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Poker Strategy: Poker Psychology

The power of the mind in poker: There is no spade.

Poker Psychology

It’s well-known among poker enthusiasts that using psychology to get inside the head of your opponents can really give you an edge over them. What some people forget though is that it’s equally important, if not more so, to understand how your own psychology plays a role in your results. Many people who have solid overall strategies nevertheless fail to live up to their potential as players due to a lack of emotional control. Tilt – including “winners tilt” – the desire to get “unstuck” while in the midst of a losing session, playing while tired, and off-table habits can threaten your ability to earn a profit from poker. The articles below discuss some of the psychological problems that affect poker players and ways of dealing with them. Before long, you’ll be able to make calm, dispassionate decisions, and you’ll therefore be able to play your A game for extended periods of time.

Featured Poker Psychology Articles

Beginner’s List of Poker Leaks

Poker is a complex, difficult game, so it’s only natural for beginners to make a lot of errors. The problem is in identifying these errors — if you knew what they were, you wouldn’t be making them! Take a look at these common leaks to see if any of them are present in your game.

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Bankroll Management 101

Bankroll Management Calculator Current Bankroll: Show Clear Cash — 100 BUY-INS Conservative — 40 BUY-INS Recommended — 20 BUY-INS Risky MTT — 100 BUY-INS Conservative — 75 BUY-INS Recommended — 40 BUY-INS Risky SnG — 75...
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Playing Long Sessions

By learning how to play longer sessions at the poker tables more effectively, you can increase the amount of money you win. By carefully choosing the right tables and using lobby filters to your advantage, you can keep yourself in good +EV situations for extended periods of time.

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The Psychology of Losing

You can’t win every hand or tournament when playing poker. But an extended losing streak can often have severe emotional repercussions that may compound over time, causing you to lose even more. Learn how to break out of the cycle and start winning again.

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Taking the Next Step

In poker, it’s important to keep improving your game so that you can move up in stakes. By carefully considering bankroll management, studying the player pool at your new level and approaching the bigger game with the right mindset, you can increase your chances for success.

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Most Recent Poker Psychology Articles

The Principles of Performance for Poker

You can make it much easier to improve your poker game by following a few easy guidelines. Your problems as a poker poker are but a reflection of your problems in life and vice versa. With the proper level of self-awareness, you can set about successfully improving your play.

The Psychology of Winning

A lot of literature on poker psychology focuses on how players should handle themselves when they are losing. Whether it is a downswing, tilt, or other factors, people tend to only focus on their play/mentality when things aren’t going their way. Few...

Emotional Mastery Over Poker Tilt

Here’s a fun topic I spent some time working on. It’s incomplete but this is an endless topic. Does it make sense to anyone else, or just me? (To give credit where it’s due, this is my take on Anthony Robbins – you can do a search for his...

Leveling by Gametight

Leveling is an in-game battle of psychology. It stems from this: Level 0: What do I have? Level 1: What does my opponent have? Level 2: What does my opponent think I have? Level 3: What does my opponent think that I think they have? Level 4: What does my opponent...

A Post About Bluffing

Bluffing is an integral, exciting part of poker. Defending against suspected opponent bluffs is no less important to your overall strategy. But becoming too focused on bluffs to the exclusion of other considerations can lead you straight to the poorhouse.

Optimizing Your Sessions With Simple Routines

Establishing a set of routines to perform before you begin playing poker will produce long-term, positive results. By properly training your body, you’ll be able to condition your involuntary responses to make you calm, focused and ready to play whenever you want to.

Babysitting Blunders: How Not to Treat New Players

During my time at the tables, I’ve had a chance to observe an extensive amount of human behavior. Thanks to the growing popularity of the game, I’m seeing more and more diverse personalities sported by players operating on a variety of skill levels.

But with the ever-expanding pool of competitors, I find many of my brothers and sisters who’ve been around for a while are forgetting some of the cardinal rules of the game. I’m talking, specifically, about the treatment of new players at the tables. It happens both at live events and when surfing through the online card rooms. There are veterans (and even more who think themselves to be veterans) who, by carrying themselves in a certain fashion, do themselves a disservice and consequently reduce their own level of play.

Online Poker Tells – Online Timing Tells

By carefully observing the speed with which your opponents act at the poker tables, you can often glean valuable information about the strength of their hands. Perhaps more importantly, you should always attempt to prevent your opponents from gaining any such information about your hands.

The PokerJanitor’s Philosophy

I’ve received an offer I cannot refuse – the nice young woman I’ve been seeing has offered to teach me how to bake her delicious homemade bread. And what does she ask in return?

“Well,” she said, “I’ve always wanted to get good at poker. Could you teach me?”

So, rather than simply tossing “Super System 2” in her lap and watching the NFL playoffs, I’ll spend some quality time teaching her how to play. That shows what a caring guy I am, right? I think so, at least. Also I get to eat homemade bread. What’s not to love?

Poker Bad Beats And You

You have a pretty looking hand and your opponent has a funny, lopsided looking hand and you’re happy to see that all the money goes in the pot. The end. Everything after that is just an illusion taking your focus away from a truth in poker. You’ve made the...

Bust-Out Blues

It’s happened to all of us at one point or another. Even the great Phil Ivey went bust several times before hitting his stride. Rather than beating yourself up over it, take your bust-out as an opportunity to learn. But before you leap right back into the action, take a few minutes to consider how you want your comeback to go down. Will you make the same mistakes you did the first time around?

Your Bankroll and You

There are many things that are important in Poker; your position during a hand, your starting hand (cards), your opponent tendencies, the odds for a certain draw to hit, how that draw fares versus your holding, bluffing opportunities, recognition and exploitation of...

How to Put Your Opponent on Tilt

These are extraordinary methods, and work best in live games. Getting an opponent on tilt is a lot more rewarding in lives games, too. There’s nothing like the grunts, facial ticks, and the defensive “What the hell bro?!” of an on-tilt,...

Poker Discipline

Anosmic’s Year One post inspired me to do something for my first FTRnniversary. It’s been a great year for me, poker-wise. I started last February playing $10 SNGs and 25NL ring with a $300 bankroll and am now playing 200NL with a $8k bankroll. I’ve...