Poker psychology

What kind of poker psychology do you use at the table?

I’ve heard people say they like to act friendly and courteous to everyone at the table so that a) people will assume they are chumps and try to take advantage of them and b) people will be less inclined to try to bust them from the table. I’ve also heard people take the “poker brat” approach and try to antagonize other players at the table so that they WILL try to take shots at them. What’s your approach?

Question posted by: JudasHero


The best psychological approach to use at the poker table depends on your personality, playing style, and the specific dynamics of the game and players you are facing. It’s essential to adapt your approach based on the situation and the opponents you encounter. Here are a few strategies to consider:

  1. Friendly and courteous: Acting friendly and polite can help you create a relaxed atmosphere at the table. This may cause opponents to underestimate your skills or make them more reluctant to take aggressive actions against you. Building positive relationships with other players can also lead to more accurate reads and information sharing.
  2. Intimidating and aggressive: Adopting a strong, assertive table image can make opponents more cautious and less likely to challenge your bets and raises. By applying pressure and appearing confident, you may be able to induce mistakes and force your opponents into unfavorable situations.
  3. Quiet and observant: Staying quiet and focused allows you to gather information about your opponents without drawing attention to yourself. By blending into the background, you can study the playing styles, tendencies, and emotions of other players, using this information to make better decisions.
  4. Talkative and engaging: Engaging in conversation can help you gather valuable information about your opponents’ hands and strategies. By encouraging others to talk, you can potentially reveal their thought processes and emotions, which can be useful for making reads and exploiting weaknesses.
  5. Adaptable and unpredictable: Being able to adjust your approach based on the specific dynamics of the table and your opponents is critical. Mixing up your playing style and table image can make you harder to read and keep your opponents guessing.

Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to poker psychology. The key is to find a strategy that works for you and the specific games you play. Continuously assess the table dynamics, and be willing to adapt your approach as needed to maximize your edge against your opponents.