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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

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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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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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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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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Most Recent Poker Psychology Articles

Poker and Life

All serious poker players are familiar with the idea of tilt. Tilt is a change, for the worse, in our poker play due to emotions. Most players recognize tilt as a negative reaction to play on the felt: a bad beat, a cooler, or even winning a large amount of money can...

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...

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?

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?

A Sensible Approach to Controlling Tilt

Being emotionally compromised while playing a precision game like poker is the same thing as taking your buy-in and dropping the chips by the handful into a wood chipper. In summary, it’s a bad idea. (Unless burning through money is a hobby of yours. In which...

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.

Away From the Felt

There are a lot of factors that go into becoming a winning poker player that do not happen while you are actually playing the game. Whether playing for fun, to earn a bit of side money, or professionally, there are many things one can do to improve their play while...

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...

Poker Thoughts for Beginners

I’ve been through all the ups and downs of poker. I just thought I’d share some things with some of the beginners to help them not make mistakes early on. We all make mistakes starting out and I was making the same mistakes over and over and for far too...

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.

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...

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...

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.

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.