try to improve their skills in order to win more often, but the way to greater success lies in choosing the right poker table.

You should sit at a table where you have an advantage over your opponents. No matter how well you play, if you are sitting at a table with Sharks, it’s almost impossible to earn good money. The luck factor and the table fees would shrink the long-term profits.

So the logical conclusion would be that you find players you can beat, but how do you identify such poker players? There are several quick ways to analyze your opponents and see if you should participate in the game:

1. You know your opponent already. If you play in the same casino (online or offline), then you know your opponent after a while. Either you remember them or you’re simply making notes whether they are strong or weak poker player and who you see through the best.

2. Find out how loose or tight the game is. A loose game is a good one, because it has a high flop percentage and people are calling with medium strong hands. A tight game can also be a good one and it can be recognized when there are not many raises. If the players do not bet that much in a very good hand, then they will let you see the cards favorable. Against passive poker players you won’t lose much if you lose and against loose players you will win a lot if you win.

3. Another factor for choosing a table would be the number of fundamental errors a poker player is committing. Assuming you have read most of our poker articles then you should be familiar with basic poker strategies. So if you see people calling preflop with pretty weak hands and then they continue betting with a flush or straight draw on the turn/river without pot odds, then it is definitely the right game for you to join. Players that go along with such bad cards are doomed to lose.

The 3 P. – Professional Poker Player

Many poker players envy the lifestyle of pro poker player. I mean who wouldn’t want to earn a lot of money with the game he loves. Also don’t forget that you determine your own working hours. At first sight you would call it a dream job, but how do you become a professional? You can’t go to college and become one. Actually the case is that you proclaim yourself as a pro. To be honest there are even player who keep losing all the time, but still call themselves professional.

The first obvious reason why somebody would go pro is to make more money than he could earn with a regular job. To ascertain if somebody can make a living just with poker he needs to have documented how long he plays and how much he earns per hour. If he/she over a long period has earned more than he would at his standard job then he might decide to generate his money only through poker.

Now we will discuss the second reason why somebody would go pro.

Another reason for going pro is to have a lot of freedom and to be able to enjoy earning money with the game you love. However the most pro player see their poker career as a temporary job. Only a few actually see themselves earning money with poker for the rest of their lives.

Like anything in our life even this has its downside.

* You won’t get to know many people if you play poker only online

* Even today earning your money this way is in most cases not socially accepted

* After some time the game as your only income will become very monotone

* The pressure to need to win, or you will go broke

My advice is to go semi-professional. You will still earn a lot of money and have fun with the game, but at the same time you will have another source of income and that will take a lot of pressure from you.

Play Independent

What do I mean when I say Play Independent? I’m talking about that people seem to forget that Poker is an evolving game like for example chess. The way of playing poker lets say 30 years ago ain’t the same as it is played today and it won’t be the same as it’s going to be played in the future. The meaning of this is that you can’t expect that a poker guide tells you exactly what you have to do in every possible position. There isn’t just one optimal play style for poker. You can achieve that with different poker strategy.

For example one player is more aggressive than the other, but this doesn’t mean that they both can’t have success! You have to find your very own style for playing poker whom you can modify whenever needed. That’s the only way to make some real profits out of this game.

To be among those who make some real money with poker you need to be good at difficult situations as well. Sure those simple slow plays with a monster hand can bring you some bucks, but losing or winning the big cash does result from those hard decisions. The main and most important thing at these cases is to have trust in your own decisions.

How To Pit Against Strong Poker Players

I already mentioned in the Table Selection article that you need to watch out against who you actually play and that you need to look for weaker player. However, if you are by some circumstances compelled to face strong and experienced poker players then this post will show you some tactics that you can use.

A very good way to confuse your opponents is to constantly vary your game. This means that if the other players start to believe that you bluff a lot, then you bluff lesser. And when the other guys start to think that you are very conservative, then you start playing more aggressive.

Like you can see from this example the main point is to irritate your opponents as much as possible, but when exactly is this strategy most efficient? I would say for No Limit poker with 5 or less players and also the stacks need to be large enough so you could successfully bluff at the turn or river. Once you are familiarize with this change of poker game style, your opponents will have serious trouble to find out when you are actually changing the pace! So my advice is to practice a lot.

Words of Poker Advice

Here I will list 7 poker tips who will help you getting better at poker.

1. Never drink while playing     

This can ruin your game, your bankroll and much more!

2. Choose an online room with reputation

This will make sure that you can play safe

3. Learn all terms that are regularly used at Poker

This article will help you with that

4. Always stay focused on your cards and your opponents

One moment of absence can cost you a lot of money

5. Don’t play over your limit

Having bad beats on tables that are way over your limit can ruin you

6. Use all data that you can get from your opponents

Knowing your poker opponents strong and weak points will help you a lot

7. Don’t rush things

Poker is a game were patience is one of the most important attributes

How to Play High Pairs Preflop

Having high pairs at the beginning of the game is always good because most often these high pairs are enough to win the round without seeking any new combinations. But you should be aware that high pairs are not that often and odds are lower if we go higher.

In order to understand the importance of high pairs think about this – what are the most often cards that you keep in your hand waiting for a match? The answer of course is high cards.

Even though high pairs give you an advantage it is always wise to play these pairs adequately prior to getting to the top. Keep in mind that you can choose where, when and how you play high pairs. In case you are looking for steady money play them under your own conditions. There are several things that you should consider how to play with high pairs.

A standard play would be raising and when we talk about the sizing it really depends on the game and the players involved. Are there any limpers? If the answer is “yes” then you can raise one more time. Feel free to size 2x or even 3x if the game is right. There are several reasons for the raising – you’ve got strong pairs (sometimes even Aces), of course you want to narrow the field and start building the pot as soon as possible.

Let’s explain this with an example. In case you have high pairs in the preflop, let’s say a pair of queens, and a higher card is on the table after the flop (a king for example), it is highly possible that someone on the table has a pair of kings and of course this is connected with how many players have paid the preflop.  However you must be aware that sometimes you will have to fold even though you had high pairs in the preflop. This is always hard especially for the amateurs because they think they can win the game because they have been lucky at the start. This is very wrong and can lead to foolish actions that can cost you a lot.

Try to determine what the flop means to you and what does it mean to your rivals by evaluating the cards and their reactions of course. If you believe that the flop has been good for some of your opponents don’t be disappointed and fold. But if you think that the flop has brought you an advantage over the other players play a bet and try to take other players out of the game, especially those who try to get a better hand than you. Sometimes when you are waiting for one card to get flush or straight it is good to play check on the flop. A completely free card that can solve all your doubts is more than welcome. In case you have the strongest hand possible play check or call. In this way you can keep your opponents in the game and not scare them off.

These are few things that you can do when you have high pairs in the preflop, so be wise and use your good starting position.

Having Success in Poker

Sometimes it appears that some people have natural talent for playing poker, while others no matter how hard they try they fail to be victorious. The ones that lose too often are always blaming the bad luck but every professional player knows that if you want to have success in poker you should have the knowledge and also follow some principles.

Having success at poker is usually linked to three factors:

  • discipline
  • self-confidence
  • intelligence

You don’t have to have all these factors on top level to be successful, but if you don’t have at least one of these factors, being a winner will be very hard.

Let’s talk about discipline first. Every professional poker player will tell you that good discipline is one of the keys for good playing, although many long time players struggle with it. When we talk about discipline linked with poker, there are few sides that need to be observed. For example, every player needs to practice discipline when it comes to techniques used in a game. Because proper play can be dull, it takes some discipline in the choice of your game, so if something is not “working” for that game try another technique, but once you choose it stick to it. It is extremely important to practice discipline in order to stay calm after a few mad hands. You don’t want your opponents to see your emotions and totally ruin your chances for winning.

Having discipline when it comes to bankroll management is also very important because you can lose your money very fast.
If you plan to be a professional poker player, discipline is crucial not only to preserve motivation on high level, but also to treat poker as a profession and consistently implement the recommended time at the poker table.

Whether you are currently winning or losing self discipline will help you exclude the emotions. Although it sometimes seems that playing good for a longer period will never end, and that you can start playing on sums that you can’t afford because of the good “luck”, it takes some discipline to stay sober  and to remember that bad luck might appear at any moment and you can’t do nothing about it.

Having success at poker is sometimes linked with intelligence. It takes some intelligence to understand the basic rules of poker and to apply the guidelines and advises at the table. You have to be critical, and react quickly at a given situation. If you are not that good at making quick decisions and solving problems it will be very difficult to become successful.

Self-confidence is the third factor that determines successfulness in poker. Although this factor is often linked with how someone feels about his looks and his ability to talk with girls, when we talk about poker this self-confidence means being strong and consistent while making decisions at the table.  Poker is not a game for insecure people. You need to be confident and bold enough to make intelligent moves.

If you think that you don’t posses all three factors don’t feel bad. They can all be practiced and rarely any player has all these factors on high levels. Keep working on them and the results will come.

How to Play Good Bluffs

Bluffing is a method that is usually linked with poker. It is very useful and it can bring you wins even when you are not so lucky with the cards. However using bluffs is not something that should be done randomly and when you feel like that. It should be done carefully and only against serious players with serious stakes. Think about it. Why wouldn’t someone check your cards if the stakes are low? If it is a small amount that is in play other players might call just out of curiosity. Always remember that the main reason for bluffing is to force the other players to fold.

Bluff Black And White Games Poker  - max60500 / Pixabay

Almost every serious poker player is familiar with the A-K play after the flop. It is a strategy where you raise the pot although you didn’t get anything useful. This is a pure example of simple but yet profitable bluff. But in order to be good at bluffing you need to consider few factors that will help you win – Image, Stack, Position, Opponents and Reading.

When we talk about image, if you are a kind of player that rises and calls too often then bluffing might not be the right strategy for you. The opponents will “read” you and instead of folding they will follow you until the end. That’s why you need to play calm and appear that you are very cautious, so every player on the table will think that you only play safe and that you don’t bluff at all. If you want to create this kind of image then don’t start with the bluffs from the beginning of the game. Let the game develop and create your image steadily.

Another factor that needs to be considered while bluffing is the stack. You can’t bluff with small stacks; the stack needs to be big enough so that you can have space to bluff. We will give you a short example – if the pot is high and your opponent has 1/3 of the stack left then it is not a good moment for bluffing. It is most likely that he will call whatever amount of money you raise.

Position on the table is also very important when it comes to bluffing. So, whenever you try to make a good bluff check your position on the table. The most important thing is your position compared to the one of the dealer and after that the position compared to other potentially dangerous players. With the help of your position you can see how players react and see if they are weak or strong and calm.
Bluff against opponents that look smart. They are very cautious and wait for their cards to come. They often play safe and fold. That’s the type of opponent that you are looking for.

If you think that you have read your opponent take advantage of that. If you think that he has a pair of Jacks or Queens and there is an Ace on the table then make a bluff. He is scared of that card and you can act like that card was all you were looking for. If you can’t read him then stop the bluff because there is no point of bluffing.

Don’t place all your hopes on bluffing but using it occasionally can help you a lot!