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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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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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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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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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Most Recent Poker Psychology Articles

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.

Be Vito, not Cyclone Hart

I’ve been reading about the psychology of winning lately, and I came across this interesting anecdote from a New York Times article: — Cyclone Hart was a powerful puncher who fought as a middleweight out of Philadelphia about 25 years ago. He was as...

The Incorporation of Second-Level Thinking

In today’s tough poker games, you can’t just think about what cards your opponents have. You have to also consider what they think you have. By doing so, you can strengthen some of your ranges and weaken others depending on what kind of action you expect to face.

Making Our Strategies More Robust and Avoiding Auto-Pilot

You shouldn’t play the same way against all opponents. By considering how strong or weak you want your ranges to be in certain poker situations, you can get the best of your adversaries. Learn how to modify your default ranges for increased profits.

Traits of Great Poker Players

By examining the playing styles of five of the world’s best online poker players, we’ve identified the four traits they have in common: trusting their instincts at the table, taking advantage of their table position, having a strong work ethic and not selecting games based on their opponents’ skill.

Poker Goals

There are several similarities that you can find between the game of Poker and Life in general. One of these would be to compare a poker player to a major league baseball pitcher. Every at bat is a world on itself, and you have to keep a cool head through all of them....

What Makes a Player Top-Tier?

I have been thinking a lot lately on self-analysis and focusing on what I need to do to become a better, more profitable player. Tournament play is a very results oriented business and the internet ranking systems and idolization that follows from it make this...

The Newbie Circle of Death

I just went through a maddening circle that wasted 3 weeks of my hard work, and nearly washed my entire bankroll down the drain… Hopefully I can give a little insight to prevent someone from going through the same thing… Just a side note, I play the 6 max...

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...

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.

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.

The Value of a Bankroll

I think that the concept of bankrolls in poker is something that is misunderstood by the vast majority of poker players. In fact I have read more opinions and articles on the subject of bankroll management and earn rates than I can remember. I find most of the...

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 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...