Unlike many games, poker is not one that is based purely on odds although this does, of course, have a large part to play but to win consistently you have to understand poker player psychology.
To be a top poker player you’re also required to understand the psychological aspects of the game and your fellow players. Knowing how to read your opponents and by the small quirks in their play, you have to decide whether or not they have the winning hand or if you’re the one holding the winning cards.
Using this psychological aspect of the game can make or break your poker play and learning to understand the various ways in which people play and how to read the changes when they do something, however small, different from their normal game is what sets the professionals aside from other players.
When playing try to categorize your opponents. You can call each type of player whatever you like but try to identify those that play loose and wild from the player that plays tight. Identify the calling station from the aggressive player and learn how to spot a rock at your table.
Understanding the differing types of poker player and the different styles of poker they play will aid you no end when playing online. It will allow you to spot any deviations from their regular play, announcing to you, the eagle eyed player that a good hand, a bad hand or a bluff is on its way.
From this spotting of each players play, you will then be able to detail for each player, what each deviation in play is likely to mean. This is done by constantly watching each hand in detail, allowing you to build up an accurate profile for each poker player at the table. Watching for these psychological tells and knowing whether a hand being played is a good hand or not will allow you to make the correct decision more often, capitalizing on your good hands and allowing you to fold you bad hands or bluffs quicker than before.
Starting to learn these skills can of course be a little difficult and until you work out in your own mind how you want to categorize the styles of poker player and it takes a little trial and error. A good way of practicing and one which is totally free to try out keeping your bankroll firmly in your pocket is to simply watch some online poker games without taking part. This can be done at any of the online poker rooms and allows you to concentrate fully on the styles of play and how to spot the various deviations from normal poker play which occur throughout a game.
Mentally record the ways in which each poker player plays each hand and when you get a chance to see their cards, note how they played and whether they were really holding a good hand or not. After you’ve done this a few times, you’ll find it much easier to do while playing in a cash game and providing you continue to concentrate or each players game, you should find your accuracy of reading your poker opponents sharpens the more you play.
Become a better poker player by trying out the poker strategy tactics described above. You’ll win more and also stop losing as much.