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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

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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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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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

Mindset, Technique and Money Management

I am going to reveal something that I think is of immense use to any poker player. While it is critical to know how to play the game well, this is only a tiny part of being a successful poker player. Playing poker has so many similarities to financial trading that it...

Dealing With Bad Beats

Recently I have seen a number of posts by newer players complaining about bad beats and suckouts and perhaps even suggesting that certain sites deliver a greater proportion of bad beats than others. There is already a sticky in the bad beat forum about this but I...

Expanding Your Pre Flop Range

After familiarizing yourself with key poker fundamentals such as bankroll management, positional awareness, and aggression, there are a few other aspects of your game you can improve to take the next step in your poker playing career. One of the best ways to improve...

Cbets, HUD Reads and Problem Solving

It’s possible to apply classic decision-making processes to poker games. For example, by understanding your c-betting leaks, coming up with a plan to fix them, implementing that plan and observing the results, you can make drastic improvements in your c-betting game.

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...

Theory Read – River Check/Raise

Below you will see an interesting discussion on river check/raises which took place in the High Stakes forum.  It started with ISF showing hands and posters such as Sauce123, Massimo, Toadstool, and gabe adding their replies.  View the check raise theory...

Practice makes Perfect

Practice makes Perfect. It’s something we’ve all heard a million times. It’s meaning is obvious! What could I possibly have to add to this catchy, well-informed nugget!? Well, I have a secret: Practice does not make Perfect. Rather, Perfect practice...

Dumb People Believe in Downswings

A funny look at the mythic term, “downswings,” this article debunks the existence of players being on downswings or upswings. The logic? Since every hand dealt in poker is independent of all others, you cannot up-or-downswing; you can only have an historical period of increased losses or winnings.

Cues of the Shoes

At the poker table, we watch for the flare of a nostril, the wink of an eyebrow, or the twitch hiding at the corner of an opponent’s mouth. But the face, thanks in large part to our respective upbringings, is the least honest portion of our anatomy. We’ve been taught since infancy to mask our true emotions before they flicker across our countenance.

So where, then, can we hope to glean the most truth from an enemy? The answer may surprise you.

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...

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,...

You Can’t Make Your Opponent Fold

A lot of people ask how to make opponents fold so they cannot suck out. Here is a long story. It will be meaningless to some. To others, it may resonate and really help. In my 20s and early 30s I practiced an old, particularly brutal martial art. For those who have...

Understanding the Importance of Shania (theory post)

I think I just had a really cool epiphany. Danny and I just watched the new movie 21 tonight (meh). Obviously, when two poker players see that movie there is going to be some gambling discussion afterwards. One thing lead to another and I brought up the subject of why...

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.

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.