Psychology at the poker tables can improve your game
By Bob Garcia
Some subliminal tricks in poker can have a huge impact on your opponents
Poker isn’t just about playing the cards you’re dealt. There is a great deal to be said for the ability to psyche out others at the table in order to keep them in check or force them to be more passive. Psychology can play a leading role in success at the tables, and several simple tricks will go a long way to raking in the huge pots.
When the cards are dealt, never look at them right away. Instead, spend that time looking around the table while the other players look at their cards. Gauge their reactions and expressions so you know what you might be up against. Then, take this into consideration as you view your own cards.
Players who stare longer at their cards usually have weaker hands – perhaps they’re hoping the cards will mysteriously morph into something better. On the other hand, a lot of players, when dealt strong cards, will only give them a quick glance and put them down. This is a psychological reaction; the weak cards produce stress, and the body copes with this by reacting slower.
An old saying goes, messy room, messy life. This can be applied at the poker tables, as well. Often, a messy chip stack is indicative of someone who approaches the game with a more impartial view. They are more prone to make mistakes, as they’re more about playing than winning. Those with neatly organized stacks, however, could be more attentive to what’s going on and are less likely to bluff. Conversely, they’re more likely to fold when faced with a bluff, since neat stacks often indicated a nervous, insecure mindset.