Poker Articles

Psychological Games

If you get to a level in your poker that you are reading advanced poker strategy articles that means that you know the basics and are ready for the serious stuff. At this level there's no more talk about hand rankings and what cards to bet on and which not, now it's about getting into your opponents minds.

Poker is a game of trying to know your opponents as good as you know yourself, so if you want to do good in poker you need to pay attention to how your opponents are playing to use that information against them. Key to help you win in your game is that you should be able to tell puirdy quick if your opponent is a loose player or a tight player: do they fold often early on or do they get into big pots and fold out later. If you can recognize some pattern in their play you will be able to predict what it is that they are holding and doing. You should also be spying on each called hand, if you have an opponent that is constantly going all the way with mediocre hands then that's very important information that you can use against him. You should also be looking for tells, does someone sweat more when he has a good hand, does he tap his cards when he's making a big bet? These tells could mean anything but if you're able to recognize any differences from their normal pattern, this will be more helpful then you've ever thought.

The goal in manipulating your opponents is to place them in a position where they don't feel comfortable, to take them out of their safe environment. If you see somebody is a conservative better you can easily make him feel uncomfortable by forcing him to either make a large bet or to fold. You will see that it's quite easy to push people places where they don't feel comfortable and this will help you win the pot by forcing them out or applying pressure to them so they make mistakes. In the long run it can also result in resistance to enter into a heads-up battle with you so you will then often win the pot uncontested.

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